Historically, both the United States Golf Association (U.S.G.A.) and the Royal & Ancient (R&A) have selected their respective captains strictly from the world of amateur golf and almost exclusively from the pool of former Walker Cup players.
United States of America
On 13th December 2017 the U.S.G.A. announced that Nathaniel CROSBY (57) had been selected to captain the U.S.A. team at the 2019 Walker Cup match.
Crosby, the 1981 U.S. Amateur champion and youngest son of American entertainer Bing, proved to be a very capable captain with his team winning the match at Royal Liverpool G.C. 15.5 – 10.5.
He now looks certain to serve a second term as captain and was asked about this possibility in an interview with the Silver Club Golfing Society Podcast on 16th September 2019, shortly after returning home.
“It would be an incredible privilege to be picked again. I know that has been a tradition with the USGA over the last three decades. I worry about a (former) player or two who could be passed over. The funny thing about Seminole is that if you’re a Walker Cup captain you are one of ten people. I don’t even want to think about it and the possibilities at this point. It’s a definite commitment of time and effort and I don’t know how any experience could match what’s just happened for me. That being said I don’t want to take myself out of the running ! This privilege was a lifelong memory and a highlight of my life. It would be greedy to want another one.” – Nathanial Crosby
Nathaniel Crosby (© USGA / Simon Dale)
Upon his appointment in 2017 Stuart Francis, U.S.G.A. Championship Committee chairman, said “Nathaniel Crosby has proven experience as an amateur player at the highest levels in both individual and team competition, and this will lend itself well to providing leadership for the USA Walker Cup team in 2019”. The Committee believe he has the key attributes of “sportsmanship, patriotism and a competitive spirit, that will assist him as captain.”
Crosby played in the 1983 Walker Cup match at Royal Liverpool GC and also lives near to and is a member of Seminole G.C.; the two Clubs where the Walker Cup will next be played.
In the U.S.G.A. announcement Crosby said: “I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain. It will again be a privilege to be a part of the Walker Cup competition. Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities.”
For more information on the new U.S.A. captain please click here – Nathaniel Crosby.
Great Britain & Ireland
Craig WATSON (58) was first appointed Great Britain and Ireland’s (GB&I) captain in 2016 with his first match set to be Los Angeles in 2017. Sadly Watson had to step down on the eve of that match due to a close family bereavement.
Andy INGRAM replaced Craig on 30th August 2017 with the Welshman becoming GB&I’s 27th Captain. Ingram was just the 8th captain on either side not to be a former Walker Cup player; the USA contributing 3 and GB&I 5 to this list.
The R&A confirmed on 14th May 2018 that Craig WATSON would return to the GB&I captaincy for the St. Andrews Trophy match to be played in Finland in July 2018 and the Walker Cup match at Royal Liverpool. Both matches have been lost; Continent of Europe winning the former 15.5 – 9.5 at Linna Golf in Finland and USA the latter 15.5 – 10.5 at Hoylake.
He is now expected to continue in his role for the St. Andrews Trophy match at Royal Porthcawl in July 2020 and be given the opportunity to regain the Walker Cup at Seminole in 2021.
Watson was the 1997 Amateur Champion and played in the Walker Cup match at Quaker Ridge later that year. A Scottish international throughout the 1990s he proved to be a well respected and successful national captain in the early 2000’s.
Click the following links to read more about Craig’s ‘captaincy’ to date: –
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