Jimenez admits Welsh Open has Ryder Cup edge

The Spaniard believes qualification for next year's event gives tournaments an added competitive edge

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MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ admits the Welsh Open will have an added spice this week following Europe's 2010 Ryder Cup heroics on the same course, Celtic Manor.

The 2005 Welsh Open winner feels all the events leading up to the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles will have more of a competitive edge.

The 49-year-old, although an outside bet for next year's team, will be bidding for his fifth Ryder Cup appearance with qualification starting today.

“There’s always an added edge when events count towards Ryder Cup qualification,” said the Spaniard. "It will certainly make this week more interesting and I still have lots of good memories from playing the Ryder Cup here.

“I’m still hitting the ball well and enjoying myself so I think it will be nice if I can get onto the Ryder Cup team again.”

Ross Fisher is also looking to make a great start to qualification on his return to the venue that provided him with his maiden Ryder Cup appearance.

“I’m playing for just myself but there’s definitely a hunger in there,” Fisher said. “It’s the first week of The Ryder Cup points, and I would dearly like to make captain McGinley’s team, having played under two Seve Trophies of his and being on winning teams all the times I’ve played, so I know what he is capable of as a captain.

"I think he’ll be a great captain for Europe, and he’s one that I’ll relish the chance of playing under in a year’s time."