Losing A Family Member Like Barry Lane – The Whole Tour Mourns

… Yas Links, Abu Dhabi

Whether you’re a player, caddie, official or in my case, a journalist, being regularly out on tour is much akin to being among family members.

Most everyone just gets on so well though I do find at the start of each new season it is always struggle to remember the names of the countless number of ‘cousins’ as most refer to each other.

And this family theme was so evident this morning ahead of the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship when I bumped into Dane Soren Kjeldsen while w.aiting to catch a shuttle bus from the official hotel for the short drive to Yas Links.

I’ve known Soren for over 20-years.  I was present at Gleneagles when he captured the first of four European Tour victories.  Clicking on Soren’s Wikipedia page, I looked at his wins and knew I was present at all four of his victories, including his stunning play-off success in capturing the 2015 Irish Open at Royal County Down and with tournament host Rory McIlroy, who had missed the cut, presenting the champion Dane with the trophy.

Seeing us this morning waiting to head to the course, Soren had the driver wait while he came over to chat with us.

This year is Soren’s 26th season on the DP World Tour and he spoke that he can’t believe it’s been a quarter century since first coming onto the Tour.  We asked how were his two boys, who I recall enjoyed so much sharing the caddying duties for their father during a practice round a few years ago at the WGC – Dell Match-Play in Texas.

Meeting-up with Soren this morning was very timely in my desire to write a ‘player reaction’ tribute piece to the late Barry Lane, who passed away on the last day of 2022.

It is the reason why players, caddies, officials and this journalist are this week sadly wearing black ribbons on caps and/or collars.

For those out working the DP World Tour, the secondary Challenge Tour and the Legends Tour it is like being with family and it is forever sad when a member of the family, and also someone so well-liked as Lane is no longer with us.

It is something they do so well on the European Tour, and in very stark contrast to the ‘it’s everyman for himself’ PGA Tour.

And I have not done this before in my some 30-years working the DP World Tour but I spoke privately with a handful of players wearing black ribbons who would have also been on the main tour when Barry was also competing.

LUKE DONALD

 

Luke Donald wearing a black ribbon in honouring the memory of Barry Lane

I didn’t know Barry all that well but then our paths did cross he was always very friendly to me when I was around him.

He was a great guy and I know there was a huge out-pouring along with so many condolences of support.  It’s very sad and it’s nice to honour his memory this week wearing a black ribbon.

We are a family out and while we come out here to tournaments looking to beat each other, when it comes to the close of play on Sunday’s we’re still all friends.

Ultimately, we are a travelling family and we do support each other.

FRANCESCO MOLINARI

Francesco Molinari remembering Barry Lane

When I first came on tour, Barry was in the later stages of his own career on the European Tour but I remember we played a few times together.

My memories of Barry is that he was a really nice, genuine person, and for someone like me who was still finding his way on the Tour he was always very engaging and helpful.

His passing is a sad, very sad story.

We all say that competing, and more so on this side of ‘The Pond’ is like being among members of your family.

HENRIK STENSON

Henrik Stenson recalls Barry Lane being so helpful and engaging when the Swede first came on tour.

It was very sad news learning of Barry’s passing.  I was not aware he was ill or he was sick.  I had received a text message from a friend in England who shared the news.

It must have come all too quickly for him.

Barry was a very nice guy and one of the players who was always friendly and engaging when I came out here in 2001, struggling to find my stride.

I can’t remember how many years he continued to play on the main tour when I was also on the tour but I do recall when he played his last full season out here he hadn’t changed from the day I first shook his hand.

Everyone gets affected by such sad news and it will have touched many people.  It is a fine show of respect we are all wearing black ribbons this week.

And SKY Sports Tim Barter among those who was saddened in learning of Barry Lane’s passing and proudly wearing a black ribbon in his honour

RIP Barry.

 



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