In the third instalment looking back at some of the Challenge Tour’s most impressive alumni we focus on a slightly more recent ascendance to The European Tour, and it comes in the shape of Welshman Rhys Davies.
European Tour Weekly travelled down to meet him on the eve of the 2009 SWALEC Wales Challenge at a stadium, Sophia Gardens, which showcases one of his earlier sporting passions – cricket.
“The club at home was just at the bottom of the garden and I knew a lot of the members so got involved, really enjoyed it and eventually progressed through some of the representative levels into county cricket and Wales representative too. So it was a big part of what I did before playing golf.”
But eventually the warm willow of a cricket bat would be replaced by the cold steel of a golf club, and Davies went on to enjoy plenty of amateur success, the pinnacle of which was two Walker Cup appearances alongside some other household names – Rory McIlroy and David Horsey, to name just two.
He went on to turn professional late in 2007, and although success was not instantaneous, an Eastern adventure over on the Asian Tour gave him the confidence and impetus to return to Europe and start showing his potential on the course.
Shortly after this he not only qualified for The Open Championship at Turnberry, but he would in fact win the week this interview was filmed. From here he would only go from strength to strength, picking up the Fred Olsen Challenge de España trophy later that year alongside three other top three finishes that year that would see him graduate to Tthe European Tour in 2010 ranked fourth on the Challenge Tour ranking.
“With golf things can change at any moment,” said Davis, oblivious to the success that would soon follow. “I’ll just keep looking at it week by week and strive for a win at some point, and if I can do that then doors will open and things will change. I’ll have more control over the tournaments I play and once I reach that level I will be more consistent.”
From there he would impress and almost make The Ryder Cup team in 2010, helped in part by his first European Tour victory in March of that year at the Trophée Hassan II, in Morocco.To watch the video in full, and analyse this Welshman’s cricket stroke rather than his putting action, then please click here.