Brian Barnes (golfer)

Brian William Barnes (3 June 1945 – 9 September 2019) was a professional golfer. He won 9 times on the European Tour between 1972 and 1981 and twice won the Senior British Open.

Brian Barnes
Personal information
Full nameBrian William Barnes
Born(1945-06-03)3 June 1945
Addington, Surrey, England
Died9 September 2019(2019-09-09) (aged 74)
West Sussex, England
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight238 lb (108 kg; 17.0 st)
Nationality Scotland
ResidenceStorrington, Sussex, England
Hilary Faulkner
m. 1968; died 2014)
Turned professional1964
Former tour(s)European Tour
European Seniors Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins23
Number of wins by tour
European Tour9
PGA Tour Champions1
European Senior Tour2
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentCUT: 1972, 1973
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenDNP
The Open Championship5th: 1972
Achievements and awards
European Seniors Tour
Order of Merit winner

Barnes played in 6 consecutive Ryder Cup matches from 1969 to 1979. He was noted for having beaten Jack Nicklaus twice in one day in singles match play, during the 1975 Ryder Cup on 21 September, winning 4&2 in the morning round and 2&1 in the afternoon session.

Early life and amateur careerEdit

Barnes was born in Addington,[1] Surrey, England, by Scottish parents, and represented England at international level. Barnes was educated at St.Dunstan's School, Burnham-on-Sea and Millfield School in Somerset.[2]

Barnes was taught golf by his father who was Secretary at Burnham and Berrow Golf Club. He won the British Youths Open Amateur Championship in 1964, having represented England in the youth international against Scotland that preceded the championship.[3] He turned professional soon afterwards.[4]

Professional careerEdit

Barnes became one of the "Butten boys", a group of young British professional golfers who were part of a training programme, funded by Ernest Butten, an entrepreneur and joint founder of PA Consulting Group. Starting in 1963, Butten had funded a residential golf school at Sundridge Park in Bromley, Kent. Max Faulkner was employed as the teaching professional.[5]

After turning professional Barnes continued to be considered an English golfer, representing England in the 1967 R.T.V. International Trophy. In 1971 he joined the Scottish PGA and subsequently played for Scotland in international competitions.[6][7]

Barnes won the Flame Lily Open in Rhodesia in March 1967 and won two British tournaments, the Agfa-Gevaert Tournament and the Coca-Cola Young Professionals' Championship, in 1969.[8][9][10] In 1970 he won the Wills Masters in Australia.[11]

Barnes was one of the leading European Tour golfers in the early years after being founded in 1972. He placed between 4th and 8th on the Order of Merit every year from 1972 to 1980. He won nine events on the Tour between 1972 and 1981. He also played regularly on the African Safari Circuit, winning the Zambia Open in 1979 and the Kenya Open and Zambia Open in 1981.[12][13]

Barnes completed all four rounds of the Open Championship 16 times in succession from 1967 to 1982 and had three top ten finishes, the best of them a tie for fifth in 1972. He played in the Masters Tournament in 1972 and 1973 but missed the cut on both occasions.

Barnes played for Great Britain & Ireland and finally Europe in six consecutive Ryder Cup matches from 1969 to 1979. He has a 10–14–1 win-loss-tie record including a 5–5–0 record in singles matches (there were two sets of singles matches in some of the Ryder Cups in which he participated). He had a successful partnership with Bernard Gallacher in foursomes and four-ball matches, the pair having 5 wins and a half in their 10 matches playing together. He is, however, best remembered for beating Jack Nicklaus twice in one day in 1975.

In 1995, Barnes became eligible to play in senior tournaments, and was very successful. He won the Senior British Open Championship in 1995 and became the first man to successfully defend the title in 1996. He topped the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit in 1995, and went on the play the Champions Tour in the late 1990s with moderate success. Arthritis hampered his career and forced him to leave tournament golf in 2000.

Barnes was responsible for one of the worst putting performances ever seen in a professional tournament. During the 1968 French Open, Barnes missed a short putt on the par-3 8th hole. Angry with the miss, he then tried to rake the ball into the cup, but missed. He then hit the ball back and forth while it was still moving. After all of the missed putts and penalty strokes were counted, Barnes had scored a 15 for the hole.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

Barnes married Hilary Faulkner, the daughter of Max Faulkner, in 1968 and they had two children, Didi and Guy. Hilary died in 2014. After having heavy alcohol drinking habits during his life and golf career, in early 1993, he checked himself in for a successful drying-out period, remained sober and continued his golf career, two years later with great success in senior tournaments.[15][16] Barnes died on 9 September 2019 of cancer at the age of 74, he was with his son and daughter at home.[17][18]

Amateur winsEdit

Professional wins (23)Edit

European Tour wins (9)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 10 Jun 1972 Martini International −7 (72-69-70-66=277) 1 stroke   Jack Newton
2 11 Aug 1974 Dutch Open −5 (71-69-71=211) 5 strokes   Peter Oosterhuis,   Simon Owen,
  Glenn Ralph
3 4 May 1975 French Open −7 (68-69-71-73=281) 2 strokes   Neil Coles,   Eamonn Darcy,
  Dale Hayes,   John O'Leary
4 5 Sep 1976 Sun Alliance Match Play Championship 4 & 3   Craig Defoy
5 22 Apr 1978 Spanish Open −12 (67-75-70-64=276) 2 strokes   Howard Clark
6 18 Jun 1978 Greater Manchester Open −5 (69-71-69-66=275) Playoff   Bob Charles,   Denis Durnian,
  Nick Job
7 15 Apr 1979 Portuguese Open −5 (69-75-71-72=287) 2 strokes   Francisco Abreu
8 6 May 1979 Italian Open −7 (73-70-71-67=281) Playoff   Dale Hayes
9 13 Sep 1981 Haig Whisky TPC −8 (73-70-71-62=276) Playoff   Brian Waites

European Tour playoff record (3–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1977 Dunlop Masters   Guy Hunt Lost to par on third extra hole
2 1977 Italian Open   Ángel Gallardo Lost to birdie on fourth extra hole
3 1978 Greater Manchester Open   Bob Charles,   Denis Durnian,
  Nick Job
Won with birdie on first extra hole
4 1979 Italian Open   Dale Hayes Won with birdie on fourth extra hole
5 1981 Haig Whisky TPC   Brian Waites Won with par on fourth extra hole

Australasian wins (1)Edit

Other wins (10)Edit

Senior PGA Tour wins (1)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 21 Jun 1998 AT&T Canada Senior Open Championship −12 (68-68-68=204) 2 strokes   Tom Jenkins,   Dana Quigley,
  Bruce Summerhays

European Senior Tour wins (2)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 30 Jul 1995 Senior British Open −7 (67-67-77-70=281) Playoff   Bob Murphy
2 28 Jul 1996 Senior British Open −11 (72-65-66-74=277) 3 strokes   Bob Charles,   David Oakley

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament
The Open Championship CUT CUT T25 T6 T40
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament CUT CUT
The Open Championship T32 64 5 T10 T44 T23 14 T36 T34 T50
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament
The Open Championship T58 T14 T35 CUT
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
Masters Tournament
The Open Championship CUT T60

Note: Barnes only played in the Masters Tournament and The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Team appearancesEdit


  1. ^ Mason, Peter (12 September 2019). "Brian Barnes obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Distinguished Old Millfieldians". Old Millfieldian Society. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Barnes Youth's New Champion". The Glasgow Herald. 8 August 1964. p. 5.
  4. ^ "Brian Barnes". Sporting Heroes. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  5. ^ "European Tour hosts Butten Boys' 50th Reunion". PGA European Tour. 20 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Barnes applies to Scots P.G.A." The Glasgow Herald. 14 May 1971. p. 8.
  7. ^ "Scots bid for new title". The Glasgow Herald. 21 October 1971. p. 6.
  8. ^ "Barnes wins flame lily event". The Glasgow Herald. 6 March 1967. p. 4.
  9. ^ "Barnes advances towards Ryder Cup place". The Glasgow Herald. 25 May 1969. p. 4.
  10. ^ "Gallacher beaten at extra hole". The Glasgow Herald. 1 September 1969. p. 4.
  11. ^ "Wills Masters". The Canberra Times. 45 (12, 725). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 19 October 1970. p. 12. Retrieved 24 April 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ "Scots first and second in Zambia". The Glasgow Herald. 3 April 1979. p. 23.
  13. ^ "Zambia title for Barnes". The Glasgow Herald. 30 March 1981. p. 22.
  14. ^ Zullo, Allan, "Astonishing but True Golf Facts", Andrew McMeels Publishing, Forest Fairview, North Carolina, 2001.
  15. ^ Brian Barnes obituary, Maverick golfer celebrated for beating Jack Nicklaus twice in one day by Peter Mason,The Guardian, 12 September 2019
  17. ^ Rodger, Nick (10 September 2019). "Colourful Scottish golfer Brian Barnes dies at 74". The Herald.
  18. ^ "Brian Barnes: Former Ryder Cup player dies aged 74". BBC Sport. 10 September 2019.

External linksEdit