O’Leary won the 1982 Irish Open and stood as the most recent Irishman to win his national championship until Padraig Harrington claimed the title in 2007
Died: John O’Leary, a two-time European Tour winner who for a quarter-century stood as the most recent Irishman to win the Irish Open, died Thursday, according to the tour. He was 70. O’Leary won the 1982 Irish Open and for 25 years was the most recent Irishman to win his national championship. Padraig Harrington won the title in 2007 before amateur Shane Lowry claimed the crown in 2009. O’Leary, a native of Dublin, played in the 1975 Ryder Cup for Great Britain and Ireland. O’Leary chaired the European Tour’s Tournament Players Committee while he competed and later served on the tour’s Board of Directors. “Above all, he loved our game,” said Keith Pelley, the tour’s chief executive. “He was always telling stories, and he was a true ambassador for our sport.” Harrington tweeted that O’Leary was “larger than life.” Thomas Bjorn, the 2018 European Ryder Cup captain, said on Twitter that O’Leary “was always fantastic company.”
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