Sharjah Senior Golf Masters

Plugging away in a slightly slower Lane

By Kent Gray
With nearly 58 years on the clock and a dodgy back reminding him of that recently, Barry Lane is not getting any younger. But don’t think for a minute that the former Ryder Cupper has lost any of his old competitive edge.

Lane goes in search of his sixth Staysure Tour title when the circuit formerly known as European Senior Tour makes its 2018 bow at the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters on Thursday. It will be English pro’s ninth seniors campaign and he’s still tinkering away, trying to be the best he can be to add to a CV that included five premier European Tour wins and the 1995 Anderson Consulting World Championship of Golf, a precursor to the current WGC events.

But with the tinkering comes inevitable creeks caused by those advancing years.

“I’ve been trying to work on a couple of different swing moves and it’s caused a little bit of an issue with my back – sadly I’m not 25 years old anymore,” said Lane after guiding Golf Digest Middle East in Wednesday’s Pro-Am at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club.

“But I’m always thinking about the game, even at 57. I’m always trying to improve. It’s an on-going thing with me, trying to do some stretching work so my body can do what my brain wants it to do. That’s half the battle when you reach my age. The mind wants you to do it, but the body is saying ‘hang on, you’re not a young man anymore!’

Lane finished 29th at the inaugural Sharjah Senior Golf Masters last March and went on to win the Willow Senior Golf Classic at Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire in August. He finished seventh in the order of merit – he’s only ever finished outside the top-5 three times and no worse than 20th in his rookie year of 2010 – and wants more success.

Maybe even the John Jacobs Trophy for money-list honours? He’s finished runner-up twice and third twice as well, so, why not?

“I certainly want to win at least once every year. But I’m getting older, and you’ve got to compete with the younger guys are coming through. I suppose with some of the guys, the older they get, the greater the chance that they might lose some motivation. But I don’t seem to have lost it yet. I turn 58 this year and I absolutely love the competitiveness and I miss it when I don’t have it.”

So much so the 1993 Ryder Cupper spent much of last month in the U.S. warming up for Sharjah.

“It’s been a while since last year’s final event in Mauritius in December [he was defending champion after winning the MCB Tour Championship in 2016] so I kept myself busy by heading over to America for three weeks in February to play some golf. I escaped the cold weather in England and managed to qualify for the Chubb Classic on the PGA Tour Champions and played well for the last two rounds there shooting 68-67. I literally played golf every day while I was in the States so when I came back to England I made sure I got plenty of rest before heading to Sharjah.”

“It’s a lovely golf course [in Sharjah] and the facilities are fantastic. Last year the course itself was in great condition and it was a really enjoyable week. I got off to a good start but gave some shots back on the back nine of the second day and fell out of contention. I’m looking forward to playing the course again and I hope to play better this time around.”

Entry to this year’s Sharjah Senior Golf Masters is free of charge.

 

Kent Gray

Kent Gray

Editor of Golf Digest Middle East. Has written about golf since 1989 and owned a suspect short game even longer.

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