Jimmy Walker Holds Off Jason Day for First Major Title
Jimmy Walker confidently sunk a three-foot par putt on the 72nd hole at Baltusrol to finish off a bogey-free final round at the PGA Championship and claim his first major victory by one stroke.
The 37-year-old Walker shot a final-round 67 to complete a wire-to-wire victory. And he did so with the defending champion and world No. 1 right on his heels. Jason Day dropped two shots early in the final round but bounced back to stay within striking distance of Walker.
The five-time winner on the PGA Tour relied on past experience to continue to grind out pars on a soggy New Jersey afternoon.
“Sometimes pars are hard but we got that one," Walker said. "There’s a lot of emotion going on out there, I’m not going to lie to you. It was a battle all day long. There was nothing easy about the day, really about the week, for that matter, especially coming down the last hole."
There didn't appear to be any drama left for the 18th hole after Walker birdied the par-5 17th to move three shots clear of the field. But Day hit two incredible iron shots, including a 2-iron from 254 yards out, to leave himself about 12 feet for an eagle putt that electrified the crowd.
Walker watched it all from the fairway.
After leaving his approach shot short and right of the green, Walker proceeded to pitch it up and two-putt for his first major victory.
For the fifth major in a row, a first-time winner was left hoisting the trophy. It's just the fifth time since the Masters began in 1934 that all four major champions in a calendar year were first-time winners.
The sport now turns its attention to the Rio Olympics, where golf makes its return in 10 days.