John O'Leary: Former Irish Open winner and Ryder Cup player dies


John O’Leary’s Irish Open victory at Portmarnock in 1982 was the most famous of his career

The 1982 Irish Open winner and former Ryder Cup golfer John O’Leary has died after an illness, aged 70.

The Dubliner turned professional in 1971 and after strong performances in 1975 was selected for the Great Britain and Ireland Ryder Cup team.

That same year O’Leary tasted success on the South African Tour and in 1976 claimed his first European title at the Greater Manchester Open.

He took his second European Tour win by claiming the Irish Open at Portmarnock.

England’s Maurice Bembridge finished second in the event, one shot behind the Irishman.

It would be 25 years before another Irish golfer would win the tournament – Padraig Harrington triumphing at Adare Manor in 2007.

The Dubliner lost his four Ryder Cup matches as the Americans ran out 21-11 winners at Ligonier, Pennsylvania in 1975.

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