6 Things We Learned at the 2016 PGA Championship
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- Jimmy Walker won his first major title and claimed the Wanamaker Trophy with a bogey-free three-under 67 on Sunday at Baltusrol. Walker, 37, made a clutch birdie putt on the par-5 17th and then two-putted to victory on the 18th green, holding off World No. 1 Jason Day by a stroke. Here’s what we learned at the PGA Championship, the final major of 2016.
1. Jimmy Walker needs a bigger rock. Walker’s home club of Cordillera Ranch in Boerne, Texas, commemorates every one of Walker’s wins by etching it into a massive stone. Maybe in the future, the club will need another rock.
2. Mother Nature does cooperate after all. No one — honestly, hardly anyone — thought the PGA Championship would finish on Sunday. Due to storms washing out most of Saturday’s action, Sunday’s tee sheet was packed full, and five groups still had to play 36 holes. To make matters worse, Sunday’s weather looked ominous at best. Luckily the weather held off and, although it was a wet finish, no one is sticking around on Monday, which is what happened at the 2005 PGA at Baltusrol.
3. It’s anybody’s game these days. This is just the fifth time in the history of golf’s four current majors that all four have crowned a first-time major-winner during a season. Danny Willett (Masters), Dustin Johnson (U.S. Open), Henrik Stenson (British Open) and now Walker have all entered the record books. This also happened in 1959, 1969, 2003 and 2011.
4. Jason Day is still the No. 1 player in the world. Day will be ranked No. 1 in the world for the 11th straight week when the updated standings are released Monday. He might have come up short at Baltusrol, but he lowered his expectations coming in. During his Wednesday press conference, he said he was under the weather and was running on a lack of sleep due to a trip to the hospital with his wife. Yet without much knowledge of the course, he still shot 68-65-67-67 to finish a stroke off the lead. He was clutch when he needed to be, too, with a fantastic iron into the 18th green that led to a crowd-roaring putt for eagle. It was all he could do, but Walker’s par on 18 was just enough.
5. It’s still REALLY hard to shoot 62 in a major. Robert Streb shot 63 on Friday and Phil Mickelson said someone would break that historic mark on Saturday or Sunday, but it still never happened. Four players shot 65 on the weekend despite the soft conditions.
6. Everyone still loves Beef. The golf world can’t get enough of this guy.