Miguel Angel Jiménez has confirmed he will compete at the upcoming US$2.5 million Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which will be held at Doha Golf Club from 22-25 January.
The record-breaking Spaniard played in the inaugural Qatar Masters in 1998, also playing in 1999, 2003 and 2004. He then competed in every edition since Commercial Bank began its title sponsorship in 2006, only to miss last year’s tournament due to a broken leg suffered in a skiing accident.
Jiménez, who celebrated his 50th birthday on Sunday, is now looking ahead to competing in the tournament for a 12th time in total and arrives in winning form after successfully defending his title at last month’s Hong Kong Open, where he broke his own record as The European Tour’s oldest winner.
“I’m excited about competing at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters again as I’ve competed there many times, including at the very first tournament in 1998, and have always enjoyed the atmosphere at the Doha Golf Club,” said Jiménez, who tied for fifth in 2009.
“I had to miss out last year because I broke my leg and missed the first few months of the year, but I played well after I came back and was very proud to break my own record as The European Tour’s oldest winner in Hong Kong in December. My career shows that life begins at 40, but maybe it can begin again for me at 50!”
The Spaniard’s victory in Hong Kong marked his 20th European Tour title – he remains 11th on the all-time list – and was the latest chapter in an astonishing career. He has competed in four Ryder Cups, winning in 2004 and 2010, and was one of José María Olazábal’s vice-captains in the 2012 ‘Miracle at Medinah’.
Jiménez played his first full season on The European Tour in 1989, winning his first title in 1992 when he was 28. Improving with age, Jiménez has won 13 of his 20 European Tour titles since turning 40 and his larger-than-life personality has made him one of golf’s most popular players, easily distinguished by his ponytail and love of cigars.
Four months after breaking his leg, Jiménez returned to action in April last year and soon rediscovered his form, finishing fourth at both May’s BMW PGA Championship in England and August’s WGC - Bridgestone Invitational in the USA.
In September he finished fifth at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland and lost a playoff at the KLM Open in the Netherlands before saving his best for his last event of the year, winning the Hong Kong Open for a fourth time and finishing the year as World No. 37.
Hassan Al Nuaimi, President of the Qatar Golf Association, said: “Miguel Angel Jiménez is one of the world’s most popular and recognisable golfers, and we’re delighted that he will be returning to compete at Doha Golf Club for the 17th Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
“Miguel has been a regular supporter of the tournament since it began in 1998 and even though he had to miss last year, he was soon back to his best and showed he’s still a great champion by breaking his own record as The European Tour’s oldest winner last month. He always attracts a big following, puts a smile on people’s faces and is a great addition to the field, so all of us would like to wish him a happy 50th birthday!”
The 2014 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters runs from Wednesday 22 January to Saturday 25 January. Evening entertainment will begin from 6pm on Thursday and Friday. Both single-day (Thursday / Friday) and season tickets include entry to the concerts, which include American performers Divas of Soul on Thursday and Scottish band Texas on Friday.
Season tickets provide exceptional value, offering access to all four days of golf action, the public village and all evening entertainment for just QAR325, costing more than 40% less than four single-day tickets.
Single-day and season tickets for the 2014 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters are available to purchase online here and in-store from Virgin Megastore shops in Villagio Mall and Landmark Mall, Doha, as well as Doha Golf Club