Jimmy Walker keeps reaching for the stars, not just shooting photos of them.

Boasting the fascinating hobby of astrophotography — unique among PGA tour professionals at least — Walker often amazes his fellow pros with his images taken through huge telescopic equipment.

But in Thursday’s opening round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Walker was seeking — and finding — birdies on the tough Firestone Country Club South Course in Akron.

Four of them, actually, while absorbing just one bogey in firing a 3-under-par 67, good for a second-place tie with Jason Day and Emiliano Grillo. They are all 3 shots behind William McGirt, who posted a sizzling 6-under 64.

Walker, with five tour victories including three during a brilliant stretch early in 2014, is playing his third WGC at Firestone. A win there would easily be a new career highlight, particularly since he has achieved mixed results in recent weeks.

Walker has three top-10 finishes in 16 events this year.

Starting his day by drilling a 38-foot putt for a birdie on the first hole provided an immediate boost.

“I did putt very well, I did,” he said. “I haven’t been making a lot of putts, so it was nice to see the birdie putts I had today go in.”

He was hoping for one more to close his round, but left a putt for birdie just short on No. 18.

“I was just kind of standing over it, looking down at it, and it looked really fast,” he said. “I wanted to make it but I wanted to give it its due respect.”

Walker, 37, said he was mostly able to keep the ball on the fairways and avoid trouble spots.

“The fairways I missed were just off,” he said. “It wasn’t like they were way off in the woods in the darkness. On the back nine, I think I hit three or four first cuts, so it wasn’t that far off.”

A native of Oklahoma City, Walker attended Baylor University. He and wife Erin have two sons. Walker turned pro in 2001 and enjoyed some success on the Nationwide Tour before joining the PGA Tour full time in 2006. After playing 187 events without a win, he enjoyed the breakthrough in 2014.

“I’ve been playing really well the last four or five years,” he said. “It was just a culmination. I knew it was there. It finally started to happen, the winning, so I look forward to it continuing, too.”

Up next is the British Open in two weeks as Walker seeks his first major victory. In the meantime, the visual wonders of the Horsehead Nebula, Christmas Tree Cluster, Sagittarius Triplets and the like will have to wait.

Several of Walker’s photos have been selected as NASA’s astronomy picture of the day the past four years. He finds the hobby a relaxing counterpoint to the stress of weekly golf competition.

“It’s a fun hobby I’ve gotten into and I’ve gotten really good at it,” he said. “I’ve posted some really nice pictures, some of the best stuff going. I’m really proud of it.

“It’s just kind of an escape, which is what I like about it. It keeps my mind working. It’s fun and it’s very artistic and that’s what I enjoy about it.”