Keeping Score

Justin Walters jumps in front at U.K. Championship

South African posts bogey-free 64 before rain suspends play at England’s The Belfry in European Tour’s finale of U.K. Swing

64: First-round score for South Africa’s Justin Walters, who opened a three-stroke lead Thursday before play was suspended in the European Tour’ s ISPS Handa U.K. Championship in Sutton Coldfield, England. Walters birdied two of his first three holes en route to a bogey-free 8-under score at The Belfry, a four-time Ryder Cup host. He has missed the cut in three of his past four starts by one shot. “In any condition, when you shoot 64, you’re smiling,” he said while beaming from under cover as a steady rain fell in the English Midlands. Walters, 39, the 2001 NAIA national champion at Huntingdon College in Alabama who finished his college career at North Carolina State, has won only twice on major professional tours since turning pro in 2003. He won in 2004 and, most recently in 2011, at the Royal Swazi Open, on his home Sunshine Tour in South Africa. Walters, who is No. 393 in the world ranking, has made only four cuts in 13 starts in 2020, with no finish better than T-30. The U.K. Championship is the sixth and final stop on the tour’s U.K. Swing. France's Benjamin Hebert, Sweden's Joel Sjoholm, Zimbabwe's Scott Vincent and Austria's Bernd Wiesberger shared second at 5-under 67. Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer of Germany was in a group of five tied at 68 (scores).

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