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Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain and Europe hits a shot during the first practice day for the 35th Ryder Cup Matches at the Oakland Hills Country
Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain and Europe hits a shot during the first practice day for the 35th Ryder Cup Matches at the Oakland Hills Country

Jiménez Returns to the Fold


September 15, 2004


Europe's most prolific winner Miguel Angel Jimenez is back in the Ryder Cup fold for his second appearance, relishing a return to the ultimate team competition.

Jimenez, winner of four titles on The European Tour International Schedule this year and five within the 12 month Ryder Cup qualifying period, made his debut in 1997 at The Country Club, Brookline, in 1999, two years after serving as Seve Ballesteros's vice-captain at Valderrama.

As the form player this year, there is a strong possibility he may play all five series of matches. And armed with his favourite cigar, Jimenez is ready for action.

"It's a great honour being here," said Jimenez. "It's hard to explain, but to be here, I'm defending Europe in these matches, it's maximo.

"When you play for yourself, sometimes you miss a cut and think, okay, next week is another week. You cannot say that here. You're playing not only for yourself but for the Team. The possibilities and the pressure are higher. Everything is huge. I like the pressure and all the feeling about the Matches. It's what I feel to compete, I love competition, I love the match, the atmosphere, everything."

Who partners Jimenez remains to be seen but Harrington, who he played with in 1999, and his fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia are two potential partnerships.

"I know Sergio well," said Jimenez. "I played with him in one World Cup but it is the Captain's decision as he would make a good pairing with other players also."

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