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World’s Top Golfers Confirmed To Play In The Jp Mcmanus Invitational Pro-Am 2010

Westwood, McIlroy, Casey and Poulter join Woods and Harrington at Adare Manor in July 2010

Europe’s Number One, Lee Westwood, has confirmed that he is to play in the JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am on the 5th and 6th July 2010 at Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort. He will be joined by fellow Englishmen, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter, and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. All four players are currently ranked in the top 14 in the official world golf rankings.

Tiger Woods, the world’s number one, and Pádraig Harrington, Ireland’s triple-major champion and world ranked number five, who won this event in 2005, have previously committed to playing in the Pro-Am.

Westwood, the world’s number four ranked golfer, topped the PGA European Tour’s Order of Merit in 2009 in a season when he was a two-time winner on tour: he captured the Portugal Masters in October and triumphed in the season-ending Dubai World Championship earlier this month, a victory which enabled him to leapfrog McIlroy on the money list.

A mainstay of the PGA European Tour since turning professional in 1994, Westwood previously topped the Order of Merit for the Harry Vardon Trophy in 2000 and has featured on six Ryder Cup teams (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008). Westwood, aged 36, has 20 career wins on the PGA European Tour and has recorded a total of 31 wins worldwide.

McIlroy, who finished only his second full season on the PGA European Tour as Europe’s Number Two, has also confirmed he will play in the Pro-Am next July. McIlroy turned professional in September 2007 after a star-studded amateur career during which he became the youngest ever winner of the Irish Close Championship when aged 15. He turned professional after competing for Great Britain and Ireland in the 2007 Walker Cup at Royal County Down and secured his tour card almost immediately with a third place finish in the Dunhill Links in Scotland, his second tournament as a professional.

The 20-year-old from Holywood, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, won his first professional title with victory in the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic and underlined his huge potential with a third place finish in the US PGA Championship at Hazeltine. McIlroy is currently ranked 10th in the official world rankings.

Casey, who reached a career high world ranking of number three this season before suffering a rib muscle injury in July which disrupted the second part of his campaign, has confirmed his participation in next July’s Pro-Am. The Englishman, currently ranked number six in the world, won three times in 2009: he retained the Abu Dhabi Championship in January and captured the BMW PGA Championship at The Wentworth Club in May, and also had a breakthrough win in the Shell Houston Open on the PGA Tour in the United States.

Poulter, winner of the Barclays Singapore Open on the European Tour earlier last month, has also committed to playing in the Pro-Am. The Englishman – a two-time Ryder Cup player – has eight career wins on the European Tour. He is currently ranked 14th in the world.

Commenting on the announcement, JP McManus said: “We are delighted that players of such high calibre have agreed to give up their time to play in the Pro-Am. Given their high world rankings, Lee, Paul and Ian are a great addition to the event and we hope they will attract great crowds to Adare next July. For the first time, spectators will have the pleasure to witness the skills of Rory McIlroy who, since turning professional on the 19th Sept 2007, has risen to 10th in the world rankings.”

The aim of the JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am is to support mid-western charities and groups in their work with the underprivileged and disadvantaged. All proceeds are donated in their entirety towards the development of these services and over €55 million has been raised since its inception in 1990. Once again, the beneficiary charities are organising pre-qualifying tournaments throughout the country in a bid to enter teams in the Pro-Am.

The golf event, which has a prize fund of €1 million is comprised of 54 teams of four players competing over two days (1 professional and 3 amateurs per team). A record number of overseas and Irish people are expected to visit Limerick to enjoy the golf and the atmosphere.

This time, spectators can choose from one of eight different coloured “two day entrance caps” representing Ireland, Munster Rugby, and each of the Munster counties. At a cost of €50, the cap can be purchased on the website on www.jpmcmanusproam.com or at selected retail outlets.

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