George Lyon (golfer)
|Full name||George Seymour Lyon|
|Born||July 27, 1858|
Richmond, Canada West
|Died||May 11, 1938 (aged 79)|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Club||Lambton Golf and Country Club, Toronto|
|Achievements and titles|
|National finals||8-time Canadian Amateur champion|
|Olympic finals||Gold medal, St. Louis 1904|
George Seymour Lyon (July 27, 1858 – May 11, 1938) was a Canadian golfer, an Olympic gold medalist in golf, an eight-time Canadian Amateur Championship winner, and a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
Early life, cricket
Lyon was born in Richmond, Ontario, near Ottawa. His early sporting career was in cricket, 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.
Although he only began playing golf at the age of 38, due to lack of available golf courses in most areas of Canada before that date, he won the gold medal in golf in the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri, at age 46. He won the Canadian Amateur Championship a record eight times between 1898 and 1914, the last time in his 56th year. He was also runner-up in that event on two further occasions. He won the Canadian Seniors' Golf Association Championship ten times between 1918 and 1930, the final time in his 72nd year; these events were staged before the inauguration of the Canadian Senior Golf Championship by Golf Canada.
Lyon lost in the finals of the 1906 U.S. Amateur, in his 48th year, and in the round of 32 of the 1908 British Amateur, when in his 50th year. He was a lifelong amateur golfer, never turning professional.
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. Offered the gold medal by default, Lyon refused to accept it. Golf did not return to the Olympics until 2016.
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.
Death and legacy
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.
- 1898 Canadian Amateur
- 1900 Canadian Amateur
- 1903 Canadian Amateur
- 1905 Canadian Amateur
- 1906 Canadian Amateur
- 1907 Canadian Amateur
- 1912 Canadian Amateur
- 1914 Canadian Amateur
Results in major championships
|The Open Championship||CUT||NT|
|The Amateur Championship||R64||R32||NT|
NT = No tournament
CUT = missed the half-way cut
DNQ = Did not qualify for match play portion
R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
- "George Lyon". Sports Reference. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
- Toronto Star, June 10, 1899, p. 2
- Adams, p. 192.
- "Golf at Sandwich; Amateur Championship". The Glasgow Herald. May 28, 1908. p. 13.
- Wallechinsky, David (1984). The Complete Book To The Olympics. England: Penguin Books. p. 428. ISBN 0140066322.
- Barclay, James A. (1992). Golf in Canada: A History. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0-7710-1080-4.
- Marshall, Doug. "George Cumming: Toronto Golf Club (1900-1950)". Golf Historical Society of Canada. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- "USGA Championship Database".
- "45th Open – St Andrews 1905". theopen.com. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
- Burn, Percy B. (June 1905). "The Amateur Championship Of Great Britain". Golf: Official Bulletin U.S.G.A. pp. 339–345 – via SEGL Electronic Golf Library.
- Adams, P. (2010) A history of Canadian cricket, lulu.com. ISBN 978-1-4466-9652-1.
- Cochrane, Michael G. (2016) Olympic Lyon, georgelyon.ca. ISBN 978-0994854520
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