LUKE Walker is determined to go one step closer to becoming a future Open Championship player after reaching final qualifying this year.

The 19-year-old Askamite missed out on a spot at Royal Troon next week after some impressive performances.

He was a late call-up to final qualifying at Gailes, in Ayrshire, having initially missed out on a place, after a card play-off in qualifying at Moortown before withdrawals meant a spot became available.

Walker shot two rounds of 80 – nine over-par – to finish tied for 60th in an event which saw Colin Montgomerie qualify for the Open Championship on his home course and which was won by Sweden’s Oskar Arvidsson, on 10-under.

Despite his high-scoring, the Ulverston Golf Club amateur has been inspired to go further in years to come, having had a taste of what it is like to compete against some of the game’s top players.

“It was an almost surreal experience – you get a hint of what it is like to play against these guys and what they do for a living,” said Walker, who was making only his second attempt at Open qualifying, having missed out in the opening round last year.

“It was a fantastic experience.

“It definitely inspires me to have a go again next year. It inspires you to get better.

“When I was driving up, you drive past Royal Troon and see all the grandstands and it gets you motivated.”

Looking back at his rounds at Gailes, Walker knows he could have played better, but enjoyed tackling a different course.

“Gailes was a superb course,” said the plus-one handicapper, who hopes one day to turn professional.

“It’s probably the best links course I have played and totally different to what we have locally.

“I was very disappointed with how I played, but that’s just how things go and it wasn’t to be. It was a fantastic experience nonetheless.”