The Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Team will have new leadership for the first time since the 2009 Match.
Craig Watson, 49, of Scotland, has been appointed as captain of the team for the 2017 competition Sept. 9-10 at The Los Angeles Country Club, replacing Nigel Edwards, who had captained GB&I in the three previous Matches, including an impressive 16½-9½ victory over the USA last September at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England.
Watson is one of Scotland’s most accomplished amateur golfers, having claimed The Amateur Championship, conducted by The R&A, in 1997 at Royal St. George’s with a 3-and-2 victory over future Masters champion Trevor Immelman. Immelman, the runner-up in the 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur, captured the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 1998.
Watson also played on the 1997 GB&I Walker Cup Team that lost to the USA at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y., posting a 1-1-1 record., including a 1-up victory over 1996 U.S. Amateur runner-up Steve Scott. He also played in The Open Championship, conducted by The R&A, in 1997 at Royal Troon, and the 1998 Masters.
“Playing on the Walker Cup team is one of my proudest moments in golf,” said Watson. “I still remember the nerve-wracking moment when I teed it up on the first tee in the afternoon singles on the first day but I settled down and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It is a privilege for me to take over the captaincy of the team and I have a hard act to follow as Nigel did a fantastic job.
“I am looking forward to getting started and to making sure we put out the strongest team we can next year in Los Angeles. It is a hugely exciting time for amateur golf and you only have to look at the performances of the amateurs in The Open at St. Andrews last year to see how competitive the game is at the moment.”
The USA owns a commanding 35-9-1 record in the series that dates to 1922, but GB&I has won six of the last 11.