Pining for Augusta. Georgia on my Mind. All those phrases everyone will hear a dozen times this week.
They are also true. Overnight leader Jimmy Walker isn't going ultra-low in the second round -- he's even through nines holes -- but he knows what's at stake this week.
"Well, I mean, anybody that's not playing at Augusta next week, you know, knows that this is your last chance to punch your ticket," Walker said, "It would be great to win and get to go play. Just great to win, whatever.
"Whatever happens after that is great. It's a long week. Yeah, you're always thinking about it this week. I think everybody probably is. Win this week, go to Augusta."
Walker has 120 PGA TOUR starts, but only three of them have come in majors. He played in the U.S. Open in 2001 and 2002 and the PGA Championship in 2010.
In the opening round from Redstone Golf Club, Jimmy Walker ties the course record of 63 and has a two shot lead at 9-under par.
In the midst of his best season yet on TOUR, Jimmy Walker was just featured on Inside the PGA TOUR. Learn more about the overnight leader at the Shell Houston Open:
Seven years after being named the Nationwide Tour Player of the Year, Jimmy Walker is enjoying his best season on the PGA TOUR.
Jimmy Walker is the Round 1 leader at 9-under 63 -- tying the course record -- and he did it in the same fashion as Anthony Kim last year. Meaning, he hit less than half the fairways. In Walker's case, a lot less than half.
Walker hit only five of 14 fairways but needed only 23 putts on Thursday. As a reminder, here was Anthony Kim's stats off the tee last year:
|Player||Fairways Hit||Percentage||Rank in Field|
|Anthony Kim||23 of 56||41 percent||80th|
Leave it to Texan Jimmy Walker to clean up around the Redstone Course. The 32-year-old -- winless in 119 starts -- just birdied the par-4 sixth -- his 15th hole of the day -- to get to 8 under.
Walker has already had a big year. He was fourth in both the Northern Trust Open and the Sony Open, and he tied for ninth in the T&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am after shooting 63 in the third round.
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – What a difference a week makes. At least for Jimmy Walker on this particular Sunday
He entered the final round of last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am one stroke off the lead and played in the final group with Steve Marino. Walker, who was bidding for his first PGA TOUR victory, shot a 75 that sent him tumbling down the leaderboard into a tie for ninth.
But it was Walker’s second top-10 of the season, and he brought that momentum with him to Los Angeles where he’s contending again Sunday at the Northern Trust Open.
The 2004 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year has just made the turn after shooting a bogey-free 31 on the front. Walker has moved to 9 under for the tournament, tied with Fred Couples just three strokes off the lead. – Helen Ross
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Jimmy Walker has bounced back well after a disappointing final round at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last week.
He started Sunday one stroke off Steve Marino’s lead and played with him in the final group. But Walker ended up shooting a 75 and tumbled down the leaderboard into a tie for ninth.
At the same time, though, that was Walker’s second top-10 of the season. And he’s on the leaderboard again Friday at the Northern Trust Open, tied for fifth at 4 under and three strokes off the lead.
Maybe a positive attitude helps. Here’s what he tweeted on Tuesday.
@ JimmyWalkerPGA Thanks everyone. It was a difficult day but we learned a lot. I can't wait for my favorite course all, Riviera. – Helen Ross
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The final group has six holes remaining, and the race has tightened considerably at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Steve Marino just missed the green at the par-3 12th hole, chipped on and missed a 21-footer for par to drop back into a three-way tie for the lead at 12 under. Also in that group at D.A. Points and Hunter Mahan, who is 5 under through 15 holes.
Bryce Molder and Jimmy Walker are one stroke behind while Alex Cejka and Tom Gillis are tied at 10 under. Of the top seven players on the leaderboard only Mahan has won a PGA TOUR event.
The leader in the clubhouse is Nick Watney, who shot 67 on Sunday to finish at 9 under. If there is a playoff, the holes would be Nos. 18, 17 and 18.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Steve Marino regained sole possession of the lead when he tapped in from 11 inches at the par-5 sixth hole.
But six players stand within three strokes of his lead, including Jimmy Walker, who is at 12 under and D.A. Points, Hunter Mahan and Alex Cejka , who are another stroke back. Points is playing with comedian Bill Murray and the two are tied for the lead in the pro-am portion of the event.
Phil Mickelson, the three-time champ at Pebble Beach, has just birdied No. 11 to move to 10 under along with Bryce Molder. Molder had a chance to win last year’s tournament until he made a 9 at the 14th hole on Sunday. – Helen Ross
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Saturday was a day of survival for Steve Marino.
The good news is that he’s still leading the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. His four-shot lead, though, has dwindled to one over Jimmy Walker and Bryce Molder and two over D.A. Points.
Marino, who like his nearest competitors is still looking for his first PGA TOUR win, shot a 1-over 71 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, which is generally regarded as the easiest in the three in the rotation.
Marino started on the back nine and set the tone for the day, unfortunately, with two bogeys in his first three holes. He turned in 1 over but got back to even with a birdie at the second hole.
That burst of momentum was short-lived, though. The last five holes were a roller-coaster ride as Marino closed with an eagle, three bogeys and one par.