Week 20 saw a welcome return to form for England’s Jason Palmer who took the South of England Amateur title at Walton Heath Golf Club to move up 143 places to WAGRank 570. The Kirby Muxloe golfer, who was at one time ranked in the WAGR Top 20, shot a course-record 63 in the first round on the way to a 72-hole total of 279; enough for a one stroke victory over Sunningdale’s Stiggy Hodgson.
Though Palmer is unlikely to be in contention for a Walker Cup place, many of the rest of the field – including the likes of Hutsby, Goddard, Kearney, Enoch and McNicoll – are on the squad and are trying to impress selectors in advance of the imminent selection deadline for the match against the USA at Merion. Hodgson’s second-place finish, therefore, will have done him no harm as he attempts to make his debut in the biennial contest. Hodgson rises seven places to enter the Top 20 at WAGRank 15.
Over in the USA, Brendan Gielow lifted the Porter Cup after a three-man, three-hole playoff. The Wake Forest senior chipped-in from 35 feet to win the event which was shortened to 54 holes after severe weather hit Niagara Falls Country Club. The win, undoubtedly the biggest of Gielow’s young career, has led some commentators to cite him as an outside bet for Walker Cup selection. He is WAGRanked 72 this week after a 36-place jump.
And finally, 15-year-old American, Jordan Spieth has won the 2009 US Junior Amateur Championship, one year after losing the 2008 final so narrowly. The 2008 R&A Junior Open runner-up pulled away from 16-year-old, Jay Hwang, in the closing stages of the 36-hole contest to emerge a 4&3 victor on Trump National Club’s New Course.
“It hasn't sunk in yet to be honest with you. It will later on tonight. But right now it's unbelievable,” explained Spieth.
“Because coming down the stretch, I mean, everything just went so fast, you know. The last few holes I went from one up to dormie in just a few holes. So obviously I'm really happy right now. You know, that I've accomplished what I've been waiting to accomplish for a year after getting shut down last year.”
Spieth leaps 236 places to WAGRank 566 on the back of the victory; he is certainly one to look out for.
Canada’s Nick Taylor remains WAGRanked 1.