Mon, 26 Aug 2019

Miguel to reach European Tour milestone at Open

News24
18 Jul 2019, 04:12 GMT+10

Cape Town - Miguel Angel Jimenez is set to become just the second man in the history of the European Tour to reach 700 events when he tees it up at The 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club on Thursday morning.

The Spaniard, who turned professional in 1982 and became a full Member of the European Tour when he won his card at Qualifying School in 1988, is no stranger to record-breaking feats and will fittingly reach yet another milestone in his 32nd consecutive season on Tour at this year's final Major.

The 21-time European Tour winner holds the record as the oldest winner in European Tour history after his victory at the Open de Espana in 2014 aged 50 years, and the record for the most holes-in-one following his tenth professional ace at the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

The 55-year-old earned his place at Royal Portrush after winning last year's Senior Open, which he will defend next week at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

He is now fast closing in on another significant moment in his career as he approaches Sam Torrance's all-time record of 706 European Tour appearances.

"This is a very proud moment for myself and my family and to reach the milestone of 700 events on the European Tour at the Open Championship makes it even more enjoyable," said Jimenez.

"I have had many great moments over the past 32 years including winning 21 times. Winning any tournament is memorable but I particularly cherished the four tournaments I won in Spain where my friends and family were there - those were very special.

"Of course I am now only six tournaments away from tying, and seven away from beating the all-time record held by my great friend Sam Torrance. I don't know exactly when that will happen but the record is definitely in my sights!"

One of seven brothers, Jimenez took up golf as a 15-year-old whilst picking up balls at the range and caddying. Inspired by watching the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle and Torrance when he was caddying at the 1979 Spanish Open, he decided to take up the game seriously.

His maiden win came at the 1992 Belgian Open, yet since turning 40 in January 2004, he has turned a great career into a tremendous one, claiming another European Tour record for the most wins by a player aged 40 and over, with 12 victories to his name.

He represented Europe as a player on four occasions at The Ryder Cup in 1999, 2004, 2008, and 2010, as well as captaining the European Team at the inaugural EurAsia Cup in 2014.

A Ryder Cup vice-captain on two occasions, he helped Seve Ballesteros steer Europe to an emotional victory on Spanish soil at Valderrama in 1997 before playing a vital role behind the scenes once again in Medinah in 2012, where he helped another lifelong friend, Jose Maria Olazabal, invoke the spirit of Seve and inspire that miraculous Ryder Cup comeback on American soil.

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