Barry Lane (1960 - 2022)

Barry Lane (1960 - 2022)


The PGA is saddened to report that Barry Lane, an Honorary Member who represented Europe in the 1993 Ryder Cup and won the PGA Assistants’ Championship ten years earlier, has passed away after a short illness.

Barry, who was 62, was one of an increasingly rare band of successful European Tour players who had paid their dues working in a pro shop and qualifying as a PGA Professional before excelling on the big stage.

In his case, having fallen in love with the game in his early teens and playing whenever he could, Barry was taken on as an assistant pro to Roger Mace at Downshire Golf Club, Wokingham, Berkshire.

On one occasion, Mace, unable to play in an event sent his protégé in his place. The tournament organisers, however, initially deemed the substitute was not good enough to compete but relented when they were short of numbers.

Barry responded by winning the tournament at a canter, thus serving notice of a glittering career that would see him play in 683 European Tour events, a figure exceeded only by Sam Torrance, Miguel Ángel Jiménez and David Howell, and win five of them.

His quintet of victories recorded between 1988 and 2004, included the Scottish Open at Gleneagles when he finished three shots clear of Sandy Lyle and José Rivero, as well as the British, European and German Masters.   

Barry had qualified for the Tour in 1982 and joined an impressive list of predecessors that included Tony Jacklin, Peter Alliss, Harry Weetman and Dai Rees, by winning the PGA Assistants’ Championship at Coombe Hill the following year.

A lack of sponsorship confined him to playing in UK events and he lost his card in 1984. Then, having regained it two years later and with a sponsor on board, Barry competed on the Tour for 26 years.

His peak years came in the early to mid-90s when he finished in the European Tour’s Order of Merit top 10 on three occasions. The best, a fifth place in 1992, earned him a place in Europe’s Ryder Cup team to take on the USA at The Belfry the following autumn.

He was one of four rookies in the European team that had a strong PGA connection: Bernard Gallacher, head pro at Wentworth for 25 years, captained the side, and fellow PGA pro Peter Baker was another debutant.

However, despite the inclusion of major champions Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer and Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe lost 13-15.

For Barry, who lost all three of his matches, it was a chastening experience.

“That whole week, you can’t put your finger on why it is, but it’s intense,” he reflected. “Even in the evenings it doesn’t let up.” 

Barry followed up by winning the Open de Baleares in Majorca in 1994 and then, 12 months later, his most lucrative tournament, the $1m World Championship of Golf matchplay tournament in the US.

 Age began to take its toll as he reached his forties but he foiled Father Time by winning his final European Tour event, the 2004 British Masters at the Forest of Arden.  

Having qualified for the European Seniors Tour when he turned 50 in 2010, Barry won the Scottish Seniors Open in his first season. Seven more victories on the Senior circuit followed, including the 2017 Willow Senior Golf Classic at Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire, in which he posted what is still the lowest ever round on the Tour, a 12-under par 60 that featured a dozen birdies and six pars.  

The eighth and final triumph came in the MCB Tour Championship in Madagascar in 2019, and his last tournament before ill health intervened was last August at the PGA Seniors Championship in Formby, Merseyside.

Nevertheless, he defied his illness last month when he was in Mauritius for the season-ending MCB Tour Championship, where he presented the newly renamed Barry Lane Rookie of the Year trophy to Adilson Da Silva of Brazil.

“The renaming of the Legends Tour’s Rookie of the Year Trophy in his honour is a fitting tribute, and I’m delighted he had the opportunity to present it in December,” said Keith Pelley, the European Tour chief executive officer.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of his passing. 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.”

Barry, however, never forgot his roots or what he described as his good fortune in making a living from the game he loved and seeing the world.

“There’s plenty of logistical hassle, the down time is sometimes tricky to fill, and it can just be bloody hard work sometimes,” he reflected. “But it’s what I’ve always done, seeing the world, playing golf. What a wonderful way to live a life.”  

Barry is survived by his wife Camilla, and children from his first marriage, Elliot, Emma and Benjamin. The PGA extends heartfelt condolences to them, Barry’s other family members and legion of friends on their loss.










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