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February 2, 2016

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

SARAH GWYNN: Miguel, thank you very much for joining us. First time we've seen you out on The European Tour for awhile. Just tell us about your Christmas break and how that was.

MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Been nice, no, after the last tournament I played last year was in Sun City, the Nedbank, and I didn't play anymore until two weeks ago when I played in Hawai'i, defend in the title in Hawai'i. Been playing, I spent some time in Austria where I live now since I got married a few years ago, enjoy my time, and the 26th, and we flew to Málaga Spain and in Málaga for three weeks, in time to fly to Hawai'i. Enjoy my friends, enjoy my family, enjoy all the people that you miss during the year.

So this time that we have, 30 weeks, more or less we play a year, it's important to spend some time when you have time off to spend some time with the people you miss.

SARAH GWYNN: Absolutely. And does a break that long make you very hungry to be back?

MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Yeah, I start to think, because normally when you are competing one week, after another week, maybe you have a week off. But when you have so much time, in the beginning, you don't know, I feel like new (laughter). But no, it's nice. It's nice to have a rest and charge the batteries, I would say. Then you just happy to be back and here we are.

SARAH GWYNN: And first impressions back in Dubai?

MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Nice. Beautiful weather. A lot of people in shorts, very good, get some sun, some tanning on the skin. But no, it's beautiful, and beautiful to be back another place in the year here, I've finished very well, many Top-10s, a win in 2010, and you know, it's always good memories to play this golf course.

But not only the golf course, as I said before, I've been in Dubai since the first year we have The European Tour coming here. All the big changes you see in this part of the world is unbelievable. I remember when that first year I come here, and you have one road from Deira to Abu Dhabi, you have one lane. And looking nowadays, nowadays now you have seven lanes a nice pack in the traffic jam all the time. But, well, that's the thing, this is the way, but it's nice. It's nice here, always good weather and they look after the people, and only three hours time change, not really long flight. It's a nice place to come, nice.

Q. I hope no more skiing for you during the winter break.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: No, no skiing anymore. Since I broke my leg in December 2012, I didn't ski anymore. I will ski again, when I finish my career, I will ski again. I love the slopes.

Q. Just your impression on the fact that there are four players now in the top of the World Rankings who are just 25, 26 years old, and one of them is 22. Somebody like you who is the oldest winner on The European Tour, who holds the record, what do you think of the position that golf is in right now?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Well, it's amazing to see all these new players, the power, how golf is changed and the things going on. It's amazing to see the way they play. I think it's great. The golf is going the right way, no.

But to me, this is my 20th season I've been on the Tour and I have played with obviously with -- they are not already -- they was, but not at the time, '89, '90, '91, I played with Nicklaus, I played with Palmer, I played Gary Player, I played with Seve and I been through all these generations coming up; Olazábal and played with all of them, Tiger, Mickelsons and now Rorys and Spieths. Been through all these generations, you know, I think it's a privilege to be part of that history. And to see all these new No. 1s coming there and fighting, you know, I think it's a privilege to be part of those things.

Q. What are your plans for 2016 as far as European Tour is concerned?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: I'm just coming to play from Hawai'i and I'm going to dedicate myself not to The European Tour. The Olympics, I think is close -- when is the close of Olympics, end of June, to qualify? And this time I'm going to play a little bit more here. I'm now third on the Spanish one. I was second before this week, and now Rafa Cabrera-Bello, he's second, he just passed me there. We are fighting for that second spot -- I think Sergio is 12 or 13 in the World Ranking, and then it's Rafa Cabrera and then it's me.

I would love be in the Olympics. I will play more here because you have World Ranking points than on the Champions Tour. I'm going to concentrate a little bit more and try to fight for the second spot for the Olympics. That would be nice if I can achieve that in my career.

Q. And with a golf course like this, where you really don't have to hit the ball a long way to really score well, and given your --
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: You only have to hit it long, because the longer you have to hit it, the shorter you are to the green. As you say, this is not a very long course. You have some holes -- but you know, the long hitter has always got an advantage. Always going to be easy to hit a fairway with a 3-wood or a with a driver, always.

Q. But somebody like with you all that experience and the track record that you have, you must be really liking your chances whenever you come here.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Well, it's nice, I enjoy it. I enjoy to play and I know that I can hit the ball both ways, fade, draw, high low and things, and to me, I'm not afraid any club any flight. But obviously it's not the same; go with an 8-iron or with a 5-iron to a hole. You know, when you see the golf course it's very long, you have some dog-legs and people go over the corners and you have to go to the fairway. It's different for those guys. No, always they are going to have an advantage. But I'm not afraid to do anything. Just play golf and enjoy myself, that's what I do.

Q. Bryson DeChambeau has taken a very scientific approach to his game of golf, clubs are all the same length and the Epsom salts for his balls. I was wondering can you look at golf so scientifically?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: I don't know. I'm not an engineer. I never understood. I cannot tell you about the physics of things are going to work or not. But obviously the way I learned golf, it's a different length, different club, different loft. Obviously you know it's going to change the loft and lie, and also the length. You have a little bit more -- if the club is longer you're going to have more wide, it's going to be bigger you're going to have more club speed obviously, no. That's why you're going to have the clubs the same -- the driver is also the same length as the wedge? No? Then why they do that? There is something missing there.

But no, maybe he's thinking like that, but listen, it's working for him -- but I don't know if it's the right way or not the right way. Then you do that with all the clubs and now the driver is normal, then you -- something is short.

Q. And obviously there's a lot more elements in golf than just the scientific, just the physics. Is that --
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: You know the very most important thing in golf, the head, this is the main thing. This is the main club, the one here, and if you are focussed on what you are do, that is the main thinking and if you do that, the clubs work for you. That's the main thing, this one.

Q. Can you just give us a secret of how come you make so many aces, hole-in-ones?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Because I hit them very good (laughter). Of course. Of course. If you hit a slice or a hook, you're not going to make hole-in-one, you're going to be in the bunker, you're going to be in the water, you're going to miss in a lot of bunkers and a lot of waters. But if you hit straight at the flag, you're going to have good luck, sometimes. But it's not about luck. You have to hit a good shot and then you have the luck to go in the hole. But first, good shot.

Q. Back to the Olympics, how much would the Olympics mean to you to participate?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: It would be amazing. It would be amazing. People say that golf not been in the Olympics since 1912 or something like that, but I don't know if you can say that now in these days, you can say that the Olympics -- we have a proper way, I think this is the official first Olympics time and it will be amazing to be part of that thing.

For me, for my career, after all the victories, being on The Ryder Cup, all over the place, and 52 years old, in the Olympics with a big fat Habano in my mouth there, it will be amazing.

Q. I wanted to ask you, if an interview you said it would be really amazing to be walking with a cigar in the Olympic Village. I don't think anybody has ever done that. But you really want to do that.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: That is the -- the object is not to do that. It is to be in the Olympics. But always in a funny way, I will say that, you know, in a funny way, what do are you doing -- a cigar in my mouth and glass of Rioja in the other one -- (laughter).

Q. Do you smoke a lot of shisha pipes in Dubai?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: No, I smoke before shisha but not anymore. I smoke it when I smoked cigarettes and when I come here sometimes I smoked shisha, but now with cigar, I stay with cigars.

If anybody like to make a present, I like Cohiba Siglo 6.

SARAH GWYNN: Thank you everyone.

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