Early effort puts Donaldson in contention

8/11/2012 12:46:42 AM
Jamie Donaldson   (Getty Images)
Jamie Donaldson (Getty Images)
Welshman Jamie Donaldson’s battle through strong winds saw him rewarded with a top five place at the halfway stage of the US PGA Championship.

A one over par 73 may not sound anything special, yet it was 20 strokes better than one of his playing partners, American club professional Doug Wade.

Donaldson had opened with a 69, but with a two under aggregate as Kiawah Island bore its teeth he was only two off the lead as the conditions remained tough throughout.

Of those out in the morning only Fijian Vijay Singh, at 49 trying to become the oldest winner of a Major in history, broke 70 with his 69. Phil Mickelson and Michael Hoey were the only others to break par.

Winner of the Irish Open last month on the links of Royal Portrush - his first European Tour victory in 255 starts - Donaldson prospered at another seaside venue and in more tough weather.

The 36 year old, playing only his second Major in America, birdied the first and sixth, but hit his second shot into a thick patch of rough on the 579 yard seventh and needed three hacks at it to get out.

A double bogey seven was the end result, but he hit straight back with a 35 foot birdie putt before coming home in a two over 38 with three bogeys and a birdie in the final five holes as the weather worsened.

“It was really difficult,” he said. “We had a lot of wind at the start but it just got a little bit more windy towards the end.

“It was a result if you actually hit the green on the downwind holes. That's just showing how tough it is out there - just a brutal test of golf.

“You've just got to stay patient and keep hitting good shots and putting yourself in position.”