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Irish great Christy O'Connor Sr. dies at 91

By The Sports Xchange

Irish golf icon Christy O'Connor Sr. died Saturday in Dublin at the age of 91. No cause of death was announced.

O'Connor, who played on 10 Ryder Cup teams and won 23 times on the British and Irish Tour that was the precursor of the European Tour, became the second Irishman elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009, joining Joe Carr -- who went in two years earlier.

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"We have lost not only one of the greatest Ryder Cup players the game has seen, but an incredible man," said Richard Hills, Ryder Cup director for Europe.

"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 practice and watch his hands.

"Christy was built like a bull but he had incredible hands for golf."

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O'Connor won 40 other professional events that were not sanctioned by the two major tours, including the European PGA Seniors title six times.

His best result in a major championship was second behind Peter Thomson of Australia in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in 1965.

O'Connor also played 15 times for Ireland in the World Cup, winning the title with Harry Bradshaw in 1958.

Christy O'Connor Jr., his nephew and also an accomplished golfer, died in January at the age of 67.

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