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Another age ‘first’: Miguel Angel Jimenez wins Spanish Open

by on May 19, 2014

As I write, the headlines (e.g. in the Daily Star and on the BBC website) are beginning to build following the news that Miguel Angel Jimenez has become the first male golfer over the age of 50 to win on the European Tour. His age is certainly the main focus of the media reports, closely followed by references to his flamboyant superstar status.

It seems that (older) age is being used here in a way that used to happen to gender a few decades back, as in ‘the first woman to…’. So it’s useful to remind ourselves that the reason why it can take a long time for some of these ‘firsts’ to come about is because of societal norms that can restrict what people do or feel they are allowed to do. For Jimenez, the next hurdle is whether he will qualify or be selected for this year’s Ryder Cup, which takes place at Gleneagles in September. 

In the meantime, Sky Sports reports him as saying: “I would love to be in there as an old player in the Ryder Cup, I’m 50 and still knocking on the door!” And when asked what his secret was his reply is why so many fans just love Jimenez: “It’s no secret, just good food, good wine, good cigars and a bit of exercise – simple.”

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