Sandy Lyle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sandy Lyle
Sandy Lyle.jpg
Personal information
Full nameAlexander Walter Barr Lyle
Born (1958-02-09) 9 February 1958 (age 61)
Shrewsbury, England
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Nationality Scotland
ResidenceBalquhidder, Perthshire
SpouseChristine (1981–87)
Jolande (m.1989)
ChildrenStuart, James, Alexandra Lonneke, Quintin
Turned professional1977
Current tour(s)European Senior Tour
Champions Tour
Former tour(s)European Tour
PGA Tour
Professional wins32
Highest ranking2 (10 April 1988)[1]
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour6
European Tour18
Japan Golf Tour1
European Senior Tour1
Best results in major championships
(wins: 2)
Masters TournamentWon: 1988
PGA ChampionshipT16: 1991
U.S. OpenT16: 1991
The Open ChampionshipWon: 1985
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2012 (member page)
Member of the Order
of the British Empire
European Tour
Order of Merit winner
1979, 1980, 1985
Sir Henry Cotton
Rookie of the Year

Alexander Walter Barr Lyle MBE (born 9 February 1958) is a Scottish professional golfer. Lyle has won two major championships during his career. Along with Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam, he became one of Britain's top golfers during the 1980s. He spent 167 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking from its introduction, in 1986, until 1989.[2] Lyle was inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in May 2012.[3]

Early life[edit]

Lyle was born in Shrewsbury, England and now lives in Scotland with his wife Jolande and children Lonneke and Quintin. He represented Scotland during his professional career. He was introduced to golf by his father, Alex, who had taken the family from Scotland to England in 1955 when he became resident professional at Hawkstone Park golf course. Their family home was just 40 yards from the pro-shop and 18th green. He began playing with miniature clubs at the age of 3. At schoolboy, junior and amateur level Lyle represented England. As an amateur Lyle made his debut in The Open Championship at age 16 in 1974, and won the Brabazon Trophy in 1975 and 1977. He was a member of the Walker Cup team in 1977.

Turns professional[edit]

In 1977 he turned professional and decided to represent Scotland. He was medalist at the 1977 Qualifying School tournament for the European Tour. His first professional win came in the 1978 Nigerian Open, and he also won the Sir Henry Cotton Award as European Rookie of the Year that season. Lyle attained the first of an eventual 18 European Tour titles in 1979.

Lyle partnered with Sam Torrance for Scotland to finish runner-up at the World Cup of Golf team event in both 1979 and 1980; in the latter year Lyle captured the low individual trophy in that event.

Wins major championships, Ryder Cup success[edit]

Lyle showed his quality by winning The Open Championship at Royal St George's Golf Club in 1985. He was the first British winner since Tony Jacklin in 1969, and continued the rise of European golfers in the world scene.

Lyle was a member of five European Ryder Cup teams, from 1979 to 1987 inclusive. Highlights from those years included the team that was victorious at the Belfry in the autumn of 1985, and the 1987 team which won for the first time ever on American soil, at Muirfield Village.

For many golf fans he is best known for the bunker shot at the 18th hole in the final round of the Masters in 1988 when he became the first Briton to wear the green jacket.[4] He also won two other events on the PGA Tour that season, along with the World Match Play Championship, after being a losing finalist on several occasions.

Lyle topped the European Tour's order of merit in 1979, 1980 and 1985. He finished in the top ten nine times between 1979 and 1992. He was also a member of the PGA Tour for several years and finished seventh on the US money list in 1988, despite a limited playing schedule. He won the 1987 Tournament Players Championship, one of the most prestigious American titles. Lyle's form dropped after 1992, when he was 34, and he has not won a significant event since.


As a player, Lyle is known for his cool temperament and placid exterior. In his peak years, he was very long from the tee and through the set, and had enough accuracy to master any course. His achievements inspired fellow rivals such as Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam to raise their games, and go on to win the majors. Lyle published his first book, "To the Fairway Born" in 2006. In the same year he was assistant captain to Ian Woosnam when Europe won the Ryder Cup. He had been hoping to be picked as the captain for the 2010 European Ryder Cup team but missed out to Colin Montgomerie.[5]

In July 2009, Lyle got into a very public row with Colin Montgomerie where he unfavourably compared Montgomerie's actions at the Indonesian Open four years previously with his own actions in not completing a round at the 2008 Open Championship.[6] Reaction to this was mixed with some players supporting Lyle while other players and commentators felt that Lyle's timing was unfortunate and that any point he may have had was lost in the ensuing controversy.[7]

Senior career[edit]

On turning 50 in 2008, Lyle played on the Champions Tour[8] and the European Senior Tour.

Lyle won his first tournament in 19 years when he captured his first European Senior Tour title at the 2011 ISPS Handa Senior World Championship, held in China.[9]

He took up hickory golf, winning the World Hickory Open in his native Scotland in 2014 and 2016. Lyle referred to the 2016 victory as his "fourth major" to go along with the 2014 crown, as well as the 1988 Masters and 1985 Open titles. [10]

Amateur wins[edit]

Professional wins (32)[edit]

European Tour wins (18)[edit]

Major championships (2)
Other European Tour (16)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 3 Jun 1979 B.A./Avis Open −13 (66-71-66-68=271) 3 strokes England Howard Clark
2 8 Jul 1979 Scandinavian Enterprise Open −12 (73-69-65-69=276) 3 strokes Spain Seve Ballesteros
3 9 Sep 1979 European Open Championship −9 (71-67-72-65=275) 7 strokes South Africa Dale Hayes, England Peter Townsend
4 29 Jun 1980 Coral Welsh Classic −11 (72-69-67-69=277) 5 strokes England Martin Foster
5 10 May 1981 Paco Rabanne Open de France −14 (70-66-67-67=270) 4 strokes West Germany Bernhard Langer
6 7 Jun 1981 Lawrence Batley International −4 (70-70-69-71=280) 2 strokes England Nick Faldo
7 25 Jul 1982 Lawrence Batley International −15 (70-66-67-66=269) 2 strokes Spain Manuel Piñero
8 24 Apr 1983 Cepsa Madrid Open −3 (70-69-76-70=285) 2 strokes England Gordon J Brand
9 6 May 1984 Italian Open −11 (71-70-68-68=277) 4 strokes United States Bobby Clampett
10 7 Oct 1984 Lancome Trophy −10 (74-70-67-67=278) Playoff Spain Seve Ballesteros
11 21 Jul 1985 The Open Championship +2 (68-71-73-70=282) 1 stroke United States Payne Stewart
12 18 Aug 1985 Benson & Hedges International Open −14 (70-69-71-64=274) 1 stroke Wales Ian Woosnam
13 11 Oct 1987 German Masters −10 (73-69-70-66=278) Playoff West Germany Bernhard Langer
14 10 Apr 1988 Masters Tournament −7 (71-67-72-71=281) 1 stroke United States Mark Calcavecchia
15 5 Jun 1988 Dunhill British Masters −15 (66-68-68-71=273) 2 strokes England Nick Faldo, Zimbabwe Mark McNulty
16 13 Oct 1991 BMW International Open −20 (65-65-71-67=268) 3 strokes Zimbabwe Tony Johnstone
17 3 May 1992 Lancia Martini Italian Open −18 (66-71-65-68=270) 1 stroke Scotland Colin Montgomerie
18 1 Nov 1992 Volvo Masters +3 (72-70-72-73=287) Playoff Scotland Colin Montgomerie

European Tour playoff record (3–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 1983 Ebel Swiss Open-European Masters England Nick Faldo Lost to par on second extra hole
2 1984 Lancome Trophy Spain Seve Ballesteros Won with birdie on first extra hole
3 1985 Whyte & Mackay PGA Championship England Paul Way Lost to birdie on third extra hole
4 1985 Glasgow Open England Howard Clark Lost to birdie on second extra hole
5 1987 German Masters West Germany Bernhard Langer Won with par on second extra hole
6 1992 Volvo Masters Scotland Colin Montgomerie Won with par on first extra hole

PGA Tour wins (6)[edit]

Major championships (2)
Players Championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (3)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of victory Runner-up
1 21 Jul 1985 The Open Championship +2 (68-71-73-70=282) 1 stroke United States Payne Stewart
2 6 Apr 1986 Greater Greensboro Open −13 (68-64-73-70=275) 2 strokes United States Andy Bean
3 29 Mar 1987 Tournament Players Championship −14 (67-71-66-70=274) Playoff United States Jeff Sluman
4 31 Jan 1988 Phoenix Open −15 (68-68-68-65=269) Playoff United States Fred Couples
5 3 Apr 1988 KMart Greater Greensboro Open −17 (68-63-68-72=271) Playoff United States Ken Green
6 10 Apr 1988 Masters Tournament −7 (71-67-72-71=281) 1 stroke United States Mark Calcavecchia

PGA Tour playoff record (3–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1987 Tournament Players Championship United States Jeff Sluman Won with par on third extra hole
2 1988 Phoenix Open United States Fred Couples Won with bogey on third extra hole
3 1988 KMart Greater Greensboro Open United States Ken Green Won with birdie on first extra hole
4 1989 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic United States Paul Azinger, United States Steve Jones Jones won with birdie on first extra hole

Japan Golf Tour wins (1)[edit]

Other wins (8)[edit]

European Senior Tour wins (1)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 13 Mar 2011 ISPS Handa Senior World Championship −12 (68-66-70=204) 3 strokes Australia Peter Fowler

Major championships[edit]

Wins (2)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1985 The Open Championship 3 shot deficit +2 (68-71-73-70=282) 1 stroke United States Payne Stewart
1988 Masters Tournament 2 shot lead −7 (71-67-72-71=281) 1 stroke United States Mark Calcavecchia

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship CUT CUT CUT T19
PGA Championship
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament 48 T28 CUT T25 T11 T17 1 CUT
U.S. Open CUT CUT T45 T36 T25 CUT
The Open Championship T12 T14 T8 CUT T14 1 T30 T17 T7 T46
PGA Championship CUT
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament CUT CUT T37 T21 T38 CUT CUT T34 CUT T48
U.S. Open CUT T16 T51 T52
The Open Championship T16 WD T12 CUT 74 T79 T56 CUT T19 CUT
PGA Championship T16 CUT T56 T73 T39
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament CUT CUT CUT CUT T37 CUT CUT 43 45 T20
U.S. Open
The Open Championship CUT T69 T75 CUT 73 T32 CUT T65 WD CUT
PGA Championship
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Masters Tournament CUT CUT CUT T54 T44 CUT CUT CUT CUT
U.S. Open
The Open Championship CUT CUT CUT 84 CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT
PGA Championship
Tournament 2019
Masters Tournament CUT
PGA Championship
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half way cut (3rd round cut in 1974 and 1983 Open Championships)
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place.


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 1 0 0 1 1 6 38 17
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 4
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 2 10 6
The Open Championship 1 0 0 1 3 11 43 22
Totals 2 0 0 2 4 20 97 49
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 12 (1984 Open Championship – 1988 Open Championship)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (four times)

The Players Championship[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1987 Tournament Players Championship 2 shot deficit −14 (67-71-66-70=274) Playoff1 United States Jeff Sluman

1 Defeated Jeff Sluman in a sudden-death playoff: Lyle (5-3-4), Sluman (5-3-5).

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
The Players Championship CUT CUT 1 CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT T74 CUT CUT T70 CUT
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place.

Team appearances[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Week 15 1988 Ending 10 Apr 1988" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  2. ^ "69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking" (PDF). Official World Golf Ranking. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Sandy Lyle, Peter Alliss picked for Hall". ESPN. Associated Press. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  4. ^ Viner, Brian (28 March 2008). "Sandy Lyle: 'I don't know whether there's ever been a better shot in a major'". The Independent. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Lyle downcast over Cup decision". BBC News. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  6. ^ Donegan, Lawrence (12 July 2009). "Sandy Lyle accuses Colin Montgomerie of a 'form of cheating'". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Lyle's Montgomerie outburst condemned". Channel 4. 23 May 2011. Archived from the original on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  8. ^ "PGA Tour profile". PGA Tour. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  9. ^ Ballengee, Ryan (13 March 2011). "Sandy Lyle wins for first time in nearly two decades". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on 17 April 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  10. ^ "Sandy Lyle Adds to 'Major' Titles with Another World Hickory Open Victory". Society of Hickory Golfers. Retrieved 7 October 2018.

External links[edit]