Walker wins one for Scotland at the African Amateur
Euan Walker (GolfRSA/Twitter photo)
Scotland’s Euan Walker finished the week on top at the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship after going 11 under for 72 holes at Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa. It signals more success for the former University of Missouri player, who had a big 2018 in worldwide events.
Walker made the most headlines in a quarterfinal run at the Scottish Amateur last summer. He followed that with a top-3 finish at the Scottish Open Amateur Stroke Play, and also represented Scotland in last fall’s World Amateur Team Championship.
At Leopard Creek, Walker had rounds of 72-67-67-71 for a 277 total. That left him three shots ahead of Sweden’s Ludwig Aberg in second. Garrick Higgo was the highest South African in third at 7 under.
It wasn’t so smooth as the scores suggest, however. Walker had to play coming in.
“The round was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster,” Walker told the South African Golf Federation. “I made three birdies in the first four holes, but I felt nervous throughout. After a great start, the wheels came off when I dropped five shots in three holes from the fifth.
“I was just two shots clear of Garrick and Ludde heading to the back nine and I was feeling the pressure. I steadied the ship with a birdie at 10. That took some of that nervous tension away and then I chipped in for eagle at 13 to get some breathing space. A lot of things went my way and that chip in was one of them. It was huge for me, because it allowed me to settle down, even though the gap was just four shots.”
Walker hopes to take the same route as another Scotsman who won this title recently. After his 2017 win, Liam Johnston turned professional. After two wins on the Challenge Tour, he has worked his way to the main European Tour circuit this season.
“I think everyone on the squad aspire to follow in Liam’s footsteps and a win like this certainly brings me closer to achieving that,” Walker said. “Winning at this golf course definitely showed me that I can compete on a European Tour course and that’s a big positive for me.”
India’s Kartik Sharma, who last month won the New South Wales Amateur, tied for fourth with another South African, Jayden Schaper.
Information from the South African Golf Federation used in this report
ABOUT THE African Amateur Stroke Play
72-hole South African Golf Association event started
2016 that brings together a highly competitive
international field. Cut is made to the low 65 players
after the third round.
View Complete Tournament Information