Jimmy Walker rediscovers form at US PGA

2016 07 Getty Images 584172154
• Jimmy Walker rediscovers form to lead US PGA Championship
• The American shot a five-under-par 65 on day one at Baltusrol
• Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson struggle - Rich Beem excels

JIMMY WALKER | US PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

Jimmy Walker rediscovered some of his exceptional 2014-15 form to take the lead on day one of the US PGA Championship.


The American, who hasn’t finished in the top ten in his last 11 PGA Tour events and missed the cut in both the US Open and Open Championship, made six birdies and just one bogey in his round of 65 to lead by one from Martin Kaymer, Ross Fisher and Emiliano Grillo.
"I have been cranking away and busting it - it just hasn't showed" - Jimmy Walker

According to coach Butch Harmon, Walker ‘didn’t need a lot of work’ despite his poor form heading into Baltusrol, and the 2014 Ryder Cup player hopes this can be the start of a strong week as he looks to move out the slump.

Read more -> BLOG: My round with Jimmy Walker

“I felt like it's been all year, it's just been real stale and stagnant,” said Jimmy Walker of his form. “It's just the ebbs and flows of golf. Just haven't been scoring. I haven't been making the ten to 15 to 18-footers you need to make to start running up the leaderboard and to have high finishes.

CONTINUES BELOW...

PGA Championship - Round One

“I would have loved to have had a better year than I've had so far to this point but I know there's always time to play well at the end of the year. I haven't really done that yet, play well at the end of the year. I feel like I've started strong and just haven't quite capitalised on the end of the year.

“So it would be nice to flip that around. I've really been working hard, and that hasn't been the case. I have been cranking away and busting it. It just hasn't showed which kind of happens sometimes.”

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PGA Championship - Round One

Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, endured another nightmare round on the greens. The four-time major winner finished four-over-par and ranked No.152 of the field’s 156 players in strokes gained putting.

“It's fine,” he said. “Look, it's one round of golf. I obviously want to play well but I was trying my hardest out there to make birdies, and I was giving myself chances in the last few holes, and didn't quite convert them.”

Read more -> Rory McIlroy twists knife in Olympic golf

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PGA Championship - Round One

Another man who wilted in the afternoon heat at Baltusrol was Dustin Johnson, who carded his worst round since January with a seven-over-par 77.

He declined to speak to the media after his round but Golf Digest caught up with him as he was loading his clubs into his courtesy car. “It was just a rough day,” he said. “Anything that could go wrong did. I had a good warm-up session, too. So it just wasn't a good day.”

Read more -> Dustin Johnson 'would consider' Dundonald

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PGA Championship - Round One

However, it was a quite brilliant showing from 2002 US PGA champion and now Sky Sports commentator Rich Beem, who doesn’t play competitive golf on any tour.

The 45-year-old went round in one-under-par and, speaking to Sky Sports afterwards, couldn’t quite believe it. “It was a lot of fun,” he said. “I had a great start and, for some bizarre reason, I felt pretty calm. I just found a couple of things over the past few weeks and it really helped me.”


US PGA Championship :: Can Jimmy Walker win?


Who do you think will win the US PGA Championship? And what were you most surprised about on day one? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.

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