TIGER WOODS took five and a half hours to post his first birdie in yesterday’s opening round of the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort and eventually signed for a seven over par 79.
Tiger and his teammates JP Magnier, former rugby star Brendan Mullin and Swiss banker Bernard Droux limped home in five under par to stand way off the pace set in quite sparkling fashion by the Lourdes Invalid Trust number one combination of Gary Neville (Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort), Neal Whelan (Rathbane) and Cian Foley (Dooks), a son-in-law of JP McManus. They shot a magnificent 17 under par and played with Colombian Camilo Villegas who picks up a cool €50,000 for his contribution to the cause after signing for one over par.
That left them a stroke ahead of the second Lourdes Trust team of Nenagh brothers Bernard, Padraig and Ray Hackett. They played with the brilliant young Italian pro Matteo Manassero who himself took 79 to tour the Adare lay-out. Gerry McManus, a brother of JP, and two other members of the clan, Mark and Cormac, also finished on 16 under with pro Fred Funk.
Pádraig Harrington had a round of four over with new US Open champion Graeme McDowell only one shot worse off. There was a four-way tie for the lead with American John Cook, Swede Peter Hanson, South African Rory Sabbatini and Jim Furyk all on 71 and the only players to better the par of 72.
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