Welshman Jamie Donaldson amazed at unlikely odyssey after securing winning point in Ryder Cup
Welshman Jamie Donaldson reflected on his "remarkable journey" after securing the winning point on his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles.
The 38-year-old, who only booked his place on the team with victory in the penultimate qualifying event, was playing on the second-tier Challenge Tour in 2007 and did not win his first European Tour title until 2012 – the Irish Open at Royal Portrush – in a career often blighted by back problems.
"It's been a remarkable sort of journey for me, I suppose, over the last couple of years," said Donaldson, who beat Keegan Bradley 4&3 and also won two foursomes matches alongside Lee Westwood.
"I spoke to Paul (McGinley) before the team was selected.
"I had just had two weeks in America playing the Bridgestone and US PGA and hopefully securing my place there, and I didn't.
"I spoke to Paul and he said, 'Listen, you're going to have to go to the Czech Masters and you're going to have to go to Italy or just one of the two to make enough money to qualify for the team, because the picks usually go to experienced players'.
"So yeah, 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."
With 13 and a half points already on the board, Donaldson initially made sure Europe would retain the trophy as holders by guaranteeing half a point against Bradley by holding a four-hole lead with four to play.
But he then sealed outright victory in style, hitting his approach to the 15th to within inches of the hole and prompting the captains to shake hands before he had reached the green.