Xander Schauffele leads JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor

Tiger Woods in action during the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare. Credit: Breandán Ó hUallacháin.

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The crowd flocked in their thousands to Adare Manor on day 1 of the JP McManus Pro-Am, a competition attracting arguable the best field of players outside of the majors.

Californian Xander Schauffele made the headlines on the opening day of the 2-day event as he shot an eight under par round of 64 to take the competition lead.

He leads fellow American Ricky Fowler by five shots on the overnight leaderboard. Englishman Tyrrell Hatton is a shot further back in third position.

Shane Lowry’s good form from the final day of the Horizon Irish Open continued into Monday as the Offaly golfer carded a three under par round. He is joined on the same mark by Waterford’s Séamas Power, Brooks Koepka of the USA and South African Brandon Stone.

Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy are next best of the Irish players. Both signed for a 71. McDowell had four birdies and three bogeys in his round while fellow Ulsterman McIlroy had two birdies and one bogey.

Leona Maguire, who achieved her first LPGA win in recent weeks had a level par round of 72, with birdies on the 4th, 15th and 16th holes, but bogeys on three, thirteen and eighteen.

Tiger Woods returned to action for the first time in a number of weeks with the multiple major-winning former World No 1 being driven around the course in a golf buggy to minimize the pressure on him following his accident last year. The highlight of the day for the 5-time Masters winner was an eagle three at the 12th hole. The 46-year-old signed for a 77, five over par.

Stars from the world of sport, entertainment and business were among the amateurs playing in the competition. Members of Westlife, US actor Bill Murray, former top jockeys AP McCoy, Ruby Walsh, Johnny Murtagh and Mick Fitzgerald; Liverpool FC legends Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen; former Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill; businessmen Michael O’Leary, Denis O’Brien and Michael O’Flynn were just some of the celebrities who supported and participated in the competition.

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