The reigning Celtic Manor Wales Open champion, Miguel Angel Jiménez has announced that he will return to defend the title he won by four strokes in 2005.
Currently ranked inside the world top 50 and 14th on The European Tour Order of Merit, Jiménez will be seeking to propel himself into the reckoning for a European Ryder Cup berth for The K Club in September.
Jiménez said: “Last year was my first visit to The Celtic Manor Resort. I was very impressed by the wonderful facilities there and loved every minute of the tournament. I knew that the Roman Road course would present a tough challenge so I was delighted to win by four shots having teed off on the final day in second place and dropping a shot at the second.
“This year my aim is to put in another strong challenge on what is a tough golf course. It will be difficult because the tournament will once again attract a high quality field but if I can putt as well as I did last year, then I think I will have a chance”.
The most prolific winner on the European Tour in 2004, Jiménez took the 2005 Celtic Manor Wales Open by storm. After superb rounds of 63 and 67 over the first two days of the tournament, he overcame the slight setback of a one over par round of 70 on Saturday to lay waste to the competition on the Sunday afternoon with an irresistible final round of 62. The 40 foot putt he holed for eagle at the par four 16th underlined the quality of his play and helped him to negotiate the back nine of the Roman Road Course in just 29 strokes.
Jiménez remains one of golf’s most popular characters. His trademark ponytail, coupled with his love of fine cigars, continue to mark him out as one of the Tour’s most popular competitors.
Jon Phelps, Director of The Celtic Manor Wales Open, said: “To welcome back a champion of the stature of Miguel Angel Jiménez is a great privilege. He is without doubt one of the most popular players on The European Tour and his presence will once again add something special to the Celtic Manor Wales Open. I am sure that he will put in a strong challenge for the title