A lot of golf fans don't know this, but Miguel's home country's Andalucia Open, of which he played in for many, many years, lost its sponsor several years ago because of the economic recession. He interceded by stepping in and helping provide the purse for the tournament for a few of those dark years, because he didn't want to see his beloved tournament come to an end. But there was still a desperate need to attract some big names, to help give it a new life for future sponsorship considerations. He knew he couldn't continue to personally fund the tournament himself indefinitely. The tournament needed big names, and there was no bigger name than Tiger Woods at the time.
So, he reached out to Tiger... This was prior to Tiger being injured and dealing with his back problem. (paraphrased comments that I recall during the interview, which I have searched for on the internet... it's probably there on the internet somewhere, but I can't find it...)
"Tiger, I invite you to come support my tournament at the Andalucia. I don't have much to offer, since I'm assuming a considerable part of the purse expenses for the week. But I will pay for your airfare... I will put you up in my house for the week, will cook great meals and we can enjoy some good wine together after the rounds. I hope you will consider."
Miguel said that he didn't even hear back from Tiger.
But that's the kind of guy he is. Down to earth, but yet knows that the life he lives evolves around his ability to be competitive in the game he loves. Fans see a slightly pudgy over-50 guy who looks more like an uncle at the annual family reunion than a world-class golf pro. By virtue of him simply trying to reach out to Tiger to help rescue the European Tour event that he loves most - that reveals a level of humbleness that most people don't consider when the conversation revolves around the average pro golfer they see on tv these days.
What you see is what you get.
I followed him for an entire round at the 2013 (or maybe it was 2014?) BMW Championship at Wentworth while I was living in London for a couple of years. His then fiancé was in the gallery, and I just happened to be standing next to her when he noticed her in the gallery next to me... came over to her as he was walking up the fairway after a tee shot. I couldn't understand what he said to her, but he looked at me and smiled, "You having a good time, yeah?" I said "Having a great time!" He smiled and said, "Good!" And with that he went on about his business.
Everyone was following the big names that day. Rory was in the field, along with several other big names. Instead of fighting the large gallery following those guys and not being able to take in the action, I decided to follow Jimenez that entire round. He opened with a triple bogey on the very first hole that day, which was a long par4 that the members there play as a par5. He hit his tee shot into a very deep bunker on the right, no way to reach the green. He laid up, but unfortunately it left him on a downslope in the fairway to an elevated green roughly 220 yards away. He missed the green to the right on his 3rd shot. Had a horrible lie in the rough and barely got it onto the green for his 4th shot. And then he 3-putted.
He played the next 17 holes in 2-under, finishing a respectable 1-over for the round.
That course was soft that week... the ball wasn't rolling out like it normally would once it hit the fairway. I think the overall yardage was playing in the 7400 yard range. I know of at least two occasions however when he bombed his tee shot over 300 yards. He's sneaky long. You look at the guy and if you just looked at his swing - you'd wonder how he ever made a living playing the game for as long as he has.
But that day, when he came over to give his fiancé a hug and then asked me, "You having a good time, yeah?" - I became an instant fan.
He's a cool dude. What you see is what you get.