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American's search for a clear view of links golf

It is perhaps fitting that Jimmy Walker is a keen astronomer.

Given how rapidly the American's star has been rising over the past few months, he could probably peer into his own telescope and see himself hurtling up alongside the various celestial bodies that kick about in the sky.

As the 35-year-old blethered away during his Scottish Open press conference, you were half expecting someone in the media centre to start whistling The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen. Inevitably, everybody ended up talking a load of aurora borealis.

"If you get clear skies in the winters over here, I bet it's an astro­nomer's dream," said Walker as he pondered the delights of a night gazing heavenwards in the Granite City. A few Aberdonians tend to do the same when they tumble out the howfs of Union Street on a Saturday night.

Walker's meteoric rise has certainly been eye-catching. He had gone 187 PGA tour events without recording a single victory until he won three in his first eight tournaments of the 2014 campaign.

He has propelled himself to 19th on the world rankings and has taken the step up in his stride. Having shared eighth in April's Masters before going on to tie for ninth at the US Open, Walker, who has already secured a debut appearance in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September, has shown that he can be a genuine contender on golf's grandest stages.

With the Open at Hoylake looming on the horizon, the Oklahoma-born player is using this visit to Scotland as a tune-up following a rigorous introduction to the quirks of the links game in last year's championship at Muirfield, where he missed the cut

"The Friday at Muirfield last year was a bit of a culture shock; the course had changed so dramatically," he added. "Hitting wedges from 210 yards didn't really compute then. I learned a lot and that's why I came here, to see a bit more of that."

The star gazer may yet throw a Star Spangled Spanner in the Scottish Open works this week.

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