NEW DELHI Feb 19 (Reuters) – Miguel Angel Jimenez had mixed emotions the day after learning he had lost out to Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke in the bid to become Europe’s new Ryder Cup captain.
Clarke was the unanimous choice on Wednesday of a five-man selection panel in a three-man race that also included the popular Spaniard and Dane Thomas Bjorn.
“I’ve been so many years on the tour,” the 51-year-old Jimenez told Sky Sports television while competing in the Indian Open.
“This is my 27th season, I’ve played in seven Ryder Cups, been vice-captain and of course I accept it (the decision).
“I think I’ve done a lot for the tour through all these years and it’s a little disappointing not being captain but I feel happy on the other hand for Darren because he will do a very good job,” said Jimenez.
“I will be behind you Darren, don’t worry. All the decisions you’re going to make for the Ryder Cup will be good.”
Clarke will lead holders Europe against the United States at Hazeltine, Minnesota next year and Jimenez is now hoping he can play his way into the side, thereby becoming the oldest competitor in the history of the biennial team event.
“If I’m still playing well…then of course I will have a chance,” he said after opening with a one-under 70 at the European Tour event in New Delhi to lie five strokes off the lead.
“To be part of a Ryder Cup is always nice. Obviously to play is better. Next year I’ll be 52 but you never know.” (Writing by Tony Jimenez , editing by Toby Davis)
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