After finishing 24th at the PGA Championship, Jamie Donaldson received a phone call from Captain McGinley telling him that he was not guaranteed a spot on Team Europe. To secure his spot, Donaldson won the Czech Masters, and carried the momentum to a 3-1-0 record in his first Ryder Cup.
Donaldson said, “It’s a pretty incredible experience for me to get on the team and then be part of a winning team, as well. It’s been an amazing few weeks.”
In his first Cup, Donaldson won the decisive point by hitting a 140-yard approach on the 15th hole to one foot. The Euros actually retained the Cup when Donaldson went 4-up with four to play on Keegan Bradley, and the incredible shot was an exclamation point met with thunderous applause from the crowd at Gleneagles.
The Welshman didn’t know he was in the decisive match until Captain McGinley told him on the 15th green, where he was met by members of Team Europe.
Donaldson said, “I hit a really good tee shot down 15 and I had 140 yards to the hole, which is a perfect wedge for me. Sometimes you can hit a really good tee shot and not have a good yardage and you’ve got to make something up. But it was a perfect number for a wedge with it being downwind. So all I had to do was get it on line and it was going to be the right club. For it to finish a foot from the hole, you know, it’s obviously quite a bonus.”
It was a well-deserved bonus for the 38-year-old Ryder Cup rookie who could be seen celebrating with bottles of champagne throughout the post-match festivities.