Brian Barnes: Ryder Cup hero passes away

Barnes Main

Brian Barnes, a nine-time winner on the European Tour and a veteran of six Ryder Cups, has passed away after a short illness. He was 74.

Famous for having beaten Jack Nicklaus twice in one day during the 1975 Ryder Cup, Surrey-born Barnes represented England at international level until 1971 when he joined the Scottish PGA.

Taught to play by his father, who was Secretary at Burnham & Berrow Golf Club, he turned professional in 1964 shortly after winning the British Youths Open Amateur Championship.

He subsequently became one of the leading lights of European golfers throughout the 1970s, finishing no worse than eighth on the Order of Merit between 1972 and 1981. The first of his nine victories came in the 1972 Martini International at Abridge Golf Club, making him the first Scot to win on the European Tour.

• US star out of Solheim Cup with injury

• Where and when to watch the Solheim on TV

However, it was in the Ryder Cup that he really made his name. He played in six consecutive matches between 1969 and 1979, amassing a 10–14–1 win-loss-tie record.

Two of those wins came on the same day in 1975 against Jack Nicklaus.

• The US team for Gleneagles - IN FULL

Nicklaus arrived at Laurel Valley playing what he called "the best golf of my life". He had won his fifth Masters earlier that year and his fourth US PGA Championship in the August.

However, he was no match for Barnes in their morning singles match on the final day, going down 4&3.


Furious at having lost, Nicklaus reportedly demanded: "Give me that Barnes again."

On the first tee in the afternoon, he told Barnes, "You've beaten me once, but there's no way you're going to beat me again." Barnes ultimately proved him wrong, winning 2&1.

• Lawrie urges fans to turn out for Solheim Cup

• The silver lining for Bob Mac after latest near-miss

Later, Barnes would say: "I'm not trying to be blasé about it, but it was matchplay and I can get round a course, you know. So what's so special? Mind you, Jack was pissed off,"

In 1995, he became eligible for seniors' golf and won the Senior British Open that year. Twelve months later, he became the first man to successfully defend the title. He went on to play on the Champions Tour in the US before arthritis forced him to retire prematurely in 2000.

A larger than life figure, he was the son-in-law of former Open champion Max Faulkner.

His death comes just weeks after the passing of another Ryder Cup star, Gordon Brand Jnr.

Share this Article

twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
CALLAWAY MAVRIK DRIVERS - Should one of these be your new driver?
play button
MAVRIK vs EPIC FLASH – Is Callaway’s new driver longer???
play button
play button
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Baker takes early lead at Major Champions Invitational
The big problem facing Jordan Spieth
Report: Glasgow council courses lined up for closure
Ex tour pro disputes 'fastest round' record
Bryson DeChambeau given slow play warning in Dubai

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods puts new irons in the bag
New Fife golf course gets go ahead
REVIEW - Adare Manor, Ireland's rejuvenated masterpiece
Win a spot in the ASI Scottish Open Pro-Am with Hilton
Padraig Harrington targets 2020 Ryder Cup captaincy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Keeping your height throughout the swing
play button
The correct grip pressure
play button
How to stop hooking the ball
play button
Tighten your dispersion
See all videos right arrow