Former Big 12 Golfers breaking out on PGA Tour

Mark Roberson

Easter weekend has passed, spring has finally arrived and with it the PGA Tour gets into full swing.

With the Masters having come and gone, golf season is now in prime season. Several golfers from Big 12 schools have taken to the course early on this year and proved they have the stuff to compete with the very best in the sport.

Perhaps the best, and most surprising, start to this year’s season is from 36-year old Jimmy Walker.

The 13-year pro out of Baylor has won three tournaments – The Open, Sony Open, and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am – and is ranked second on the PGA money list so far this year.

So far, this is Walker’s best season since he turned pro in 2001, and he’s not showing signs of slowing down after his eighth place finish in the Masters. Keep an eye out for Walker throughout the course of this year’s season.

It seems like every year we just keep waiting for Rickie Fowler to have that breakout season. This is Fowler’s fifth year since turning pro, and it should be about time to see some major results.

Fowler has been on a hot streak as of late; with two top-ten finishes in his last two tournaments – taking fifth in the Masters. He can’t depend on his bright clothing style to bring him victories though.

If Fowler, currently ranked 35th in the world, can improve on his putting and make a few more greens, we could easily see him contending in many more tournaments throughout the season.

Lastly, there’s the wonder-kid Jordan Spieth. The twenty-year-old former Longhorn has had an incredible start to his young career.

Since turning pro in 2012, Spieth has made over 6 million in total earnings and finished in the top ten 14 times. His remarkable start resembles that of Rory Mcilroy, another young golfer that has recently had tremendous success in the early stages of his career.  

In Spieth’s best performance yet was in this years Masters. Going into Sunday, Spieth shared the lead with Bubba Watson and even pulled ahead by three strokes at one point before finishing at even on the day.

The 20 year-old did not buckle under the pressure. Instead of folding to Watson, he maintained steady play and took second in the tournament, showing maturity and the ability to stay mentally strong in the face of defeat.

Spieth may have not won the Masters, but rest assured the young Texan will be in contention for many more Sundays to come.

The next big PGA event will be the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass May 8-11.