Ryder Cup: Jamie Donaldson earns debut with Czech win

Jamie Donaldson
Jamie Donaldson trailed fellow Welshman Bradley Dredge by two shots after the third round
Czech Masters final-round leaderboard
-14 J Donaldson (Wal), -12 B Dredge (Wal), -11 S Kjeldsen (Den), M Bremner (SA), -8 E Pepperell (Eng), T Fleetwood (Eng), -7 Sam Walker (Eng), S Gallacher (Sco)

Welshman Jamie Donaldson secured a Ryder Cup place as he won the Czech Masters in Prague.

The 38-year-old had needed a top-seven finish to seal a debut spot in the Europe team for next month's contest against the USA at Gleneagles.

He gained his third European Tour win, beating compatriot and overnight leader Bradley Dredge by two shots after a final-round 68 to finish 14 under par.

Scot Stephen Gallacher, another Ryder Cup hopeful, was tied for seventh.

Europe's 2014 Ryder Cup team - as it stands
Already qualified through European points list: Rory McIlroy (NI), Henrik Stenson (Swe), Victor Dubuisson (Fra), Jamie Donaldson (Wal)
Currently occupying qualification places on World points list*: Sergio Garcia (Spa), Justin Rose (Eng), Martin Kaymer (Ger), Thomas Bjorn (Den), Graeme McDowell (NI)
Three captain's picks to be announced on 2 September
*lists correct after the Czech Masters, before the finish of The Barclays

"It's been an amazing week," Donaldson told the PGA European Tour website.external-link

"I needed to play well either this week or next week, or both, to guarantee my place in the Ryder Cup team so there was a lot on the line.

"Winning is everything: wins shoot you up world rankings, Race To Dubai, all sorts."

English duo Eddie Pepperell and Tommy Fleetwood finished in a tie for fifth, one stroke ahead of compatriot Sam Walker and Gallacher.

Donaldson added: "It's massive - those three last holes coming in there were really tough with the wind blowing, so I'm just really happy to seal it."

Jamie Donaldson on earning a Ryder Cup debut
"It's so difficult to get into the team, the lads are playing so well. You know you have to play well to secure your place and it came down to the wire."

It was the first Welsh 1-2 on the European circuit, with Dredge still without a success since the last of his two Tour victories in 2006.

Donaldson opened the final day with three successive birdies to take the lead, though he lost it to Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen with a bogey at the fourth.

The lead continued to change hands until Donaldson made the most of two Kjeldsen bogeys to open up a two-shot lead with a long birdie at the 10th.

He stayed in front after that and could even afford to bogey the 17th on his way to victory.

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