Tiger draws the crowds at star studded Adare

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Tiger Woods tees off on the ninth on the first day of the JP McManus Pro-Am.

CELEBRITIES from the big screen, sport and music, drew tens of thousands of fans to Adare Manor to the sixth JP McManus Pro-Am fundraiser for Mid West charities.

Tiger Woods was the big draw yesterday along with Limerick hurling manager John Kiely and some of the 2021 All Ireland winning side, who are hoping to make it a historic three-in-a-row in Croke Park on July 17.

Limerick hurling sponsor JP McManus welcomed eleven of the world’s top 12 golfers, as well as Westlife members Kian Egan, Shane Filan and Nickey Byrne; Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day actor Bill Murray who joined icons from the world of horse racing, soccer, and business on the pristine greens.

Standing on the first tee, Tiger Woods looked around at the “crazy” crowds that flocked to course that will host the 2027 Ryder Cup and grinned “it’s great to be back”.

“This is a totally relaxed atmosphere, this is all about charity, this is about having fun and doing something for the local communities,” said Woods.

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“What JP has done over the years has been truly remarkable, and we are here to support him,” he added.

McManus’s Pro-Am has raised an estimated €140 million for charities with more to come on the back of this year’s event.

And those who paid in to get their golfing caps signed by their favourite celebrity were not left disappointed, with Fifty Shades of Grey actor Jamie Doran and pop star Niall Horan mixing it up alongside horse racing legends AP McCoy, Mick Fitzgerald, Johnny Murtagh, Charlie Swan, and Ruby Walsh.

Earlier, during his dawn round of 18 holes, Bill Murray told the Limerick Leader: “Well, I played golf with JP McManus and he beat me pretty soundly so I’ve been practicing ever since.”

“My only handicap today will be if I run into any relatives of mine, that’ll be the big problem, or if I start drinking on the course,” Murray added.

All day long the elite were helicoptered in and out of the Manor to try their hand at winning the top professional prize of €1million, which is routinely chipped into charities by the winner.

A crowd of 40,000 are expected to attend the two-day event which concludes today.