April 09, 2014
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Jimmy Walker leads the FedExCup after winning three times this season. (Harry How/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Masters rookies frequently schedule practice rounds with past champions in hopes of learning some of the nuances of Augusta National.
But Jimmy Walker, who enters his first Masters with three wins under his belt, hit the mother lode on Tuesday when Tom Watson asked him to play 18 holes -- and BenCrenshaw joined the two for the front nine, as well.
Watson and Crenshaw have four Masters titles between them, after all. And Watson will captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team that Walker -- who ranks No. 1 in the standings-- is poised to make.
"I asked him a few little questions and let him know I was anxious to play," Walker said with a smile.
Among their many topics of conversation, Walker remembers the World Golf Hall of Famer telling him that his first Masters win was his favorite.
"But he was business," Walker said. "He was out working and I was, too."
Watson did talk to the FedExCup leader about the challenging shots into Augusta National's undulating greens.
"They want to accept a shot that the fairway doesn't want to give," Walker explained. "You've got a hook lie but it requires a cut shot into the green, that kind of thing.
"Even here on No. 9, it's a cut lie but it's a draw green kind of a deal. So there was a lot of that. He talked about Hogan on Amen Corner, how he'd wait for the flags to line up before he'd hit. A lot of stuff like that."
Interestingly, the two also discussed Walker's hobby, which is astrophotography. Earlier in the day while being interviewed on SiriusXM, Watson had said the first book he ever read was about astronomy. So there was definitely common ground.
"He's got a telescope that he looks through at home," Walker said. "We talked about that a little bit and I told him about what I did and how I did it. He seemed pretty interested in it. So that was cool."