WELSHMAN Jamie Donaldson has stolen the thunder from the local stars in a wet and wild 2012 Irish Open.
The 36 year old shot 18-under to clinch his maiden European Tour title at his 255th attempt at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.
He produced eight birdies in his final 6-under round of 66 to beat England’s Anthony Wall (69), Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello (66) and Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti (66) by four shots.
Padraig Harrington looked to be Ireland’s best chance but finished with a 70 to be 12-under tied for 12th.
Northern Ireland’s best was Rory McIlroy who saved his best for last with a 67 putting him at 11-under tied for 10th.
Fellow US Open winner Graeme McDowell (66) was a stroke further back at T16.
Australian Matthew Zions finished in a share of 18th spot on nine-under.
Some 112,280 spectators flocked to the event, the first Irish Open in Northern Ireland since 1953 and the first complete sell-out of a regular European Tour event.
Northern Irishman Michael Hoey (70), who finished on 7-under tied for 28, praised the spectators, commenting: “All of the players are saying this is by far the best tournament they have been to crowd-wise.”2012 Irish Open Final Leaderboard