Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Lyle's debut in PGA Seniors Championship

Crowd favourite and two-time Major champion Sandy Lyle will make his debut in the De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship at Slaley Hall later this month.
The Scot, who famously won the Open Championship at Royal St George’s in 1985 before claiming the Green Jacket at the US Masters three years later, has confirmed his place in the £250,000 event.
He will be up against the cream of European seniors’ golf, including his old rival Ian Woosnam.
The duo were instrumental figures in the rise of European glf on the worldwide stage during the 1980s and formed the continent’s ‘Big Five’ alongside Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Sir Nick Faldo.
Lyle, 52, who grew up in Shropshire where his Scots-born father was head PGA professional at Hawkstone Park, will be joined by Barry Lane, another stalwart of the European circuit.
Lane, who turns 50 three days before the tournament and played in the 1993 Ryder Cup, will be making his debut as a senior.
Lyle, meanwhile, remains one of golf’s most popular players due in part to his affable nature and cool temperament but also to his brilliant ball-striking, which helped him stay in the world’s top 10 for 167 weeks between 1986 and 1989.
In 1985 he became the first British winner of the Open Championship since Tony Jacklin and later that year was a member of Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup team at The Belfry.
But for many golf fans he is best-known for his exploits at Augusta in 1988 where he became the first Briton to win the US Masters, sealed in superb style with a brilliant fairway bunker shot and resulting birdie on the 18th.
Other achievements include winning the World Match Play Championship and he topped the European Tour's Order of Merit in 1979, 1980 and 1985, finishing in the top 10 between 1979 and 1992.
All time Senior Tour money winner Carl Mason will be defending the title in a strong field that includes Sam Torrance, Lyle’s compatriot who is targeting a third PGA Seniors crown.
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones said: “It’s wonderful news to confirm that Sandy Lyle will be making his debut in the PGA Seniors Championship.
“Sandy is without doubt one of the most talented players we’ve ever had in European golf as evidenced by his two Major titles.
“I still remember vividly his bunker shot on the 18th at Augusta which helped him win the US Masters and I look forward to seeing him tackle the challenge of the Hunting Course at Slaley Hall.”
Daniel Hodson, De Vere Director of Golf & Leisure, added: “The addition of Sandy Lyle to the field for this year’s PGA Seniors Championship is great news, and we look forward to welcoming him to Slaley Hall later this month.
Sandy has played some fantastic golf over the years and I am sure he will be one of the main challengers for the prestigious title over the final rounds.
“The addition of a double Major champion, alongside Ryder Cup legends Ian Woosnam, Sam Torrance and Costantino Rocca as well as defending champion Carl Mason, means Sandy will be in very good company!
“The 2010 Championship is building towards being one of the strongest fields we’ve ever had in the north east and I'm sure we’ll have a very competitive and entertaining tournament.”
Golf fans can see Lyle tee up with a free download ticket available at www.devere.co.uk/pga-seniors

+Image of Sandy Lyle by courtesy of Getty Images.



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