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Welsh rookie Jamie Donaldson savors 'the shot of my life' that wins Ryder Cup for Europe

  • Europe’s Jamie Donaldson and his fiancee Kathryn Tagg, surrounded by the media, celebrate winning the 2014 Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    Europe’s Jamie Donaldson and his fiancee Kathryn Tagg, surrounded by the media, celebrate winning the 2014 Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)  (The Associated Press)

  • Europe's Jamie Donaldson drinks from a champagne bottle to celebrate his singles match to win the 2014 Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

    Europe's Jamie Donaldson drinks from a champagne bottle to celebrate his singles match to win the 2014 Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)  (The Associated Press)

  • Europe’s Jamie Donaldson, left, and Rory McIlroy celebrate winning the 2014 Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    Europe’s Jamie Donaldson, left, and Rory McIlroy celebrate winning the 2014 Ryder Cup golf tournament at Gleneagles, Scotland, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)  (The Associated Press)

The decisive match. The shot of his life. Jamie Donaldson will never forget his Ryder Cup debut.

The chance to clinch Europe's third straight victory in golf's biggest team event fell to a Welsh rookie who was nothing more than a journeyman pro only two years ago.

He didn't let it pass.

Unaware he had already retained the cup for Europe on the previous hole, Donaldson hit a 9 iron from 146 yards to within 18 inches of the pin on No. 15 at Gleneagles on Sunday.

The crowd roared. Donaldson thrust his right arm up in the air. He didn't need to make the tap-in — Europe had won again.

Draped in a Welsh flag and surrounded by joyous teammates and family members, Donaldson says "this is the pinnacle."