Wednesday 7 December 2016

Star-studded fun at Irish Open Pro-Am but Rory McIlroy and his car are the main attractions

Claire Williamson

Published 27/05/2015 | 13:48

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks up the 18th hole with an umbrella during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks up the 18th hole with an umbrella during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Rory's father Gerry McIlroy hits a shot during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Irish Businessman and former Politician Dick Spring walks with his trolley during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland walks with Stephen Watson of the BBC during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits an approach shot during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland signs autographs during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland signs autographs during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland looks on during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Former Footballer Pat Jennings and Paul Lawrie of Scotland look on during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Rugby Player Stephen Ferris hits a shot during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
TV Personality Patrick Kielty reacts during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Snooker Player Dennis Taylor hits a shot during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Rickie Fowler of the Unitd States chats to former Jockey AP McCoy during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Padraig Harrington of Ireland looks on with Irish Businessman and former Politician Dick Spring during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Rickie Fowler of the Unitd States chats to former Jockey AP McCoy during the Pro-Am round prior to the Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 27, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Pat Jennings, former Spurs, Arsenal and Northern Ireland goalkeeper, and former snooker player Denis Taylor on the 1st green. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Team Tourism NI, from left to right, Former jockey A.P McCoy, Rickie Fowler, comedian Patrick Kielty and golf writer Matt Ginella ahead of their round. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Rickie Fowler hits his tee shot from the 1st hole. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

It's the star-studded fun before the serious business gets underway.

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The Royal County Down golf course is today full of sporting greats and famous faces from the world of showbiz as the Pro-Am event of the Irish Open 2015 gets underway.

Among the names leading the celebrity line-up is Australian cricket legend Shane Warne.

Today everywhere you look there is a different famous face limbering up and swinging a club.

27 May 2015; Martin McGuinness, MLA, deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Assembly, centre, along with Shane Warne, former Australian cricket player, left and Darren Clarke, walking along the fairway. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
27 May 2015; Martin McGuinness, MLA, deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Assembly, centre, along with Shane Warne, former Australian cricket player, left and Darren Clarke, walking along the fairway. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
27 May 2015; Team Tourism NI, from left to right, Former jockey A.P McCoy, Rickie Fowler, comedian Patrick Kielty and golf writer Matt Ginella ahead of their round. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
27 May 2015; Former jockey A.P McCoy plays his tee shot on the 13th hole. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 May 2015; Rory McIlroy signs autographs for supporters on the putting green. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Practice Day 2. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 May 2015; Irish golfers Gary Hurley, Shane Lowry, Kevin Phelan and Cian McNamara on the 9th hole during their practice round. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Practice Day 2. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
27 May 2015; Playing partners, from left, former jockey Tony McCoy, Rickie Fowler and comedian Patrick Kielty ahead of their round. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
27 May 2015; Former jockey A.P McCoy speaks with Rickie Fowler during their round. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
27 May 2015; Rory McIlroy signs an autograph for a young fan during his round. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
27 May 2015; Luke Donald hits his third shot from the 9th fairway. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
27 May 2015; Rory McIlroy walking on the 18th green. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
27 May 2015; AP McCoy makes his way to the 2nd tee. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
27 May 2015; Darren Clarke, right, speaking to Stephen Ferris, former Ulster, Ireland and British Lions rugby player, on the 1st green. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship 2015, Pro-Am. Royal County Down Golf Club, Co. Down. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Shane Warne is joined by a host of high-profile sportsmen and well-known faces including Ulster horse racing ace AP McCoy, footballing legend Pat Jennings, comedian Patrick Kielty, actor James Nesbitt, former Ulster Rugby star Stephen Ferris and snooker star Denis Taylor.

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

Many of the stars took to Twitter to speak of their excitement ahead of the Pro-Am event which is taking place today before the main event gets underway tomorrow at the Royal County Down from 7.30am today until 12.30pm.

They will join Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell and a host of golfing elite including  Rickie Fowler, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

But despite the galaxy of stars - the main attraction is event host and Holywood man Rory McIlroy.

All eyes were on the 26-year-old as he arrived at the course and stopped to sign autographs of youngsters.

Crowds are swarming around in a bid to see the World Number One on Co Down soil - however, this morning McIlroy was left waiting for his famous partners to arrive.

And it wasn't just the Co Down man himself who is drawing attention as earlier in the week he arrived in style in what appeared to be a BMW Hybrid I8 Electric.

McIlroy's is driving a gull-winged BMW i8 this week and it has been getting as much attention as its occupant.

Rorycar.jpg  

The Pro-Am event comes as the World Number One hosted a star-studded fundraising event in aid of the Cancer Fund for Children at Daisy Lodge outside Newcastle.

Rory's charitable foundation (The Rory Foundation) is hosting the tournament.

McIlroy  hosted the event at Daisy Lodge along with 200 guests who enjoyed entertainment from Patrick Kielty and a spectacular show from the Riverdance company.

Belfast Telegraph

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