Senior PGA Championship - Final Round
Credit: PGA of America via Getty Images

Ask Miguel Angel Jimenez his secret to his success on the PGA Tour Champions and he won’t hand you a putting tip, give you a swing thought, or recite a diatribe from a mental coach. No, for the flamboyant Spaniard who is perhaps best known for his signature cigars and unique, stretching routine, says it’s those very things that make him successful. It's his ability to be 100 percent authentic.

“I smoke, I like to have my wine; just enjoy your life,” Jimenez said Tuesday ahead of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. “But of course you need to work, you need to stretch and you need to exercise every day to keep yourself update and to keep in physical conditions in the right way. And enjoy yourself; that is the main thing. That is one of the secrets.”

81st KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship
TULSA, OK - MAY 29: Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain smokes his cigar on the second hole during the third round of the 81st KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship held at the Southern Hills Country Club on May 29, 2021 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America via Getty Images)
Credit: PGA of America via Getty Images

Jimenez is enjoying a return to Harbor Shores, which is a first for the Spaniard since 2018, for what will be his fifth start in the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Four years removed from his last visit to the Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, Jimenez was anxious to get reacquainted with the layout. While he doesn’t remember much from his last visit, the difficult greens did leave a lasting impression. Jimenez says he often plays other Jack Nicklaus courses in the Dominican Republic, where he lives when he’s away from the Tour, and aims to lean on that frequent experience at Harbor Shores.

“You have to be very creative,” Jimenez said about his return to Michigan, where he finished fifth in 2018. “I remember the greens, they are fast and slopey greens. You have to keep it below the hole.”

Putting should be no challenge for the Spaniard, who currently leads the PGA Tour Champions in putting. He comes into the major championship as one of the strongest contenders as he also currently ranks second in Scoring Average and is already a two-time winner this season.

79th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship - Final Round
BENTON HARBOR, MI - MAY 27: Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain reads his putt on the ninth hole during the Final Round for the 79th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship held at Harbor Shores Golf Club on May 27, 2018 in Benton Harbor, Michigan. (Photo by Montana Pritchard/PGA of America via Getty Images)
Credit: PGA via Getty Images

“Played very well, very solid, and that's the base, what happened this year,” Jimenez said about his start to the season, “it's there, I feel good, play good, play great, and keep moving.

As one of what he calls the “old boys” in the field, Jimenez will be one to keep an eye on along with the regular mainstays atop the leaderboard in Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, and Bernhard Langer. But the 12-time winner is also well aware of the new competition on Tour like Padriag Harrington and David Duval, who recently turned 50, who are making their debut at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.

“Everyone who is new or younger than the old boys, those are the guys who always have the best opportunity to finish here, always,” Jimenez said about the new crop of players on Tour.

Jimenez won’t just have the younger players to navigate this weekend but also what is forecasted to be some inclement weather conditions with rain and storms in the forecast both Thursday and Friday in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Like was seen at the PGA Championship, the luck of the draw can play a role, good or bad, in the outcome of the championship. But Jimenez is a player who knows what it takes to excel in adverse conditions as he's won 21 times on the DP World Tour along with capturing the 2018 Senior Open Championship at St. Andrews.

“You give me more windy, much better for me. I love it,” Jimenez said about the forecast. “I really don't mind to play in the conditions as far as the same for everyone.”

Jimenez is a man with a lust for life, who is determined to make the best of his situation. That is, after all, what the Spaniard points to as the key to his success on the PGA Tour Champions. And, that’s the attitude he’ll lean on at the Kitchenaid Senior PGA Championship where he’ll look to win his third senior major title.

“I love what I do in my life, and I don't know what to do but this one,” Jimenez said. “I love golf, and the golf is a good life. It's a good living. That to me, probably that is my secret.”


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