Jimmy Walker became the fifth straight first-time Major winner on Sunday, sinking a short par putt to knock off defending champion Jason Day by a single stroke to win the PGA Championship at Baltrusol in New Jersey.
Day gave it his best shot, eagling No. 18 to close within a stroke, but Walker, the Baylor University graduate, sank a short putt to earn the victory, the sixth of his career on the PGA Tour – all since 2013.
It looked for a long time like Walker might tighten up under the intense pressure, as he parred the first nine holes in a row. But he came out of his shell with a birdie that he slapped out of the sand and into the hole on No. 10 and added another birdie on 11 to get himself righted.
Day couldn’t have done much more to defend his crown, finishing 68-65-67-67 – 267 to finish 13-under. His slow start was the only real barrier between him and victory – he bogeyed No. 1 and 3 before turning things around.
Lost in the Day-Walker drama was the impressive showing by American Daniel Summerhays. The 32-year-old finished third at 10-under shooting 70-67-67-66 to earn $680,000. It was his second Top 10 finish at Major this year following his tie for eighth at the US Open.
Henrik Stenson, who entered Sunday’s fourth round two strokes off the lead in pursuit of his second Major in three weeks, fell off on Sunday with a 71 to tip to a tie for seventh with Martin Kaymer.
Branden Grace, Hideki Matsuyma, and Brooks Koepka tied for fourth at 9-under.