The Masters: Jamie Donaldson aiming to come good at Augusta - Golf - Sport - The Independent

The Masters: Jamie Donaldson aiming to come good at Augusta

Personal fan club will support 37-year-old who has overcome injury to make his Georgia debut

Jamie Donaldson marches on Augusta next week at the head of a private army, including father, brother, mates from Macclesfield and anybody else who knows him. Well, not quite, but the troupe of 20 arguably tops the number of vassals in Tiger’s retinue. Donaldson is 37 and thought the Masters was something appropriated only via television on a Sunday night with a beer in hand.

He lost his card in 2006 after discovering a bad back was in fact a broken vertebra, finally tasted victory at the 255th attempt at last year’s Irish Open, and smacked Woods and Rory McIlroy clean out of Abu Dhabi with a second victory at the start of this year. Before that brother Alex, handicap 8, was the top Donaldson, junior match play champion at their club, a feat beyond Jamie, so why not make a week of it on the occasion of his Masters debut?

Actually, that would be to caricature his approach. There will be some ceremonial elements at play, with Alex on his bag in the par-three tournament on Wednesday, and a group of close friends sharing a house, but in all other respects Donaldson is travelling up from the Valero Texas Open to test his mettle and his improving game against the best.     

“My career has been getting better and better. This is another stepping stone, another landmark. I’m looking to go there to perform,” Donaldson said. “The win at the start of the year was fantastic on a difficult course. I’m looking for bigger and better things after that week. I played exceptionally well on a course that I found very difficult. To win when you find the course tough takes you on to better things. I know I can perform on tough tracks. It was great that both Rory and Tiger played in that event. You want to win in the toughest fields in this game. That is what I’ll be doing all year. It makes you believe you can do it against the best and makes you want to do it again.”

Donaldson has Woods to thank for most of what he knows of Augusta, courtesy of the eponymous PlayStation game he played with his son when the snow kept him indoors in Macclesfield. “We had 12 foot drifts up here. The game offered some insight into the undulation on the fairways and greens. It probably helped having never been there. I arrive on Sunday night and practise Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I won’t be doing anything different from any other event. It’s a massive golf tournament with incredible history but I won’t be preparing any differently than I would for a standard event. I have my rules on prep and how I go about things and I’ll be true to them.”

This is a reference to the days when stepping off kerbs was a consideration, such was the pain tearing holes in his psyche as well as his back. The condition was diagnosed in 2004 – the result of too much practice. A disciplined exercise regime protects against a recurrence. “It was a stress fracture in the vertebra that opened and closed. I used to practise until the cows came home and over the years it took its toll. With rest and rehab I’m in a different position. I don’t practise as much these days, but get more out of it. It’s knowing what to do through experience.”

At the Masters he reaches beyond what is known. He would love to tee off  with Woods, something else he has never done. Whoever he draws, he feels ready. “The field is full of class golfers. I showed at the US PGA last year [where he tied for seventh] I was able to compete. I know what I have to do.”

Watch Jamie Donaldson prepare for his maiden Masters on EA SPORTS Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 at YouTube.com/eavision. Buy your copy of the latest version of the best golf game on the market at Game.co.uk and #TakeDownLegends NOW!

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks