Miguel Angel Jimenez on... Meeting his wife, Ryder Cup captaincy, & his favourite course

2016 10 Getty Images 589929616 "We are professional golfers, yes, but we are also professional entertainers. We are very lucky to do what we do, so we have a responsibility to make sure people enjoy coming to watch us.”

He pauses again, lost in a thought. “You know, golf? It is more than a job for me. It’s what I love to do. There is nothing better. Nothing.”

There are only a couple of things he has failed to achieve in the game. One is major championship glory. He has had his chances, of course. Nine top tens in 66 appearances - including an impressive fourth-place finish at the 2014 Masters - are proof of that.

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The Senior Open Championship - Day Four

He was, you may recall, the ‘best of the rest’ in the 2000 US Open, finishing second at Pebble Beach, a distant 15 shots behind record-breaking, runaway winner Tiger Woods.

The other thing missing from his CV? A shot at leading the European Ryder Cup team. He threw his hat into the ring for this year’s match at Hazeltine but was, ultimately, overlooked in favour of Darren Clarke, something that he says left him ‘a little disappointed’.

Still, he hasn’t given up hope of following in the footsteps of his fellow countrymen and great friends Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal, who were at the helm of Europe’s victories in 1997 and 2012 respectively.

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Singles Matches - 2014 Ryder Cup

Interestingly, both men - like Paul McGinley in 2014 - had Jimenez as one of their assistants.

“The Ryder Cup has been a big part of my career, from playing with Ollie on my debut at Brookline in 1999 to being a part of Seve’s team at Valderrama in 1997 and seeing him push us and push us and push us to victory,” adds Jimenez.
"Would I like one day to be the captain? Of course" - Miguel Angel Jimenez

“There have been so many special moments for me in the Ryder Cup, so would I like one day to be the captain? Of course. I would love to.

“Perhaps I will get the opportunity in France in 2018. But we will see. If it is my time, it is my time and I will be very happy to lead. If it is not, okay, then it is not. But whatever happens, I am happy. Why wouldn’t I be?”

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Miguel Angel Jimenez in bunkered


This interview with Miguel Angel Jimenez first appeared in Issue 148 of bunkered (June 2016).

LukeDonald
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