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.)

Quote:
“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

Note:
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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