Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

An Irish golf champion has called out Ryanair’s “ridiculous” behaviour after the budget airline refused to bend their rules and he was forced to bin his trophy. 

Prolific amateur Joe Lyons posted a five-under 67 to seal an impressive victory at the Spanish Seniors Amateur Open Championship in Seville.

The 51-year-old from Galway was three shots back heading into Sunday at Real Club Sevilla Golf, but added another title to his trophy cabinet with a stirring final round.

Well, at least he thought he had. After lifting the silverware, Lyons headed straight for the airport with his wife Vera to catch a flight back to Cork on his trip back to Galway.

• England Golf signs historic declaration

• Golf pro reacts to viral driving range incident

But the silver cup didn’t fit in the pair’s hand luggage and it quickly became clear that Ryanair were not willing to change their luggage policy to help Lyons out.

“We got to the checkout, we had our hand luggage with us and I had the trophy,” Lyons explained to the Irish Independent. “So I went up to the desk and the staff said we couldn’t board with the trophy unless we could put it in our hand luggage.

“Vera tried to put it into her hand luggage, and she actually got it in a good bit of the way, but the zip on her luggage wouldn’t close.

“And they said, ‘No you have to be able to close all the zips’. So I said, ‘You know what folks, just leave it there. If that’s the way you want to be about it, you can keep it’.

“I kind of threw the toys out of the pram a bit. And the woman behind the desk said, ‘Well, we can’t keep it’. So I said, ‘Well do what you want with it?’

“She said, ‘Well, we’ll be throwing it in the bin’, so I said, ‘Well throw it in the bin then, I’m going home’ and I headed down the gangway.”

• Greg Norman trying to lure major champion to LIV Golf

• LIV golfer accepts shock invite to play Masters

As a serial winner of amateur tournaments, Lyons wasn’t too upset that he couldn’t put his latest title on the mantlepiece. It was the principle, though, that frustrated the veteran.

“It wasn’t a trophy I had to give back,” he said. “It was a replica they give to each winner. It’s just that I think Ryanair should be called out for it.

“The point I was trying to make was that it could have been somebody who never won a trophy before. I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was ridiculous on their behalf.”


author headshot

Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses

Latest podcast

The 2024 Masters Commute - Day 1 LIVE from Augusta