Celebrities tee up for Royal County Down

Published on : Thursday, May 21, 2015

Celebrities tee upIt will be the top jockey’s first major engagement since announcing his retirement and sports fans are certain to give him a rapturous welcome.


The Royal County Down extravaganza will take place on 27 May, the day before the star-studded main tournament gets under way.


McCoy will be joined by renowned former Australian cricketer, Shane Warne, soccer great Pat Jennings, former Ulster rugby star Stephen Ferris, snooker ace Denis Taylor and Irish broadcaster George Hook.


Hollywood actor and Northern Ireland native James Nesbitt will also play, as will former Liverpool footballer, commentator and presenter Jamie Redknapp.


Comedian Patrick Kielty, who is married to US TV personality Cat Deely, has also signed up. The couple have a home close to the spectacular Royal County Down course.


Following the laugh a minute Pro Am, all eyes will switch to the shot makers and one of the great treats of the European Tour golfing calendar.


The field will be led by world number one Rory McIlroy, who takes on the role of tournament host on behalf of his charity, The Rory Foundation.


McIlroy will be joined by many of golf’s most exciting names, including five of the world’s top 20 golfers and five former world numbers one players.


Rickie Fowler, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood will tee up, as will Irish golfing superstars McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke.


Last year’s winner Mikko Ilonen will be there to defending his title, but stars such as Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer and Patrick Reed will also be striving to lift the Dubai Duty Free Irish Opentrophy in one of the strongest fields ever.


Royal County Down is set in the lively holiday village of Newcastle with the backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne and miles of golden sands. This year an Open Fringe Festival will offer golf fans, families, couples and groups plenty of opportunities to experience the surrounding area before and after the golfing action.


One of the highlights will be a performance of LoveGolfOpera on 30 May. The witty opera will lift the lid on what happens when love and one of the world’s greatest sports collide.


Other events include golf-themed competitions, a Food & Blues Festival, comedy shows, walking tours, Irish dancing and folk music.


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