Coffee and cigars soothe Jimenez's homesickness

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The Independent Online

Miguel Angel Jimenez had some special requests for the European team room at Oakland Hills. The Spaniard found things hard away from his Mediterranean lifestyle while playing on the US Tour and there were a few things that he particularly missed.

Miguel Angel Jimenez had some special requests for the European team room at Oakland Hills. The Spaniard found things hard away from his Mediterranean lifestyle while playing on the US Tour and there were a few things that he particularly missed.

So, with everything done to keep the players happy this week, an espresso machine and the finest Rioja and Cuban cigars - the last he shares with Darren Clarke - have been provided for Jimenez.

"I always like to feel at home and I miss Spain," he said. "These are the things that make you happy."

Back at the hotel, each team has a games room with table tennis, pool, darts, video games, board games and cards. On the American side, 50-year-old Jay Haas is the wizard on the pool table while Phil Mickelson lost at table tennis to his wife, Amy.

"That wasn't fun to hear about," Mickelson said. "Whatever we are doing, the wives are very competitive. They are more competitive than the guys. Get them playing anything and it's just funny. They are just funny, spunky girls."

Not all the wives have been able to be present for this match, with Laurae Westwood having given birth to Poppy Grace last week, while Michelle Riley, a former LPGA player and wife of Chris Riley, also gave birth to a daughter, Taylor Lynn.

Lee Westwood said: "I've had a week at home with Poppy and Laurae but it wasn't difficult to come away. Laurae knew this was an important week. It's nice to get some sleep." The Worksop man arrived with a cold, however, picked up from his son after Sam returned to school.

"Being a father is a better feeling than I've ever had," said Riley, the 30-year-old from San Diego. "Unfortunately, my wife can't be here but she's a real trooper and said she was coming in on Sunday. I miss her a lot, especially with all the functions but Captain Hal [Sutton] always says, 'Chris, I'm your date tonight'."

Last night saw the Gala Dinner but the previous evening was a dinner just for the teams. Mickelson said: "I was talking to Lee Westwood about horse racing, to Paul McGinley about Italy and Colin Montgomerie is a guy I enjoy joking around with."

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