There is only one Miguel Angel Jimenez and this week at the joint Asian and European Tour sanctioned Hong Kong Open no one could do better than him. Miguel retained his crown and in doing so increased his record as the oldest winner in European Tour history. This was his fourth Hong Kong Open victory and also his twentieth win on the tour so this week I want to talk about one of golf’s truly great characters.
Born in Malaga, Spain in 1964 the Mechanic had one of those names that is always going to be funny when said by an American starter. His brother, one of seven, took up golf and needed a caddy. His fifteen year-old sibling Miguel decided to help and the rest is history, he had caught the golfing bug. He wasn’t a child prodigy but a hard worker. He had his first win on the European Tour in 1992 only four years after joining. Miguel has been on many victorious Ryder Cup squads, his last appearance being at Celtic Manor in 2010 and I’m sure will captain the team one day too.
His golfing prowess can never be called into question but his style and quirks really are his main talking point. He has bright bushy hair, can rarely be seen without a huge stoagie in his mouth, and has a rather unique pre-round warm-up. I have spoken before about the growing industry of golf fitness but this appears to be passing Miguel by. In this era of flat-bellied golfers who dislike showing any personality on the course Miguel is truly a breath of fresh-air.
Rumour has it that despite his position on the leaderboard you will find Jimenez in the hotel bar enjoying some fine and expensive wine most evenings. It is also said that he once tried to convince Tiger Woods to play in the Andalucian Open with a large offer of wine. Appearing in ‘Cigar Aficionado’ magazine recently it was revealed that he had around four-hundred stoagies at home at any given time. He drives a Ferrari Maranello, loves brandy, fine single malt scotch and has said he should be called ‘Miguel Angel Rioja’. His career has enabled him to buy all of these things and he is visibly living the dream.
Golf has changed a lot over the years it has become more professional. Players go out after meticulous preparation both on and off the course and, with poker faces, go about their business. Sometimes it’s refreshing to watch a guy who clearly loves his job and works away with a smile on his face appreciating that he has one of the best jobs in the world. Miguel Angel Jimenez is one of these men and it is no wonder why he truly is a fan favourite. To me Jiminez is a member of my dream fourball. If anyone out there can make that happen then please do!