2014 The year of Jimmy WalkerMarch, 2014
James Tompkinson fills in your knowledge gaps on the PGA Tour's (unlikely) hottest player
Sitting at the top of the PGA Tour money list with three wins under his belt this season, Jimmy Walker is the hottest property in golf at the moment.
The 35-year-old from Oklahoma is a tour veteran, but he has only begun to make his mark this year with victories in the Frys.com Open, Sony Open and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Inside the space of five months, Walker has gone from being relatively unheard of to having an almost guaranteed Ryder Cup place.
He secured his latest victory at Pebble Beach by sinking a nervy five-footer under the watchful eyes of American Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson, and subsequently received high praise from the great man.
“What Jimmy Walker did this last week is what I’m looking for on that last hole – the guy that’s going to make that five-footer to win or to tie,” Watson said after the tournament.
Whether he wins again on tour this season or not, Walker is now in the driving seat to be one of the first names on Watson’s teamsheet.
Expect to see a lot more of him in the run-up to Gleneagles.
DID YOU KNOW..?
1 As well as being an established golfer, he is also a keen astro-photographer. This involves creating images of objects in deep space, and Walker has built up an impressive collection of images since he began his hobby around four years ago.
2 He met his wife Erin while playing at a Web.com Tour event in 2004. She was working as a tournament volunteer at the time.
3 He had his first encounter with potential 2014 Ryder Cup team-mate Tiger Woods back in 2000. Playing a practice round at the Byron Nelson Championship, Woods asked if he could play through Walker at a par 3. The star-struck college senior promptly replied, “Dude, you can do whatever the hell you want.”
4 He has only ever played in six Majors. The first was the 2001 US Open, which was followed by another US Open appearance in 2002 and then a seven-year absence before he played in the 2010 PGA Championship.
5 He played in 188 PGA Tour events before gaining his first win back in October.