Jack Nicklaus has led the tributes to Brian Barnes and insisted that”a lot” was created of the Scot beating him in one day in the 1975 Ryder Cup.
Barnes, who passed away on Tuesday after a struggle with cancer, remains the only player to defend the Open title, winning back at Royal Portrush in 1995 and 1996 and obtained 23 championships as a professional.
However, the Scot is famous for both Ryder Cup singles strikes Nicklaus in Laurel Valley in 1975, following up a 4&2 victory in the afternoon with a 2&1 triumph in the day over the Golden Bear, that had been reigning Masters and PGA champion at the time.
However, Nicklaus described Barnes as a”tough competitor” and hinted that the 2 wins amid a heavy defeat for Europe were no surprise, because he’d paid a glowing tribute on social media.
The 18-time big winner wrote:”Barbara & I heard from Brian Barnes’ daughter, Didi, her father & our buddy Brian had lost his battle with cancer passed. Her voice, amazing & comforting, stated if she was to reduce her father, it was as close to a”model passing” as any loving family could desire.
“‘Barnesy’ has been a complete personality. As much entertainer as golfer. Was not uncommon to watch him put long socks with shorts, tee with pipe into his mouth & mark his ball!
“To be truthful, a lot of has been created from Barnesy beating me two on Sunday in the 1975 Ryder Cup. Why? Because Brian Barnes was a competitor! Played in six Ryder Cups that were straight, enjoyed success on each side of this pond-before & after he turned 50 and won 20 days as an expert!
“Barnesy was long & straight off the tee, and, needless to say, quick of wit. Yes, we’ll miss Barnesy! Barbara and I want to thank Didi and family for letting us know of this terrific loss – for the match and also to us, personally – as we send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all of them.”
Gary Player included:”My sincere condolences to the loved ones and friends of irrepressible Scotsman Brian Barnes. He had a fantastic expert career including back to Old Open Championships. You will be missed. RIP.”
Lee Westwood was one of several specialists to place tributes, including:”In 1994, my 1st year on tour that I was sat at a hotel bar once I got asked to play at the Perrier Four-ball after that year. It was Brian Barnes.
“I immediately jumped at the opportunity. We did not do quite well (missed the cut) but it had been one of the most fun weeks I’ve ever had out on tour. A brilliant golfer and excellent story teller and companion. RIP Brian.”
Read more here: