Ex-world junior champ Kenny Walker eyes return to amateur scene

Kenny Walker has been based in Asia since 1995
Kenny Walker has been based in Asia since 1995
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Kenny Walker, a former world junior champion from Edinburgh, is on the brink of returning to the amateur ranks.

As a result, he has switched his focus from the European Senior Tour to the Scottish over-50s circuit.

Thailand-based Walker is just waiting on confirmation from the R&A about his change of status, having seen his PGA membership terminated at the end of September. “I had to wait 18 months from the last date I played in a pro event,” said Walker, who was one of Scotland’s top amateurs when he cut his competitive teeth at Royal Burgess.

“I had no intention to apply for re-instatement, but the PGA headquarters contacted me because I had been unattached for a while and questioned me on my intentions and if I was looking for a job.

“I told them the truth, that I work about 14 weeks doing the scoring at events around Asia and also caddie for a few months and I was happy doing this and had no intention to work full-time.

“I was told that my work was not sufficient to maintain my PGA membership and they wouldn’t accept me as retired. Since I had to give up my PGA membership – it is all handled by the head office at The Belfry and not by the Scottish Region at Gleneagles – there was no point in being a pro any longer, so I applied for reinstatement.”

Walker won the Scottish Boys Stroke-Play in 1984 at Carnoustie Burnside then added the Scottish Open Stroke Play title at Carnoustie two years later.

The same year as that first success, he also beat a strong field to win the Doug Sanders World Junior Championship in Aberdeen.

“I came out to Thailand with Simon Yates in 1995 to play the Asian Tour,” added Walker. “I live in Hua Hin, Thailand, just three hours south of Bangkok. I worked as director of golf at Black Mountain, starting in 2006, but gave that up early 2008.

“I won the order of merit and money list in 1992 in Scotland but didn’t play much on my trips home for the last few years.”

Walker’s initial plan on turning 50 had been a crack at the European Senior Tour Qualifying School but that has now been scrapped.

“Next summer, I will just play at my club, The Burgess, and enter some senior amateur events and see if I enjoy it or not.

“I guess the enjoyment will depend on how my game is.”