Jimenez’s Second Ace Propels Him To Cologuard Classic Win

Miguel Angel Jimenez

By JOHN MARSHALL, Associated Press

TUCSON, Arizona — Miguel Angel Jimenez felt the breeze coming out of the right, saw the pin on the left and pulled out his 6-iron. With his shot shape and the hole location, the sweet-swinging Spaniard thought he might be able to get it close.

Never did he expect to see a second hole-in-one in the same tournament.

Jimenez holed the 6-iron on the 178-yard 14th hole for his second ace of the Cologuard Classic and closed with a 7-under 65 [in the final round] for his second win in three PGA TOUR Champions starts this season.

“I hit a beautiful 6-iron, it went at the hole and, ace,” said Jimenez, wearing the traditional conquistador’s helmet awarded to the winner. “You never think about it. You know you want to hit a good shot and put it as close as possible.”

Jimenez started the final round with a two-shot lead and got off to a birdie-eagle start at Tucson National. Reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion Bernhard Langer cut the lead to three with a birdie on the par-5 12th, but Jimenez followed with one of his own in the group behind.

The 58-year-old Spaniard ended any hope of a late rally with his ace to match the one he had at No. 7 in the opening round. Jimenez closed with four straight pars to finish at 18-under 198 and win for the 12th time on the PGA TOUR Champions.

Langer shot 65 to match Woody Austin (66) at 14 under. Jerry Kelly finished fourth after a 70 put him at 11 under.

“Pretty good when you make two holes-in-one in the same week,” Austin said. “There’s four shots right there.”

Jimenez won the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii and was fifth at the Chubb Classic in Florida. He opened the Cologuard Classic with a 66, thanks in part to his ace, and overcame two closing errant drives to shoot 67 in the second round.

Jimenez shot 4-under 32 on the front nine in his final round and bounced back from a bogey on the par-4 ninth — he hit behind a trailer left of the fairway — by getting up and down for birdie just short of the par-5 12th.

The European Tour record holder with 10 aces, Jimenez celebrated his latest hole-in-one by raising his arms and doing a little shimmy. He then walked arm-in-arm with Kelly onto the green.

Tim Petrovic had two aces in last year’s Cologuard Classic.

Jimenez closed with an easy two-putt par for the victory. He finished fifth here last year.

“I’ve been there several times here, been close the last couple of years I have played this tournament,” he said. “My game was very good, solid.”

Langer made an early run in his bid to win consecutive starts on the over-50 tour, pouring in four birdies over his first six holes. The 64-year-old German had three birdies on his back nine and saved par on No. 18 after hitting his drive into the water.

Langer broke his own record as the oldest winner in PGA TOUR Champions history in Florida, putting him two behind Hale Irwin’s record of 45 wins.

“My goal was always to be in contention coming in for the last nine holes and then see whoever plays the best nine will win,” Langer said. “I was able to do that.”

Austin had three birdies before bogeying the par-4 ninth hole, then had a run of three straight birdies starting at No. 11. He added a birdie on the par-5 17th and just missed another on the difficult 18th.

“Hit a lot of good shots,” Austin said. “I only missed one green today. Keep that up and hole some putts like I did on the back nine, it will be a really good year.”

Jimenez is already having one with two wins and two aces already.