From shooting 81 to winning the European Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year award Justin Walters has been through it all this year. The 33-year-old also came within touching distance of victory at the Joburg Open and successfully qualified for The Open Championship.
With his rollercoaster season containing both the good and the bad it was time for Walters to take a break and regroup, thus he spent the last two weeks off, preparing his game and his mind for the rest of 2014.
The focal point of the coming months will be The Open, where Walters has the chance to experience golf’s oldest major.
But for the time being he’s competing at the Irish Open, where his Thursday 68 got the confidence going and could spark the turnaround that he’s been looking for.
“I’ve had a bit of everything, a mixed bag this year. It’s been quite a unique one for me and I’ve been working quite hard with my team to try to figure it all out. I want to build a bit of momentum, because the moment I get that feeling I start to play better,” he said.
The North Carolina resident had a similar start during the PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, where he shot 67 for the first round. The following day he carded 81 and missed the cut, which meant it was time to head back to the drawing board.
After two weeks of preparation he’s come out and shot three-under to tie for ninth place. Now it’s time to start stringing the good rounds together.
“Even though my scores haven’t been very good over the last month I felt that the game wasn’t very far off. It just felt like my head was a bit clouded, but we’ve cleared that up with two weeks off. First week back, first round and I seem to be playing better, so we’ll keep going on until the weekend this time.
“Hopefully we can string a few rounds, which I did in some ways at Wentworth, so hopefully I can build on this round and see where it takes me,” he said.
All in all he’s positive and an opening 68 is the first good step along the road to The Open.
“If you had given it to me at the start of the day I would have taken it. It’s so hard going into a week to tell what a good score is going to be. I thought anything under par was a good score today, especially with the wind swirling like it was,” he said.