Don't mess with Jimenez

Don't mess with Jimenez
Team Europe captain Miguel Angel Jimenez (left) posing with Team Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee.

Miguel Angel Jimenez sat in the Formula 1 simulator at Kuala Lumpur's Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, his eyes trained on the screen, steering his virtual vehicle around the pixelated world of Malaysia's Sepang circuit. Wearing a cheeky grin, Team Europe's captain for the inaugural EurAsia Cup jumped out of his car and covered the eyes of his Asia counterpart, Thongchai Jaidee, as the Thai manoeuvred around the same course.

Known for his love of fine wines, fast cars and cigars, the larger-than-life Spaniard carries his greying ponytail and little potbelly with a carefree swagger and a ear-to-ear grin.

But, make no mistake, the 50-year-old is a fierce competitor - who happens to know the value of stopping to smell the roses.

"You think by drinking only wine and smoking cigars, you can be 50 years old and competing with these young guys? No chance," said Jimenez, who was flanked by teammates, 34-year-old Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell, Victor Dubuisson of France, 23, and fellow Spaniard, Pablo Larrazabal, who is 20 years his junior.

"I also work in the gym and work on myself. The main thing is that you have to enjoy what you are doing in your life and I love the game. I love to compete and (that's why) I'm here."

Sanctioned by both the Asian Tour and The European Tour, the EurAsia Cup is a biennial team match-play golf tournament pitting Europe against Asia, styled after the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.

The first day's play tomorrow will include five foursomes matches, followed by five fourball matches on Friday and 10 singles matches on Saturday at Glenmarie's Garden course.

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