Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I'm Going to Feel the Heat - Skelton

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I'm Going to Feel the Heat - Skelton

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Hedley

Michael Skelton admits the thought of playing in the Walker Cup next month fills him with apprehension - but also with dreams of glory.

The 19-year-old from the Middlesbrough Brass Castle club is part of the Great Britain and Ireland side bidding for an unprecedented third successive victory over the USA when the two sides meet at Ganton on September 6-7 and he admits: "I'm sure I will feel the pressure.

"I'll probably not be able to grip the club properly and my knees will be shaking but playing in something like the Walker Cup is the challenge I relish. It's a chance to write your name in history and that's what you play golf for."

Skelton's form over the last two years has been just about irresistible - Daily Telegraph Junior Champion, European Boys Champion, English Under-20 Champion, Welsh Open Strokeplay Champion and runner-up in the English Amateur Championship.

No wonder he was the first in the team to get the call from chairman of selectors Peter McEvoy telling him he was in the side. "I'll never forget that phone call," added Skelton.

"I was shaking like a leaf and all my family were there and Peter said the noise on the other end of the telephone was the loudest he'd ever heard!"

Skelton is convinced Great Britain and Ireland will do the business at Ganton because "we have great team spirit and we have some great players" and between now and then, it will be a case of practice and more practice plus work with his coach Steve Robinson, the professional at the Malton and Norton club.

The Teesside youngster has pulled out of this week's European Amateur Championship at Nairn to devote more time to his Walker Cup preparations.

England will seek to end a run of 11 years without a victory in the event at Nairn by sending eight of their Elite Squad members to contest the European Championship, which starts tomorrow.

The party includes new England champion Gary Lockerbie, from Penrith, Graeme Clark, Lee Corfield, Ross Fisher, Farren Keenan, Matthew Richardson, Daniel Wardrop and Gary Wolstenholme. …

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