Jamie Donaldson held off Søren Kjeldsen and Bradley Dredge to win the D+D REAL Czech Masters by two shots and move into the top five in The Race to Dubai.
The win was Donaldson’s third European Tour triumph and his first since winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship last year.
He was already guaranteed a spot in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, taking place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 November, but he now moves from sixth to fourth in The Race to Dubai with a stellar display at the Albatross Golf Resort in Prague.
With the win, the Welshman also secures his place in Paul McGinley’s European Ryder Cup Team and is all set to make his debut at Gleneagles next month.
“This is big – it’s been an amazing week,” Donaldson said after the win.
“Winning is everything: wins shoot you up World Rankings, The Race to Dubai, all sorts. Its massive - those three last holes coming in there were really tough with the wind blowing, so I’m just really happy to seal it.”
Donaldson started the final round two shots behind fellow Welshman Dredge but fired three straight birdies in the opening three holes to move into the lead.
However Kjeldsen and Dredge were hot on Donaldson’s heels all day long and a birdie on the fifth from Kjeldsen took him on top of the leaderboard.
However it wasn’t to be for the Dane as back-to-back bogeys on eight and nine meant that Donaldson was back in front and when the 38-year-old sunk a birdie putt from 25 feet at the tenth, he was up by two shots.
After bogeying the penultimate hole, a par on the last was enough for Donaldson to seal the win as he closed with a four-under- par 68 to finish the tournament at 14-under-par, two shots ahead of Dredge.
“I needed to play well either this week or next week, or both, to guarantee my place in The Ryder Cup Team so there was a lot on the line and this week I played really well, so that’s great,” said Donaldson, who needed a top-seven finish to quality for the Ryder Cup.
Stephen Gallacher, who sits at number nine in The Race to Dubai, enjoyed another consistent week as he finished in a tie for seventh to stay in the top ten of the Rankings.