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Birthday boy Donaldson gives himself a Paris present

Birthday boy Donaldson gives himself a Paris present

Jamie Donaldson gave himself the perfect birthday present as he carded a brilliant 66 to be right in contention heading into the final round of the Amundi Open de France.

Jamie Donaldson

The Welshman turned 44 on Saturday but it would be safe to say the first four years of his fifth decade have not gone as planned as injury has impacted on his impressive career.

Just a month after claiming his third European Tour title, a 38-year-old Donaldson hit a magnificent iron into the 15th green at Gleneagles to secure the winning point as Europe won a third Ryder Cup in a row.

But after an unfortunate incident with a chainsaw saw him sidelined for part of 2016, the following season he finished 110th on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex, keeping his playing privileges by the narrowest of margins.

He is currently exempt via career earnings but after wrist surgery meant he did not start his 2019 Race to Dubai campaign until May, he is fighting for his card again at 135th on the Rankings.

Of course, winning European Tour title number four on Sunday would take care of all of that, and the birthday boy was delighted as six birdies and a bogey left him just four shots back with 18 holes to go at Le Golf National.

"I played nicely most of the way so very happy, being my birthday all," he said. "You don't really try to remember your birthday when you get to 40-plus but a memorable day on my birthday.

"I'll Just keep playing the way I've been playing the last three days, which is being aggressive. I've got a game plan but I need to be pushing on to try to win the tournament."

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