Miguel Angel Jimenez seeks solace at Indian Open

Miguel Angel Jimenez will look to get over the disappointment of not being chosen as Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain by extending his own record as the European Tour’s oldest winner in the Hero Indian Open.

Miguel Angel Jimenez seeks solace at Indian Open

Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn lost out to Darren Clarke in the battle to lead Europe’s bid for a fourth straight victory at Hazeltine in 2016 when the five-man selection panel met at Wentworth.

Clarke was the unanimous choice of former captains Paul McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie and European Tour chief executive George O’Grady and players’ representative David Howell.

O’Grady said Jimenez and Bjorn remained “very much on the table” when it comes to becoming captain in the future, but for now the 51-year-old Spaniard has to concentrate on seeing off a strong local challenge in Delhi which features recent Maybank Malaysian Open champion Anirban Lahiri and fellow European Tour winners SSP Chowrasia and Jeev Milkha Singh.

And so Jimenez gets back to matters on the course, and India this week.

“Asian golf is very popular now,” said Jimenez, who has already won the Champions Tour this season. “There are a lot of tournaments and a lot of people are coming to play here.

“The game is growing more and more in India and around the world.

“Golf is not about Europe or America but it is global with top golfers from all over the world and some of the young Indian players are starting to follow what Jeev (Milkha Singh) has done for so many years.

“Jeev is the pioneer of Indian golf and to see a new generation of Indian players coming through is great for the game here.

“Lahiri is obviously playing very well and will now start to play in the top tournaments around the world and that will help him to get better and better.”

Lahiri’s win in Malaysia lifted him into the world’s top 50 and ensured a place among golf’s elite at the forthcoming WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral and the Masters in April.

The world number 39 is the highest ranked player in the field and has already won three Asian Tour titles around the tight layout at Delhi Golf Club. “My first memory of the Indian Open is walking in Calcutta Golf Club when I was 12,” Lahiri said. “Arjun Atwal won that event and I still remember some of the shots he hit.

“We have seen four Asian Tour members win the last four co-sanctioned events. It will be nice to continue that streak.”

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