Golf roundup: Jimmy Walker survives for win

Jimmy Walker’s 5-foot par putt on the 18th gave him the win at Pebble Beach.
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Jimmy Walker’s 5-foot par putt on the 18th gave him the win at Pebble Beach.

The finish wasn’t what Jimmy Walker wanted. The result is what he’s come to expect.

Walker led by as many as six shots Sunday in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California, only for it to be decided by his final putt. He ran his birdie attempt 5 feet by the hole, and had to make that for par to close with a 2-over 74 and a one-shot win over Dustin Johnson and Jim Renner.

‘‘It’s drama, man,’’ Walker said on the 18th green. ‘‘It was too much for me.’’


But it was a familiar outcome for Walker, a 35-year-old Texan who only four months ago was regarded as one of the best players to have never won on the PGA Tour. This was his third win of the PGA Tour season, a streak that began in October about an hour away at the Open.

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Walker joined some exclusive company. He is only the fourth player in the last 20 years to win three times in his first eight starts to a season. The others are Tiger Woods (who has done it eight times), Phil Mickelson, and David Duval.

Walker was never seriously challenged until Johnson, and then Renner, put together a strong finish. Johnson, a two-time winner at Pebble Beach, closed with a 66 on a card that included three bogeys. Renner, who had yet to make a cut all year, made five birdies on the back nine for a 67.

Walker made a 10-foot birdie on the 11th hole and was seemingly on his way.

But he hit a poor chip on the par-3 12th for a bogey. He three-putted the 13th for a bogey. He settled down for three simple pars and was two shots clear with two to play. Walker three-putted the 17th, missing a 3½-foot par putt. He tried to play it safe on the 18th with an iron off the tee that found the right rough.


From 25 feet above the hole, he hit the birdie putt too hard and had one anxious moment.

‘‘I hate three-putting,’’ Walker said. ‘‘I had two of them back there, and definitely didn’t want another one on the last.’’

Walker finished at 11-under 277 and earned $1.188 million.

Jordan Spieth had to return Sunday morning to complete his third round, which ended with his sixth three-putt of the round for a 78. He faced Pebble at its most vicious throughout the third round, though he bounced back with a bogey-free 67 to at least tie for fourth with Kevin Na (69).

Champions — In Boca Raton, Fla., Michael Allen won the Allianz Championship for his sixth tour title, beating Duffy Waldorf with a two-putt birdie on the second hole of a playoff.


European — George Coetzee came from four shots back to win the Joburg Open in Johannesburg and his first tour title with a final-round 6-under 66. His finish, with six birdies and no bogeys, took him to 19-under 268 overall.

European LPGA — Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, closed with a 4-under 69 at Royal Pines to finish at 16-under 276 and win the Australian Lady Masters by two strokes in Gold Coast. Minjee Lee, an Australian amateur, shot 69 to finish second in the event sanctioned by the European and Australian tours.