February 26 2013
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.