Jimenez turns back clock with opening 63 in Turkey

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His week began with questions about whether his English is strong enough to captain the European Ryder Cup team.

At least Miguel Angel Jimenez showed Thursday that his game is still plenty good.

Beginning his round at the Turkish Airlines Open with an eagle-2, the Mechanic went 6 under for his first seven holes en route to a 9-under 63 and one-shot lead over Ian Poulter. Jimenez, 50, is aiming to break his own record as the European Tour’s oldest winner.

"That doesn't happen every day," Jimenez told reporters. "What better way to start?

"Nine-under par is very nice. It's special because I've been struggling a little bit the last few months."


Round 1 highlights from the Turkish Airlines Open

Turkish Airlines Open full-field scores


It hasn’t been the best of times lately for the Spaniard, who hadn’t broken 70 in nearly two months on the European Tour. Two weeks ago, he closed with 88 at the BMW Masters, where he made a 13 on a hole. Last week, at the WGC-HSBC Champions, he failed to break par in all four rounds. 

Worse, his hopes of becoming the 2016 European Ryder Cup captain appeared to take a hit this week when Sergio Garcia expressed concern that Jimenez’s English could hinder his captaincy.

Nothing was lost in translation here: Jimenez beat Garcia by 12 shots on Thursday.