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Jiménez and Drysdale set for landmark appearances

Jiménez and Drysdale set for landmark appearances

Miguel Ángel Jiménez has described his impending record 707th European Tour appearance at the Hero Open as “amazing”.

Miguel Angel Jimenez

The 56-year-old Spaniard, who has claimed 21 European Tour titles to date, drew level with Sam Torrance for the most appearances at Close House last week.

However, Jiménez played down his chances of extending the record much further. 

“It’s amazing,” he said. “You never think when you start what you are going to achieve.

“With the years going by I hold some different records, and now this one that Sam Torrance still holds this morning, I tied with him last week. 

“It’s been 32 years moving around the world playing on different Tours. Getting to this point and looking back it’s amazing. So many players in these 32 years. Playing with Seve (Ballesteros) - our mentor – Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger, Phil Mickelson. All different generations. Now with the new ones coming up.

“Over these 32 years it has been amazing, not only for the 707 tournaments I will reach this week. You never think about how many tournaments you will play in your life. 

“I knew in the last couple of years - the way I am playing and feeling on the golf course – that this would be the next target, and here we are.

“Looking back, having reflections, I’ve had some nice experiences. I had my first victory in 1992 at the Piaget Open in Belgium. Being Assistant Captain to Seve in 1997 in Valderrama before I played my first Ryder Cup in 1999. Looking back, so many great things: winning four times in Hong Kong, winning at Wentworth in 2008, the flagship tournament of the European Tour. The first Spaniard to win what was then the Volvo Masters at Montecastillo. A beautiful life. 

“I don’t know if I want to extend the record. I will play next week and play Valderrama when I come back in a few weeks’ time. After next week I will go to America to play a couple of events and then back to Valderrama, but I don’t have a goal to add more tournaments. The target was to get the record and whatever tournaments are coming up on top of this will be nice.”

Jiménez has finished tied 16th, tied eighth and tied 38th on his three European Tour outings this season and is confident he can be a force again at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club.

“It is a golf course that I know already,” he added. “We played here several times and it is a golf course that you need to move the ball from the tee. 

“Some of the younger guys will hit it further and have that advantage like any other golf course but you need to be very precise from the tee, you need to play fade and draw, and there are big greens, but I back myself here.” 

Another player making a milestone appearance this week is Scotland's David Drysdale, who is set to play his 500th European Tour event.

“I am very proud,” Drysdale said. “It has been 20 years of travelling the world and playing golf. It is not something you set out to achieve when you start playing professionally, to play 500 events on the European Tour, but it is a fantastic achievement and I hope for many more.”

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