“WHEN asked to pick my highlight of the past year, my mind immediately drifted back to the early afternoon of Monday, July 4. “
By David Hurley, Head of Multimedia, Limerick Leader.
“The location was a sun-drenched Adare Manor which was buzzing with excitement and giddiness as tens of thousands of people tried to catch a glimpse of the world’s best-known golfer – Tiger Woods – who had arrived by helicopter less than 24 hours earlier.
As an accredited member of the media, I had the privilege of being allowed ‘inside the ropes’ during the two days of the JP McManus Pro-Am and I was lucky to get within touching distance of the biggest-ever star of the game.
Having spent some time watching Tiger warm up on the practice range, myself and my colleague (now managing editor) Áine Fitzgerald then made our way towards the first tee in the hope of securing a decent position.
I will never forget the walk and seeing the thousands of people (six-deep in places) outside the ropes along the path to the tee box. There were also crowds as far as I could see along the first fairway and everyone of them was there to see one person.
I was on the tee box as Tiger made his way through the crowds and when he arrived, I managed to capture the moment when he briefly posed for photos with JP McManus and Limerick hurling royalty John Kiely and Declan Hannon.
Then, it was down to business as Des Smyth introduced the American superstar and the other members of the playing group to the gallery.
Crouched down less than 10 feet directly behind Tiger Woods as he placed his ball on the tee I could feel a small gust of wind in my face from his driver as he lined up his shot and practiced his swing.
When he struck the ball, there were rapturous scenes and the shouts of “Go on Tiger” reverberated far beyond the first hole!”
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