Golf

Jimmy Walker wins a marathon at the PGA Championship

Jimmy Walker wins a marathon at the PGA Championship

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (AP) -- The stars never aligned this magnificently for Jimmy Walker.

In the longest final day at the PGA Championship in 64 years, Walker produced three big birdies on the back nine at Baltusrol and held his nerve against the No. 1 player in the world to close with a 3-under 67 for a one-shot victory over defending champion Jason Day.

Walker provided a little too much drama at the end.

After watching Day make a 15-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th to close the gap to one shot, Walker went for the green when a par would win it. He missed to the right in deep rough, safely pitched on some 35 feet away and had to hole a 3-foot putt for the victory.

There was never a doubt, and the 37-year-old calmly pumped his fist twice.

"Sometimes, things just don't come easy," Walker said after hoisting the 37-pound Wanamaker Trophy, amazing that he had any strength left after a 36-hole final day brought on my rain over the weekend. "He really put it on me to make a par. Sometimes pars are hard. But we got it.

"It was amazing," he said. "It was a battle all day."

It was a battle for everyone. In a most peculiar final day at a major, the PGA Championship allowed for preferred lies because of nearly 4 inches of rain during the week that drenched the Lower Course. Desperate to beat the clock, they sent the third-round pairings right back out for the final round, meaning Walker was playing the third round as others were playing the final round.

But it ended on a happy note for Walker. He is a major champion, completing a sweep of first-time winners in the majors this year.

Better yet: It moves him into position to secure a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

Walker is a late bloomer who has received as much attention in recent years for his astrophotography, with some of his work recognized by NASA. He needed a performance that was out of this world in a wet and wild Sunday, and he delivered every step of the way.

He played the final 28 holes without a bogey. He began the back nine by holing a 45-foot bunker shot on No. 10 and making a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 11.

British Open champion Henrik Stenson, trying to join Ben Hogan as the only players to win back-to-back majors at age 40, finally faded away with a double bogey on the 15th hole. So did Brooks Koepka earlier on the back nine.

Day stuck around, determined to be like his buddy Tiger Woods and win back-to-back at the PGA Championship. And he almost did, drilling a 3-wood from 258 yards up the hill to 15 feet for an eagle and a 67.

The Australian flipped his club in despair as he neared the green, seeing the leaderboard and realizing that cheer behind him was Walker answering with a birdie on 17.

Riding the Metra with five-time major champion Phil Mickelson

Riding the Metra with five-time major champion Phil Mickelson

Five time major champion, Phil Mickelson, was in Chicago on Monday to promote the KPMG Women's PGA championship.

Mickelson took a 45-minute Metra train ride from Millennium Station to Olympia Fields CC, demonstrating how hassle free it is to get to the event.

While on the train, CSN's Pat Boyle interviewed Mickelson. They discussed Phil skipping the US Open, Tiger's dash cam video and how difficult the decision was for Mickelson to part with his longtime caddy, Jim "Bones" Mackay.

Lefty also talked about the revolving door of first time winners at the last 7 majors and what is left on his golf "to do" list.

NCAA Golf Championships and local stars take Rich Harvest Farms by storm

NCAA Golf Championships and local stars take Rich Harvest Farms by storm

 

The NCAA Men’s Golf National Championships are in full swing as teams have flocked from all across the country to compete at the pristine Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Hill, Ill.

The Championships, hosted by Northern Illinois, span from May 19-31 and include both individual and team competition for the men’s and women’s divisions.

In its first ever appearance at Rich Harvest Farms, the tournament will have no shortage of local talent.

The University of Illinois will be making its 10th straight NCAA tournament appearance led by Nick Hardy out of Northbrook, Ill. The Illini have had semifinal finishes in the last two years respectively, establishing themselves as an NCAA men’s powerhouse and looking to finally make it to the final round this year.

Other local golfers include:

Doug Ghim, Arlington Heights. -- University of Texas

Trent Wallace, Joliet. -- Illinois State University

Other top contenders at the tournament for team play are headlined by USC, Oklahoma State, and Vanderbilt. While for individual play Will Zalatoris out of Wake Forest leads the way, followed by Chandler Phillips out of Texas A&M and Travis Trace out of North Florida.

The men’s portion of the Championships began today at 3 p.m., but have dealt with delays due to inclement weather.

Last week saw women’s play wrap up on May 24 with Arizona State not only defeating local favorite Northwestern for their eighth national title in team play, but also saw Monica Vaughn take home the sixth individual title for the Sun Devils as well.

Men's play continues tomorrow through May 31 and can be seen on the Golf Channel along with the highlighted times below.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 29

Individual National Championship

4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 30

Quarterfinals, Team Match Play

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 30

Semifinals, Team Match Play

4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 31

Team Match Play National Championship

4-8 p.m. (Live)