Happy Birthday Christy

Christy O’Connor (born 21 December 1924) is a former Irish professional golfer

O’Connor was born in Knocknacarra, Galway. He turned professional in 1946. Throughout the 1960s he won at least one professional event during each year on the British Tour, a level of consistent success matched by very few other players. During his early career he was known simply as Christy O’Connor, but his nephew of the same name also became a prominent golfer, and since that time they have been referred to as Christy O’Connor Senior and Christy O’Connor Junior, respectively. He was affectionately known as “Himself” among his golfing peers.

O’Connor won the first £1,000 prize to be offered in British golf at the Swallow-Penfold Tournament held in 1955. O’Connor’s numerous tournament wins included the 1956 and 1959 British Masters. He also helped Ireland to win the Canada Cup in 1958 playing with Harry Bradshaw. He played in every Ryder Cup from 1955 to 1973, setting a record of ten appearances in the event which stood until it was surpassed by Nick Faldo in 1997. He was Irish professional champion on ten occasions, including in 1978 (when he was 53), and was twice (1961 and 1962) recipient of the Vardon Trophy for leading the British Tour’s Order of Merit. He tied for second place with Brian Huggett in the 1965 Open Championship, behind winner Peter Thomson.[1] In 1970 he won the John Player Classic, at that time its £25,000 first prize was the richest offered in golf (in those days, even the British Open champion received just a little over £5,000), it made him that season’s leading money-winner, although not Order of Merit leader, which was decided by a points system not directly related to prize money.

Later in his career, O’Connor became the leading “senior” player of his day, just before the lucrative U.S.-based Senior PGA Tour, now known as the Champions Tour, took off. He won the PGA Seniors Championship six times and the World Senior Championship in 1976 and 1977.

O’Connor was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009 in the Veterans category.


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