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An Interview with: MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ
Welcome back to The Ryder Cup. Thoughts on the golf course that you've seen so far, and on being back amongst some friendly faces?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Yeah, well, it's my third time in The Ryder Cup and I'm very pleased to play. I've really enjoyed the week so far. The golf course is in superb condition. It looks a little bit from last time I played here in 2000 at the PGA, and some changes on some greens and some tees. But the golf course looks really in very good condition, super condition, and I think it's a great test for this event.
Q. Padraig was saying that steady play is important in The Ryder Cup competition. There seems to be a certain calm among the European Team and a certain panic, or certainly urgency on the U.S. Team; can that play to your advantage?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Well, Padraig is right in what he said. You need to be consistent and you need to be calm on The Ryder Cup.
I don't understand the second part of the question.
Q. Your team seems calm. You've won three in a row. There's a certain confidence level and there seems to be a certain urgency on the U.S. Team.
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Well, probably what you see now, the last few Ryder Cups we won, and now we have to play this one, you know, and of course we are playing well on our side and we are feeling good. Probably that's a big advantage what you say probably, but you never know what's going to happen. The tournament has not started yet and we'll have to see what happens on Friday. We'll have to stay calm and focused because this one is a different one than the other ones, you know.
I believe the players that are playing here, they also want to fight. One thing you know for sure, it's going to be a very nice and very interesting contest.
Q. The Spanish contribution to The Ryder Cup it was very important in the past always. How do you feel you and Sergio, how do you feel on the team?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Well, we played this morning and we played a fourball, and we are playing good golf. We won the match, also. But we had fun.
I think we can still make a contribution for the team.
Q. This year, Europe looks like it has more possibilities to win, but how do you feel and what is Nick saying in the team room, more confidence?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: The possibilities to win this I think is half and half now because still we haven't started playing yet. Everything starts on Friday, and in the papers, people say we are favorites, but you never know what's going to happen when you play.
You have to go in there and like we say, keep calm and keep focused and concentrate and enjoy and that's the only thing that you can do and everything happens. We cannot go down the golf course and see if you are going to win. The game is you go there and you play your game and do your best. That's the only thing we can do.
Q. You obviously mentioned Sergio when you played with him this morning, and he's obviously been frustrated in majors, but very dominant in this setting, in this event. Why do you think the team format in The Ryder Cup suits Sergio so well?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Well, I don't say that it suits Sergio. I think he's playing very well. He's proven, he's been in all of the majors, as you say, with chances to win.
One thing is true, that Sergio loves The Ryder Cup. He's turning on, himself, and he loves these matches.
Q. Is there something about his game that sort of matches up with a team format?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Well, Sergio's game is matched with any kind of format. You know, the way he plays, he hits it long, he hits straight, and he's a nice character. He's always jovial and nice on the golf course and that is nice on the golf course. That keeps the spirit of the game and of the team high, and he's a very, very good contribution for the team, because this charge is very important I think. It's good.
Q. You're the senior member of The European Team. We've talked about, you look fantastic. We've talked about the lack of Montgomerie and the lack of Darren Clarke. Do you feel extra responsibility to be the father figure and act as a sort of mentor to the younger players?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Of course, I am the granddad of the team. But they know how to play golf, of course. Some of them, they are rookies, too, and they are expecting to play and be part of The Ryder Cup, and they are great players. They know what to do there on the golf course.
Of course, if I can be of help to anyone, of course, I will be able to help with anything. But the players have enough experience on the game, probably not on The Ryder Cup, but that's something that they will find here this week.
Q. I think I remember in your first Ryder Cup, you said that all you wanted in the team room was a good espresso machine. Have you got a good espresso machine here?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: We've got a espresso machine, but it is not good (laughter). They bring the espresso from down up, and also brought my red wine down, Rioja, and my cigars, of course, yes.
Q. José Maria Olazábal has been in that position you have been in at Valderrama. He is playing in a position this time that you have been in in Valderrama. Did you give him any advice?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Sergio has played a few Ryder Cups already and doesn't need any advice on anything --
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Oh, okay, my head is on the other side, sorry.
He's doing a great thing over there, all of the things he is doing, and with Nick, he has done a great job. He's been with us all day on the golf course and looking for what we need and looking at our game and telling us the position, the situation of how we should practice on shots and things, because Ollie, he knows very well about the game, you know. Always his recommendations are very good when we're practicing.
When the tournament starts, only Nick is allowed to give advice to the players, but on the practice, they both give advice to us.
KELLY ELBIN: Miguel, what will Europe have to do well to win The Ryder Cup this year?
MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ: Well, what we need to do is keep focused, and concentration, every player in his match. That's the most important thing. The rest happens.
KELLY ELBIN: Miguel Angel Jiménez, thank you very much.
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