Golf: Jimmy Walker captures first PGA Tour title

On his 188th try, Jimmy Walker won his first PGA Tour title Sunday in the Open in San Martin, Calif., and earned his first trip to the Masters.

It took some help from Brooks Koepka, who was playing in his first tour event.

Walker took the lead for good with a birdie on the 15th hole at CordeValle, and three pars for a 5-under-par 66 was all it took. This is Walker’s eighth full season on tour and the win means he will crack the top 50 in the world ranking for the first time.


‘‘I think it will sink in after a while,’’ Walker said. ‘‘Relief right now. It feels really good. I'm pretty excited.’’

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It was a sinking feeling for Koepka, whose journey around the world in a remarkable year nearly ended with a tour card.

Koepka had a four-shot lead with 11 holes to play, and the 23-year-old Floridian looked as poised and confident as he had all week. There was a crack when he missed a 3-foot par putt on the ninth hole, and it really caught up with him at the end.

Koepka missed a 6-foot putt on the 15th that would have matched birdies with Walker, who was playing in the group ahead of him. Koepka then missed his tee shot wildly to the left on the 16th hole and had to scramble for bogey.

Down to his last shot, he hit into the water on the 297-yard, par-4 17th for another bogey.


Vijay Singh closed with a 68 and wound up with the 27th runner-up finish of his Hall of Fame career, and his best result since he sued the PGA Tour in May over its handling of the investigation into Singh admitting he used deer antler spray.

Koepka, who closed with a 72, wound up in a tie for third with Kevin Na (64), Scott Brown (64), and Hideki Matsuyama (66).

James Driscoll of Brookline shot a 69 to finish tied for 21st.

LPGA — American teenager Lexi Thompson shot a 2-under 69 to win the LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur by four strokes. The 18-year-old, who won her second career tour title and first of the season, finished at 19-under 265.

Feng Shanshan (67) was second, while Ilhee Lee (73), the leader after the first two rounds, tied for third with Suzann Pettersen (70) at 12 under.


Thompson also won the Navistar LPGA Classic in 2011. ‘‘It’s very big,” she said. “I have worked so hard between this whole last year since Navistar, it pays off and means so much to me.’’

Amy Yang was fifth, nine shots off the pace.

Champions — Russ Cochran holed a 5-foot putt on the final hole for his fourth straight birdie and a one-stroke victory over David Frost in the SAS Championship in Cary, N.C.

The 54-year-old Cochran, also the 2010 winner at Prestonwood Country Club, closed with a 5-under 67 to finish at 17-under 199. The lefthander won the Principal Charity Classic in June. He has five tour victories after winning once on the PGA Tour.

Frost finished with a 66. He missed a short birdie putt on No. 17 and also settled for par on 18.

Kirk Triplett was third at 14 under after a 68.

European — David Lynn shot an 8-under 63 to rally from six shots back and win the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura. Lynn finished at 18-under 266, edging Justin Walters (66) by a stroke.