Lyle likely stepping down after 101 Majors & over 1,000 tournaments worldwide

Bernie McGuire

Sandy Lyle (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Next week’s Masters will be Sandy Lyle’s 101st Major Championship appearance and it could very well be his last.

The quietly-spoken Lyle is standing down from competition after 46-years of being a professional golfer, with the Scot announcing this following the close of Sunday’s last place finish in the Champions Tour Galleri Classic at Mission Hills in California.

“This is the last one,” said the now 65-year-old Scot. “I’ve been travelling for 50-odd years now and the Champions Tour is a travelling circuit like all the other tours and you get to know the guys you play with and compete with.


“Yeah, you’ll miss them to a certain amount, but you’ll still see a lot of them on television. I mean, television’s exposed golf so much in the last 25 years, it’s incredible.

“I can sit in my house in Scotland and watch virtually every detail, who’s gone where, done what etc. And then in the majors there’s even more information through. So it makes it exciting.”

Lyle made his European Tour debut two years after the founding of the Tour at the 1974 Open Championship and since then he’s teed-up in 100 Major Championships, 516 European Tour events, 295 PGA Tour events, 43 Legends Tour events and now 189 Champions Tour tournaments.

That’s 1,043 tournaments, not including competing in Asia, Africa, South America and Australia.

After being a member of the 1977 GB&I Walker Cup side, Lyle turned pro and two years later won his first of 18 European Tour victories in capturing the B.A./Avis Open on the island of Jersey.

Lyle won his first of two majors at the 1985 Open Championship at Royal St. Georges and the 52nd hosting of the Masters at Augusta in 1988.

He played in five European Ryder Cup sides from 1979 to 1987, including being on the winning side in 1985 and ’87.

Lyle also proudly represented Scotland in three World Cups, collecting individual honours in 1980.

He will next week drive down Magnolia Lane in the week of a Masters for the 42nd time in his career and now, by all accounts, it could be his last Masters with the golf clubs in the boot.

Lyle will not be lost to Augusta as he can play the Georgia golfing gem anytime he likes. There’s also the annual Champion Dinners while the day will come when the proud Scot will be asked to become a ceremonial starter.

He was asked on Sunday if he thinks he will be missed.

“You never know,” he said smiling. “I could come out to Jacksonville, which was my home for 25 years and where we can rent a place or we can stay with friends.

“So I am sure the winters of Scotland will turn your mind a little bit and help you say ‘let’s get out of here for a month at least’.”

If there is one regret in Lyle’s career, and there surely cannot be many, it’s that he never captained a European Ryder Cup team.

Nonetheless, for this Aussie-born journalist, living in Scotland and reporting on Scottish Golf since the early 1990s, Sandy was one of the nicest players to interview. He was always giving of his time, never a cuss word and always provided good copy. A journalist’s dream golfer.

Congratulations Sandy. You’ve enjoyed a wonderful career. You’ve been and still are a credit to Scottish Golf, to the now-named DP World Tour and to the ancient game the world over.

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