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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK
Matchplay guide: Sandy Lyle
As the World Match Play and the Ryder Cup put the focus on matchplay golf, we asked experts for their insight. Click on a name below to learn the secrets of success.

Gary PlayerPeter AllissSandy LyleLaura DaviesPhillip PriceJim Gallagher

SANDY LYLE - European Ryder Cup team 1979-1987

The Scot appeared in five World Match Play finals at Wentworth and beat Nick Faldo to win in 1988.

Matchplay golf is like playing poker. You don't want to give too much away and if you can make your opponent feel vulnerable, while not making many mistakes yourself, that's a big plus.

Seve Ballesteros was not known as the straightest golfer in the world but he has been in the World Match Play final many times and won it.

Sandy Lyle
Even a player like Faldo can lose their momentum and get into a kamikaze dive

Gary Player was also a great matchplayer but were they always better players than their opponents? Probably not. Just better at the man-to-man situation.

My approach is to go out nice and steady and not take too many risks early on to save losing holes to par.

You need to quickly assess your opponent to see if he's a bit nervous or not playing quite as well, and that might make a difference to your strategy.

If you can get a few up then you're on your way but you musn't let cracks develop.

If you find yourself three or four down, stick at it and look ahead at where you can use your strengths, such as reaching a par five in two, because in the finishing holes he may crumble a little bit.

And often you'll find you win holes you didn't expect to.

Matchplay: Lowest score wins hole. Victor is winner of most holes in round. Format used in Ryder Cup
Strokeplay: Least number of shots overall wins. Format used in majors
Fourballs: (Or better ball) - Two teams of two, each player uses own ball. Best score wins hole. Matchplay
Foursomes: Two players alternate shots using same ball against another team of two. Matchplay

My most memorable match was when I came back from six down after 18 to beat Nick Faldo 2&1 in the first round of the World Match Play in 1982.

I couldn't see a way back as he was one of the big names and playing well, but it turned out he was vulnerable.

I changed my putter at lunchtime and got some momentum going in the afternoon. He had to hole a bunker shot on 16 to keep the match going.

It just shows that even a player like Faldo can lose their momentum and get into a kamikaze dive and once that happens, it's very difficult to pull out of.

The World Match Play takes place at Wentworth, Surrey, from 14-17 September. The Ryder Cup is set for the K Club, Co. Kildare, Ireland, from 22-24 September.


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