We were sad to hear the news of the passing of professional golfer Lyndsay Stephen after succumbing to cancer this week.
I grew up watching him play many South Australian Open’s (winning in 1981) and was particularly chuffed when he took part in a pro-am at my home club when I was a junior.
Mike Clayton has penned a beautiful tribute to “Lynds” who sounds like he was everybody’s mate and had to deal with some rough times in his life including just missing out on playing in The Open Championship.
But there was one torment none of us could ever help Lynds with. He was desperate, as we all were, every year, to play in The Open. Finchy famously won it, Harwood, Grady and Davis played well enough to finish second at different times, but Lynds never got to play the game’s oldest championship.
It really was a pity because he was easily a good enough player, but the cards just fell where they did.
One particularly torturous year was 1986. The top five non-exempt players in the previous week’s tournament at Moortown made it straight into Turnberry – the famous Greg Norman Open.
Lynds jumped out to an early 65-67 lead on the famous Alister MacKenzie course, but a 76 on Saturday did him no favours and a 70 on the final day tied him for ninth and a place in a four-man playoff for one spot.
He missed it, drove all the way to Scotland, teed up in the 36-hole qualifier and missed that by a shot. There’s not much you can say to a mate in that situation, but you can bet it was a long drive back to London.
Vale Lyndsay Stephen.