Erin Stiegemeier got a slap on the bottom and plenty of national attention on Sunday after her husband, Jimmy Walker, completed his run to the 2016 PGA Championship title.
As her husband completed his first victory in a major, Stiegemeier got plenty of screen time on the CBS broadcast and was by Jimmy’s side when he raised the trophy.
Walker took the PGA Championship with a thrilling finish and a very long day, as a rain-shortened Saturday led to what ESPN noted was the longest final day in 64 years at the tournament.
Walker withstood a late charge from Jason Day, who cut Walker’s lead to one stroke with a late eagle. Walker went to the 18th hole needing only par to win the championship and made things a bit hairy as he missed the green to the right and then rolled to within three feet of the hole after getting out of the rough.
But he sunk the putt, taking the championship with it.
Walker said afterward that it was a harrowing win.
“There was nothing easy about the day — really about the week, for that matter,” he said. “Especially coming down the last hole.”
Not long after Jimmy Walker won the PGA Championship, attention started to turn to Erin Stiegemeier as well. Cameras followed Walker as he made his way over to his wife, sharing an embrace and even giving her a light tap on the bottom, a moment that was shared thousands of times on social media.
The PGA Championship win was the first major ever for the 37-year-old Jimmy Walker, who is a six-time winner on the PGA Tour.
It was a bit fitting that a golf tournament helped bring Jimmy Walker’s wife to the public’s attention, as it was golf that first brought the two together. As Walker’s official website noted, he and Erin Stiegemeier first met in 2004, when she was serving as a tournament volunteer at a Web.com Tour event.
They later married and have two young children together.
As Erin Stiegemeier learned on Sunday, there’s no quicker way to become an instant celebrity than to be the wife of a famous athlete who happens to be featured on television. In the age of social media and instant access to information anywhere, the fleeting appearances for athletes’ wives have sent hordes of fans to research them, their history, and pictures.
The biggest example is Katherine Webb, who as the then-girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron gained fame when she was featured prominently at the 2013 BCS National Championship Game and earned the praise of announcer Brent Musburger.
The appearance helped Webb become an instant celebrity, so much so that the professional model is now arguably more famous than her husband, who is toiling away as a backup NFL quarterback.
There have been countless others who followed the same path to fame as Jimmy Walker’s wife. After the Super Bowl, for example, searches for both Cam Newton’s wife and Peyton Manning’s wife peaked as thousands of fans took to Twitter and other social media searching for information about them.
But to those following the PGA Tour closely — and especially those interested in player’s wives — Sunday wasn’t the first jaunt into the spotlight for Jimmy Walker’s wife. The website Fab Wags, which compiles pictures of the wives of famous athletes, first shared pictures of Jimmy and Erin several months ago.
[Photo by Seth Wenig/AP Images]