Sports

Jimmy Walker holds on at Pebble Beach for third win of PGA Tour season

SportsTiger WoodsPGA TourDustin JohnsonRyder CupPhil MickelsonCanadian Open (golf)

The finish wasn't what Jimmy Walker wanted. The result is what he's come to expect.

Walker led by as many as six shots Sunday in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, only for it to be decided by his final putt. He ran his birdie attempt five feet by the hole, and had to make that for par to close with a two-over-par 74 and a one-shot win over Dustin Johnson and Jim Renner.

"It's drama, man," Walker said on the 18th green. "It was too much for me."

But it was a familiar outcome for Walker, a 35-year-old Texan who only four months ago was regarded as one of the best players to have never won on the PGA Tour. This was his third win of the PGA Tour season, a streak that began in October about an hour away at the Frys.com Open in San Martin, Calif.

Walker joined some exclusive company. He is only the fourth player in the last 20 years to win three times in his first eight starts to a season. The others are Tiger Woods (who has done it eight times), Phil Mickelson and David Duval.

Walker was never seriously challenged until Johnson, and then Renner, put together a strong finish. Johnson, a two-time winner at Pebble Beach, closed with a 66 on a card that included three bogeys. Renner, who had yet to make a cut all year, made five birdies on the back nine for a 67.

Walker made a 10-foot birdie on the 11th hole and was seemingly on his way.

But he hit a poor chip on the par-three 12th for a bogey. He three-putted the 13th for a bogey. He settled down for three simple pars and was two shots clear with two to play. Walker three-putted the 17th, missing a 3 1/2-foot par putt. He tried to play it safe on the 18th with an iron off the tee that found the right rough.

From 25 feet above the hole, he hit the birdie putt too hard and had one anxious moment.

"I hate three-putting," Walker said. "I had two of them back there, and definitely didn't want another one on the last."

Walker finished at 11-under 277 and earned $1.188 million, expanding his lead in the Ryder Cup standings to more than $1 million over Mickelson in second place. The Ryder Cup is based on PGA Tour earnings, though there are still four majors (which count double), three World Golf Championships and the Players Championship remaining.

Allen prevails in playoff

Michael Allen won the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Fla., for his sixth Champions Tour title, beating Duffy Waldorf with a two-putt birdie on the second hole of a playoff.

After Allen holed out on the par-five 18th, Waldorf had a chance to extend the playoff, but missed an eight-foot birdie putt after finding the front bunker in two.

Allen closed with a three-under 69 to match Waldorf at 18-under 198 on the Old Course at Broken Sound. Waldorf, winless on the 50-and-old tour after winning four times on the PGA Tour, shot 67.

They each birdied the 18th in regulation and on the first extra hole.

In the first round, Allen had become the ninth player to shoot a 60 on the Champions Tour. A missed four-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole Sunday cost Allen a chance to win in regulation.

Chien Soon Lu was third at 17 under after a 69. Tom Lehman was another stroke back after a 68.

Mark Calcavecchia shot a 64 to tie for 15th at 10 under. He had seven consecutive birdies, one off the Champions Tour record. Calcavecchia set the PGA Tour record with nine straight birdies in the 2009 Canadian Open.

Tiger Woods' niece wins

Cheyenne Woods won the Australian Ladies Masters at Gold Coast for her first major professional tour victory, holding off 17-year-old Australian amateur Minjee Lee by two strokes.

The 23-year-old Woods, Tiger Woods' niece, closed with a four-under 69 at Royal Pines to finish at 16-under 276. Lee also shot 69 in the event sanctioned by the European and Australian tours.

Woods birdied the par-five 15th to open a two-stroke lead, hitting a wedge from about 120 yards to four feet. On the par-five 18th, she matched Lee with a birdie, holing out from 1 1/2 feet.

"This is a huge accomplishment for me," Woods said. "The European Tour has been great to be able to play this past year. I've been able to see all of these great players, play with Solheim Cup members … to be able to come out here and compete with them and come out on top was huge for me."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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SportsTiger WoodsPGA TourDustin JohnsonRyder CupPhil MickelsonCanadian Open (golf)
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