I don’t feel like a star – golf hero Jamie

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

RY­DER Cup win­ner Jamie Donaldson has told the Ex­press that he’s proud to have joined Mac­cles­field’s sport­ing hall of fame – but in­sists he doesn’t feel like a star.

The Mac­cles­field golfer shot to fame when he hit a 146-yard wedge to within 18 inches of the 15th hole to clinch the Ry­der Cup for Europe last month.

Jamie, 38, who is vi­cepres­i­dent of Mac­cles­field Golf Club, was the fo­cus of a me­dia frenzy after the Gle­nea­gles tour­na­ment, which was the first time he had been called up for the Euro­pean team.

The three-times Euro­pean tour win­ner spent two days back at home in Mot­tram be­fore jet­ting off on hol­i­day to Dubai to take it all in with his part­ner Kathryn Tagg, son Max, two, and ninemonth-old daugh­ter Isla. ●● WE want to know your Mac­cles­field sport­ing he­roes.

Jamie is just one of a num­ber of stars who have helped put the town on the sport­ing map.

From Premier­ship foot­baller Peter Crouch to Eng­land cricket coach Peter Moores, sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, and Par­a­lympic

His suc­cess put Mac­cles­field Golf Club, where Jamie has been a mem­ber from the age of 12, on the world map.

The club­house was full dur­ing the Ry­der Cup with fans fol­low­ing Jamie on TV.

But Jamie says he’s keep­ing his feet on the ground and will do all he can to help the next gen­er­a­tion of the town’s golf­ing tal­ent. In an in­ter­view with the Ex­press, he said: “It’s been

crazy but medal­list Dame Sarah Storey, Macc boasts an em­bar­rass­ment of sport­ing tal­ent.

Now for a spe­cial fea­ture cel­e­brat­ing Jamie’s golf­ing suc­cess we want you to tell us your Mac­cles­field sport­ing he­roes. Email us at mac­cles­field ex­press@men­media. co.uk or join the de­bate on our Face­book page. I’m pretty grounded. When I go home and change a nappy, back to be­ing a dad, it’s back to earth with a bump.

“I’m so grate­ful for all the support I’ve had in Mac­cles­field and am look­ing for­ward to com­ing back and see­ing ev­ery­one. Ev­ery­one at the club was right be­hind me from day dot, so I want to give back in any way I can.

“I spon­sor ju­nior com­pe­ti­tions at the club and talk to the kids. I know that when I was a kid even the thought of talk­ing to a pro would give me goose bumps.

“I still find it hard to be­lieve I am that pro. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and sup­pose I am part of the town’s hall of fame, but I don’t feel like a su­per­star.”

Pon­typridd-born Jamie moved to Mac­cles­field from London with his fam­ily aged nine. The fam­ily home was on Ryles Park Road and Jamie played his first shots out­side the back gar­den in South Park, in­spired by his dad Jim.

The for­mer Ash­grove Pri­mary and Hen­bury High School pupil worked in a golf cen­tre on Pick­ford Street and in the shop at Mac­cles­field Golf Club as a teenager.

When he was 19 he started play­ing full time am­a­teur golf.

He ad­mit­ted com­ing un­der pres­sure from his mum, Jackie, to go pro­fes­sional – which he achieved by join­ing the Euro­pean Tour aged 24.

Jamie said: “My game re­ally im­proved when I started hav­ing chil­dren. You get a greater sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity and want to do the best for them.”

Jamie has now had time to re­flect on the Ry­der Cup.

He said: “I dreamed about hold­ing the Ry­der Cup in my hands as a kid learn­ing the game in Mac­cles­field. I still feel like that kid in South Park with a dream in many ways.

“It’s im­por­tant to dream big be­cause dreams can come true. I felt to­tally elated when I played that win­ning shot and re­mem­ber it clearly. There were about 10,000 peo­ple at that hole and it was magic. I will re­mem­ber if for the rest of my life.”

●● Jamie Donaldson with the Ry­der Cup trophy

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