‘There was never a better moment in golf, standing up there with that enormous crowd and five shots clear, about to win my first Irish Open. 1981 was my first Ryder Cup and winning the Irish Open put me in the Team’ – Sam Torrance, 21 European Tour wins

Less than three weeks away to the 3 Irish Open, Sam Torrance, one of the leading players on the European Tour from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s and the winning non-playing captain of the European Ryder Cup team in 2002 recently spoke on T2 Green, Irelands only dedicated golf podcast, available for download exclusively at www.3irishopen.ie on MP3 and iTunes.

A winner of the Irish Open in 1981 and 1995, the Scottish legend, who sank the winning putt which deprived the Americans of the Ryder Cup for the first time in twenty-eight years, recounted his memories of his first victory in 1981 ‘My best memory is winning at Portmarnock, without question. It was almost like playing in a Major, the crowd at Portmarnock were just extraordinary, you have this fantastic seaside links and I managed to win it. I can remember coming up the last fairway I had a great drive over the hill just had a wedge in, I was four clear, maybe even five clear and they interview me at the top of the hill and ‘how does it feel Sam?’ And to be honest, there was never a better moment in golf, standing up there with that enormous crowd and five shots clear, about to win my first Irish Open. 1981 was my first Ryder Cup and winning the Irish Open put me in the Team’

Torrance related how his upbringing in Scotland helped him with this victory

‘Links golf is associated with Scotland and Ireland. I was born on the west coast of Scotland with courses like Troon and Turnberry to play, all those fantastic courses, and I love seaside golf. I love the vagaries of it, the pitch and run from 150 yards. You could chip your ball 50 yards in front of you purposely and let it run take all the contours, run it up on the green. I love that challenge, that different type of golf. I was never a high hitter, my whole career; I was always a low ball hitter, so seaside golf suited me’

In 1995 Sam had a memorable victory in the Irish Open with very famous play off victory over Howard Clarke and Stuart Cage. ‘I needed 4 at the last to win. Howard Clarke was playing in front of me, boogied the hole. I had hit a perfect drive, down a very very demanding tee shot. I went with driver, took it on, water left, big tree right, and I ripped it down there. I had 7 iron in and I hit it absolutely perfect, straight out of the pin. I could’ve gone to the right and tried to two putt it but it’s just not the way I play. And it hit the top of the bunker and came back in

the bunker and I was astounded because it was, I thought, a perfect shot. Chipped up to 12 feet and leapt out. Now I’m in a 3 man play off and Stuart Cage, I think he went out on the 1st hole, hit it in the water on the 18th. I hit it in to 10 ft again, had a putt to win, just missed it and we’re going up 17 and Howard Clarke and I, he hit a big hook off the tee. I thought it was in the water but it wasn’t. I had a great drive. Howard laid it up maybe 70 yards short of the green right and I had a great shot on to about 30 feet, maybe 20 feet. Howard hits his third shot his shot to about 35 feet and I’m thinking ‘this is awesome, two putts to win here,’ and he holed it for four. Then I followed him in for eagle and that was such a moving moment. I turned around and my best ever friend David Fehirity was right there and I couldn’t have seen a happier face. He lifted me up in the air and that was fantastic. The prize giving was great – came to the prize giving and someone handed me a pint of Murphy’s which I downed in a one-er, much to the delight of the crowd and to the delight of me, it was very tasty but that was great’

On the putt which claimed his second victory in the Irish Open, Sam said he had to get his mind set right before hitting hit ‘Prior to Howard putting I’m thinking I’ve got a very good chance on two to win, but I’m also thinking he’s gonna hole bit because you have to put that in your brain, you have to get that mind set going and you have to hole this to win. It was a very dangerous putt. I couldn’t be aggressive on it because I could have easily knocked it 4 foot past it, missed it and he’s won. But I hit a perfect putt, went in and won’

The T2 green podcast available to download every Wednesday and features leading former and current players from the world of golf. To subscribe log onto www.3irishopen.ie. Season tickets to see Padraig Harrington and many of the world’s best players in action for four days over the classic links layout at Baltray, County Louth are available at special rates from www.ticketmaster.ie and www.europeantourtickets.com