Shane Lowry: finished in a tie for sixth  place at the  Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.  Arizona. Photo:  Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Offalyman has reason to feel confident as he heads for Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Rory McIlroy  plays a bunker shot during a practice round for the 2016 Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the Majlis Course at the Emirates Golf Club  in Dubai, UAE, yesterday. Photograph:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Defence of Desert Classic title offers Ulsterman chance to return to winning ways

 Paul Dunne in action during the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, California. Photograph: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Irish man has earned a late call up to the Phoenix Open after 13th place finish

Paul Dunne finished with an impressive birdie-eagle in his second round in San Diego. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Shane Lowry again hit a 71 at the Farmers Insurance Open on seasonal US Tour debut

Leona Maguire playing in Atlanta, Georgia, last November. Leona finished the season as the number one ranked female amateur golfer in the world.  Photograph: Kevin C Cox/Getty Images

World number one amateur taking success in stride as she prepares for shot at Majors

Jordan Spieth of the United States and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy will renew their friendly rivalry at the Abu Dhabi Championship.  Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty.

Ireland’s Michael Hoey and Darren Clarke also in field at event in United Arab Emirates

 Pádraig Harrington  waves to the gallery  during the  Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua Golf Club  in Lahaina, Hawaii. Photo:  Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Sixth-place finish in Tournament of Champions a fine start to season for Dubliner

 Paul Dunne: “ I know if my game keeps going in the direction it has been over the last few years that the results will come in time.” Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Greystones golfer with new sponsorhip deal is targeting a return in Joburg Open

 Olivia Mehaffey of team Europe plays a shot during the final day of the Junior Solheim Cup at St Leon-Rot Golf Club  in Sankt Leon-Rot, Germany. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Ulster woman has a Curtis Cup on home soil ahead of taking up a scholarship in Arizona

Christy O’Connor Jnr gives the British Senior Open Trophy a kiss after winning the event in 1999 at Royal Portrush, Co Derry. Photograph: William Cherry/Pacemaker

Golf hero and ambassador’s legacy went far beyond his famous Ryder Cup shot

Ireland’s Christy O’Connor Jnr in action on the 2nd tee at the 2000 Open Golf Championship at St Andrews in Scotland. One of the biggest stars of Irish golf, has died. Photo:  Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

Tributes paid to achievements on the course as well as his decency as a person

European captain Tony Jacklin congratulates Christy O’Connor Jnr after his emotional win at the 18th in the 1989 Ryder Cup. Photograph: Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Christy O’Connor Jnr’s finest moments on a golf course - Woodbrook to Royal County Down

Pádraig Harrington: the 44-year-old is playing in the Hyundai Champion of Champions tournament, with just 32 players in the field, for the first time. Photo:  Victor Fraile/Getty Images)

Three-time Major winner and Graeme McDowell in field at Champion of Champions

Thanks to Katie Taylor, things are looking up for Ireland at the Olympics.   Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Our players and pundits see chances for Rio gold, but aren't so optimistic about Euro 2016

Amateur Paul Dunne of Ireland waves to the crowd as he walks off the 1st tee during the final round of the 144th Open Championship. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

The young Greystones native played some incredible golf at St Andrews, while making history

The successful bid  will see a complete reconstruction of Marco Simone golf resort near Romee. Photograph: EPA

Winning bid has guaranteed a prize fund of €7 million for the Italian Open for 11 years

Rory McIlroy launches his ball into the crowd after holing his winning putt on the 18th green during the final round of the DP World Tour Championship. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

European golf’s number one won’t return to competitive action until late January

Rory McIlroy and his girlfriend Erica Stoll pose with the Race to Dubai Trophy after the final round of DP World Tour Championship European Tour. Ali Haider/EPA

`I’m happy that this was my last event of the year. I’d done well and ended the season on a high'

Paul Dunne: “I didn’t see it as a big deal to turn pro, I just saw it as the next thing to do.” Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

The 22-year-old achieved so much in 2015 but is now looking forward to challenges ahead

Shane Lowry is one of the players who can still win the Race to Dubai ahead of Rory McIlroy. Photo: AP

Seven players are still in with a chance of toppling Rory McIlroy at the summit

 Brian O’Driscoll: The former Ireland international was giving what amounted to a postmortem of his old team’s failings and inevitable defeat with some 20 minutes left in the game.  Photograph:  Chalres McQuillan/Getty Images

Brian O’Driscoll and Craig Doyle joked of a ‘horror show’ thanks to the bad weather

Graeme McDowell poses with the trophy after his victory in the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico. Photograph: Alonso Cupul/EPA

Northern Irishman wins Mayakoba Classic following a three-way playoff in Mexico

Shane Lowry is one of only two Irishmen in the limited field in the BMW Masters, along with Paul McGinley who is playing on a sponsor’s invitation. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Ankle injury continues to hamper progress with two competitions left in Race to Dubai

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland in action on the 1st tee during the third round of the Turkish Airlines Open last week. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

‘Practice. Just practice. I have been practicing hard over the last three or four months’

Victor Dubuisson: shot a closing 66 for a 22-under-par tally, and a one stroke win over runner-up Jaco Van Zyl  in the Turkish Airlines Open.Photograph: Mark Runnackles/Getty

Three birdies in the last four holes seals a superb victory for the tearful Frenchman

Victor Dubuisson of France plays a bunker shot to the 18th green during the third round of the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy could only manage a final round 71 finishing tied for sixth in Turkey

Rory McIlroy  in action during the third round of the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club  in Antalya. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Eagle-birdie run on back nine helps World No 3 to third straight 67

Shane Lowry: the Offaly man is seeking to improve on his fifth place in the Race to Dubai standings at the Turkish Airlines Open. Photograph:  Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry still in the hunt as South African Jaco van Zyl leads

Rory McIlroy  tees off on the 1st during the second round of the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club in Antalya, Turkey. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Another bogey-free round has the world number three four shots off the lead

Rory McIlroy during the first round of the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club in Antalya, Turkey. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

World number three player would like to see the Irish Open played closer to Open

Rory McIlroy shot 67 in the opening round of the Turkish airlines Open. Photograph: Getty

Shane Lowry left to rue late bogeys as South Africa’s Jaco van Zyl takes first round lead

Rory McIlroy in action ahead of the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club in  Antalya, Turkey. Photo: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The two Irish players will play together for the first two rounds of the Turkish Open

Graeme McDowell’s performances have improved since returning from his sabbatical in the autumn. Photograph: Victor Fraile/Getty Images

Five-week break helps Major winner put some perspective on disappointing season

Jamie Donaldson in action on the 17th hole during the Irish Open at Royal Portrush. Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Place on the Open rota a reward for a lot of hard work from different quarters

Darren Clarke  at Royal Portrush Golf Club, County Antrim. “Nobody could foresee that coming about during the bad old days . .”  Photo:  PA Wire

Oldest Major returning to Northern Ireland in 2019 – after a gap of some 68 years

 Shane’Lowry in Croke Park to announce Offaly GAA’s plans to develop a new centre of excellence. Photograph: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

‘I’m playing in America until the Irish Open which is my first tournament back in Europe’

 Rory McIlroy will host the next three Irish Opens on behalf of his Rory Foundation. Photograph: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Dubai Duty Free extends title sponsorship to 2018 and purse for next year at The K Club tops €4m

 Shane Lowry  stands with his caddie Dermot Byrne during the final round of the British Masters at Woburn Golf Club. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The 20-year-old English rookie claimed his first European Tour title at Woburn

Pádraig Harrington: One of eight Irish players in the field for the British Masters at Woburn.

Personal support of Ian Poulter ensures event returns after eight years

Paul Dunne drives off the 16th tee during final round of the 2015 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course on in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Rookie professional earns €47,530 to join Lowry and McDowell in a tie for 19th place

Michael McGeady of Ireland has moved into a tie for fifth in Tour qualifying in France. Photograph: Getty

Derry man three shots off the lead in France, with Gavin Moynihan also on the move

The BBC will not be covering the live action of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon in 2016. Photograph: Getty Images

Following next year’s tournament Sky Sports had won the rights for live coverage

Ireland Walker Cup players Jack Hume and  Paul Dunne have both qualified for the second stage of European Tour Qualifying School. Photograph:  Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Walker Cup stars among qualifiers at Ebreichsdorf in Austria

Irish pair lying joint-seventh in Austria as they seek a top-20 spot

Tommy Quigley (centre) with his two sons Steve and Shane celebrate Thurles’ win in the Pierce Purcell Shield at the AIG Irish Cups and Shields Finals. Photograph: Pat Cashman

Colin Fairweather secures winning point for Belfast club in their win over Limerick

Royal Dublin finally reclaimed the Barton Shield at Carton House after a 47-year drought. Photo:  Pat Cashman

Mick Chambers’ side cruised past Galway to win the shield for the first time in 47 years

Jeff Hopkins of Royal Dublin lining up his putt on the 13th green during the AIG Barton Shield semi-final at Carton House. Photograph: Pat Cashman

Joe Lyons’s players will need all their resolve to defeat ‘The Dream Team’

The AIG Irish Cups and Shields finals take place over the O’Meara Course at Carton House. Photograph: Inpho

Royal Dublin go head-to-head with defending champions Muskerry in semi-final

 Gary Hurley in Walker Cup action: double-bogey on the 12th and back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16th brought him back to earth at The Roxburghe in Scotland. Photograph: Getty Images

Waterford player’s 71 left him in tied-13th after the first round of the four-day qualifier, as he seeks to move on to stage two i(...)

Captain Nigel Edwards gives Paul Dunne a hug on the 18th as Britain and Ireland win the Walker Cup. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Walker Cup victory secured as Greystones golfer finds his form in Sunday’s matches

Ireland’s five Walker Cup winners Gavin Moynihan, Paul Dunne, Cormac Sharvin, Gary Hurley and Jack Hume with Britain and Ireland captain Nigel Edwards after yesterday’s triumph at Royal Lytham. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images.

Sharvin unbeaten and Dunne gains crucial half in record seven-point victory

Paul Dunne is embraced by Britain and Ireland captain  Nigel Edwards after securing the half point to clinch Walker Cup victory at Royal Lytham. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Dunne, Hurley and Moynihan embark on new careers over coming days

Jack Hume of Naas and The Island’s  Gavin Moynihan in action for Britain  and Ireland during day one of the Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan impresses in role of anchorman as United States trail 7-5

Britain and Ireland’s Paul Dunne  tees off during a practice round prior to the 2015 Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Britain and Ireland captain believes Ireland players could be vital for victory against USA

The Great Britain & Ireland team Captain Nigel Edwards looks on with his players during a Practice Round prior to the 2015 Walker Cup at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Not quite sure of the ins and outs of the Walker Cup? We’ve got you covered

Leona Maguire of Ireland. She won the Mark McCormack award for finishing the season as the world amateur number one. Photograph: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Young Cavan amateur Leona Maguire makes her debut in the championship

Sean Loftus lifts the trophy after Galway’s minor hurling final win over Tipperary at Croke Park. Photograph: Inpho

Tipperary’s quest for a minor double undone by early second half goal blitz at Croke Park

Dublin progressed past Mayo in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final, after a week and 70 minutes work packed full with drama. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/INpho

Philip Reid with the talking points from Croke Park as Dublin reached the final

A dejected Keith Higgins of Mayo after the game Photograph: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Connacht champions left to rue missed opportunity to kill off Dublin

 Rory McIlroy   returns to action at the Deutsche Bank Championship on Friday. Photograph:  Kevin C Cox/Getty Images

World No 1 returns to action at the Deutsche Bank Championship

Gavin Moynihan from The Island GC is the only survivor from the 2013 Walker Cup team.

Choice of Irish players seen as a sign of strength of Irish amateur game

Jason Day  with his caddie Colin Swatton on the 18th green after winning the 2015 PGA Championship  at Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on Sunday. Photograph: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Emotional victor salutes sacrifices made by mother and sisters to help his golf career

There are things to shout about and think about as we leave Whistling Straits after Jason Day's victory

 Rory McIlroy at Whistling Straits: “I feel like I can be very competitive for the next few weeks.” Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Northern Irishman makes fringes of contention at US PGA Championship

 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Course is usually a fair test of golf but it can penalise you if don’t perform, says McIlroy

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot from the rough during the second round of the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Spieth, Day and Johnson dominate but Sweden’s Lingmerth also keeps his cool

Jordan Spieth outshone Rory McIlroy in the second round of the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Photograph: Getty

World number one remains in hunt but Spieth tears up the leaderboard

Dustin Johnson of the United States waves to the crowd on the ninth green during the first round of the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

Early leader gets over past error and conjures up an opening round 66

Dustin Johnson hits his tee shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

World No 1 shows no sign of rustiness in opening 71 at Whistling Straits

Rory McIlroy at a news conference before a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament on Wednesday: he believes he is hitting well on the range. Photograph: Chris Carlson/AP

World number one has played more practice rounds than anyone else at Whistling Straits

The man to beat: Jordan Spieth won the Masters and the US Open and came close to getting into a play-off at the British Open. Photograph:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Contest for final Major will be intense as 97 of the world’s top 100 players compete

Sergio García plays a practice round prior to the start of 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Pádraig Harrington and Darren Clarke believe a Major is on the way for WGC winner

Pádraig Harrington: “I have more clubhead speed now than I ever had in my career.” Photograph: Phil Long/AP Photo

Despite a knee injury the Irishman is keen to reclaim the PGA title he won in 2008

 Rory McIlroy  hits a tee shot during a practice round prior to the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits  in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Defending champion Rory McIlroy poised to return to action at PGA following his injury

Shane Lowry of Ireland hits off the fourth tee during the final round of the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club South Course. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Offaly man follows in McIlroy’s footsteps as unlikeliest of birdies on 18th seals victory

 Shane Lowry  hugs a tree near the 18th green  after winning the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational during the final round at Firestone Country Club South Course. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

‘I made a lot of good decisions and got a bit of luck as well’ - $1.57 million winner

A PGA of America rules official chats with Dustin Johnson on the 18th green during the final round of the 92nd PGA Championship on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits on August 15, 2010 in Kohler, Wisconsin. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Philip Reid takes a look at some of the stories in the headlines this week

Graeme McDowell: since finishing third in last year’s HSBC Champions event in China, he has often struggled just to make the cut. Photograph: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy out of WGC-Bridgestone but Pádraig Harrington and Shane Lowry to compete

Looking back at how a coin toss led Italy to European glory

 Jordan Spieth: missed out on the playoff at St Andrews by just one shot as he pursued a third Major title in a row.  Photo:  Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

A win for the American at WGC-Bridgestone would see overtake Northern Irishman at the top

 Amateur Paul Dunne of Ireland tees off on the 6th hole during the final round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course i in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo:  Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Little goes right for the Irish amateur on the final day as he struggles to a final 78

Greystones amateur Paul Dunne acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green during the final round of the British Open Championship at the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. Photograph: Getty Images

Greystones amateur is undecided on whether to make the move quickly to the professional ranks, or wait until after September’s Wal(...)

 Zach Johnson doubled his Major tally as he won the British Open after a play-off at St Andrews. Photograph: PA

American doubles his Major tally after play-off as history just evades Jordan Spieth

Graeme McDowell: “The greens are its protection, and unfortunately driving the ball is just too easy this week.” Photograph: Danny Lawason/PA

Former US Open winner says bunkers need to be relocated to curb the big hitters

 Amateur Paul Dunne of Ireland plays out of a bunker on the 5th hole during the third round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Three-time Major winner and young amateur form an intriguing Irish challenge

Ireland’s Paul Dunne reacts after sinking a putt during the third round on the fourth day of the British Open Golf Championship at St. Andrews Old Course, Scotland. Photo: Gerry Penny/PA

22-year-old Greystones amateur leads The Open Championship going into final round

Padraig Harrington shot a 69 to move into contention in the British Open at St Andrews. Photograph: PA

Fine second round 69 ensures Dubliner will be competing over the weekend at The Open

 Adam Scott of Australia walks along the 17th hole during the second round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course in St Andrews. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Unblemished round of 67 means the ex-Masters winner is ideally placed to strike

 Amateur Paul Dunne shot a second consecutive 69 on a weather ravaged second day of the British Open. Photograph: Getty

Leader Johnson left with unfinished business while Watson says his Open farewell

Pádraig Harrington carded a second round 69 to move within six shots of the lead of Danny Willett in the British Open. Photograph: Getty

Two-time winner shoots a 69 while Danny Willett surges into the lead at St Andrews

Dustin Johnson’s prodigious length off the tee helped him post an opening 65 at the Old Course in St Andrews. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Heartbreak of US Open loss consigned to history as he leads with a flawless 65

Ireland’s Paul Dunne in action during day one of The Open Championship at St Andrews, Fife.  Photo:  David Davies/PA

Quadruple bogey eight on Road Hole ruins all the Offalyman’s good work

Tiger Woods  walks past the scoreboard as he leaves the 18th green during the first round of the British Open golf championship at the Old Course  in St Andrews. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Former world number one still patently struggling to find his old game

Ireland’s Paul Dunne during day one of The Open Championship 2015 at St Andrews, Fife. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell failed to match the brilliance of Dunne

St Andrews, Scotland, where the cream of international golf will do battle for the illustrious Major. Photograph: Getty Images

Solid opportunity beckons for star turn to take further steps into the golfing annals

Tiger Woods: “I’m hitting the ball much, much more solid.” Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty

Former world number one has already won two Open championship titles at St Andrews

 Justin Rose: “I believe I can win any week that I play. My game is good. It’s in good shape, it’s just a matter of accessing it really.” Photo:  Streeter Lecka/Getty

Talented Englishman has always dreamed of one day winning the coveted British Open

Rickie Fowler: “I have some work to do. I need to continue winning. I think that’s the biggest thing.” Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

The sense of expectation surrounding the in-form American is palpable this week

Rickie Fowler heads into the British Open off the back of victory in the Scottish Open. Photograph: Getty

Philip Reid looks at who could come between the world number two and the Claret Jug

 Pádraig Harrington  in action at the Pro -Am  prior prior to the recent Scottish Open as   caddie Ronan Flood looks on. “If I can get myself in the hunt, I actually play better.” Photo:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Three-time Major winner remains adamant that missing link for success is in the mind

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