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January 2016 NUI Galway Pays Tribute to Legendary Golfer Christy O’Connor Jnr
It is with sadness that NUI Galway noted the passing of legendary golfer, Christy O’Connor Jnr. today (06 January 2016) at the age of 67.
In 2006 Christy O’Connor Jnr. was awarded an honorary degree by NUI Galway in recognition of his sporting achievements as a golfer of the highest international renown.
The Galway-native is best known for his famous 2-iron approach shot to the 18th hole that secured a Ryder Cup victory for Europe at the Belfry in 1989.
President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne paid the following tribute: “On behalf of NUI Galway I extend condolences to Christy’s wife, Ann and to his family and wide circle of friends. Our University is honored to be associated with the late Christy O’Connor Jnr. We recall with great fondness the occasion of Christy’s honorary conferring, along with that of his uncle, Christy Senior in 2006. On that occasion, we were privileged to honour his success as an international golfer and his achievements as one of Ireland’s best sporting ambassadors.
Mike Heskin, Director of Sport & Physical Activity at NUI Galway, said: “We are shocked at the news of Christy's passing, our thoughts are with his family at this time. Christy was a proud Galwegian and a wonderful ambassador for Galway, Irish golf and Irish sport in general. We will all remember his great performances in the Ryder Cup but also his inspirational leadership in Irish sport and his performances on the World stage, which set the pathway for so many others to follow. Christy will be remembered fondly by all for his kindness showed to everyone he engaged with. May he rest in peace.”
Christy O’Connor’s most notable of 17 events won world-wide included the Irish Open (Woodbrook, with a record score of 22 under par) in 1975, and the British masters in Woburn in 1992. He also won the Nigerian and Kenyan Opens. He had many excellent performances in the British Open and was 4th to Johnny Miller in 1976, tied with Jack Nicklaus, 5th in 1983, and 3rd in 1985, beaten 2 shots by Sandy Lyle. He represented Ireland 6 times in the Dunhill Cup, and was twice a member of the Ryder Cup team.
Mr. O’Connor won the British Seniors Open consecutively in 1999 and 2000. On the American PGA Seniors Tour, he won twice in 1999, the Home Farm Classic in Baltimore and the Foremost Insurance Classic in Michigan.
In 2006 NUI Galway conferred Christy O’Connor Jnr. and his Uncle Christy O’Connor Snr. with an honorary degree, a Doctor of Arts, honoris causa.
To read the text of the full citation, given by then President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, see Notes to Editors below.