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Jamie Donaldson wins in Thailand to book Masters and Open places

Jamie Donaldson booked his place at the Masters and The Open next year after clinching a composed three-shot victory at the Thailand Golf Championship.

Donaldson fired a sublime seven-under 65 to overhaul third-round leader Clement Sordet, while Lee Westwood closed with a 67 to snatch a tie for second which is expected to ensure his return to Augusta National in April.

The leading trio all secured places in the field at Royal Troon for the first Open Championship to be broadcast live on Sky Sports, while 16-year-old Phachara Khongwatmai also qualified following a brilliant 66 at Amata Spring.

The Ryder Cup star opened the door with a bogey at the ninth, but he got back on track with birdies at 10, 12 and 15, although he gave another shot back after a wayward drive into thick rough at the 16th forced him to lay up.

But the gallant Welshman safely hit the island green at the 17th and his 35 foot putt caught enough of the hole to drop for his fourth two of the week there, and it gave him the luxury of a two-stroke advantage coming down the last.

Donaldson took the safe route and two-putted from off the front edge to close on 21 under par, wrapping up his first victory since the Czech Masters in August last year.

Read the full article here


Ryder Cup relived with Jamie Donaldson

Time flies when you’re having fun, so it’s little wonder a year has past in the blink of an eye for Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson.

Incredibly, it’s already 12 months since the Welshman’s sublime wedge shot saw off Keegan Bradley to seal a third-straight Ryder Cup for Europe and spark jubilant scenes all around Gleneagles’ PGA Centenary Course.

It’s perhaps unsurprising that the season that has followed hasn’t reached the same heights for the likeable 39-year-old, but with qualifying now underway for the team that Darren Clarke will lead to Hazeltine next September, the world No.42 is desperate to ensure his performance wasn’t a one off.

Today's Golfer returned to the 15th hole – and the exact spot where Donaldson secured glory – to reminisce about that week, reflect on his season and look ahead to Europe’s defence.

Find out more here


Jamie Donaldson paired with Ryder Cup foe

Jamie Donaldson has been drawn alongside American Ryder Cup opponent Keegan Bradley and Japan's Yuta Ikeda in the first round of the Open.

The Welshman beat Bradley 4&3 in the 2014 Ryder Cup to clinch victory for Europe at Gleneagles.

His resulting birdie putt was conceded by opponent Keegan Bradley to give the Welshman a 4&3 victory and see Europe over the winning line on their way to an eventual 16½-11½ triumph.

"He whupped me pretty good that day. He played so good but Jamie's a really classy guy so he didn't rub it in my face," Bradley said.

"He probably should have he played so good. We'll have fun."

Donaldson's group tee off at 14:23 BST on Thursday, while their second round starts at 09:22 BST on Friday.

"Jamie's a really good guy. I'm really looking forward to it - I like playing with Jamie," Bradley added.

"I feel really good. I feel ready to contend and hopefully be there on Sunday."

This will be Donaldson's first appearance at an Open held at St Andrews, the so-called home of golf which stages the competition every five years.

The 39-year-old warmed up for the Open by finishing five under par at the Scottish Open, seven shots behind winner Rickie Fowler.

Source: BBC Sport. Read more here


Jamie goes Fast Jet flying with the Royal Air Force

Following Jamie's great work with the RAF Benevolent Fund this year he was invited to join No IV Sqn at RAF Valley, Anglesey last week to fly with them.

Jamie's trip was in the Hawk T2 and he flew low level at 250ft through the Lakes at 500mph. He was also introduced to tail chasing and aerobatics on the way back to Valley. For 15 mins he also flew the jet at 10,000ft and I'm told by the pilot did not hold back when invited to "see what it could do" - good man Jamie!

Also flying was Caird Capital's Managing Partner, Graeme Shankland (2nd right below) the leader of our Falklands Expedition, where £220,000 was raised for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Graeme was in the other jet and similarly hugely enjoyed his experience in the world of elite fighter pilots.

What a great day it was, European Tour productions were there along with the BBC so a short film was made for distribution to the golf networks across the world.


Jamie Donaldson paired with Ryder Cup foe

Jamie Donaldson has been drawn alongside American Ryder Cup opponent Keegan Bradley and Japan's Yuta Ikeda in the first round of the Open.

The Welshman beat Bradley 4&3 in the 2014 Ryder Cup to clinch victory for Europe at Gleneagles.

His resulting birdie putt was conceded by opponent Keegan Bradley to give the Welshman a 4&3 victory and see Europe over the winning line on their way to an eventual 16½-11½ triumph.

"He whupped me pretty good that day. He played so good but Jamie's a really classy guy so he didn't rub it in my face," Bradley said.

"He probably should have he played so good. We'll have fun."

Donaldson's group tee off at 14:23 BST on Thursday, while their second round starts at 09:22 BST on Friday.

"Jamie's a really good guy. I'm really looking forward to it - I like playing with Jamie," Bradley added.

"I feel really good. I feel ready to contend and hopefully be there on Sunday."

This will be Donaldson's first appearance at an Open held at St Andrews, the so-called home of golf which stages the competition every five years.

The 39-year-old warmed up for the Open by finishing five under par at the Scottish Open, seven shots behind winner Rickie Fowler.

Source: BBC Sport. Read more here


Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson returns to Gleneagles to relive winning wonder shot

Jamie Donaldson paid a return visit to The Gleneagles Hotel’s PGA Centenary Course on Wednesday to unveil a commemorative plaque marking his winning Ryder Cup shot.

Donaldson, who became the seventh Welshman in history to play in The Ryder Cup after qualifying for Paul McGinley’s 2014 team, took the opportunity to walk the 15th hole and relive his winning shot – a 146 yard wedge which landed 18 inches from the pin - in front of an audience of golf fans.

His resulting birdie putt was conceded by opponent Keegan Bradley to give the Welshman a 4&3 victory and see Europe over the winning line on their way to an eventual 16½-11½ triumph.

Donaldson, who also won The 2014 European Tour Shot of the Year for the wedge approach, said: “I’ll definitely never get tired of talking about that shot. It was such an amazing moment for me, but more importantly for the team. Everyone had put so much effort into that week, so it was nice to get our just rewards at the end of it. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better finale.”

Richard Hills, Ryder Cup Director at The European Tour, added: “There were many special memories for everyone connected with Ryder Cup Europe during the week on the PGA Centenary Course, but Jamie’s shot into the 15th hole which ultimately sealed the victory clearly stood out for us all, and I’m delighted to be back here with him today to celebrate that moment."

Source: Wales Online. Read more here


Donaldson (67) earns important FedEx Cup points

Jamie Donaldson wants to make a mark in big events in the United States this year.

With a 5-under-par 67 Sunday at The Players Championship, Donaldson was tied for sixth when he left the scoring tent at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course. He was more interested in the FedEx Cup points than the money his finish would bring in his first full season on the PGA Tour.

“I want to get into these playoffs at the end of the year,” Donaldson said. “That’s important to me.”

Donaldson won special temporary PGA Tour membership last year and parlayed that into membership this year. After finishing sixth at the Honda Classic in March, Donaldson came into The Players Championship having missed the cut in three of his last four Tour starts in stroke-play events.

“I’ve played pretty good over here, but not good enough in places important,” Donaldson said. “It’s all a learning curve. I haven’t played that much in America. I’m still learning courses I never played before.”

Source: Golf Channel. Read more here


Jamie Donaldson finishes with a flourish to break 70 for the first time in his career at Augusta National

THE WELSHMAN MADE FIVE BIRDIES IN HIS FINAL SIX HOLES TO SHOOT 67 IN THE FINAL ROUND OF THE 2015 MASTERS.

Jamie Donaldson made eight birdies in his final round at the 2015 Masters as he broke 70 for the first time around Augusta National.

In nine previous attempts the Welshman had never gone sub-70 around the famous course, coming closest in 2014 when he shot 70 twice.

It was apparent that the 39-year-old was in the mood to make amends for yesterday’s 76 early on.

He made a birdie at the third, before knocking it to three feet on the 240-yard par three fourth to set up another birdie.

A wayward drive on the seventh would result in his first bogey of the day, but it was a shot he would get back quickly with a birdie on the very next hole.

Back-to-back bogies on 11 and 12 took him back to even par for and the day threatened to derail his final round, but a resurgent Donaldson came charging back.

Five birdies in the final six holes resulted in a closing round of 67.

The Welshman got on the birdie train after a brilliant up and down from the back bunker on 13, before he lasered one to four feet on the 14th.

A fine two-putt from 60 feet would mean another birdie on the next and he holed an 11-foot putt to gain another shot on 16.

He would par 17 before somehow managing to knock it 10 feet from the trees left of the 18th fairway, a putt he would go on to hole to end the first major of a year on a high, finishing level for the tournament.

Source: Wales Online. Read more here


DONALDSON AIMING TO GO ONE BETTER AT DORAL

Thirty five European Tour Members, led by World Number One Rory McIlroy, will once again aim to tame the aptly-named Blue Monster as the WGC-Cadillac Championship returns for a ninth year to the Trump National Doral.

Twelve months ago, Jamie Donaldson led the European challenge by finishing in a tie for second place behind the winner Patrick Reed – a breakthrough performance in America, which provided a springboard for what would become an unforgettable 2014 campaign for the Welshman.

Later that year, he claimed his third European Tour title in the Czech Republic to seal a debut in The Ryder Cup, where he secured the point that guaranteed victory for Europe.

This year, Donaldson will seek to go one better and capture his first World Golf Championship title, but he will face stiff competition from several members of the 35-strong European Tour contingent who have also fared well recently at Trump National Doral.

Justin Rose secured his maiden WGC victory there in 2012 before finishing in a tie for eighth place one year later, and he will now bid to emulate those impressive performances when he returns to the recently-renovated 7,481 yard layout.

Rose is coming off the back of a successful 2014 campaign that yielded two victories and 11 top ten finishes on both sides of the Atlantic, and victory this week could lay the platform for another stellar season for the Englishman.

Another man with an impressive Doral record is Rose’s fellow Major Champion Graeme McDowell, who has recorded three top ten finishes in his last five visits to the Blue Monster.

McDowell’s compatriot McIlroy, meanwhile, will return to Miami seeking to extend an incredible recent record on The European Tour, having finished either first or second in his last seven outings on the Tour – with his most recent victory coming in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the start of February.

Moreover, the Ulsterman’s recent record in the WGC-Cadillac Championship will give him even more reasons to be cheerful, after recording three top five finishes from his six appearances in the event.

While most eyes will be fixed on the World Number One, one man who could slip under the radar is South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel.

The former Masters Tournament winner finished second in 2010 behind fellow countryman Ernie Els, and has since posted two top ten finishes in the tournament. The Johannesburg native has also found some form at the start of this campaign and will go in search of his first WGC title on the back of two top ten finishes, in South Africa and Abu Dhabi.

England’s Danny Willett, who is teeing it up in the WGC-Cadillac for the first time, will be bidding to extend his lead at the top of The Race to Dubai Rankings.

Willett burst to the summit of the season-long race after claiming the Nedbank Golf Challenge last November, but his lead has been eroded by another man making his debut in Doral, Anirban Lahiri.

With two wins in his last three appearances, Lahiri has moved to within €284,369 of the top spot and, with a mammoth prize fund of US$9 million on offer in Miami, the Indian could usurp Willett should he continue his remarkable run of form.     

Both Willett and Lahiri will be bidding to repeat the feats of Patrick Reed, whose victory on his debut last year announced his arrival on the world stage.

With one victory to his name already this year, the American – who took up European Tour membership at the start of the season – will fancy his chances of becoming only the second player after Tiger Woods to retain the trophy.

Other notable names in the elite 73 man field include Lee Westwood, who will make history by becoming the first player to reach 50 appearances in a WGC event.

Westwood has featured 14 times in the WGC–Match Play Championship, 13 times in the WGC–Cadillac Championship, 16 times in the WGC–Bridgestone Invitational and six times in the WGC – HSBC Champions.

His best performance in the WGC-Cadillac Championship came in 2000, when he finished runner-up behind Mike Weir at Club de Golf Valderrama. 

Source: European Tour. Read the full article here


DONALDSON WINS SHOT OF THE YEAR

THE WELSHMAN'S CLINCHING WEDGE SHOT AT THE RYDER CUP WINS EUROPEAN TOUR SHOT OF THE YEAR FOR 2014.

Jamie Donaldson’s pinpoint approach to the 15th hole at Gleneagles, which helped secure victory for Europe in The Ryder Cup, has been voted The European Tour Shot of the Year for 2014.

Described by the Welshman as “the best shot of my life”, Donaldson’s superb effort eclipsed the ten other nominations for the award, which were drawn from the winners of the Shot of the Month.

With Europe leading by 13½-9½ and needing just half a point to retain The Ryder Cup, Donaldson had the chance to write himself into the history books by sealing victory over Keegan Bradley and ensuring that the trophy would remain in European hands.

Despite the intense pressure on his shoulders, Donaldson duly struck a textbook drive down the 15th fairway, leaving him 146 yards to the flag.

The Ryder Cup rookie then showed nerves of steel by arrowing his pitch to within a foot of the pin and forcing Bradley to concede the hole, sparking scenes of jubilation in Perthshire.    

Donaldson said: “It was the perfect distance so I knew I could put a full swing on it and be aggressive.  As soon as I hit it, I thought it was going to be good – but I hadn’t realised just how good.

“I said at the time I’ve just hit the shot of my life, given the circumstances. To hit the shot which won us The Ryder Cup was just incredible, and I’m honoured to win The European Tour’s Shot of the Year award, so a big thanks goes to everyone who voted for me.

“I’ll definitely never get tired of talking about that shot. It was such an amazing moment for me, but more importantly for the team. Everyone had put so much effort into that week, so it was nice to get our just rewards at the end of it. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better finale to the best week of my career so far.”
Donaldson’s moment of magic drew 32 per cent of the votes polled by fans of ‘My European Tour’, beating Charl Schwartzel’s miraculous recovery shot in January’s Volvo Golf Champions into second place. 

The South African won 23 per cent of the votes, with Victor Dubuisson earning 13 per cent for his ‘Seve-esque’ escape from a cactus in the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Having voted for Donaldson and been chosen at random, Andrea Faraguna from Italy won a golf break for two people to two European Tour Destinations in Germany: Golf & Country Club Fleesensee and Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, host venue for the 2015 Solheim Cup, including green fees, accommodation and €1,200 towards travel expenses.

The contenders for the Shot of the Year competition were: Schwartzel (January), Dubuisson (February), Miguel Angel Jiménez (March), Danny Willett (April), Rory McIlroy (May), Robert Rock (June), Sergio Garcia (July), Donaldson (August and September), and Henrik Stenson (October and November).

Source: European Tour. Read more and view an interview with Jamie here