Watson Cup organisers hoping to match Southern comforts

Tom Watson with the East Lothian team at Kiawah Island
Tom Watson with the East Lothian team at Kiawah Island
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One of the driving forces behind a new event bearing the name of five-time Open champion Tom Watson – The Watson Cup – is determined to make the 2020 match at Royal Burgess, and Muirfield one to remember.

David Warren, secretary of the East Lothian Junior Golf League, was speaking as he reflected on the event’s inaugural staging at Kiawah Island in the US. That ended with the South Carolina Junior Golf Association beating a team representing the East Lothian Junior League 19.5-16.5 after a thrilling two-day tussle.

“I am very proud of the way both teams conducted themselves and how they played,” said Warren. “They are all fine young men, with bright futures, and hopefully they will realise what golf has to offer in the development of young people.

“The presence of Tom Watson was the icing on the cake. The polite way in which he greeted and conversed with the young players and coaches on both teams, was exemplary.”

Scottish Boys champion Connor Wilson led the East Lothian team that also included David Rudd, Jamie Duguid, Andrew Scott, Cameron Spencer, Aaron Hall, Cameron Gallagher and Jack Rogan. The 2020 match takes place in the first week of July and will have Lothians legend Bernard Gallacher as the honorary president.

“Selection will be by invitation, based on their participation in either of the Edinburgh or East Lothian Junior Golf Leagues, as well as national events,” said Warren. “We will start fundraising to try to match the level of Southern hospitality which we received, but this will require significant funds which will be ring-fenced for the Watson Cup.”