Ireland's O'Connor Sr dies aged 91

In 2009, Christy O'Connor Sr became only the second Irishman to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, following Joe Carr two years earlier.

Christy O'Connor won 23 titles on the British and Irish tour, the forerunner of today's European Tour.   -  Getty Images

Irish golf great and Ryder Cup stalwart Christy O'Connor Sr has died at the age of 91, it was announced Saturday.

O'Connor, whose nephew and fellow professional golfer Christy O'Connor Jr died in January, played in 10 consecutive Ryder Cups from 1955-1973. He won 23 titles on the British and Irish tour, the forerunner of today's European Tour.

O'Connor Sr also recorded 10 top-10 placings in the British Open and was runner-up to Australia's Peter Thomson at Royal Birkdale in 1965.

In 2009 O'Connor Sr became only the second Irishman to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, following Joe Carr two years earlier.

Ryder Cup director Richard Hills said Saturday: "Today we have lost not only one of the greatest Ryder Cup players the game has even seen, but an incredible man. My abiding memory of Christy is phoning him with George O'Grady to break the news that he'd been elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009, and he wouldn't believe us."

"He said he'd only believe it if he saw it in writing, so I was dispatched to Royal Dublin to present him with a letter. As he read it, his face broke into a huge grin and he gave me a massive bear hug."

"The other thing that sticks out for me is how Seve (Ballesteros) used to watch him. When Seve, who as we all know was a genius of a player, first came out on tour in 1976, he would seek out Christy to watch him practise and watch his hands. Christy was built like a bull but he had incredible hands for golf."

"After the tragic, sudden death of his nephew, Christy O'Connor Jr, in January, golf has lost two of its greatest men. On behalf of everyone at the European Tour, our condolences go to the O'Connor family."

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