Nervous Walker holds on for title
Jimmy Walker nearly threw away a six-shot lead before regaining his composure to win the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Victory appeared to be a mere formality for the American after he surged clear of the field on day three, but he suffered a big collapse on the Sunday to claim a nervous one-shot victory.
The 35-year-old carded a two-over-par 74 in his fourth round to finish with an 11-under par total of 276, just ahead of two-time winner Dustin Johnson and Jim Renner.
After starting his day with a bogey that was cancelled out at the second with a birdie, he picked up another shot at the eighth, but then went bogey, birdie, bogey, bogey in his next four holes.
Another bogey followed at the 17th, but fortunately for him the six-stroke lead proved to be too much for his rivals to make up.
“You could tell that with the little wedge shot up the hill, then the three-putt (on 17),” Walker, who won his eighth PGA Tour title, said.
“I got little off edge. I was still hitting it pretty good, but lost some touch stuff. It was nice to make that last one.”
He added: “It’s a different feeling when you’ve got a lead like that. You know pars are going to be good enough. I just struggled a bit with the speed of some of those greens and some of the chipping.”
Johnson (66) and Renner (67) had better days as they finished on 10 under, one shot ahead of Jordan Spieth and Kevin Na while Graeme McDowell closed with a 67 to be six under along with Pat Perez and Tim Wilkinson
Five-time winner Phil Mickelson closed with a two-over to be tied 19th at three under.
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