Rhys Davies hails Europe's dominance over USA

Rhys Davies
Rhys Davies has slipped down to number 90 in the world rankings

THE SAAB WALES OPEN

Venue:
Twenty Ten course, Celtic Manor, Wales
Date:
Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June
Coverage:
Updates on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales & BBC Radio Cymru. Leaderboard on BBC Sport website. Highlights on BBC Two Wales on Saturday and Sunday (2300-2340 BST)

Rhys Davies is to put his American dream on hold as the Welsh golfer insists the European Tour is stronger than the PGA Tour.

The 26-year-old graduated from the prestigious American collegiate system and thought he may have to one day move full-time to the United States.

But Davies has reconsidered his career path to remain among the world's elite.

"The best players in the world are now playing in Europe," said the world number 90.

Seven of the world's top 10 are European Tour members as Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer ensure an all-European top three ahead of American Phil Mickelson.

World number five Graeme McDowell is in the Wales Open field alongside Wales's number one as the pair renew rivalries following their battle for last year's Celtic Manor crown.

McDowell beat Davies to the 2010 title by three shots before winning the US Open - and all four major titles are currently held by European Tour members, while Europe are also the reigning Ryder Cup champions.

Davies is a golfing graduate of East Tennessee State University and won 10 times on the collegiate tour but played on the Asian Tour after going professional in September 2007 to boost his chances of qualifying for the European Tour.

"I think the European Tour is going from strength-to-strength," said Davies.

"I've always wanted to play against the top competition and right now that seems to be Europe most weeks.

"You only have to look at the strength of the field last week at Wentworth in the PGA Championship last week and the amount of world ranking points available and the amount of attention.

"I think it is a great standard. Just see how many good players we have here in Europe and how strong the tour has become.

"When I turned professional the stronger tour was probably the PGA Tour, but I do think that's starting to change a little bit.

"You only have to look at the strength of players at the top end, but also look at the strength of players coming through. The European Tour is probably as strong as it has ever been."

Davies hopes a return to his homeland can inspire a return into the world's top 50 players.

The 2003 British Boys champion moved into that illustrious group following his second-place at the 2010 Wales Open, his fifth top five finish in three months.

But since then he has dropped to 90th in the world and has enjoyed only one top 10 finish - at the Tophee Hassan II in March - since his Celtic Manor heroics.

But he insisted: "My form has been okay actually.

"I didn't play well at the end of last year. I wasn't hitting the ball as well as I would have liked. But I'm feeling like I'm playing some really good golf.

"In some respects, my results possibly have not been as good as my game has been.

"I'm just waiting for that to change. You can't force this game."

THE SAAB WALES OPEN

Venue:
Twenty Ten course, Celtic Manor, Wales
Date:
Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June
Coverage:
Updates on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales & BBC Radio Cymru. Live scorecard on BBC Sport website. Highlights on BBC Two Wales on Saturday and Sunday (2300-2340 BST)

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