Donaldson wins Irish Open by 4 shots
Sunday, July 1, 2012
PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — Jamie Donaldson of Wales won his first European Tour title by shooting a 6-under 66 to clinch a four-stroke victory at the Irish Open on Sunday.
Beginning the fourth round with a one-shot lead, Donaldson birdied five of his last seven holes to shoot a fourth straight round in the 60s to total 18-under 270 and end an 11-year trophy drought that covered 255 tournaments.
"It feels a bit surreal, to be honest," said Donaldson, who topped a strong field that included home favorites Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington.
"I didn't look at the leaderboard all day. I just felt really good out there. It's just been a case of keeping going. I knew that what I was doing was right."
On a day of low scoring in calm conditions on the County Antrim links course, Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain and Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay also shot a 66 to finish tied for second with Anthony Wall (69), who played in the final group with Donaldson.
Mikael Lundberg of Sweden shot a 65 for the lowest round of the week.
The victory, sealed with a 25-foot birdie on the last hole, ended a wild week for Donaldson.
He started it by making the British Open by shooting a round of 62 in qualifying Monday before parting company with his caddie of five years on Tuesday. Two days later he made his first hole in one on tour.
"We haven't actually talked about fees," Donaldson said of his new caddie. "That could be interesting."