Davies hopes to cap big year
Some sportsmen just have inner confidence, but Welsh golfer Rhys Davies clearly does not mind voicing his.
Some sportsmen just have inner confidence, but Welsh golfer Rhys Davies clearly does not mind voicing his as he chases his first European Tour title.
After taking the halfway lead at the Hassan Trophy in Morocco yesterday Tour rookie Davies was wished a friendly “good luck, play well” at the end of a television interview.
“Thank you. I will,” replied the 24-year-old, who after rounds of 68 and 64 at Royal Dar Es Salam in Rabat goes into the weekend 13 under par and two ahead of South African Louis Oosthuizen and Ryder Cup pair Ignacio Garrido and Thomas Levet.
His self-belief is well-placed. Only two weeks ago Davies finished third in the Malaysian Open and with Italian Francesco Molinari the only world top 50 player in this week’s field he sees a clear opportunity to make his mark.
Three years ago the former British boy champion was in the same Walker Cup team as Rory McIlroy at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland.
He had also played in the match in 2005, but while McIlroy was an instant hit in the paid ranks Davies failed to make it through two trips to the qualifying school.
“This time last year I didn’t really have any status in Europe,” he said, “but I managed to get a win on the Challenge Tour and everything sort of spiralled from there.
“It’s been really good the last 12 months. I am feeling very confident – you play golf to play well and to get to the top of the leaderboard.
“I think if you don’t enjoy it at the top you wouldn’t really want to do it.”
His round yesterday was the lowest of his Tour career so far, but Oosthuizen, three times a runner-up on the circuit and three times a winner in his home country, matched it.
Spaniard Garrido’s second successive 67 and Frenchman Levet’s 65 took them into a share of second place, but first round leader Nick Dougherty slipped back into a tie for fifth when he could add
only a 69 on the shorter Blue course to his seven under 66 on the tougher Red.
The final two rounds are both on the par 73 Red and now it is professionals only after two days of a pro-am format.
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