Texas veteran Jimmy Walker took command of the tournament on Thursday’s opening round and never gave up the lead, despite having to play 36 holes Sunday because of the four inches of rain that fell throughout Saturday afternoon.

Kaz’s Korner

Joe Kazmar – For The Record

The month of August rolled in Monday following a weekend in which the PGA Championship signaled the end of the four major tournaments for the year, while most National Football League teams began training camp for the upcoming 2016 season and the best professional and amateur athletes around the world headed for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro Brazil which begin Friday.

This year’s 99th PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J. consisted of the 136 leading players on the PGA Tour and 20 PGA club professionals based on the top finishers in the PGA Professional Championship.

Texas veteran Jimmy Walker took command of the tournament on Thursday’s opening round and never gave up the lead, despite having to play 36 holes Sunday because of the four inches of rain that fell throughout Saturday afternoon.

The Baylor golfer was pressured during the entire four rounds by Australian Jason Day, who was trying to become the only player besides Tiger Woods to win back-to-back PGA Championships.

However, the Boerne, TX. native played steadily despite the soggy turf conditions and never lost his focus. Day trailed Walker during most of the back nine in Sunday’s final round and just when it came down to Day having to birdie the final two holes for a tie, Walker birdied No. 17 while Day made par, falling behind by three strokes with only one remaining.

Day made a fantastic eagle-3 on No. 18 forcing Walker to just make par on the final hole. Walker pushed his second shot into the rough but was able to chip on the green and two-putt for the par and the victory.

Walker became the fourth player this year to win a major tournament for the first time in his career. Others included Dustin Johnson in the U.S. Open, Henrik Stenson in the British Open and Danny Willett in the 2016 Masters.

The victory moved Walker from No. 29 to No. 4 in the Ryder Cup standings and earned him a check for $1.8 million for rounds of 65-66-68-67—266 or 14-under par. Day’s check was nothing to sneeze at–$1.08 million for rounds of 68-65-67-67—267.

Most NFL teams officially began training camp last weekend. The Houston Texans were jolted by the news that All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins missed the first day of workouts because he was holding out for a contract extension.

But General Manager Rick Smith, who coincidentally received a contract extension himself last week, immediately told Hopkins how the cow eats the cabbage and explained to the talented wide receiver that players with two years or more remaining on their current contract DO NOT get contract extensions (unless your name is J.J. Watt).

Smith immediately fined Hopkins $40,000 for missing Sunday’s scheduled practice and added that each day he misses will cost him $40,000.

Ironically, Hopkins decided to put his contract extension attempt on the back burner and showed up for practice with the rest of the team on Monday.

Watt was put on the Player Unable to Perform (PUP) list while he rehabs from his recent back surgery. He is expected to be ready for the first game Sept. 13 against the Chicago Bears.

The Olympic flame is set to be lit Friday at Maracana Stadium to officially begin the first Games in South America.

Several athletes—especially women—opted not to participate because of the Zika virus scare which is much more prevalent in South America than it is in the United States.

Another concern is that the water around Rio de Janeiro may be contaminated to some degree and participants have been warned not to dunk their heads into water while there.

I certainly don’t know how the swimming and diving teams plan on handling that situation.

However, Let the Games Begin!!!

KWICKIES…Monday was the first day for high schools to begin practicing for the 2016 season that begins the last week of this month for most teams. Fans from Orange to El Paso are looking for the West Orange-Stark Mustangs to make another run at the Class 4A state championship because Head Coach Cornel Thompson has eight returning starters on offense and nine on defense ready to defend the title they won last season. This year the Mustangs are scrimmaging Port Neches-Groves Aug. 26 and playing the regular-season opener at home against Nederland. Last season they scrimmaged Nederland and had a regular-season game against Port Neches-Groves. The ‘Stangs have their first scrimmage Aug. 18 at Vidor.

Several last minute major league baseball trades occurred just before the 3 p.m. deadline Monday with the Texas Rangers leading the parade by obtaining veteran slugger Carlos Beltran from the New York Yankees, catcher Jonathan Lucroy and pitcher Jeremy Jeffress from the Milwaukee Brewers. Cincinnati finally made good on their prediction they would trade Beaumont West Brook’s Jay Bruce and dealt him to the New York Mets in the final hour before the deadline.

Baseball wasn’t the only sport where trades were made last weekend. Former Houston Texans seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson signed a one-year contract with the Tennessee Titans while former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush inked a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills.

Dallas Cowboys’ second-year linebacker Damien Wilson suffered a freak accident the week before training camp when he injured an eye in a paintball accident in California. Executive vice-president of personnel Stephen Jones declined to comment on details of the incident.

Orange native Wade Phillips, who coached for both the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans/Oilers and currently is the defensive coordinator for the defending world champion Denver Bronco, will begin his 40th NFL season.

JUST BETWEEN US…The Houston Astros, who didn’t participate in Monday’s deadline trading frenzy, maybe should have after their disastrous weekend in Motown. The Astros were swept right off their feet by the Tigers in Detroit, being outscored 28-8 in the three-game series and falling behind the Texas Rangers by a whopping 6 games going into Monday’s action. Houston returned home for a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays that began Monday. Things won’t get any easier this weekend when they host the first-place Rangers for three games. Detroit, Toronto and the Rangers all appear to be heading to the American League playoffs and the Astros will have to play MUCH better if they expect to be there too.