Jimmy Walker broke through for his first major title with a one-shot win over Jason Day in the PGA Championship after the American played 36 grueling holes at water-logged Baltusrol on Sunday.
The 37-year-old Texan calmly canned a three-foot par putt to cap a wire-to-wire win with steely precision, shooting a final-round 67 to finish on 14-under 266.
However, his victory was far from routine.
“It was a battle the whole day,” said the American, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour.
Walker had to return to the classic championship course early on Sunday morning to play his entire third round after heavy rain and thunderstorms suspended play on Saturday, and he shot two-under 68 for a one-shot lead going into the final 18.
He then had to fend off major winners Day and Henrik Stenson in the final round, but came out shining with a one-two punch after the turn to set up victory.
Holding a one-shot lead over both world No. 1 and defending champion Day and Open Championship winner Stenson, Walker holed out from a greenside bunker to birdie the 10th hole.
Walker then rolled in a left-to-right curling, 30-foot uphill putt for birdie at the 11th to extend his lead to two over Australia’s Day. He widened the lead to three with a birdie putt that curled around the lip and in at the 17th.
However, Day put on the pressure, reaching the par-five 18th in two. He rolled in an eagle putt for 67 to close the gap to one, as Walker, playing in the final pairing, looked on from back on the fairway.
“I made the birdie [on 17], but sometimes things just don’t come easy and golf is not an easy game, and Jason is a true champion,” Walker said. “I wouldn’t expect anything less, an eagle at the last. That’s unreal. So it really put it on me to make a par.”
The American sprayed his approach to 18 into thick rough right of the green, before punching his third safely onto the green, but 35 feet beyond the hole.
He rolled his first putt three feet past, leaving himself with a testing par putt, which he sank under enormous pressure in the fading light for his first major triumph.
“Sometimes pars are hard, but we got it,” Walker said, before lifting the gleaming silver Wanamaker Trophy.
Walker’s victory completes a year of first-time major champions, joining Masters champion Danny Willett of England, US Open winner Dustin Johnson of the US and Open champion Stenson.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Montreal Canadiens, with the fewest wins of any NHL playoff teams, ignited the rink returning from a COVID-19 hiatus with upset triumphs in Saturday openers. NHL Rookie of the Year candidate Dominik Kubalik inspired the Blackhawks to a 6-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in game one of their best-of-five qualifying series at Edmonton, Alberta, scoring two goals and assisting on three others. “We were ready to go, and I think the game was pretty good,” Kubalik said. “I felt pretty good and everything went my way, so it’s nice, but it’s just the first game,