Nicklaus' Ryder Cup rival Barnes dies aged 74

After a short illness, Brian Barnes, who beat Jack Nicklaus twice in the same day at the 1975 Ryder Cup, has passed away at the age of 74.

Brian Barnes has passed away aged 74.

Brian Barnes has passed away aged 74.   -  Getty Images - Allsport

Brian Barnes, who beat iconic golfer Jack Nicklaus twice in a day at the Ryder Cup, has died at the age of 74 following a short illness, the European Tour has confirmed.

Barnes went head-to-head with Nicklaus in the 1975 edition of golf's greatest team event, beating the then reigning Masters and US PGA champion in the morning singles.

Nicklaus demanded a rematch, but despite his confidence, was defeated again by Barnes, though the US won the tournament.

He played in the Ryder Cup on six occasions from 1969 to 1979, and won nine European Tour titles in total.

READ: Paul Casey ends five-year wait for European Tour title

Bernard Gallacher, who partnered Barnes at four Ryder Cups, said: "I knew Brian ever since I turned pro back in 1968 and we often played practice rounds together. In some ways they were more enjoyable than the tournaments.

"He was a terrific driver of the ball – long and straight – and if he had enjoyed travelling more, he had the potential to be one of the best players in the world.

"Brian was a larger than life character and we were very close when we both played on the Tour. We kept in touch over the years, which I was very happy with, and our families were very close.

"It was an amazing moment for British golf when Brian won in the afternoon. The Americans couldn’t believe it and they were all congratulating him saying they never though anybody could beat Jack."