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Annual Warren O’Connor Memorial Golf Tournament

October 1, 2021 1:52 pm

The annual Warren O’Connor Memorial Golf Tournament took place yesterday, with Chris organising very efficiently and Warren as usual making sure we had beautiful dry day.

We played at Enghien. I suspect most of us will have played against Enghien Amicale in the football – that’s certainly the only reason many of the participants had ever heard of Enghien in a non-Napoleonic context before yesterday.

The Enghien golf course is beautiful and made for some interesting challenges and plenty of balls lost in the lakes and streams that are to be found all over the course, usually exactly where you don’t want them to be – the phrase “I hope there’s no water there” was heard more than once – but usually there was …

A lot of the drama took place in the final fourball, in which Chris, the defending holder of the infamous white jacket, scored an impressive 17 points on the front nine, but then saw his lead slowly eaten away, despite continuing to play well, by an amazing run of 6 holes played in 1-under par by Warren’s brother Sean. On the 16th tee, the two were level, and knew that the title was likely to go to one of them.

It was then that Chris, in a manner that Warren himself would have appreciated, realised that the best chance of retaining his title against Sean’s relentless onslaught lay in the gentle art of gamesmanship – golf’s euphemistic term for s***housery. On the 15th tee, and again on the 15th green, he asked Sean if he was aware that he was under par for the back-nine (a seemingly innocent question from the person marking Sean’s card, but a bit like asking Roberto Baggio if he was aware that scoring that peno might mean Italy winning the world cup …).

Of course we’ll never know for sure if that had an impact – on the 16th Sean hit a ball into the lake to the left of the green, and on the 17th, an almost phenomenal 170m bunker shot that ended up pin high but just out of bounds … The net result was that on the next three holes, Sean failed to build on his momentum (another euphemism) while Chris cantered in with an impressive 36 points and retained his title ahead of a field of very impressive (and a few not so impressive) golfers.

There were other excellent scores from the likes of Shane Harte, Emmet Devine, Pat McCaffrey and (of course) Sean. Shane and Pat are part of the FC Irlande extended family although they haven’t actually played for the club.

The post-covid relaxation of restrictions enabled us to have a delicious steak dinner (very generously sponsored by Seamus!) and a couple of beers afterwards. This was in contrast to the previous event in which we stood in a carpark like teenagers swigging cans and watching out in case any grown-up passed by and caught us.

There were also some great prizes donated by generous sponsors, including Cunningham Executive Search, Eurocity, O’Reilly’s and many of the players on the day, as well as Reinardt (even though he was not able to make it on the day). Great stuff. Walter brought a case of Corona, but fortunately it was the drinkable kind.

But one thing that didn’t change was that it ended up with Sean presenting the white jacket and the memorial trophy to Chris again (photo).

Chris made a nice speech in which he remembered Warren, who is still greatly missed by all of us. Over dinner, we shared plenty of Warren anecdotes too. He was always an enthusiastic participant in the annual (as it was then called) FC Irlande Golf Tournament. The renamed annual tournament is our way ofletting him know that the club and his former teammates will always remember him.