Miguel Angel Jiménez has been named The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for November in recognition of his record-breaking victory in the UBS Hong Kong Open.
The Spaniard made it a Hong Kong hat-trick with his one stroke win over Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson Hed, adding to the titles he won at Fanling in 2005 and 2008, and in doing so became the oldest winner in European Tour history at 48 years and 318 days, beating the previous record held by Irishman Des Smyth who was 48 years and 34 days when he won the 2001 Madeira Islands Open.
Jiménez, who receives an engraved alms dish and a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne in acknowledgement of his achievement, produced a superb final round of 65 to seal the victory, his 19th on The European Tour on his 597th appearance.
The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Panel, which comprises members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as commentators from television and radio, faced arguably their toughest decision in the history of the award.
Indeed Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, whose stunning victory in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai completed his coronation as European Number One; Englishman Ian Poulter, who won his second World Golf Championship in style at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China; and Italian Matteo Manassero, who became the first teenager in European Tour history to win three times following his triumph in the Barclays Singapore Open, all earned votes from the panel in a lively debate.
Also recognised were Luke Donald for his triumph in the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan; Martin Kaymer for his win in the Nedbank Golf Challenge; Graeme McDowell for his success in the World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual; and Henrik Stenson for his victory in the SA Open Championship, his first European Tour triumph for five years. But, in the end, it was Jiménez who held sway.
"When you look at the list of candidates for the November award it not only illustrates how hard a decision it was to make, but also just how healthy European Tour golf is at the moment,” said Michael Harris, the editor of Golf Monthly and a member of the nine-strong panel.
“Every single one of them had a legitimate claim but in the end Miguel Angel Jiménez proved just too hard to resist. To win a tournament on The European Tour, given the growing standard out there, is hard enough at the best of times, but to do it at almost 49 years of age is remarkable.
“But Miguel is just that, remarkable. He is an entertainer and has such an infectious love of life and golf that I know a lot of people have been inspired to take up the game just by watching the fun he has on the course. His win in Hong Kong against a high-quality field was fantastic and, as a result, he is a worthy winner of the award for November.”
Jiménez follows Branden Grace (January), Paul Lawrie (February), Rory McIlroy (March and August), Louis Oosthuizen (April), Luke Donald (May), Jamie Donaldson (June), Ernie Els (July), Ian Poulter (September) and Peter Hanson (October) in winning a Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Award this year. All ten will be considered for The 2012 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year Award, which will be announced later this month.