Golf

Christy O'Connor Jnr, who helped Europe retain the Ryder Cup in 1989, has died.

Belfry Ryder Cup hero Christy O'Connor Jnr dies

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One of the biggest stars of Irish golf, Christy O'Connor Jnr, has died.

The 67-year-old from Galway was best remembered for helping Europe retain the Ryder Cup at The Belfry in 1989 when he fired a stunning shot with his two iron to within feet of the hole.

O'Connor's victory over American Fred Couples helped ensure the contest finished 14-14 with holders Europe therefore retaining the trophy.

The Golf Union of Ireland paid tribute by posting a clip of the memorable shot online and a note describing him as "a gentleman, an iconic figure of Irish golf and a true ambassador".

"He was a pioneer for professional Irish golfers and inspired a generation of players," the organisation said.

O'Connor Jnr's career highlights included two Ryder Cup appearances, 17 professional tournament wins, four wins on the European Tour and two British Open Senior titles.

It is understood he was on holiday in Tenerife when he died.

In his latter years O'Connor Jnr - the nephew of another hero of Irish golf, Christy O'Connor Snr - was heavily involved in designing golf courses.

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