McIlroy tees up dream fourball challenge

Rory McIlroy teed up a dream fourball today as Ireland’s top golfers battled it out in a novel north-south challenge match.

The 21-year-old sensation joined forces with fellow Northern Ireland star Darren Clarke to take on Republic of Ireland duo Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry at the Lough Erne resort in Co Fermanagh.

Hundreds of golf fans braved the bad weather on the fairways of the Nick Faldo-designed course to watch the cross-border duel between four of the island’s top professionals.

Three-time Major winner Harrington took on Co Down man McIlroy in a singles match last year in the inaugural Lough Erne challenge.

That contest proved so popular that the organisers decided to invite newly appointed Ryder Cup vice captain Clarke and reigning Irish Open champion Lowry to enter the fray this time around.

McIlroy, from Holywood, Co Down, is the Lough Erne resort’s touring professional and has a house that looks across the 7,167-yard championship course.

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