Busy as a bee in recent weeks, Jamie Donaldson celebrated his call-up to the Seve Trophy with a decent outing in last weekend’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The Macclesfield-based Welsh star was named in Sam Torrance’s Great?Britain and Ireland squad that’s going all-out to claim a seventh straight Seve win over mainland Europe.
And Donaldson got back in the swing of things at the Dunhill Championship at Carnoustie, no doubt thankful of the break from his hectic home life.
Putting a house move with his pregnant girlfriend, not to mention looking after their first born and the compiling of a best man’s speech behind him, the 37-year-old got back in the groove with an eyebrow-raising opening round of 65 at one of the planet’s toughest courses, putting him just a shot off a share of the overall lead.
“I had lots of things on at home. We’ve moved house and I’ve had a best man’s speech to do, which is the world’s most nerve-wracking thing,” he said.
“It’s way worse than standing on the first tee in front of a big crowd.
“Moving house, although it’s just 10 minutes down the road, is stressful too. Especially with a pregnant missus and a little 18-month-old running around – it was just full-on.”
And though he finished nine shots off the pace of winner David Howells and American Peter Uihlein, who lost the deciding play-off, he’s now looking ahead to Paris.
There, the two sides will battle it out for the Seve Trophy, a team event in the mould of the Ryder?Cup, the competition that’s forever, indelibly associated with the late, great Ballesteros.
However, the United Kingdom’s contingent head for France without their top six qualifiers – Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter – who are all choosing to rest instead.
That they’ll all be missing when the first ball is addressed this week has caused some controversy, with Paul Lawrie accusing the sextet of snubbing the competition and the legendary Spaniard.
But Paul McGinley, who will captain Europe when the Ryder Cup is once again contested next year at?Gleneagles, claims he’s ‘not too disheartened’ at the stay-aways’ decision.
The event is a perfect environment to blood future Ryder Cup players and captains, and it was during Seve Trophy matchplay that McGinley – himself famed for his winning putt in 2002 – showed his credentials for the captain’s job.
But he was diplomatic and said:?“I’ve seen those six players, I know what they can do. I am interested in attending the debrief with Sam (Torrance) and Jose Maria (Olazabal) over a glass of French red wine. I’m interested to hear what they have to say as to how the guys moulded in.”