Jimmy Walker gets first major title with PGA Championship win

Texas native Jimmy Walker wins the PGA Championship in New Jersey making it his first major championship victory. Photo Courtesy: PGA.com
Texas native Jimmy Walker won the PGA Championship in New Jersey making it his first major championship victory. Photo Courtesy: PGA.com

By Jay Betsill

Thirty-seven-year-old Texan Jimmy Walker captured the PGA Championship at Baltusrol to make the season’s final major the first major championship in his career.

As expected, it was not easy.

“There was nothing easy about the day — really about the week, for that matter,” Walker said. “Especially coming down the last hole.”

Due to the weekend’s rain, the 36-hole final day was the longest in PGA Championship history since 1952 and it came down to the final hole when defending champion Jason Day eagled No. 18 to climb to within one stroke of Walker’s lead. After a birdie on No. 17, all Walker needed was a par on the final hole and he answered the call.

“It was nice to get the eagle, just to try and make Jimmy think about it,” Day said. “But obviously, Jimmy just played too good all day.”

British Open champion Henrik Stenson was in contention as he attempted to win back-to-back majors, but a double-bogey on the 15th hole took him out of the mix.

In addition to the Wannamaker Trophy, Walker earned $1.8 million and 600 FedEx Cup points for his efforts. This was Walker’s first win since the 2015 Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio.

Day pocketed $1.08 million for his runner-up finish.

Notables in the field included Henrik Stenson (T7,-8), Jordan Spieth (T13, -6), Adam Scott (T18, -5), Phil Mickelson (T33, -3), Rickie Fowler (T33, -3), Bubba Watson (T60, +1) and Masters champion Danny Willett (T79, +5). Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson were among those who missed the cut.

Four-time PGA Championship winner Tiger Woods missed the event due to injury.

Next up on the PGA Tour is the Traveler’s Championship at TPC River Highlands near Hartford.