I had a chance to interview Radnor High’s two-time PIAA Class AAA champion Brynn Walker as she started to map out her spring and summer of 2016 before starting her college career at North Carolina in the fall.
A year ago Walker had won the amateur pre-qualifier for the ShopRite LPGA Classic. That got her into the open qualifier for a spot in the main body of the tournament.
“I bogeyed the last four holes and missed by a shot,” said Walker, who tries to take something from successes and failures alike.
She mentioned how much she loves the golf course, the old-school Bay Course at the Stockton Hotel Seaview Golf Club. Once upon a time, when it was just known as Seaview, it was a destination resort for Philadelphia’s wealthy class.
Left unsaid by Walker that day was that given the same opportunity, she would finish this time. Consider it done. Because of her strong showing in the open qualifier last year, Walker was exempted into the open qualifier this year.
I’m a little short on details, but her mom Mary Lou reports that Walker finished first with a 69. The website associated with the ShopRite LPGA Classic just boldfaced the names of the players who advanced and it appears fledgling pro Katie Detlefsen, who played in Walker’s group, also qualified. Detlefsen, a native of Eagan, Minn., is a former Central Florida standout and appeared in The Golf Channel’s “Big Break” series in 2014.
The qualifier was scheduled for Monday and I’m pretty sure the tropical moisture associated with Bonnie hung around the Jersey Shore most of the day, but a determined Walker got it done.
Walker is coming off another successful showing with her pal Madelein Herr, the District One champion from Council Rock North, at last week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship at the Streamsong Resort’s Blue Course in Florida. Team WalkHerr advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to stroke-play medalists Princess Mary Superal and Pauline Del Rosario of the Philippines, 1-up, on the last hole.
Technically, this will not be the first time Walker has competed in a professional event. She snuck in a start in the Florida Women’s Open, a Suncoast Tour event played at The Hills Course at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. during a winter foray to the Sunshine State to keep her game sharp.
But this is different. This is the LPGA. It’s the big leagues and that’s where Brynn Walker appears to be headed. Oh yeah, and she turns 18 Wednesday, so what better way to celebrate than to rub shoulders with some LPGA stars.