The 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open got off to a spectacular start as stars of the celebrity and sporting world featured in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Pro Am competition which kicked off the tournament.
A total of 50 teams played the stunning Lahinch Golf Course, in County Clare with 25 teams going out for the morning competition and a further 25 competing in the late afternoon. Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, Colm McLoughlin joined 2015 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open champion, Søren Kjeldsen for his round and was hugely impressed with the condition of the course and the stunning vistas the Co. Clare venue offered.
Sinead El Sibai Senior Vice President of Dubai Duty Free, Des Smyth the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Ambassador and Guy Kinnings, Deputy CEO of the European Tour presented the winners with Waterford Crystal trophies. It was the BMW team led by Brandon Stone and featuring Gary Morrison, Niall Morrison and Ian Morrison that won the morning competition finishing on -35 under. Annabel Wilson had the nearest the pin for ladies while the longest drive for women was won by Carol Osborne.
The longest drive for men was won by Clare hurling star, Shane O’Donnell while the nearest the pin for men was won by Joe Molloy of Off The Ball on Newstalk.
Colm McLoughlin Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free joined Keith Pelley the CEO of the European Tour and Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Ambassador, Des Smyth for the evening Pro Am presentation.
The evening Pro Am winning team was led by professional Jon Rahm who played with Tom Coughlan, Geoff Morton and Mike Higgins. They brought in a score of 37 under. The longest drive for ladies was won by Jacqui Barry while Steve Mahony won the men’s longest drive. Nearest the pin for men was won by Ray Hennessy while nearest the pin for ladies was won by Valerie Reddan.
Some of the most famous names in sport were on the course to play in the curtain-raiser event, including tournament host Paul McGinley who was joined on his team by Maître Gros, Arnaud Laborde and European Tour Chief Executive, Keith Pelley.
Other well-known faces spotted on the course were Niall Horan, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, actor James Nesbitt, Boyzone star, Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden formerly of Westlife. Sports stars who played included All Ireland winning Limerick hurler, Cian Lynch, Kerry footballers Tomás Ó Sé and Kieran Donaghy, Clare hurler, Shane O’Donnell, Joe Canning, Davy Fitzgerald, Olympic silver medallist, John Treacy, rugby players Paul O’Connell, Shane Byrne, Keith Wood, and Luke Fitzgerald, and horse racing legends Ruby Walsh and AP McCoy. Business stalwarts JP McManus and Dermot Desmond also played in the exciting competition and all thoroughly enjoyed the day of golf amid glorious Clare sunshine.
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, said; “That was a very good start to what promises to be a great week of golfing action at Lahinch Golf Club for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. The standard of golf out there was very impressive, and it was great to partner with Søren Kjeldsen who won the first Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2015.”
“It’s obvious from playing the course that this is going to challenge each and every player out there, and whoever emerges as the winner will have to play some truly top-class golf. At Dubai Duty Free we are proud to continue our sponsorship of this great event into its fifth year and delighted that the tournament has grown in stature.”
Attention now turns to the main attraction of the week as the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open tees off early on Thursday morning. www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com
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