The 26-year-old San Antonio native carded a 6-under 66 and now sits at 9-under through 54 holes, one shot better than four others, including 2000 U.S. Amateur runner-up James Driscoll (Brookline, MA). With Jeff Daniels (Hershey, PA) also among the quartet knotted in second spot, the top of the leaderboard looks more like something you would find on the Hollywood celebrity Tour.
After Thursdays fourth round, each of the 240 hopefuls that began Q-school will have played the two rounds at both the International and National courses. Following play Thursday, the field will be reduced to the low 60 scores plus ties. Those remaining will take on the International course in Fridays final round, with 20 exempt and 10 non-exempt cards for the 2002 Canadian Tour season at stake.
Walker, a former All-American at Baylor University, was 5-under through his front nine Wednesday and sat at 7-under after 11, but faltered slightly coming home when he three-putted twice.
When you shoot a round like that in those conditions, you always think you could have ended with a 59, he laughed. But the wind was whipping out there and the (National) course played a lot tougher today. Ill take that round. I hit the ball solid all day and gave myself a chance at those birdies.
Two former US Amateur champions, Jeff Quinney (2000) and Hank Kuehne (1998) are well within striking distance heading into Thursday. Quinney is three shots back of Walker, while Kuehne is five off the pace.
And while he may find himself among some select company, Walker doesnt seem fazed in the least.
I wont change anything over these last two days. Everyone knows what these guys have done, but I am playing against the course. I wont worry about anyone else.
Round 3 Scores From Winter Qualifying School