It’s easy to say a golfer would like to play all his tournaments in Hawaii.
For Jimmy Walker, it’s more than just a trip to paradise.
Walker destroyed the field with a closing round 63 to win the Sony Open by nine strokes on Sunday, his second straight victory at the early-season tournament.
The victory won Walker, now a four-time PGA champion, $1 million and 500 FedEx points.
He closed with a 63, tied for the best round of the day, to finish 23-under par, nine strokes ahead of distant second-place Scott Piercy. The margin of victory was the largest in tournament history.
At even par through seven holes, Walker birdied seven of the last 11 to cruise to the 63, following up his 62 on Saturday.
The win helps make up for Walker’s fade at Kapalau last week, when he held a three-stroke lead with five holes to go, but played tentatively and was passed by Patrick Reed down the stretch.
The previous record for margin of victory was Paul Azinger’s seven strokes in 2000. Walker is the first man to repeat as tournament champion in Honolulu since Ernie Els did so in 2003-2004.
It’s also the largest margin of victory at a PGA event since Brian Gay won Hilton Head by 10 strokes in 2009.
“And that’s kind of the way it feels when you watch those performances,” Walker said. “You see them and are like, `Man, what golf course is that guy playing?’ And to be able to say you’ve done that and you’ve distanced yourself like that, it’s really cool. I think it’s a good learning experience. Definitely happy to keep the pedal down.”