Miguel Ángel Jiménez has lost €2 million as promoter and organiser of the four last Open de Andalucía tournaments – an official event on the European Tour. In the 2012 edition alone, the famous Málaga golfer reported losses of €700,000.
The Churriana-born star was speaking during a meeting with the press at his eponymous golf academy in Torremolinos. He said he had neither made nor lost money on the first two editions but added that, without support from sponsors, he would not be organising another Open de Andalucía. “I can’t do it any more. I can’t squander my whole life, my whole career, when no one else is around to take up the baton.”
Referring to his skiing accident in Sierra Nevada last Christmas, and his convalescence and recovery after a knee operation, he said he expected to be 100 per cent for the PGA Championship at Wentworth from 23 to 26 May.
Jiménez conceded that he still had to work hard to regain muscle strength and be at 100 per to return to competition. “I feel good, and they (the balls) are going fairly straight, even though I’ve lost 10 per cent in distance with the woods. With the irons it remains the same, and as always with the short shots. The problem is that I still don’t feel 100 per cent stable on my right leg, I’m lacking a bit of muscle strength in the quadriceps, and I need to harden the knee muscles a little.”
Jiménez’s forced absence from competition so far this year hasn’t affected his mental state, he stresses. “Psychologically, I’m perfect. I always try to see the bottle half full rather than half empty. Every cloud has a silver lining and, for example, thanks to the injury I’ve been able to unblock several things I couldn’t do before because of lack of time and which are now up and running – such as the (Torremolinos) academy.”
He has lost his position on the world rankings (dropping from 53rd to 83rd over the past four months). “Now I’ve got to start competing and playing well to climb back up again.” He hasn’t set any goal for the end of the season as far as his ranking is concerned. “My objective, from May, when I hope to be 100 per cent, is to go out and try to win, which is the best motivation.”
As for the majors, the now 49-year-old who holds the record as the oldest winner on the European Tour (last November’s Hong Kong Open) is focused on two in particular. “For the US Open, I’m not going to compete in a two-round pre-qualifier; I’m exempt for the British Open; we all know the Masters wasn’t possible; and I’ll try to be among the top 100 (in the world ranking) who qualify for the US PGA Championship.”