Europe's elder statesman Jimenez loves the tension

Although miguel Angel Jimenez is not involved in this morning's fourballs the Spaniard is still feeling the tension here at Celtic Manor.

The cigar-smoking Jimenez says he has had knots in his stomach during the build-up to his fourth appearance in the biennial team competition against the United States. "It's very tense, especially because it's getting so close now," Jimenez said yesterday afternoon. "When you get here to the Ryder Cup, all week you feel like a knot in your stomach and tomorrow is getting closer and your knot is getting tight."

Jimenez, at 46 the oldest player on the 12-man European team, said that feeling of tense apprehension was a positive factor. "It's a good thing," he said. "It's not nerves. It's something that you can afford, that you want.

"That makes you motivated more, and that's where you want to be. If you don't have those feelings, probably you're not here [in a good state of mind]. You need to feel things and that is important to you."

Although Jimenez has played in three previous Ryder Cups they were all in the United States and he is delighted to be making his first appearance on European soil. "It's really nice, especially when you look around and you see the crowds and everything," the 18-times European Tour winner said. "It's a different atmosphere and you feel that everyone is behind you. It's a great feeling."

Jimenez, the only Spaniard on the 2010 European team with out-of-form Sergio Garcia having failed to qualify, brings superb form to Celtic Manor. "I feel very good and I'm playing well," said the Malaga resident who has won three times on the European Tour this season but who has lost all three of his Ryder Cup singles matches. "I'm hitting the ball very well so I just need to be myself out there and enjoy myself."

While disappointed to be the sole Iberian on the playing staff at Celtic Manor, Jimenez felt the addition of Garcia as one of the assistant captains had been an inspired move. "It's good for the team and it's also good for him, to help get his motivation back," said Jimenez, who made his Ryder Cup debut at Brookline in 1999. "It's going to be very nice."

Jimenez will be watching the morning fourballs with debutant Peter Hanson, who says he has recovered from a lung infection that kept him out of last week's Vivendi Cup. "It was a good decision to rest," he said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders