Jimmy Walker turning January into 'Jimmy-ary'

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By JIM O'SHEA
College Contributor Network

Reggie Jackson. Mr. October. The two names are basically interchangeable, and for good reason.

The three-time World Series champion did it with two teams, including arguably the most famous brand in all of sports, the New York Yankees. He had a career .357 batting average when it mattered the most, the World Series.

And the two he won with the Bronx Bombers he put up absurd numbers in the Fall Classic. How does a .418 average, seven home runs, 16 RBIs, and 12 runs scored sound? Pretty good if you ask me.

So Mr. October makes just a little sense with Jackson.

But how about Jimmy Walker and Mr. January? Now, yes I agree it doesn't roll off the tongue quite like Mr. October but hear me out.

The 36-year-old has four wins on the PGA Tour in his career, and guess when half of them have come? January and both in the last two years.

Walker began the 2013-14 season as a total no-name on the tour. But after winning the season-opening tournament at the Frys.com Open, at least people knew who he was. But then again it came in the fall part of the year when the Tigers, Phils, and Rorys of the world are on vacation on the beach not on the golf course with different kind of sand around.

But once the new year begins, the top players are out in force and well Walker proved he could be right there with them and even come out on top. At the second tournament in January and the first full-event field, Walker won the second of his career at the Sony Open. And whenever you shoot all four rounds in the 60s, which he did, you know it was a pretty good week.

And coming into 2015, Walker was no longer a no-name. He was now a three-time winner on the tour, Ryder Cup team member, and a force to be reckoned with.

He wasted no time to show everyone that last year wasn't a fluke and a one-hit wonder he is not.

The opening tournament was full of champions, literally. The Hyundai Tournament of Champions showcased the best of the best from 2014, including Walker. Three straight rounds of five-under or better put Walker where he was used to, at the top of the leaderboard.

Coming to the 18th hole on Sunday, Walker was literally within grasp of another trophy. He led by one and had a 16-foot putt for the win. He came up just a little bit short, as he did to claiming his fourth victory of his career. He lost on the first hole of the playoff.

Walker couldn't pout though as he had a quick turnaround, three days later teeing it up at the place he won last year, the Sony Open. And this time was no different.

Walker did it in style, too. A second straight week of four rounds in the 60s. But this time he also left saying he was a champion.

After there was a jam-packed leaderboard going into the weekend, Walker ran away with it. He broke, not 70, not even 65, he broke 64 on both Saturday and Sunday. A combined -15 in two days would have won it, but total it all up and he won by nine shots! Give the rest of the field another round and they probably still would not have caught the back-to-back champ.

Starting with the Sony Open last year, Walker has played in four tournaments. Two wins, a runner-up, and 12 rounds in the 60s! The Hawks may be going through one hell of a stretch right now in the NBA, but Walker's opening month of the year the last two seasons has been Spurs-like. The wins and trophies just keep coming.

You may not want to call Jimmy Walker "Mr. January" quite yet. Fine. But he may just be the best American golfer in the game. He has the most wins and most weeks in the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings of any American since the start of the 2013-14 PGA Tour calendar.

Just think about that as Jimmy Walker is off until February and gives the other guys at least a chance to come out on top in the month he basically owns, January.

Jim O'Shea is a junior at Syracuse University studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism. Born and raised in Houston, TX. He's an avid Texans and Texas Rangers fan. Also golf is his favorite sport. Follow him on Twitter: @JimOShea4
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