Golf: Jack Nicklaus-conqueror Brian Barnes dies aged 74

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – Brian Barnes, a larger than life character who once beat Jack Nicklaus twice on the same day in the Ryder Cup, died on Monday (Sept 9) aged 74, the European Tour announced.

Barnes, who once famously marked his ball with a beer can, was born in England but represented Scotland internationally.

Though he won nine times on the European Tour, he will forever be remembered for taking down 18-times major champion Nicklaus twice in quick succession in Ryder Cup singles.

Barnes played in six consecutive Ryder Cups from 1969-79, with his crowning achievement coming in the 1975 event at Laurel Valley in Pennsylvania.

The Ryder Cup back then was not the fiercely-competitive affair it is today, because the US routinely dominated, but the then-Britain and Ireland team had their moments.

Barnes, in a 2016 interview with Golfing World, recalled a conversation with a smiling Nicklaus on the first tee before their second encounter.

"He shakes me by the hand and says 'well done Barney this morning but there ain't no way you are going to beat me this afternoon'."

Having won the opening encounter 4&2, Barnes triumphed again in the afternoon 2&1.

"It was an amazing moment for British golf when Brian won in the afternoon," Bernard Gallacher, a teammate of Barnes, recalled.

"The Americans couldn't believe it and they were all congratulating him saying they never thought anybody could beat Jack."

Nicklaus is the