After a steady start to his European Senior Tour career, Philip Walton believes he is rediscovering his competitive edge and feels the time is right to take the handbrake off at this week’s Van Lanschot Senior Open.
The Irishman, a three time winner on The European Tour in the 1990s, spent nearly seven years away from full-time competition before making his Senior Tour debut in the Mallorca Open Senior last month.
He has finished in the top 30 in three out of four events so far in 2012, but with a busy Senior Tour schedule ahead of him over the next two months, Walton believes bigger performances are just around the corner, starting this week at The Royal Haagsche Golf & Country Club in The Hague.
“I’ve had a pretty steady start so far, but now I’m ready to rock and roll,” said the 50 year old Dubliner. “I feel like I’ve shaken off the rust. I’ve played four tournaments now so I feel like I’m ready to do something and shoot a few good scores.
“It’s all mental really, but I feel like I’m ready now. It’s been great being back on Tour so far, meeting all the lads again. It’s been good fun, but I’d really like to step it up now and do well over the next few weeks leading up to The Senior Open Championship at Turnberry. It would be nice to be in good shape for that.
“So this is a big week for me. I’ve always done pretty well in Holland. I‘ve had a good few top tens here on the main Tour but I’ve not won yet, so fingers crossed I can change that this week.”
Walton, who secured the winning point in The 1995 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, will attempt to succeed fellow Irishman Des Smyth as winner of the Van Lanschot Senior Open, following Smyth’s magnificent final round 65 last year which sealed a two-shot victory over Peter Fowler.
Also in the field is former World Number One and Masters Champion Ian Woosnam, who will be looking to find form ahead of defending his Berenberg Bank Masters title next week.