Miguel Angel Jimenez has confirmed his intention to play in this year’s Senior British Open at Royal Porthcawl after turning 50.
The Spaniard, the oldest player ever to win on the European Tour, hit the milestone on Sunday and, though he remains competitive on the main circuit, he is admits he is relishing the prospect of being a rookie in the over-50s ranks.
“I'm looking forward to playing my first senior major at Royal Porthcawl” he said. “I hear it's a great golf course and I am really looking forward to playing there for the first time. I was checking the internet to see where it is. About 20 minutes from Cardiff and on the coast – perfect venue!”
Jimenez turned professional in 1982 and joined the European Tour in 1988. In that time, he has won 20 times, most recently in last month’s Hong Kong Open. Thirteen of those wins have come since he turned 40. He has also played on four Ryder Cup teams and eight Seve Trophy sides.
“I don’t want to leave my life on the European Tour but I am going to enjoy my other life in senior golf as well" - Miguel Angel Jimenez
“I can’t believe time has passed so fast,” added Jimenez. “It seems just like yesterday that I got my Tour card and then – five, ten, 25 years have passed so quickly.
“Now, in my 26th season, I am a rookie again – the young man in the field at the Senior Open. It will be nice to see some familiar faces from the old days but I don’t know if they are going to like seeing me competing against them!”
Despite enjoying enormous success in his career, major championship glory has eluded the popular Spaniard. A distant tie for second behind Tiger Woods in the 2000 US Open remains his best finish in golf’s four biggest events. However, he isn’t putting any pressure on himself to win one in the senior game for which he has become eligible.
“I am just looking forward to this chance to win one on either tour,” he said. “I don’t want to leave my life on the European Tour but I am going to enjoy my other life in senior golf as well.”
See Jimenez at Royal Porthcawl
To celebrate Miguel Angel Jimenez’ participation in this year’s Senior British Open, organisers have extended their pre-Christmas ticket offer by two weeks. Book before January 16 and a season ticket will cost you just £60 – a 25% saving on the gate price of £80. One day tickets purchased before the deadline cost £20, a saving of £10 on the gate price, while Wednesday practice day tickets are also available at the reduced price of £10, a saving of £5 on the gate price. To find out more, log-on to www.europeantour.com/seniortour