Weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 81 degrees and winds from the ESE at 5-10 mph.
Jimmy Walker 66-67-67-63—263 (-17)
Chris Kirk 64-69-65-66—264 (-16)
Jerry Kelly 67-67-66-65—265 (-15)
Harris English 66-66-67-67—266 (-14)
Marc Leishman 67-64-71-65—265 (-13)
Jimmy Walker birdied four of his last five holes to shoot a bogey-free, 7-under-par 63, and win the Sony Open in Hawaii by one stroke over Chris Kirk, the 54-hole leader in the event. Walker’s hot Sunday round was the lowest finish by a winner on the 2013-2014 PGA TOUR and made him the first two-time winner this season. It marked the second straight year the Sony Open in Hawaii winner posted 63 on Sunday.
Jimmy Walker’s Victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii
Walker wins his second career title on the PGA TOUR in his sixth start this year. His first career win, the Frys.com Open, came in the first event of the wrap-around season (10/13/13).
Walker’s win today comes in his 193rd start at the age of 34 years, 11 months, 27 days. It’s the fourth of eight total events played this year won by a player in his 30s and the second straight (Zach Johnson, 37).
One week after finishing T21 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Walker wins the Sony Open in Hawaii in his eighth attempt. His only other top-10 finish at Waialae was fourth in 2011.
Walker earns 500 FedEx Cup points to move past Webb Simpson into the lead in the FedEx Cup standings with 1,233 total points. Walker held the FedEx Cup lead through the first six events this season but lost it to Simpson last week. Walker finished 36th in the 2013 final FedEx Cup standings and was 30th on the final official money list.
Walker becomes the sixth straight winner of the Sony Open in Hawaii to record four straight rounds in the 60s. Dating back to the second round of the 2012 event, Walker has now recorded nine straight rounds under 70 at Waialae. His 63 today was a career-best in Hawaii. Last year, Walker shot a bogey-free 64 in the final round here.
Walker comes from two strokes back to win this year’s Sony Open in Hawaii. When he won the Frys.com Open earlier this season, Walker trailed Brooks Koepka by three strokes heading into the final round.
Walker’s statistical breakdown:
Category Figures/Percentage Rank
Driving Accuracy 30/56 (53.6%) T22
Driving Distance 319.5 1st
Greens In Regulation 53/72 (73.6%) T7
Total Putts 112 T22
Strokes-Gained Putting +1.403 9th
Additional Player Notes
Jimmy Walker’s winning total of 17-under-par 263 was seven strokes higher than Russell Henley’s record score a year ago. He also shot 17-under in winning his first TOUR title at the 2013 Frys.com Open.
Zach Johnson, last week’s winner at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, finished T8 this week at the Sony Open in Hawaii. The only other players to record top-10 finishes in both PGA TOUR stops in Hawaii this year were Matt Kuchar (T6/Hyundai, T8/Sony) and Adam Scott (T6/Hyundai, T8/Sony).
47-year-old Jerry Kelly carded a final-round 65 to finish solo third at this year’s Sony Open in Hawaii. It was Kelly’s best performance on the PGA TOUR since he was third at the 2011 Honda Classic and his best effort at the Sony Open in Hawaii since he finished third in 2008.
Charles Howell III shot a bogey-free 66 in the final round to move up into a T8 at the Sony Open in Hawaii. In 13 career appearances at Waialae, Howell now has recorded eight top-10s, including three straight. He finished T2 in 2012 and T3 last year and in 2005. Howell was also T4 in both 2002 and solo fourth in 2009. Howell’s check for $119,000 this week moves his career earnings in the Sony Open in Hawaii to $2,351,178.
Two players earned spots in the Farmers Insurance Open in two weeks. Japan’s Hideto Tanihara and Will Wilcox finished T8 at the Sony Open in Hawaii. It was the best performance by a player from Japan in this event since Shigeki Maruyama was T7 in 2011. Tanihara went all 72 holes this week without a 3-putt, one of 18 to do so this week. Wilcox also finished T8 at the Sony Open in Hawaii in just his third career start on the PGA TOUR. Wilcox earned exempt status on the PGA TOUR this year after finishing 10th on last year’s Web.com Tour. He won the South Georgia Classic last year and also shot 59 to move up into a T3 at last year’s Utah Championship.
Defending champion Russell Henley carded a final-round 69 to finish T51 at this year’s Sony Open in Hawaii. The last player to repeat at Waialae was Ernie Els in 2003-2004.
Results for each past champion of the Sony Open in Hawaii in this week’s field:
Champion (Year) 2014 Sony Open Finish
Jerry Kelly (2002) 3rd
Zach Johnson (2009) T8
Ryan Palmer (2010) T8
K.J. Choi (2008) T20
Russell Henley (2013) T51
Mark Wilson (2011) T51
Paul Goydos (2007) T61
Johnson Wagner (2012) MC
Vijay Singh (2005) MC
A total of 11 of the 13 rookies on this season’s PGA TOUR were in the starting field this week:
Player Career Start/Career-Best Finish 2014 Sony Open Finish
Will Wilcox 3rd/MC in two previous starts T8
Hudson Swafford 6th/T30 2013 Shriner’s Hospital for Childern Classic T8
Tyrone Van Aswegen 5th/T40 2013 Frys.com Open T61
Brice Garnett 6th/T36 2013 McGladrey Classic T38
Peter Malnati 3rd/15th 2013 OHL Classic at Mayakoba T38
Kevin Foley 1st start MDF
Wes Roach 3rd/T23 2013 OHL Classic at Mayakoba MC
Chesson Hadley 7th/T5 2013 Shriner’s Hospital for Children Classic MC
Kevin Tway 11th/T40 2013 Frys.com Open MC
Andrew Loupe 4th/MC in three previous starts MC
Bronson La’Cassie 4th/T62 2007 John Deere Classic MC
R1 – Sang-Moon Bae (63), Retief Goosen (66), Adam Scott (67), Ricky Barnes (68), Brendon de Jonge (68), Matt Kuchar (68), Mark Wilson (68)
R2 – Michael Putnam (68)
R3 – Jeff Overton (65), John Peterson (65), Heath Slocum (65), Retief Goosen (66), Kevin Na (67)
R4 – Jimmy Walker (63), Charles Howell III (66)
Scoring Averages at the par-70 Waialae Country Club:
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative 2013 Cumulative
Thursday 35.375 34.590 69.965 --- 69.785
Friday 34.613 34.769 69.399 69.683 69.255
Saturday 34.000 34.405 68.405 69.407 69.031
Sunday 34.873 33.901 68.775 69.304 68.901
The par-4 13th hole played the toughest for the week, yielding just 31 birdies overall and a 4.231 average. The par-5 9th hole played as the easiest, giving up one double-eagle, 22 eagles and 265 birdies for a stroke average of 4.339.
There were 19 players this year that recorded four straight rounds in the 60s. Last year, a total of 23 players posted four rounds in the 60s, 15 more than in 2012.