PGA Tour: Jimmy Walker Survives The Weather At The National Pro Am

Feb 8, 2014; Pebble Beach, CA, USA; Jimmy Walker walks up the 13th fairway at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, shore course during the third round of the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Calif. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

On a day where most golfers at The Pebble Beach National Pro Am were trying to stay dry, and out of the teeth of the wind, The FedEx Cup points leader was making birdies. 35 year-old Jimmy Walker fired a -4 under par 67 at the Monterrey Peninsula Country Club while most of the field was just trying to survive. Conditions were bad over all three courses, but most of the carnage came at Pebble Beach where the average score was a whopping 75.

Play was halted for 2 hours and 19 minutes at Pebble Beach on Saturday afternoon, leaving some players running out of daylight before they could complete the third round. With winds in excess of 30 miles per hour at Pebble Beach, it forced a stoppage of play at all three courses on the rotation.

The cuts at this tournament are not made until 54 holes are in the books, and everyone has finished the third round. After the cut, all of the action will move to Pebble Beach for the finale’.

Jimmy Walker will have a six-shot lead when they get started on Sunday morning. Hunter Mahan, and New Zealander, Wilkinson are at -7 under par, and  have completed the third round. All three played at Monterrey Peninsula Country Club. While Mahan shot a one over at the par 71 layout, Wilkinson was able to shoot two under in the conditions.

This time, he has the largest 54-hole lead at Pebble Beach since Phil Mickelson led by seven in 2005. Mickelson went on to win by four shots.

“I’ve never had whatever big lead this is going into the last round,” Walker said. “Just go out and hit good shots and play good golf and see what happens.”

The big loser on Saturday was 20 year-old Jordan Spieth. Spieth started the third round with a piece of the lead, but the luck of the draw had him spending his day at Pebble Beach, and in the teeth of the weather.

The day started with a three-putt bogey at the first hole, and it didn’t improve. He was five over par after 15 holes, and missed an eight foot birdie putt at 16. He elected to mark the ball and finish the hole on Sunday morning.

Phil Mickelson got around in one under par and will start Sunday in a tie for fifth place. Lefty spent his Saturday at Spyglass Hill and was able to get his round in the books.

The two-time winner of this event, Dustin Johnson, was one of the few to get around Pebble Beach under par on Saturday. Playing alongside his future father-in-law, hockey great, Wayne Gretsky, Dustin fired a -2 under 70 and at -4 under total, is probably a little too far back to make a run on Sunday for his third title.

At this point, this tournament is Jimmy Walker’s to lose. With a six shot lead, he is going to be tough in the final round. Pebble Beach is the most difficult of the three courses, and not a place where one can make up a lot of strokes, but as we saw in the 2010 US Open, you can quickly lose a lead, and a tournament.

Walker went 187 starts on the PGA TOUR without winning. He now has a chance to win for the third time in his last eight tournaments. He won the Frys.com Open last fall about an hour away at CordeValle. He won for the second time this season last month in Honolulu. In both those tournaments, Walker was trailing going into the last day.

This time, he has the largest 54-hole lead at Pebble Beach since Phil Mickelson led by seven in 2005. Mickelson went on to win by four shots.

Source: PGATour.com

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Topics: Golf, Jimmy Walker, Pebble Beach National Pro Am, PGA, Phil Mickelson

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