O'Connor, who celebrated his 80th birthday in December, competed in 10 successive Ryder Cups. He was on the 1957 Ryder Cup team which won at Lindrick, ending 24 years of American domination. His other great memory was when he won the Canada Cup, now the World Cup, in 1958 with his friend Harry Bradshaw in Mexico City.
Panton, 88, turned professional 70 years ago in 1935. During an extraordinary playing career he represented Great Britain and Ireland in three Ryder Cups and played 13 times for Scotland in the World Cup. Among his career highlights were victories in the British Match Play Championship in 1956 and, in 1967, he beat Sam Snead, 3 and 2, in the final of the World Seniors Championship.
He continued to play at the highest level into his 50s, his performance in the 1970 Open Championship at St Andrews standing out when, aged 53, he shot the lowest round of the final day in gale force winds to finish tied ninth behind Jack Nicklaus.
The election of O'Connor and Panton to Honorary Life Membership brings the total number of players accorded Honorary Life Membership of The European Tour to 28.