140. Mike McCoy and Nathan Smith Named US Captains

9th March 2022

The USGA has announced the selections of Mike McCoy and Nathan Smith as USA Team captains for the 2023 and 2025 Walker Cup matches respectively.

McCoy, 59, is from Des Moines, Iowa where he works in the insurance industry. He played in the 2015 Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St. Annes where he became the third-oldest Walker Cup competitor in history aged 52. He won the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, becoming the second-oldest champion in the event’s history at age 50. He has competed in a total of 65 USGA championships, including 20 U.S. Amateurs during his career.

Nathan Smith and Mike McCoy (Photo: USGA)

Smith, 43, is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He played in three Walker Cups in 2009, 2011 and 2013. He has won a record four U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012) as well as the inaugural 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, with partner Todd White. He has competed in 48 USGA championships in his career.

The 49th match will be played on the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland on 2nd-3rd September 2023 whilst the 50th match will take place at Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach, California, USA on 6th-7th September 2025.

“Both Mike and Nathan have long, exceptional histories with the USGA and outstanding amateur golf resumes,” said Stu Francis, USGA president. “Given the historic nature of the next two matches being staged at St. Andrews and Cypress Point, we wanted to give both of them the time to enjoy this leadership opportunity and plan their next few years accordingly.”

This is the first time the USGA has announced two captains concurrently. It is also the first time since the early 1990s that a USA captain will not have been awarded a two match term of office. Back then Vinny Giles (1993 only) followed Jim Gabrielsen (1991, although he had previously done the job in 1981 too).

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2022, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

117. Stuart Wilson Appointed GB&I Walker Cup Captain For 2021

19th December 2019

Scotland’s Stuart WILSON (42) was today announced as the new captain of the Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) men’s golf team.

Wilson is the Managing Secretary of Forfar G.C., the club he represented with distinction as a player for many years. He becomes the second GB&I captain to come from Forfar G.C., following in the footsteps of Sandy Saddler who led the team in 1977.

Stuart is married with two children.

His first match in charge will be against Continent of Europe in the St. Andrews Trophy which is being staged at Royal Porthcawl G.C. on 23-24 July 2020.

He will then captain the GB&I team against United States of America at the 48th Walker Cup match on 8-9 May 2021 at Seminole G.C. in Florida.

In all likelihood Wilson will also take in the 2022 St. Andrews Trophy before having the honour of captaining the GB&I Walker Cup team in his home country when the match returns to St. Andrews in 2023.

Stuart Wilson (Photo: carnoustiecountry.com)

The highlight of Wilson’s playing career was his victory in the 2004 Amateur Championship at St Andrews where he beat Lee Corfield 4&3 in the 36 hole final. He overcame Francesco Molinari 3&1 in the quarter finals in the same year.

A few weeks later he went on to win the low amateur Silver Medal at the Open Championship at Royal Troon when he finished tied 63rd. In his only other appearance at The Open he missed the cut at Royal Lytham & St. Annes’s in 2001 having come through qualifying.

In 2003 Wilson won the Lytham Trophy by 4-shots and was subsequently selected  for that year’s Walker Cup side at Ganton. GB&I won 12.5-11.5 with Stuart contributing two points from his four games; one and half of them coming with fellow Scotsman David Inglis in an unbeaten foursomes partnership.

A graduate of Abertay University in Dundee Wilson also represented GB&I in the Palmer Cup in 2001 and 2002, USA winning both matches.

Wilson has plenty of team captaincy experience firstly with Scotland Boys, then at the Junior Ryder Cup and most recently with GB&I Boys. However, he has found victories hard to come by to date.

USA beat Europe in both the 2012 and 2014 Junior Ryder Cup matches, firstly 14.5-9.5 at Olympia Fields C.C. and then 8-16 at Blairgowrie G.C.

In the Jacques Léglise Trophy Continent of Europe have twice beaten GB&I at home, at Ballybunion G.C. in 2017 and Aldeburgh G.C. in 2019 with Wilson’s team winning away at Kytäjä Golf, Finland in 2018.

Commenting upon his appointment Wilson said “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.”

“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.”

Stuart Wilson succeeds fellow Scot Craig Watson. Unfortunately for Craig he was unable to find the winning formula during his term of office.

GB&I currently hold neither the St Andrews Trophy or Walker Cup and with Continent of Europe seemingly getting stronger by the year and an away Walker Cup coming up in USA captain Nathanial Crosby’s back yard Wilson certainly has a big job on his hands. I wish him the best of luck.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.