Miguel Angel Jimenez recalls 'hair-raising' Ryder Cup debut in 1999
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Playing in a Ryder Cup can be a nerve-wracking and, well, hair-raising experience.
Newly minted senior major winner Miguel Angel Jimenez admitted as much when he was asked about what it was like to play in hist first Ryder Cup in 1999, during a pre-tournament press conference at Harbor Shores on the eve of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship on Wednesday.
Grabbing his long hair, Jimenez picked it straight up to drive home the point.
"I remember very well that time, 1999 in Boston," said Jimenez, winner of last week's Regions Tradition, the first major of 2018 on the PGA Tour Champions. "It was amazing. The experience you have in the Ryder Cup is something that you don't feel in any tournament in the world. It's different. It's the Ryder Cup."
Here is hitting an approach into 18 at that event:
How would the four-time Ryder Cup participant describe it?
"You can't," he said. "But the moment you are walking there and the people, you start feeling when you go to the first tee, the first time you're going to play and you can see the faces of the people, all pointing to you, and things, you start to feel how much weight you have on your shoulders. That's the dream. I still dream about it."
In his four Ryder Cups as a player, was on winning teams in 2004 and 2010. He was also on the losing end in that 1999 final-day miracle by the Americans, as well as in 2008 at Valhalla.
Jimenez was a vice captain to Jose Maria Olazabal's winning side in 2012 and then again for Paul McGinley when Europe won in 2014.
On Tuesday, 2018 European Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjorn announced he was adding Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood as vice captains for Le Golf National Paris later this year.
"I think they are going to be a very nice team," Jimenez said. "Thomas has a lot of people with experience and that's very, very nice. And they can bring a lot of things to the team. All these guys, the experience they have, it's amazing. It's going to contribute for sure to the team. Any help is always good in these matters."