Jiménez betters own record in Hong Kong Open win

On verge of 50th birthday, Spanish ‘bon viveur’ crowns leg-break comeback

Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain points out his own name on the trophy after winning the Hong Kong Open for a record-equaling fourth time.
Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain points out his own name on the trophy after winning the Hong Kong Open for a record-equaling fourth time. Alex Ogle (AFP)

Spanish golfer Miguel Ángel Jiménez on Sunday broke his own record as the oldest player to win a tournament on the PGA European Tour by claiming his fourth — and second consecutive — Hong Kong Open title at the age of 49. Jiménez’s triumph, achieved after a playoff against Stuart Manley and Prom Meesawat, was his 20th career title.

What made it all the more incredible were the doubts generated a year ago about the celebrated bon viveur’s ability to continue playing after he broke his leg skiing in the Sierra Nevada after his 2012 win at the Hong Kong Golf Club. However, he returned to action in the Spanish open last April, became the first non-Briton to reach 600 tournament appearances on the European Tour in May and in July, at Muirfield, led the British Open leaderboard after the first round.

On Sunday, Jiménez birdied the first extra hole with an 18-foot putt to see off the challenge of Welshman Manley and Thailand’s Meesawat.

“I love this place, I love this golf course, I love the tournament,” said Jiménez. “I played so well and I holed some putts, and the one in the playoff gave me victory.”

Far from slowing down as he approaches his 50th birthday on January 5, Jiménez has his sights set on another record — that of Ted Ray, who holds the distinction of being Europe’s oldest Ryder Cup representative — if he is selected to face the USA at Gleneagles next September. “If I play the way I am playing this week, I will be in the Ryder Cup Team,” he said.

Rules
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS