Miguel Ángel Jiménez junior starts as a Pro in Tenerife

The eldest son of veteran golfer Miguel Ángel Jiménez played his first tournament today as a professional at the Gran Premio Meliá Hacienda del Conde– Gambito Golf Tour in Buenavista, just a few days after getting his professional golf card.

 

Miguel Ángel Jiménez junior, who is currently contesting the European Senior Circuit and the US Champions Tour, is going to follow his family tradition, debuting as a Pro at the Meliá Hacienda del Conde – Gambito Golf Tour Grand Prix. On his trip to Tenerife he will play at Buenavista Golf, designed by Seve Ballesteros. An incredible par 72 course of 6019 meters and some nice holes close to the beach that offer the player a sensation of striking the ball towards the ocean and the waterfalls of holes 9 and 18.

22 year old Miguel Ángel Jiménez Bravo is a member of the PGA of Spain. Almost immediately after finishing his Finances career in Miami he became a profesional so that he could play his first official tournament today. ”Since he was a kid he had a passion for golf, You would always see him playing with a spoon and a golf ball” says his mother Montse, as she thinks back.



Jimenez named golfer of the month

The Spaniard made it a Hong Kong hat-trick with his one stroke win over Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson Hed, adding to the titles he won at Fanling in 2005 and 2008, and in doing so became the oldest winner in European Tour history at 48 years and 318 days, beating the previous record held by Irishman Des Smyth who was 48 years and 34 days when he won the 2001 Madeira Islands Open.

The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Panel, which comprises members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as commentators from television and radio, faced arguably their toughest decision in the history of the award.

Indeed Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, whose stunning victory in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai completed his coronation as European Number One; Englishman Ian Poulter, who won his second World Golf Championship in style at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China; and Italian Matteo Manassero, who became the first teenager in European Tour history to win three times following his triumph in the Barclays Singapore Open, all earned votes from the panel in a lively debate.

Also recognised were; Luke Donald for his triumph in the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan; Martin Kaymer for his win in the Nedbank Golf Challenge; Graeme McDowell for his success in the World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual; and Henrik Stenson for his victory in the SA Open Championship, his first European Tour triumph for five years. But, in the end, it was Jiménez who held sway.

“When you look at the list of candidates for the November award it not only illustrates how hard a decision it was to make, but also just how healthy European Tour golf is at the moment,” said Michael Harris, the editor of Golf Monthly, and a member of the nine-strong panel.

“Every single one of them had a legitimate claim but in the end Miguel Angel Jiménez proved just too hard to resist. To win a tournament on The European Tour, given the growing standard out there, is hard enough at the best of times, but to do it at almost 49 years of age is remarkable.

“But Miguel is just that, remarkable. He is an entertainer and has such an infectious love of life and golf that I know a lot of people have been inspired to take up the game just by watching the fun he has on the course. His win in Hong Kong against a high-quality field was fantastic and, as a result, he is a worthy winner of the award for November.”



The Secret… Rioja and Olive Oil

(Photo: Getty Images)

It’s now official: Miguel Ángel Jiménez is the oldest winner on the European Tour. It took two years after his last win (Omega European Masters in Switzerland) but, with 11 of his 18 Tout titles having come since turning 40, few were surprised when the 48-year-old Málaga-born star triumphed in the UBS Hong Kong Open. It was his third victory in the event (following 2005 and 2008) and meant he was six months older than Des Smith when the Irishman won the 2001 Madeira Islands Open.

“It’s very nice – I hope it’s not the last one,” joked the Spaniard, who carded a closing five-under 65, for a 15-under total at Hong Kong Golf Club and a one-shot victory over 40-year-old Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed, who had made 14 trips to the Qualifying School before winning his first (and to date only) European Tour title in Italy two years ago.

“I really love this place. I love the golf course – it’s a great golf course where you have to control the ball very well, it’s not a matter of distance,” said Jiménez, who did not card a single bogey over the last three rounds (and just two in 72 holes, with 17

birdies).

Rafael Cabrera-Bello in Dubai (Photo: Getty Images)

Asked about the secret of his longevity (this was his 597th Tour start), he said, “This is maybe the olive oil in my joints, and the nice Rioja wine and those things keep you fit and flexible, no? The most important thing, I do what I like to do in my life, and golf has given me all of this pleasure. Winning now, as you say, the oldest winner on the Tour, 48, my goodness, 24 years I’ve been on the Tour – I’ve been around.

“I still love it and I think that is fantastic, to love what you’re doing, and enjoy yourself, keep fit, keep working myself a little bit and stretching a lot, and that’s the main thing to keep the body to compete with the new guns.”

The win extended his own record for most victories by a player aged 40 and over (12 of 19 overall); created a new record for European Tour victories on Asian soil (six, passing Ernie Els’ previously shared best of five); was the third by a Spaniard in 2012 following Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Omega Dubai Desert Classic) and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño (BMW Italian Open presented by CartaSi); and was the 166th Spanish victory in European Tour history.

 


Original post reproduced with permission from ozinspain.com

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Spain’s elusive holy grail

Unfinished business at Valderrama

Spanish contingent in confident mood... (Photo: Fernando Herranz)

SEVE BALLESTROS went close in 1988. The late Spanish star finished second two shots behind Nick Faldo in the inaugural Volvo Masters at Valderrama.

Six years later, he was again second, a bogey on the last hole leaving him one short of Bernhard Langer’s winning score and level with Vijay Singh. Miguel Ángel Jiménez was fourth that same year, having opened with a six-under 65 that included the first albatross carded in competition on Valderrama’s notorious 17th hole. Continue reading



McDowell last man standing at Valderrama

Ortiz-Patiño Alonso y Waters (foto Juan José Úbeda)
Ortiz-Patiño Alonso y Waters (foto Juan José Úbeda)

Aunque con muchas incógnitas por desvelar todavía, hoy se ha presentado al fin el Andalucía Valderrama Masters del que tanto se había rumoreado.

La fecha parece concretarse finalmente en la semana 44 (última de Octubre), tradicional del Volvo Masters y en la que este año se ha celebrado el Mundial Match Play.  Ni siquiera el nombre del torneo parece del todo cierto a estas alturas, pues aunque en la convocatoria original y en algunas vallas que la Junta ha colocado ya en diversos puntos de la Costa del Sol se incluyera la sede en el nombre del torneo, en la nota de prensa posterior éste ya no aparecía en su denominación.

Sea como fuere, se confirma finalmente que será un torneo del circuito europeo por lo que el primer y último torneo del mismo en tierras europeas se celebrarán en Andalucía (Open de Andalucía en el Parador en Marzo). Después vendrán los torneos en Asia y finalmente el torneo final de Dubaí (que por ahora contra pronostico, parece resistir al menos en 2010). El montante de premios se fija en 3 millones de euros, cantidad nada despreciable con los tiempo que corren, pero alejada de los mayores torneos de la temporada. No será pues un torneo de maestros como tal, aunque el nombre “masters” se mantenga, y seguramente serán de 80 a 100 jugadores con corte, aunque nada se ha precisado en este sentido. El acuerdo se indica que será “al menos” para cinco años.

Con todo así, y hasta que se desvele de una vez el calendario para 2010, todo indica que podríamos tener en España hasta 7 torneos del circuito europeo, dado que Mallorca recupera su prueba, uniéndose a Castellón, Madrid, (que parece moverse a Mayo) y los tres en Andalucía (que pueden ser 4 si el Open de España se viene a Sevilla). De la fecha del Volvo Mundial Match Play nada se sabe con certeza pero podría quedar fijado en la primera semana de Octubre.

En definitiva una gran noticia para España y para Andalucía en particular, de la que nos alegramos enormemente por todo lo que significa para el golf en nuestro país. Loable el esfuerzo de la Junta de Andalucía, aunque cuestionable la estrategia de mantener tres torneos en su territorio en lugar de un gran evento “de bandera” como siempre se había sugerido. En todo caso estamos seguros de que Valderrama estará como siempre a la altura y el evento ayudará vender la excelencia del golf en el sur de España.