Barry Lane will renew some old rivalries and acquaintances when he becomes the latest European Tour champion to join the European Senior Tour next week.
The Englishman turns 50 on June 21 and will make his Senior Tour debut three days later when he takes his place in the field for The De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship at De Vere Slaley Hall, in Northumberland, England.
He will become the youngest winner in Senior Tour history – eclipsing John Bland’s record of 50 years and nine days set in the 1995 London Masters – if he can add a maiden Senior Tour title to the five titles he won during a glittering 28 year career on The European Tour.
Lane, who also picked up a cool $1million for winning the Accenture World Championship of Golf in 1995, is currently second behind Sam Torrance on the all-time list of European Tour appearances, having played in 659 tournaments, and he will hope to emulate the success of the former Ryder Cup Captain on the Senior Tour.
Torrance has won three Order of Merits, including last season when he edged out former World Number One Ian Woosnam to claim the John Jacobs Trophy, and Lane is relishing the chance to take on the pair who were his teammates in The 1993 Ryder Cup at The Belfry.
“I'm looking forward to joining the Senior Tour,” he said. “I would love to keep my card on The European Tour this year - that's my priority – but I will definitely play in some Senior Tour events and support the Senior Tour.
“The European Tour has done me proud and it's been my life for nearly 30 years and I want to put something back into it by supporting the Senior Tour. I think the Senior Tour is looking strong with Sam and Woosie and Bernhard Langer.
“It’s going to be fun seeing Sam and Woosie and the boys again. There are not many sports that you can carry on playing when you're 50 so I’m looking forward to it.”
Lane has played in 28 consecutive PGA Championships on The European Tour, finishing tied fifth at Wentworth Club in 2003, and he will look to succeed fellow Englishman Carl Mason as winner of the Senior Tour’s version of the Championship.
Having won the Scottish Open in 1988 – his maiden European Tour title – Lane is also targeting success in The Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard, which returns to Scotland from July 22-25 with a first visit to Carnoustie.
“Carnoustie is a shot maker's golf course,” he said. “It is a very, very difficult golf course.
“I think you're going to have a great champion that week, because it is proper golf course and I think everybody is really looking forward to it.
“The only time I played it was in the Alfred Dunhill Links and I played with Tiger Woods, who was still an amateur. He couldn't play at all because it was just so windy.”
Lane will hope to replicate Andrew Oldcorn’s strong start to his Senior Tour career, after the 2001 PGA Championship winner finished tied eighth in the US Senior Open Championship last month and followed that up with a share of sixth place in the Matrix Jersey Classic.
With his last victory coming in the 2004 British Masters , Lane is keen to return to the winner’s enclosure when he is back among his contemporaries on the Senior Tour.
“I've won in the 1980s, the 1990s and I won in the new millennium as well, so it would be good to win in four decades,” he said. “My victory in the British Masters was particularly special because it had been such a long time since I had won - ten years since my previous European Tour win.
“I really struggled around the 2000 mark, as I have over the last two or three years, but I still love to play golf. I probably have to practice harder now than I've ever done.”
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