Born in Málaga in southern Spain, Jiménez first played on the European Tour in 1988 and improved steadily over the next few seasons. His first win on the tour came at the Piaget Belgian Open in 1992. During a fairly up and down career, he has so far had four main periods of success. He has finished inside the top 100 on the European Tour Order of Merit every season since 1989. In 1994 he finished fifth on the European Tour Order of Merit. One highlight was scoring an exceptionally rare albatross (double eagle) on the 17th hole at Valderrama, during the 1994 Volvo Masters, sinking his second shot on the par-5 hole with a 3-iron.
After some weaker seasons he bounced back in 1998 and 1999, finishing fourth on the Order of Merit in consecutive years and winning four tournaments including the prestigious Volvo Masters. In 1999 he also came second in the WGC-American Express Championship, which is one of the elite World Golf Championshipsevents, and made his Ryder Cup debut.