Donaldson hopes to solidify coveted Ryder Cup spot ahead of Italian Open

Welsh man hoping to secure place on European team for Gleneagles in September

Jamie Donaldson goes into the Czech Masters in Prague this week hoping he can solidify his position in the European Ryder Cup team for Gleneagles in September.

The Welsh man sits inside the European qualifying places with the top nine players securing their places on the team at the end of next week’s Italian Open.

Graeme McDowell holds the final position with Joost Luiten and Stephen Gallacher trying to chase him down at Albatross Golf Resort but Donaldson is hoping his participation does not go down to the wire. "If I play well this week I don't have to play next week so that's another incentive," he said.

“Things are quite close with the Ryder Cup spots but I just have to take each week at a time. There are two events left and I have to go out here this week and play well, play to win the tournament as I do every week.

“I need to enjoy myself and play well. It’s in the back of your mind but these things can help you. It’s a great target to have and it’s been a target for me for quite a while. You just need to ignore it and get on with the things that make you play well and keep doing those things to enable you to have the best week you can.

"It's hard to get in the team, whether you were in the list for a while or you're fighting to get in, it's difficult whatever angle you're going at it. You're playing against the best players in Europe so it's never going to be easy."

The European Tour returns to the Czech Republic this week for the first time since 2011 when Oliver Fisher won the Czech Open.

That remains the 25-year-old’s only Tour victory to date and, after two top-10s in his last three starts, the Englishman is glad to be returning to eastern Europe.

“It will be nice going back to the Czech Republic,” he said. “A few of my friends are coming out for the week. Winning there in 2011 was great. It showed that I could win. That was the biggest thing for me – to show that I could do it.

“The win in the Czech was my first European Tour win and it will always be a great memory. “It is in Prague this year so it will be a little different, and I don’t know the course, but I’m looking forward to it.”