Miguel Angel Jimenez could face Ryder Cup dilemma after Hong Kong win, says Jamie Spence
Last Updated: 18/11/12 5:06pm
Miguel Angel Jimenez could end up with a Ryder Cup dilemma if he builds on his third Hong Kong Open victory, says Jamie Spence.
At 48 years and 318 days, Jimenez became the oldest European Tour winner as his final round five-under-par 65 proved enough to edge out Michael Campbell.
The Spaniard's 19th Tour victory comes less than two months after he helped inspire Europe to a famous Ryder Cup victory over the United States at Medinah in his role as one of Jose Maria Olazabal's vice-captains.
Spence told Sky Sports that Jimenez might have a tricky choice to make in the near future if his golf game remains in good shape.
"He's going to have to think about the Ryder Cup soon because people are going to be talking about Ryder Cup captaincy soon and I'm sure his name will be in the frame," said Spence.
"But I'm sure it's going to be a little bit of a dilemma for him because I imagine he will still want to play. He's said he fancies winning a few more events so he's got to consider himself a possible Ryder Cup player at Gleneagles in 2014.
"If he gets on the right golf course he can compete. If he's playing the long bomber type courses, I think he's going to struggle. But if he picks the right courses and he hits form like he did this week, he can win again."
Jimenez began the final round tied for the lead with Campbell, but while the New Zealander struggled to stay in contention and finished eighth after a 72, the eventual winner barely put a foot wrong to finish on a 15-under total of 265.
"His last bogey was in the first round on his last hole, so he's had no bogeys for three rounds of golf," reflected Spence. "This course is really, really tricky but he played fantastically well today. He never missed a shot off the tee and his iron play was exceptional.
"He gets better and better with age; this is his 19th Tour victory, which is pretty incredible. He's very flexible - I think he does quite a bit of yoga to keep himself supple. You have to do something and I think the red wine probably chills him out as well!
"He enjoys life, he enjoys golf and he's been a fantastic player for quite some time now. He's got heart in spades - he's got the heart of a lion. He's learnt off the great man, Seve [Ballesteros].
"He came up the hard way - he was a caddie at his local club and used to hit balls around the back. But he appreciates what he's got."