Prague (AFP) - 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.