‘An absolute character’: Jack Nicklaus on former Ryder Cup star Brian Barnes

Jack Nicklaus has used social media to memorialise English golfer Brian Barnes, who died from cancer on Monday, aged 74.

Barnes famously beat Nicklaus twice in one day in the 1975 Ryder Cup.

Nicklaus tweeted that he and his wife Barbara “learned from Brian Barnes’s daughter, Didi, that her father and our friend Brian had lost his battle with cancer and passed.

“Her words, beautiful and comforting, said if she was to lose her father, it was as close to a ‘model passing’ as any loving family member could want.”

Nicklaus said that Barnes was known for his personality. “Surrounded by family and friend, one of golf’s very talented and  most colourful left us at 74.

“‘Barnesy’ was an absolute character. As much entertainer as golfer. Wasn’t uncommon to see him wear long, dark socks with shorts, tee off with pipe in his mouth and mark his ball with a can!”

Nicklaus also recalled the day he lost twice to Barnes.

“To be honest, too much has been made of Barnesy beating me twice on Sunday at the 1975 Ryder Cup.

“Why? Because Brian Barnes was a tough competitor! Played in six straight Ryder Cups, won 20 times as a pro and enjoyed success on both sides of the pond – before & after he turned 50!”

Nicklaus said Barnes would hit the ball “long and straight” off the tee and was “quick of wit”.

“Yes, we will miss Barnesy.

“Barbara and I want to thank Didi and family for letting us know of this great loss – for the game and to us, personally – as we send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all of them.”

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