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Jiménez bidding for back-to-back Senior Majors as the Staysure Tour returns to action in the United States

May 23, 2018

Miguel Angel Jiménez will hope to secure a second Senior Major Championship in as many weeks as the Staysure Tour returns to action for the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.

Jiménez finally broke his Senior Major duck at last week's Regions Tradition, finishing three strokes clear of the chasing pack, after recording six finishes inside the top four in previous appearances at the five Senior Major Championships.

Jiménez bidding for back-to-back Senior Majors as the Staysure Tour returns to action in the United States, © Getty Images

“Obviously last week on the last round I was of course nervous, and I felt the pressure inside. I started with bogeying the first, I hit quite a good three wood a little on the edge, but it bounced up there."

“But then I missed the birdie on hole number two. Hole number three, I made a solid par – saved a good par there. Then I said okay, just breathe. Breathe. Don't let it get to you.

“It doesn't matter, you are human, let everything come to you, keep playing, keep enjoying yourself, that's the only way. And I started making some birdies and then it was a very nice match. But I hope that it's not going to add more pressure. That's not that bad anyway, you know? You are there, it means that you are in good shape.”

The charismatic Spaniard faces a stellar field in Michigan this week, which features no fewer than 18 Major Champions, including compatriot José María Olazábal, Scotland's Sandy Lyle and Fiji's Vijay Singh.

Colin Montgomerie returns to the site of his first Senior Major Championship success. The eight-time European Tour Number One and two-time Staysure Tour Number One won at Benton Harbor in 2014 and then successfully defended the Senior PGA Championship at French Lick, but finished runner-up to Rocco Mediate in 2016, again at Harbor Shores.

“It was quite fast running the last two times we have been here, the weather's been fantastic. This year apparently, according to the locals, they have had nine inches of rain in the last nine days."

“That's a hell of a lot for a golf course to take. So, it's going to play very differently, meaning that the fairways are going to be much wider than they were before because the ball's not running the way it did."

“So this course is all based - and most Jack Nicklaus courses are - on the second shots, distance control with the second shots. That's why I've done particularly well here in the past because my strength is being able to hit an iron shot a certain distance.”

The Scot is one of four former winners of the John Jacobs Trophy - for topping the Staysure Tour Order of Merit - in the 156-man field. Joining him are last year's Staysure Tour Number One Clark Dennis, 2016 winner Paul Broadhurst, 2011 winner Peter Fowler and 2013 Number One Paul Wesselingh.

Dennis is playing in his first Senior PGA Championship and is looking forward to the challenge of playing on home soil. The 52 year old became the first American in history to become Staysure Tour Number One, finishing more than €30,000 ahead of South Africa's Chris Williams on the money list.

"It's a Senior Major, so it's a little higher on the importance level, but to me it's another tournament. If I go out and execute how I have been then I'll play well; if i don't, then I won't. If I put too much pressure on myself in going out there to try and prove a point, it could have the opposite effect."

"I really like this golf course, it's fantastic. The greens are difficult and challenging but I kind of enjoy it. Tee to green it's fantastic. It will play a little bit different with the weather; the ball won't roll so it will be harder to get it in to trouble. It's a second-shot golf course, it's important to get in the right areas on these greens because you can find yourself in areas where you can't even two-putt."

"For the Staysure Tour, this is where the season really starts with a lot of tournaments coming up over the next few weeks. I'm looking forward to the year."

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