An Interview with Miguel Angel Jimenez

The fans favourite talks on why they call him, 'The Mechanic', his incredible two wins this season, starting golf as a teenager and whether he will get rid of that trademark ponytail, or not ...

Who first called you 'The Mechanic' and why?
The nickname first started at the 1999 Ryder Cup, I believe. I cannot remember exactly who in the team first used it. Why? Again I am not certain, but I believe it was because they knew I had once worked in a garage!

Two wins this year, fourth in the Spanish Open and eighth in the Masters. What have you done differently to make for such a successful season?
There is nothing specific I have been working on that has made the difference. I am still doing the same things I always have but the combination of everything sometimes comes together, plus I am swinging really well at the moment.

You never even picked up a golf club till you were in your teens Does being a late starter have its advantages?
I started to caddie at 14-years-old at a local golf club and there I was able to learn to swing the club, then at 15 I began playing. No, there are certainly no advantages to being a late starter. The earlier the better.

Do you smoke cigars at home as well as on the course?
Yes, I smoke my cigars at home - they are a part of my life and relaxation! I do smoke on the golf course but only during practice and never during a tournament, only at the end of a round!

You enjoyed lifting the BMW trophy. Did you go out in London for a few glasses of Rioja afterwards?
Winning the BMW PGA Championship was an amazing experience for me and to have won all three of the BMW sponsored tournaments on the European Tour was also special. By the time I had done all the photos and press stuff and had a drink with the Sponsors, I was really exhausted. My wife and I had a quiet dinner in the hotel but I was able to celebrate with the Spanish golfers on the Monday in Wales.

We could see that your touch was superb that day and many were willing you on to win the event. Did you feel confident on the final day to take the trophy?
I had been hitting the ball really well all week and every part of my game was working well, plus I had finished well in the tournament for the last two years so I felt very familiar and confident on the course. I knew that being four shots behind I still had a good chance to win as long as I concentrated and just played my game.

Do you like playing golf in the UK and which is your favourite course?
I love playing golf in the UK because the spectators are the most knowledgeable in the world and have the most respect for the players on the course. There are some really great courses in the UK but probably by favourites are Carnoustie and Royal Birkdale.

Royal Birkdale was difficult for you as it was many others at The Open so let us swiftly move on to the Ryder Cup. Have you played Valhalla and does it suit your game?
Yes, I have played Valhalla twice in the US PGA Championship. It is a very nice typical parkland golf course, I like it very much and I just hope it will suit my game this year!

Who would you most like to partner for the Ryder Cup?
I don't want to single anyone out as I am really happy to partner anyone in the Ryder Cup team and I think my personality and character will suit any of the guys.


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