He lost a play-off to Hertfordshire teenager Zac Little at the third extra hole.
Having both taken four on the tenth, Little’s third shot from the back ran down and off the 18th green – leaving a 20-yard chip, which he sank with just one bounce before disappearing into the hole.
Former mini-pro tour golfer Walkley, who regained his amateur status last year – having turned pro in 2015 – made his par-four from 8ft. He was then a couple of inches from taking the battle back down the 18th for a second time as they played the first.
With the light fading fast, the prospect of the Salver being shared for the first time was looming – until Little hit a 280-yard drive down the middle in the spring evening air.
The son of European and Challenge Tour veteran Sam Little – and whose uncle Jamie was also a Challenge Tour regular – was left with a flicked wedge on the 333-yard hole.
With Walkley opting for an iron off the tee – leaving 130 yards – his approach was at the pin, landing some 12ft short.
Little’s landed on the same line but 6ft closer – and he needed no second invitation when Darren’s putt ran out of pace a few inches shy.
Walkley made three birdies before lunch in his one-under-par 68. He shared the lead with two others, and made three more and an eagle in round two – only for four bogeys to leave him with another 68.
Blackmoor’s Robbie Boxall produced a fine 65 in his second round to jointly win the best round prize with Little.
Walkley was in contention to win the Hampshire Salver – for the best aggregate in the Selborne Salver and Hampshire Hog – at North Hants Golf Club 24 hours later. But despite a solid ball-striking round before lunch, he trailed the leaders by five shots as he struggled on the greens. He signed for a second 72, which left him in 31st in the Hog.
Stirling University’s Will Coxon claimed the Hog after a two-hole play-off – having shot two 67s to tie with Kent’s Ben Quinney, who then three-putted the 18th at the second extra hole to lose. Coxon was two shots clear in the Hampshire Salver by virtue of his four-over total at Blackmoor.
Walkley had to settle for sixth overall, after four bogeys in six holes saw him tumble out of the lead in the Hampshire Salver, having been tied with Little with nine holes to play on one-under. Little made a double bogey six at his ninth hole on his way to a 74 in round two, which left him fourth in the Hampshire Salver.
Report: Andrew Griffin
Photos: AMG Pictures