Wednesday, December 20

Matchplay Secrets: Sandy Lyle

Today’s matchplay installment features Sandy Lyle, who played on the European Ryder Cup Team from 1979-1987 and appeared in five World Match Play finals.

Memorable matchplay victory:
Lyle came back from six down after 18 to defeat Nick Faldo 2 and 1 in the first round of the World Match Play in 1982. (Lyle won the event in 1988, again beating Faldo.)

“I couldn’t see a way back because he (Faldo) was one of the big names and playing well, but it turned out he was vulnerable. It just shows that even a player like Faldo can lose their momentum and get into a kamikaze dive, and once that happens it’s difficult to pull out.”

Lyle’s matchplay pointers:
• Go out nice and steady and do not take too many risks early on to save losing holes to par
• Assess your opponent to see if he’s nervous or not playing quite as well, and adjust strategy accordingly
• Get a few up and be on your way -- but don’t let cracks develop
• If you get three or four down, stick at it and look ahead to holes where you can use your strengths

Down six holes after 18, Lyle used the lunchtime break to change putters and ultimately change the momentum in his 1982 World Match Play victory over Faldo.

Still to come:
Thursday: Gary Player (five-time World Match Play Champion)
Friday: Jim Gallagher (beat Seve Ballesteros in Ryder Cup singles as rookie)

The Armchair Golfer

(Source: BBC Golf)

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