You Oughta Know: Walker poised for Valero victory

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After closing with a pair of birdies, Jimmy Walker appears on the verge of yet another victory. Here's what You Oughta Know heading into the final round of the Valero Texas Open, where Walker holds a four-shot lead over Jordan Spieth:

  • Walker won earlier this season at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and a victory would be his fifth since October 2013 - the most of any player on Tour across that span.
  • This is Walker's fourth 54-hole lead and third such advantage this season. He lost in a playoff at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions before turning a two-shot lead into a nine-shot win the following week at Waialae.
  • Walker went to college at Baylor in Waco, Texas, and lives in Boerne, about 30 minutes from TPC San Antonio. His best prior result in this event was a tie for third in 2010.
  • With a victory, Walker is projected to move into the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time in his career.
  • Walker is looking to end an odd drought for 54-hole leaders on Tour, as each of the last nine events have featured come-from-behind victories. The last 54-hole leader to win was Bill Haas at the Humana Challenge.
  • Spieth won earlier this month at the Valspar Championship, and should he overtake Walker he would become the youngest player to win back-to-back starts since Tiger Woods won the Masters and AT&T Byron Nelson Championship in 1997.
  • Billy Horschel will begin the final round alone in third place, six shots behind Walker. Since winning the FedEx Cup last season, his only top-25 finish came at the limited-field Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he tied for 22nd.
  • A large tie for fourth includes a pair of former VTO champions: Zach Johnson, who won at La Cantera in both 2008 and 2009, and Brendan Steele, whose lone prior win came at TPC San Antonio in 2011.
  • Sunday offers the final chance for players to earn Masters invites by moving into the top 50 in the world rankings. Matt Jones (T-12) likely needs a top-four finish, while Harris English (T-33) likely needs a top-seven result to earn an invite to Augusta National.
  • Phil Mickelson is T-11 through three rounds, nine shots behind Walker. He is looking for his first top-10 finish of the season and just his second top-10 since the start of the 2013-14 season.