JP McManus Pro-Am: Tiger Woods struggles to opening 77 as Xander Schauffele leads at Adare Manor
Schauffele's course-record 64 set the pace in an event featuring ten of the world's top 12 players; Rory McIlroy seven behind while Tiger Woods tied-43rd after the opening day - watch the final round live on Tuesday from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 04/07/22 8:25pm
Xander Schauffele takes a three-shot lead into the final round of the JP McManus Pro-Am, while Tiger Woods struggled in his return to action at Adare Manor.
Schauffele fired eight birdies in a brilliant bogey-free start to the 36-hole contest, raising money for charities in Ireland, with an eight-under 64 giving him a commanding advantage in the star-studded event.
The Olympic gold medallist's closest challenge comes from Rickie Fowler, who opened with a bogey-free 67, while England's Tyrrell Hatton sits four strokes back in third ahead of the group on three under that contains Irish duo Shane Lowry and Seamus Power.
Rory McIlroy carded a first-round 71, while Woods marked his first competitive appearance since withdrawing from May's PGA Championship by stuttering to a five-over 77.
Woods, who used a golf cart to move between holes as he continues to struggle with the injuries sustained in last February's car crash, double-bogeyed the par-four second and followed another dropped shot at the fifth by posting successive bogeys from the eighth to close a front-nine 41.
The former world No 1 saw a birdie at the tenth cancelled out with a dropped shot at the next, while a brilliant chip-in eagle from off the 12th green was undone by bogeys at the 13th and 17th to leave him 13 strokes behind Schauffele.
Beginning on the back nine, Schauffele followed successive birdies from the 12th by taking advantage of the par-five 18th to reach the turn in 33, before making further gains at the first and third.
Schauffele continued his birdie barrage with a hat-trick of gains from the fifth, with pars over the closing two holes seeing him close out a blemish-free opening round and setting the Adare Manor course record.
Hatton made an eagle and two birdies over his closing four holes saw him post a four-under 68, as Power produced a three-birdie finish and Lowry birdied the last to sit on three under with Brandon Stone and Brooks Koepka.
McIlroy birdied the eighth and produced a remarkable save from the pine straw after a wayward drive at the 13th, with the Northern Irishman rolling in a birdie at the 15th but slipping seven behind when he failed to get up and down from off the 17th green.
Bryson DeChambeau followed four birdies in a five-hole stretch with a final-hole eagle to salvage a level-par 72, having been six over with eight to play, with Justin Thomas, Leona Maguire and Paul Casey also on that total.
Who will win the JP McManus Pro-Am? Watch the final round live on Tuesday from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf.
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