Walker set to turn up heat in US

Knott End professional Paul Walker (striped shirt) and to his right Simon Eaton are pictured with competition organisers and sponsors after qualifying for Texas

Knott End professional Paul Walker (striped shirt) and to his right Simon Eaton are pictured with competition organisers and sponsors after qualifying for Texas

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KNOTT End professional Paul Walker has swopped the wilds of Wyreside for the high temperatures of Texas.

Along with his playing partner, Simon Eaton, professional at Nelson, he has won a place in the TGI Golf Nike Oven 4Ball Championship at The Colonial course, one of the venues used for the United States Open Championship.

And the pair qualified in style. Taking part in the English qualifying event at Kibworth Castle, they carded the lowest-ever score recorded in the competition, a marvellous nine under par.

Before he left for the States, Walker said he was looking forward to the challenge.

He said: “I have known Simon for a long time and we really played well together as a team. I played steady golf – Simon is a bit wild, but a big-hitter.

“I looked at the temperatures over there before we left, and it was 30 degrees. It will be good to represent England and play on such a famous course, which has held the US Open.”

Walker received best of luck on his Stateside venture from the members at Knott End, which wished him well.

The final of the competition will take place over 18 holes.

In addition, the players will receive a guided tour of Nike Golf’s high-tech research and development facility – known as The Oven – in Fort Worth.

Walker and Eaton will represent England, while they will be joined by winners from Scotland and Ireland.

A TGI Golf spokesman said: “The Nike Oven 4Ball Championship gives our members an amazing opportunity to play one of the world’s greatest golf courses and witness the depth of research that Nike Golf puts into its development of new equipment at The Oven.”

Ireland will be represented by the father and son combination of Leonard and Lee Owens.

Leonard, who has played in three Open Championships, is head professional at Royal Dublin, while Lee is based at the Killiney club.

Also qualified are the Scottish pairing of Jonathan Porteous (Craigielaw) and Mark Patchett (Broomieknowe).