BANDON — Chris Walker’s biggest payday as a professional golfer came in an unconventional event.
Walker won the inaugural Speedgolf World Championships at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort on Sunday and the $18,000 top prize in the event.
He beat a field of 14 others in the elite division in the sport that combines golf and running. He didn’t have the fastest time or best score either Saturday at Old Macdonald or Sunday at Bandon Dunes, but his combined total was good enough to beat speedgolf veteran Tim Scott by a minute and 19 seconds.
Scott, who put together the event with Jim Kosciolek and their Speedgolf International organization, had a better score Sunday, but couldn’t make up the lead Walker built up in the first round.
While Scott and Kosciolek have been planning the event for more than a year and also put on the Bandon Dunes Speedgolf Classic, the precursor to the world championships, for the past decade, Walker only heard about the tournament a couple of weeks ago at an event he was playing in the developmental Adams Tour.
“I decided that it was something I was interested in,” said Walker, who turned pro after graduating from Notre Dame this spring and lives in Texas.
He played two practice speedgolf rounds at a local country club — his only experience in the sport before Saturday.
“I didn’t have any expectations,” Walker said. “I came thinking, ‘I won’t have any regrets if I do this.’ If I had a goal, it would be to finish top-five.”
Walker shot a 77 in 53 minutes and 29 seconds on the challenging Old Macdonald layout Saturday, and followed that with a 76 in 56:59 on Sunday at Bandon Dunes.
“I left a shot or two out there both rounds, but everybody else did, too,” he said.
He admitted he was nervous Sunday morning, knowing that he had the overnight lead.
“There was (pressure),” he said, adding that “$18,000 is a lot of money, especially for somebody on a mini tour.”
Scott, who retired from a teaching job in Bend earlier this year, shot an 81 in 52:21 on Saturday and followed that with an 80 in 51:26 on Sunday for a total of 264:47.
Third place went to Tim Hval, the first golf pro at Bandon Dunes, who shot 74 on both courses — the latter the best round on Sunday. Hval was just under an hour both days and finished with a total of 266:20.
“I’m much more a golfer than a runner,” said Hval, who now is a pro at Portland Golf Club, though he said he’d do it again “in a heartbeat.”
“It’s fun,” he said.
Like Walker, Hval hadn’t been in a speedgolf tournament before this week.
Fourth place went to Christopher Smith, another veteran of the event and a teaching pro at Pumpkin Ridge near Portland. He shot a 73 in 58:33 at Old Macdonald and a 78 in 58:51 at Bandon Dunes.
Smith was followed by Jaacob Bowden, who grew up in California, but lives in Switzerland; Todd Killingsworth of Portland; Irishman Robert Hogan; Gretchen Johnson of Portland, the lone woman in the elite field, who competed as an amateur; and Michael Chupka Jr., one of three pros at Bandon Dunes who participated in the event.
“Today was a wonderful day,” said Chupka, who had a 75 Sunday in 57:26. “I got into a good rhythm today. I got off to a good start and I kept it going.”
Chupka and fellow Bandon Dunes employees Jeff Simonds (11th overall) and Brandon Carter (13th) said they already are looking forward to next year.
Hogan is a veteran of the sport in Ireland and had the fastest run time Saturday, 44 minutes, and the second-best time Sunday, 43:05.
“My speed was good; my score was terrible,” he said. “Same story (as Saturday).”
But like the rest of the players, he said he’d be back for the second event next year.
Johnson competed in the elite division despite only picking up golf four years ago. The Nike employee’s better accomplishments have come in running, including a personal-best time of 3 hours, 10 minutes in the Chicago Marathon a few weeks ago.
Johnson shot 79 on Sunday after an 84 on Saturday. She had identical times of 55:19.
“Using the same tees as the boys — it’s not easy for me,” she said. But she added, “I’m really happy.”
The fastest time Sunday was by Arno Lindsberger of Austria, who raced around the course carrying only a 6-iron and finished in 41:16. Because his scores were high both days, he finished 12th in the final standings.
In addition to the elite division, Sunday also featured an amateur competition with 41 golfers.
The amateur champion was Mark Stockamp, a 17-year-old student from Westside Christian High School in Lake Oswego, who actually had a better score Sunday than any of the pros.
Stockamp shot 81 in 47:29 for a total of 128:29.
“This is the first time I’ve ever played speedgolf,” said Stockamp, who has Smith for a swing coach and is a first-year cross country runner at his high school. “Praise and honor go to God for the talent that he’s blessed me with.”
Stockamp said his only goal was to keep the ball in the fairways, which led to few mistakes.
Stockamp won the 24-and-under age group Sunday.
The other age-group winners were Dougal Williams (25-29), Lawrence Levinson (40-49) and David Harding (50-and-over).
The pros were playing for a $50,000 total purse provided by a sponsorship from Rolex and money from Bandon Dunes and Mike Keiser, the resort’s owner.
A television crew for CBS was on site filming both days of the event. A 30-minute special will air on CBS immediately before its coverage of the Masters on Saturday of that tournament next spring.
World Speedgolf Championships
At Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
Scores include total score, followed by score and running time at Old Macdonald on Saturday and Bandon Dunes on Sunday (in parentheses).
1. Chris Walker, 263:28 (77-53:29; 76-56:29).
2. Tim Scott, 264:47 (81-52:21; 80-51:26).
3. Tim Hval, 266:20 (74-59:33; 74-58:47).
4. Christopher Smith, 268:24 (73-58:33; 78-58:51).
5. Jaacob Bowden, 270:18 (75-61:06; 78-56:12).
6. Todd Killingsworth, 272:39 (86-56:24; 75-55:15).
7. Robert Hogan, 272:39 (94-44:00; 92-43:05).
8. Gretchen Johnson, 273:38 (84-55:19; 79-55:19).
9. Michael Chupka Jr., 274:26 (79-63:00; 75-57:26).
10. Kris Moe, 279:11 (72-64:24; 80-62:47).
11. Jeff Simonds, 280:30 (80-58:08; 84-58:22).
12. Arno Lindsberger, 288:53 (99-48:37; 100-41:16).
13. Brandon Carter, 291:25 (85-64:14; 82-60:11).
14. Kyle Warren, 304:15 (79-67:41; 83-74:34).
15. Paul Gorman, 310:42 (89-70:39; 85-66:03).
Scores include total sore, followed by golf score and running time (in parentheses) at Bandon Dunes on Sunday.
1. Mark Stockamp, 128:29 (81-47:29).
2. Boyce Whitesides, 151:25 (92-59:25).
3. Ben Stickney, 153:21 (91-62:21).
4. Walter Sherry, 161:31 (89-72:31).
5. Conor Oliver, 164:34 (99-65:34).
6. Vincent Loduca, 203:32 (106-97:32).
7. Trevor Luu, 211:25 (126-85:25).
1. Dougal Williams, 135:43 (83-52:43).
2. Alex Casebeer, 138:41 (76-62:41).
3. Alec MacColl, 141:10 (84-57:10).
4. Bryce Polovnikoff, 143:50 (79-64:50).
5. Kirk Tatterstall, 148:09 (84-64:09).
6. Chris Abbott, 149:35 (92-57:35).
7. Eric Arndt, 158:59 (92-66:59).
8. Katy Williams, 159:16 (87-72:16).
9. Kristian Beyer, 159:36 (98-61:36).
10. Akbar Chisti, 170:36 (84-86:36).
11. Kent Sasaki, 179:11 (105-74:11).
1. Lawrence Levinson, 140:09 (78-62:09).
2. Drew Faust, 147:35 (83-64:35).
3. Wally English, 155:08 (86-67:08).
4. John Box, 159:29 (93-66:29).
5. Mike Cooney, 165:02 (94-71:02).
6. Ben Pape, 166:14 (96-70:14).
7. Craig Karem, 167:02 (88-79:02).
8. Mark Damon, 168:17 (101-67:17).
9. Mark Robbins, 169:39 (103-66:39).
10. Michael Salas, 180:03 (101-79:03).
11. John Gunther, 188:05 (123-65:05).
1. David Harding, 136:23 (86-50:23).
2. Terrell Coffield, 146:35 (78-68:35).
3. Cary Kangas, 147:54 (91-56:54).
4. Fred Tattersall, 161:06 (91-70:06).
5. Gray Grieve, 166:39 (81-85:39).
6. Carl Trabant, 168:13 (103-65:13).
7. Bill McFadden, 172:26 (96-76:26).
8. Noel Lucky, 178:46 (89-89:46).
9. Andy Klumpp, 181:13 (119-62:13).
10. Steve Boebel, 191:39 (99-92:39).
11. Jeff Ris, 197:54 (89-108:54).
12. Andrew Beyer, 197:35 (107-96:35).