Hugely respected Australian professional golfer and TV commentator Lyndsay Stephen has died at the age of 64 after a long illness.
Stephen – or “Lynds” as he was affectionately known by contemporaries – experienced success early in his golfing career winning the South Australian Open as a 24 year old in 1981 just three years after turning professional. (He beat runner-up Rodger Davis by three shots)
Much was expected of the smooth swinging, big hitting West Australian and while his eventual win tally might not have matched some of those expectations, he certainly mixed it with Australia’s best golfers over many years.
As a regular contender on the PGA Tour of Australasia throughout the 1980s and 90s there were many runner-up and top ten finishes against the big names.
One area where he did obviously excel was in fostering strong relationships with his contemporaries.
As Ian Baker-Finch is quoted as saying: “(Lynds) was everyone’s friend with not one enemy in the world.”
We were fortunate to personally witness what turned out to be Stephen’s last big win, the 2010 Australian Senior PGA Championship at Killara Golf Club.
It was a marvellous come from behind victory snatched on the 18th hole with an 18 foot uphill birdie putt. We chatted to the championship winner after his triumph for an ASG story on the outcome. The then 54 year old was as excited as a schoolboy – and just as friendly and approachable.
For more on Stephen’s life and career see long-time friend Mike Clayton’s report here