Hip swinging, cigar puffing Miguel Angel Jimenez has been reflecting on his own longevity ahead of his record breaking 707th European Tour start at this week’s Hero Open.
The smiling Spaniard leapfrogs Sam Torrance at Forest of Arden after racking up a remarkable number of appearances since his Tour debut some 32 years ago.
The spritely 56-year-old already holds the record as the oldest winner on Tour when claiming the Open de Espana title in 2014 while he famously put his longevity down to “good food, good wine and good cigars” and who could argue with him?
“It’s amazing, you never think when you start what you are going to achieve,” said Jimenez who now holds 21 European Tour titles.
A true professional. Miguel always working hard and getting himself ready to play his best ???? pic.twitter.com/0ZwrBqq5u5
— ETPI (@Etpi) July 30, 2020
“With the years going by I hold some different records, and now this one that Sam Torrance still holds this morning, I tied with him last week.Bottom of Form
“It’s been 32 years moving around the world playing on different Tours. Getting to this point and looking back it’s amazing. So many players in these 32 years. Playing with Seve – our mentor – Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger [Woods], Phil Mickelson. All different generations, and now I’m with the new ones coming up.
“Over these 32 years it has been amazing, not only for the 707 tournaments I will reach this week. You never think about how many tournaments you will play in your life. I knew in the last couple of years – the way I am playing and feeling on the golf course – that this would be the next target, and here we are.
“Looking back, having reflections, I’ve had some nice experiences. I had my first victory in 1992 at the Piaget Open in Belgium. I played in the last round with Nick Faldo when he was on top of the world.
— #Miguel707 ? (@EuropeanTour) July 30, 2020
“Seve was on the side. My English now is not good – you can imagine how it was 28 years ago! I said to him, ‘what am I going to say?’ He told me, ‘say what you want to say, you are the winner. People won’t understand anything, don’t worry!’
“Being assistant captain to Seve in 1997 at Valderrama, then I played my first Ryder Cup in 1999, so looking back, so many great things. Winning four times in Hong Kong, winning at Wentworth in 2008, the flagship tournament of the European Tour, and I was the first Spaniard to win what was then the Volvo Masters at Montecastillo. A beautiful life.”