Christy O’Connor Jr., a Ryder Cup hero who seemed to get better as he got older and joined the Champions Tour, died at age 67 last week, while vacationing in the Canary Islands.
In 1989 at the Ryder Cup at England’s Belfry, the European squad needed to tie the US to retain the title it had won in 1987. Belfry was the man of the hour, defeating American Fred Couples in the singles competition, using a 2-iron on his approach shot to within four feet on No. 18 to clinch.
He won six times on the European Tour and finished tied for third at the 1985 Open Championship, held at Royal St. George’s in England. In 1975, he peaked at No. 7 in the world. He moved to the PGA Tour Champions and the European Seniors Tour when he turned 50 and added two titles on each tour.