Jimmy Walker wins hometown Texas Open
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jimmy Walker made himself right at home on the Texas Open leaderboard.
Walker won his hometown event Sunday to become the first two-time winner this season on the PGA Tour, beating fellow Texan Jordan Spieth by four strokes.
″(Spieth) really made me fight hard,” Walker said. “He kept hitting it close, and I had to keep making putts.”
Walker made birdie putts of 15 feet at No. 16 and 17 feet at the 17th in a 2-under 70 that left him at 11-under 277 at TPC San Antonio, a 35-minute drive from his home.
The 36-year-old Walker won the Sony Open in Hawaii by nine shots in January and has a tour-best five victories in the past two seasons.
“Everybody says it’s hard to win at home,” he said, ”(but) it’s hard to win any week — home, away, out of the country, it’s hard. So I feel good.”
Spieth also finished with a 70, making four late birdies in a row. The 21-year-old player was coming off a playoff victory two weeks ago at Innisbrook.
“It actually looked like I had a chance,” said Spieth, seven shots back with eight to play. “I didn’t think that would be possible. You’re never out of it in this game, but Jimmy shut that down pretty quickly with his made putts.”
Walker and Spieth will move to career highs in the world ranking, with Spieth going from sixth to fourth and Walker from 13th to 10th.
“That’s cool,” Spieth said. “But I’m not pinching myself, because there are three guys ahead.”
FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel was third at 4 under after a 71.
Daniel Summerhays, second last year behind Steven Bowditch, tied for fourth with Chesson Hadley at 3 under. Summerhays closed with a 69, and Hadley had a 71.
Doral winner Dustin Johnson shot his second straight 68 to match Ryan Palmer at 2 under. Palmer also had a 68.
“With the same wind the last three days it helped to figure out the course, and I played well,” Johnson said. “I just played a couple of holes bad. Other than that, I played a lot of good golf in between and if I played those other holes better it’s a whole different tournament.”
Phil Mickelson, looking for some momentum heading to the Masters, closed with a 76 to drop into a tie for 30th at 4 over.
Ten players finished under par, with the Oaks Course playing the toughest on the PGA Tour this season with a 74.581 stroke average — more than two shots over par. The previous high was PGA National’s Champion course at 1.832 over par for the Honda Classic.
Marc Warren and Harris English failed to crack the top 50 in the world rankings, which would have given them spots in the Masters.
Warren, 52nd, needed to finish ahead of Brendan Todd to get in, but closed with a 70 to finish 35th.
English, 53rd, needed at least a top 10. His final-round 72 only got him to 30th.