Jimmy Walker turned professional in golf in 2001. For years, he was a name nobody knew on the PGA Tour, and has been constantly confused with the legendary actor of the same name.
And then, in 2014, it was quite a turn of events for Walker, who had a terrific season. He racked up three wins right away and he wasn’t done yet.
He also had three top 10 finishes at the majors in 2014 at the Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship. His 26th place finish at The Open was also nothing to sleep on.
In 2015, Walker added two more wins to his resume. He also had two runner-up finishes as well, meaning he was close to an impressive seven wins in two seasons.
Despite the success, people were still unsure who he was. Certainly he slowly started to build a fanbase after playing so well but, some believed his wins occurred too early in the season.
But now, with a good performance at the Ryder Cup in 2014, and a PGA Championship win to his credit, he has officially joined the PGA Tour’s elite. Even if it was ever so quietly, like a ninja in the night.
But, the man who wears all black isn’t throwing stars and slinging nun chucks. He uses a sword, and that sword is his deadly putter.
Despite ranking 55th in in the world in putting, Walker was 12th in 2014 and second in 2015. No doubt his putting slump may have had some people on edge during the tournament but, on the last couple of holes, Walker hit the putts he needed to.
However, he hit the shot of his life on the 10th at Baltusrol, where he holed out of a bunker for his birdie. No putter needed.
On 18, he decided to go for it in two and pulled out his 3-wood. He missed the green and ended up in the greenside rough.
Cool as ice, Walker hit a gorgeous flop shot that made the green with tiny bit of spin on it. All he needed was a par for the win.
He had a very long putt for his birdie chance, and this was the moment when his putter caught fire again just like in 2014 and 2015. He hit his lag putt close enough to where it left him with an easy par chance.
The long putt nearly dropped, but nonetheless, Walker knew that he was a sweet par away from his first major and to hold off defending champion Jason Day. The putt dropped, and Walker joined Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as the only golfers in the last 20 years, to go wire-to-wire for a PGA Championship win.
He also became the fourth first time major winner this season. He joined Danny Willett (Masters), Dustin Johnson (U.S. Open) and Henrik Stenson (The Open), all of those players being in the top 15 in the World Golf Rankings.
And after 15 years of being a pro, Jimmy Walker was a major champion. A great way to cap off one of the hottest stretches of golf in a two-year span.
The man went from 13 years without a title, to instantly getting six wins, including a major. You can bet we’ll see Walker representing team USA in the Ryder Cup this Fall.
If he can help the U.S. squad win its first Ryder Cup in eight years, he will prove yet again why he’s one of the best golfers on the planet.
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