Saturday 10 December 2016

McCoy under starter's orders for star-studded Irish Open pro-am

Claire McNeilly

Published 06/05/2015 | 02:30

AP McCoy will take part in this year's Irish Open Pro Am golf tournament
AP McCoy will take part in this year's Irish Open Pro Am golf tournament

Newly-retired champion jockey AP McCoy is set to turn his skills to a different sport as he takes part in the star-studded line-up of celebrities at this year's Irish Open Pro Am golf tournament.

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The prestigious competition, which received a major boost this year with the news it isbeing hosted by star attraction Rory McIlroy under the auspices of his Rory Foundation, has already attracted five of the world's top 20 golfers and five former world numbers one players.

It can now also add a host of famous faces to its line-up for the pro-am which takes place at the Royal County Down extravaganza on May 27 - the day before the main event gets under way.

Among the players will be footballing legend Pat Jennings, former Ulster Rugby star Stephen Ferris and snooker ace Denis Taylor. Actor James Nesbitt, comedian Patrick Kielty, and cricket legend Shane Warne have all signed up.

Other well-known names taking to the green include former footballer-turned-pundit Jamie Redknapp and rugby commentator George Hook.

Retiring

It is one of McCoy's first major engagements since retiring from the saddle.

Northern Ireland's Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said the 'star power' will bring an extra dimension of fun for those who come to enjoy the competition.

Top golfers Rickie Fowler, Lee Westwood, Mikko Llonen, Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els will play alongside local Major winners McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell during the much-anticipated event.

World number one McIlroy has been instrumental in attracting such big names through his eponymous Foundation, which supports children's charities around the world.

He said: "To have Rickie, Sergio, Ernie, Lee, Darren and Graeme, as well as Mikko, already committed by February is incredible and I'm really proud to be involved in what is shaping up to be one of the great events of the European Tour season."

Anyone wishing to see the action first hand can purchase tickets at irishopen.ie.

Tickets cost between £30 (€40) and £35 (€47) per day. Kids under the age of 16 will be admitted for free as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Up to four children are allowed free admission with one paying adult.

Irish Independent

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