Written by Staff Writer
Miguel Angel Jimenez first came to British viewers’ attention when he caddied for the late Seve Ballesteros on the 1993 British Open at Royal Troon
He’s since gone on to win 18 titles across multiple tours, but it was in 1988 at Troon, the year before Seve’s tragic retirement, that Jimenez made his reputation.
Pairing up for the first time against Nick Faldo , the diminutive Spaniard shot a final round 67 to finish five under par.
Sinking a shot from deep rough on the first hole with his famous manicured long club shot was simply the start of a string of astonishing feats that just kept on coming.
A par 5 11th hole, nicknamed the ‘Dung Beetle’ had a 315-yard approach shot due to its nickname. As Jimenez’s approach was bouncing on the sand, it slipped under his club’s nose, allowing him to release the ball and reach the green.
“I missed the ball and lost control, and I never knew where it went after,” Jimenez said. “It took off and hit the flag, then bounced back and then went under the club’s nose. It never went straight but I made it in with an incredible shot.
“I thought ‘Oh my God, you are making a hole in one here.’ But it was perfect, right where I wanted.”
Jimenez was just 16 at the time, but he had already caddied for 10 professionals, as well as putting at the Masters.
He just couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“When I heard that it was [the Dung Beetle] I was really surprised,” he said. “I had been caddying for 10 years, I was 18 at the time. I did not really appreciate how difficult it was. I did not have the patience to practice and (try to) get used to the holes. It was a very unique hole.
“Faldo said that it was the hardest one he had ever played in his life. I could hardly watch it. I thought it was really difficult. It was very fast. It was very difficult because it was so short and with the wind we can get a lot of wind which makes the ball difficult.”
Jimenez’s name may be unfamiliar, but after two decades of unparalleled success he has become recognized as one of the world’s best golfers, and he has earned his spot in the Florida-based Golf Channel Hall of Fame.
On Sunday he hit a closing round 67 to finish tied second at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis.
“It was a very proud moment for me, especially for finishing second after the first two days were perfect weather and good vibes for my game,” he said.
“I really just have two words to describe my game, one is relaxed and one is relaxed — and when I’m in the zone it’s very good. And today I just played like that.”