Walker Cup Memories: Sandy Lyle

World Golf Hall of Fame member Sandy Lyle participated in the 1977 Walker Cup Match.  

Sandy Lyle, of Scotland, participated in the 1977 Walker Cup Match for Great Britain and Ireland. The 1977 team lost to the USA, 16-8, at Shinnecock Hills, which is adjacent to this year’s site at National Golf Links of America. Lyle, who went on to claim the 1988 Masters, went 0-3-0 in the competition. A six-time PGA Tour winner and 16-time winner on the European Tour, Lyle was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012.

I'm going to test your memory a bit. What do you remember about playing in the Walker Cup?

It was a wonderful honor and it meant quite a lot to me, but I don't necessarily have the greatest memories of it. I don't think we were as prepared for it as we should have been.

Why do you say that?

Well, the one thing that stands out that I remember was that I was paired with Peter McEvoy, one of our top players, in the first [foursomes] match and we didn't get all our facts right as far as the pairings and the Rules and such. We hadn't even discussed what ball we'd use. I used the larger American-sized ball and he was using the English 1.62[-size ball]. We didn't find that out until we were on the first tee. That's the sort of silly things I remember. We eventually went his way and used the small ball because he had always played with it and I at least had some experience with it before going to the big ball. Anyway, we lost pretty handily in that match as it turned out.

Did you enjoy the experience overall?

Oh, sure. But I've deleted most thoughts of it because I don't recall us doing very well. It was an honor and we enjoyed the travel and the golf and playing some really great courses, but it was frustrating all the same because of the outcome. I much more enjoyed how our [European] Ryder Cup teams fared.

- Dave Shedloski