|Miguel Angel Jimenez became the oldest winner in the history of the European Tour. (SN#1)|
By Brian Keogh
Special to ARMCHAIR GOLF
Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.
HONG KONG OPEN WINNER MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ jumped 39 spots to 59th in the world golf ranking as he replaced Des Smyth as the oldest winner in the history of the European Tour, beating the Drogheda man’s 2001 Madeira Islands Open record by 284 days to set the new mark at 48 years, 10 months and 13 days.
“Well, this is maybe the olive oil in my joints, and the nice Rioja wine and those things keep yourself fit and flexible, no?” Jiménez said of the secret of his success.
“Well, the most important thing, I say 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; next year will be the 25th.”
As for Hong Kong, he said: “This is a great place, and I love to come here every year. Since 2004, I haven’t missed a year. I like the city, and especially I like the golf course. It’s a golf course where length is not the most important thing. I just feel very comfortable out here, and that shows in my results.”
Smyth, who will be 60 in February, was seriously impressed by a win that leaves the Malaga man 11th in all-time list of European Tour winners with 19 wins.
“That’s my 11-year record down the drain,” Smyth joked on Sunday as Jimenez official became the oldest winner on tour. “It was good while it lasted but all good things come to an end and Miguel was fantastic.
“When I saw he was going well this week, I said, I think it’s going to go this time.
“I got up at about 7.30am and watched the last four or five holes. He played like a stallion. He played flawless golf and dropped two shots in the 72 holes and did drop a shot in his last 54 holes. You don’t get much better than that. He’s an incredible player.”
Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.