Published Sunday, 01 July 2012
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Interview: Jamie Donaldson
Interview: Padraig Harrington
Interview: Rory McIlroy
Interview: Graeme McDowell
Interview: Darren Clarke
Interview: Michael Hoey
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The victory means Donaldson landed his first European Tour title at the 255th attempt.
The 36-year-old won by four shots from England's Anthony Wall, Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti.
Donaldson was overtaken by Swede Mikael Lundberg early in the day, but kept his composure for a superb finish - posting an 18 under par total of 270.
With five birdies in his last seven holes he closed with a 66, only one off the lowest round of the week.
Best of the Irish Padraig Harrington finished six strokes off the lead at 12 under.
The 2007 winner was only two behind when he teed off, but a disappointing 70 dropped him to joint seventh.
Open champion Darren Clarke shot 71 for four under on Sunday to finish 39th, while Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy had their best days of the week.
McIlroy shot 67 at 11 under to finish in a tie for tenth, while McDowell shot 66 at 10 under to finish in a tie for 16th place.
The first Irish Open held in Northern Ireland since 1953 was watched by sell-out crowds totalling more than 112,000.
Irish Open champion Jamie Donaldson can't quite believe he has clinched his first European Tour title at the 255th attempt.
'Tough day, brilliant tournament'
Padraig Harrington says he struggled to read the greens on the final day but took an extra moment at the end to enjoy the crowds.
Rory says thank you
Very special week at the Irish Open in Portrush. Thanks to everyone who came out to support the event and the players.… say.ly/ACq3F5S
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) July 1, 2012
That's all folks
Sad to say it's the end of a fabulous four days at Royal Portrush where even the sometimes torrential rain couldn't dampen the record crowds' spirits.
The players loved it and the fans loved it even more... Bring on an Open championship!
And I leave you with a picture of the champion with the trophy.
-18 Jamie Donaldson (Wal)
-14 Anthony Wall (Eng)
-14 Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Spa )
-14 Fabrizio Zanotti (Par)
-13 Mikael Lundberg (Swe)
-13 Mark Foster (Eng)
-12 Padraig Harrington (Ire)
-12 David Dysdale (Sco)
-12 Lee Craig (Sco)
Other notable Irish finishers were Rory McIlroy -11, Graeme McDowell -10, Michael Hoey -7, Simon Thornton -5, Darren Clarke -4, Shane Lowry -2 and Paul McGinley -1.
Welsh triple crown
Jamie Donaldson becomes the third Welshman to win the Irish Open after Ian Woosnam in 1988 and '89 and Stephen Dodd in 2005.
The 36-year-old from Pontypridd had to wait a long time for his first European Tour win but after four rounds in the 60s - with his best of the week 66 on Sunday - no-one would argue that he is not a deserving champion.
"I'm buzzing," he said after his win. "And I'm so happy to have won on this course - I don't think we have played a better one on the European Tour."
"It's just been a case of keeping going. I knew that what I was doing was right," he added.
"It feels a bit surreal to be honest. I don't think it will sink in till later."
Harsh but fair
It's hard to criticise a man who bounced back from a triple bogey at the second to finish joint runner-up at -14 but Anthony Wall stood on the 18th just two shots back and with the honour yet chose to hit an iron rather than a driver.
It looked like he was playing to secure second on his own rather than put the pressure on Donaldson and when he dumped it in the sand it cost him even that.
A decision he will regret for a long, long time to come..
What a finish!
Donaldson seals it in style with a birdie on the last to send the
still-packed grandstand wild.
A shame for Wall who drops a shot at 18 to fall out of second on his own - a costly tee-shot into the sand that.
And the winner is...
Welshman Jamie Donaldson is crowned 2012 Irish Open winner.
G Mac praises
Hugely successful Irish Open for all involved. Huge crowds, great course, well managed. Thanks to the massive crowds for supporting us!#fb
— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 1, 2012