NORTHERN Ireland’s Graeme McDowell is a prime example of the journey young players can begin at the ISPS Handa Wales Open, which tees off today at Celtic Manor.
In 2010 McDowell won the Wales Open by three shots, then famously the US Open two weeks later and holed the winning putt for Europe in the Ryder Cup, also at Celtic Manor, before the end of the year.
This week’s tournament gives players their first chance to earn points towards automatic qualification for next year’s Ryder Cup squad and it will be interesting to see who can make their mark.
It is going to be a vitally important step for someone towards making the team.
This is a big week for 22-year-old Tommy Fleetwood, for example, who won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles last weekend. McDowell has shown just how much can be achieved.
In Boston, meanwhile, Rory McIlroy begins the defence of his Deutsche Bank Championships title.
Because of how true he strikes the ball, with limited margin for error, his career will be full of highs and lows, but it’s always great to go back to a place he’s won at.
There is nothing better and maybe that will ignite his best form.
I’m playing on the Seniors Tour in Woburn this week and, fresh from my best finish for a while at the Scottish Senior Open and my 60th birthday celebrations, I’m looking forward to it.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam