Friday 24 March 2017

Tiger's woes boosted charity gig

Barry Duggan

TIGER Woods' personal woes helped horse-racing legend JP McManus stage his most successful charity golf event ever this year.

A rare public appearance by the world's most famous golfer following revelations of his marital infidelities helped secure massive publicity and brought thousands of fans to the course for last July's invitational Pro-Am in Limerick .

In all, 80,000 spectators came to view the world's top golfers and film stars compete against each other at Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort.

But such was Woods' appeal, up to 15,000 people gathered at the first hole to watch him play on the opening day of the competition.

The previous Pro-Am held in 2005 raised €31m for charities.

Mr McManus said this year's two-day event would surpass that figure and the good news was that donations were still rolling in. Mr McManus said Woods and his fellow golfers "put a lot of effort to come here".

"We were thrilled Tiger was able to come over and support it, despite it being a tough time for him. We really appreciated it. He just makes a difference; he makes all the difference," Mr McManus said.

No final figure has been calculated on this year's event yet.

"There is still money coming in so we haven't got a final figure yet for how much has been raised, but it will be more successful than the last one," Mr McManus said. "There are still donations coming in and we're very grateful for all of them," he said.

Mr McManus said it was too early to consider whether another charity event would be held in five years' time. "At the moment we are still finishing up the last one. There is a lot of tidying up to do. When that is done, we will see."

"Of course, people have asked if we're going to hold it again in five years' time, but we'll wait and see."

Irish Independent

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