Titleist Brand Ambassador Jimmy Walker (Pro V1x) fired four consecutive rounds in the 60’s (65-66-68-67) and captured the 98th playing of the PGA Championship in wire-to-wire fashion for his first career major title.
After starting the final round with nine straight pars, Walker posted three birdies on the back nine at Baltusrol Golf Club, including the 17th, and won in dramatic fashion with a par on the 18th.
“I was standing out there on the fairway and just said, let's go for it,” Walker said of his decision to go for the green in two at the par-5 18th.
“I didn't say this, but I figured, 19 times out of 20, you're going to make a five going for the green from right there. We had a good front number, and that's what we did, and went with it. Ended up having to make a little, you know, tester coming in and just buried it. It was awesome.”
Walker closed with a spotless 3-under-par 67 en route to a 14-under-par 266 victory total.
“I felt confident,” Walker said of his breakthrough performance. “I felt confident in myself. I felt confident in what I was doing. Felt confident in my golf swing, my putting, my chipping. Kind of tried to wrap myself around that; that everything was feeling good, and to go with that and trust what I was doing. Trust all the stuff that I have been working on, and that's what I tried to apply out there.”
Titleist golf ball loyalist Daniel Summerhays (ProV1x) finished solo third at 10-under-par 270 following a final round 66. He earned an invitation to the 2017 Masters by finishing in the top four.
Walker and fellow Titleist Brand Ambassador Robert Streb (Pro V1x), who shared the second round lead, were among 10 players who played 36 holes Sunday when the third round was suspended Saturday after heavy rains saturated the course.
Walker becomes the fourth first-time major champion this year, and follows fellow Titleist golf ball loyalist and Open champion Henrik Stenson (Pro V1) into the majors winners’ circle. Streb and Stenson were among three players who tied for 7th this week.
In fact, Walker topped a leaderboard that included six Titleist golf ball loyalists among the 11 players who finished among the top 10 and ties.
“It's surreal,” said Walker, summing up the experience. “I mean, I just had not quite played as well as I would have liked to this year but I knew it was close. Felt some things were clicking last week. God, just to be in it and be there and have a chance and then to finish it off is just -- it's so gratifying. I mean, it really is. Everything I've done up to this point, helped this happen.”
TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS
At the year’s final major, Titleist was once again the top choice in the field with 89 players trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success. That's more than four times the nearest competitor with 22 and more than all competitors combined.
In addition, Titleist was the top choice in the hybrids (33) and irons (38) categories. Titleist Vokey Design Wedges also led the way in the approach, sand and lob wedge (130) category.
Walker’s win was the 20th for Titleist golf ball players this season, more than three times the nearest competitor with six.