World number two Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are among the early starters for the first round of the Irish Open in Carton House on Thursday.

The duo will tee off alongside 2006 winner Thomas Björn at 7.50am.

Paul McGinley, 2014 Ryder Cup captain, starts 20 minutes later with Nordea Masters Champion Mikko Ilonen and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic winner Stephen Gallacher

Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell begin their rounds at 12.50pm with defending champion Jamie Donaldson, while Darren Clarke tees off at 1pm.

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