GOLF: Walker finally gets first PGA win
SAN MARTIN, Calif. — 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. 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. He 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, Scott Brown and Hideki Matsuyama.
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.
LPGA: Lexi Thompson won the LPGA Malaysia 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. 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.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: 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. Frost finished with a 66. He missed a short birdie putt on No. 17 and also settled for par on 18.
EUROPEAN PGA: England’s David Lynn won the Portugal Masters for his second European Tour title, shooting an 8-under 63 to overcome a six-stroke deficit. The 39-year-old Lynn finished at 18-under 266 at Oceanico Victoria. England’s Paul Waring, the third-round leader, had a 71 to finish a stroke back along with South Africa’s Stephen Gallacher (66) and Austria Bernd Wiesberger (67).
CHINA MASTERS: South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel won the China Masters, closing with a 4-under 68 for a one-stroke victory over Darren Clarke and 2012 winner Liang Wenchong. Schwartzel had a 9-under 279 total on Nanshan International’s Montgomerie Course. He earned $180,000 in the OneAsia Tour event.
LEGENDS TOUR: Jan Stephenson made a 30-foot birdie putt for the deciding points in the World team’s first victory in the ISPS Handa Cup, in Nashville, Tenn. Stephenson shot a 1-under 71 to edge Sherri Turner by a stroke, and the World team went on to beat the United States 27-21 in the 45-and-older competition at Hermitage Golf Club.