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May 27, 2004

Miguel Angel Jimenez


MARIA ACACIA: Not a bad start. 7 under.

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Yeah, I played very well today. The first nine holes, I hit it very solid, and made it to 5 under par. The back nine, I was playing well. I hit as good as the first nine.

Q. What was the problem, did you block yourself out at 18? Did you hit it right and have to lay up?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Yeah, I hit my drive left and then I hit a 5 wood there and I got it 42 meters to the hole.

Q. A good up and down?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Yeah, an up and down, hit a chip shot with a sand wedge and a two meter putt.

Q. Are you enjoying this wonderful run of form? Do you fear it might end sometime or that you can go forward at the moment?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I feel confident with it. I feel good with myself. You know, when I am on the golf course, I'm playing, enjoying myself, and there are more important things than playing golf.

Q. Do you feel as good now as you did five years ago?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Yeah, I feel very similar to a few years ago.

Q. Why?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Why? I am the same person. (Laughs).

Q. Why are you playing so well this year? What have you done this year?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: No, I'm playing very well. It's the same comment, every time somebody asks me, I say the same thing: You hit a bad shot, what? You hit a good shot, what? It's playing golf; enjoy yourself. Try to focus on the golf course, visualize the shot, play the shot the way you see it. And if you make it right, fine; and if you don't, that's fine. It's history.

Q. Have you always had this attitude?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: When I play well, yes.

But sometimes, you make a bad score, and sometimes as a professional, you go on to the driving range, you see lots of people, 150 players here, all of them today. But sometimes, you forget to enjoy yourself, visualize the shot and play the shot like the way you see it in your mind. You go over there and, 7 iron, straight, like the thing has to happen because you hit it. Sometimes you need to it's no explanation, not just get the club and hit the ball. High, low, hole the putts and keep going with that, you know. Get out of the stress of where the ball is going to go.

Q. You no longer have the stress of where the ball is going to go?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Sometimes when you don't have a good score you cannot forget to hit the ball from one day to another, no. Sometimes you put some impurities that should not be there. You have to enjoy yourself on the golf course and play the way you visualize the shot. When you make it more important, the score, then it's tough.

Q. They are saying that Vijay Singh is the best in the world because of his current run of form. Your tournaments haven't been quite as big as his, you're only 34th in the world. Do you consider that you are much higher on your performance at the moment?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Well, the World Rankings is based on two years. I get points now, I am 34th, I think, but I have three wins this year. I don't know how many people have three victories this year. Anyway, I'm happy where I am.

Q. What is your ambition? Would you like to be world No. 1?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: No, my mission is to enjoy myself every time. Of course, the long term target, one of these is why not try to win the Order of Merit, why not try to be Top 10 in the World Ranking. You focus, but you cannot live with this pressure. That thing happens when you enjoy the moment you live.

Q. But do you think that you're better than No. 34, the way you're playing at the moment?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I am the best in the world, you know. (Laughter.) You know what, I tell myself (kissing hand to forehead). What do you want me to say?

Q. You didn't even agree that you were in the Ryder Cup a couple of weeks ago.

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Lots of things can happen from here to the Ryder Cup. The way I play now, I think I am in the Ryder Cup, but Ryder Cup is not till September, and the more important thing now is this tournament this week, as was the other one then and this week. But it's not more important now than the Ryder Cup now because it's not happening.

Tomorrow, I drop on my ankle, I cannot play in the Ryder Cup. Let's enjoy now, you know.

Q. Looking ahead beyond the Ryder Cup, is the Volvo Order of Merit something that you feel that you can win this year and is it a big ambition?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Yeah, this is another long target.

Q. You haven't broke your ankle?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Of course. But, the only thing to win the Order of Merit is playing well the moment you are playing. Because I always make it very important, the moment that you live. The other one is not happened yet. It does not exist.

Q. Have you always had this attitude, enjoy yourself?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Yeah. Well, I try to. I try to. But there are sometimes, sometimes you forget the basics, and when you forget the basics, nobody remind you, you look at yourself, you remind yourself of these things.

Q. Were there times when you were playing more in America that you forgot those basics?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Probably. I enjoy playing in America. I play some golf there, and then I start struggling, you know, you want to hit it longer, you want to hit it higher, longer and you forget the basics. And then you get on the circle that you never see yourself, you know. That's it.

Q. You mean the basics of golf or the basics of life and enjoying yourself?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: The basics of life, golf is just...

Q. Do many people kid you about your hair?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Not now. (Laughter.)

Q. But since you tied it back, they don't say anything?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: No, but before it was a little shorter and people say to me, "Hey, what you do to your hair?" Lots of jokes. I said, well, you see all the other people, they start to grow hair, the colors, you know. People start to wear nice funny shoes also.

Q. Copying you?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Yeah, people talking too much, and then you see.

Q. Will you chop it all off if you win Order of Merit?

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: What? What? No, my goodness. No way.

MARIA ACACIA: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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