Miguel Angel Jimenez marks record 707th appearance on the European Tour in style as Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez shoots course-record 62 at the Hero Open
- The 56-year-old hit an incredible bogey-free 64 on his 707th appearance
- Players gathered by the 18th green to make sure he finished in front of a crowd
- Compatriot Rodriguez shot a course-record 62 at the Forest of Arden on Friday
Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez shot a course-record 62 at the Forest of Arden and still wasn’t the man to put the hero into the Hero Open on Friday.
The day, played out in Mediterranean sunshine, belonged almost entirely to the Malaga marvel, 56-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez, who hit an incredible bogey-free 64 on the day he made a record 707th appearance on the European Tour.
He finished the day tied second alongside Pablo Larrazabal, making it a Spanish 1-2-3. He finished two shots better than brilliant Danish teenager Rasmus Hojgaard.
Miguel Angel Jimenez hit an incredible bogey-free 64 on his 707th Tour appearance
When Sam Torrance broke the appearance record in 2010, he promptly withdrew following a first-round 83. Jimenez, in contrast, played so well that he had eight birdies on his card and left a putt for another in the jaws of the hole at the 14th and then lipped out wickedly at the par-five 17th.
At this rate, give him another couple of years and he will probably start shooting his age.
He is certainly good for a few more appearances, even if he does play most of his golf these days on the Champions Tour in America, where he has won two senior majors and seven other titles.
Players gathered by the 18th green to make sure Jimenez finished his round in front of a crowd
‘Miguel tells me the secret is plenty of red wine and olive oil, but no one should ever forget what a hard competitor he is,’ said the previous European Ryder Cup captain, Thomas Bjorn.
Renato Paratore, playing alongside Jimenez, can testify to that, having been thoroughly outplayed by six shots.
Jimenez’s friend Jose-Maria Olazabal opined: ‘He’s setting a record that will never be broken.’
Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez shot a course-record 62 at the Forest of Arden on Friday
In another example of the tour’s fraternity, a terrific number of players gathered by the 18th green to make sure Jimenez was greeted by a crowd at the end of his astonishing round.
Jimenez, who has won 21 tournaments in Europe, summed up what it all meant to him. ‘It’s been a magical day, beautiful weather, eight under par, and around the 18th green with all my friends clapping me. What a nice life. How could it get any better?’
After running to the scorer’s area, he was ushered away for a glass of vintage Rioja. So it probably did.
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