Donaldson books Open place at Troon

MACCLESFIELD’S  Jamie Donaldson led the qualifiers for next year’s Open at Royal Troon after winning the Thailand Championship today.

And he was was joined by his Ryder Cup team-mate Lee Westwood.

The championship at Amata Spring Country Club was the second event in the Open qualifying series with four places available for Trppn on July  14-17 July.

Donaldson, who has three wins on the European Tour and won the decisive match in the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, sealed a three-shot victory in Thailand with a seven-under-par closing round of 65 to finish on 21-under-par for the championship. The 40-year-old opened with three consecutive birdies and, despite bogeys at the 9th and 16th holes, picked up six further shots to secure the win and his sixth appearance in The Open.

Westwood, the former world number one and defending champion, posted a five-under-par 67 to finish on 18-under-par for the championship. The 42-year-old notched up five birdies without dropping a shot and will now make his 22nd consecutive appearance in golf’s oldest championship, where his best finish has been as runner-up to Louis Oosthuizen at St Andrews in 2010.

Donaldson said: “It was important to come here and try to play well and contend and I did that and ended up winning. That’s what I came here to do.  It’s awesome when it all comes off your way.

“Importantly this has enabled me to get into The Open. I needed to win to get into the top 50 so there was a lot to play for and hopefully it all comes to fruition next year.”

Westwood  added: “It’s great to get into The Open. It’s my favourite championship of the year. I have played in every one since 1995 so it’s nice to keep that run going.

“I’ve played at Royal Troon quite a few times and I finished fourth there one year. I like the golf course as it’s a traditional links, straight out, straight back. It’s got everything you want from a links course.”



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