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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Former Irish Open champion John O'Leary dies aged 70

The Dublin native passed away after an illness.

John O'Leary in action at the 1982 Irish Open.
John O'Leary in action at the 1982 Irish Open.
Image: © INPHO/Billy Stickland

FORMER IRISH OPEN champion and Ryder Cup golfer John O’Leary has passed away at the age of 70 following an illness.

The Dubliner, who won the Irish Open in 1982, was selected for the Great Britain and Ireland team for the Ryder Cup in 1975.

He won the Royal Swazi Open in South Africa the same year before going on to capture his first European title at the Greater Manchester Open in 1976.

His second, and final, European title was the ’82 Irish Open at Portmarnock where he became the first home player to win it since Christy O’Connor’s triumph in 1975.

O’Leary remained the last Irishman to win the tournament until Padraig Harrington’s victory at Adare Manor in 2007.

“More sad news in the passing of my friend and fellow Irishman ‘Jonno ‘ O Leary,” Paul McGinley wrote on Twitter as a tribute to O’Leary.

“Always a dedicated follower of fashion and all round great guy – what a year 2020 has been so far starting on 2 Jan with Edinburgh Jimmys passing – be lucky everybody in these uncertain times.”

Sam Torrence also posted a message in honour of O’Leary:

“So sad to hear of the passing of one of my dearest friends and roommate for 10 years on tour. RIP my old pal John O’Leary.”


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