Jack Nicklaus has led the tributes to Brian Barnes and insisted that”a lot” was made of the Scot beating him in one day in the 1975 Ryder Cup.
Barnes, who passed away after a struggle with cancer on Tuesday at age 74, obtained 23 tournaments and remains the only player to defend winning back-to-back at Royal Portrush in 1995 and 1996, the Old Open title.
But the Scot is best known for his two Ryder Cup singles strikes Nicklaus at Laurel Valley in 1975, after a 4 up &2 triumph in the morning with a 2&one triumph at the afternoon over the Golden Bear, who had been reigning Masters and PGA champion at that moment.
However, Nicklaus described Barnes as a”tough competitor” and hinted that the two wins amid a heavy defeat for Europe weren’t any real surprise, as he paid a glowing tribute to social networking.
The 18-time major champion wrote:”Barbara and that I learned by Brian Barnes’ daughter, Didi, that her father & our buddy Brian’d lost his battle with cancer passed. Her voice, amazing & comforting, said if she was to reduce her father, it was as close to a”model death” as any loving family could want.
“‘Barnesy’ was a complete personality. Much entertainer as golfer. Wasn’t unusual to watch him wear dark socks with shorts, tee with pipe into his mouth & indicate his ball!
“To be frank, a lot of has been produced of Barnesy beating me on Sunday at the 1975 Ryder Cup. Why? Because Brian Barnes was a challenging competition! Founded in six Ryder Cups, enjoyed success on either side of the pond-before & after he turned 50 and won 20 times as a pro!
“Barnesy was straight & long off the teeand, needless to say, quick of wit. Yes, we will overlook Barnesy! Barbara and I wish to thank Didi and family for letting us know of the excellent loss – for the game and to uspersonally – because we deliver our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all of them.”
Gary Player included:”My sincere condolences to the family members and friends of irrepressible Scotsman Brian Barnes. He had a excellent career such as back to Senior Open Championships. You’ll be overlooked. RIP.”
Lee Westwood was among several professionals to place tributes, including:”Back in 1994, my 1st year on tour I was sat at a hotel bar when I got asked to play with at the Perrier Four-ball after that year. It was Brian Barnes.
“I immediately jumped at the chance. We didn’t do quite nicely (missed the cut) but it had been one of the most fun weeks I have ever had on tour. A golfer and story teller and companion. RIP Brian.”