George Lyon (golfer)

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George Seymour Lyon
George Lyon 1904.jpg
Personal information
Full name George Seymour Lyon[1]
Born (1858-07-27)July 27, 1858[1]
Richmond, Canada West
Died May 11, 1938(1938-05-11) (aged 79)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sport
Sport Golf

George Seymour Lyon (July 27, 1858 – May 11, 1938) was a Canadian golfer, an Olympic gold medallist, an eight-time Canadian Amateur Championship winner, and a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

Early life[edit]

Lyon was born in Richmond, Ontario, near Ottawa. His early sporting career was in cricket,[2] where, as a batsman he represented Canada eight times, averaging 14.07 and scoring 238 not out in a club game, at that time the highest score ever made in Canada.[3]

Golf career[edit]

Although he began playing golf at the age of 38, he won the gold medal in golf in the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri. He won the Canadian Amateur Championship a record eight times between 1898 and 1914, and won the Canadian Seniors' Golf Association Championship ten times between 1918 and 1930. Lyon lost in the finals of the 1906 U.S. Amateur Championship, and in the semi-finals of the 1908 British Amateur Championship, when in his 50th year.

He traveled to London in 1908 to defend his Olympic title, but plans to stage a golf tournament there were cancelled at the last minute, since representatives from England and Scotland were unable to agree on the format. Golf did not return to the Olympics until 2016.[4]

Lyon was also a founding member, with Albert Austin, of the Lambton Golf and Country Club in Toronto. It was officially opened on June 13, 1903.

Lyon often partnered with the future Canadian golf hall of famer George Cumming; as a pair they were a difficult team to beat in 4-ball matches.[5]

Death and legacy[edit]

Lyon died in Toronto, Ontario, in 1938 and was buried in Toronto's Mount Pleasant Cemetery. In 1955, Lyon was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. In 1971, he was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.

A fictionalized version of Lyon, portrayed by Kevin Jubinville, is a supporting character in "A Case of the Yips", a 2016 episode of the Canadian series Murdoch Mysteries. The episode is set in 1903 - Lyon mentions his planned upcoming trip to the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis. A running gag through the episode is that as Lyon advises Detective Murdoch about golf, he is also a pushy insurance salesman, trying to talk Murdoch into buying a policy.

His life and achievement as an Olympic Gold medalist are described in the 2016 book "Olympic Lyon" by Michael G. Cochrane.

Lyon reigned as the Olympic champion for 112 years until golf returned to the program at the 2016 Summer Olympics, the gold medal being won by Englishman Justin Rose.

Tournament wins[edit]

  • 1898 Canadian Amateur
  • 1900 Canadian Amateur
  • 1903 Canadian Amateur
  • 1905 Canadian Amateur
  • 1906 Canadian Amateur
  • 1907 Canadian Amateur
  • 1912 Canadian Amateur
  • 1914 Canadian Amateur

Major championships[edit]

Results timeline[edit]

Note: Lyon played in only the British. Open, U.S. Amateur, and the British Amateur.

Tournament 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T80 DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Amateur Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP R64 DNP DNP R32 DNP
U.S. Amateur DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP R32 2 R16 DNP DNP
Tournament 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP NT NT NT NT NT
The Amateur Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP NT NT NT NT NT
U.S. Amateur DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP R32 DNP NT NT DNP

NT = No tournament
DNP = Did not play
"T" indicates a tie for a place
DNQ = Did not qualify for match play portion
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
Yellow background for top-10

Source for U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur: USGA Championship Database

Source for 1905 British Open: www.opengolf.com

Source for 1905 British Amateur: Golf, June, 1905, pg. 341.

Source for 1908 British Amateur: The Glasgow Herald, May 28, 1908, pg. 13.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "George Lyon". sports-reference.com. Sports Reference. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  2. ^ Toronto Star, June 10, 1899 p. 2
  3. ^ Adams, p. 192.
  4. ^ Golf in Canada: A History, by James A. Barclay.
  5. ^ Marshall, Doug. "George Cumming: Toronto Golf Club (1900-1950)". ghsc.ca. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]