PEBBLE BEACH -- The 2014 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is Jimmy Walker's to lose, and for a guy who doesn't seem to know how to make a bogey anymore, losing it could be a tough thing to do.

Walker, the 35-year-old transplanted Texan who has burst into the world golf spotlight after nine rather non-descript years on the PGA Tour, has made precisely one bogey in 54 holes over three days traversing three Monterey Peninsula courses.

Oh, and 14 birdies. That would be worth a standing ovation under any circumstances, but considering the punishing weather conditions that have made scoring exceedingly tough the past two days, it's nothing short of unbelievable.

So is the six-shot lead Walker owns heading into Sunday's final round at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Hunter Mahan and Tim Wilkinson share second place. Richard Lee is seven shots back, and Phil Mickelson is part of a six-man pack eight behind.

In short, Walker is pretty much a man alone challenging some very good golf courses under difficult conditions.

"It just feels like a battle," Walker said after shooting a 4-under 67 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on Saturday. "You're not really battling anybody else. You're not battling the field or a tournament. You're just battling a golf course that is trying to beat you up."


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He's the only player who has convincingly won the battle. Consider 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, who had to play Pebble Beach under dastardly wind conditions that resulted in a two-hour, 10-minute delay because golf balls were wobbling precariously on the greens.

Spieth, who began the day as the co-leader with Walker at 9 under, made five bogeys and a double bogey over 15 holes and still hadn't finished. He was one of 12 golfers still on the course when darkness halted the third round.

Pebble Beach certainly delivered the harshest weather blows, but it wasn't exactly a picnic at Spyglass Hill or MPCC, either. So what Walker has accomplished shouldn't be underestimated.

"I've gotten a couple of good breaks," Walker said. "You need that out here. I've made a lot of really good putts. I've made most of the putts you need to save par. I hit good iron shots into greens and gave myself good looks. I've been hitting good chips and not leaving myself too much work."

Sounds so easy, eh? What's equally remarkable is Walker has been making such a habit of it. He already has two victories this season after not winning on tour in his first 187 starts, and now is a heavy favorite to grab his third.

He's also looking to become the first man to achieve the Northern California "double," having captured the Frys.com Open at San Martin in October. Having added the Sony Open title in Hawaii in January, it would seem he'd be comfortable going into the AT&T's final round with a six-shot lead.

But he isn't taking anything for granted until he sees what kind of weather is in store Sunday. And even with two victories in four months, he doesn't feel like a veteran at it just yet.

"It still feels pretty new," he said. "And who knows what the weather's going to do. I haven't looked at the forecast, but I would imagine it's going to more of the same we had (Saturday), maybe a little better."

And while has managed his game so well, Walker got to play Pebble Beach at its calmest Thursday when he shot a 6-under 66.

"It sure makes it more dicey," he said. "It makes it dicey for everybody. It keeps everybody on edge and every little thing in your game gets magnified when the elements are like they are."

So what about that lone bogey over the first 54 holes, Jimmy, which came at the par-4 fifth hole at MPCC on Saturday? How'd you blow it?

"I was trying to drive the green because it was (down wind) and blowing pretty hard," he said. "I caught the lip of the bunker. I had a really good lie and had about 40 yards, but I tried to hit this little kind of chip shot, caught it fat and left it in the bunker. So that was kind of my fault."

Walker had no real explanation as to why he has become such a dominant player in Northern California.

"I just like the golf courses," he said. "They just seem to kind of fit my eye. I think it happens for everybody. You get in these little grooves in places and you feel comfortable and the ball kind of goes in the hole for you."

The 12 players who didn't finish the third round will hit the course Sunday at 7:45 a.m., and the final round will start at approximately 9 a.m.

Follow Carl Steward on Twitter at twitter.com/stewardsfolly.

FINAL ROUND
TV: 10 a.m. GOLF; noon, CBS

INSIDE
  • D.A. Points doesn't desert partner Condoleezza Rice. PAGE 6
  • Full pros scoreboard, PAGE 6


    LEADER BOARD
    p-Pebble Beach, par-72;
    s-Spyglass Hill, par-72;
    m-Monterey Peninsula, par-71
    partial THIRD round
    Jimmy Walker 66p-69s-67m -- -13
    Tim Wilkinson 67p-72s-69m -- -7
    Hunter Mahan 68p-68s-72m -- -7
    Richard H. Lee 65m-72p-72s -- -6
    Six players tied at 5 under