Celebrities and sports stars take part in 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Pro Am competition

IRELAND. Celebrities and sports stars gathered for the Pro Am competition yesterday (4 July) to mark the start of the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.

The main event got underway this morning (5 July), with Rory McIlroy aiming to claim back the title he won in 2016 and Jon Rahm defending his 2017 win.

Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin with former Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

The Pro Am event was held at Ballyliffin Golf Club in Co. Donegal, with 51 teams competing. Rahm led his side – which featured The Moodie Davitt Report’s own Dermot Davitt – to victory in the morning competition. Damien Fox and Brian King were also on the team, which finished on -30. [Click here to read Dermot Davitt’s blog post on the day’s action].

Nearest the pin for women was won by Rose Doyle, and former rugby player Keith Wood for men. Mark Hamilton had the longest drive for men.

The winners of the Pro Am morning competition – including our own Dermot Davitt – celebrate their victory.
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

The evening Pro Am winning team was led by professional Chris Paisley who played with Barry McGrath, Mark Murnane and Philip McEnroe. Their score was -33. The longest drive for women was won by Avril Fulton while Gerard Sproule won the men’s longest drive title. Nearest the pin for men was won by Jonathan Styles.

Dubai Duty Free said some of the most famous names in sport were on the course to play in the curtain-raiser event. Tournament host Rory McIlroy was joined on his team by JP McManus, Dermot Desmond and former jockey, Sir AP McCoy.

Colm McLoughlin with the Evening Pro Am winning team – Barry McGrath, Mark Murnane and Philip McEnroe.

Other celebrities on the course included former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, actor James Nesbitt, former Boyzone star Keith Duffy, former Westlife singer Brian McFadden, and Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton du Beke. Sports stars who played included Keith Wood, Stephen Ferris, Paddy Wallace, Shay Given, Dennis Taylor, and GAA stars Kieran Donaghy and Michael Murphy.

“That was a very good start to what promises to be a great week of golfing action,” said Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin, who joined 2015 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open champion Søren Kjeldsen for his round.

The Pro Am team of John Sutcliffe, Colm McLoughlin, Soren Kjeldsen and George Horan.

“The standard of golf out there was very impressive, and it was great to partner with Søren. 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 fourth year and delighted that the tournament has grown in stature.”

Colm McLoughlin with 2015 champion Søren Kjeldsen.
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
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