Refreshed Rhys Davies eyes return to golf elite

Posted by on July 26, 2019  /   Posted in golf reviews

Rhys Davies is ranked 44th in the world

Rhys Davies has proven in the past that he can compete with the best golf, but today he does not know his world ranking.

Colin Montgomerie once described the 34-year-old as the man with the million-dollar battle – and there was a time when prize money was flowing.

Davies was one of the next big things about golf, a rising star whose potential was recognized when Montgomerie asked him to ride his buggy during the Ryder Cup 2010.

The Welshman knew how he had to move to Celtic Manor – he has the record on the Twenty Ten course – but would soon lose his way in his career.

In November, Davies decided that the best option was to take a break from golf and the clubs remained unaffected for six months because he focused on his young family.

But the countdown to a competitive return has begun.

Davies, from Bridgend, can be found by hitting balls at Royal Porthcawl, the club where he joined as a child and is now an honorary member.

Rhys Davies has been named the best putter in the world by Luke Donald and colleague Welshman Phil Price

. Davies is determined to compete again with the best golfers in the world.

"I am very ambitious," he tells BBC Sport Wales. "I really want to play at the highest level in the coming years.

" I know that if I play to my ability, when it comes to competition, I will be happy and satisfied and therefore good results will come. come.

"If I play good golf, I will fight. I have no doubt – I have never done that."

Davies' remarkable amateur career included two Walker Cup appearances – alongside Rory McIlroy among others – when he enjoyed a singles win over Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

He became a professional in 2007 and won two Challenge Tour triumphs in 2009 on the European Tour – the Trophee Hassan II – in March 2010.

"I had a 12-month period between it mid-2009 and mid-2010, where I was really good, "says Davies.

"I don't think I ever really had the opportunity to think and realize how good some of those performances were because you constantly strive for the following.

" You don't take always on what you have done and as a result I think it has caught up with me over time.

"I was mentally tired, no doubt. I have probably felt it for a number of years."

Montgomerie, Europe & 2010's captain, suggested that Davies was a Ryder Cup player of the "very near future" after calling him up for buggy service.

Davies came close to qualifying for the Newport event thanks to the shape that brought him to 44th place in the world ranking.

He played in The Open in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the US Open – which he had first played in 2007 – and US PGA Championship in 2010, but lost his European tour card in 2012.

Davies fought his way back after two Challenge Tour victories in 2015, but lost his card a second time 12 months later and struggled in the coming years.

Rhys Davies rode Colin Montgomerie's buggy during the Ryder Cup 2010 after missing a pickup from a captain at Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Edoardo Molinari

"The thing about golf is that you rarely win it free It's hard to accept what's good isn't it, "says Davies.

"It is very difficult to say that I became 25th, I played really well. Most people wonder why you are happy with 25th.

" The truth is no , I am not happy with the 25th, but I have done many good things. It is easy to fall into the trap of saying that I must be better, I must be better. That is probably the route that I have traveled too often. "

Davies has seen some golf on television during his period away from the fairways, although watching major events can cause frustration that he is not involved.

" I think that it is fair to say, "he adds.

" The difficulty with golf is that there is always someone who plays well. If you don't play well, it's pretty easy to think that person is always playing well. You relate it back to you.

"You often do not realize that this person only plays sporadically. It is easy to get caught in the wrong way."

Rhys Davies finished in style to beat Louis Oosthuizen against Trophee Hassan II in 2010

Davies feels "much fresher" as he builds on a return to tournament golf in the fall.

He only played one full one to date, in Porthcawl, and shot a three-under-par 69.

"I'm not going to pretend it was under tournament conditions, but it was something , "says Davies. "I was pleasantly surprised with what I could do."

He puts that famous battle to death as hours spent practicing as a child, either at home or on "different putting greens throughout South Wales".

"It's something I'm pretty good at," Davies adds.

"I have always been proud of it and have a good understanding of what I am trying to do. I will certainly defend myself against most people."

Davies has no lack of faith despite the harsh times he has experienced.

Rhys Davies last played competitive golf in November 2018

He is convinced that he can regain the shape of his younger days, and remains hopeful that he can return to the Ryder Cup – this time with clubs – somewhere along the line .

"Realistically, that is still a long way off, but one or two tournaments can change everything in your year or even your career," says Davies.

The first steps on the path back to the top of the game could come via invitations from sponsors or via qualification prior to the tournament.

Davies is also considering going to Q School, where about 1,000 golfers compete for 25 places during next year's European Tour. It is a notorious test challenge, but then he has experienced a lot.

As far as the world ranking is concerned, Davies has gone all the way to 12th place – but expects that to change.

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