Jamie Donaldson clinched his spot on Team Europe by winning his third career tournament on the European Tour at the D+D REAL Czech Masters. The Welshman fired a four-under 68 to beat fellow countryman Bradley Dredge by two strokes.
Donaldson said, “This is big. It’s been an amazing week, 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 I had to play well and this week I played really well, so that’s great.”
In the final round, Donaldson showed the composure that has become the norm on Europe’s Ryder Cup squad. He began the round with three birdies before a bogey on four cooled his hot start. The 38-year-old then added birdies on six, ten, and thirteen before bogeying the seventeenth. Dredge also bogeyed seventeen, which gave Donaldson a comfortable two-stroke victory with a par on eighteen.
The win was a long time coming for Jamie, who recently slipped in The Ryder Cup standings, and needed a W to automatically qualify for the fiercely competitive team. “But that’s how it is to get into the team. I played as well as I can play for 18 months, and then a couple of slow events and you rocket down the list, so it’s great to come here and play so well and do enough to get into the team.”
Ryder Cup news:
Luke Donald missed the cut at the Barclays. Donald went into the Barclays one spot behind Graeme McDowell, who holds the final qualifying spot on the World Points List for Team Europe.
The top-four on the European Points List make Team Europe, and the top-five on the World Points List not inside the top-four on the European Points List also automatically qualify for the team.
Going into this week, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Victor Dubuisson, and Sergio Garcia were in the top-four of the European Points List. For the World Points, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson, and Graeme McDowell were in the top-five.
The qualification process ends next weekend, and the updated rankings will be out at the conclusion of the Barclays.
Those in the running for Paul McGinley’s three captain’s picks are: Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Stephen Gallacher, and Graeme McDowell if he slips outside the fifth spot on the World Points list.