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July 18, 2013

Miguel Angel Jimenez


MIKE WOODCOCK: Welcome, Miguel. Congratulations, that's a fantastic start today with a 3-under par, 68. You must be very pleased to get your week off to a good start.
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Yeah, of course. I start with under par at The Open, which is nice. I always say the same thing - 1-under par is good. More under par, more good. At the moment 3-under par is nice. Sad at the end because don't make any birdies on the back nine with two bogeys. I missed the birdie on the 17th, but finish off the first nine holes finish 5-under on the first nine is like nice. I always say the same thing. I feel happy. Feel comfortable, hitting well the ball and the golf course is great conditions, fast and hard, windy conditions not as how we like -- as you can see here at the Open, but it's nice. It's pretty fair.

Q. You're used to making fast starts here the last few years. It was Turnberry you were the first-round leader and a couple of years ago you were one off the lead. What do you attribute that to?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I don't know. The first thing you have to do is hit it well. I'm hitting well. I feel comfortable and that's the main thing. If you feel comfortable with yourself and hitting well, feel happy with the golf course, hole some putts. It's a combination of everything, you know. But the main thing is hitting well and keep the rhythm, that's the main thing.

Q. It's not that long ago that you broke your leg. Can you talk us through what happened there. And did you ever feel right at that time your career might be finished when you did that initially?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I never think if my career is finished or not. I feel pissed off. How at 49 years old, you're going to break your leg? If you breaking your leg at 30 years old, you could say, okay, I'm going to have a sabbatic year, but at 49 you don't want to spend any sabbatic day (laughter). That's what happened. I been a skier, enjoy very much skiing with my girlfriend, my son, skiing there. And one of the distractions you have, you cannot distract for anything because the bull can take you. It cost me breaking my leg. When I fall down I knew I broke it. And the only thing is it's tough so many months without hitting. Just knowing the competition is around there, because I don't see any competition, just because I don't want to feel anymore, you know, and that's it.

Q. Have you given up skiing? Is your skiing career finished?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Do you give up anything you enjoy yourself? (Laughter).

Q. 25 years since Seve was the last Spaniard to win The Open Championship, and yet two of you, Rafael and yourself at the top of the leaderboard. What would it mean for a Spaniard, and especially yourself, to win it in Seve's memory 25 years on?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Well, 25 years, me, also on the Tour there at that moment, 1989. Seve last time he won The Open was in '88, in Lytham Saint Annes, right? Something like that. It would be great, if one of the Spanish win the tournament, especially if myself, even better. But you never know what's going to happen. Three more rounds to go. The only thing you have to do is to enjoy yourself. Don't think about to win or not to win. There are the things that happens through the week, it's coming up. The more important thing is enjoy yourself and be happy on the golf course, be happy with what you're doing. And that's it. Simple. Make it as simple as possible.

Q. With respect you're perhaps at an age now where it seems less likely to win a Major. In a sense does that make it easier because you can be laid back and go out there and relax with all the experience that you have of Major golf?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: No, well, I didn't win a Major. Obviously I would love to have a Major in my career. I would love to have one of these. I don't know how much long for me on the Tour. I'm 49, I don't know. I will keep competing here, as far I can be competitive with all the young people. But I would love to have a Major. If I don't have a Major in my career, it don't mean you're not a good player, simply it's a nice plus. And I keep doing, competing and a lot of motivation this week to do my best to win a Major.

Q. With 14 months away from a Ryder Cup in Scotland, what would it mean to you to make the team again after missing out the last time?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow (laughing). Next year I would love to play, of course. That would be the first 50-year-old to play the Ryder Cup. But at the moment I don't think about it. I just think about The Open. But if I get my opportunity and my chance to play, I would love to play, of course. Hey you, 25 years old, what are you doing? Come on, play some golf.

Q. Are these the hardest, fastest conditions you've played in all the time you've played in The Open or is Hoylake --
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Hey, I didn't forget how was the second shot I hit in the fairway on hole No. 1 (laughing) to my memory. No, I don't know. I really don't know what is the toughest condition I play in The Open, I don't remember.

Q. Hoylake?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Hoylake was very fast and hard, yeah.

Q. Is this similar?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: The condition, the golf course conditions, yes. I think the hardest probably we find. I don't know if Royal Saint Georges also or -- how do you keep so many things in your head? I don't know who I played with today (laughter).
MIKE WOODCOCK: Thank you very much for coming in and best of luck this week.

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