Tuesday January 22, 2013
Persistence pays off for dogged Donaldson
ABU DHABI: Jamie Donaldson will make his Masters debut in April, but had he heeded the words of his doctor, he would have been retired from golf several years ago due to chronic back pain.
Speaking on Sunday after securing the biggest win of his career at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, the 37-year-old Welshman recalled the moment in 2004 when he thought his career might be over.
Fearing his back might “go again” just by stepping off a kerb, Donaldson sought specialist advice and he did not like what he heard.
“One (specialist) said don’t play. So soon we went to see someone else,” he explained.
“To be honest as soon as somebody says that, you just go and see somebody else, I couldn’t hear that. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear.”
A second specialist was consulted and it was more to his liking — plenty of physio and stability exercises and maybe there was some hope.
“I was in the wilderness for sort of four years after that injury. I didn’t really know where I was at. It was just a case of starting again and finding out what works,” he said.
Gradually and painfully he worked his way back to something like full fitness and rejoined the ranks of European Tour journeymen where he had been before his physical problems floored him.
Then suddenly last July all came good when he won the Irish Open, his first European Tour win at his 255th attempt.
Spurred on by that, Donaldson finished the season well, including a tie for seventh at the USPGA, and he broke into the world top 50, thus ensuring he would make his debut at Augusta National.
His win in Abu Dhabi, where Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose — three of the top five players in the world were in the field — now means that he will move into the world top 30. — AFP