Former Ryder Cup hero O'Connor Jr. dies at 67


Former European Ryder Cupper Christy O’Connor Jr. died Wednesday while vacationing in Spain. He was 67. 

The Irishman is best remembered for his 2-iron shot during the 1989 Ryder Cup. That approach to 4 feet secured a half point and helped Europe retain the cup. 

O’Connor turned professional in 1967, five years before the formation of the European Tour. He was a four-time winner on that circuit, finishing inside the top 100 on the Order of Merit for 21 consecutive years. He also won two Senior British Opens. 

Ireland’s sports minister, Michael Ring, told the Irish Independent that O’Connor was “one of the leading lights of golf.”

“Christy was definitely one of the greatest sports people this country produced over many, many years,” Ring said, according to the report. “He represented our country with honor. … He led the road for the likes of Padraig Harrington, Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy and others.” 

Players took to social media Wednesday to mourn the loss.

Here's a look at that famous 2-iron: