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Irish Open 2015: Star-studded fun at Pro-Am but Rory McIlroy and his car are star attractions

By Claire Williamson

It's the star-studded fun before the serious business gets underway.

The Royal County Down golf course is today full of sporting greats and famous faces from the world of showbiz as the Pro-Am event of the Irish Open 2015 gets underway.

Among the names leading the celebrity line-up is Australian cricket legend Shane Warne.

Today everywhere you look there is a different famous face limbering up and swinging a club.

Shane Warne is joined by a host of high-profile sportsmen and well-known faces including Ulster horse racing ace AP McCoy, footballing legend Pat Jennings, comedian Patrick Kielty, actor James Nesbitt, former Ulster Rugby star Stephen Ferris and snooker star Denis Taylor.

It is one of McCoy's first major engagements since retiring from the saddle.

Many of the stars took to Twitter to speak of their excitement ahead of the Pro-Am event which is taking place today before the main event gets underway tomorrow at the Royal County Down from 7.30am today until 12.30pm.

They will join Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell and a host of golfing elite including  Rickie Fowler, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

But despite the galaxy of stars - the main attraction is event host and Holywood man Rory McIlroy.

All eyes were on the 26-year-old as he arrived at the course and stopped to sign autographs of youngsters.

Crowds are swarming around in a bid to see the World Number One on Co Down soil - however, this morning McIlroy was left waiting for his famous partners to arrive.

And it wasn't just the Co Down man himself who is drawing attention as earlier in the week he arrived in style in what appeared to be a BMW Hybrid I8 Electric.

The Pro-Am event comes as the World Number One hosted a star-studded fundraising event in aid of the Cancer Fund for Children at Daisy Lodge outside Newcastle.

Rory's charitable foundation (The Rory Foundation) is hosting the tournament.

McIlroy  hosted the event at Daisy Lodge along with 200 guests who enjoyed entertainment from Patrick Kielty and a spectacular show from the Riverdance company.

Further reading:

Irish Open 2015: From golf to good food, music to the Mourne Mountains, a guide of things to do in County Down this week

Irish Open 2015: Hole-by-hole guide to Royal County Down course

Irish Open 2015: Rory McIlroy to wear new Nike trainers every day, designed by Cancer Fund children 

Irish Open 2015: Tee-off times, photos, weather and TV schedule ahead of excitement at Royal County Down

Luxurious retreat for the Irish Open; how does £4,000 a night sound?

Irish Open 2015: Golf stars Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els are worth the ticket price alone 

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