Congrats to Jimmy Walker, 2016 PGA Champion

By Charlie Hill  ::  Photography by Kelsey Grudle

Nothing that comes easy is really worth it, goes the saying. There isn’t anything easy about golf, even at the upper echelon of the PGA Tour, which is where Cordillera resident Jimmy Walker has risen to in the past few years. Just when you think that playing the last 28 holes bogey-free in a Major Championship — all on a marathon Sunday — would result in a stress-free victory stroll up the 18th hole, Jason Day comes along and acts like Jason Day.

“I was trying to make a run at Jimmy all day,” said Jason Day, who narrowly missed a birdie on 17 seemingly clinching Jimmy’s first Major, only to flip the momentum with three impeccable shots on the par 5 18th leading to an eagle that would trim Jimmy’s lead from three to one with only the 18th left for Jimmy. “I was hoping to relax — I could have used it — but I wouldn’t have expected any less from Jason,” added Walker.

Locked in for four days of intense pressure, carrying a Major Championship lead every single day, Jimmy never once seemed even remotely rattled. In golf, poor decision-making is often the leading indicator of a player that’s starting to feel the pressure — out of character and abnormal decisions sometimes occur when the pressure cranks up. That’s why Jimmy’s call to calmly grab the 3-wood and go for the par 5 in two said it all; he knew this was the play from this distance every single time and he didn’t waiver. The decision-making remained as confident and rock solid as the 262 shots that preceded this one during the rain-soaked week. “I bet 19 out of 20 times, you make five going for that green,” noted Jimmy, as if he needed to rationalize what turned out to be the winning decision.

After another smart play pitching his third safely to the middle of the green and a nerve-racking 35-foot two putt for the victory-winning par, Jimmy was all smiles celebrating with family and on a whirlwind media circuit that gave him a very brief respite — more like blur — back home at Cordillera before jetting off to more celebratory events with family, friends and sponsors. We’ve all seen the media coverage surrounding this win but what’s been the most fun has been how Jimmy has embraced the members at Cordillera Ranch. When the sports world is tugging at him from all directions for interviews and events, he’s been the same guy he was before the win, ever-gracious with members and appreciative of the local support. “Hey, it’s fun having everyone excited about it and enjoying it; you’ve gotta enjoy everyone getting into this,” Jimmy commented when asked about the post-win frenzy.

To honor Jimmy’s PGA win, The Club threw a party to celebrate and offer a few surprise gifts for Jimmy while the City of Boerne Mayor Mike Schultz, Kendall County Judge Darrell Lux and County Commissioner Richard Elkins were on hand to proclaim August 19th “Jimmy Walker Day” in the City of Boerne and Kendall County. “What’s been fun is that Jimmy has embraced everyone in the community, from staff here at Cordillera, to residents and others in the area; he’s shared the win and that’s really special and it illustrates what kind of class act he is,” added Cordillera Ranch Director of Golf Operations, Marc DeWall.

So congrats to Jimmy on a lifetime of dedication and hard work that has paid off with a well-deserved and hard-fought Major Championship victory. It wasn’t easy, and it was definitely worth it.

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