AUSTIN, Texas – Until Thursday, match play had been a struggle for Jimmy Walker. But on the second day of the WGC-Dell Match Play, the Texan finally put one in the win column with a 4-and-3 defeat of Robert Streb.
For Walker, it was his only his second victory in seven matches over the last three years and his first since a 5-and-4 triumph over South African Branden Grace in 2014.
The second-round victory, which Walker led wire-to-wire, puts him in a position in Friday’s third round to advance into the Round of 16 with a win over long-hitting Dustin Johnson, who won 5 and 4 over Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat. <br />
“You can only do what you can do,” a happy Walker said. “But there’s lots of scenarios, especially with the half points, matches tie. I knew I needed to come out and win today or I didn’t have a chance. So that was the goal today.”
Walker struggled on Wednesday with a stretch of five bogeys and three birdies in the middle of the round. A double bogey on the 16th hole took care of any chance of a victory or halve.
In Thursday’s second round, Walker made a par and moved to 1 up on the first hole and gained another hole by the turn. He put the match out of reach with a birdie on the par-3 11th hole to move to 3 up and then another birdie on the par-4 13th hole to move to 4 up.
“I’ll have a tough match tomorrow,” Walker said. “And it just depends on what all happens with everybody else. The playoff is certainly possible. You could go outright. So there’s a couple of different scenarios.”