Abu Dhabi win proves Donaldson was right not to retire

Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:38am EST
 

By Tony Jimenez

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Jamie Donaldson refused to listen when a doctor told him to quit golf and, nine years on, vindication of his decision to carry on came when the Briton scored the best win of his career at the Abu Dhabi Championship.

Donaldson had such a chronic back condition in 2004 that one specialist suggested retirement. But he was given the go-ahead after seeking a second opinion and on Sunday he held aloft the attractive silver Falcon Trophy in the desert.

It was his second European Tour victory and undoubtedly the most important, the blond Welshman having outplayed a lineup containing world number one Rory McIlroy and second-ranked Tiger Woods.

McIlroy and Woods missed the halfway cut before Donaldson had to overturn a two-shot deficit on world number five Justin Rose to scoop the first prize of 336,725 euros ($447,600) in the closing round.

"The first doctor I went to see in 2004 said, 'Don't play', so I went to see someone else," he laughed after a closing 68 gave him a 14-under-par aggregate of 274 at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club. "That wasn't what I wanted to hear.

"As soon as someone says that, you just go and see someone else," said Donaldson after beating Rose and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen by one stroke. "The second guy I saw said I needed to do a load of core stability exercises ... so I did a lot of gym work for a year.

"Now I don't do that much gym work any more, to be honest I actually do none," Donaldson told reporters with a big grin on his face. "I do more physio stuff these days and I get massages before and after I play.

"But without doing the work I initially did nine years ago I wouldn't have carried on playing. The back was really bad then."   Continued...

 
Jamie Donaldson of Wales lines up on the 18th green during the final round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah