The Englishman looked to be running away with it midway through his round as he went five under par for the day through eight holes and five shots clear, having teed off at the 11th.A bogey at the third hole mixed with eight pars on the way home knocked him back but the 34 year old still held a commanding four shot lead for Brooks to chase in the afternoon.
Walker got off to the perfect start as he birdied the difficult par four 11th and he build on that when he almost knocked a four iron second shot into the cup for an albatross at the par five 13th hole, before tapping home for birdie.
Back to back birdies on the 17th and 18th followed before he negotiated the back nine in one over par to move to 11 under par for the tournament.“I just played very steady,” said Walker. “It could have been lower. I knocked it to two feet down the ninth and missed it. I thought I hit a good putt but it just lipped out. I'm putting extremely well, which you need to do around here, I think.
“I'm hitting it close, driving it well and putting everything in the right places. It couldn’t have been any worse than four under today. I'm just chilled, very relaxed. You’ve got to take everything on board. It’s four rounds of golf, anything can happen tomorrow, you just have to stay patient.”
Another Englishman, Simon Wakefield, launched himself into contention with a five under par round of 66 after he also got off to an ideal start with back to back birdies on the first two holes.Wakefield, who is in fourth place in the Challenge Tour Rankings after a third place finish at the St Omer Open presented by Neuflize OBC, proceeded to bogey the seventh hole but three consecutive birdies from the ninth more than made up for that error before another gained shot at the 15th moved him to within four shots of the lead.