THE irrepressible Miguel Angel Jiménez summoned up the spirit of late fellow countryman Seve Ballesteros to join his old friend in capturing a Major Championship at The Home of Golf.
Thirty-four years after Ballesteros won The Open over at the Old Course at St Andrews, Jiménez became the first Spaniard to win The Senior Open in its debut appearance at the iconic venue.
“This is one of my biggest victories,” said Jiménez, who shot a final round 69 for a 12-under-par total of 276 to claim his second Senior Major Championship of the year. “It’s amazing to win here. This is my second Major of the year, and it’s amazing to be the winner of The Senior Open here at St Andrews, the Home of Golf.
“There are no words to describe the feeling of holding the trophy on the 18th green. To have that trophy in my hand in front of the crowd and my friends, and my family is amazing.
Jimenez, who has the record for the oldest player to win on The European Tour (just shy of 50), beat arch rival Bernhard Langer (68) by a single stroke in a tense battle coming down the final stretch with a handful of players in with a chance.
Langer was vying to win a record fourth title but playing in the penultimate group just in front of Jimenez missed some crucial birdie opportunities to put further pressure on the 54 year old Spaniard.
After a reasonably comfortable two putt for par on the last to claim victory Jimenez was very quick to light up one of his trademark cigars – and no doubt the trademark red wine celebration wouldn’t be too far off.
McKenzie leads Aussies
US based David McKenzie (73) did the best of the Aussies, finishing in a creditable T14 at 3-under for the tournament.
Peter Lonard (74) was T24 at Par while Peter Fowler (74) finished T28 at 1-over.
Tom Watson thrills in maybe last St Andrews appearance
Five-time Open Championship winner Tom Watson (77) had a disappointing weekend after setting the tournament alight with his 69, 68 opening rounds. Many were speculating if it would be the final competitive round for the 68 year old American at St Andrews.