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Brian Barnes dead: Ryder Cup hero who famously defeated Jack Nicklaus twice dies aged 74

Brian Barnes dead: Ryder Cup hero who famously defeated Jack Nicklaus twice dies aged 74


Brian Barnes, who famously beat Jack Nicklaus twice in one day during the 1975 Ryder Cup, has died at the age of 74.

Barnes, who won the Senior British Open in 1995 before defending his title the following year, died from cancer on Monday afternoon following a short illness.

His brother-in-law, Guy Faulkner, told the Press Association: “It was very sudden. I played a round of golf with him in May and he played 18 holes with no problem at all.”

Barnes, born in Addington, Surrey, represented England at international level until 1971 when he joined the Scottish PGA.


He won nine times on the European Tour and also recorded three top-10 finishes at The Open.

But the defining moment of his playing career came in the 1975 Ryder Cup at Laurel Valley when he beat reigning Masters and US PGA champion Jack Nicklaus 4&2 in the morning singles.

Nicklaus was keen for a rematch and asked US captain Arnold Palmer to make it happen that afternoon.

On the first tee the American legendary confidently told his opponent: “There ain’t no way you’re going to beat me again”.

However, Barnes duly emerged victorious once more, this time winning 2&1 – although the US would ultimately win the trophy, claiming a 21-11 victory over GB and Ireland.

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Nevertheless, those victories brought Barnes widespread acclaim, while he also claimed nine European Tour wins.

Barnes played in six successive Ryder Cups, from 1969 to 1979, and enjoyed a successful partnership with Bernard Gallacher in foursomes and fourball.

Barnes was viewed as one of the sport’s great entertainers during his career, and would often mark his ball with a can of beer.

In 1995 he topped the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit and played the Champions Tour in the US in the late 1990s.

However, the onset of arthritis meant that he had to bring his playing days to a premature end in 2000.



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