When European team Captain Stuart Wilson briefly broke down with emotion during the closing ceremony at the Junior Ryder Cup, it went some way in summing up the disappointment of the Scotsman and his team as they came to terms with a 16 – 8 defeat to the USA.
The 2004 Amateur Champion was stunned at the quality the USA displayed on both days at The Blairgowrie Golf Club but equally disappointed at a defeat which did not accurately reflect the hard efforts of he and his own team, both in the lead-up to and during the event.
The affable Forfar man, who once beat Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer in the St Andrews Trophy, was gracious in defeat but equally emotional and his speech during the closing ceremony almost brought some to tears.
“I'm absolutely gutted to be fair,” said Wilson beforehand. “The way it panned out, it wasn’t what we had planned for or expected given the quality of our team.
“The Americans just played inspired golf. There wasn’t much to differentiate from tee to green. It was all around the greens and on the greens. They holed the crucial putts at the right time and plenty of them.
“They got the momentum on the Monday afternoon that we were trying to achieve ourselves with loading the last three teams with our top guys. We tried to get the momentum going into the final day.
“We knew the last hole would play a pivotal role in the whole proceedings and we looked at the last green and practised hard on it but it’s a case of first in wins and the Americans got in first.
“The Americans were inspired without a doubt. You always know that an American team will play with their hearts on their sleeves and that’s going to give them added determination to succeed. But it’s been played in a great manner. All of our team are happy with the way everything was conducted and they’ve made really good friends.
“It’s been played in a great sporting manner. Although they really are disappointed, they are starting to come to terms with the defeat already and looking forward to the rest of the week with their new American friends.”
American Captain Brian Whitcomb, meanwhile, was wholesome in his praise of the Americans’ opponents and the manner in which the game was played.
He also expressed his joy at seeing so many spectators, including thousands of children attending the ClubGolf initiative, come out to view the action at close hand.
“It’s heart-warming to see these two unbelievably gifted teams conduct themselves so well and play at such a high level in front of 1,500 or 2,000 children. That only sets the stage for these kids to grow up to be playing the game of golf and adding to our society.
“The fact that we won is great and that’s what we came to do but to leave Scotland, the home of golf, with the game in better hands, that’s what this week was all about.
“It was incredible golf. We watched all this stuff happen and it wasn’t one great shot, it was ten great putts or ten great chips on both sides. This game is magical sometimes and yesterday and today were just that.
“This morning I just had this thought, we would send Sierra Brooks out first. She just has this go get them attitude and I felt very good about that. She played against an unbelievable skilled player and when she prevailed by birdieing the last four holes, that set the tone today for us.
“It was much closer today than what the final score indicated. Every match was close, nobody won any match this week by playing mediocre golf. The only way you’re going to win against these guys was to play a great round of golf and in this case we played a few more great rounds than they did.”