Justin Walters is determined to push his way back up the Challenge Tour Rankings after slipping to 20th place, just on the cusp of a European Tour card, but the South African says that no matter where he lies at the end of the season he will be pleased once he has given it his all.
Walters missed the cut by one shot at last week’s M2M Russian Challenge Cup and knows that this week’s Kazakhstan Open could be crucial in the context of his goals this season.However, the 31 year old, who has had four top ten finishes this on his Rookie Challenge Tour season, wants to avoid placing too much pressure on himself.
“It is a very big week this week in the context of things,” said the man from Johannesburg. “I can almost psyche myself out a bit for these tournaments. You get to a position where you overthink it and put too much on it and it’s really just another piece of the puzzle.“At the end of the day though it’s another tournament and I'm trying my best, whether it be €100,000 or €400,000 prize fund I’d still want to win it and play well but obviously playing well this week would do wonders.
“Obviously if you can play well it’s a huge advantage but if you don’t it’s not the end of the world. Where I am you’re close to 30th but you’re also not far from tenth so it can really hurt you or really help you.“But if I've left it all on the table, that’s all I can do so going into this week that’s my aim, leave everything out there and hope it works out. Then I hope it goes my way.”
Walters spent much of his career in the USA and played a season on the Nationwide Tour before “returning to his roots”, as he describes his time on the Sunshine Tour, and going on to gain a Challenge Tour card through Qualifying School Final Stage last season.He believes that 2012 has been one of the best years in his career and, with a similar outlook to that of this week’s Challenge Tour ‘Major’ in Kazakhstan, he will view this season as a success only if he gives it his all.
“If I look at it it’s been one of my most consistent playing years,” he said. “I missed a few cuts this year but I've also had some nice finishes. I would definitely say it’s been one of the best years of my career.
“I've been in the top 20 for most of the season apart from after Madeira and then I came back in soon after that so I've had a pretty decent season.“Missing the cut last week has made this week a little harder but you just have to do your best and come the end of the season if I finish 21st or 11th or 19th and feel like I've given my best and don’t have anything left in the tank, anything that happened is easier to accept.”