• The 49-year-old will also lead this year's St Andrews Trophy team
• "It is a privilege for me to take over the captaincy," he said
CRAIG WATSON | WALKER CUP
East Renfrewshire’s Craig Watson, one of Scotland’s most successful amateur golfers, has been appointed captain of the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team that will face the USA at Los Angeles Country Club in 2017.
The 49-year-old, who won the Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s in 1997 with a 3&2 victory over Trevor Immelman before going on to play in the 1997 Walker Cup at Quaker Ridge, will also captain the GB&I St Andrews Trophy team for this summer’s match against the Continent of Europe at Prince’s Golf Club in Kent.
Watson succeeds Welshman Nigel Edwards, who led the team to a record 16.5 – 9.5 win in the 2015 match at Royal Lytham & St Annes, and he admits that he’s got a tough act to follow.
"I have a hard act to follow as Nigel did a fantastic job" - Craig Watson
“Playing in the Walker Cup team is one of my proudest moments in golf,” said Craig 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.”
As well as his Amateur Championship win and Walker Cup appearance, Watson also represented GB&I in the 1998 St Andrews Trophy and represented Scotland in the Home Internationals in all but one year from 1991 to 2003, captaining the side in the latter three of those years.
He played in the European Men's Team Championship in 1997, 1999 and 2001, captaining the side to victory in 2001. A two-time winner of the St Andrews Links Trophy in 1992 and 1998 and winner of eight Scottish Golf Order of Merit titles, Watson was also runner-up in the Scottish Amateur Championship at Downfield in 2001.
Andy Ingram, chairman of the R&A’s Men’s Selection Committee, said: “Craig is a well-known and highly respected figure in the amateur game and will bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to the role of captain.
“As a former Walker Cup and St Andrews Trophy player himself, he knows just what it means to represent GB&I and I’m sure he will relish the opportunity to work with the players in both teams.”
Watson faces a tough task in the defence of the Walker Cup at Los Angeles Country Club, which takes place on September 9-10, with GB&I having not won across the Atlantic since 2001.
Craig Watson :: Walker Cup captain
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