The year of the first-time PGA Tour winner is still among us after this past weekend’s performance from Jimmy Walker.
Walker, whom has won six times in his PGA Tour career, won the 98th PGA Championship by one stroke over the then-defending champion Jason Day. Overall, it was an exciting and exhilirating performance by both men.
On the 18th hole on Sunday, Day hit his second shot to 13 feet and was putting for eagle. After Day made the putt, he found himself one shot back of Walker.
All the pressure was now put on the 37-year-old, whom was seeking his first ever major championship. All Walker had to do was make par to win the coveted Wanamaker trophy.
His third shot landed 33 feet away from the hole, which left Walker with only one task…not three-putt.
Walker’s lag putt ended up three feet from the hole, with his next putt being the most important of his life. After making the putt, Walker could now call himself a major champion, making him the fourth first-time major champion of the season.
What an exciting last nine, which saw both men go three-under-par to end their respective rounds. As a golf fan, you got to love seeing this.
First-time winners on Tour are great, especially for those whom have played as long on it as Walker has. Walker held off the field the entire tournament, as he won in wire-to-wire fashion.
With that win, Walker more than likely captured a spot on the upcoming Ryder Cup team. The Ryder Cup being one of the most coveted events that all golfers look forward to every other year.
It was a week of joy and improvement for Walker, as he moved up 36 places in the FedEx Cup standings and 33 places in the Official World Golf rankings. Walker now stands in 14th place in the FedEx Cup rankings, and is ranked No. 15 in the Official World Golf rankings.
Oh, what one great week of golf can do for a man. Four rounds in the 60s doesn’t hurt as well.
This win for Walker definitely swings the momentum more his way. I expect more big weeks to come out of him and with the FedEx Cup Playoffs looming, don’t be surprised if he finds a way to win multiple events in the series.
This season hasn’t been the best statistically, though, for Walker, who is not in the top 10 in major statistical categories, such as putting and driving distance. It only takes one week, though, for everything to click and that is what happened to Walker.
Walker finished in second place overall with 19 birdies in the tournament; and second in the longest drive category with a booming drive of 384-yards in the final round. He also finished first in total strokes gained, dominating the field by nearly 16 strokes.
Just an overall incredible performance from a man that has had a pretty consistent season. Going into the PGA Championship, Walker accumulated four top 10 and 10 top 25 finishes, while only missing five cuts going into last week.
I predict that this will not be the last time you see Walker hoisting a trophy. I believe that he will do well in the upcoming tournaments, which includes the FedEx Cup Playoffs. If he wins is to be determined.