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Tuesday, 03 May 2011
Miguel Angel Jimenez  (Getty Images)
Miguel Angel Jimenez (Getty Images)

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After finishing second to World Number One Lee Westwood in Korea last week, Miguel Angel Jiménez will, along with defending champion Alvaro Quiros, lead the home charge at this week’s Open de España.

As The European Tour returns to its home continent to begin a hugely exciting summer season, Jiménez and Quiros will be among the star attractions at the outstanding Real Club de Golf El Prat, alongside Europe’s last and next Ryder Captains Colin Montgomerie and José Maria Olazábal, as well as teenager Matteo Manassero.

Jiménez came within one stroke of winning his 19th European Tour title at the Ballantine’s Championship but lost out to the man who is currently the best player on the planet.

The Spaniard, however, will head to the outstanding Real Club de Golf El Prat on the outskirts of Barcelona in brilliant form hoping to win his national Open championship for the first time in his outstanding career.

Aged 47, Jiménez continues to amaze the world of golf with his wonderful attitude and approach to the game, and indeed life in general.

“I've been in good form, and hopefully this week is a little bit better for me and I have a chance to get the Spanish Open title,” said Jiménez.

“I've never won the Spanish Open and it would mean so much me to able to win that one. That’s the one I would love to win the most – and a Major, of course.

“I played very well in Korea. I was happy for Lee last week but hope this is my week.”

Quiros will be hoping that the Open de España is his week once again. The big-hitting, big-smiling Spaniard achieved one of his lifelong ambitions when he edged out Englishman James Morrison in Seville last year and will be looking for the same result in Barcelona this week.

The 26 year old, already a winner this year after his victory at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, is looking to become the first man since Max Faulkner in 1953 to successfully defend the Open de España.

“Winning my own national Open last year was one the most important things in my life for sure," he said.

"To be the winner of your Open is something really, really great – along with The Ryder Cup and the World Cup they are the best three biggest things in golf for me."

The course will be played over the new 7,296-yard par 72 El Prat course, whicyh was designed by Greg Norman and opened in 2004. It was the first course designed by the Australian in continental Europe.

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