SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — Jimmy Walker did everything required of a major champion on the longest final day in 64 years at a PGA Championship.
And then Jason Day made him do a little bit more.
Walker’s caddie lives major win through boss’ eyes
Jimmy Walker’s victory at the PGA Championship meant the world to the pro, but for his caddie, it was the realization of a dream come full circle at Baltusrol.
PGA finish par for 2016 majors’ course
Jimmy Walker hoisted the Wanamaker trophy. But before he did Sunday, like all the other majors this season, the PGA Championship ended with plenty of drama.
For Day, major losses not created equal
Finishing runner-up at the PGA Championship certainly wasn’t what Jason Day hoped for at Baltusrol, but considering the circumstances, the world No. 1 is plenty happy with the end result.
Walker was standing over an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-5 17th hole Sunday when he heard a roar that caused him to twice back off the putt. Day had just delivered with a 2-iron that landed in front of the pin and stopped 15 feet away for a chance at eagle. The defending champion and world’s No. 1 player was down to his last chance — and he nailed it.
Walker answered, like he had done all day, with a birdie for a three-shot lead.
Moments later, another roar.
Day made the eagle putt, and the lead was down to one.
“There was nothing easy about the day — really about the week, for that matter,” Walker said. “Especially coming down the last hole.”
He went for the 18th green, knowing it was his easiest chance for the par he needed to win. The outcome was still in doubt until Walker missed the green to the right, pitched out of deep rough to 35 feet and rolled his first putt about 3 feet past the cup.
Walker calmly made it to capture the PGA Championship, ending a long, wet week at Baltusrol. And he still had just enough strength to hoist the 37-pound Wanamaker Trophy.
“[Day] really put it on me to make a par,” Walker said. “Sometimes pars are hard. But we got it.”
That par gave him a 3-under 67 and a one-shot victory. The 37-year-old from Texas is now a major champion.
Because of rain, the 36-hole final was the longest in PGA Championship history since Jim Turnesa won his 36-hole match in 1952. Walker at least had time to rest in his travel bus — he’s a frequent neighbor of Day on the PGA Tour — and get right back out into the final round. Walker, who shot a 68 in the morning for a one-shot lead over Day, didn’t make a bogey over the last 28 holes.