LONDON: Jamie Donaldson was left reflecting on a “dream” Ryder Cup debut after starring in Europe’s victory.
The 38-year-old Welshman rounded off an impressive three days at Scotland’s Gleneagles course when he clinched the singles point that sealed the team’s latest win over the United States.
Donaldson’s brilliant pitch to the 15th green led to a concession from his American opponent Keegan Bradley.
Donaldson beat Bradley 4 and 3, having partnered England’s Lee Westwood to two foursomes victories on Friday and Saturday.
“It was pretty special, the fact it came down to me, you dream of these things,” he said. “But what is more important is that the team won.
“Everyone played pretty well and we had a fantastic captain who was inspirational and that was enough to win the cup back.
“It’s been more than I expected, it’s been amazing,” Donaldson added.
“You imagine what it is going to be like in the Ryder Cup but when it comes down to it it was bigger and better. There is nothing like it. It is the biggest and best experience of golf you will ever have.
“There was so many people it was like playing in a football stadium every hole.”
Donaldson, asked if the enormity of his achievement had sunk in, said: “No. I’ll just put my feet up and spend some time with the kids now, and enjoy what has been an awesome success.”
Back injuries hampered Donaldson’s early years as a professional before he won the Irish Open in 2012.
Donaldson, however, only qualified for the European Ryder Cup team by winning the Czech Open in August.
His brilliant approach shot to defeat Bradley on Sunday has assured Donaldson of a place in Ryder Cup history, but he remains eager to take part in future editions.
“I’ve got to play really well but hopefully that is the case. I’d been wanting this for so long. You don’t want to miss one of these in a hurry,” he said.
“But it is brutally hard just to get into the team, before you’ve even teed it up. I played as well as I could for a year and scraped in by one event.
“It has been an immense week but you can’t imagine what it is going to be like until you stand on that first tee,” he added.
However, Donaldson was quick to join the chorus of praise for European captain Paul McGinley.
“After a long week the most important thing was the team won and we just had a great time. It was awesome team spirit all week.
“Paul was brilliant — inspirational captaincy. At the end of the day we did enough to win, and that was the important thing.”