A minute's silence in honour of country singing legend Big Tom is to be led by Rory McIlroy and Paul McGinley at the re-opening of Adare Manor golf course tomorrow.

Having been postponed due to three days of national mourning in Ireland, the World Number 7 is set to jet in from Florida to take on Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington in a three-ball exhibition match at the Limerick venue tomorrow morning to officially open the new course, launch the 2020 JP McManus Pro-Am and pay tribute to Big Tom.  Paul McGinley, with his new hairdo, will also be present to drive along in a buggy and captain Rory.  Both McIlroy and McGinley paid tribute to Big Tom in the run-up to tomorrows showpiece.

"Big Tom was a great man to pick a tune," said McIlroy from his Jupiter home today.  "I used to sneak in to the dances in the ballrooms of Belfast to get the shift and got to know him well. We actually had Big Tom, Margo and Stevie Wonder flown in to sing Tom's first ever number 1 hit 'Broken Marriage Vows' as the first dance at our wedding in Ashford Castle last year. He just lit up every room he walked into; smoked like a train he did."
Paul McGinley, who had his lovely new brown hair styled like Big Tom, also paid tribute to the Country and Western star who passed away earlier this week.

"I remember Sam Torrance had Big Tom brought in to sing for us at The Belfry during the Ryder Cup in 2002.  Tom was doing a gig for some big Italian mafia boss out in The Maldives with U2 and Mick Jagger at the time, but Sam insisted in having him brought back to sing the 'Four Country Roads' as we headed out to play the singles matches.  It was unreal.  In fact it made such an impression on me that when I became Captain for Gleneagles in 2014, I had Big Tom and The Travellers in the Team Room on the Friday night, Big Tom and The Mainliners on the Saturday and Big Tom and Coldplay on the last night. Cost the Tour about five million but Jesus it was epic. Victor Dubuisson was obsessed with him, had all his records. He'll be sadly missed.  Big Tom was that popular in Ireland that pretty much every song he re-recorded became a number 1 hit single."

More as it emerges.

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