Walker earns first PGA Tour win
Jimmy Walker finally won on the PGA Tour in his eighth year and 188th tournament, and with a little help from Brooks Koepka.
Tied for the lead with four holes to play Sunday, Walker rolled in a 6-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to take the lead for good in the Frys.com Open in San Martin, Calif.
Three closing pars for a 5-under 66 turned out to be more than enough for the 34-year-old Texan to take home a trophy and plenty of perks.
Walker is going to the Masters for the first time, along with a trip to Maui for the Tournament of Championship. He also cracked the top 50 for the first time in his career.
Koepka’s journey around the world in a remarkable year nearly ended with a PGA Tour card.
Koepka had a four-shot lead with 11 holes to play, and the 23-year-old Floridian looked as poised and confident as he had all week at CordeValle. There was a tiny crack when he missed a 3-foot par putt on the ninth hole, and it really caught up with him at the end.
Koepka missed a 6-foot putt on the 15th that would have matched birdies with Walker, who was playing in the group ahead of him. Koepka then missed his tee shot wildly to the left on the 16th hole and had to scramble for bogey. Down to his last shot, he hit into the water on the 297-yard, par-4 17th for another bogey.
Vijay Singh closed with a 68 and wound up with the 27th runner-up finish of his Hall of Fame career.
Koepka, who closed with a 72, wound up in a tie for third with Kevin Na, Puerto Rico winner Scott Brown and Hideki Matsuyama, the 21-year-old Japanese star who is playing the PGA Tour for the first time.
The Frys.com Open is the season opener in the new PGA Tour schedule, which starts in October instead of January for the first time in history. Instead of a Fall Series event where players mainly were trying to make money to keep their cards, the tournament offered all the perks of any other regular PGA Tour event.
Lexi Thompson won the LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur by four strokes, giving the 18-year-old American her first victory of the season and second on the LPGA Tour.
Thompson finished at 19-under 265 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. She also won the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama and took the Ladies European Tour’s season-ending event that year in Dubai.
Chinese star Shanshan Feng, the Reignwood LPGA Classic winner last week in China, was second after a 67. Second-ranked Suzann Pettersen (70) and Ilhee Lee (73) tied for third at 12 under.
Russ Cochran holed an 8-foot putt on the final hole for his fourth straight birdie and a one-stroke victory over David Frost in the SAS Championship in Cary, N.C.
The 54-year-old Cochran, also the 2010 winner at Prestonwood Country Club, closed with a 5-under 67 to finish at 17-under 199. He has five Champions Tour victories after winning once on the PGA Tour.
Frost finished with a 66. He missed a short birdie putt on No. 17 and also settled for par on 18.
Moses Lake native and Pullman High School graduate Kirk Triplett finished third at 14-under after a 68.