The 19th hole

The 19th hole: Jamie Donaldson


The 40-year-old Welshman has won three times on the European Tour and secured the winning point for Europe in the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Q Favourite sports movie?

A Caddyshack was a great golf movie. I used to love watching that when I was a kid.

Q Greatest sportsman in the world right now?

A (Novak) Djokovic is pretty impressive in tennis. I mean, once you would say Tiger (Woods) but he’s not played well for a while.

Q Golfer you’d pay to watch?

A Tiger, without a doubt.

Q Best golf shot you’ve seen live?

A I played with Tiger at Augusta (National Golf Club, venue of the Masters) last year. He played quite a few awesome shots. He played an eight-iron out of the trees where he had to slice the ball about 20 yards around them. It had to go high and long and it was in the rough so it’s very hard to manoeuvre the ball. That was one of the best shots I’ve seen.

Q What did you buy with your first serious pay cheque?

A I bought a car. Wasn’t a great car. My first big pay cheque was about £10,000 (S$20,400), which felt like I had won the lottery. It was just a small run-about car... like a Vauxhall Astra or something like that. It was white.

Q Worst rule in golf?

A Spike marks. You can’t touch a spike mark; should be allowed to do that.

Q Strangest thing you’ve seen during a rain break?

A People lying in an oxygen chamber to get more oxygen into the body and cool their body temperature when they get back into the clubhouse. That was kind of weird when you see them, it’s like they’re in a spaceship.

Q Worst score in a single hole?

A Maybe a nine or a 10? On a par-four. You try not to remember those holes!

Q Who’s a hit with the ladies?

A Tiger in his heyday was probably the biggest ladies’ magnet, wasn’t he? But I’d probably say American golfer) Brooks Koepka at the moment.

Q Number one golf tip for amateurs?

A Swing it slow. They always try to hit it too hard, so they hit the ball inconsistently and they don’t hit it consistent distances, which means they don’t know how far they hit it.
If they try to hit (with) the same strength, speed all the time, they’ll understand how far they hit the golf ball.

Jonathan Wong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2016, with the headline 'Jamie Donaldson'. Print Edition | Subscribe