Media Center Interviews
April 19, 2017
Pre-Tournament Press Conference With Jimmy Walker
DOUG MILNE: I'd like to welcome the 2015 Valero Texas Open champion. Jimmy, thanks for doing this for a few minutes. Making your 12th start in the event. Obviously one near and dear to you.
So with that said, coupled with the fact that you won here, just a few comments on being back if the Valero Texas Open.
JIMMY WALKER: Yeah. Being back home is nice. Sleep in your own bed, food is always good, got a good pillow and lots of friends and family. It's always fun and having won here a couple years ago, you know, lots of really great memories and so it's fun.
DOUG MILNE: I know a lot of time has past since you won the PGA Championship. Is it any different coming back to an event like this that is near and dear to you at home for the first time as a Major championship winner?
JIMMY WALKER: Hopefully we'll see that more Thursday through Sunday when the tournament starts. I've been home quite awhile since that. I'm sure we'll see a little bit more later in the week.
DOUG MILNE: Finally, last start before this, the Masters, got off to a little bit of a rough start with your 76 but rebounded with a couple of subpar rounds and even par on Sunday to finish inside the Top 20, I think.
JIMMY WALKER: Yeah.
DOUG MILNE: Got to be coming into this week feeling pretty good.
JIMMY WALKER: I do. The golf game feels all right. I'll be honest, I didn't do a whole lot of work last week, kind of took some time off. I played three in a row and Masters kind of takes it out of you a little bit but did a lot of good stuff that week.
The first day was really hard, as I think everybody knows. Didn't play hard for Charley Hoffman. Played hard for everybody else. I feel good. I think golf game feels pretty solid. So, I'm excited to start.
DOUG MILNE: We'll take a few questions.
Q. What makes the par 5 8th so difficult? One of the hardest par-5s on Tour. Is it the wind, length, combination, something else?
JIMMY WALKER: You never know what kind of weather you're going to get here. You get a north wind really long, a south wind it plays a lot shorter but the second shot into the green is narrow. The opening to the green is narrower than this room.
So, having to hit a long shot in there is tough. I've hit anywhere between going at it with a 3-wood or I think I've hit a 5-iron in, just depending how firm and fast and windy it is.
The green is tricky, bowls off in the front and both sides, and both the big hump in the middle of it to the back tier and even wedge shots, trying to get a wedge shot to the back tier is really tough.
If you go over the green it runs away. It's just a tough par 5 all around. It's long and it's tight and you never really have -- just not a real comfortable second shot going for the green.
Deep bunkers. Just tough. Everything goes this way (indicating). Makes it tough.
Q. So when you decide to go for it in two, is it just wind or are there some times when the wind has been favorable and you still decided to layup?
JIMMY WALKER: You definitely need the south wind to have a go at it. Just like with golf, I think out here the closer we get, the chances you making birdie get better. So, I always -- if we've got a good lie I always like trying to knock it up there. Are you thinking about making eagle? Not really. Just to think about making an easy birdie, you catch a good lie in the bunker or knock one on.
Q. Jimmy, I think the question on a lot of people's minds is how is your health?
JIMMY WALKER: You know, it's okay. Been very tired and fatigued and no strength and it comes and goes in waves and just hasn't been real fun.
I actually tested positive for Lyme's Disease, found that out Wednesday of Augusta. So we've been talking to a lot of doctors. I think that was more of what was going on as opposed to the mono, and a lot of doctors think that wasn't really anything that was going on.
So, dealing with that and I think I've had it for, you know, a little while now. I haven't felt really good since Thanksgiving. I'm holding strong to that. How long I've had it, I don't know.
I know I haven't felt great since about then. So, been talking to some doctors, trying to figure out the course of action to take and get on some meds to get it going in the right direction.
Q. Was there ever any thought about not playing here this week?
JIMMY WALKER: Yeah. I mean honestly, I didn't know how fast -- how fast we were going to get going on like the antibiotics. It could -- I heard it can take it out of you pretty bad for four, five days.
So, I don't know -- hopefully we get to start here pretty quick. I've been talking to quite a few people and we've still got some outstanding tests. I sent some -- we did some more blood draws on Monday and just trying to formulate a plan of attack on what all we need -- we're trying to get all the information first on what's going on before we go.
Q. You're not being treated yet, you're waiting?
JIMMY WALKER: Not waiting. I'm ready. I'm ready.
Q. Well, I know you kind of divulged this the first time, the question was -- I think the remedy is not only medication but rest probably would help.
JIMMY WALKER: You know, anybody knows me, rest isn't something I'm really good at doing. Even when it was -- we thought it was something else, it was still tough but I just -- I just kind of accepted that this is how I've been feeling and I've been feeling like this for awhile now and I keep plugging along, keep going.
I didn't know anything was wrong. I finally got to a point something is wrong, I don't feel good and I need to get something figured out.
Basically feels like you got the flu. No strength. Just got nothing. And it comes and goes in waves. You never know when it's going to pop-up.
Like today, I didn't feel great this morning and just felt really just not good and then all of a sudden it kind of goes away and for a couple holes out there I felt great and then it just comes right back.
So, Augusta week I felt like I had a pretty good week. I felt nice and solid all week. Antiinflammatories like Advil, kind of kick some of the symptoms a little bit.
I had a really rough week at Honda. But it just comes and goes. I can't figure any rhyme or reason out. I'm ready to get over it. I know that.
Q. Are the doctors telling you you need time off to rest, you'd be better off?
JIMMY WALKER: Nothing like that yet.
Q. Jimmy, you've been surprised that you've been able to kind of play through this and play reasonably well despite this?
JIMMY WALKER: I didn't really know. I knew I wasn't feeling really well. I didn't know why. Man, am I old now, am I getting old, is this what getting old feels like? I don't like it if this is what it is.
I feel like I try to stay in pretty good shape and relatively healthy but it just -- it's just not a fun way to live. It's hard to describe. I don't know if anybody that's got it can really describe it to you but it's just -- it's not fun.
It puts you in a bad mood. You don't feel good. You feel awful like a lot. It's not just fun.
I'm ready to get back to having full energy and feeling good and the -- play with my kids the way they want to play and not go home and just feel like just a rock. I'm ready to get going.
I'm not blaming anything on golf or the way I felt on golf. I go out and give it all I got and I've been practicing and giving it everything I can give it so that's -- that's it.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. Finish up with Mike.
Q. Jimmy, you mentioned that it comes and goes. Does that make it even more frustrating because you don't really know when it's going to hit you or not as opposed to like something at least you know you got it and you got to deal it with 24/7?
JIMMY WALKER: It's a little bit of that. Like I said, I don't know how or why or when. I know I don't like being on any meds or -- I know the Advil works on it really well and I don't like taking a lot of it but I'm ready to get off all that stuff and get over it, just get back to feeling good, being in a better mood.
It's not real fun, honestly. I think everybody out here would say I'm kind of a happy go lucky guy, smiling, having a good time. Some of my close friends have seen a little decline in that. I've tried to stay -- I haven't really said anything to anybody about it but I just keep plugging along.
Q. How much did you know about Lyme's Disease before now?
JIMMY WALKER: I still don't know a lot about it. Sounds like nobody really does, honestly.
Q. How do you get that?
JIMMY WALKER: From a tick.
Q. Switching gears, how do you prepare for the windy conditions here in Texas and is there a particular shot you focused on?
JIMMY WALKER: I grew up here so the wind is just kind of -- it is what it is and I've learned to hit the ball low and try to take some spin off of it, control the ball, softer swings, more club.
So, I know the year I won it was real windy and I played well at Honda this year in the wind and so I feel like I'm a good wind player. You still have to be on. If you're off a little in the wind it's brutal.
So, we always seem to get a pretty good amount of wind here. This place sits up on top of a hill. It's always humming from one direction. Be a good week.
DOUG MILNE: Thanks, Jimmy.
JIMMY WALKER: Thanks.