Taoiseach Enda Kenny leads tributes to 'Himself' as Christy O'Connor Senior (91) passes away
Published 14/05/2016 | 11:17
Legendary golfer Christy O'Connor Senior has passed away at the age of 91.
Independent.ie can confirm Christy died peacefully at the Mater Hospital at 3.30 this morning.
O'Connor, uncle to Christy O'Connor Junior who passed away in January, won over 20 tournaments on the Irish and British circuit during his career and finished in the top 10 of the British Open 10 times.
O'Connor won the British Masters in 1956 and 1959 and played in every Ryder Cup between the years of 1955 and 1973. His record of competing in 10 Ryder Cups was only surpassed by Nick Faldo in 1997.
In his later life, O'Connor won six PGA Senior Championships between 1976 and 1983.
Tributes have poured to honour such a legendary figure in Irish sport, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny releasing a statement commending the 'indelible mark on professional golf and the sporting world' left by O'Connor.
"Christy O'Connor Senior was known as 'Himself' and always was himself, a wonderful man who left an indelible mark on professional golf and the sporting world. He was a larger than life character and the owner of the best pair of wrists in the game.
"He was a master of touch and feel on the greens and his brilliant golf was iconic for so many people, ever before television brought golf tournaments into every home.
"His record of achievement stands apart, including playing for Ireland in 15 world cups and 10 consecutive Ryder Cups. I met him many times and it was always a pleasure to meet someone who epitomised Ireland and made us so proud. I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to his family and many friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."
Golfers Shane Lowry and Paul McGinley also expressed their condolences on Twitter.
Sad to hear the passing of Christy O'Connor Snr. A legend of the game of golf both in our country and around the world. #RIP— Shane Lowry (@ShaneLowryGolf) May 14, 2016
RIP Christy O Connor Snr - an inspiration and trailblazer for Irish success in golf throughout the world #himself— Paul McGinley (@mcginleygolf) May 14, 2016
Another great Irish sporting legend gone but not forgotten. Safe travels Christy O'Connor Senior.— Garren Bellew (@garrenbellew) May 14, 2016
RIP to this man my great uncle Christy O’Connor Senior. LEGEND! pic.twitter.com/UvP2eWCtEX— Nigel O'Connor (@nidgeoc) May 14, 2016
Sad to hear of the passing of Christy O'Connor senior— Trev Keane (@trevkeane) May 14, 2016
So sad to hear of the passing of Christy O'Connor -legendary golfer and gentleman. Sympathies to his family and also his relations in Tuam— Frank Mckenna (@Frankmck45Frank) May 14, 2016
RIP Christy O'Connor - THE legend of Irish golf— PeterFry (@PeterFry) May 14, 2016
Legendary golfer Christy O'Connor Senior has passed away May he Rest in Peace. Such a wonderful man & so generous https://t.co/m807ejkWuh— Siobhán (@carnsoreboxer) May 14, 2016