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Walker shoots 63 to capture Sony Open

HONOLULU — Jimmy Walker went seven years and 187 tournaments before he finally won on the PGA Tour.

Now he seems to have it figured out.

Walker pulled away from the pack with three straight birdies on the back nine of Waialae on Sunday and closed with 7-under 63 to win the Sony Open for his second tour victory in his past six starts.

"It took me a long time to do it," Walker said. "I felt very calm and controlled. That's what you've got to feel and do when it's time to win. It's easy to say, hard to do. But today was awesome. Really cool golf."

This wasn't easy.

The final round was so tight there was a five-way tie for the lead at one point.

Walker's big run began with a 12-foot par on No. 14. A shot behind Harris English, Walker rolled in a 15-foot birdie on No. 15, and took the outright lead when English — behind him in the final group — failed to save par from a bunker.

Walker made a 7-foot birdie on No. 16 then stuck his tee shot within 6 feet for birdie on the par-3 17th. A par on the last hole made him wait just a little bit longer.

Chris Kirk, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round, had a 30-foot eagle chip from just short of the green on the par-5 18th that would have forced a playoff. It stayed right, and Kirk birdied for 66 and sole possession of second place.

Jerry Kelly (65) was alone in third.

English never recovered from his bogey. He missed birdie putts on the last three holes for 67.

"Just started hitting it better, but started putting a little worse," English said.

Walker won the Frys.com Open in October, the first tournament of the new wraparound season. As the PGA Tour's first multiple winner this season, he went to No. 1 in the Ryder Cup standings and is closing in on the top 30 in the world.

Walker finished at 17-under 263 and earned $1.08 million.

Masters champion Adam Scott, in the first group on the back nine, went out in 30 and was one shot out of the lead just as the final group started play. But Scott hit too many poor drives to keep it going, and the way the final two groups played the back nine, it wouldn't have mattered.

Scott tied for eighth (seven shots behind), and after a tie for sixth last week at Kapalua, heads into a six-week hibernation before returning to golf in Florida.

Walker shoots 63 to capture Sony Open 01/12/14 [Last modified: Sunday, January 12, 2014 11:18pm]
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