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Wine and exercise key, says HK Open winner Jimenez

HONG KONG (AFP) –

Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain jokes with his cigar while posing with the trophy

Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain jokes with his cigar while posing with the trophy after winning the UBS Hong Kong Open at the Hong Kong Golf Club on November 18. Jimenez said wine, exercise and enjoying the sport were the secret to his success, after the 48-year-old became the oldest winner in European Tour history on Sunday.

Cigar-smoking Miguel Angel Jimenez said wine, exercise and enjoying the sport were the secret to his success, after the 48-year-old became the oldest winner in European Tour history on Sunday.

Jimenez held off the charging Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden to win the $2 million UBS Hong Kong Open by a single shot. It broke European Tour records and brought up a hat-trick of titles at Fanling for the flamboyant veteran.

Asked at a news conference — where he kept a cigar in his mouth — how he kept going, he joked: “Maybe this is the olive oil in my joints, the good Rioja wine and those things.

“Keep yourself fit and flexible. The most important thing is to enjoy what you are doing in life. I’ve been a 19-time winner now. I’m 48… my goodness.

“It’s 24 years now that I’ve been around (the tour), it’ll be 25 next year. But I still love it. I think that’s the key. Love what you are doing and enjoy yourself.

“I keep fit and keep working myself a little bit. I stretch a lot. You need to keep your body (in shape) to compete with the young guns.”

Jimenez, whose last victory on the European Tour was in 2010, said he hoped to be back next year to make his defence of the Hong Kong title. First up, however, is the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

“If you are playing well and winning tournaments, of course this will give you more confidence for the last tournament of the year. Next week is very important,” he said.

“But what I always say is that the most important thing is what happens now. Next week you start from zero.”

He declined to say when he might retire from the sport.

“This is not the end of my career,” he said.

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