Picture by Fran Caffrey/www.golffile.ie.Ryder Cup hero Philip Walton will begin his bid for fame and fortune on the US Champions Tour when he tees it up in the second stage of the Q-School in two weeks’ time.

The 49-year old from Malahide, who withdrew this weekend’s Lexus Race to Mount Juliet, is working hard to get ready for his crucial transatlantic trip.

Walton, who clinched the winning point for Europe in the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill, becomes eligible for the senior tours when he turns 50 on March 28 next year.

He is guaranteed his place on the European Senior Tour as a former tournament winner and Ryder Cup player but has one eye on the huge cash rewards available in the US if he can make it to December’s final stage.

Des Smyth won the 2002 Champions Tour Qualifying Tournament Finals and gone on to earn well in excess of $5 million in the senior ranks. However, it won’t be easy for Walton.

Only the top five of the 12 who will eard Champions Tour cards will be fully exempt.