Countdown to the Celtic Manor: 18 Days until 38th Ryder Cup

PGA of America


Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | 3:52 p.m.

In just two weeks, the 38th Ryder Cup makes its first appearance in Wales at the Celtic Manor Resort's Twenty Ten Course. PGA NEWS looks back at the 1975 Ryder Cup when England's Brian Barnes defeated Jack Nicklause twice on the final day.

1975 - The Golden Bear meets his match
Laurel Valley Golf Club — Ligonier, Pa.

Jack Nicklaus arrived at Laurel Valley Golf Club playing what he called "the best golf of my life." Nicklaus had won his fifth Masters in April, his fourth PGA Championship in August and the World Open at Pinehurst, N.C. He was a natural leader for a U.S. Team that would retain possession of the Ryder Cup trophy for a ninth consecutive time.

The Americans won, 21-11, including an 11-5 singles margin on the third day. The victory margin would have been larger had England's Brian Barnes not stepped up and humbled Nicklaus. Barnes defeated Nicklaus not once, but twice in singles competition.

"I know how bloody mad he was, but he never showed it and congratulated me warmly," said Barnes of the morning 4 and 2 triumph over Nicklaus.

"We talked fishing a lot of the way around, and you know, Jack was responsible for re-matching us again in the afternoon. America had won the Ryder Cup by then and it was he who suggested to Arnold Palmer, their Captain, that the order of play should be fiddled with so that we met again. It gave the crowd something to watch and I remember Jack saying to me on the first tee: ‘You've beaten me once, but there ain't no way you're going to beat me again.' And then he started — birdie, birdie, and I didn't think I would. But I did."

Barnes, with a pipe clenched firmly in his teeth, stormed back with birdies on the 11th and 12th holes and held on for a 2 and 1 victory. Wherever he would go in the ensuing years, Barnes said his two victories over Nicklaus would always come up in conversation.

Barnes competed until 2000, when arthritis forced him to give up his competitive career.