SPRINGFIELD, NJ—The fourth and final major of the PGA season saw yet another first-time winner Jimmy Walker go wire-to-wire to capture the PGA Championship and his first major victory.
On a final day that was the longest final day in 64 years at a PGA Championship, Walker had to play perfect to hold off World #1 Jason Day.
Walker stood on the par-5 17th green looking at a birdie putt that would give him a 3-shot lead over Day going into the final hole. Weather caused delay’s in the pairings that were not regrouped and Day was playing a hole ahead of Walker.
As Walker approached his putt, a loud roar could be heard from the par-5 18th. Jason Day had just knocked his second shot 15 feet from the hole with the brilliance of a 2-iron.
Walker refocused and approached the putt once again. The putt had just enough to hang on and trickle into the cup, giving Walker his three-shot lead.
Moments later, Day knocked in his eagle putt, pulling him back within one shot of Walker. As Walker reached the 18th tee box, he knew that all he had to do was par the hole and he would be the newest major champion.
“There was nothing easy about the day – really about the week, for that matter,” said Walker after his round. “Especially coming down the last hole,” he added.
Walker used a fairway wood on his second shot to attempt and reach the green. He missed to the right and had to chip out of the Baltusrol rough, leaving him two putts to seal the victory.
He rolled his first putt three feet past the hole. With ice in his veins, he stood over the ball, chose his line with confidence, and drove the ball to the bottom of the cup, giving him the PGA Championship.
“Day really put it on me to make par,” said Walker of the final hole. “Sometimes pars are hard. But we got it.”
Walker finished the round with a 3-under 67 and a one-shot victory over Jason Day. Walker didn’t make a bogey over his last 28 holes.
“It was nice to get the eagle, just to try and make Jimmy think about it,” said Day after the epic finale. “But obviously, Jimmy just played too good all day.”
Daniel Summerhays finished in third place at 10-under, and there was a 3-way tie for fourth place at 9-under.