By Lewis Walker
Recently turned professional golfer Euan Walker is on the rise after making his pro debut in the sport at the Dutch KLM Open at the International in Amsterdam last weekend.
After putting in countless hours of graft at his home course Kilmarnock Barassie Golf Club, it seems like the hard work is finally starting to pay off.
The Scotsman, 24, will be one to keep an eye on after his showing in Holland, carving out an impressive five-under-par for the weekend overall.
Making the cut with opening rounds of 72 and 69 respectively, he backed that up going into the weekend with a second successive round of 69. He rounded off his first weekend competing on the European Tour as a professional with a one-over-par round of 73, earning him a share of 40th spot overall in the event where popular Spaniard Sergio Garcia was victorious.
Prior to his first Pro event, Euan rounded off his amateur career by competing in the Walker Cup held at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. This event competes in a similar format to golf’s Ryder Cup where Team Europe take on the USA, however, it is competed by a Team made up of Great Britain and Ireland against the United States, at an amateur level.
This was the 47th Walker Cup played on the 7th and 8th September 2019. Despite losing the tournament 15 and a half to 10 and a half, Euan was individually successful in his Saturday afternoon singles beating USA’s Steven Fisk two up on the opening day.
Trailing by a point eight and a half to seven and a half after Saturday’s action, Team USA won eight of the ten matches on the final day to ultimately be victorious, Euan losing his Sunday singles match two and one against John Pak.
Despite the overall team disappointment of losing out on the Walker Cup, Euan rounded off his amateur career with an experience to remember, he reflected on that weekend and how his career has changed since turning professional:
“Yeah the Walker Cup was brilliant, I think it’something that every amateur golfer is working towards for their entire career and to finally make that team was like a brilliant sense of satisfaction for me”.
He continued, “Knowing that I’ve reached the highest level possible of amateur golf in Europe, maybe even the world so that was really satisfying to play in the Walker Cup, the actual event itself was pretty amazing, there were all sorts of stuff going on, the crowds on the Saturday and Sunday were brilliant, the atmosphere was pretty amazing.
Euan then reflected on his first tournament as a professional, where he played at the Dutch KLM Open last weekend comparing it to playing in a tournament, as an amateur,
“I actually think that, the pressure of the Walker cup was so great that playing in the professional event seemed much more relaxed, I think for one reason the crowds at the Walker cup were really close to you, there were walking right beside you just a few yards away from you as you hit”.
“On the European Tour, the crowds are kept well back from you, you actually still feel like you’re still there on your own just like every day on the golf course.
After finishing five-under for the tournament, Euan seemed reasonably pleased with his individual performance last weekend,
“Yeah I was happy, I think one of the goals is to make the cut, in the first event that’s a big deal, your not really sure how your level of golf is going to compare to everyone else, so I was really pleased to make the cut, even not just scrape through but to post a decent finish as well”.
A successful first professional outing has led to an invitation to the prestigious Dunhill Links Championship played over the Old Course at St. Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie.
James Caldwell, the assistant pro at Kilmarnock Barassie Golf Club, was full of praise for Euan and his rapid rise, knowing how much he trains and puts into the sport,
“It’s like a full-time job for Euan, he’ll be down from eight in the morning and he can be here til five, six at night on good days, then he goes out and plays”.
“He spends most of his time just on the practice area though, hitting balls, he can hit between anything up to 500 balls a day maybe, sometimes more”.
Euan’s next event is at the Dunhill Golf Championship beginning on Thursday 26th September.
Interviews with golfer Euan Walker and assistant pro James Caldwell