Honolulu, HI (SportsNetwork.com) - Jimmy Walker fired a final-round, 7-under 63 on Sunday and he ran away with a 9-shot win and successfully defended his title at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Walker shot four straight rounds in the 60s to finish the week at 23-under-par 257, which was nine shots better than runner-up Scott Piercy. The win is Walker's fourth on the PGA Tour and his first since winning the AT&T National Pro-Am last season. Walker defeated Chris Kirk by one stroke at this event last year.
"Just more confidence, more comfortable," Walker said about his success over the past year. "I've got good people. I've got a great trainer Mark, a good coach in Butch and a great wife and kids. Things are good."
Piercy carded his second consecutive 66 to finish in sole possession of second place at 14-under 266 at Waialae Country Club. Harris English and Gary Woodland both shot 3-under 67s, while Matt Kuchar fired a 1-over 71 and the trio finished tied for third at 13-under 267.
Rory Sabbatini (63), Jerry Kelly (66), Brian Davis (67), Zac Blair (67), Max Homa (69), Shawn Stefani (68) and Justin Thomas (70) all ended tied for sixth at 12-under.
Walker, who narrowly lost to Patrick Reed in a playoff at last week's Hyundai Tournament of Champions, entered Sunday with a 2-shot lead and he played nearly flawless golf on his way to victory.
The 36-year-old coasted out of the gate with seven straight pars, while Kuchar, who was two shots behind Walker entering the day, remained two back. A Walker birdie paired with a Kuchar bogey on No. 8 moved Walker four clear at minus-17.
Another gain on No. 9 pushed Walker's lead to five, with Kuchar, Piercy and Woodland all at 13-under. A Woodland gain on 12 briefly got him to within four, but that was as close as any player would get to Walker again as he made his third straight birdie on 10 to get back up by five.
A Woodland bogey on 13 and a Walker gain on 12 gave Walker his biggest lead of the day at that point as he was up seven shots. Piercy got the lead back down to six with a birdie on 16, but another gain for Walker on 15 got him back to seven clear.
The defending champ showed no mercy for the rest of the field as he finished up with birdies on 16 and 18 to complete a big week and a 9-shot victory.
"It's quite a bit different," said Walker about his emotions between last week's playoff defeat and Sunday's victory. "I really wanted to try to finish out the day today like I kind of didn't do last week. It was really fun. Wind picked up this afternoon. It was tough. It played tough and I just kept grinding, kept hitting good shots, kept making putts and that's what I wanted to do today."
Piercy had a bogey-free round with birdies on one, two, 10 and 16, but it was not nearly enough to catch Walker. English made four birdies and one bogey on the day, while Woodland had an eagle on nine, three birdies and two bogeys. Kuchar did not make a single birdie on the final day as he made 17 pars and the one bogey on No. 8.
NOTES: Walker's 9-shot win is the largest margin of victory by two shots at this event ... This is the first time Walker has successfully defended his title ... Walker missed the tournament scoring record by one shot. The record was set by Russell Henley in 2013 when he shot a 256 ... With the win, Walker earned $1,008,000 ... The PGA Tour is back on the mainland next week for the Humana Challenge in California, where Reed won last year.