By Roseanna Smith (@AJGASmith), AJGA Communications
Walker has a little San Antonio junior golf history as well: he played in the Genesis Shootout presented by the Valero Texas Open, then-dubbed the Texace San Antonio Shootout. The tournament itself dates back to 1992 when Tiger Woods won with a tournament total 210. The Valero Texas Open has been an AJGA partner in San Antonio since 2004.
Walker, a Rolex Junior All-American, broke through in 1996 during his third appearance in the San Antonio tradition. A 20-foot putt sealed a sudden-death playoff win over Brandon Sanders. Walker appears above with then-AJGA Tournament Coordinator Teresa Belmont, now Director of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championships.
“I guess you could say the third time is a charm,” Walker said after the win. “When the ball got to the hole, it made a complete 360-degree trip around the cup before falling in. It was an all-around good putt.”
Others competing at the Valero Texas Open who have experience in the junior event include Edward Loar, who played in 1995, and Martin Flores, above, who played twice (1999, 2000). In 1999, he was tied after the first round at 71 with this week’s AJGA tournament host Hunter Mahan.