Trying for win No. 3, Walker leads by 6 at Pebble

Jimmy Walker during the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Jimmy Walker during the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

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1:00:01 PM ET. 04/20/2014




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Jimmy Walker finished his 2013 season at the BMW Championship, missing out on the Tour Championship, the final event of the season, by six spots.

When the season ended for Walker, he had earned the moniker as one of the best golfers not to have won on the PGA Tour. He possessed a resume of 187 events, one runner-up finish, at the 2013 Greenbrier Classic, and 22 top 10s, half of them coming over the last two years.

Just eight events later, Walker has won twice, at the Frys.com Open and Sony Open, and is on the cusp of winning a third event. He leads by six shots entering Sunday's final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

No longer is Walker, 35, coming up short. He is now on a streak that is Tiger-esque.

“I've gotten a couple of good breaks,” Walker said of his three rounds that have yielded 14 birdies and a lone bogey on the Monterey Peninsula. “I think you need that out here. I've made a lot of really good putts. I've made most of the putts you need to make to save par."

Walker can’t remember if he has ever had a six-shot lead through 54 holes. At 13 under, he is six shots clear of Tim Wilkinson and Hunter Mahan, who are tied for second at 7 under.

It's been a while since a player with a six-shot lead through 54 holes has been overtaken on the PGA Tour. At the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Spencer Levin led by six over Webb Simpson after 54 holes before Kyle Stanley, who was eight shots back, won by a shot over Ben Crane.

But at the same time, Walker knows that the difficult weather conditions on the Monterey Peninsula that have given the field fits this week could very well affect him Sunday.

“Guys seem to play well at golf courses, because it fits their eye and you like the golf course and the shots and you feel like you can read the greens and the ball does what you want it to do when you're on the greens,” Walker said of his potential two victories in Northern California. “You feel like you can make putts.”

In three rounds, Walker has a total of 79 putts, with no three-putts and 27 holes of either zero putts or one-putts on greens that are just short of pristine.

A victory by Walker likely would cement his place on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Given his length off the tee and perceived prowess with the putter, he would be one of the favorites in the Masters, as well.

But that is for another day. Right now, Walker has 18 holes left, against a field that is not going to back down.

“I know that Pebble Beach is a tough golf course and especially with the winds, and I'm sure it was really playing tough out there today, just like it was probably playing tough every where, I thought,” Walker said. “But I'm excited. I'm excited to be here and be in the position, and this is where you play golf and you work hard to get into these kind of situations.”

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