Born: February 9, 1958
Height: 6 ft
Birthplace: Shrewsbury, England
Turned Pro: 1977
Sandy Lyle’s father moved from his native Scotland to England to become the club professional at Hawkstone Park golf course. The Lyle home was less than 50 yards from the 18th green and pro shop. His father made smaller clubs for Lyle who started playing at the age of 3.
Lyle got his first taste of big time professional golf as a 16-year old amateur, playing in his first Open Championship. He represented England in the Walker Cup in 1975 and 1977.
At the end of 1977, Lyle won the European Tour qualifying school tournament. In 1978, Lyle captured the Sir Henry Cotton Award, given to the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year.
In 1979, Lyle won his first European Tour title. He would go on to win 18 European Tour events during his professional career.
In 1985, Lyle won his first Major at the Open Championship. The event was hosted by Royal St. George’s Golf Club. After three rounds, Lyle was three strokes behind David Graham and Bernhard Langer. A final round 70 allowed Lyle to prevail by a single stroke over a hard-charging Payne Stewart and two shots over Graham and Langer who both struggled to final round 75’s.
Three years later, Lyle won the Green Jacket with one of the most famous shots in Masters’ history. Lyle dumped his tee shot on the par 3 12th hole into Ray’s Creek and made double bogey. He rallied with a birdie on the 16th hole. Tied for the lead, he hit his tee shot on the 18th hole into a fairway bunker. Lyle perfectly picked a 7-iron out of the bunker and hit his approach to six feet. Lyle buried the putt and became the first Briton to win the Masters.
Lyle was a regular member of the resurgent European Ryder Cup squads during the 1980’s. He now plays on both the Champions Tour and the European Seniors Tour.