Golf Comment: Comfort in his game is secret to Jimenez’s everlasting success

Sam Torrance
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The main emotion I felt was awe when watching Miguel Angel Jimenez extend his own record for the oldest man to win on the European Tour and the first to do so in his 50s.

His victory at the Spanish Open on Sunday was extraordinary. I have lived through that stage in life and I know just how difficult it is to beat a field full of younger guys.

Jimenez is a bit of an enigma and a real punters’ favourite because of his laid-back approach. It’s not just his public persona either, he really is like that – in fact probably more so than he lets on.

What helps him enormously is that he is very comfortable in his own game. In golf, if you can repeat you will be successful; he repeats his swing perfectly and is always in control of the ball.

His latest title has put him right in contention for a place at the Ryder Cup in September, where he would become the oldest player to represent Europe in the competition.

Jimenez is just one place outside the automatic qualifying positions, so has a great chance. Whether he would be one of captain Paul McGinley’s picks may depend, though, on the composition of the rest of the team.

The Spaniard is in action this week, along with a stellar line-up, at the BMW Championship at Wentworth, where he is a former winner. So too is Luke Donald, one of several Brits who I expect to challenge at the European Tour’s flagship event. Ross Fisher and Paul Casey are also currently playing great, while Ernie Els knows the course so well and Martin Kaymer is on a roll following his Players Championship win.

But if there’s one man to watch then, for me, it’s Justin Rose. The US Open champion, who grew up in nearby Hampshire and is the world’s best ball-striker, would love to come back here and demonstrate his superiority.

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam