Thursday 22 March 2018

Rory McIlroy and the billionaire golfers at the Irish Open Pro-Am

IN THE SWING: Dermot Desmond
IN THE SWING: Dermot Desmond
Shawn Matthews
Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Rory McIlroy's Irish open was a bit of a nightmare. But the really interesting stuff - as usual - took place before the Open actually started. There was well over €20bn worth of entrepreneurial wealth on display.

The Pro-Am featured a swathe of billionaires and their families, with Dermot Desmond playing with his sons Brett and Ross, who recently secured the rights for the Five Guys burger chain in Ireland.

JP McManus's son Kieran also had a good outing.

Another player was Johann Rupert, who is one of South Africa's richest men with a €7bn fortune. He is chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont, which owns Mont Blanc and Cartier.

Michel de Carvalho, the financier married to Heineken heir Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken was also there. The pair were recently estimated to be the 12th richest in Britain with a fortune north of €10bn.

Wall Street tycoon and Cantor Fitzgerald boss Shawn Matthews, Citibank's capital markets whiz Richard Zogheb, financier Brian Higgins and private equity baron Michael DeFlorio also whacked balls around Down Royal.

Barnes & Noble president Leonard Riggio and chief executive Michael Huseby played along with food mogul Billy Rosenthal and Keystone Foods' Frank Ravndal. Former banker and online payments tycoon Frank Bisignano, Fujitsu high-flyer Hidenori Furuta and Tetrarch's Michael McElligott and BAM's Theo Cullinane also played.

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