Pádraig Harrington, who won an Irish Open at the ‘old’ Adare in 2007, has been responsible for many of the refurbishments that have propelled this already magnificent parkland course into the list of top courses in the world. The pro-am will take place for the sixth time in July 2020 and the unrivalled condition of the course on the banks of the River Maigue has drawn huge compliments.
“Shane (Lowry) and myself were always talking about how we’d love to play on a course in as good condition as those on tour.
“Playing there there during the week would get our game ready for major Tour tournaments”, said Harrington.
“I think, when JP started out, he thought, ‘let’s make a few changes here but Tom Fazio (the golf course architect) convinced him somehow to go a lot further down that line’. What you have here now is parkland perfection.”
Harrington went on to describe the excitement and interest of even the game’s top players when they hear that the McManus Pro-Am is in the air again.
“The pros talk about it and really want to play. The amount of pros who come up to me and say, is JP having the pro-am, will you put in a word for me.
“And here we are talking top-class pros who would normally expect an appearance fee. Everybody wants to be there, everybody wants to be involved.”
Paul McGinley said that he had played in all five McManus pro-ams to date and claimed that “this would be the best one yet.
It’s as good as it gets and the best pro-am in the world. Everybody comes over here and showcases Adare Manor. It comes at a great time of the year, the Americans are over preparing for the Open and there’s no doubt about it being a cracker.
Rory McIlroy has been doing marvellous work with his Foundation for charity and is much taken by the fact that the pro-ams to date have raised €140 million for worthy causes in the mid-west: “The most important thing about the pro-am is the amount of money raised for charity”, he commented.
“I played in 2010 and was 21 years-old at the time and still learning about the ways of the world and still hadn’t spent much time in the company I was keeping that night. Some of those auction prizes going for a half million, a million, I think they raised 50 million that time and that money goes to so many great causes.
"To get Tiger Woods over to play, to get all the top players here, it speaks volumes for JP and the McManus family and what they mean to golf and to this community, to this country, and if we can come and help to make it a little bit better, we are happy to do it.”
Shane Lowry underlined how “very lucky Limerick is to have such a facility and how lucky we are to be friends of the McManus family”.
Paul McGinley developed that point: “As Irish people on the Tour, we are very fortunate that JP, Dermot Desmond, John Magnier, Denis O’Brien, they love their golf and come to a lot of events and certainly paint Ireland in a very good light.
“They are very generous, very humble, stage big dinners at all the pro-ams they play in, introduce very interesting people.
“As for JP, I think it’s his humility that stands out more than anything else and for me his passion for Limerick. He wears the Limerick logo everywhere he goes throughout the world, the money he raises stays here, he’s done an incredible amount for the local community and I know the people of Limerick are very proud of him and we as Irishmen are very proud of him as well.”