The 35-year-old was edged out by Ryder Cup team-mate Patrick Reed in sudden death at the Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua resort in Maui on Monday.
But having moved on to Honolulu, the scene of one of his three victories on last year’s schedule, Walker is looking forward to trying to make amends and defending his title at a course where he has enjoyed plenty of success in the past.
“I was hitting it good (last week), no doubt about it,” Walker told golfdigest.com.
“I felt like I could do whatever I wanted with the golf ball with an iron so I look forward to taking that into Waialae where it’s even more of a premium – it’s a real shot-shaper golf course.
“It’s nice to have the chance to defend.??I’m coming back to a place I like and had some success. I am ready to get back at it this week.”
Walker revealed a message he received from his father Jim had helped lift his spirits after Monday’s disappointment, which was important after discovering some of the responses on social media to his performance.
“My dad sent me a cool text,” the world No 17 added.
“He goes ‘I know you’re bummed, but Jack Nicklaus finished second in the majors 19 times. Tell me that guy hasn’t had some heartbreak – more than you’re experiencing right now’.
“I had never finished second before in a PGA Tour event. I realised it’s okay. I learned a lot. I learned about what not to do.
“Twitter is just the worst thing to be looking at. You just see stuff, you read stuff. It’s just not the best thing.
“It’s funny. I know it’s part of the deal but I played good.???
Meanwhile, Australian Jason Day is also looking to maintain some early form despite a final-round 62 only being good enough for a third-place finish at Kapalua.
“It’s all about inches and, you know, it could go either way, but it’s a fine line from missing a cut and winning a tournament,” Day said.
“I’m just glad that all the work that I put in in the off-season is paying off so early.
“It wasn’t so much the hitting, it was more so with the putting because it was a frustrating week the first three days.
“I’m just glad to get the year off to a good start.”