American Jimmy Walker birdied four of the last six holes to storm clear of a crowded leaderboard and win his second PGA Tour title by one shot at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
The 34-year-old, who had trailed by two strokes overnight, produced ice-cool composure and superb play over the closing stretch as he fired a flawless seven-under-par 63 at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.
Kirk, playing in the final group, had a chance to force a playoff with an eagle at the par-five last but his chip from in front of the green ran eight feet past the cup and Walker was able to celebrate his second victory on the US circuit.
“Today was awesome,” a beaming Walker told Golf Channel after earning the winner’s cheque for just over $1 million. “I felt in control all day with my emotions.
“I made a key par putt (from 12 feet) on 14, which was really big, and then the string of birdies (to finish) there was pretty awesome.”
Walker, who needed 188 career starts on the PGA Tour to clinch his first title at the Frys.com Open in October, felt that maiden victory had been instrumental in helping him add another just five starts later.
“You learn so much out here and it took me a long time to do it. I feel like I did learn a lot that week.
“I felt very calm and in control and that’s what everybody has kind of been saying. That’s what you’ve got to feel and do when it’s time to win. Today I stayed patient.”