We talk about how The Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens has become a home game for so many of the top names in golf today. So many golfers now call the South Florida area home, that sometimes we forget that there are still plenty of big names that reside outside of the Sunshine State.
Jimmy Walker is one of them. Calling the San Antonio, Texas area home, Walker had his own “home game” this week at the Valero Texas Open at the TPC San Antonio. The JW Marriot where the course resides is just 27 miles from his home allowing Walker to sleep in his own bed, drive his own car, and eat his own food, all in the comfort of his home.
Each day he made that drive from his home to the course in his town car. Then he went out and won it, adding a passenger in the shape of a trophy to his car ride back Sunday night.
“To play this well at home in front of everybody, it’s amazing,” Walker said. “I don’t know how else to describe it or I’d be a writer, like you guys. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s cool.”
“Cool” would be one way to describe how Walker played his round Sunday. While golfers like Jordan Spieth and Billy Horschel fluctuating between making runs and falling back, Walker played it cool and steady, firing a final round 2-under 70 to shoot an 11-under 277 for the week and beat Spieth by four shots.
“(Spieth) really made me fight hard,” Walker said. “He kept hitting it close, and I had to keep making putts.”
Spieth, a Texan in his own right, played with Walker Sunday in the final group with Horschel but was never able to really get anything going. He started the day four back of Walker and that’s exactly where he finished. He came out with a birdie on the first hole to close the gap to three but that was as close as he would get. Speith made a birdie run to finish up his round, birdying four in a row in his finla five holes, but it was too little too late.
“I obviously would have liked to make that run a little earlier to make it a shootout,” Spieth said. “But I just didn’t have that stuff around that middle stretch of the round, made a couple of costly mistakes, where I was trying to be a little too aggressive. You just can’t do that.”
Three bogeys on the front nine ultimately ended any real chance Spieth had at overtaking Walker, but he continued to fire away, right up until the final putt.
Still, Spieth likes where he is at right now with the start of the Masters just 10 days away.
“I feel great with my last start being a win, and this being a runner-up.” Spieth said. “I’m going to play next week in Houston on a golf course that’s really not well suited for me. I know that going in, so hopefully I can stay calm and collected and just try and pick some tight lines and just trim off the fat, which is what I’m trying to do next week to get ready for Augusta.”
For Jimmy Walker, the success and wins just continue to pile up. The Texas Open win was his fifth in the last three years. In addition he not only became the first multiple winner of the 2014-2015 season he ended the strange 54-hole leader curse, becoming the first 54-hole leader to seal the deal in the last 10 tournaments. The win propels him to the number 10 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking as well.
It’s not every day that a golfer wins their hometown event. Walker did that Sunday, then had the ultimate walk-off shot on they way home.
Nothing like winning a golf tournament and getting to drive HOME in your own car! pic.twitter.com/ViTCEqv1mP
— Erin Walker (@tourwifetravels) March 30, 2015
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