STUART Wilson – one of Scotland’s most renowned amateur golfers – has been named as Great Britain and Ireland’s Walker Cup captain, who will try to regain the trophy from America in May 2021.
The 2004 Amateur champion will begin his stint as captain of the GB&I men’s teams by leading the four Home Nations against Continental Europe, at the St Andrews Trophy, in July, at Royal Porthcawl.
After four years serving on The R&A Boys’ selection committee, including three as chairman, and The R&A’s amateur status committee, Wilson has accepted the new opportunity to succeed Craig Watson, whose team lost heavily to the USA, at Royal Liverpool, in September.
Following a glittering amateur career, including his victory in The Amateur Championship, at St Andrews, in 2004 – where he defeated 2018 Champion Golfer of the Year Francesco Molinari in the quarter-finals – Wilson is well-placed to lead the next generation of golfing talent.
And with most GB&I captains serving for two Walker Cups, Wilson is in line to have a dream return to the Home of Golf when St Andrews hosts the 2023 Walker Cup, in its more traditional September date.
Wilson was a member of the winning Walker Cup side at Ganton, in 2003, contributing two points – with a win and a half playing with David Inglis in the foursomes.
But Wilson lost heavily to Matt Hendrix in the Sunday singles, having held the American for a half in Saturday’s afternoon session.
The 42-year-old will now captain the GB&I team when it heads to Seminole, Florida in 2021 to take on the United States, having also captained Europe’s Junior Ryder Cup teams against the USA in 2012, and 2014.
GB&I will be aiming to reclaim both the St Andrews Trophy and Walker Cup under Wilson’s leadership.
“I am very proud to be selected as the GB&I men’s team captain and look forward to leading a talented group of golfers at the St Andrews Trophy and the Walker Cup,” said Wilson.
“I have fond memories of my time as a player representing GB&I in these prestigious matches and I am determined to make a valuable contribution to the team as its leader and in helping the players.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on The R&A Boys’ Selection Committee and know first-hand the level of talent which is emerging.
“It feels like a very natural progression to be taking on this role to continue to foster these gifted amateur golfers.”
Stoke Park’s Conor Gough, who was handed his Walker Cup debut by Craig Watson at just 17, and Rotherham’s record-breaker Ben Schmidt – who was surprisingly only named as a reserve despite becoming the youngest player to win the Brabazon – will be two key names on Wilson’s shortlist for Seminole.
Schmidt also become the youngest player to complete the double of claiming the Carris Trophy, at the English Boys Strokeplay, in the same season – taking Sandy Lyle’s records in the process.
Following his win at the 2004 Amateur Championship, Stuart Wilson went on to win the Silver Medal at The 133rd Open, at Royal Troon, having also qualified for The Open in 2001.
The R&A Foundation scholar, who studied at Dundee’s Abertay University – and won the 2003 Lytham Trophy while doing his degree, played in the 2005 Masters at Augusta National.
Wilson is a member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, and is the managing secretary of Forfar Golf Club. He is married with two children.
Wilson’s first international match – the St Andrews Trophy – takes place at the renowned south Wales links on July 23 and 24.
Hampshire’s Scott Gregory beat European Tour Rookie of the Year in the final of the 2016 Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl.