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Walker on Lyme disease: Nice to 'feel like me again'

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HONOLULU – It was here at the Sony Open a year ago when things started to worry Jimmy Walker.

“I was like, something is wrong. I can’t keep getting sick like this,” he said on Tuesday at Waialae.

It would be another four months before Walker would finally be diagnosed with Lyme disease and things became much worse before they got better. The medication doctors prescribed made him sensitive to sunlight and he struggled to find energy to practice.

“I couldn’t practice, the worst part was not being able to play with my kids,” said Walker, who has added 10 pounds since September. “It’s just nice to feel good and feel like me again. I know it’s getting better.”

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Unfortunately, the Walker family is not finished with Lyme disease. Walker’s wife, Erin, recently announced that she had also contracted the disease and she is not with her husband this week in Hawaii.

“She hadn’t been feeling good and I said you have to get tested [for Lyme disease], and sure enough it popped right up,” Walker said. “She’s doing the same meds I did this summer and she’s really struggling.”

Walker has slipped from 25th in the Official World Golf Ranking at the beginning of 2017 to 70th, but said returning to Waialae, where he is a two-time champion, gives him motivation heading into the new year.