Jimmy Walker took home the PGA Championship on Sunday, edging Jason Day by one shot to claim his first major. What’s more, after Henrik Stenson’s win at the British Open earlier in July, the 37-year-old Walker becomes the second major winner this year older than 35. What’s with all these older players winning in golf? On the latest ShackHouse podcast, Geoff Shackelford and Joe House look at how Walker won the PGA Championship.
For the full breakdown, check out the latest episode of ShackHouse here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.
Geoff Shackelford: House, how about that PGA Championship? Yeah it took a while to get going. It was like a horse — it was a deep closer. You just kinda kept waiting and waiting but then we had that great rush at the end and Jimmy Walker won the PGA Championship over Jason Day and it was, as billed, those par 5s at the end [that] made things interesting.
Joe House: So let’s talk about Jimmy Walker for a second. Where’d this come from? Another old guy, not a millennial, and it’s kind of been the theme this season — especially the second half of the majors, [with Henrik] Stenson, and our boy here Jimmy Walker. What’s going on?
G.S.: Well, yeah, especially if you looked at his finish in the majors prior to this year, he hadn’t done much. I think T29th at the Masters [and] he missed the cut at the next two [majors]. But if you listen to his interviews, it was one of those things [that] just reminds you what a wacky, goofy game this is.
He found something on his last nine. … And then he mentioned he played those money games that he likes to play with Phil [Mickelson]. You know he’s in that group of guys who play [money games] to kind of hone their Ryder Cup match skills and then also just to make a practice round interesting, and he actually said that was really kind of important for him to have a grinding practice round. He didn’t really reveal what it was that kind of keyed in his swing and got his game going.
And then you know he’s always been a good putter, he’s always been super long and those are pretty [good] things to be in golf, and when it all comes together as it did for him — and then his body held together, as he says he fought some injury issues — I guess I would say it was not a huge surprise, except for the fact that his form had been pretty, pretty poor up to this point.
J.H.: Yeah we’ve seen Jimmy Walker get hot before and look unstoppable. And when he gets on one of those runs like he has a couple times over the last 24 months, he especially gets the short stick rolling. It was the thing that made me feel like he was a deserving champion. He putted the best of anybody and everybody this week. I don’t know if the stats backed that up, but to my dumb, TV-viewing eye, he was making putts from all over the place. The putt that he made on 11 yesterday afternoon, the putt he made on 17 yesterday afternoon, and the two-putt on 18 was no small thing. He played the best, you know, tee-to-green but especially putting on the green and so I felt like he was a worthy champion.