Blogs & Opinion


Jimmy Walker: Pebble Beach winner can maintain form, says Rob Lee

Rob Lee - Rob Lee Posted 10th February 2014 view comments

Jimmy Walker wobbled in the final round at Pebble Beach and if he had let his grip on the title slip it would have been a real backward step.

Walker had won twice since October after waiting 188 PGA Tour starts for his initial victory and losing on Sunday would have made him question whether his form was short term.

But the fact he got over the line, despite seeing his six-stroke lead evaporate into an advantage of just one, proved he can win whilst under pressure.

Jimmy, Jimmy: Walker has won three events on the PGA Tour since October

Jimmy, Jimmy: Walker has won three events on the PGA Tour since October

Walker's two other triumphs - The Frys.com Open and the Sony Open in Hawaii - came when he was chasing down another player at the top of the leaderboard, but at Pebble Beach all eyes were on him as the man in front.

Before this purple patch there wasn't a lot wrong with his game and he had accrued a host of top-10 finishes - but he just did not play final rounds very well, so Sunday's result should help him in the sense that he found another way to win.

Jimmy did not play final rounds very well, so Sunday's result should help him.

Rob Lee
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

Africa Open
8.30am, Thu, Sky Sports 4
Northern Trust Open
10pm, Thu, Sky Sports 4

Jimmy could be a factor on a lot of courses now because he hits the ball a long way and has quite good control with his fade shots, so these amazing few months MAY carry on.

If they do, so will the victories.

Quality

In contrast to Walker, Jordan Spieth burst onto the golfing scene, winning the John Deere Classic, during his debut season as a pro.

The 20-year-old will be under more scrutiny this year as he is now a known entity and people see what he is capable of, but I think he has the quality to deal with that and, for me, is one of the most talented young players in the game.

Matteo Manassero (20) and Hideki Matsuyama (21) have something special, but Spieth - who finished three shots behind Walker at Pebble Beach - continues to push for the Ryder Cup which is amazing for one so young.

Hunter Mahan was also a contender last week but he faded away in the end and there are some frailties in his game: he is not a natural putter and he is not the most adept at pitching and chipping, either.

Mahan has won a couple of World Golf Championship events but if he wants to become a really top player he must strengthen those two facets, in the way that Phil Mickelson has bolstered his long game to complement his great touch around the greens.

Expectation

It was a great weekend, meanwhile, for Tiger Wood's niece Cheyenne, who won her maiden major title on the LPGA Tour, so perhaps she can give Tiger some tips...

Cheyenne's surname will always bring a vast amount of expectation so I just hope she is given her own space and allowed to develop because she has made a terrific start.

Your golfing lineage is never forgotten but I think that can be a help and a hindrance.

Having a father or uncle who plays the game was probably the reason for your way into it and I've got to think that Cheyenne was inspired to play golf because of how successful Tiger was, just like Kevin Stadler was with his dad, Craig.

But you also have the syndrome where the younger family member struggles to emulate the older one's achievements and I cannot think of one example of that happening.

Still, with people like Cheyenne and Charley Hull the women's game is blessed with some great young players, which is not only good for them but also pushes the old guard to raise their level and keep winning tournaments and money.

ROB'S SKY BET TIPS

In the Africa Open I am going to go for Thomas Aiken (10/1 with Sky Bet), who didn't get it done in Johannesburg after leading going into the final round but knows the East London course very well. Plus, at the Northern Trust Open, I will pick Graham DeLaet (22/1), who finished tied for second at the Farmers Insurance and Waste Management Phoenix Opens and will be refreshed after skipping Pebble Beach.

Last week Rob tipped up George Coetzee in the Joburg Open and the South African returned at odds of 10/1. Check out this week's Sky Bet odds.

back to top

Other Golf Experts:

Latest Posts in Golf:

Rob Lee

Up to the task?

Rob Lee says USA's Ryder Cup taskforce is a good idea - but is not enamoured by all the names on it....

0 comments

Ewen Murray

Ryd-ing high

Oliver Wilson's win at St Andrews rounds off a fine fortnight in Scotland, says Ewen Murray....

Latest News RSS feeds

McGladrey Classic - latest

Latest leaderboard from the Seaside Course at Sea Island. Watch the action live on Sky Sports 4 HD from 7pm

Bishop sorry for Poulter rant

Ted Bishop has apologised for the comments which led to his removal from his role as PGA of America president.

Olesen moves three clear

Thorbjorn Olesen shot a 67 on Saturday to ensure he will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Perth International.

Korda, Pace lead at Blue Bay

Jessica Korda and Lee-Anne Pace are in a share of the lead of the Blue Bay LPGA tournament after the second round.

Henley claims McGladrey lead

Russell Henley carded a second round 63 to take a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of The McGladrey Classic.

Features

McGladrey Classic: A preview and best bets for this week's PGA Tour event

McGladrey Classic: A preview and best bets for this week's PGA Tour event

The Seaside Course at Saint Simons Island in Georgia plays host to this week's McGladrey Classic for a fifth straight season.

Perth International: A preview and best bets for this week's European Tour event

Perth International: A preview and best bets for this week's European Tour event

The European Tour heads Down Under this week for the ISPS HANDA Perth International at Lake Karrinyup CC in Perth.

Phil Mickelson could have best year yet this coming season says coach Dave Pelz

Phil Mickelson could have best year yet this coming season says coach Dave Pelz

Phil Mickelson’s golf game is technically as good as it’s ever been and, if he can stay in good health, he can have one of his best ever campaigns next season, according to his short game coach Dave Pelz.