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Christy O'Conner calls for Senior Ryder Cup

Christy O'Conner jun may be incapacitated because of his accident a couple of months ago but he is still energised.

He was in Adare yesterday to sign a contract as touring professional for Adare Manor and Golf Club and called for a Seniors Ryder Cup match between the United States and Europe.

That in itself is not a new concept but he suggested strongly that Adare Golf Club would be an ideal location. "I would dearly like to see it happen here. Myself and Christy senior have a long association with Adare through the late Bob Wallace. He was the professional at Adare Manor Golf Club before he moved to Galway Golf Club. He was the man who brought the two of us into professional golf."

In case you are confused, let me explain that there are two golf courses side be side in the village of Adare. The older of the two by far is called Adare Manor Golf Club while next door is a much more recent design by the late Trent Jones.

It is in the grounds of the Manor and is called Adare Golf Club. Christy is attached to the latter. Christy, unfortunately, will be unable to defend his the British Seniors at Royal County Down next month. He still has several pins through his left leg but hopes to play a few tournaments on the European Seniors Tour at the end of the season.

He then hopes to resume full activity next year on the US Seniors Tour from which he has received a medical exemption. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews were not moved to give him an exemption for next year's British Open.

As British Seniors Champion he earned an exemption for this year's event at Royal Lytham and St Annes but he was unable to postpone it until next year.

Meanwhile, the stars of the European Tour are assembling at Fota Island for the Murphy's Irish Open. One of the first to arrive was Thomas Bjorn who went four rounds the full distance with Tiger Woods in Dubai and won.

The field of 156 will included 21 Irish players, six of them full members of the European Tour Darren Clarke, Pádraig Harrington, Paul McGinley, David Higgins, Des Smyth and Ronan Rafferty. The others qualify from the PGA Irish Region and invitations.

There are three amateurs, Colm Moriarity, Andrew McCormick and England's Zane Scotland while the sponsors have eight invitations. Five of those have to gone to Irish professionals. Eamonn Darcy, Philip Walton, Sean Quinlivan, Keith Nolan and Paddy Gribben who got the last spot when it transpired that Wayne Westner, a South African living and teaching in Ireland, could not play.

The invitees are Raul Ballesteros, a 20 year-old nephew of Seve, Domingo Hospital and England's Russell Clayton.

It is a pity that the sponsors could not find a place for Gary Murphy of Kilkenny who qualified as a Tour player last year but lost his main card and is playing on the Challenge Tour.

 


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