European Tour

Ryder Cup hope for Donaldson

Jamie Donaldson (Getty)
Jamie Donaldson (Getty)

Prague - Jamie Donaldson boosted his hopes of a maiden Ryder Cup appearance by taking a one-shot lead after the first round of the Czech Masters on Thursday.

The Welshman carded a six-under-par 66 at Prague's Albatross Golf Resort to lead by one from Sweden's Mikael Lundberg while fellow Ryder Cup hopefuls, Stephen Gallacher and Joost Luiten, fired two-under-par rounds of 70.

Donaldson said he will not get distracted by speculation over the Ryder Cup team to face the United States at Gleneagles in September although a finish in the top seven should be enough to secure an automatic selection.

"I know what I've got to do this week so it's just a case of going out and doing it. It's another golf tournament where you've got to go out there and play as well as you can and content to win the tournament," said the 38-year-old.

"I'm in a position to do that now; I just need more of the same over the next three rounds.

"You can't go too heavily into it, you have to go out there and it's just one shot at a time like any other week. There are other things circling around this result but you have to get on with it and keep doing the same things you've been doing every week."

Donaldson carded four birdies in an outward score of 33, but then dropped a shot when he drove into a bunker at the 11th.

But a birdie at the 12th, an approach to eight feet at the 14th and two closing birdies sealed the overnight lead.

Leading first-round scores in the Czech Masters at the Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, on Thursday (GBR/IRL unless stated, par 72):

66 - Jamie Donaldson
67 - Mikael Lundberg (SWE)
68 - Soren Kjeldsen (DEN), Matthew Nixon, Paul Waring, John Hahn (USA), Danny Willett, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (IND), Kenneth Ferrie, Lee Slattery, Keith Horne (RSA), Bradley Dredge
69 - Craig Lee, Javier Colomo (ESP), Daan Huizing (NED), Sam Walker, Andy Sullivan, David Lipsky (USA), Tim Sluiter (NED), Phillip Archer, Gregory Bourdy (FRA)
70 - Merrick Bremner (RSA), Joost Luiten (NED), Garrick Porteous, Peter Hedblom (SWE), Simon Wakefield, Joachim B Hansen (DEN), Peter Uihlein (USA), Duncan Stewart, Eddie Pepperell, Simon Thornton, Francois Calmels (FRA), Adrian Otaegui (ESP), Roope Kakko (FIN), Steve Webster, Hennie Otto (RSA), Peter Whiteford, Rikard Karlberg (SWE), Jason Knutzon (USA), James Morrison, Tyrrell Hatton, Stephen Gallacher, Paul Lawrie, Ruaidhri McGee

Selected:
71 - Brandon Stone (RSA), Shiv Kapur (IND), Jbe Kruger (RSA)
72 - Jeev Milkha Singh (IND), Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND)
73 - Nathan Holman (AUS)
74 - Kim Sihwan (KOR), Haydn Porteous (RSA)
75 - Oliver Bekker (RSA), Justin Walters (RSA), Wade Ormsby (AUS)
76 - James Kingston (RSA)
81 - Yevgeny Kafelnikov (RUS)

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