Tournament: Turkish Airlines Open by the Ministry of Youth and Sports
Prize fund: US$7 million / 10 million points
Venue: The Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Antalya, Turkey
First Round Report
Miguel Angel Jiménez (pictured by Getty Images) put himself in contention to break his own record as The European Tour’s oldest winner after the 50 year old carded an opening round of nine under par 63 to lead the Turkish Airlines Open by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The evergreen Spaniard got off to a dream start by holing his first approach shot of the day to the tenth for eagle, and duly followed up that eagle with seven birdies in a flawless performance at the magnificent Montgomerie Maxx Royal, in Antalya.
That left him one stroke ahead of Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, who continued his fine form from last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions with a sparkling round of 64.
The highlight of Poulter’s day was an eagle three at the 13th hole, and the Englishman added seven birdies to sign for his lowest round on The European Tour this season.
His compatriot Tyrrell Hatton, Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge and Australian Wade Ormsby – whose back nine featured eight birdies and a bogey – are all in a share of third place on seven under par.
Miguel Angel Jiménez
“It’s special, because I’ve been struggling a little bit over the last few months, so when you shoot nine under par, you feel really good. I started to roll the ball much better on the greens today, and after that my confidence improved a lot.
“I like this golf course. You have some long holes, you have some short holes, so you have a very nice mix. I feel comfortable on this golf course – it feels very, very Mediterranean, similar to Málaga. It’s the same kind of trees and the same kind of the soil there.”
“I’m right back where I want to be. Within a space of a couple of weeks, I feel really good about myself again. I don’t have any aches or pains, which is really nice, and I’m swinging it as well as I have for a long time.
“I feel physically strong again, and that means I can practice better. And when I practice and start holing some putts, then I’m going to be full of confidence like I am right now.
“The second round last week was the best I’ve played this year, but I’d say that might just top it. It was very good golf today.”
Source: European Tour