“I snuck an umbrella in the golf bag, I betcha didn’t get that.”

Christy O'Connor Snr's sense of humour certainly impressed the folks from the World Golf Hall of Fame when they visited him at his Clontarf home recently to collect artifacts for the exhibition on his career.

Mark Cubbedge with Mary and Christy O'ConnorSet to be inducted in November, Senior couldn't resist having some fun with Mark Cubbedge, the Hall of Fame's research and collections manager as he checked that every one of Christy's priceless pieces of memorabilia had been accounted for.

I watched as he famously signed his name as he’s done countless times before for autograph seekers. Once his name is finished flowing from the ballpoint pen, he raises his head and asks me, “Is everything accounted for on this list?”

Knowing I’ve done my job in infinite detail, I quickly answer, “Absolutely, yes.”

And then Himself leans into me a little closer, where I can see deep into those storied eyes, and asks again, “Is everything accounted for?”

Over 100 artifacts are scattered everywhere in O'Connor's home. Each item has a yellow post-it stuck to it, detailing its part in Christy O’Connor’s road to fame.I reply with certainty, “As sure as I’m looking straight into your eyes I can tell you everything is accounted for on the list.”

So then he surprises me with this, “I snuck an umbrella in the golf bag, I betcha didn’t get that.”

Sure enough, there tucked in his 1969 Ryder Cup Golf Bag is this recent umbrella full of names of golfers who have played in Ryder Cups and won other significant events. 

The best part of the story from where I sit is this: I flip through the artifact list and there, described as Item No. 59, is the aforementioned umbrella, much to his surprise.