Fresh off his fourth place finish at Augusta National in the Masters, Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez made his Champions Tour debut in Atlanta at the Greater Gwinnett Championship on the TPC at Sugarloaf golf course. On Sunday afternoon his fine form resulted in his first Champions Tour victory. Jimenez was dominant throughout the week leading from start to finish before winning by two strokes from Bernard Langer.
Sunday’s round of the Greater Gwinnett Championship was a real treat for golf fans as the final group provided three of the most popular senior golfers on the tour. At the start of the day Miguel Angel Jimenez led the group at 9 under, Bernard Langer started the day in second at eight under and Fred Couples was the third man in the group at seven under. A large gallery of golf fans followed the threesome hoping for a shoot-out finish.
Unfortunately for the golf fans there was no shootout as Miguel Angel Jimenez continued his dominating form, never giving up the lead and eventually running out the winner by two strokes. He did however provide a clinic finishing the round at 5 under to take his tally for the tournament to 14 under.
Bernard Langer was almost as good on the final day as he went 4 under and finished the tournament at twelve under. Fred Couples tried to turn it into a shoot-out, pressed early and suffered as a result. After birdieing the first Couples then bogeyed two of the next three holes which took him out of contention. Couples eventually ended up in fourth place at nine under behind Jay Haas. The round of the day was shot by Willie Wood who went round the TPC course in six under.
Jimenez was in fine form, a fact he readily acknowledged, “It shows my game is in very good shape now,” Jimenez said. “A very nice day, I played very solid, very well. It’s great to play in first Champions event and win.”
While he enjoyed his debut win on the Champions Tour, Jimenez is not going to become a fixture on the Champions Tour this year.
Both he and his former Ryder cup captain Bernard Langer admitted he needed to play in Europe to gain qualifying points by playing regularly on the European PGA tour. Langer said. “He wants to make the Ryder Cup team and be the oldest player ever to play for Europe. But golf can change. Who knows? Maybe he makes the Ryder Cup team by July and comes out here. I think we’re going to see more of him in the future but not in the next few months.”
As dominant as Jimenez was this weekend the other Champions tour members might hope that he has to stay in Europe.