PGA Champion Jimmy Walker said he has felt fatigued since around Thanksgiving.
After a long PGA Tour season, his first major championship title at Baltusrol and a scintillating Ryder Cup win at Hazeltine, most might think the late-year fatigue was normal.
But lasting this long? Walker knew something wasn't right.
On Wednesday during a press conference at the Valero Texas Open, Walker told the media that he found out the Wednesday of Masters week the reason for his fatigue was discovered: Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks. Laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.
"My health is OK, I've just been very tired and fatigued," Walker said. "I've had no strength and it comes and goes in waves. It just hasn't been real fun. I actually tested positive for Lyme disease. I found that out the Wednesday of Augusta. We've been talking to a lot of doctors and I think that was more of what was going on as opposed to the mono.
"I think I've had it for a little while now," Walker added. "I haven't felt real good since Thanksgiving. I'm holding strong to that, but how long I've had it? I don't know. But I know I haven't felt great since about then. I've been talking to doctors and trying to figure out the course of action to take and get on some meds to get it going in the right direction."
Walker, a former Valero Texas Open champion, will play in this week's event -- he's a San Antonio resident.
He said there's still some results left to come in from outstanding tests, but is in the process of formulating a plan of action.
"We're trying to get all the information on what's going on first before we go," Walker said. "I'm not beging treated yet. But I'm ready."