Jiménez celebrates his fourth place finish in the Masters. :: AFP
Miguel Ángel Jiménez recorded his best ever result in The Masters last weekend as he came in fourth place in Augusta finishing four under par. The tournament was won by American Bubba Watson, who was also victorious in the 2012 edition, with a score of eight under par.
“It is the closest I have come to seeing myself win a Major Championship. Finishing fourth has left me feeling disappointed. If someone gave you the option of coming fourth in every tournament for the rest of your career you would say yes, but when you are so close to victory it is a difficult position,” said the golfer moments after completing his final round.
This was the veteran’s best performance in the Augusta Masters (in 2008 he came in eighth place), but it was not his best result in a Major. He finished second in the 2000 US Open and third in the 2001 British Open.
“I have 20 wins under my belt in the European Tour but what I would like most is to finally win a Major. I don’t know what it would mean to win one, but I would love to experience the feeling,” said Jiménez.
The result is particularly impressive considering the broken leg he sustained while skiing in the Sierra Nevada 15 months ago. The 50-year-old came back stronger than ever and retained his Hong Kong Open title in December 2013, making him the oldest winner in the history of the European Tour.
“After the fall and being operated on nobody believed I would recover, including myself. But when I saw that it didn’t hurt and with some stubbornness I realised it was only a question of hard work. This is no problem for me. I am satisfied to be here in this situation. Hopefully it will be a model for others who find themselves in with difficulties so they can realise there is a way out,” revealed the Malaga golfer.
Analysing the result at Augusta, Jiménez regrets his poor performance in the second round: “The explanation is the score of 76 on the Friday.” There was a drastic improvement during the third round as he walked away with the lowest score of the day of 66 (-6) to put him into fifth place. A final round score of 71 left him on fourth: “I know I have to be satisfied and happy with what I have achieved.”
The result means Jiménez has ensured qualification to the 2015 Masters and he has now climbed eight places up the World Rankings to 32.
From next week he will be competing to gain a place in his fifth Ryder Cup that will take place between 26th and 28th September in Gleneagles. If he is selected he will break the record set by Ted Ray in 1927 for being the oldest European player to compete in the Cup.