WATCH | “I’ve always loved coming to Ireland” | Tiger Woods heaps praise on JP McManus at Pro Am

The best players in the World descended on the Adare Manor for the 2022 JP McManus Pro Am.

Even with the best golfers in the world in attendance, and some of Hollywood’s most famous in tow, one man stole all the attention at the JP McManus Pro Am.

Widely regarded as the best to ever do it, Tiger Woods was the star attraction in Adare as fans and media alike did all they could to get a glimpse of the American.

The 15-time Major winner, who is struggling with injury, was followed by a huge cohort over the two days with every stroke keenly attended to.

4 July 2022; Tiger Woods of USA, left, and Limerick hurler Gearóid Hegarty during day one of the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor Golf Club in Adare, Limerick. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

A close friend of JP McManus, Woods outlined his pleasure to be back in Ireland, at the iconic course that will host the Ryder Cup in 2027 and praised McManus for what he has done for the game.

“As you said it’s been over a decade since we’ve been back and it’s pretty easy to see the changes they have made, the improvements they have made, the commitment to golf, and bringing a Ryder Cup to Ireland again, and they have done that. The people have all shown up to support this event, same as the pros.

“We know how much JP means to golf and what he’s done for our sport and any time we can help out any which way we possibly can, we do and this is one of the ways we can pay tribute to JP and what he’s done. I know he hates limelight and he hates getting in front of cameras and all that but we’ll go ahead and do that for him and make sure.”

“I’ve always loved coming to Ireland. I’ve loved coming here since first time, I think it was in ’99 when Marco who just left here, me, Payne and Marco were over here and we were fishing down in Waterville here. We played Ballybunion. Payne made a hole-in-one. We’ve had some great times.

“I’ve come here on several occasions to not only get over the time zone but get used to links golf. Been lucky enough to have either JP or Dermot or Michael helicopter us around and play different venues so we get used to playing links golf.”

4 July 2022; Tiger Woods of USA, left, and businessman JP McManus during day one of the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor Golf Club in Adare, Limerick. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

When questioned about his favourite hole at the Manor, Woods had a witty response,

“Here, Adare? I’d have to say the 18th just because I think it’s pretty funny that, is it Robert Finch, is that his name? Richard Finch, fell in the water? That’s pretty iconic.”

The talented field are in the midst of their preparation for the 150th Open Championship which will be held at St Andrews next weekend.

But while Woods confirmed that he would be staying in Ireland to prepare, he didn’t say where he would be practicing after two days of being followed en masse!

 “I am. I don’t want to tell you because I don’t want everyone coming down and watching us. So, yes. Yes and yes.”

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Jack Neville