Cup quartet back in action

Four players from Europe’s victorious 2010 Ryder Cup team will be back in action at Celtic Manor this week.

Four players from Europe’s victorious 2010 Ryder Cup team will be back in action at Celtic Manor this week for the Saab Wales Open.

The four are Graeme McDowell, the defending champion of the event after finishing with rounds of 64 and 63 last year, Ross Fisher, Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Aside from the players, Captain Colin Montgomerie and assistants Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn will also be returning to the site of Europe’s thrilling one-point victory, capped off by McDowell’s stunning finish.

As the Northern Irishman prepares for his defence of an even bigger title in two weeks time, the US Open in Washington, he’ll be hoping to find some form after missing the cut at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last Friday.

McDowell played alongside eventual winner Luke Donald in the first two rounds of the event, and said of the new world number one’s 64 on the first day: “He was magnificent – has been for a long time.

“He’s amazing how he can keep it going.”

While Donald has had a dream run of nine successive top-10 finished in recent months, McDowell has had a topsy turvy time of it, of which his performance at the Palyers Championship three weeks ago was a good example.

Leading by three shots after 17 holes of the third round, he double-bogeyed the last, and completely fell off the pace with a closing-round 79.

His three Cup teammates also set to be in action have had an even rougher time of it in recent times, with none of them having tasted victory since the Ryder Cup.

Fisher, the reigning Irish Open champion, had to go to qualifying at Walton Heath for the US Open after falling outside the world’s top 50.

He missed out on qualification, but will have another opportunity to make it into the top 50 this week. He currently sits 52nd.

Hanson, who slipped to 50th last week, only just missed out on having to qualify, while Jimenez still holds a place in the top 30, with a runner-up finish to Lee Westwood a month ago in Korea.