Jimenez: “Mind Is My Greatest Asset”
Miguel Angel Jimenez is having an outstanding year in Europe, even by his standards. Jimenez is currently sitting in 8th place in Europe’s Race to Dubai, and has three European Tour wins to date in 2010. At a recent tour stop in Spain, we were able to catch up with Jimenez and get his thoughts on his most recent round of success.
You have three wins on the European Tour this year, as well as a Ryder Cup victory. How will you look back on 2010?
As we sit now (the year is not over yet) it has the potential to be my best year. It has been very similar to 2004 with multiple wins and a Ryder Cup.
Is there one thing you can pin-point that has contributed to your success more than anything else?
My head. What I have learned over the years has taught me that my mind is my greatest asset.
You are known on tour as having an unmatched intensity, where does this come from?
My love of playing the game well. I love to play and compete, it is the greatest feeling to have a knot in my stomach during a tournament. I love it, and that’s why I play so much.
You are known for your hard work and dedication to practice. Has your approach to practice and preparation changed over the years?
I practiced much more at the start of my career compared to how much I practice now. Now I don’t practice as much, but there is more of a purpose when I do practice. I have a much better aptitude for what I do now.
On the topic of preparation- Did you prepare any differently for the Ryder Cup? How did you cope with the added pressure of representing Europe?
I prepare for every event exactly the same, it never changes. The pressure is much greater in a team event compared to an individual game, but you just try to stay in the moment and keep your focus.
Can you compare the experiences you have had playing in Europe to those in the United States?
I enjoy playing anywhere and have had very good experiences in America. I want to enjoy my life and playing in Europe where I am comfortable. It helps me enjoy myself more.
You and Vijay both came from modest backgrounds and have had extreme success, what lesson did you take away from you early years?
As a boy I caddied to help provide food for our family. You learn from an early age if you need something you must work for it.