Miguel Angel Jimenez achieves 'target' of surpassing Sam Torrance

Spaniard to overtake Scot for most European Tour appearances

Miguel Ángel Jiménez takes part in a virtual press conference ahead of his record-breaking European Tour appearance in the Hero Open at the Marriott Forest of Arden. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Miguel Ángel Jiménez takes part in a virtual press conference ahead of his record-breaking European Tour appearance in the Hero Open at the Marriott Forest of Arden. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

It will be mission accomplished for Miguel Angel Jimenez when he overtakes Sam Torrance's long-held record for the most European Tour appearances as the Spaniard takes his tally to 707 in the opening round of the Hero Open at Forest of Arden.

"I don’t know if I want to extend the record," declared Jimenez in reply to being asked if he wanted to set a mark that could be difficult for anyone to beat in the future. "I will play next week and play Valderrama when I come back in a few weeks’ time.

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"But I don’t have a goal to add more tournaments. The target was to get the record and whatever tournaments are coming up on top of this will be nice."

The 56-year-old already has 21 European Tour titles to his name and a record number of holes-in-one, as well as holding the record for oldest winner on tour, but this achievement may well be the most impressive feat of all.

"It’s amazing," he admitted. "You never think when you start what you are going to achieve. With the years going by I hold some different records, and now this one.

"It’s been 32 years moving around the world playing on different Tours. Getting to this point and looking back it’s amazing.

"So many players in these 32 years. Playing with Seve - our mentor – Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger, Phil Mickelson. All different generations. Now with the new ones coming up.

"I knew in the last couple of years - the way I am playing and feeling on the golf course – that this would be the next target, and here we are."

Jimenez mainly plays on the Champions Tour these days, having already racked up nine triumphs on the US over-50s circuit.

"Looking back, having reflections, I’ve had some nice experiences," he said. "I had my first victory in 1992 at the Piaget Open in Belgium.

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"I played in the last round with Nick Faldo when he was on top of the world. Seve was on the side.

"My English now is not good - you can imagine how it was 28 years ago. I said to him, “What am I going to say?” He told me, “say what you want to say, you are the winner. People won’t understand anything, don’t worry.”

In the opening two rounds in last week's Betfred British Masters at Close House, Jimenez with former Scottish Open champion, Brandon Stone who wasn’t born when he recorded that first title triumph.

"That is something that happens every week," he said, laughing. "The last couple of years, every time I play the first few rounds of the tournament they don’t reach my age between the two guys!

"You get used to it. It is nice because we are still making the same scores and you are still competitive there."

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Joy YatesEditorial Director