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July 19, 2013

Miguel Angel Jimenez


MIKE WOODCOCK: Miguel, a good round of golf today. That leaves you at the clubhouse leader at 3-under par. How do you feel about your position going into the third round.

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: It's much better to feel when you were on the top of the leaderboard than when you were somewhere else on the leaderboard, no? Obviously it's much nice, no? Been playing very well. Feeling solid and consistent on the golf course. This condition is tough. The golf course is very hard. Some of the positions, the pin positions, they are very tough. And then of course even when you play well, you're going to miss some greens, you're going to miss some fairways. But the game at the moment is consistent all parts of the game. I made some recoveries. Only two birdies, made two bogeys. As I said before, sometimes it's not about to make to many birdies, it's about not to make bogeys. To play the golf course in this condition, that's one of the keys.

Q. How are you leading The Open at 49 years old?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Why? I have not the right to do it? Only the young people can do it (laughter)?

Q. Yes.
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Why? I'm fine. We keep playing golf and still get myself on the golf course, and that's the secret. Enjoy yourself what you do in life. That's what I'm doing.

Q. As one of the keys to being able to enjoy yourself, because you look so relaxed -- there's other people who seem to have a lot going on in their heads, but you seem to just wander through it.
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I feel relaxed. And I tell you, I love what I'm doing. I play golf. I do this for a living. And I've keep doing the same thing for 25 years. Probably sometime you say if I think maybe it's too many years, but you're wrong. It's the only thing I like to do in my life. And then I enjoy myself. I keep elastic and flexible. I'm still training and walking and still able to shoot low and still here. Tomorrow if I cannot shoot low, then I will not be here, you don't worry. I wouldn't waste my time moving around the world kicking my ass (laughter).

Q. Do you ever feel pressure?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Of course I feel pressure.

Q. What makes you feel pressure?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Pressure, hey, anything that is important to you is going to make you feel pressure. And to me golf is very important. Major is more than important. And I've been there. Being on top of this Major field makes you feel a lot of pressure. That's what I'd like to feel on the golf course. I like to feel the pressure. As far as you're controlling and you can handle that, it's no problem. And on the other hand, you can be on the other side and try to overpressure yourself, and then you go the other effect. But I like to feel the pressure and I feel comfortable.

Q. How nice is it to have one of your younger players, Rafael, out there with the 49 year old? Is it nice to have a younger Spaniard out there competing alongside you?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: He's a great player. Being several times already on the Tour and he's already got a lot of experience. And the only thing I would like is to have 20 years younger, to be with him, no? (Laughing) at the same age. No, but it's nice to see him. It's nice to see that there's a Spanish golfers coming up, keep winning tournaments and show up on the Majors, it's nice.

Q. The second question, it's very dry out there, have The R&A asked you to be careful with those cigars of yours?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Ha! I didn't smoke on the golf course. When I'm competing, it's no problem. I would like to, sometimes, because, hey, it's tough there, no? But either way, it's the same for the people. I have to say the golf course is in very good shape, but to me it's extremely hard. It's extremely hard. And with the wind, some pin positions, the ball cannot stay, it's tough. It's very good golf course, great good condition, but little bit too hard to me.

Q. Do you go to the physio during the week?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Yeah, I had to go every morning. You know, I have my tennis elbow. I have to do that, and I have to stretch and I have to move early my body.

Q. For how long? How many minutes?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Half an hour. Don't need more to warm up. As you see, I don't want to start lifting weights now.

Q. Why?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: You see me like a cultural slave or what?

Q. Congratulations on the start. How much fun are you having doing this, considering the stress and the conditions and all of that? Is it still fun for you?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Is that only thing you say, that it is fun? The fun does not mean you have biggest smile and start laughing all day. Fun is when you enjoy what you're doing. I play golf and I enjoy it. And it's fun to me, no? Sometimes you can see me serious because of a situation, but having fun don't mean that you are falling on the ground and start laughing. Having fun is doing what you like to do in your life. And I do it. That is fun, you know.

Q. A lot more fun seeing your name at the top of the leaderboard, too?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Then you put the smile on the face (laughter).

Q. Do you have any aftereffect from breaking your leg? Did that heal completely? Are you fine from that?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I'm fine from that. The only thing is recovery, the quadriceps muscle is still 80 percent. It's not a hundred percent yet. But I feel very nice.

Q. It did not affect your golf?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Today on the 10th hole, when I'm the bunker on the left, with one foot on the bunker, it looked like, wow. My leg is over here, it is not going to be problem. I survive, it's fine.

Q. Are you planning to play the Champions Tour?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Well, next year when coming, we'll see. I'll decide next year. At the moment I'm going to keep playing here in the European Tour and probably will show up for the Majors. But I don't know. Depends how I feel and how things are going. I would like to say some tournaments, for sure.

Q. How good of a skier are you? What do you ski? Black Diamonds? Intermediate?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Yeah, yeah, I can go slowly in the black one. I can be handicap 10, (laughter). More or less. Handicap 10?

Q. Handicap 10? Did do you play tennis? Is that how you got tennis elbow?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: No, this is because I've been without practice and play for a few months, because my broken leg. And when I start practice the tendons irritated and inflamed.

Q. You talk about your love of golf and what you've been doing all these years. If you were not a golfer, what would you have been doing all these years for a living?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I don't know. Probably I would like to be a pilot.

Q. A pilot?

Q. Can I ask, are you the kind of guy going into the rest of the tournament who is going to put pressure on himself to win the tournament? Or are you just happy to keep playing the way you're playing, take it a hole at a time?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I don't have any pressure, you know. No, I don't want to put myself anyhow. You have to do the same things that you do every day. You don't need to change anything. Just don't think about it. As soon as I finish here and I leave the golf course, I'm just going to stay with my girlfriend, with my sons, and we're going to have a dinner, like I do every day. Don't need to do anything special. I'm leading, now I have to go to bed at ten o'clock, bullshit (laughter).

Q. What time will you go to bed?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: When I feel like it. And especially after I smoke my cigar.

Q. Of all the Majors is the British Open the one that gives you the best chance because the golf course plays fast? I know it's very hard, but does it help you, because you're not one of the long hitters anymore? Is it your best chance?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: No, not one of the long hitters, not anymore. And not before, also (laughter). But The Open, you know, the way they prepare the golf course is not about to get out driver, hitting over 300. I wish I stand behind the hole and putting. It's something more. You need to play with the ball. You need to hit hook, slice, that's the game of golf. It's two things, one is playing golf, and one is hitting. On the other hand there is a lot of players in the world that hit very far and play very well, that's because they're here. You can see here all the field. People that are on Tour are very good players. In this links course you need to take a lot of patience, because they are very fast fairways, very fast greens. You have to think where you have to put the ball, what you have to with everything, and to keep the ball in play. And you need to use a lot of the skill.

Q. If you were to win, you'd be the oldest man ever to win a Major. What would that mean to you?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: It would be very nice. I've been 25 years on the Tour, 19 victories on the Tour, and I would love to have a Major on my career, of course. Why not this one? I would love it. It's amazing, you know.

Q. What would it mean to win a Major, and you've been living the way you have, and all these guys are in the gym for hours at a time? Does it say, hey, you should live life to the fullest?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: Hey, you've need to make your life. What's the problem? (Laughing).

Q. Could you just talk to us a little bit about pressure. Are you saying that pressure doesn't exist? That it's an artificial thing?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: The pressure always exists. The pressure is there. When you are there, you feel the pressure because you are on top of the leaderboard. Maybe you have pressure, when you're making your card. Maybe you make pressure because you're pressuring yourself because you are doing something; you want to make pars, you want to make birdies. You need to feel that pressure, to feel intense, to feel competitive. If you're not pressure, you don't care, you're not going to be here.

Q. It's your way of dealing with pressure?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I deal with the pressure. The only thing you have to do is not go against yourself. Just positive, give yourself of time, belief, how all the things that are going to make you go forward with everything.

Q. And going down the stretch come Sunday afternoon, inevitable pressure, will you feel it?
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ: I don't know what's going to happen Sunday afternoon. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. I'm going to go now, I'm going to hit some balls. My coach is waiting there. And I'm going to have a nice cigar. And when tomorrow is coming, when the sun is coming, I will deal with that thing. Of course I would like to feel the pressure. If I don't feel the pressure maybe because I am -- I don't know -- if I am there, of course, more higher on the leaderboard the more pressure going to have. It's better than nothing else.

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