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Lancaster was born, raised and makes his home in Smithfield, North Carolina. He turned pro in 1985 as a completely self-taught player. He did not take his first golf lesson until 1992. His first golf lesson was given by L.B. Floyd, father of Raymond Floyd.
Lancaster has 28 top-10 finishes in PGA Tour events including a win at the 1994 GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic. His best finish in a major is a T-4 at the 1995 U.S. Open.
Lancaster shares the 9-hole record at the U.S. Open with Vijay Singh with a 29 at both the 1995 and 1996 U.S. Opens. These scores came on the back nine of the fourth and second rounds, respectively.
In 2002, Lancaster came to the final hole of the Bell Canadian Open with a two-shot lead. He made double bogey to drop into a sudden death playoff with John Rollins and Justin Leonard. Rollins won on the first extra hole.
Lancaster placed fifth at the 2009 Q School tournament, but shoulder surgeries have plagued the former winner. He played in the 2012 Farmers Insurance Open, his first PGA Tour start since 2009. He made the cut at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.