Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Irish Open: Jamie Donaldson euphoric after first tour win

Published 01/07/2012

Jamie Donaldson felt it was 'surreal' after finally winning on the European Tour
Jamie Donaldson felt it was 'surreal' after finally winning on the European Tour
Day three of the Irish Open, Royal Portrush Colf Club. Darren Clarke has a drink on the 1st tee box
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 30: Shane Lowry of Ireland plays his third shot at the first hole during the third round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 30, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 30: Fans in the rain, some holding umbrellas wait on the 1st hole tee during Day Three of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 30, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 30: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland during the third round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 30, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 30: Shane Lowry of Ireland plays his third shot at the first hole during the third round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 30, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Day three of the Irish Open, Royal Portrush Colf Club. Rory McIlroy on the 1st hole
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 30: Paul McGinley of Ireland plays his second shot at the first hole during the third round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 30, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 30: Steven O'Hara of Scotland hits his tee shot on the 1st hole during Day Three of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 30, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 30: Fans in the rain, some holding umbrellas walk near the 1st hole tee during Day Three of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 30, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 30: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his second shot at the first hole during the third round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 30, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 30: Fans in the rain, some holding umbrellas walk near the 1st hole tee during Day Three of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 30, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
2012 Irish Open Pro Am at Royal Portrush. Day two - Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell on the 13th green
The second day of the Irish Open in Portrush. Bill Murray who was following Graeme McDowell
2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush. Day two - John Daly on the 14th tee
Day Two of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush. Rory McIlroy
The second day of the Irish Open in Portrush. Bill Murray who was following Graeme McDowell
The second day of the Irish Open in Portrush
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland tees off at the 5th hole during the second round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Mikael Lundberg of Sweden plays his second shot at the 17th hole during the second round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: American actor, Bill Murray signs autographs for the fans after his round during Day Two of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Michael Jonzon of Sweden hits his third shot on the 9th hole during Day Two of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Graeme McDowell of Ireland plays his second shot on the par 4, 18th hole during the second round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
2012 Irish Open, Day two. Bill Murray watches the action
Irish Open at Royal Portrush. Day two - Michael Hoey on the 13th green
©Russell Pritchard / Presseye - 29th June 2012Day Two of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush.Graeme McDowell with Hollywood movie star, Bill Murray
Day Two of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Graeme McDowell speaks to the media
2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush. Day two - Graeme McDowell on the 14th tee
2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush. Day two - Graeme McDowell on the 14th tee
2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush. Day two - Padraig Harrington (right) with Graeme McDowell
Day two of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. Rory McIlroy
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell during day two of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush
Ireland's Padraig Harrington (left) and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell during day two of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush
Day two of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland
Northern Irelands' Darren Clarke on the 18th during day two of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Rory McIlory of Northern Ireland plays his second shot at the 17th hole during the second round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Huge galleries during the second round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland plays his tee shot on the par 4, first hole during the second round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Simon Dyson of England plays his second shot at the first hole during the second round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Francesco Molinari of Italy tees off at the 5th hole during the second round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Paul McGinley of Ireland just misses with a birdie putt on the par 4, fifth hole during the second round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Rory McIlory of Northern Ireland plays his tee shot on the par 4, first hole during the second round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Gregory Bourdy of France plays his second shot at the first hole during the second round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy chips during day two of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during day two of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club
USA's Keegan Bradley during day two of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during day two of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the 1st hole during Day Two of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 29, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke during day one of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy on the first tee during day one of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush
Caroline Wozniacki watches her boyfriend Rory McIlroy in action with his mother Rosie (right) during day one of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush
England's Mark Foster during day one of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush
Rory McIlroy chips onto the 10th green on day one of the 2012 Irish Open
Irish Open, Royal Portrush Colf Club. Rory McIlroy on the 11th tee box on day one
Irish Open, Royal Portrush Colf Club. Rory McIlroy's girfriend Caroline Wozniacki
Day one of the Irish Open, Royal Portrush Colf Club. Graeme McDowell
Members of the public during heavy rain at the first day of the Irish Open
Irish Open 2012 at Royal Portrush - day one. James Morrison gets a hole-in-one on the 14th hole and wins a BMW
Irish Open 2012 at Royal Portrush - day one. America's Keegan Bradley makes his way on to the first tee
The first day of the Irish Open in Portrush. Spectators watch from under umbrellas as torrential rain starts
Keegan Bradley during day one of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush
Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke during day one of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during day one of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: Branden Grace of South Africa hits his tee shot on the 11th hole during Day One of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: Branden Grace of South Africa hits his tee shot on the 14th hole during Day One of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: Matteo Manassero of Italy hits his tee shot on the 14th hole during Day One of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland plays his second shot at the 17th hole during the first round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his second shot at the 17th hole during the first round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: Rory McIlroy of Northern Irelands girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki (L) and father Gerry McIlroy are pictured on the course during Day One of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the 11th hole during Day One of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland -28th June 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com 2012 Irish Open Pro Am at Royal Portrush.Caroline Wozniacki with Gerry McIlroy
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland -28th June 2012Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com 2012 Irish Open Pro Am at Royal Portrush. Crowds line the fairways on the first day of the Irish open at Royal Portrush
2012 Irish Open Pro Am at Royal Portrush - day one. John Daly on the 7th
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: Fans watch Rory McIlroy (not in frame) of Northern Ireland on the 14th green during Day One of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: A view of the 16th green with the town of Portrush behind during the first round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: A stunning sunset lights up the 18th hole as the green is mown for the morning during the first round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
People shelter from the rain as play is suspended due to bad weather during day one of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush
Irish Open 2012 at Royal Portrush - day four. Rory McIlroy pictured on the 15th green.
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: Peter Robinson the First Minister of Northern Ireland (r) with Martin McGuiness the deputy First Minister beside the Open Championship Trophy belonging to Darren Clarke on the tee at the 1st hole during the first round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his second shot at the par 5 second hole during the first round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: A view of the 15th green as the rain comes down during the first round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain plays his second shot on the 16th hole during the first round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
The 2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club - Rory McIlroy on the first tee on Thursday morning
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28: A view of the 15th green as the rain comes down during the first round of the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 28, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy prepares to tackle the course at Royal Portrush as the 2012 Irish Open begins
Graeme McDowell meets Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and First Minister Peter Robinson
Irish Open at Royal Portrush. Padraig Harrington meets Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and First Minister Peter Robinson
The 2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Tourism Minister Arlene Foster pictured before local golfer Graeme McDowell tees off at Royal Portrush on the first day of the 2012 Irish Open
The 2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Tourism Minister Arlene Foster pictured with local golfer Alan Dunbar, recent winner of the British Amateur Championship
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Ronan Keating of Ireland celebrates with David Keoghan of Ireland on the 18th green during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: American Actor, Bill Murray holds the British Amutre Championship Trophy in the sponsors tent after the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: American Actors, Bill Murray (R) and his brother Joel Murray pose on the 18th hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts as a spectator is hit by an errant ball during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Irish businessman and financier, Dermot Desmond (R) is pictured on the 1st hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Sunderland Football Club Manager, Martin O'Neill (R) of Northern Ireland poses with the trophy after his second place in team Michael Hoey after the Pro Am Morning Session for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Ronan Keating of Ireland on the 18th green during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Senator, Martin McAleese hits his tee shot on the 1st hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
2012 Irish Open Pro-Am at Royal Portrush. Barry McGuigan
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. Rory McIlroy
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. Rory McIlroy
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. Rory McIlroy
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. David Humphreys
Irish Open. Spectators on the 10th hole
Irish Open. Spectators on the 10th hole
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. Rory Best
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. Rory McIlroy
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. Rory McIlroy
Irish Open Pro-Am at Royal Portrush. Rory McIlroy with dad Gerry
Irish Open Pro-Am at Royal Portrush. Rory McIlroy with dad Gerry
Irish Open Pro-Am. Young fans pictured watch Rory McIlroy on the 17th hole
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: American Actor, Aidan Quinn is pictured on the 17th hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Pat Jennings of Northern Ireland the former Northern Ireland legendary goalkeeper in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Bill Murray wears the Mayor of Coleraine's chain of office with Graeme McDowell and Coleraine Mayor Sam Cole
Kenny McDowell with Graeme's girlfriend Kirstan Stape and Srixon representative Mike Mobert during the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Barry McGuigan in action during the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Mike Mobert, Kirstan Stape and Kenny McDowell during the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Graeme McDowell videos Bill Murray's drive at the 5th during the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Graeme McDowell hits into the 8th during the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Kirstan Stap keeps a watchful eye on Graeme McDowell during the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Padriag Harrington lines up his birdie put at the 6th during the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Kenny McDowell with Graeme's girlfriend Kirstan Stape the Iris during the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
A relaxed Graeme McDowell enjoying the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Graeme McDowell tees off at the 5th during the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
US PGA winner Keegan Bradley watches his fourball during the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Belfast man Michael Hoey smashes the ball down the 5th during the Irish Open Golf Pro-Am at Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Shane Filan of Northern Ireland on the 1st tee with the Open Championship trophy during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland (second from r) with his father Godfrey Clarke and sons Tyrone Clarke and Conor Clarke on the 1st tee during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland watches his son Tyrone Clarke tee off on the 1st tee during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland watches his father Godfrey Clarke tee off on the 1st tee during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland watches his amateur partner Shane Filan tee off on the 1st tee during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland tees off on the 1st tee during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Sunderland Football Club Manager, Martin O'Neill of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the 3rd hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the 4th hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Simon Dyson of England hits his second shot on the 4th hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: American Actors, Billy Murray (L) and his brother Joel Murray walk off the 2nd hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland speaks to the media prior to the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Peter Lawrie of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the 5th hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Sunderland Football Club Manager, Martin O'Neill of Northern Ireland speaks to another player on the 3rd hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: American Actor, Billy Murray (L) and Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland speak on the 2nd green during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: American Actors, Billy Murray (L) and his brother Joel Murray walk off the 2nd hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: American Actor, Billy Murray waits for his putt on the 2nd hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: American Actor, Billy Murray smiles after his putt during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Padraig Harrington of Ireland with Redmond O'Donoghue of the Board Failte during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Martin O'Neil of Northern Ireland the former Northern Ireland football player and current manager of the English Premier League team Sunderland in action on the 1st hole his professional Jose Mari Olazabal of Spain moves in to play his second shot during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Martin O'Neil of Northern Ireland the former Northern Ireland legendary football player and current manager of the English Premier League team Sunderland in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Martin O'Neil of Northern Ireland the former Northern Ireland legendary football player and current manager of the English Premier League team Sunderland in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Pat Jennings of Northern Ireland the former Northern Ireland legendary goalkeeper in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action with his caddie Keri Smyth of Portrush and Northern Ireland during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Joel Murray of the United States the American actor in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar follows his brother Joel Murray on to the tee at the first hole during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Joel Murray of the United States the American actor in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar follows his brother Joel Murray on to the tee at the first hole during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action with his professional Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and their brothers Gary McDowell (far left) and Joel Murray (second from left) during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar with his caddie Keri Smyth of Northern Ireland and his professional Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Former WBO featherweight Champion and Patron of CLIC sargent, Barry McGuigan (R) putts on the 5th green during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action with his professional Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action with his professional Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Former WBO featherweight Champion and Patron of CLIC sargent, Barry McGuigan hits his second shot on the 5th hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action with his caddie Keri Smyth of Portrush and Northern Ireland during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Former WBO featherweight Champion and Patron of CLIC sargent, Barry McGuigan hits his tee shot on the 5th hole during the Pro Am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action with his caddie Keri Smyth of Portrush and Northern Ireland during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action with his caddie Keri Smyth of Portrush and Northern Ireland during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action with his caddie Keri Smyth of Portrush and Northern Ireland during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 27: Bill Murray of the United States the American moviestar in action during the pro-am for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 27, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Bill Murray arrives by helicopter at Royal Portrush
Bill Murray arrives by helicopter at Royal Portrush
The Irish Open Pro-Am at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat Jennings
Bill Murray wears the Mayor of Coleraine's chain of office
The Irish Open Pro-Am at Royal Portrush Golf Club. John Daly (USA) on the first tee
The Irish Open Pro-Am at Royal Portrush Golf Club. John Daly (USA) on the first tee
The Irish Open Pro-Am at Royal Portrush Golf Club. John Daly (USA) on the first tee
Bill Murray meets fans at Royal Portrush
Bill Murray meets fans at Royal Portrush
Bill Murray meets fans at Royal Portrush
Bill Murray meets fans at Royal Portrush
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. Hollywood actor Bill Murray
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. Hollywood actor Bill Murray on the second hole
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at The Royal Portrush. Hollywood actor Bill Murray
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. Hollywood actor Bill Murray
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. Hollywood actor Bill Murray
Hollywood actor Bill Murray with Graeme McDowell
Hollywood actor Bill Murray with local woman Kerri Smyth
Irish Open Pro-Am 2012 at Royal Portrush. Hollywood actor Bill Murray
Hollywood actor Bill Murray at Royal Portrush
Press Eye - Belfast Northern Ireland - 27th June 2012 -The 2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club - WEDNESDAYBill Murray arrives by helicopter at Royal PortrushPicture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Hollywood actor Bill Murray after hitting his first shot into the crowd
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 26: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland chipping under the watchful eye of coach Pete Cowen of England during practice for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 26, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 26: Harry Diamond of Northern Ireland during practice for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 26, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 26: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland in action during practice for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 26, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 26: Harry Diamond of Northern Ireland playing with his friend Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland during practice for the 2012 Irish Open held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on June 26, 2012 in Portrush, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

A week that meant so much to Northern Ireland turned out to mean even more for Welshman Jamie Donaldson.

In his 255th European Tour event and after a career in which he has had to battle with a genetic spine problem, 36-year-old finally tasted victory in the Irish Open at Royal Portrush - and did it by four shots with five birdies in his last seven holes.

This was the first time since 1953 that the tournament had been played north of the border and what a success it was, with record crowds ever for a regular Tour event - over 112,000 for the four days.

Every one of them will hope it leads to the return of the Open Championship after even longer - Max Faulkner won that 61 years ago - and Donaldson will join them in that wish.

The former amateur star, who partnered Luke Donald and Paul Casey in the world team championship in 2000, has suffered from Pars disease, but careful management of it has finally enabled him to fulfil his dream.

His brilliant closing 66 was only one off the low round of the week and a 25-foot putt on the last enabled him to reach 18 under par.

"I'm buzzing," he said. "And I'm so happy to have won on this course - I don't think we have played a better one on the European Tour."

Reminded of his long wait to break through - it has contained 32 top 10 finishes - Donaldson added: "It's just been a case of keeping going. I knew that what I was doing was right. It feels a bit surreal to be honest. I don't think it will sink in till later."

The week also contained his first hole-in-one on the circuit and it began with him shooting 62 at Sunningdale to qualify for The Open at Royal Lytham in just over a fortnight.

Joint second were England's Anthony Wall, Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti.

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