The Open: Ski-loving Spaniards on a good run

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SPAIN are football’s reigning European and World champions and the country’s golfers are making a determined bid at Muirfield to add to its sporting laurels.

Close to the top of The Open leaderboard at three under par is veteran Miguel Angel Jiminez, who is one shot back from 29-year-old compatriot Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

Besides setting a stiff benchmark in golf majors, the pair share a passion for skiing.

Snow-clad slopes were far from anybody’s mind on the sizzling East Lothian coast, but Cabrera-Bello was happy to go into winter mode briefly.

“I’d say I was the equivalent of a 3-5 handicap skier,” he said.

“Miguel would be 15-20 handicap at skiing. I’ve been skiing with him and tried to help him out.”

Such encouragement has been reciprocated on the golf course, the younger Spaniard saying: “(Jiminez) was very helpful to me when I first got on tour.

“He took time to check me out and play practice rounds with me.”