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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 April 2005, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Irish golfing legends' reunion
Norman Drew and Christy O'Connor were Ryder Cup team-mates in 1959
Norman Drew (left) and Christy O'Connor reminsce at the K Club
1959 Ryder Cup team-mates Christy O'Connor Senior and Norman Drew had an emotional reunion at the K Club in County Kildare over the weekend.

The two Irish legends reminsced fondly about the 1959 Ryder match at the Eldorado County Club in California.

The duo, who were guests of honour at a Failte Ireland dinner at next year's Ryder Cup venue, also recalled their outings as World Cup team-mates.

This included the 1961 Canada Cup in Puerto Rico when they finished fourth.

Winners on that occasion at the Dorada Club were the legendary American Sam Snead and his team-mate Jimmy Demaret.

"We probably should have won it that year," recalled Christy, who is known the golfing world over as 'Himself'.

It's been wonderful to have the opportunity to meet up with Christy again here at the K Club
Norman Drew

"If I had had Norman's short game, I'd have won a couple of British Opens," reflected the 80-year-old, who played in a remarkable 10 Ryder Cups for Britain and Ireland.

Norman chuckled that the "perfect combination would have been Christy's long-game and my short game".

"I think Christy was getting tired of me missing the fairway at the Canada Cup in Puerto Rico in '61," said Norman.

"After a while on the tee, he was whispering to me out of the corner of his mouth, 'three-wood, three wood'.

"We had some memorable times together and it's been wonderful to have the opportunity to meet up with him again here at the K Club."

The two Irish greats were part of a 1959 team that was attempting to retain the Ryder Cup for Britain and Ireland after the 1957 win at Lindrick.

On the opening day, Christy partnered Peter Alliss to a 3 and 2 foursomes win over then Masters champion Art Wall and Doug Ford.

The highlights of my career were winning the Ryder Cup in 1957 and the World Cup in 1958
Christy O'Connor

On the second and final day of the Eldorado County Club encounter, Drew was put out in the top singles against Doug Ford.

Most pundits gave the Ulsterman little chance against the 1957 Masters champion but Norman kept the match alive to the final hole and then produced the shot of his life to hit a three-wood to a foot which set up an eagle which ensured a halved-match.

A few years later, Drew was reintroduced to US team member Sam Snead who when informed of the Irishman's eagle at Eldorado remarked:"I caught a few big fish in the lake at Eldorado but I never managed to get an eagle on that last hole."

O'Connor also represented Ireland in the World Cup 15 times and won the event with Harry Bradshaw in 1958.

"I had a lot of special days, but the highlights were winning the Ryder Cup in 1957 and the World Cup in 1958.

"Also playing on the tour outside Ireland for the first time in 1953 when I played the great Sir Henry Cotton in the semi-final of the Swallow Penfold Tournament and he beat me on the 23rd."


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