Written By: Tim Hamilton, AJGA Communications
Directly following The Junior All-Star at Forest Lake presented by Tom Holzer Ford, Andrew Walker of Battle Creek, Mich., and his father head out of Michigan and head to Boston, Their destination is The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. a town right on the west edge of Boston’s historic downtown.
Walker will be playing in the United States Amateur Championship. The U.S. Amateur is one of the most prestigious amateur events in the country. Past winners include Bobby Jones, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. The winner of the event earns a birth to the 2014 Masters.
The top amateurs in the world aspire to play in this world-renowned tournament. Players of all ages from all over the world try to qualify to be part of such a historic event. Qualifying for the US Amateur is a feat golfers take great pride in.
Walker is the fifth youngest golfer in history to qualify. This is not a junior golf tournament; Walker will be competing against the top amateurs in the world when he arrives on the grounds of The Country Club.
The fourth youngest golfer to compete in the U.S. Amateur was Bobby Jones. “It feels great to be in a category with names such as this, it’s really cool,” Walker said after the practice round at Forest Lake.
Walker qualified for the event on his favorite course in Michigan. He shot rounds of 71 and 69 at Forest Acers West, the home course of the Michigan State Spartans. Three players qualified into the U.S. Amateur out of the 76-player field.
“It feels really great to qualify, this gives me a real boost in confidence and moral,” Walker said. “This adds to my desire to get better.”
Walker is in his second year of AJGA competition and has never posted a finish higher than T14. He won the Junior All-Star at Red Tail earlier this season in Avon, Ohio, with rounds of 72-67-74.
Before he takes aim at one of the most prestigious titles in all of golf, Walker finished fourth in the Junior All-Star at Forest Lake presented by Tom Holzer Ford with rounds of 73-73-71.
The U.S. Amateur has been held every year since 1895. Walker has made history in an event that’s 118 years old before it has even started.
Nothing about Walker’s game suggests he’s 14, but one of the reasons he’s excited about the event just might. “I’m really excited to play the Country Club, The Greatest Game Ever Played is one my favorite movies, so I’m excited to see the course where it happened.”
Walker will bring his smooth swing and signature straw hat to Brookline when he becomes the fifth youngest competitor ever in the US Amateur. Things seemed to work out well for Mr. Jones after playing in the US Amateur at the same age. This could be the beginning of another illustrious golfing career.
During the second round TGA members joined AJGA juniors and staff members at Forest Lake Country Club to learn more about golf tournaments and get some golfing tips from the juniors. First they rode around with AJGA interns learning more about the process of a golf tournament and rules of the game. Then they participated in a clinic where the AJGA participants were the teachers. There were three stations set up on the putting green, short game facility, and driving range. The young golfers from TGA got helpful tips from the juniors and got excited about the game of golf. This was a great chance for AJGA juniors to give back to the community and share their knowledge.
The Junior All-Star at Forest Lake presented by Tom Holzer Ford has sparked a lot of interest in the local community of Bloomfield Hills. The tournament has seen coverage on television stations in the area. Before the tournament Allyson Geer of Brighton, Mich., and Co-Tournament Chairman Chip Carlson were on NBC-4 WDIV for an interview about the tournament. Then after the second round My Fox channel 2 in Detroit came to Forest Lake Country Club to run a story on the event.
Here is the link to the Fox story:
Here is the link to the interview with Geer and Carlson: