AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Jamie Donaldson, playing in his first Masters, didn't take long to collect some hardware.
Donaldson, the 37-year-old from European Tour player from Wales, aced the 180-yard par-3 sixth. That means he'll receive a large crystal bowl, an award that goes to evey player who makes a hole-in-one during the Masters.
The ace is the 24th in Masters history and the fifth one at the sixth hole. The last player to make a hole-in-one at the sixth was Chris DiMarco in 2004. Two aces -- both at the 16th hole -- were recorded last year.
European Tour star Jamie Donaldson will make his second consecutive PGA TOUR start this week. (Franklin/Getty Images)
By Michael Curet, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
THE HONDA CLASSIC: Power Rankings | Turf Talk | First Look | LIVE@ returns this week
After early exits in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship last week, European Tour members Alexander Noren and Jamie Donaldson played their way into this week'sThe Honda Classic by qualifying Monday along with two-time PGA TOUR winner Vaughn Taylor and former TOUR member Darron Stiles.
All four golfers fired rounds of 5-under 66 at the Mayacoo Lakes Country Club to earn the Thursday start.
Noren, the 30-year-old Swede who played golf at Oklahoma State University, defeated Dustin Johnson 6 and 4 on Day 1 last week at Dove Mountain before falling in 20 holes to Graeme McDowell.
The Welsh-born Donaldson, who fell in the opening round to Thorbjorn Oleson 3 and 2, started the year strong by holding off Justin Rose last month to win the Abu Dhabi Championship -- the second career win on the European Tour for the 37-year-old.
Veteran PGA TOUR member Taylor, who turns 37 on March 9, qualified into The Honda Classic for the second year in a row -- finishing 18th a year ago in his seventh appearance in the event. The Augusta, Ga. resident won both PGA TOUR titles in back-to-back years at the Reno-Tahoe Open (2004, 2005). He tied for ninth last week at the Web.com Tour's Panama Claro Championship
Stiles, a five-time winner on the Web.com Tour, graduated to the PGA TOUR for the fourth time in his career when he finished 17th on the Web.com Tour money list in 2012. The 39-year-old who now resides in Pinehurst, N.C. made his only cut of the early 2013 season last month at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, where he tied for 56th.
MARANA, Ariz. -- In a battle of two players making their World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship debuts, Thorbjorn Olesen prevailed, beating Jamie Donaldson 3 up.
The Dane never trailed in the match and only lost three holes. Olesen struck quickly, winning the fourth, fifth and sixth holes with pars, and had an early 3-up advantage when play was suspended on Wednesday.
Donaldson came back out Thursday and won the 13th hole with a 5-foot birdie but promptly gave that back with a bogey at the next. A Donaldson par at the par-5 15th narrowed Olesen's lead to 2 up but the Swede won the match when the Welshman bogeyed No. 16.
Olesen plays Tim Clark, a 2-and-1 winner over Adam Scott, in the second round.
"It was difficuly yesterday the first seven holes we played but I holed out really well ... and that was important," Olesen said. "I played solid today. ... Holed a few putts and that's what you need to do in this game."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Jamie Donaldson introduced himself to the American audience last week in a big way when he tied for seventh at the PGA Championship on Sunday. And if things work out the way he hopes, we just might be seeing the Welshman compete regularly on the PGA TOUR.
Donaldson, who won his first European Tour event earlier this year, said he is thinking about going to the PGA TOUR qualifying tournament at the end of the year.
“ We'll see how we go, see what happens before then,” he said. “There are lots of different things that might happen to make me go or make me not go. So we'll wait and see. But that's the plan, yeah. “
Donaldson could also earn his card by earning as much as a non-member at the end of the season as the player who finishes 125 on the money list. He is currently about $360,374 behind last year's 125 total.
Donaldson has already spoken with a couple of his friends, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, about making the transition.
"They just rave on about it all the time, saying it's great over
here; the lifestyle is fantastic; the golf is fantastic," Donaldson
said. "They've got a lot of positive things to say about America,
the TOUR, the place, the country. I love it over here. It's a
fantastic place to live.
"So when it finally happens, we'll take it from there and look forward to it."
The Wyndham Championship is Donaldson's third straight event in the U.S. -- and his fourth ever. He was able to extend his stay and commit to the final event of the PGA TOUR's regular season after posting the top-10 on Sunday.
Another top-10 would enabled him to enter the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in September.
"Last week was great," Donaldson said. "We'll look and see if we can do well again this week. ... We'll just take it one week at a time, one shot at a time and do the best we can and see what comes from it from there. We'll see if we can keep the ball rolling as long as possible."
Donaldson spoke to the media after playing a practice round at Sedgefield Country Club, a Donald Ross gem he called a "great golf course." He's already acclimatized to the heat after playing in Akron and on Kiawah Island, so the steamy August afternoons shouldn't be a problem.
"You've got to hit the fairways," Donaldson said. "If you miss fairways around here, the ball seems to sit down quite easily in the rough. Just similar to last week. ... The fairways were a bit wider last week; this week it's a bit narrower, so we've got to sort of draw the focus in a little bit and keep it on the short grass and take it from there."