Limerick businessman JP McManus, left, pictured with Padraig Harrington
LIMERICK businessman JP McManus teamed up with European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington to play in the prestigious BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am in England this Wednesday.
Golf enthusiast McManus and regular Pro-Am partner Harrington were among Wednesday's morning starters, teeing off from the 18th hole at the famed Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey.
The Irish duo's fourball also included Sir Damon Buffini and David Williams.
Three-time Major winner Harrington and McManus have teamed up in the past to win the team event at the prestigious Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at renowned St Andrew’s in Scotland on two occasions in 2002 and 2006.
McManus was joined in the BMW PGA Championship Celebrity Pro-Am field by global popstar Niall Horan, who was a big hit with gold fans in the Irish Open Pro Am at Lahinch earlier this summer, along with a list of stars from the worlds of music and entertainment which also includes his fellow Irishman and former Boyzone singer Ronan Keating, legendary radio presenter Chris Evans and Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke.
The BMW PGA Championship Celebrity Pro-Am attracted a number of international superstars from the worlds of sport and entertainment, including England’s World Cup-winning cricket heroes Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Joe Root, former England manager Glenn Hoddle and ex-Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood in a field that includes Teddy Sheringham, David Ginola and Robbie Savage, former Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes and AP McCoy, the 20-time Champion Jockey and golf enthusiast.
The BMW PGA Championship itself - the flagship event on the European Tour - begins this Thursday, with defending Champion Francesco Molinari headlining the star-studded line-up alongside Open champion Shane Lowry, four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, home favourites Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose as well as Irish Open champion Jon Rahm of Spain.
This year’s change of date, from the traditional May slot to mid-September, means that American stars Tony Finau, Billy Horschel, Andrew Putman and Patrick Reed have added the event to their 2019 schedules.