Jimenez backs Andalucia Open with wallet

MALAGA, Spain (AP) — Miguel Angel Jimenez is ensuring the European Tour has an event this week by opening his wallet for the Andalucia Open.

Unable to attract a sponsor because of the worldwide recession, the four-year-old tournament starts on Thursday with total prize money of $1.3 million. That’s about what each of the previous three champions earned at Parador Golf Club.

Jimenez, the recent winner of the Dubai Desert Classic, was determined to showcase the area of southern Spain where he was born and started as a caddie in Malaga.

He could have been at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week along with other leading Europeans preparing their games for the Masters.

Instead, he is staying home and underwriting any losses in hosting the event.