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Dublin: 20 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019
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Canning, Lynch and O'Connell amongst the sporting stars in action at Irish Open pro-am

We’re jealous we didn’t get the invite to play Lahinch.

A HOST OF familiar faces from the sporting world took to the stunning links of Lahinch today, as the biggest week in Irish golf got underway under glorious blue skies.

The traditional Dubai Duty Free Irish Open pro-am curtain-raiser always attracts plenty of interest with the likes of hurling stars Joe Canning, Cian Lynch and Shane O’Donnell, Paul O’Connell, Luke Fitzgerald, Kieran Donaghy and AP McCoy among those who set out to tame the County Clare links. 

One of the home favourites this week, Shane Lowry, played in a four-ball alongside Canning, Lynch and O’Donnell, while Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald teed it up with Jamie Donaldson, Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy.

Fresh off Wexford’s Leinster senior hurling championship success, Fitzgerald — who plays off five — had a big crowd following his progress around Lahinch this morning, as did recently-crowned Amateur champion James Sugrue.

Niall Horan was among the afternoon starters, with the rugby trio of O’Connell, Keith Wood and Shane Byrne having the privilege of playing alongside Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston. 

Keith Duffy and Jamie Donaldson on the 17th fairway Keith Duffy and Jamie Donaldson on the 17th. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

John Treacy Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy plays an approach shot. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Luke Fitzgerald on the 4th hole Former Ireland and Leinster winger Luke Fitzgerald. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Niall Horan hits his tee shot on the 7th Niall Horan watches his tee-shot closely on the seventh. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Joe Canning on the 8th tee box Joe Canning tees off at the eighth. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Graeme McDowell on the 6th green Graeme McDowell is bidding to win his first Irish Open this week. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

James Nesbitt shares a joke on the 6th tee box Actor Jimmy Nesbitt. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Shane O'Donnell on the 6th green Clare hurler Shane O'Donnell putts on the sixth green. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Davy Fitzgerald on the 18th tee box Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald fresh off his side's Leinster SHC win. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Cian Lynch with Joe Canning on the 5th green Cian Lynch and Joe Canning share a joke. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Brian McFadden on the 17th fairway Brian McFadden had enough on 17. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Shane Lowry with Limerick Hurler Cian Lynch on the 7th tee box Lowry offers Lynch some words of advice. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Cian Lynch on the 7th tee box The Limerick hurler plays off 28. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Enda Kenny on the 17th Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny enjoying the round. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Paul Dunne on the 17th Paul Dunne shares a joke with his caddie. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Kieran Donaghy Kieran Donaghy was sporting his county's colours. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The Irish Open gets underway on Thursday morning at 6.45am, with the trio of defending champion Russell Knox, Tommy Fleetwood and Lowry [8.40am] one of the standout early groups.

The action from Lahinch is live on RTÉ2 and Sky Sports Golf from 10.30am.

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