Welshman Jamie Donaldson carded a final round 68 to take home the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by a single stroke. Donaldson, in FJ ICON and StaSof, posted a smooth 34 on the front nine that included two bookend birdies and seven pars. His unflappable play continued for the first eight holes on the backside until a three putt bogey on the last gave his chasers some hope. They failed to capitalize on their opportunity, giving Donaldson the win.
“It’s pretty surreal really, I’ve played really good all week although I’ve got away with murder up the last" Donaldson stated post round. Continuing "I played the pro-am on Wednesday and thought the course was too difficult and I had no chance,I thought if I could get a decent finish I would be chuffed...To be holding this trophy is just mad."
This is Donaldson's second European Tour victory, his first coming in the Irish Open at Royal Portrush the previous year. The win also moves Donaldson inside the top 30 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Welshman, Jamie Donaldson made eight birdies on over his final 18 holes to win the Irish Open by four over fellow FJ staffer's Rafa Cabrera Bello and Anthony Wall.
Donaldson shot three consecutive rounds in the 60's to take the 54 hole lead into Sunday. Donaldson, in FJ ICON and StaSof, had a calm focus throughout his final round round stating, "I didn't really look at any leaderboards on the way around, I didn't really know what was going on.”
It worked brilliantly as both times he dropped a shot with bogey he immediately birdied the next hole to not lose any momentum. He ended up carding a six under par 66 to win the highly coveted Irish Open.
Final round playing partner Anthony Wall spoke highly of Donaldson's game, "I've never doubted him. He's a class act and a super, super player, and he
deserves everything he gets because he does work hard and he's got
loads of talent."
This is the 36 year old's first win on the European Tour in 255 starts.
FJ Loyalist Michael Hoey shot a final-round 65 to win the Hassan Trophy in Morocco by three shots.
Hoey (FJ ICON #52005) began the final round two behind the leader, but three birdies inside the last five holes ensured Hoey took home the title.Hoey’s three shot victory lifts him inside the top 15 on The Race to Dubai and puts him back in the hunt for a Ryder Cup debut later this year.
The winner of last year's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, had begun with an opening-round 74 but a 67, followed by successive 65s, gave the 33-year-old his fourth European Tour victory.
"It's amazing," said Hoey. "It's a great golf course, and the weather has been great the last two days. "I knew it was going be tough and I thought it would be tighter at the end, but I was happy to see my last approach land on the 18th green. On his chances of qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team, he added: "I haven't really been thinking about it but I'm in contention now.
Elsewhere Fellow FJ wearer Jamie Donaldson carded a course record 61 - 11 under par - to finish in a tie for third, a further shot back. He was joined on 13 under by fellow FJ ambassador Phillip Price. Hoey is now second in The Ryder Cup qualifying campaign, and his €250,000 first prize moves him to €316,798 in The Race to Dubai.