Maynooth’s Walker hits the ground running with superb 65 in Spain

John Craven

Maynooth's Simon Walker (Photo by Octavio Passos/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

John Craven

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Maynooth University’s Simon Walker raced out of the blocks with a brilliant bogey-free round of 67 to set the standard on the opening day of the R&A Student Series – Spain.

Having arrived at Paradores Golf in Malaga on Saturday, the Paddy Harrington Golf Scholars put in three days prep work with their coaches that quickly paid dividends in competition.

Clearly high on confidence, Walker, who enjoyed victory at the Student Series event in Portugal last month, would fire seven birdies on his round, including a hat-trick to finish to head fellow Maynooth man, Alan Fahy by two strokes atop the board as the MU team made their presence felt early doors in Malaga.

“I just played pretty solid for the whole round,” Walker reflected having enjoyed flat calm scoring conditions this morning. “My approach play was really good and my putting was really good – just holed a lot of putts all day.

“I hit a small patch in the middle where I wasn’t really on it but I scrambled really well and was able to hold my score together nicely – I didn’t really leave much behind me.

“I’m very happy to start with a good score like that.”


Meanwhile Fahy returned a rollercoaster back nine that included five birdies, an eagle, a bogey and a double in a homeward half of 33 for his round of 67.

“Overall it was just a very solid day – for the front nine anyway – bogey-free,” Fahy said. “I doubled 11, three-putted from three-feet but I had a few birdies and an eagle from then on in and it was a very solid day.”

Meanwhile, Aaron Marshall posted five birdies in his two-under 70. The Lisburn man shares third place alongside teammate David Kitt who carded two birdies in his blemish-free effort while fellow Maynooth men, Eoin Murphy and Liam Abom are also inside the top-10 after one-under 71s.

Programme Coordinator Barry Fennelly was understandably delighted to see the labour of his side’s early arrival to Malaga bear fruit so quickly.

“We put in a really solid three days of prep work here in Paradores,” Fennelly said. “We had our coaches Donal [Scott], Johnny [Foster] and Noel [Fox] out helping us get ready which was very productive.

“Obviously it doesn’t guarantee that you’re always going to perform well but I think the guys got a lot out of it. And I think it showed with Simon first out for Maynooth and shooting a brilliant round, seven-under, while Alan also produced some great stuff.

“I think that’s Simon’s lowest score in competition so thrilled for him. He picked up where he left off in Troia but all-in-all, it’s been a really nice start to the week for Maynooth and we’re feeling confident.”

It’s been a typically strong start for Maynooth who dominate the men’s Order of Merit with four players inside the top-10, including Aaron Marshall in third, while on the women’s table, Kate Dwyer, who carded a seven-over par opener in Spain, lies fifth.

  • Full scoring HERE
  • Men’s Order of Merit HERE
  • Women’s Order of Merit HERE

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