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