Welshman Jamie Donaldson will make his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles next month after winning the Czech Masters yesterday, booking his place in Paul McGinley’s European side.
The 38-year-old shot a final round 68 to finish on 14-under-par, two shots ahead of his fellow Welshman Bradley Dredge.
The win was the first of the season for Jamie Donaldson and leaves him in fourth spot in the European Ryder Cup qualifying list ahead of Sergio Garcia, and eighth in the World Points List in front of Graeme McDowell.
Donaldson is glad the pressure is off his shoulders having qualified for next month’s match, and knows how valuable his win will prove to be.
“This is big, it’s been an amazing week,” said the former Irish Open champion.
"There was a lot on the line and this week I played really well." - Jamie Donaldson
“I didn’t get here until late. I needed to play well either this week or next week, or both, to guarantee my place in the Ryder Cup team so there was a lot on the line and this week I played really well, so that’s great.
“Winning is everything, wins shoot you up world rankings, Race To Dubai, all sorts. It's massive. Those three last holes coming in there were really tough with the wind blowing, so I’m just really happy to seal it.
“It’s so difficult to get into the team, the lads are playing so well. You know that you have to play well to secure your place and it did come down to the wire, but that’s how it is to get into the team.
Jamie Donaldson hits form at the right time
Having missed the cut in the - the Scottish Open and the Open – Donaldson was under pressure from the likes of Stephen Gallacher and Luke Donald in the Ryder Cup race. With this win, and a return to form, he’s delighted to have secured his place on merit.
“I played as well as I can play for 18 months, and then a couple of slow events and you rocket down the list,” said the new world No.27. “So it’s great to come here and play so well and do enough to get into the team.”
Stephen Gallacher still in the hunt for Ryder Cup place
Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher ended the Czech Masters in seventh place, after a fourth round 73 left him on seven-under-par.
With the Italian Open the only event reaming before automatic qualification before the Europe team is decided, Gallacher was happy with his finish.
His attention now switches to Italy, where he must play well to make the line-up.
“The week went pretty well,” said the 39-year-old. " disappointed with today, I didn’t really play that well, but top ten if you’re not firing is quite good.”
“My goal this week was to win it or try and finish as high up as I could. I was in contention in the second last group, if you then play well you can win, if you don’t and still finish top ten, then you’ve got it round well.
“I’m off to Italy, home for a couple of days and then I’ll be heading there.”