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Hong Kong-loving Jimenez confirms return for title defense

(Reuters) - Ageless Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez will return to defend his Hong Kong Open title in October, hoping to win the European Tour event for a fifth time, organizers said on Wednesday.

The cigar-puffing golfer became the Tour's oldest winner last year, a month shy of his 50th birthday, prevailing in a three-way playoff for his second successive title at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

"This tournament holds a very special place in my heart, for obvious reasons," Jimenez, who improved on his own record as the Tour's oldest winner with a Spanish Open victory in May, said in a statement.

"It is just a unique event - the city, the golf course, the people - they all contribute to what is always one of the best and most popular tournaments of the season for us players.

"Last year's win was possibly the most special as I defended my title and also extended my record as the oldest winner on The European Tour.

"It will give me great pride to once again return as reigning champion. I hope that I can make it five!"

The event, also co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association, will be held from Oct. 16-19.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by John O'Brien)