Walker’s wire-to-wire triumph at Baltusrol made it a clean sweep of the season’s majors by first-time victors as the 48th-ranked American claimed the Wannamaker trophy from 2015 champion Day.
Walker endured a nervy finish after Day rolled in an eagle putt at the 18th to trim the deficit to one shot, after Walker had stretched his lead to three strokes with a birdie putt at the 17th.
Day’s clutch putt unsettled the San Antonio native as he sent his approach into the green-side rough. Day watched from the scorer’s tent as Walker got up-and-down, sinking a 3-foot put to secure his biggest win at -14.
The top-ranked Day, who missed a birdie putt at number 17, shot 67 to finish without a major victory this season. Daniel Summerhays of the US carded a final round 66 for -10 to finish alone in third.
Walker, who earned his sixth career PGA victory, showed a cool demeanour that matched his flawless play on a wet Baltusrol golf course.
It was not a typical Sunday as the wet weather meant Saturday’s third-round was completed on Sunday morning. Those unusual circumstances meant leading players were not paired together but kept in their third-round groups to get the tournament completed.
The 48th-ranked Walker looked in a tough spot at the 10th as he reconsidered his shot from the green-side bunker just after Day had made birdie to get to within one.
But Walker’s hesitation was well-advised as his lobbed shot trickled into the hole for his first birdie of the round.
Day responded by rolling in a 10-foot birdie putt at number 11 to get back to within one shot, only for Walker to stroke home his birdie putt from 30 feet at the same hole to widen the gap back to two strokes.
While Day provided last-gasp drama at number 18, Walker deservedly has his name etched on the Wannamaker trophy.
Walker follows Masters champion Danny Willett, US Open winner Dustin Johnson and British Open victor Henrik Stenson as the season’s maiden major winners. Stenson made the turn a single shot back of Walker alongside Day but a double-bogey at the 15th effectively ended his chances as he finished at -8 after shooting 72.
South Africa’s Branden Grace shot 67 to finish at -9 alongside Brooks Koepka (70) of the US and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (70), whose poor putting stroke kept him from challenging Walker.
Robert Streb (69), co-leader with Walker after 36 holes, finished at -8 alongside Stenson and 2010 winner Martin Kaymer (66) of Germany.
Source: GNA/dpa/News Ghana