Jimenez wins Open de Espana
Miguel Angel Jimenez smashed his own record as the oldest ever winner on the European Tour for a second time by claiming victory in the Open de Espana.
The 50-year-old was already the oldest winner after beating his own impressive record by winning the Hong Kong Open for a record fourth time at the ripe age of 49 years and 337 days last December.
This time out he bettered Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and Richard Green in a play-off at PGA Catalunya to place on record a first victory in his national championship; also his 21st on the European Tour.
Pieters, 22, led the pack with a two-shot lead heading into the final round but made three bogeys in his opening four holes to slip back into the field. Australian Green, 43, then pushed forward and made the early running to find himself two-under for his round and a shot clear as he approached the 14th.
However, a triple bogey halted his progress and threatened to completely derail him before he managed to claw something back with a birdie on 15 to eventually take the clubhouse lead on -4.
Pieters moved up to join Jimenez on -5 with a tremendous eagle three at the 15th but the Spaniard dropped a shot on 16 and Pieters bogeyed the 17th before both made par on 18 to join Green in the play-off.
Green shot a level par 72, with Pieters at +3 for the day, while Jimenez carded a +1 73.
All three golfers then missed the fairway after heading back to the 18th tee and no one was able to find the green with their approach. Green found himself in thick rough over the back, Jimenez was in shorter grass slightly nearer and Pieters came up too short before pitching to six feet.
Green then chipped his third to a similar distance before Jimenez came achingly close to the hole with his effort from the fringe. Green then dropped out as his putt slid past and Pieters’ effort lipped out in agonising fashion.
This presented Jimenez the opportunity to tap in, sparking emotional scenes in front of his home crowd.
After the game, Jimenez said: “I played it so many times but it’s great to get the win after 27 years.
“It’s amazing to win in my home country in front of my family. Every win is special but for me this one is very special. It’s a unique moment."
And when asked how a man of his age could still put in those kind of performances, he said: “No secrets. Good food, good wine, good cigars! And a little bit of exercise of course."