Jimmy Walker wins the Sony Open

Jimmy Walker (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

Jimmy Walker (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

Jimmy Walker was able to outlast a massive amount of contenders on Sunday at Waialae, coming away with his second career PGA Tour win, both happening in recent months, at the 2014 Sony Open.

What Happened

Coming into Sunday, it was pretty much impossible to know who was going to come away with the win at Waialae, which is always what the PGA Tour wants going into a final day. With so many players having a chance to win, it was going to take something pretty special on Sunday to get it done, and that’s exactly what Walker was able to do, firing a 7-under par 63, including birdies on three of the last four holes to leapfrog a host of players.

Chris Kirk had a chance on 18 to force a playoff with Walker, needing an eagle to tie. His approach into the par-5 18th was just short of the green, giving him a good chance to hole out for his three. When Kirk sent his chip past the hole, Walker had his second PGA Tour win with a final score of 17-under par.

Final Leaderboard

  • 1. Jimmy Walker -17
  • 2. Chris Kirk -16
  • 3. Jerry Kelly -15
  • 4. Harris English -14
  • 5. Marc Leishman -13

What The Win Means For Walker

We hear all the time about how once a player wins on the PGA Tour, the floodgates can open and that might be what we’re seeing here with Walker, who won the Frys.com Open last October for his first win and now has a second. In terms of what this means for him, I think what we’re looking at here is a guy who is going to win an event every year or every other year, but probably won’t contend much in majors. For some reason, I just don’t see it, but I do think he may have just got himself onto the U.S. Ryder Cup team, assuming that he doesn’t completely blow up from here until it’s time to make the selections. From Doug Ferguson:

Adam Scott and Benji Weatherly

When we found out that Steve Williams wouldn’t be caddying full time for Adam Scott this season, I think most people assumed that Scott would just grab a caddie from a player who wasn’t playing that week, or someone local who may know the course. Then, we found out that pro surfer Benji Weatherly was going to be on the bag this week, and I wonder how much of an impact this had on Scott this week. He played well, finishing at 10-under par, but he was also fifth from the bottom in strokes gained putting this week, an area where Williams presumably would have helped him read the greens. In any event, Scott’s now going to take a good chunk of time off, as we won’t see him again until the Honda Classic at the end of February.

John Daly’s performance

John Daly had an interesting week, even by his standards. After firing a four-under par 66 in his opening round, everyone expected him to blow up in Friday’s second round, and that’s kinda what he did, but the way he went about it was amazing.

He followed that performance with a 64 on Saturday, and an even par 70 on Sunday to finish at 7-under par. 19 birdies and an eagle, and he finished at 7-under par. That’s John Daly in a nutshell, but there was something interesting that happened this week. Everyone on Twitter seemed to be pulling for him to get right up there, and it got me thinking about how big it would be for not only him, but for golf itself, if Daly were to win another tournament. I’m not expecting it to happen, but it would be pretty amazing, wouldn’t it?

Shots of the tournament

He may have been +5 at the time, but Mike Weir hit a crazy good 3-wood out of the bunker on 18 in Thursday’s opening round:

01.09.14 weir bunker

Of course, James Hahn also had an albatross on Friday, even though Golf Channel wasn’t really paying attention:

hahn dbl eagle

And, Peter Malnati hit a pretty awful chip on Sunday, but it went in anyway.

01.12.14 peter malnati holeout

Other Notes

  • Notables to miss the cut: Johnson Wagner, Jordan Spieth, Vijay Singh, Ryo Ishikawa, Mike Weir, Carl Pettersson, Kenny Perry, Guan Tianlang and Bud Cauley.
  • Other notable finishes: Charles Howell III, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Retief Goosen and Adam Scott (T8), Boo Weekley and Jason Dufner (T29), John Daly and Justin Leonard (T32).
  • Another consistent finish at Waialae for Charles Howell III, who absolutely loves Waialae. Still can’t believe that he only has two wins on the PGA Tour.
  • On the opposite end of things, Jordan Spieth missed a cut, which isn’t something I think I’ll be saying much in 2014, but I also think that he’s going to run through approximately 423 caddies in his pro career. The amount that he reminds me of Sergio Garcia is staggering.
  • Tim Clark withdrew after an opening round 73, citing an injury to his left elbow. He is going to attempt to be in the field next week at the Humana.
  • It was mentioned on Saturday’s broadcast that for some reason, Vijay Singh wasn’t invited to this week’s Champions Tour stop, and I couldn’t help but think that it was because of his ongoing lawsuit with the PGA Tour. It doesn’t make sense to me that the Champions Tour, who is lacking for star power, wouldn’t extend the invite, and we know that PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has some form of power over the tour, so that’s where my thoughts went. If anyone else sees anything that contradicts that, please pass it along.
  • Interesting story of Will Wilcox this week, who got in a sponsor’s exemption and played well, ending up in a logjam of players tied for 8th place. He was the guy who shot that 59 on the Web.com Tour last year, and was actually using a yellow ball this week, which isn’t something you usually see on the PGA Tour. Also, he likes to write motivational reminders on his glove before he tees off:

01.12.14 wilcox glove

The finish also gets him into the Humana next week.

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