Jimenez hits out at Els revamp

2010-05-27 15:31

Madrid - Miguel Angel Jimenez has added his voice to a chorus of criticism about the redesign of Wentworth's West Course, comparing it to scrawling a line across a Picasso masterpiece.

Jimenez said he did not understand why Wentworth owner Richard Caring had spent 6.5 million pounds implementing changes drawn up by Ernie Els, which left few of the 18 holes untouched.

"If you had a Picasso in a frame would you say 'Now I want to see a line there'," said Jimenez, drawing an imaginary one in the air with a finger.

"You cannot touch a masterpiece and it's the same with a golf course," added the 46-year-old Spaniard, who has been playing the famous course for 22 years.

"It's like if you have an historic building. You cannot touch it without permission."

Els this week hit out at players who criticised his redesign, telling Reuters they had "put the knife" into him, while Caring has acknowledged mistakes had been made and said that he would take the blame.

Several competitors at the PGA Championship complained in the media about the changes, especially the new moat and elevated green at the 18th.

"Now it's a completely different golf course," Jimenez told Reuters at the Madrid Masters in an interview organised by the Spanish capital's bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup.

"You need to hit everything down the middle and the bunkers are too deep. If you are in there you cannot hit any shot to the green," he added. "It's not fun anymore."

The flamboyant Jimenez, who wears his thick red hair in a ponytail and likes to chomp on a fat Cuban cigar, has made an important contribution to European Ryder Cup teams down the years and said he would love to play at the next edition in October in Newport, Wales.

"Probably this is my last chance," the 16-times European Tour event winner said.

"I still think I have something to contribute but the players who are on the best form are going to qualify.

"There are a lot of new people coming on the tour now and it's getting more difficult for the old guys."

With the rolling hills of the Real Sociedad Hipica Club de Campo course spread out behind him, he said he was still filled with passion for the game and would probably continue playing on the seniors tour when he turned 50.

One of seven brothers, Jimenez took up golf at the age of 15 and was inspired by watching compatriot Seve Ballesteros and Britons Sandy Lyle and Sam Torrance.

"Every time I put the ball down on the first tee I still feel like I want to keep playing," he said.

"But now there are young people coming up who want to kick the ass of the older guys, the same way I did when I came on the tour," he added.

"I still feel I can play four rounds of golf in a tournament and as long as you are in there playing you can win anything."

Reflecting on changes in the game over his three-decade career, he said there was a lot more emphasis on power and fitness had become much more important.

"I'm allergic to the gym," he joked. "But it's the new era, the new golf. It's much more robotic the way we play now."


  • Seve - 2010-05-27 15:53

    I agree with Jimenez, the changes looked crappy on TV, Els has spoilt a masterpiece!

  • Wazza - 2010-05-27 16:07

    Aaaah shame ...... you have to hit it down the middle and if it is in the bunker you can't get to the green!! Thats why its a bunker you idiot!! These golfers iritate me sometimes ..... the minute a course becomes a little tough then they complain. I don't remember the winner complaining.

  • cheryll coetzer - 2010-05-27 17:12

    I notice that all the moaning is from the players who played badly and are definitely not your friends Ernie if they complained behind your back. Lee Westward probably jealous that he was not asked to redesign the course as he is English. I think Ernie did a good job as it is challenging which is what the spectators want. Well done, Ernie.

  • jim - 2010-05-27 17:37

    if you cant hit it dowm the middle of a fairway,then you should'nt be palying on the tour! rather stay at home & make a paella!

  • keen golfer - 2010-05-27 17:46

    I agree with Jimenez. Not sure much thought went into the course re-design. Ernie's not a course designer, great player but wouldn't back him on course design.

  • Johann - 2010-05-27 20:35

    And what about the US open where the course sometimes is about unplayable? If you can't take it stay at home. Well done Ernie, who wants to see scores of -20 every week? Or does Jimenez mean a 62 and a couple of 66's were flukes? Jimenes had his days Ernie, it's time for him to go and join Ouma on the stoep anyway.

  • mike@Wazza - 2010-05-27 20:37

    Exactly - I couldn't have said it better

  • riskandreward - 2010-05-28 09:34

    A great golf course design is all about risk and reward. When the balance is wrong, it's a bad design. I think the golfers are saying that the risks are too great for the rewards to be gained. The 'Plod' nearly won it! Better luck nest time Ernie.

  • James - 2010-05-28 14:14

    Seve. have you ever been to the course??? The only moaners are the once who played crap golf. Westwood is a cry baby. he does not have the skill to win on the big stage, so he wants an easy course. Bunkers are threre to penelise bad shots not to give you an alternative surface. 10 is a great new design. big risk and reward. Ernie showed himself. hit a crap shot and you pay, hit a great drive and second shot and you get the benefit. the greens need some tie to settle and after a bad winter it can be expected. So Ernie well done. the guys that plaid good golf had good scores, the once that plaid crap complained. for once they could blame their crap game on someone and something Els.

  • Magno - 2010-05-31 08:25

    Mr keen golfer ..... only when you mature do you come to realize certain things. Take Gardener Ross golf course for instance - designed by Ernie Els - first time we played there we thought " junk course" stupid bunkers everywhere - lacks imagination etc etc .... now after playing there more often you will find that it makes you think ! you cant just grip it and rip it cause if you do you get punished. All your golf clubs need to be used to shoot a good score, courses must 'punish' bad shots.

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