Donaldson leads at Czech Masters
Welshman Jamie Donaldson grabbed the overnight lead at the European Tour Czech Masters on Thursday after finishing a shot ahead of Swede Mikael Lundberg.
Donaldson started the first round in style with a birdie on the par-five first hole, but bogeyed the fourth to drop back. He went on to make up for it on the rest of the front nine, nailing birdies on the fourth, eighth and ninth holes.
The 38-year-old bogeyed again on the 11th hole but birdied the 12th, 14th, 17th and 18th to finish on a six-under 66.
Donaldson’s only previous European Tour victories came at the 2012 Irish Open and 2013 Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, but he will be motivated to finish as high as possible to cement his place in the European Ryder Cup team.
Next week’s Italian Open offers the last opportunity to gain enough ranking points to finish in the top nine on the qualification table and seal an automatic qualification spot for Gleneagles.
While Donaldson is currently within the top nine, a poor finish combined with a high finish by one of the chasing pack could see him drop out.
Lundberg carded three birdies on the first five holes at the Albatross Golf Resort and three of the first four on the back nine, with a bogey on the seventh hole preventing him from tieing Donaldson for the lead.
Behind him ten players are currently tied for third on four-under, including England’s Paul Waring, Kenneth Ferrie, Danny Willett, Lee Slattery, Matthew Nixon and Sam Walker, and Scotland’s Craig Lee.
New Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald motivated by ‘bitter’ memories of 2021 defeat
Stenson was stripped of the role for breaking his contract by joining the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
The task facing Luke Donald after replacing Henrik Stenson
Stenson was appointed on March 15 and said he was fully committed to a role before signing with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
Tony Finau claims second straight PGA Tour victory
The American won the 3M Open in his previous outing.
Henrik Stenson cushions Ryder Cup blow with £3.6m debut win in LIV Golf
The Swede was stripped of his role as Europe captain after joining the Saudi-backed breakaway tour.
Former Masters champion Bubba Watson becomes latest player to join LIV Golf
The left-hander is currently sidelined by a knee injury and is not expected to play until next season,
Luke Donald tipped to replace Henrik Stenson as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain
The Swede lost the job 127 days after his appointment following his decision to join the LIV Golf series.
Max Homa: Tiger Woods now understands the respect he commands from his peers
Homa has made no secret of his admiration for Woods.
Bernard Gallacher fears Greg Norman is not the man for compromise with LIV Golf
Players who have resigned from the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf will not be eligible for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Brooke Henderson takes two-shot lead into final round of Evian Championship
South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon climbed into outright second place on 15 under.