American Walker rallies to dominate Sony Open


HONOLULU: American Jimmy Walker claimed his second career victory on the USPGA Tour by firing a bogey-free, seven-under 63 to win the Sony Open on Sunday (Monday in Manila).

Walker birdied four of his final six holes to finish at 17-under par 263 and beat Chris Kirk by one stroke.

“I stayed patient. I was making a bunch of bogeys this week, but didn’t make any today,” Walker said. “The par save at 14 was key.

“I was able to remain calm all week. It’s much easier to say than to do, but I learned a lot from my win at the Frys.”

His first win came last fall at the Open, the first tournament of the Tour’s new 2013-14 wrap-around season.

Kirk, who led after the third round, finished in sole possession of second place at 16-under. He rolled in birdies on three of his last four holes to shoot a four-under 66.

Jerry Kelly, the 2002 champion, posted a 65 to take third place at 15-under-par 265.

Harris English fired a three-under 67 on Sunday. He took fourth at 14-under, while Marc Leishman (65) grabbed fifth at 13-under 267.

At the par-three 17th, Walker hit his tee shot just inside six feet from the hole and he ran that putt in for a third straight birdie and a two-shot lead. He scrambled to a par at the par-five closing hole, then had to wait to see what would happen.

As Walker signed autographs, Kirk ran his eagle attempt past the hole.

“I made some birdies on the back, hit some really good shots, and made a really good par save and then hit some really good iron shots in,” Walker said. “I made some good putts, and making those three birdies in a row was big.”

Brian Stuard (67) was sixth at 12-under and Jeff Overton (68) ended in seventh at minus-11.

World No. 2 Adam Scott (66), Matt Kuchar (66) and last week’s winner Zach Johnson (69) were among 12 players that shared eighth place at 10-under 270.

This is the first time Kirk has held a 54-hole lead and failed to win the event.

Kirk, who won his first US tour title at the 2011 Viking Classic, already owns a title this season from November’s McGladrey Classic.

“I didn’t look at the leaderboard until 17. I was just trying to play as well as I could,” Kirk said. “I just couldn’t buy a putt until the very end there.”

Since more than 78 players made the cut, there was a secondary cut on Saturday with eight players, including Scott Verplank and Joe Durant, failing to make it to the final round.



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