Fast forward to this week's Northern Trust Open at Riviera
Country Club, and the long-hitting American is generating plenty of
buzz, both inside and outside the ropes, as he bids for a fourth
victory in the new 'wraparound' 2013-14 season.
"I can feel it, I can hear it," Walker told reporters after
recording birdies on his last three holes for a four-under-par 67 to
sit just one stroke off the lead in Thursday's unfinished opening
"It's different. It just is. It's really fun to have everybody watch
last week and say, 'Good job' and 'Way to win' and 'Keep it going.'
Walker had made 187 career starts on the PGA Tour without success
before finally clinching his maiden victory at the season-opening
Frys.com Open in October.
He has since added further wins at the Sony Open in January and at
last week's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he triumphed by one
Not since 2008, when Tiger Woods clinched his first three events,
has a player made such a fast winning start to a PGA Tour season. In
1974, Johnny Miller recorded four wins in his first eight
Walker is the fourth player since 1995 to win three events in eight
or fewer starts to begin a PGA Tour season, emulating the previous
achievements of David Duval, Phil Mickelson and Woods, who did so a
remarkable eight times.
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Asked to explain what it felt like to have posted three wins in such
a short period of time, Walker replied: "I don't know, I think I'm
still processing it all.
"I've never done this right here, stood in the room like this and
talked and answered questions like this. It's always kind of been
sitting down in the media room and stuff.
"But this is where you want to be and this is why you want to play
and play good, to answer questions I think."
Walker was talking to a group of reporters in a confined area in the
clubhouse at Riviera Country Club, having signed his scorecard in an
adjacent room moments earlier.
Previously, he had spoken to golf writers only in the official
interview rooms which are set up in the media centers at PGA Tour
So far, however, Walker has embraced the heightened media interest
in his golfing career.
"You have to enjoy it," the 35-year-old Oklahoma native said. "It's
why you play. It's part of the deal.
"I don't know what it's like for some of those guys that are winning
40 times and they have done this a ton... but right now, I enjoy it.
It's fun, it's a good place to be."
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; editing by John O'Brien)
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