Anne's a college hit in US

Scot Walker makes her mark on US circuit

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 11 Apr 2002

A little-known Scottish woman golfer is making a big hit on the US amateur circuit, having made the transition from a remote farm to the urban wilds of Berkeley in California.

Anne Walker (22), gained a scholarship to the University of California in 1998, having represented her country’s girls team and is now in the top 50 players in the US college system with a bright future predicted for her as a professional.

University coach Nancy McDaniel says: " Anne turned our programme around and helped us get where we are today as one of the top 20 college teams."

Walker's career began in Lanarkshire when her father bought her a set of Patty Berg Wilson clubs and a bright pink bag at the age of 12.

She was a natural, and took chunks off her handicap to make the Scottish girls national team in four successive years. At 18 a place at Edinburgh University beckoned until McDaniel responded to her 5am call in California to meet her in Scotland, while her husband was on a business trip. She was so impressed by her under par round, she signed her up straight away.

"The Bay area campus environment was so different for her. Some of her room-mates were, shall we say, a little more on the fast track than she was. But she handled it all very well, " says Daniel, recalling how Walker set new college scoring records.

Last year, she led the University to a 19th-place finish in its first appearance at the NCAA Championships and she hits the ball as long as anyone playing the collegiate circuit.

"Her short game wasn't very good when she first came to here," adds McDaniel "but she turned that around and is now in the top 10 in the country in short-game average."

"She definitely has the potential to join the pro tour and be very successful out there, if she wants to." But with a degree in geography, Walker is keeping her options open, about the possibility of following Scottish ex-college stars Mhairi McKay and Janice Moodie into the pro ranks.If not, she'll please her mother by returning home to get re-acquainted with the cows and sheep on the farm.



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