I’ve always liked Miguel Angel Jimenez. He strikes me as a fun, down-to-earth personality who loves the game for many more reasons than the lifestyle the game itself has afforded him…. you can sense that “tradition” isn’t just a cliche in his world. And then you read an article that talks about him personally doling out his own money to cover half of the tournament purse at a hometown event that he desperately wants to save, and that only reinforces the perception I’ve always had of him.
“It is very important for me that this tournament goes forward and all I am trying to do is do my best,” said Jimenez, whose company promotes the event. “With the way the economy is at present, it is difficult to stage any big sporting event because it is not easy to find sponsorship money. So, while it would be very easy for me to give up I don’t want to give up and want there to be a tournament in this region of Spain.”
The Andalucia Open begins this Thursday, by the way. It would only be fitting if he were to win it this week.
Miguel’s not your typical Touring Pro. He doesn’t have a nutritionist, instructor, sports psychologist, or a PR guy showing up at every event he plays in, that’s not his style. In fact – he looks like just another character that you’d see showing up at your local daily fee course, ready to tangle with the slow group ahead. Then again – he’s so laid back that he’d just take the opportunity to enjoy a few drags from the Cohiba that he likely has gritted between his teeth and partake of some friendly banter with his playing partners. He loves his drink and smoke, a real man’s man. You don’t get the nickname “The Mechanic” on the golf course because of your love for finely-tuned transmissions. But what he has, however, is a finely-tuned golf swing that has more than held its own since 1982, when he first turned professional. In fact, his game is probably no different than the fine wine he enjoys – better with age.
You’d think that a guy his age would spend a few hours in the Tour fitness trailer or enjoying a relaxing hour in the sauna prior to the round, but that’s not his routine. His warmup routine is no different than any of those characters at your daily fee course.
You gotta love a guy who just shows up to the course about 25 minutes prior to his starting time, and is ready to tee it up 15 minutes later….