Walker denies Singh at Frys.com Open
Jimmy Walker closed with a five-under 66 to capture the Frys.com Open and record his first PGA Tour victory on Sunday.
Walker needed 188 attempts to secure his first PGA Tour victory as the American came from behind to clinch a two stroke win over tour journeyman, Vijay Singh.
Vijay Singh (Credit: Anthony Powter)
For Singh, who debuted on the Champions Tour this season, it was his best PGA Tour showing since finishing runner-up at the 2011 Northern Trust Open.
Tied for the lead with four holes to play in Sunday’s final round, Walker rolled in a 6-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to claim the lead. Three closing pars for a 5-under 66 turned out to be more than enough for the 34-year-old Texan to take home a trophy and plenty of perks.
Walker secured a start at the Masters for the first time, along with a trip to Maui for the Tournament of Championship. The victory has also pushed him into the top 50 for the first time in his career.
“I think it’ll sink in after a while,” said Walker.
“I’m still feeling the adrenaline right now. It feels like a release right now, but it feels really good.”
Brooks Koepka finished in a tie for third place at 14-under-par along with Kevin Na, Scott Brown and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.
Singh closed with a 68 and wound up with the 27th runner-up finish of his career and his best result since he sued the PGA Tour in May over its handling of the investigation into Singh admitting he used deer antler spray.
The Frys.com Open was the season opener in the new PGA Tour schedule, which has the 2014 season starting in October instead of January for the first time in history.
It replaces the previous “Fall Series” events where players mainly were trying to make money to keep their cards and instead gives the opportunity for players to secure an early PGA Tour victory and the associated perks that go with it.
Walker, who has done the hard yards on Tour for many years, was ecstatic with claiming the victory and with having newfound opportunity to forge his status on Tour.
“I wasn’t good enough to play golf on tour when I was at 20 or 21 like these guys are. They’re really good,” said Walker, who turned pro in 2001.
“I’ve gone through everything. I played on a lot of tours, I’ve won on a lot of tours, and this is the final stepping stone. It feels great. I wouldn’t take back anything I’ve ever done or anything I’ve ever gone through to get here.”