Two-time Major winner and one of Scotland’s greatest golfers of all time, Sandy Lyle, is the recipient of the 2019 PGA Recognition Award for his outstanding contribution to golf. The Shrewsbury born Alexander Walter Barr Lyle picked up the accolade as guest of honor during the PGA’s annual fundraising lunch in Scotland in December.
The 61-year-old follows in the footsteps of some of golf’s greatest names to have been recipients of the award including Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and current Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington.
Sandy turned professional in 1977 and was one of the key players responsible for the resurgence of European Golf in the 1980s.
He went on to claim no fewer than 18 European Tour titles and won his first Major at the 1985 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Club, becoming the first British player to lift the Claret Jug since Tony Jacklin in 1969. Three years later, Lyle put his name in the history books by becoming the first British player to win the Masters in 1988, one year after garnering a win at the Tournament Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Lyle was instrumental in two European Ryder Cup victories, including Europe’s first win on American soil at Muirfield Village, Ohio in 1987. In total Sandy played in five Ryder Cups and was vice-captain to Ian Woosnan when Europe recorded an emphatic victory over the United States at the K Club in Ireland in 2006. Sandy likes to tell everyone he won his other major at the 2016 World Hickory Open Championship at Panmure in Carnoustie, Scotland which he competes in using hickory clubs.
“This award is for my achievements over the years and I’ll hopefully be ready to go for more awards in years to come,” said Lyle.
“This is a nice one to start with and it is nice to be recognized when I am still around and kicking.” Lyle was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine in May of 2012.
“I still have my dad’s old PGA badge that used to go on the front bumper of the car next to the AA badge. When my dad was a PGA man, that was the only thing that was around as the PGA Tour hadn’t started. Once you joined the PGA you were in the syndicate of what was going on in golf.”
The PGA luncheon is an important fundraiser for the European PGA’s Benevolent Fund which helps members who have fallen on hard times.