It’s with great sadness I sit here and write my thoughts on the passing of my friend, Connor Mallon. We had to go as far as America to meet up and have the craic, but spoke on the phone regularly and took the mick out of each other on facebook the rest of the time. I bet Connor had a lot of friends. Every one with a story.
We spoke on the phone just two weeks ago about doing a series of pro tips on how to play links courses. Connor could play links courses. He could play any course. “Be great for the yanks!”, he said.
We were to film at his course Narin and Portnoo in April but on Connor’s insistence we were going to hop in the car and travel to Ballyliffin and then to Rossapenna and then a few others “just to give everyone in the NorthWest a bit of coverage”. Make a trip out of it, meet everyone, do it right. That’s the kind man he was.
Everyone will have their stories about Connor. He was the friendliest, most animated character you could ever meet. People gravitated towards him. I’ve played in big sporting events in my life and met famous people yet cant remember the details of any of them. I can remember every minute I spent in Connor Mallon’s company.
Pic: Trying on “the wearable condom” on the Cross clothing stand for a laugh!
The last time we met up was in Orlando for the PGA Show in January. A bunch of us went downtown to see the Orlando Magic play the visiting Boston Celtics in an NBA game. Mick Walsh and myself had tickets up in the rafters and one for Connor. He gave his ticket to someone who was stuck. Typical! “I’ll follow yez in lads!” Ten minutes into the game, he makes his way up to the seats, takes one look at how bloody high up they are and says “who wants food?”
We didn’t see Connor again until after the game in a pub across the road. He arrived in with Justin Farrell and a big smile on his face brandishing a picture on his phone. “Where the f*ck were you boss?” we said.
“Take a look at this boys” he boomed swinging his phone so we could see the image. The picture showed Connor, on the court at The Amway arena, his arm around a Boston Celtics player like he knew him all his life! Now I know what you’re thinking; how did he manage to get past mega security, sit in $2000 courtside seats and walk onto the court of an NBA game and convince Kevin Garnett to pose for a picture?
That night we sung songs. Mick and Doc from Mayo, Johnny Farren and Connor from Donegal. Sang them in the pub, sang them on the street, sang them in the club, even sang them in the taxi. Connor and his three backing vocalists in the back drove that Indian taxi lad mad with Whiskey and Rye, but by Jesus he paid him well for his trouble.
Pic: Two boys with the gift of the gab!
Connor Mallon. A father, a husband, a golfer, a friend…….and a Character. I bet Connor had a lot of friends. Every one with a story. RIP.