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(Reuters) - Jimmy Walker did it the hard way, almost squandering a huge lead before registering a nervous one-stroke victory to continue his hot start to the season at the $6.6 million Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday.
Walker began the day with a six-stroke lead but he made hard work of it with consecutive bogeys at the 12th and 13th holes that opened the door to his rivals at Pebble Beach.
He steadied the ship down the stretch for the most part, hitting a series of precise shots, before a three-putt bogey at the penultimate hole left him with a tenuous one-stroke lead going to the par-five 18th.
But Walker managed a nervous par, sinking a five-footer to stagger across the finish line with the victory.
He carded a two-over 74 to finish at 11-under-par 276, with fellow Americans Dustin Johnson (66) and Jim Renner (67) equal second on 10 under par.
It is Walker's third victory in eight starts at the start of the season - a feat achieved in the modern era only by Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and David Duval, according to the PGA Tour.
The 35-year-old from Oklahoma collected over $1.18 million to increase his lead on the PGA Tour money list and also his lead in the FedEx Cup points standings.
Reporting By Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Larry Fine