Whilst Miguel Angel Jiménez is – and indeed will always remain – the proudest of Spaniards, having recently moved to Vienna following his marriage to Austrian wife Susanne, there is something of a homecoming feel to his appearance in this week’s Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity.
The pair met at the tournament three years ago and tied the knot last month in a ceremony at the Golf Academy Miguel Angel Jiménez in Torremolinos, Spain.
Shortly after the ceremony, they relocated to the Austrian capital and so are staying at home this week, when Jimenez will go in search of his 22nd European Tour title.
Ahead of his sixth appearance in the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity, Jiménez and Susanne – a keen golfer with a handicap of nine – played together in the Wednesday Pro-Am at Diamond Country Club, in Atzenbrugg, which is a member of the European Tour Destinations network.
And whilst they were unable to take home the first prize, Jiménez thoroughly enjoyed the curtain-raiser to this week’s €1 million event.
He said: “The weather was great and we had a lot of fun today. I love playing with my wife – she’s a keen player and her handicap is nine, so she knows what to do on the course. It was very nice and relaxed and everyone enjoyed themselves. I hit the ball very nicely and I’m happy with my game, so hopefully I can take that into the tournament and play well.
“The course is looking in very good condition, and it tests every part of your game. You need to drive the ball well, because some of the holes are long and some of the fairways are quite narrow. So you need to hit it straight, and then some of the approach shots to the greens are also quite tricky, which puts pressure on your short game. So it’s a very good course, I like it.”
Since winning his 21st European Tour title in the Open de España last month, Jimenez has suffered a slight dip in form, following up a tied 35th finish in the BMW PGA Championship with a joint 70th finish in last week’s Nordea Masters.
But the Spaniard boasts an excellent record in the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity – he is yet to finish outside the top 20 in five previous appearances in the tournament – and so is confident of consigning the last fortnight to history.
He said: “You’re always looking for improvement as a golfer, because you always want to make the most of the opportunity every time you tee up. That’s not always possible, but it’s always the aim. I was disappointed with how I played at the weekend in Sweden, especially my short game.
“But I feel very comfortable here this week, and it’s nice to stay at home. After this I will play in the US Open, so this week is good practice for Pinehurst. These next two weeks are very important to me, so hopefully I can do well.”
Jiménez has been paired in the first two rounds with local hero Bernd Wiesberger and five-time European Tour champion Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland.
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