Donaldson ready to kick on in 2013
Last updated: 25th January 2013
Jamie Donaldson admits his confidence is sky-high after winning the star-studded Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship last week.
The Welshman surprised everyone including himself when he triumphed on a course that proved too challenging for the likes of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, who both missed the cut following Friday's second round.
He also pipped world number four Justin Rose in the final round after the Englishman had led for three straight days, sealing the one-shot victory with a closing 68.
For a man who took more than 11 years to win his first European Tour event at the Irish Open last July, the future suddenly looks very bright.
"Confidence is very high at the moment on the golf course," said Donaldson.
"After that win in Abu Dhabi and after a great season last year, I certainly don't put any limits on where I can go from here. My goal has always been very high, sometimes too high.
"I'm looking forward to playing all of the events in America that we get to play this year, and looking forward to opening new doors and playing new events on new golf courses. I'm thoroughly looking forward to it."
Now at a career-high 29th in the world, Donaldson will not only get to play in all the lucrative World Golf Championship events this year, he'll also make his debut at Augusta for the Masters in April.
And he admits the Ryder Cup isn't far from his mind either.
"I've played very well in a lot of the big events in 2012 with tied seventh in the US PGA being my best result to date in a Major," he said.
"I'm getting better every year and it's a case of more of the same. I'm better at what I do to allow myself to perform at the highest level. I've been knocking on the door a few times. Frustratingly, it sometimes takes time, but to put myself in contention to be winning a Major this year would be fantastic.
"If I keep playing like this and keep improving year on year I won't be far away. I've got a lot of big goals for this season.
"I don't really talk much about my goals, but I'm looking to set myself up in that Ryder Cup team."
It's certainly been a remarkable turnaround for a man who was told he may never play again due to spinal problems nearly a decade ago.
"I suppose if I look back at my career, I was in the wilderness for about four years after an injury," he added. "I didn't really know where I was at after then. It was a case of just starting again and finding out what works.
"I had lost my card, played Challenge Tour in 2007 and since then it's just been a rebuilding process, just finding things that work to put in the whole package to be able to just keep getting better every year at doing the things that I do well.
"That is what has enabled me to win twice in the space of a year. The golf keeps getting better, I just had to keep working on the same things that enable me to play well, and that's why I won in Ireland and Abu Dhabi."
A look at some of the impressive golf courses on offer in the south of Wales. Go to Gallery
Ian Botham, Allan Lamb, Mark Boucher and company in action at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Go to Gallery
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