Wedge of Heaven

Macclesfield Express - - BUSINESS -

SCRIPT WRIT­ERS could barely have come up with a bet­ter tale for Jamie Don­al­dosn’s Ry­der Cup de­but.

Had his me­te­oric rise been any more like a golf­ing equiv­a­lent of Roy of the Rovers peo­ple per­haps wouldn’t buy it – too much Hol­ly­wood for the his­toric set­ting of Gle­nea­gles.

But the Mac­cles­field­based star – whose fledg­ling shots as a young­ster were swung at Mac­cles­field Golf Club – couldn’t have wished for his rookie ap­pear­ance to have gone any bet­ter.

With Europe 10-6 up overnight Wales-born Donaldson was paired with Kee­gan Bradley for the 10th match of Sun­day’s sin­gles show­down.

After Graeme McDow- ell came from three down at the turn to see off Jor­dan Speith, con­tro­ver­sially picked by cap­tain Tom Wat­son to lead off the Amer­i­can chal­lenge, Rory McIlroy hit seven birdies and an ea­gles to blow away Rickie Fowler.

Those Ir­ish highs put Europe within two points of re­tain­ing the trophy, a fur­ther half needed for out­right vic­tory.

It wasn’t all go­ing Europe’s way though. Pa­trick Reed and Phil Mick­el­son won the away team’s first points of the day, and Hunter Ma­han led against Justin Rose.

Matt Kuchar tri­umphed over Thomas Bjorn to make it 12-9.

But Martin Kaymer’s win over Bubba Wat­son edged Europe ever closer.

Justin Rose won his fourth point of the week­end, fight­ing back to take half a point from Ma­han.

By this stage back-to­back birdies had put Donaldson four up against Bradley, with four to play. And the best was yet to come with a stun­ning wedge for glory at the 15th hole.

He sent his ap­proach dead straight from around 150 yards, the ball com­ing to rest a mat­ter of inches from the hole.

For Bradley the game had been up for some time and he con­ceded to give Donaldson, mak­ing his first Ry­der Cup ap­pear­ance at the age of 38, the his­toric 4&3 vic­tory, spark­ing scrums of de­light on the fair­way.

Ser­gio Gar­cia added an ex­tra layer of sheen with vic­tory over Jim Furyk and Ian Poul­ter snatched a half from Webb Simp­son at the last.

There were still points to be played for, Vic­tor Dubuis­son and Dustin John­son halv­ing the fi­nal match. Be­fore that, Lee West­wood lost out to Jimmy Walker, but the tour­na­ment had marked a mile­stone for him.

He part­nered Donaldson for three matches on the Fri­day and Satur­day and the pair’s two wins in the four­somes saw West­wood, one of McGin­ley’s wild cards, pass Seve Balles­teros’ Ry­der Cup points tally.

But the glory was all the Mac­cles­field lad’s to savour. McGin­ley had em­braced his rookie as that wedge shot ar­rowed to­ward the tar­get, know­ing his cap­taincy was to be glo­ri­ous.

It was a stun­ning end­ing to a de­but that was set in dream­land from start to that fab­u­lous fin­ish. One that a young golfer would only dream of, if only it hadn’t seemed too far­fetched. notched in the morn­ing and af­ter­noon.

First up was Bri­er­ley who hit a sweet sev­en­iron to post his ace and set up lunchtime cel­e­bra­tions.

Then, in the af­ter­noon, it was the turn of Neil Mut­ter, also wield­ing a seven-iron, on the same hole to post his ace.

No-one at the club can re­mem­ber a sim­i­lar feat on the same day and cer­tainly not in the same ‘ma­jor’ com­pe­ti­tion. Wheeler struck again at Daven­port, win­ning a club Sta­ble­ford wth 37 points, ahead of a six-player log­jam on 36.

Daven­port ladies played a Sta­ble­ford qual­i­fier and top of the di­vi­sions were Mar­garet Bruce (36 points), Joy Brad­burn (36) and Ros Mann (33).

John Wilkin­son was on fire at Shrigley Hall in a Thurs­day Sta­ble­ford, post­ing 44 points to fin­ish eight clear.

PA Wire / Mike Eger­ton

●● Jamie Donaldson dur­ing the trophy pre­sen­ta­tion at Gle­nea­gles after his bril­liant ap­proach at the 15th

David Can­non / Getty Images

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