STUART Wilson’s appointment as the new Junior Ryder Cup captain – the Forfar man will be at the helm of the European team for the next two matches – should be held up as an example of how rewarding golf can be without having to dip your toe in professional waters.
Sure, one of the highlights of Wilson’s playing career came when he claimed the Silver Medal as leading amateur at the Open Championship, at Royal Troon in 2004, but he never allowed that to cloud his judgment.
His CV was as impressive as any Scottish amateur over the past decade or so, having played in the Walker Cup in 2003, the Bonallack Trophy in 2002 and 2004, the St Andrews Trophy and the Eisenhower Trophy in 2004, and the European Team Championship in 2003.
He also won the Amateur at St Andrews in 2004 and, a year earlier, the Lytham Trophy.
Yet, as players with less impressive records than his were joining the professional ranks, Wilson knew his capabilities – he wasn’t the longest off the tee, for example – so he decided to stay put, eventually taking up the post of secretary at his home town club in Angus.
Without even the slightest hint of a chip on his shoulder, Wilson has been a popular Scottish Boys’ team captain over the last two years and has now earned another exciting opportunity, first at Olympia Fields in Illinois this September, then the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup in Scotland.
Throw in the possibility of him also getting the Walker Cup captaincy in the future and he’s going to have lots to tell his grandchildren without ever having had to take the professional plunge.