Ryder Cup hero Donaldson completes career transformation

Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:42pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Golfing glory has come relatively late in Jamie Donaldson's career and he was almost lost for words when he delivered the coup de grace to give Europe victory in the 40th Ryder Cup on Sunday.

The 38-year-old Welsh rookie conjured the shot of his life at the 15th hole, hitting a stunning wedged approach to complete a 4 & 3 singles win over 2011 U.S. PGA champion Keegan Bradley.

Donaldson was quickly engulfed by captain Paul McGinley, team mates, caddies, friends and family as he celebrated his best moment as a professional.

"This week has been amazing," said the blond Welshman. "The lads have got on so well, it's been a great craic.

"It's hard to describe how good the Ryder Cup is. There's nothing else quite like it in golf -- it's just a total one-off.

"It's just a huge, huge thing and it's just been amazing to be a part of it," he added.

Donaldson was always regarded as a journeyman player on the European Tour until he suddenly elevated his status by eclipsing the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose to win the 2013 Abu Dhabi Championship.

Since then his game has been transformed and he now features regularly on the leaderboards of the biggest tournaments around the world.   Continued...

Team Europe golfer Jamie Donaldson celebrates with a Welsh flag after winning his match against U.S. player Keegan Bradley to retain the Ryder Cup for Europe on the 15th green during the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland September 28, 2014.      REUTERS/Eddie Keogh