4. Jimmy Walker, 2016, -2.72
A 27-year-old Tour journeyman whose previous best major finish was a tie for seventh at the 2014 PGA, Walker is almost certainly the decade’s least likely champion. But he played with remarkable steadiness at Baltusrol, stringing together four rounds in the 60s under the kind of pressure only stars of the magnitude of defending champion Jason Day can supply.
That pressure did not truly mount until Sunday. Through three rounds, Walker played effortlessly, opening with a 65 to take a one-stroke lead over 2010 champion Martin Kaymer, Emilio Grillo and Ross Fisher.
Any Friday pressure came from a surprising source. Through dangerous weather that forced a suspension of play until Saturday morning, fellow journeyman Robert Streb fashioned a 63 that shot him into a tie with Walker at the halfway point.
The big guns lined up Saturday. Brooks Koepka shot 66, newly crowned British Open champion Henrik Stenson and Day came in with 67s to line up within one and two strokes of Walker, whose 68 left him at 11-under 199.
Among those four, Day was the run who made the Sunday run at Walker. Three strokes behind after just four holes, the 2015 champion birdied the fifth and ninth to climb back within a stroke. Walker responded with birdies at 10 and 11 to lead by two, and he functionally wrapped up the championship with a birdie at 17.
Day eagled the final par five 18th, but when Walker made his par that only closed Day within a stroke of the top.