Jamie Donaldson

Biography
Scorecard

Born: 19 October 1975.

Turned pro: 2000.

Family: Wife - Kat. Children - Max, Isla.

Special interests: All sports.

Career highlights: He won his maiden European Tour title at the 2012 Irish Open. He finished tied seventh at the 2012 PGA Championship. He made his Ryder Cup debut for Europe in 2014.

2014 highlights: He hit the winning shot for Europe on his Ryder Cup debut this year. He has enjoyed a solid year on the European Tour, marked by a victory in the Czech Masters and a further five top-10 finishes.

2014 Majors: The Masters - T14th. The US Open - Missed Cut. The Open - Missed Cut. The PGA Championship - T24th.

NGC record: Second appearance. 2013 - T2nd.

Story

The Ryder Cup is a stage for greatness, and Welshman Jamie Donaldson stepped up to it with a magnificent display on his debut for Europe in 2014.

Recognised as very much a journeyman as little as two years ago, Donaldson's moment of greatness came on the 15th hole at Gleneagles.

From 146 yards out, he took a nine iron and hit it to 18 inches. And history applauded him.

It was the shot that earned him a 4&3 victory over American Keegan Bradley, and saw Europe retain the Ryder Cup.

"It was the shot of my life," Donaldson said.

"It's what he has aimed for all his life," affirmed his mother about her son's ambitions to make the Ryder Cup team.

Little wonder then that he was still very much in celebratory mode when he did his now famous interview the next morning.

But the true measure of Donaldson's character came out in other equally significant moment on that hole. After hitting the shot, the Europeans in the crowd and even captain Paul McGinley started celebrating. But Donaldson remained composed.

"I wanted to wait until Keegan had conceded and we'd shaken hands in the proper manner. I believe in that," Donaldson said.

It was the reaction of a man who has sport in his blood and his family, and knows the correct way to go about such things.

Born in Pontypridd, Donaldson's brother Alex was a footballer and his father Jim a single-figure handicap golfer.

He enjoyed a solid amateur career in which he won the Welsh Amateur Championship and finished second in the Brabazon and St Andrews Links Trophies, and was second with Great Britain and Ireland in the Eisenhower Trophy.

He turned professional in 2000, and spent his early career on the Challenge Tour, winning twice in 2001 and finishing second on the rankings that year. That earned him his European Tour card for the 2002 season.

He was back on the Challenge Tour in 2007, sparked by a back injury that affected his form. But he played his way to a European Tour card in 2008 and has remained consistent there ever since.

Considered very much a late developer in the game, Donaldson broke through with his maiden European Tour victory in the 2012 Irish Open. That same year he achieved his best finish in a Major of tied seventh in the PGA Championship.

He heads to Sun City in the footsteps of another great Welsh golfer in Ian Woosnam, and his Ryder Cup start suggests there are much bigger things to come for him.

It's a career that has even surprised his mother Jackie. As she hugged him at Gleneagles, she whispered in his ear, "You don't need a proper job now".

According to Donaldson, it was a reference to the time when he was an amateur and not really finding his way in the game, and when his mother said it was perhaps time for him to consider getting a real job.

"It was the kick up the backside I needed and from that moment I never looked back," he said.