What does it take to breakthrough on the PGA Tour? Jimmy Walker broke-through at the Frys.com at CordeValle this past weekend, claiming the first win of his PGA Tour career. It was forecasted by his teacher Butch Harmon, who said Jimmy was going to win in the near future, but what did Jimmy do reach the pinnacle?
In any golf tournament – in order to win – a player needs a touch of luck and good graces. 23-year old Brooks Koepka’s misfortunes were Walker’s godsends in this weekend’s inagural event for 2013-2014. Holding a 4-stroke lead on Sunday, the Florida State alum (Koepka) started his demise as the rest of the field made birdies by the buckets to surge ahead of him. Koepka has been playing overseas with great success, winning 4 times on the Challenge Tour (Europe’s Web.com Tour) and taking the route Peter Uihlein took pursuing a career overseas before bringing his abilities stateside again. The two – Peter and Brooks – are roommates and great friends. Both are destined for the PGA Tour. Stay tuned for more articles about them at USGolfTV in the next few years.
But back to Walker, though. He had a phenomenal start to 2013, finishing inside the top-30 in 12 of his first 14 starts on Tour including 4 of those being top-10s. He was a common play for thousands of those “nerdy Fantasy golfers”. It was asked when he would breakthrough. The second half of 2013 didn’t go as planned, or expected for Walker. He started missing cuts, posting low finishes and wasn’t playing that consistent in-contention golf we’ve come accustomed to seeing from him.
Playing great golf on Tour is about releasing and getting out of your own way. How many times have we heard it? “I just had to get out of my own way and play golf.” For awhile now, Walker has possessed the skill to win on Tour. Butch Harmon attested to his talent and improvement in the game. It was now time for his breakthrough. With a little bit of luck, Walker was able to get out of his own way and hit the shots necessary to shoot a final round of 66 and as a by product, win on Tour.
A win that punched his ticket to Augusta in April.