Walker finding momentum ahead of PGA defense

By Will GrayAugust 5, 2017, 12:11 am

AKRON, Ohio – It’s been a difficult year for Jimmy Walker, but he may be turning things in the right direction just in time to defend the biggest title of his career.

Walker broke through to win the PGA Championship last summer, and he had hoped to use that as both the cornerstone of an accomplished career and the catalyst for even greater performances.

The latter half of that equation was quickly derailed as he struggled with fatigue and flu-like symptoms in the months that followed, ultimately diagnosed with Lyme disease in the spring.

As Walker struggled to pinpoint his physical ailments, his game suffered in turn. He hasn’t recorded a top-10 finish since the winners-only SBS Tournament of Champions, where he tied for ninth, and he entered this week ranked 39th in the world – nearly back to where he was prior to his win last year at Baltusrol.

But Walker has found something in his game through 36 holes of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he leads Thomas Pieters by two shots after rounds of 67-65.

“It hasn’t been a lot of fun this year,” Walker said. “But it’s nice to see some putts go in and make some solid swings and keep rounds going, make some par putts. Just the stuff I haven't been doing.”

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

It was a marathon day at Firestone Country Club, where three separate rain delays made it difficult for players to find a rhythm. Walker was not immune, but he successfully battled his physical symptoms while recording six birdies against a lone bogey.

“I felt pretty good all week physically, and I wake up this morning and I’ve just got this overall flu feeling in my body, so I take some Advil and it goes away,” he said. “Then during the last break it came back, so I took some more. Now it’s gone. Just crap like that, you just never know when it’s going to spike up.”

Walker credited a top-15 finish at last year’s RBC Canadian Open as the spark for his win at the PGA, and while he’d prefer to take some momentum with him for his title defense at Quail Hollow he’s more focused on simply putting up a good result, period.

“It’s always important to have a good week. I haven’t had too many this year, it’s kind of rough,” he said. “But things have been trending, I kind of feel like, and hopefully this is shades of things to come.”

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.