Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Miguel Angel Jimenez is ready to move on after Seve Ballesteros

Miguel Angel Jimenez was one of his closest friends, but now he is in contention for the 140th Open Championship, even he does not want to be thinking of Seve Ballesteros.

Three-time winner Ballesteros, the most charismatic European golfer in history, died in May at the age of just 54 after a two-and-a-half-year battle with a brain tumour.

His death has been marked in numerous ways at Royal St George's this week, with an article in the official programme and numerous photos of the Spaniard around the site, while his image will appear on the drawsheets each day and the proceeds from those donated to his charitable foundation.

Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal were in tears at the Spanish Open when the news of Ballesteros's death broke, and both attended his funeral in his home village of Pedrena.

But Jimenez, vice-captain to Ballesteros for the Ryder Cup in Valderrama in 1997 - where he was often woken during the night by Ballesteros to discuss possible pairings - feels it is now time to move on.

"The tribute to Seve here is very nice because we miss him, and he did so much for golf all through his life, and we have to thank him for what he did for golf," Jimenez said after a bogey-free round of 66 left him one behind early leader Thomas Bjorn. "But I've already said that.

"This is the third interview today and the third time I'm going to answer the same question. We all miss Seve, and I think we need to keep moving on.

"It's nice to make that tribute for him, but now I think is a moment also to start to concentrate on the golf tournament and keep moving on, because if not, you cannot play.

"We are human, and it's the moment to say, okay, go."

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