Maybe it was the simulator, maybe it was the Wii, or maybe it was the Cuban cigar. Whatever it was, Spain's 'the mechanic' Miguel Angel Jimenez had an auspicious start to defending his UBS Hong Kong Open title - in a simulation golf 'nearest the pin' competition at Chater Garden on Tuesday. The night raised HK$120,000 for Operation Santa Claus. To cheers of 'move the green', 'maybe it's the cigar' - Jimenez beat finalists Nick Faldo, the affable Euro Ryder Cup's team captain who lost to Team America, and China's Zhang Lianwei, the first Chinese golfer to make the top 100. Failing to make the cut were Spaniards Jose Manuel Lara and Jose Maria Olazabal, 29-year-old Chinese sensation Liang Wenchong, currently ranked Asia's No1, Australia's Peter Thomson and Germany's Bernhard Langer. The tournament, which celebrates its golden anniversary this year, has been supporting Operation Santa Claus for the past couple of years. It was classic golf under a tent in blustery winds as the pro golfers gave off the cuff remarks to the delight of their fans. Autograph seekers were aplenty. But Jimenez was in his element, clowning around with his trademark cigar and warning the others that the Spanish armada was a force to be reckoned with. Last year was the first time that a mini-UBS Hong Kong Open of sorts was held at Chater Gardens in Central but there was no simulator. 'We wanted to give a bit of the excitement to the city and it was worth a try,' said Oliver Bertschinger, executive director and head of sponsorship in Asia Pacific of the Swiss banking giant. Mr Bertschinger said the turnout for the event could have been better, but the golfers had played their part in raising funds for Operation Santa Claus. He noted that even in tough economic times, people gave because there were always more underprivileged people. 'It is true that a lot of people are actually much worse off. Talking about Operation Santa Claus, it is still a much more important cause than our problems,' he said. The real UBS Hong Kong Open opens today at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Sheung Shui. Mr Bertschinger said he hoped to see a big crowd over the next four days. There are many new attractions on the site for children and adults and there is a free shuttle service.