Jimmy Walker closing in on Valero Texas Open titleMarch, 2015
Hometown heroes to do battle in final round pairing
Jimmy Walker opened a four-stroke lead over Jordan Spieth, having shot a three-under-par 69 at the Texas Open in San Antonio.
Walker, looking for his fifth Tour win in the past two seasons, produced a moment of brilliance to salvage bogey at the par-4 12th.
“I’m in there digging, I’m moving earth and I can’t find the ball,” Walker said, having witnessed his drive disappear into a left sided bunker.
“Really? Is it here? It’s here. I don’t know. It was kind of hectic.”
After his miraculous find, Walker managed to play the ball into the rough, and eventually making bogey. It proved to be a pivotal moment for the Texan native: “It was way under there.
“So that was a bummer, but I got it out somehow and then hit a good shot up there and thought if I made the putt that would have been gigantic.
“Making 5 was good there.”
Jordan Spieth is currently four shot behind the leader, and admitted he will face tough challenge to overturn the deficit: “I wish I was closer than four back. That’s tough to coming from the back on a really tough golf course.”
I’m in there digging, I’m moving earth and I can’t find the ball Spieth too faced troubles at the par-4 12th, a poor tee shot meaning he had to play sideways from a bunker to return his ball into play.
“I think where I went wrong with it is instead of ripping the drive, I tried to just bleed a fade off the bunkers and take some off.
“And that’s just what I do on the weekends when I get in trouble. I’m trying to do a little too much.”
After eventually making bogey, Spieth dropped shots at the 14th and double bogeyed the 16th after seeing his ball hit the grandstand and bouncing 50 yards to the right of the green. Even with two birdies offsetting the mistakes down the stretch, Spieth only managed to shoot 71.
The 21-year old brushed off notions of a final round Texas shoot-out with Walker, saying: “I’m not necessarily looking at it as a shoot‑out. If we were both 9‑under, whatever, six shots clear of anybody else, I’d agree.”
“Tomorrow is about me just going out there and off the bat trying to play a good, solid round of golf and gain some momentum.
“If it happens to be where we get into a shoot‑out it’s going to be a lot of fun, fun for the people watching us, even more fun for Jimmy and I to be out there duking it out.”
Billy Horschel sits two shots behind the second placed Spieth at three-under par, and sees this as a springboard for Augusta: “I’m excited about tomorrow.
“I needed some momentum going to Augusta and the rest of this year. And it was nice to see it finally showing up.”
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