Cometh the hour, cometh the man - and in Miguel Angel Jiménez, the Hong Kong Open has a man for the ages.
By capturing his second successive Hong Kong title - and a record-equalling fourth overall - following a dramatic play-off with Stuart Manley and Prom Meesawat, the engaging Spaniard extended his own record as the European Tour’s oldest winner. The way Jiménez rallied late on that turbulent Sunday was typical of a man who defies convention. It was also typical of Fanling, in arguably its finest condition of all time, as a tournament venue of the highest calibre to throw up such an enthralling finish. The moment Jiménez stood over that curling 18ft putt on the Hong Kong Golf Club’s famous closing green, you could sense something special was in the making. When the ball trickled off his putter face, rolling slowly – unerringly - into the centre of the hole for the most unlikely of birdies, a new chapter in the history of this magnificent tournament had been written. It brought about Jiménez’s 20th European Tour win and it came just a few weeks shy of his 50th birthday.
"I love this place, I love this golf course, I love the tournament," said Jiménez, who signed for a closing 66 as he joined Taiwan’s Hsieh Yungyo as a four-time winner of the championship. "I played so well and I holed some putts, and the one in the play-off gave me victory."
With 13 victories since turning 40, Jiménez now has his sights set on becoming Europe’s oldest Ryder Cup player later this year.
The last of his four Ryder Cup appearances came at Celtic Manor in 2010 and he would comfortably beat the record of the great Ted Ray - who was 50 years, two months and five days old at the inaugural contest in 1927 - if he can qualify for Gleneagles in September.
"If I play the way I am playing this week I will be in the Ryder Cup Team," he added. "There is one more year to go and now I get this victory here it will help a lot. You never know; I would love to be part of the team again."
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