Date: June 21, 2016
Author: Dave Tease, Golf NSW

Walker steps up in NSW Open Qualifier

13 year old James Walker made an impressive debut in the 2016 NSW Open Regional qualifying tournament held at Howlong Golf Resort and Thurgoona Golf Resort last weekend.

James was the youngest player in the field and despite competing against many older, stronger and far more experienced players, he wasn’t overawed with the occasion.

The Year 7 high school student carded an opening round 85 in the tricky conditions at Howlong on Saturday followed by a neat 81 at the challenging Thurgoona layout on Sunday.

James’ father Michael caddied for his son over the weekend and was proud of his efforts.

“He went really well. I was surprised at his composure."

“He was out practicing at night for the last two weeks getting ready for the event. He was very determined,” Mr Walker said.

James has been playing for over six years. He was on a 12 handicap at the beginning of the year but he’s now got that down to a tidy 6.1.  His short game has always been good however he is now starting to gain some extra length off the tee.

He’s also a graduate of the award-winning MyGolf Junior Program at Howlong Golf Resort.

“James, his older brother Jayden and sister Julia are products of the MyGolf Program and they’re all doing pretty well,” Howlong General Manager Chris Rebbechi said.

“James gives back to the MyGolf program out here at Howlong. He helps out with coaching now. It’s great to see.”

“He received his Bronze Certificate last year, and then he was first junior to graduate through the JOC (Junior on Course) program too,” Mr Rebbechi said.

James’ prospects look promising and there is no doubt he’ll be a player to watch in the future.