Monday, July 05, 2010

McDowell delighted to take part in JP McManus Pro-Am

THE US Open champion Graeme McDowell revealed his delight earlier today at returning to competitive golf in an ‘amazing event’ like the JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am at Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort.
Moments before his 8am tee time McDowell told Leader Sport that the game’s biggest stars looked forward to taking part in the 36-hole Pro-Am which is played at a ‘great venue’.

McDowell was making his comeback to tournament play for the first time since landing the US Open in spectacular fashion at Pebble Beach Golf Club last month.
Fourteen Major champions and 13 of the world’s top 16 ranked players, including world number one Tiger Woods, are competing in the fifth JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am.
Thousands of golf fans ringed the fairways at the magnificent Pro-Am venue from early morning to catch a glimpse of golf’s biggest names showcase their talents.
The pros were joined by a host of celebrity stars who are playing in a team competition.
“It is great to be back in the golf environment. It’s my first time to play in competition since the US Open,” Graeme McDowell told Leader Sport.
“It is great to catch up with everyone, my colleagues, my peers, my friends. Meeting them again probably makes the US Open win sink in a little more.
“I love the golf course here in Adare. It’s fantastic. JP (McManus) puts an amazing event on here every five years. We love to come down here. Obviously we get a great reception from the fans and the crowd. It is a great golf course and a great venue.
“I am facing into a very busy six weeks. I play in the Scottish Open later this week and then it’s on the British Open at St. Andrew’s. I am playing five of the next six weeks. I am looking forward to getting the business head screwed back on.
“Everyone loves coming down here. It’s very relaxed. It is very difficult to come back down from the high of Pebble Beach, but you have to re-set and get ready to go again. These two days in Adare are part of the process. I feel like I am playing the best golf of my life and I just have got to get going again.”
McDowell, whose playing partners included JP McManus’ son Kieran, made the perfect start to his round when recording a birdie three at his opening hole, the 444 yard Par 4 first.
Thirty-year-old McDowell was one of a number of top Irish professionals who attracted a large gallery earlier today. Rory McIlroy and Paul McGinley also wowed the fans with some top class play.
The highlight of the day for many golf fans was reserved for lunch time when world number one Tiger Woods began his bid to win a second JP McManus Invitational Pro Am. Woods, one of a number of US-based players who jetted in overnight from the AT&T National in Philadelphia, won the Pro-Am in 2000.
The world’s top golfer will play his second round at 8am tomorrow when he tees off from the first tee in a four-ball which includes horse racing stars Tony McCoy and Mick Fitzgerald.
Pro-Am host, JP McManus said he was delighted that the event provided a unique opportunity for golfing enthusiasts in Ireland and abroad to see the world’s greatest golfers compete in an intimate, friendly and challenging environment.
McManus added: “The other significant aspect of our tournament is that is primarily a fundraising event and all the monies generated go in their entirety to the nominated charities in the Mid West.”


Footballers target a place in All-Ireland quarter-finals

THE Limerick senior footballers are now targeting a place in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.
Amid the devastation of yesterday’s Munster final loss to Kerry star midfielder John Galvin rallied his colleagues to lift their spirit for the All-Ireland qualifiers.
Limerick will be back in action on Saturday, July 24 and will have to wait for two weeks to find out who their opponents will be.
The list of potential opponents reads: Dublin, Armagh, Cork, Galway, Mayo, Down, Fermanagh, Derry, Cavan, Kildare, Wexford, Leitrim, Tipperary, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath. That list of 16 will face two rounds of action before Limerick enter the equation.
“Right now it’s hard to be positive to tell you the truth,” said John Galvin, who was selected as Man of the Match for the Munster final despite Limerick’s loss to Kerry.
“I know that we are down to the last 12 in the country now and I just hope that we have learned from last year.
“We never lifted ourselves last year after the Cork game and I just hope that we learned from last year and hopefully we can pick it up,” said Galvin who finished with 1-2 in a heroic performance.
“We saw what Meath did last year after they beat us. We just have to pick ourselves up and see that we still have a huge chance of getting to the All-Ireland quarter-finals.”
John Galvin had played for Limerick since 1999 and yesterday was the fourth time that he has narrowly failed in a provincial SFC decider.
“They are all very hard to take - when you set a goal for yourself for so long and each year it is so hard to come back. It’s heartbreaking. I’m just gutted. This is absolutely gut-wrenching,” said the towering Croom midfielder.
“It’s utterly disappointing again. It’s another Munster final that I think we didn’t throw away, but one we could have won. We made an awful lot of mistakes in the first half - we gave ball away and we kicked wides. I think we should have been up another five or six points with the amount of ball we had in the first half. They went and scored 1-7 without reply in the second half and it’s very hard to win a game when a team does that. When we brought it back level I thought we were going to take it - whoever got the next score, but unfortunately they got it and then tacked on a bit at the end.”
As the wait for a Munster title stretches into the 115th year Limerick are left to rue 13 wides in a game that they dominated for long periods.
Supporters will also question what might have been if Tomas O’Se had been dismissed in the first half for any one of three different altercations with Stephen Kelly.
In the dying seconds there were calls for a Limerick penalty, but Galvin accepted that it wasn’t clear-cut.
“To tell you the truth it was 50-50,” John Galvin said.
He explained: “I caught a ball in the square and there was five or six of them around me and there was slapping, pulling and dragging. If the referee wanted to call it he could have and I would say no one would have said anything, but he didn’t call it. Maybe if it was the other end, he would have called it!”
Attention now turns to tomorrow night’s Munster junior football championship final when it’s Limerick versus Kerry once more.
Limerick are bidding for a fifth-ever provincial title at this grade and a first since 1950. Indeed, it is Limerick’s first final appearance in 47 years. The final takes place in Newcastle West at 7.30pm this Tuesday evening.
The Limerick team shows two changes from the team that defeated Waterford in the semi-final - David Finnerty comes in for the injured Darragh Woods and Robert Browne comes in for Liam Costelloe.
Limerick junior team: Paudie Ivess (Kilcornan); David Finnerty (St. Senan’s), Kevin O’Connor (captain, Fr. Casey’s), Eddie Mulcahy (Pallasgreen); Edmond O’Donnell (Castletown-Ballyagran), Brendan Teahan (St. Patrick’s), Eoin Barry (Dromcollogher-Broadford); Edmond Horan (Glin), Michael Behan (St. Senan’s); Robert Browne (Fr. Casey’s), Thomas Collins (Fr. Casey’s), Derry McCarthy (Dromcollogher-Broadford); John O’Connell (Pallasgreen), Thomas Butler (Castlemahon), Ray Lynch (Dromcollogher-Broadford).
Subs: Conor Wallace (Hosptial-Herbertstown), Timothy Begley (Mountcollins), Eoin Fitzgibbon (Oola), Liam Costelloe (Adare), Seamus Mulcahy (Pallasgreen), Wayne Enright (St. Senan’s), Michael Galvin (Fr. Casey’s), Mike Lyons (Adare) & Gary Egan (Dromcollogher-Broadford).
Elsewhere, All-Ireland honours were returned to Limerick on the double yesterday when both Monaleen and Monagea were victorious in the Peil na nOg finals in Derry.
In the All-Ireland under-14 club football championships Monaleen defeated Donegal side St. Eunan’s 1-9 to 2-4 to claim the Division Three title.
In Ladies Football Monagea were 1-4 to 1-1 winners over Dublin’s St Laurence O’Tooles in the Division Two decider.