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Galaxy of stars line up for Rory McIlroy's Open Pro Am

By Claire McNeilly

Published 06/05/2015

Tee time: Shane Ward is heading to Co Down
Tee time: Shane Ward is heading to Co Down

It's a whole new ball game for him, but cricket legend Shane Warne will lead a star-studded line-up at this year's Irish Open Pro Am golf tournament.

The Australian 'King of Spin' will tee off alongside other high-profile sportsmen - including Ulster horse racing ace AP McCoy in his first major engagement since announcing his retirement - at the Royal County Down extravaganza on May 27.

The prestigious competition, which received a major boost this year through being hosted by star attraction Rory McIlroy under the auspices of his Rory Foundation, has already attracted five of the world's top 20 golfers and five former World No.1s.

It can now also add a host of famous Northern Ireland faces to its line-up for the pro-am - which precedes the main event on May 28 - after footballing legend Pat Jennings, former Ulster Rugby star Stephen Ferris, snooker ace Denis Taylor, Hollywood actor James Nesbitt and comedian Patrick Kielty have all signed up.

Other well-known names taking part include former footballer turned pundit Jamie Redknapp and outspoken Irish rugby commentator George Hook.

Top golfers Rickie Fowler, Lee Westwood, Mikko Llonen, Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els will play alongside local Major winners McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell during the much-anticiapted event.

World number one McIlroy has been instrumental in attracting such big names through his foundation, which supports children's charities around the world.

Belfast Telegraph

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