Leona Maguire shot an opening-round 72 at Adare Manor yesterday as the JP McManus Pro-Am brought the stars of the golfing world to the venue that will host the Ryder Cup in 2027.

That left her just one shot behind Rory McIlroy but ahead on the leaderboard of US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick, former Ryder Cup Captain’s Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley, and the star attraction on the day of Tiger Woods.

Woods played his 18 holes with members of the Smurfit family, including Tony and Sharon and was surrounded by huge galleries on every hole.

Xander Schauffele posted a flawless 64 on the opening day of the JP McManus Pro-Am to establish a commanding three-shot lead at the halfway stage.

The American Ryder Cup star fired eight birdies – including three in a row towards the end of his round – and no bogeys to get to eight under par and give himself a huge advantage in the 36-hole event.

Fellow American Rickie Fowler is Schauffele’s nearest challenger on five-under after making an eagle at the 15th on his way to a first-round 67.

Six-time DP World Tour winner Tyrrell Hatton was alone in third a shot further back after carding an eagle and two birdies in his last four holes.

Home favourites Seamus Power and Shane Lowry, two of the star attractions in County Limerick, were among those on three under.

A crowd of 35,000 packed the fairways to see the stars of golf and entertainment as well as some of Ireland’s business leaders including the Smurfit’s, Dermot Desmond, Denis O’Brien and JP McManus who was content to follow the play from inside the ropes but without his clubs.

The action continues at Adare Manor today.


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