Jamie tees off New Year with top Welsh award

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Jamie tees off New Year with top Welsh award
Ryder Cup star Jamie Donaldson was named the Welsh Tour Professional of the Year by the Golf Union of Wales after playing a match-clinching role in Europe’s victory over America at Gleneagles.
The Pontypridd player claimed the award for the fourth time running at the awards ceremony held appropriately at Welsh Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manor, sponsored by Future Financials.
Tenby was named the club of the year after bouncing back from storm damage and building new sea defences, while their schemes to develop the game have led to more than 40 new junior members, a double figure number of new women players, plus increased links with schools and improved facilities.
Welsh champion Evan Griffiths was the Amateur Player of the Year. The former Liverpool football triallist from North Wales also won the Pinnacle Welsh Men’s Order of Merit, won the Trubshaw Cup and Clwyd Open, as well as helping Wales to second in the Home Internationals.
The Golf Development Wales PGA professional of the Year was Nicola Stroud of Gower golf club. She was a key part of the team driving the business support scheme at the club, worked in local schools and commnunities, delivered New2Golf and disabled golf schemes and earned the advanced PGA award.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Pwllheli’s Grace Roberts. There were four junior members at the club when she took over as junior organiser in 2008, now there are 130 thanks to the way she has used Golf Development Wales schemes. In 2014 Pwllheli became only the second Golf Roots centre in North Wales.
39-year-old Donaldson was the stand-out candidate for the main award after confirming his international breakthrough with a dazzling performance at the Ryder Cup, winning three points for Europe including a 4 and 3 victory over Keegan Bradley to take his team past the magical winning mark of 14 and a half points.
The former Welsh Amateur and Stroke Play champion clinched his place in the team with victory in the D+D REAL Czech Masters and was a regular in the world’s top 50 players throughout the year. Currently he is ranked 24th in the world after playing in all four of golf’s Majors.
Having overcome back problems to re-launch his career at the highest level in 2008, last year he had eight top 10’s on the European Tour, was a runner-up in the WGC Cadillac Championship, but it was his Ryder Cup performance that lifted him to a higher level amongst golf fans.
Jamie is a product of the Welsh golf system, having come through the international amateur ranks playing for Wales, and we are all extremely proud of his efforts this year,” said Golf Union of Wales chief executive Richard Dixon.
He is a great example to all the players coming through behind him. We look forward to following further success in 2015.
While Jamie was the dominant Welsh male golfer last year, special mention should also be made of Amy Boulden.
She also came through the Welsh ranks and last year she was the Rookie of the Year on the Ladies European Tour, an achievement that was made extra special because she did not have a tour card at the start of the season and had to rely on limited invites. She certainly made the most of her opportunities.
We are also immensely proud of Nicola, Grace and everyone at Tenby who continue to have a real impact on all levels of golf in Wales.”
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