Walker hangs on for third win of the season|
Pebble Beach, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jimmy Walker made a 5-foot par putt on
the 72nd hole Sunday to hang on and win the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am by
Walker stumbled to a 2-over 74 in the final round to end his third win of the
season at 11-under-par 276.
"It's just drama, it's good TV isn't it? It is too much for me," Walker joked
in a greenside interview. "I struggled a little bit (with the big lead), and
you could tell that with the little wedge shot up the hill, then the 3-putt
[on 17]. I got little off edge. I was still hitting it pretty good, but lost
some touch stuff. It was nice to make that last one."
Dustin Johnson, a two-time winner of this event, fired the low round of the
day, a 6-under 66, to jump into a share of second. He was joined at minus-10
by Jim Renner, who closed with a 67.
Jordan Spieth (67) and Kevin Na (68) shared fourth place at 8-under 279.
Hunter Mahan closed with back-to-back 72s and ended alone in sixth at minus-7.
Graeme McDowell, who won the U.S. Open here at Pebble Beach in 2010, shot 67
in the final round. He was joined in seventh at 6-under 281 by Pat Perez (71)
and Tim Wilkinson (73).
Walker opened the round with a 6-stroke lead which was trimmed to five as he
failed to save par from a greenside bunker on the first. Mahan and Wilkinson
briefly moved within four, but Walker answered with a 6-foot birdie putt on
After five pars in a row, Walker stuffed his approach inside five feet at the
eighth. He rolled that putt in for birdie to again push his lead over Mahan
back to five.
However, the back nine was not as kind. Walker found sand off the tee on the
par-4 10th and that led to a bogey. He erased that mistake with a 10-foot
birdie putt on the 11th.
Walker missed the green with his tee shot at the par-3 12th and failed to save
par. He followed with a 3-putt bogey on No. 13, and suddenly his lead over
Johnson and Renner was down to three.
After three straight pars from the 14th, Walker 3-putted for bogey on the
par-3 17th to trim his cushion to one after Johnson and Renner both birdied
Walker pushed his drive into the right rough on 18. He laid up with his second
and also left it in the right rough before playing his third to 27 feet. He
raced his birdie try five feet by the hole, but made the par-saving putt to
earn his third win since October.
"It is a different feeling when you have a big lead. I know pars are going to
be good enough," Walker said. "I struggled a little bit with the speed of some
of the greens and my chipping. I made a really good putt at the last."
Johnson, the 2009 and 2010 champion, chipped in for eagle on the par-5 second
He traded a bogey for a birdie from the fifth and again from the seventh. He
birdied the ninth to make the turn at minus-7.
Around the turn, he birdied the 11th, but gave that shot right back with a
bogey on the 12th. Johnson, who was five groups ahead of Walker, ran off three
birdies in the last four holes to get in first at 10-under.
"Out here, I really do try to get my driver up as far as I can, just because
you can't really control the ball if you're hitting full shots into these
greens," Johnson stated.
Renner, who was in the group behind Johnson, had two birdies and two bogeys on
the front nine. He soared up the leaderboard with four birdies in a 5-hole
span from the 11th. Renner, like Johnson, birdied the last to share second.
NOTES: Walker earned $1.188 million for the win ... After not winning in his
first 187 PGA Tour starts, Walker has three victories in his last eight ...
Renner and his amateur partner, John Harkey Jr., won the Pro-Am portion of the
event ... The third round was completed earlier Sunday after being suspended
due to darkness on Saturday ... The 13 players that tied for 64th did not play
the final round so that the amateur portion of the event could be completed
... The tour heads to Riviera next week for the Northern Trust Open, where
John Merrick beat Charlie Beljan with a par on the second playoff hole last
year to earn his first PGA Tour title.
02/09 20:50:40 ET