English Golf Courses

Edwards open to Walker Cup captain return

Welshman would welcome third successive shot at the helm despite defeat

NIGEL EDWARDS insists that he would love to captain the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup side again, despite his team suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of the USA at the National Golf Links of America.

The GB&I side, which included seven English golfers, went down 17-9 to their hosts – the biggest margin of victory since the USA’s 18-6 win at Quaker Ridge in 1997.

However, Edwards, also the Director of Coaching at England Golf who led GB&I to victory at Royal Aberdeen in 2011, says he would be honoured to be asked to lead the side for a third successive time at Royal Lytham & St Annes in two years’ time.

“It’s up to the R&A to choose who the captain is,” said Edwards in the aftermath of this year’s match. “I haven’t been asked. It would be setting a precedent if I was to be appointed for 2015, but it’s not my decision.

“But of course I’d do it. Wouldn’t anyone captain GB&I? Although I don’t really think I’m good enough now having lost by such a heavy margin.

“I put my heart and soul into captaining the team over the last four years and it would have been lovely to have won this year. But yes, of course, if I was asked, I’d do it.”

Whilst disappointed with the outcome, Edwards was adamant that the emphatic scoreline was not a true reflection of the match.

“I think it was only small margins between the two sides, even though it was a big margin [in terms of score],” he said. “If each of the ten players holed two more putts from six feet, then there would be a lot of difference in the matches.

“There were a few games that went up the last, so it could have been very different, but should have, would have, could haves don’t count, do they?”

England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick echoed his captain’s sentiments. “No offense to any of the lads, but it was one of those things, like Nigel said, where Americans holed more putts than us, and that’s the way it goes really,” said the new US Amateur champion.

“I just think that’s the reason why they edged it by a bit more. And for me, personally, I think Nigel has been a great captain, very enthusiastic and motivating. You certainly want to succeed for him. We just didn’t play well enough as a team, I guess.”

Edwards was effusive in his praise for his beaten side, saying: “The lads played their hearts out. It’s not that they didn’t try. They did try, and of course we’re disappointed because they’ve had such success this year and in recent years. That it makes it all the more disappointing.

“But we have to deal with that, and I’m sure that they will all learn from the experience and go forward and develop themselves into better players.”

Edwards also confirmed that some of his side would be turning professional, including England internationalists Neil Raymond and Max Orrin.

They have both signed deals to be represented by 4SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT, the same firm that handles the affairs of Peter Hanson, Paul Lawrie and Richie Ramsay, amongst others.

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