The Wales Open
Fifteen years of magic memories of The Wales Open at Celtic Manor.
Celtic Manor staged the Wales Open for 15 consecutive seasons on the European Tour. The tournament produced some unforgettable memories over those years and also strengthened the venue’s connections with the Ryder Cup.
After Denmark's Steen Tinning won the inaugural Wales Open at the turn of the Millennium, Paul McGinley won the second tournament way back in 2001, helping him qualify for a Ryder Cup debut at The Belfry where he holed the winning putt. The Irishman went on to be involved in six of the last seven Ryder Cups as a player, vice-captain or skipper… and he won every single one of them, culminating in his impeccable captaincy of Europe's latest victory at Gleneagles in 2014.
Paul Lawrie, Ian Poulter, Robert Karlsson and Miguel Angel Jiménez are among the other Ryder Cup stars to get their hands on the Wales Open trophy but the most dramatic tale belongs to Graeme McDowell. He secured his first tournament title for two years with weekend rounds of 64 and 63 at the Wales Open in 2010, won the US Open on his very next start and then returned to Celtic Manor to clinch the winning point in the Ryder Cup four months later.
Other players to have lifted the handsome silver dragon trophy include England's Simon Khan, South African Richard Sterne, Frenchman Gregory Bourdy and current holder Dutchman Joost Luiten, who held his nerve to complete a dramatic one-shot victory over Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood in September.
As well as thrilling finishes, the event has also seen a close shave with the European Tour's first ever round of 59 (Phillip Archer 2006), one player scoring two holes in one on the same hole (Elliot Saltman 2011) and the European Tour's record long drive of 447 yards (Nicolas Colsaerts 2014).
Complementing the top golfing action over the years has been a fantastic hospitality pavilion for corporate entertainment and a tented village where crowds have been treated to interactive challenges, trick shot shows and Q&A interviews with the likes of Wales rugby captains Jonathan Davies, Martyn Williams and Sam Warburton.
The Wales Open did not take place in 2015 as Celtic Manor invested resources in other events and projects but top tournament golf will continue to be a part of the resort's future.
The Wales Open would not have been possible without the help of our fantastic Sponsors