Jimenez Joins 600 Club
Miguel Angel Jimenez became only the sixth player in history to reach 600 starts on the European Tour when he teed off at the BMW Championship. To celebrate this milestone the cigar chomping, pony tail wearing, Rioja swigging everyman carded a 76 in cloud covered Wentworth, but this occasion was not about counting scores. It was about recognizing 25 years of excellence that has brought the Spaniard 19 Tour titles and four Ryder Cup contests.
"You start to play and you never think about it and now, you look back and say 'where has the time gone?', said Jimenez. "It's a nice experience, a nice life and the only thing I'm disappointed with is that it goes too fast."
Thirty years after his maiden European Tour appearance at the Spanish Open in 1983, Jimenez is at the tournament he won in 2008 just six months after breaking his leg in a skiing accident.
In an era of golf robots who spend as much time in the gym as they do on the course the sight of his hint of a pot belly and legendary warm up marks out Jimenez as a link to a different time.
"I think I have survived four generations on the tour,” said Mr 600. “When I started I was playing with Seve, Lyle and Woosnam. Then came Olazabal, Faldo and Monty. Then you had Clarke and Westwood, guys like that. And now when I go on tour, they are kids – Rory and all of these young boys are children."
However Miguel can still mix it with these young pups. He’s 50 next year but has no plans to join the senior tour yet. Who knows if Jimenez is continues to feel young at heart he could have a crack at Sam Torrance's record of 706 starts. You wouldn’t put it past him.
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