Christy O'Connor Jnr dies aged 67

His famous 2-iron shot in the 1989 Ryder Cup helped Europe retain the trophy

Credit: Getty

O'Connor is fondly remembered for his wonderful 2-iron shot at the 1989 Ryder Cup.

Christy O'Connor Jnr dies aged 67

Christy O’Connor Jnr, one of the members of the winning 1989 European Ryder Cup team, has died at the age of 67.

The Irishman’s memorable 2-iron shot at the Belfry 27 years ago helped Tony Jacklin’s side retain the Ryder Cup against Raymond Floyd’s United States team.

His perfectly executed shot and subsequent 1UP victory against Fred Couples in the singles remains one of the greatest shots in Ryder Cup history.

It has been reported that O’Connor was in Tenerife with his wife when he passed away.

O’Connor won four times on the European Tour, including the Dunhill British Masters in 1992, and twice on the European Seniors Tour.

Both victories on the Seniors Tour came at the Senior British Open in 1999 and 2000.

His uncle, Christy O’Connor Snr, finished T2 at the 1965 Open Championship, 10 years before O’Connor went on to record a tied victory on the European Tour title at the Martini International.

Galway-born O’Connor was 41 years old when he made that incredible shot to defeat Couples, having been selected as a wild card pick by Jacklin.

Fellow Irishman and 2014 Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley tweeted earlier: “We’ve lost a true Irishman, character and golfer – Christy O’Connor Jnr RIP”.

O’Connor’s best Open Championship finish was T3 in 1985 at Royal St George’s.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny tweeted: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Ryder Cup hero Christy O’Connor Jnr. Deepest sympathies to his wife Ann, daughter Ann and son Nigel.”

Shane Lowry said: “An absolute legend of Irish golf. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.”

Former European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady said: “He was a universally popular player and always enhanced every tournament he played, no matter the occasion. His infectious charm will be sorely missed.”

We included O’Connor’s 2-iron at the Belfry in our Top 100 Golf Shots list, which you can read more about here.

Will Medlock graduated from UEA with a degree in Film and Television before completing a Masters in Sports Journalism at St Mary's in London. Will has had work published by The Independent and the Rugby Paper.