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Jimenez out to beat own record as oldest winner on the Euro Tour

 

By Phil Casey

Miguel Angel Jimenez has his own record as the oldest winner in European Tour history in his sights after making a flying start to the Omega European Masters.

Jimenez, who won the Open de Espana in 2014 at the age of 50 years and 133 days, has played just three European Tour events in 2017 and spends most of his time on the seniors circuit.

But the 53-year-old Spaniard rolled back the years with seven birdies and a solitary bogey at Crans-sur-Sierre to card an opening six-under-par 64 and share the lead with England's Tyrrell Hatton and 2016 runner-up Scott Hend.

"Anything can happen," Jimenez said when asked about his prospects of winning on Sunday. "I'm playing well and feeling good. When you hit it well, nothing is difficult.

"I always enjoy coming here. It's an amazing place and my 28th time here. I only missed one year because it clashed with the Senior British Open (in 2015)."

Hatton has not made a cut since the BMW PGA Championship in May, but holed his second shot to the 12th - his third hole of the day - for an eagle and added five birdies and a bogey.

"It was a difficult summer so I'm very happy and hopefully I can post a few more good numbers," said the 25-year-old.

Scotland's Duncan Stewart and David Drysdale were in a six-strong group on five under, with former World No.1 Luke Donald two under and defending champion Alex Noren on level par.

Lee Westwood carded a one-over-par 71 on his 500th European Tour start, while Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn was forced to withdraw after 15 holes due to an ongoing foot injury.

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