SAN DIEGO – It’s been the better part of eight years since someone other than Andy Sanders handed Jimmy Walker a golf club in a PGA Tour event, but this week at Torrey Pines the new face on the American’s bag has led to familiar results.
Walker carded a 2-under 70 on Saturday at the Farmers Insurance Open and is one stroke off the lead in his quest to win his fifth PGA Tour title in the last 15 months, all with a temporary caddie, Jimmy Johnson, who normally works for Steve Stricker.
Stricker had back surgery in December and isn’t expected to play again until the Florida Swing. It turned into a perfect opportunity for Walker, whose normal caddie Andy Sanders was at home this week for the birth of his son.
“We knew this week was coming and I knew I wanted to play and at the Shark Shootout Andy and Jimmy started talking. So I asked Stricker if that would be alright if Jimmy caddied for me?” said Walker, who added that Sanders will return to the bag next week at Pebble Beach.
Walker said it’s the first time since 2007 someone other than Sanders was on the bag and applauded Johnson for his ability to make the adjustment easy.
“It’s different. You’re so used to hearing numbers and stuff the same way,” Walker said. “It’s a fraction different, but like on the last hole we really talked it out like Andy and I would on that last shot of the day because of the wind and it was a tough shot and we were maxing out a distance.”