The legacy of the late Christy O’Connor Jnr is set to live on at this year’s Volopa Irish Challenge hosted by Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort, where the Christy O’Connor Jnr Memorial Trophy will be presented to the highest-placed Irish player for the first time.
The four-time European Tour winner, who passed away in January this year, is one of Ireland’s most famous golfers and is well known for making one of the finest shots in Ryder Cup history – a stunning strike with a two-iron to within four feet of the 18th pin to beat Fred Couples at The Belfry in 1989.
O’Connor, the nephew of another golfing great Christy O’Connor Snr, was a legend on the global golf circuit and he designed the picturesque championship course at Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort – which will host this year’s competition for its second staging.
Following the tournament’s completion, O’Connor’s son Nigel will present a beautiful Waterford Crystal trophy to the highest-placed Irish player in the European Challenge Tour event.
Cut from Lismore Diamond and standing at 14 inches in height, this impressive prize is a fitting tribute to one of Ireland’s favourite sons.
The O’Connor family said: “It was a wonderful honour for Christy to become Tournament Ambassador of the Volopa Irish Challenge, not only for him to support the bright young stars of the future but also to see them playing at the magnificent Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort – a creation which he was incredibly proud of.
“We are delighted that Christy’s legacy will be continued through the Christy O’Connor Jnr Memorial Trophy, and we would like to sincerely thank everyone involved for making this possible.”
Paul McGinley, who became the first Irishman to captain Europe in The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014, said: “It is fantastic that the legacy of Christy will live on through this beautiful trophy.
"Christy was a close friend and mentor to me, and his influence helped make me the player I am. He was a legend of Irish golf, and it is fitting that one of our brightest young talents will be awarded this significant prize.”
David McCoy, Sales & Marketing Director at the House of Waterford Crystal, said: “Waterford Crystal is delighted to support the Volopa Irish Challenge. This is a key event for us, as part of a long association with golf in Ireland and around the world.”