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Miguel Angel Jimenez aims to play in every Ryder Cup match

Miguel Angel Jimenez, at 44 the oldest player on the European Ryder Cup team, is aiming to play all five matches against the U.S. later this month.

Jimenez, who was Seve Ballesteros’s vice-captain in the 1997 Ryder Cup, said he would be helping out the Cup debutants at Valhalla, Kentucky where the competition starts on September19.

“I am the oldest one in the team, although we have Padraig (Harrington) and Sergio (Garcia) with a lot of experience, so I will be doing everything I can to help the four rookies,” Jimenez told reporters on the eve of the European Masters on Wednesday.

“I feel I am strong enough and if my golf is good enough on the week, I’m fit enough and I have the energy, then I could play all the five matches.

“But you have to be fair, you have to be honest about your play and your fitness because it’s not you you are playing for, it’s the team.”

Jimenez said he would be able to play with any of the other 11 players, including rookie Briton Oliver Wilson, the man he beat in a playoff for Europe’s flagship title, the PGA Championship, at Wentworth earlier this year.

“Ollie’s a nice player and good addition to the team and it would be nice to play with him,” said Jimenez.

The Spaniard gave his captain Nick Faldo the thumbs up on his wildcards, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey.

“I think Nick chose right…he only has two picks,” said Jimenez.

Jimenez, easily the highest profile player in the European Masters, which starts on Thursday, aims for his third win of the season in his 20th consecutive appearance at the Crans-sur-Sierre course.

Victory would allow Jimenez to leapfrog Briton Lee Westwood, who withdrew from the tournament with tonsillitis, into second place on the European money-list behind high-flying Padraig Harrington.

The Spaniard is playing for the first time since missing the cut in the U.S. PGA Championship.


September 4, 2008

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