Miguel Ángel Jiménez will write his name into the European Tour history books when he tees off his first round at the Hero Open, playing a record 707th time on tour and overtaking Sam Torrance’s long-held record.
The 56-year-old already has 21 European Tour titles to his name and a record number of holes-in-one, as well as holding the record for oldest winner on tour, but his achievement in topping the European Tour appearance list may well be the most impressive feat of all.
The four-time Ryder Cup player is as renowned for his infectious personality as he is for his remarkable golfing talent and has proven he can still cut it among the best young players in the world on the European Tour, so he will be hoping to make a challenge for the title this week in the second event of the UK Swing.
“It’s amazing,” said the Spaniard. “You never think when you start what you are going to achieve. With the years going by I hold some different records, and now this one that Sam Torrance still holds this morning, I tied with him last week. It’s been 32 years moving around the world playing on different Tours. Getting to this point and looking back, it’s amazing. So many players in these 32 years. Playing with Seve – our mentor – Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger, Phil Mickelson. All different generations. Now with the new ones coming up.
“Over these 32 years it has been amazing, not only for the 707 tournaments I will reach this week. You never think about how many tournaments you will play in your life. I knew in the last couple of years – the way I am playing and feeling on the golf course – that this would be the next target, and here we are.”
Another impressive milestone will also be reached at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club as David Drysdale plays his 500th event on tour, the Scot becoming just the 43rd player in the tour’s history to do so.
“I am very proud,” said Drysdale. “It has been 20 years of travelling the world and playing golf. It is not something you set out to achieve when you start playing professionally to play 500 events on the European Tour, but it is a fantastic achievement and I hope for many more.”