Tiger Woods may have been the start attraction at Adare in July of 2010 but it was his good friend Darren Clarke who returned to the winner's circle after finishing top of the pile at the JP McManus Pro at Adare Manor in Limerick.
The 41-year-old added a second round 68 to his opening 73 for a winning three under 141 aggregate. Luke Donald (69) was second on two under with Clarke's stablemate, Ernie Els (70) and Irish Open champion Shane Lowry (71) joint third on one under. And, although there were no ranking points available, the fact that 13 of the world’s top 17 were competing at Adare meant that Darren could take great heart from the win.
They turned out to be the only players who managed to break par in what were difficult and often swirling conditions at the former Irish Open venue where all the players agreed that Adare once again proved a remarkably tough but fair challenge from the Championship Tees.
It means the honours move from one Irishman to another for Pádraig Harrington was the defending champion after he won the last staging in 2005. The three-time major winner improved with on his first round 76 to shoot level par 72 but was still only four over.
Graeme McDowell woke from his recent slumber to return a three under 69 to get back to level par for the 36-hole event. The newly-crowned US Open Champion later admitted to several late nights since his heroics at Pebble Beach.
Of the rest of the top Irish players Damien McGrane (73) finished one over, two better than Rory McIlroy (75) and Gareth Maybin (73).
It was Tiger’s third visit to Adare and he showed us all what he was capable of with a joint best of the day second round of three under par. The world number one shot a second round 69 to finish well down the 54-professional field on four over alongside Harrington.
Leading Final Scores - JP McManus Invitational at Adare Manor
The 2008 Irish Open really had it all, with record crowds, stunning weather and a much deserved victor who truly put the River Maigue on the world stage with an unscheduled dip that was seen the world over. Englishman Richard Finch followed two solid opening rounds with some majestic play on both Saturday and Sunday to finish on -10 under par and go home with the winners cheque. Finch's third shot on the final day of the Irish Open 2008 at the 18th hole was voted the European Shot for the Month of May.
After 25 years of waiting, the Irish public finally had a chance to celebrate a hometown victory thanks to Padraig Harrington, who clinched a dramatic, suspense filled victory following a playoff with Welshman Bradley Dredge. Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort played host to a crowd of almost 60,000 spectators at the inaugural Irish Open at the picturesque Robert Trent Jones Snr designed course. The Irish Open will take place in Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort again in 2008.
Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort played host to the fourth staging of the JP McManus Invitational Pro Am on the 4th & 5th of July 2005. Among those taking part was Tiger Woods, Mark O’Meara, Fred Couples, Lee Janzen, Jose Maria Olazabal, Ian Woozman, Colin Montgomerie, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, David Howell, Sandy Lyle, Adam Scott, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke Paul McGinley and Laura Davies. Padraig Harrington won the event with a 14 under par total that included a course record 63.
England’s Carl Mason held off compatriot Nick Job to win the AIB Irish Seniors Open, reclaim the number one position on the European Seniors Tour order of merit and re-affirm his commitment to his 'home' tour. Mason stamped his authority on the Seniors Tour once again by closing with a three under par 69 to beat Job by one stroke.
Paul McGinley became the first player in 17 years to retain the Smurfit Irish PGA Championship at Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort. He finished with an 8 under par total of 280, five shots clear of second place Gary Murphy. Michael Hoey took third place in his first ever appearance in the championship.
Australia's Noel Ratcliffe survived a late scare before carding a one over par 73 to claim his seventh European Seniors Tour title at the AIB Irish Seniors Open at Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort in County Limerick.
Japan's Seiji Ebihara became the first man to make a successful defence of the AIB Irish Seniors Open title when he closed with a two under par 70 to record a two shot win over England's Denis Durnian at Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort in County Limerick.
Swedes Carin Koch and Sophie Gustafson claimed the inaugural TSN Ladies' World Cup of Golf at Adare Manor in Co Limerick with a total of 7 under par. England's Laura Davies and Trish Johnson had to settle for second on 2 under par. Laura Davies won the individual prize. Sophie Gustafson finished on a four-under total and joint-second place in the individual with France's Marine Monnet, who closed with a course-record 66.
Carin Koch and Sophie Gustafson