Christy O’Connor (1924-2016)

Christy O’Connor, a legendary Irish professional golfer, died on May 14 at age 92. He became known as Christy O’Connor Senior when his nephew of the same name began competing in the early 1970s.

O’Connor Senior turned pro in 1948. He won twice in 1953, then annually on the European Tour or in other events until 1972, and five more times from 1974 to 1980.

He represented Ireland in the Canada Cup fifteen times, including thirteen years in a row from 1955 to 1969. He played in ten Ryder Cups, from 1955 to 1973, a record until broken by Nick Faldo in 1997.

His highest finish in a major championship was second in the Open Championship, the only one of the four modern majors he ever competed in, in 1965.

Once, when playing a practice round for the Open at Royal Troon, he missed the green hitting into the 123-yard 8th hole. A gallery member commented that a professional golfer should be able to hit even a small a target such as that.

O’Connor’s reply was to empty his bag of golf balls and hit one onto the green with each club in his bag except his putter.

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