Former Ryder Cup player Barry Lane has passed away at the age of 62. The Englishman represented Europe in the 1993 matches at The Belfry and was a five-time winner on the European Tour over the course of a 40-year professional career during which he made 693 starts—fourth on the all-time appearance list—on the Old World circuit. He was also an eight-time winner on the Legends Tour, the European equivalent of the Champions Tour.
Known for the pure quality of his ball-striking, Lane was a popular figure amongst his peers, as evidenced by the flurry of heartfelt messages on social media in the wake of his death. Former Master champion Ian Woosnam summed up the level of feeling with his post on Twitter: “Very, very sad news today of the passing of Barry Lane. RIP my friend.”
The cause of Lane’s death has not been reported, though some accounts say he died after a “short illness.”
Perhaps the most notable of Lane’s victories came in the 1988 Scottish Open at Gleneagles, where he forced then-Masters champion Sandy Lyle to settle for second place. More than three decades later, Lane would add the Scottish Senior Open title to his already impressive curriculum vitae. Between 1992 and 1995 he finished no lower than 11th on the European money list.
Additionally, Lane won the first edition of the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf in 1995, the precursor of the WGC Match Play, now played annually in Austin, Texas. In so doing he picked up a $1 million check after defeating South African David Frost in the final. Lane also represented England four times at the Dunhill Cup and twice at the World Cup.
Just last month, Lane and his wife, Camilla, made an emotional trip to Mauritius for the Legends Tour season-ending MCB Tour Championship. There, although obviously very ill, he was able to say goodbye to his friends and contemporaries, as well as present the Rookie of the Year trophy—re-named in his honor—to Brazilian Adilson Da Silva.
In a statement, DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley paid tribute to both Lane’s golf and his character.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Barry Lane,” said the Canadian. “To have seen such a level of success across both the European Tour and the now Legends Tour shows his dedication to the game of golf and he was a much-loved figure on both tours. The renaming of the Legends Tour’s Rookie of the Year Trophy in his honor is a fitting tribute, and I’m delighted he had the opportunity to present it in December. The thoughts of everyone at the European Tour group are with his wife Camilla, the Lane family and his many friends throughout the golfing world.”
This story was excerpted from Jake Rill’s Orioles Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox. M
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