April 10, 1988
SANDY LYLE was already an Open Champion, but on a sunny spring afternoon, he broke new ground for British golfers.
No one from these Isles had ever won on the hallowed turf of Augusta National. It was hard enough simply getting an invitation to play at The Masters.
Lyle had won the week before in America, so knew he was in good form.
He led after rounds two and three at Augusta, but was only tied for the lead heading to the final hole.
His tee shot ended up in a huge, cavernous bunker and it looked ominous. But from there, Sandy conjured up the shot of his life.
His seven-iron was perfect.
It pitched on the green and rolled down one of Augusta’s famous slopes to near the hole.
Sandy sank the putt to win and celebrated this special moment with a wee Scottish jig of delight.
That bunker shot has now become part of Masters folklore. Any player who ends up
in the same place thinks, ‘Can I do a Sandy Lyle?’
As is tradition, Lyle was able to choose the menu when he returned for the Champions Dinner the following year.
So what better than a Scottish favourite of haggis, neeps and tatties?
It’s certainly not been forgotten!
That was another special week as Sandy was there at the end to present Sir Nick Faldo with his Green Jacket in the Butler Cabin – a Scot and an Englishman together at America’s most famous club.