At a sprightly 50 years of age, Euan McIntosh is hardly what you’d call an ancient artefact from the fusty vaults of the British Golf Museum.

Saying that, however, the veteran Scot is not expecting much sympathy from the young ‘uns when the GB&I Walker Cup squad get together at Royal Liverpool next week.

“I get abuse about my age all the time so I’m used to it,” said McIntosh with a chortle as he anticipated the usual good-natured ribbings from the whippersnappers who make up the majority of the 26-man pool.

Amid the teenagers and 20-somethings vying for a spot in the 10-man side to face the USA in September, McIntosh will be trying to strike a blow for golf’s elder statesmen in this game for all the ages. It won’t be easy, of course, but it is a challenge the reigning Scottish Amateur champion is embracing with considerable gusto.

“Listen, I’m a million miles from getting on the team,” he said of the task that is facing him as he attempts to become one of the biennial event’s oldest competitors. “The hard work starts right now and I’ll have to play out of my skin to do it.”


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With a raft of major events like the Lytham Trophy, the St Andrews Links Trophy and the Amateur Championship coming up on a rigorous summer schedule, McIntosh is well aware of the heights he has to reach to impress the GB&I selectors. As a former professional, Glasgow-born McIntosh, who became the oldest player to win the national amateur title for 35 years, still harbours ambitions of having another crack in the paid ranks as a senior.

Coming up short in the Senior Tour qualifying schools on both sides of the Atlantic at the turn of the year was a real scunner but the call-up to the Walker Cup squad has given his amateur plans fresh impetus.

“I have a real spring in my step again,” he said. “Missing out at the qualifying school, particularly in America, was really disappointing. It’s taken a long time to get over that to be honest. I was in the doldrums a bit. I was always going to play again this season but I wasn’t really up for it. When I got the phone call the other day to say I was in the GB&I squad, it gave me such a lift. It’s given me something to aim for and I’m looking forward to giving it a right good go. There’s nothing to lose.”

If a 59-year-old Tom Watson can come within a par putt of winning the Open, then a 50-year-old can make the Walker Cup team. “I was as gutted as I’ve ever been watching a golf tournament,” reflected McIntosh of Watson’s Turnberry heroics a decade ago which ended in the kind of sighing deflation you’d get with an aborted hovercraft journey.

McIntosh’s magical summer last year – he won three titles in a row – illuminated his competitive longevity. There’s always room for improvement, though, and the pesky putter remains a lingering ailment.

“I don’t hole as many as I should,” he grumbled as he voiced a common complaint which will be echoed by golfers around the world. “During that winning spell last year, I putted almost abnormally for me.”

If he can get that area of his game working, McIntosh remains quietly confident that the old dog can teach the young pups a few tricks in the scrap for a Walker Cup berth.

“There are not many sports where a 50-year-old would be in the same squad as a 16-year-old,” he said. “But if you play to your strengths, you can take on anybody.”