ABU DHABI — All week, players, caddies and officials at the DP World Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship have been wearing black ribbons in memory of the late Barry Lane. It is a touching tribute that will continue during Sunday’s final round at Yas Links and will be repeated at next week’s Dubai Desert Classic. The popular Englishman passed away after a short illness in December at the age of 62.
Lane represented Europe against the United States in the 1993 Ryder Cup at The Belfry, where he lost all three of his matches. Over the course of a 40-year professional career he made 693 starts—fourth most on what was then the European Tour. He was also an eight-time winner on the Legends Tour, the European equivalent of the PGA Tour Champions.
Known for the pure quality of his ball-striking, Lane was a well-liked name and face on the Old World circuit, as evidenced by the flurry of heart-felt messages on social media in the wake of his death. Former Masters 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.”
Perhaps the most notable of Lane’s victories on tour 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 résumé. Between 1992 and 1995 he finished no lower than 11th on the European Order of Merit (now the Race to Dubai).
Additionally, Lane won the first edition of the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf in 1995, the precursor of the WGC-Match Play event, now played annually played in Austin, Texas. In so doing he picked up a $1 million first check after defeating South Africa’s David Frost in the final. Lane also represented England four times at the Dunhill Cup and twice at the World Cup.
Happily, albeit sadly, Lane and his wife, Camilla, made an emotional trip to Mauritius last November for the Legends Tour season-ending MCB Tour Championship. There, although obviously extremely weak, 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 Brazil’s Adilson Da Silva.
In a statement last month, 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,” Pelley said. “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.”
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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