Sunday, August 12, 2007

Obit: San Antonio's Joe Jimenez

joe jimenez

I was playing at The Republic in San Antonio several years back, waiting beside the No. 1 tee while the group ahead of us teed off. An old man stepped to the tee. But not the senior tees, the second-from-the-rear tees that I was going to be playing, too. And then he let it rip.

And the ball soared and soared, gently faded, and dropped down right in the middle of the fairway, about 270 yards ahead. The marshal, who'd been watching with my group, leaned over and whispered, "That's Joe Jimenez." Ah, that explains it. "He's 77 years old."

Former Senior PGA Championship winner and Champions Tour player Joe Jimenez passed away in San Antonio on Saturday at the age of 81. The San Antonio Express-News reported he died of renal failure brought about by lung cancer (although Jimenez had never smoked).

The Express-News obituary is a great read and a fitting tribute to Jimenez, who rose from the caddie ranks, through the Army, through early years when - because of his ethnicity - access to many of the top golf facilities was not open to him, to become a highly respected and very accomplished golf professional.

He was also, by every account, a genuinely nice man.

You can read the obituary here.

(Photo courtesy of Carlton Wade; used with permission)

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