Monday, February 10
Jimmy Time at Pebble Beach
AFTER GOING 0 FOR 187, JIMMY WALKER has won three of his last eight starts on the PGA Tour. On Sunday Walker frittered away a six-shot lead before holing a bumpy five-foot par putt on the final green for a one-shot victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
People say it's hard playing with a big lead. Walker seemed to agree after it was over. "[I]t's a different feeling when you have a lead like that," he said.
Walker shot a 2-over 74 in the final round, finishing at 11-under for the tournament played on three Monterey Peninsula courses. Dustin Johnson (66) and Jim Renner (67) tied for second.
About 15 minutes after missing a short par putt on the par-3 17th, Walker was not looking like a cinch as he rolled his first putt an uncomfortable distance past the cup on the 18th green. He described his approach to the last stroke.
"I tried to blank everything out that was going on. I just ... tried to go about it as businesslike as possible. Don't watch the putt, keep your head down, stuff I probably should have thought about the last couple holes."
The clinching putt drifted left but fell in. Huge relief.
"I made it a little more dramatic than it needed to be," Walker admitted.
Later he tweeted: "Not my best but a win is a win!"
All three Walker victories have come out west: the Frys.com Open in California last October, the Sony Open in Hawaii a month ago and now Pebble Beach.
With his third win, Walker is leading important stuff. Money list ($3,605,833). FedEx Cup. Ryder Cup points. OK, actually he's seventh on the U.S. Ryder Cup list. And the 35-year-old Texan has climbed to No. 24 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Yes, Jimmy Walker. No joke.