All Ireland SportsLife Hall Of Fame Induction: Tribute & Award: Category..GOLF
Galway's Christy O'Connor Junior Was Known As A Golfing Giant All
The All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery always had Christy O’Connor Jnr. as a major consideration for incorporation in our gallery in due course and we felt time was not a problem to compose a Hall Of Fame tribute to one of Ireland’s golfing giants. However when news broke of the Galwayman’s sudden and unexpected death on 6th January 2016, whilst on holiday in Tenneriffe, Spain, the enrolment of the famous Irish golfer went on the urgent list of “Things To Do” fairly pronto.
The passing of Christy O’Connor Jnr. will not erase the Golden Memories of Christy’s glorious deeds on golfing courses around the globe and now that we salute in print his historic golfing achievements, the story of Christy O’Connor will sit side by side with historic profiles of many more famous Irish men and women, who made Ireland such a great sporting nation.
Placing Christy in such hallowed company in our All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery is further confirmation that he was known as a great Irish golfer in every town, village and city throughout the Emerald Isle. The Irish golfer was a member of the winning Ryder Cup team in 1989 at the Belfry, where his two - iron approach on the 18th hole gave Europe a glorious victory.
O’Connor was a four-time winner on the European Tour, which included victory in the 1975 Carroll's Irish Open. Born in Galway, O'Connor turned professional in 1967 and went on to represent Europe twice in the Ryder Cup, firstly in 1975, before his memorable victory in 1989. Of course Christy was reared in golfing territory and was the nephew of another Irish golfing legend, Christy O’Connor Senior.
Christy O'Connor played in more than 20 majors throughout a lenghty career, finishing in a tie for third at the 1985 Open Championship. He led the tournament early on with an opening round six - under ,at Royal St George's. O'Connor's only Masters appearance came in 1977.
Back-to back Seniors British Open titles were secured in 1999 and 2000, while O'Connor also represented Ireland in several World Cups and Dunhill Cup. PGA Eurpean Tours, European Senior Tours and Champions Tour engagements, were all graced by the Galway golfer.
He was at the forefront of the PGA European Tour for over two decades and similar to his uncle Christy O’Connor Snr, his introduction to golf came at Galway Golf Club, near his home in Knocknacarra. He represented Ireland many times, including at the World Cup, the Alfred Dunhill Cup, the Double Diamond, the Hennessey Cup and the Ryder Cup. Later in his career he won two Senior Open Championship titles.
O’Connor also designed golf courses, with over 30 projects throughout Europe and in December 2015, O’Connor received the Golf Digest Lifetime Achievement Award.
At 67 Christy O’Connor Jnr.’s life had a lot of living to do and his wisdom and knowledge of professional golf will be sadly missed.
Christy Junior is survived by his wife Ann, daughter Ann and son Nigel. Sadly, his other son Darren, died in a tragic road accident in 1998 aged just 17.
Derry JF Doody