SALT LAKE CITY – Garrett Clegg has had the chance to coach a lot of student-athletes since taking over as the Utah men’s golf head coach in May of 2016. He’s seen golfers like Kyler Dunkle, Blake Tomlinson and Javier Barcos develop into a few of the best players in program history. For one of his newest pupils, freshman Sergio Jimenez, Clegg sees all the potential to reach those same heights. “I believe he’s going to be an amazing golfer,” said Clegg. “He’s got everything inside of him to finish his career at the top of our record books.”
A native of Madrid, Spain, Jimenez’s time on the golf course started when he was almost too young to remember, but he still recalls his first time on the links and who it was with. “I started playing when I was four years old,” he said. “I was watching my father and one of his friends and they were hitting balls. I remember trying to hit with a club taller than me.”
That initial memory is one of many Jimenez has of being on the golf course with his father. So much of that time was spent trying to hone and fine tune Sergio’s game. “I think [my father] is the most influential person,” said Jimenez, “because I started playing golf for him and I keep playing golf because he’s always paying attention to me. When I have something wrong, he’ll say let’s go to the coach or let’s practice.”
Jimenez’s practice time has included work with coaches in his home country, who have helped him improve in areas such as adding distance to his drives, but even today, his father remains one of his most trusted teachers. “He had to stop playing golf years ago,” said Jimenez, “I’m really happy that he can watch me play. For example, when I’ll come to the facility to hit some balls, he’ll ask me to call him so he can watch me when I’m training. He’s always with me.”
Jimenez’s work with his coaches and his dad soon began to pay dividends on the golf course and the trophies started to pile up. In 2019, he took the top spot at the Spanish Open P&P, shooting 18-under. One year later, he was his home country’s U16 champion, then the U18 winner in 2021. He also collected a silver medal at the European Young Master U16 Tournament and helped his team place fifth in the European Boys Team Championship. These accomplishments soon caught the eye of a certain coach in Salt Lake City.
“We knew he was one of the…