Here are five things to know as the European Tour makes its return to The Celtic Manor Resort for the fourth event of the UK Swing.
The inaugural Celtic Classic
The inaugural edition of the Celtic Classic marks the first of two successive events to be held at The Celtic Manor Resort - with the ISPS Handa Wales Open taking place next week over the same course.
It will also be the first European Tour event to be played at on the Celtic Manor Twenty Ten course since Joost Luiten claimed a one-stroke victory over Tommy Fleetwood and Shane Lowry at the 2014 ISPS Handa Wales Open.
Luiten, who made a strong start during the Tour’s restart in Austria, is making his return to the UK Swing this week following his appearance in the US PGA Championship, where he finished tied 51st.
A timely return to Celtic Manor
The Tour’s return to the South Wales resort this year is a timely stop, as it also marks the tenth anniversary of Europe’s dramatic 14½-13½ victory against the United States in The 2010 Ryder Cup at the same venue.
Ross Fisher and Edoardo Molinari, who were part of Europe’s winning team that year, are both making their return to the Ross McMurray designed course this week, which was purpose-built for hosting The 2010 Ryder Cup.
Bjørn’s Charity Walk
Thomas Bjørn is set for a big challenge this week as he embarks on a four-day charity walk over 210 kilometres from #Wentworth2Wales to raise funds for Unicef UK’s Save Generation Covid appeal and the Golf Foundation as part of the European Tour’s #GolfforGood initiative.
Inspired by the fundraising exploits in the UK of Sir Tom Moore during the COVID-19 lockdown, Bjørn will carry The Ryder Cup from the European Tour’s Headquarters at Wentworth Club in Surrey to The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport
The 49-year-old from Denmark will set off from Wentworth Club on Thursday August 13, the first day of The Celtic Classic and plans to arrive at Celtic Manor on Sunday August 16, the final day of the tournament.
Donations for the #Wentworth2Wales walk can be made at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Wentworth2Wales
Points race for U.S. Open spot continues
Andy Sullivan’s victory at the English Championship vaulted him to the top of the mini Order of Merit standings, which runs through each of the six UK events.
He holds a narrow lead of 28.76 points over Rasmus Højgaard, who continued to impress with a third place finish at Hanbury Manor, becoming the only player to record three consecutive top tens in the first three weeks of the UK Swing.
Behind Højgaard is Hero Open winner Sam Horsfield, followed by Betfred British Masters champion Renato Paratore, and last week’s runner-up Adrian Otaegui. Thomas Detry, Justin Harding, Chris Paisley, Alexander Björk and Robert Rock make up the rest of the current top ten.
With just two events left to seal a spot in the second Major Championship of the year, the points race is reaching a crucial stage as players vie for the chance to qualify for the U.S. Open. The USGA have confirmed that the top ten aggregate points earners in the mini Order of Merit that are not otherwise exempt at the conclusion of the fifth event – the Wales Open at Celtic Manor - will be exempt for the rescheduled U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club on September 17-20.
As it currently stands, no player currently inside the top ten holds an exemption.
Golf for Good
The European Tour's Golf for Good initiative continues this week, with the European Tour donating £50,000 to the host venue, The Celtic Manor Resort, to be distributed to charities of their choice including local causes.
The Heroes Initiative will once again reward a local hero, with prizes on offer for one nominated front-line worker during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Do you know a golf fan who deserves to be rewarded for their positive impact on the community? If you would like to nominate someone during the UK Swing, please visit et.golf/nominate-a-hero