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Celebrities enjoy day at Irish Open's pro-am

By Adam McKendry

The stars were out in force on pro-am day at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open with plenty of local faces showing off their skills on the Glashedy Links at Ballyliffin.

England's Chris Paisley and his team were the lowest scorers on an impressive combined score of 33-under, while teams led by Graeme McDowell and defending champion Jon Rahm both finished 30-under.

Rory McIlroy was playing with Sir AP McCoy, JP McManus and Dermot Desmond, while former Taoiseach Enda Kenny was out with England's Lee Slattery.

But in the glorious Donegal sunshine it was a good day had by all as stars and sponsors took to the course. "I played very, very average!" said former Ulster, Ireland and Lions rugby great Stephen Ferris, who was playing with Spanish golfer Pablo Larrazabal. There was a team from Derry City competing alongside former Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts, with captain Gerard Doherty, Rory Patterson and Paddy McCourt all playing.

"I really enjoyed myself, it was a great day," McCourt smiled. "It's a tough course but, in fairness, the conditions weren't too tough - if it stays like that it'll be a good score that wins."

Actor James Nesbitt, playing with Lee Westwood, concluded their round by getting a selfie with the former World No 1 on the final green after they went round in 26-under alongside another ex-rugby man Paddy Wallace. "Not a bad way to finish it off!" Nesbitt laughed. "We finished well, and I enjoyed it."


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