Miguel Angel Jimenez hoping to be the hero at Indian Open
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS): Miguel Angel Jimenez will look to continue his incredible age-defying golfing exploits at the Indian Open, starting here Feb 19, as he embarks on his 27th consecutive season on the European Tour.
Having made a perfect start to 2015 with a victory last month in Hawaii on the US Champions Tour, the 51-year-old Spaniard is ready to challenge for more honours at the $1.5 million event which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Should he win at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC), Jimenez will break his own record on the European Tour as the oldest champion.
Having already set, and subsequently broken that record with victories in Hong Kong and Spain in 2014, it would take a bold observer to write off the great man, who has won 14 of his 21 European Tour career titles since turning 40 - another European Tour record.
"People talk about my age and ask if I can still win on the European Tour," smiled Jimenez.
"My answer to that is very simple: I would not be playing on the European Tour if I did not believe I could win. I play against a lot of young kids these days, but I still feel good and know that when I play to my best I can still compete against the young guys, so it is no problem for me.
"Also, the most important thing for me is to enjoy what you are doing and I still love to play, love to travel around the word playing golf and as long as I am still passionate for the game and can compete then I will continue to play the game."
The longevity of Jimenez's remarkable career means he has played through a dramatic period of globalisation in his sport, and he recognises how important countries like India can be for golf as he prepares to tackle the DGC for the first time.
"The European Tour returning to India is very important for our tour. We are now a global tour, playing all over the world, and India can become a very important country. If you look at what has happened in China over the past 20 years, you see that golf can grow in the biggest countries in the world, and hopefully India can become like that.
"There are a lot of very good Indian players playing on the European Tour and the Asian Tour. They are getting better and better and we hope that having a European Tour event there can give even more Indians a chance to improve their games and test themselves against better players."