If it was a regular PGA tour event, it might still blush with pride boasting a field featuring eight of the world’s top ten golfers.
For July’s JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor, the bar is always that much higher.
So much so in fact that Wednesday’s confirmation that world no. 1 Brooks Koepka will be travelling to Limerick to join his illustrious contemporaries is borderline: ‘Expected That’.
Which may be unfair. But the lure of the event and the influence of the Martinstown magician, McManus, makes this event such a can't-miss draw that the greats of the game routinely circle the dates and clear the schedule.
Koepka is the latest in a long list of stellar names such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry, Sergio Garcia, Xandr Schauffele, Tommy Fleetwood, Adam Scott, Tony Finau and Justin Rose - and they’re just the golf pros. The likes of ‘amateurs’ Mark Wahlberg, Niall Horan et al, will be a similar star-spotting draw on July 6 and 7.
It will be a JP McManus Pro-Am debut for Koepka, with the host commenting: “It’s fantastic that Brooks has committed to the event and I extend our sincere thanks to him for doing so. It promises to be very special for the spectators to see a player of his calibre in action this July and we are also extremely fortunate to have eight of the world’s top ten golfers confirmed to participate.”
Once again, charitable organisations in the Mid-West will benefit from the Pro-Am, with many millions raised since the event was first held in 1990.
Tickets for the event, unsurprisingly, are sold out. The last Pro-Am was in 2010.