Edwards returns to GB&I squad despite sickly father


SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – After a midweek scare, Nigel Edwards has returned to National Golf Links to lead the Great Britain and Ireland team.

His status as Walker Cup captain was in doubt after being forced to fly home Tuesday because his father had fallen ill. He returned on-site Thursday afternoon, after a doctor in Cardiff, Wales, delivered an optimistic prognosis.

“He’s in a tough place,” Edwards said of his father, who is now stable, “but he wanted us to come out here and be part of the Walker Cup and let’s go forward.”

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So continues an already eventful week for the visitors from Great Britain and Ireland, who have won only twice on American soil in the 91-year history of the event. First, they experienced a six-hour flight delay on the way to New York, and then they had a practice round wiped out Tuesday because of rain. While Edwards was away, Jonathan Plaxton, the chairman of the GB&I committee, filled in for two days.

When asked about the importance of having Edwards back in charge, British Amateur champion Garrick Porteous said, “It’s massive. He’s part of the team. He’s got so much motivation that he brings to the team. He’s got so much knowledge of playing in previous Walker Cups. He’s a great guy to have around. It wouldn’t be the same without him.”