Donaldson claims biggest win of career at Irish Open
Welshman Jamie Donaldson claimed the biggest win of his career by landing the Irish Open, as Padraig Harrington’s charge never materialised.
You could say Jamie Donaldson enjoyed his week at Royal Portrush. On Thursday he won himself a very slick car for a hole-in-one of the sixth. Despite the horrendous conditions that struck the Antrim coast at times, Donaldson followed up that piece of good fortune with excellent consistency, shooting 68, 67 and 69 for his first three rounds.
Leading by one shot overnight from England’s Anthony Wall, Donaldson nabbed three birdies on his first four holes to cement his lead while the rest of the field failed to fire. In the end he shot a 66 to win by four shots from Wall, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Fabrizio Zanotti, carding a final total of -18 for the week.
Irish hopes were pinned on Harrington, who began the day two back of Donaldson but he bogeyed the first and never got going as the huge crowds hoped he would. The three-time Major winner would shoot 70 and end up tied for seventh.
Harrington finished as the top Irish golfer but Rory McIlory (67) and Graeme McDowell (66) finally found their real form on the final day to finish in 10th and 16th respectively. A case of what might have been for the US Open champions.
Round of the day belonged to Swede Mikael Lundberg as he shot a spectacular seven-under 65, moving into a tie for fourth.
But the day belonged to Donaldson, who pockets the €330,330 first prize to go with the BMW X6 he picked up on Thursday. Not a bad week’s work for the Welshman.