MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ | ARCHIVE
It’s Sunday, May 18, 2014 and Miguel Angel Jimenez is holding court in the media centre at PGA Catalunya near Barcelona.
He has just won the Spanish Open and, in the process, eclipsed his own record as the oldest-ever European Tour winner. He’s 50 years and 133 days old.
A reporter asks him for the secret of his longevity. “There is no secret,” insists Jimenez. “Good food, good wine, good cigars and some exercise.”
"If they think I am the most interesting man in golf, then fine, that’s what I am" - Miguel Angel Jimenez
It’s stuff like that which makes Jimenez such a hero to so many. Spectators are drawn to him. He’s the people’s professional, the golfer’s golfer, the fan’s favourite. He is, as some have described him, the ‘most interesting man in golf’.
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Relaxing with bunkered in the clubhouse at Walton Heath Golf Club, just half an hour south of London, he smiles at the mention of the nickname.
“People want to put an adjective to everything these days,” he grins. “If they think I am the most interesting man in golf, then fine, that’s what I am.”
"I am very happy with what I see" - Miguel Angel Jimenez
Does he feel like he’s interesting, though? He pauses for a moment. “I will say this,” he says. “Every time I look in the mirror, I am very happy with what I see. But the most interesting? That is for others to decide.”
The evidence in support of the claim is compelling. Jimenez is certainly not your average golfer, what with his ginger ponytail, slight pot belly, aviator sunglasses, handlebar moustache, unique warm-up routine and penchant for the finer things in life.
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He loves wine, particularly a nice Rioja, like, say, a Cirsion, Ardanza, Torre Muga or perhaps a Marques de Riscal. He also enjoys chomping on cigars - especially if it’s a Cohiba Ciglo VI - and driving his 1999 Ferrari 550 Maranello.
And what of this on his Audemars Piguet watch? “Any watch will tell the time,” he says, “but a good watch tells much more.” Make no mistake: Miguel Angel Jimenez is a man with an appreciation for the finer things in life, and everybody knows it.
Top golf manager Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler, himself a larger-than-life character, once said: “I’ve never known someone more comfortable in his own skin than Miguel. He lives his life and plays the game the way he wants to. He never rushes anything, he savours everything. He inhales life, and he exudes it.”