After 187 tourneys without a win, Walker gets them in bunches

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 10, 2014
The brightest lights that interest Jimmy Walker are found in another galaxy through his high-powered telescope. He goes to Las Vegas strictly for work. ''I've probably spent more time with him than anyone else the last two years,'' instructor Butch Harmon said on Sunday after watching Walker win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for his third win of a U.S. PGA Tour season that is only four months old. ''He's not a big party guy. He's not a big gambling guy,'' Harmon said. ''He comes to Vegas a lot, and he comes to work. He has a lot of talent, a good demeanor. I think we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg with this guy.'' It will take a few more months to learn how big this iceberg might be. Winning on the tour has never been more difficult than it is now, which makes Walker's start even more remarkable. Three wins is a great season for anyone not named Tiger Woods, and Walker has achieved that in only eight starts. Woods, Phil Mickelson and David Duval -- the best three Americans of their generation -- are the only other players in the past 20 years to have won three times in eight tournaments to start a season. Woods has done it eight times (and still might this year). Beyond the trophies are the different circumstances for each victory. Walker was steady in the final hour of the Frys.com Open four months ago, making birdie on a par 5 and closing with three pars for a 66 to take advantage of the late blunders by Brooks Koepka. Last month at the Sony Open, a tournament that any of a dozen players could have won on the back nine, Walker pulled away with three straight birdies for a 7-under-par 63 and a one-shot win. Pebble Beach might have been the toughest. He had a six-shot lead going into the final round. Woods, an exception in just about every category throughout his career, is about the only person who looks comfortable with a big lead. Walker couldn't remember having a lead like that even as a junior golfer. Dustin Johnson, a two-time winner at Pebble Beach, closed with a 66 despite making three bogeys. Jim Renner shot 31 on the back nine. They finished second - barely. Walker looked solid through nine holes, had a five-shot lead at the turn, yet had to make a 5-footer for par on the 18th for a 74 and a one-shot victory. ''I'm going to put some good stuff in the memory bank of having a big lead and what to do with that, how to deal with that,'' Walker said. ''I played really well the last three days and . . . I really just wanted to finish it off. And we did.'' Harmon could see Walker become tentative with his putting stroke, and that's what made it close. ''It's very difficult to have a big lead,'' Harmon said. ''He's never had one. He's never known how to act. I'm proud of him. This will help him in major championships when he gets in that position.'' Walker sought out Harmon two years ago at a time when Harmon was looking to scale back his stable. This does not sound like a big project. Harmon could see that Walker had power in his swing and steady hands on the putter. ''He has an old-school swing with a lot of knee drive in general,'' Harmon said. ''He had a narrow, long backswing, and when he transferred his weight the club would get behind him. We put some width in his swing. But he's worked hard on all aspects of his game.'' The test for Walker comes later, and that will be the measure. Walker went up to No. 24 in the world on Monday, a number that would be a little higher except for the strength of the fields he beat. He has played only one World Golf Championship (last year in Shanghai). He has never played more than two majors in a year, and he has made the cut in a major only twice. Then again, those three wins were not an accident. Winning is hard. After going 187 events without winning, Walker looks comfortable doing it. ''I just go out and play golf,'' Walker said. ''This is what I want to do and I've worked really hard to do it, to be here. And to be in this position and it's really cool.'' Cool as an iceberg.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Nationals GM: Strasburg ‘unlikely to pitch in NLDS’

WATCH: Wayne Gretzky tells the hilarious story of his secret Hall of Fame visit

Wilson Ramos done for year with torn ACL

Sam Allardyce, English FA announce contract termination just 67 days into the job

Report: Clint Dempsey to miss rest of 2016 MLS season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rose not revealing true concern over rape investigation

UFC 205 headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez

Greg Hardy told police someone slipped cocaine in his wallet

Report: LSU will ‘gauge the interest’ of Saban, Meyer, others

Dustin Byfuglien didn’t enjoy the World Cup of Hockey

Marlins’ Dee Gordon emotional after lead-off HR

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

To save his legacy Chris Bosh must first protect his health

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Green Beret shares how he helped alter Kaepernick protest

Gordon: Hitting HR for Fernandez ‘best moment of my life’

Box Score: 9/27 - Goodbyes, farewells and hurdles

Kevin Garnett's unique career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

15 greatest calls of Vin Scully's career

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

To save his legacy Chris Bosh must first protect his health

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Kevin Garnett's unique NBA career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker