Jimenez, 50, fires tournament-best 66 at Masters
Saturday, April 12, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Age is nothing but a number – or so goes the cliche.
But when six players over 50 make the cut at the Masters – which is thought to be a record – then folks start asking why that might be happening.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, who joined the Half-Century Club in January, takes it all in stride.
"If you are 50 doesn't mean that you cannot play well. I'm still moving. I'm still flexible. I still hit the ball – I hit the ball longer than ever," said Jimenez, fresh off a tournament-best, 6-under 66 that vaulted him to 3 under and into contention at Augusta National.
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"It's difficult after 25 years; it's my 26th year on Tour. And probably some people say, that's so many years, that's got to be hard and that's got to be hard on the body. No, I love what I'm doing, and I hope I'm still in the same condition for another 25. I'm not going to get bored of myself."
Fred Couples, Larry Mize, Vijay Singh, Sandy Lyle and Bernhard Langer are the other 50-somethings who managed to stick around for the weekend.
Jimenez, who has not won a major title, started the tournament on fire, going out in 4-under 32 Thursday to skyrocket to the top of the leaderboard. But his next 27 holes were played at 7 over, pushing him to 3 over and just a shot clear of the cut.
"Yesterday . . . sometimes you feel that good that you want to see the things happen, the birdies coming before you hit the shot, you know, and then when you get a little bit impatient, sometimes it can happen like that," said Jimenez, playing in his 15th Masters.
Saturday was a different case.
Jimenez started solidly, picking up birdies at Nos. 3 and 5 to make the turn at 2-under 34, but then posted five birdies on the back nine, two of which came amid Amen Corner at Nos. 11 and 13.
"Minus six, you cannot complain," Jimenez quipped at the outset of his post-round interview.
Jimenez prides himself on his good nature, not to mention his unusual warm-up routine, where he rotates his knees in a circular motion to loosen up his back muscles.
"You know, at 50, it's difficult to be here if you are not working out somehow. You need to be flexible and you need to be elastic and strong to be here," said Jimenez, who has 20 European Tour victories.
"It's funny. Sometimes I'm looking at myself on video, and I'm laughing to you. It's nice, it's bueno."
And so was his tournament-best round.