Rory McIlroy, Jimmy Walker, Brandt Snedeker and Rickie Fowler during a practice round at Baltusrol ahead of the US PGA Championship. Photo: Getty Images

World number four is hoping to end this year’s run of first-time major winners

Padraig Harrington of Ireland hits his tee shot on the sixth hole during a practice round prior to the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Also, monster par five a test for the best, ‘Beef’ continues to entertain and can Sergio finally break through?

ory McIlroy  during a practice round prior to the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

World number four’s aim is to win a Major a year – but he’s now gone two without one

Shane Lowry hits a chip shot on the fifth hole during a practice round prior to the US PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club. (Photograph:Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Offaly man says it is good to play practice rounds with the likes of Dustin Johnson

Jason Day is hopeful of retaining the US PGA championship at Baltsurol. Photograph: Getty

World number one says temporary putting woes can be soon overcome at Baltusrol

Philip Reid looks at the three key holes at the week’s PGA Championship. Photograph: Inpho

US PGA Championship takes place at Baltusrol Golf Club, in Springfield, New Jersey

Jason Day of Australia during the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club. Photograph: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Like Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy he’s attempting to find a fix for putting worries

Greater awareness about strength and conditioning has allowed older players compete

Pádraig Harrington returned home to Dublin for a different kind of date – providing wisdom about life on tour. Photograph: Getty Images

Irish players set to unwind for a few days ahead of preparation for final Major in US

 Rory McIlroy is in Switzerland  to support Sergio Garcia’s charity foundation. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tour news: Rory McIlroy is in Switzerland at a charity day supporting Sergio Garcia

The Iceman - Henrik Stenson of Sweden celebrates victory after the winning putt on the 18th green at Royal Troon. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Swede produces a stunning final round of 63 to keep brave Phil Mickelson at bay

Henrik Stenson shot a stunning final day 63 to hold off Phil Mickelson and secure his maiden Major title. Photograph: Reuters.

Swede shoots 63 to hold off Phil Mickelson challenge and claim first Major

Rory McIlroy was ultimately pleased with his final position at the Open after his challenge faded in the second round. Photograph: PA

Four-time Major winner admits chances of victory were remote after the second round

Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson shake hands at the end of the third round of the British OPen at Royal Troon. Photograph: Gerry Penny/EPA

Swede takes the narrowest of leads into the final day after a magnificent 68 at Troon

Rory McIlroy endured a frustrating Saturday at Royal Troon as he shot a 73 to slip out of ceontention. Photograph: Getty

Poor putting costs four-time Major winner as he slips out of contention at Royal Troon

 Pádraig Harrington of Ireland chips to the  18th green during the second round  of the British Open  at Royal Troon. Photograph:  Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Irishman level par after two rounds and will try to chase down leader Phil Mickelson

 Phil Mickelson plays out of a bunker during the second round of the Open Championship at Royal Troon. Photograph:   David Davies/PA Wire

Henrik Stenson hot on American’s heels while Rory McIlroy stays in the hunt

Phil Mickelson of the US finishes the 18th hole on the first day of the British Open Golf Championship at Royal Troon, Scotland. Photo: EPA

The American was denied the lowest ever score at a major championship by a lip out

Ireland’s Shane Lowry drops his club after his tee shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the British Open at Royal Troon. Photo: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Meanwhile, Oosthuizen aces, Ramsey recovers and Bubba gets to grips with Postage Stamp

 Shane Lowry:  “When you are playing with good players, they drag you along with them.  . . It’ll be nice to go out early and try to shoot a score.” Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Offalyman eager to lay down a marker in the British Open at Royal Troon

USA’s Dustin Johnson plays a shot towards the clubhouse on the 18th during the practice day at Royal Troon Golf Club, South Ayrshire. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Despite presence of the ‘Big Four’, many in quality field capable of British Open glory

Ireland’s Padraig Harrington plays from a green-side bunker on the 8th hole during practice ahead of the British Open  at Royal Troon in Scotland. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

British Open’s most challenging hole may well be the innocuous-looking par three

Rory McIlroy at Royal Troon yesterday: “I don’t feel like I’ve let the game down at all. I didn’t get into golf to try and grow the game.” Photograph: Craig Brough/Reuters

Irishman’s forthright words like a dagger twisting into golf’s Olympic dream

Ireland’s  Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington talk during practice at Royal Troon.  Photo:  Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Five of the six Irish players in the field have been handed early-late starts on Thursday and Friday

Jordan Spieth will not compete in the Olympics. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

World number three the latest high profile golfer to decide not to travel to Rio next month

Dustin Johnson after winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, on Sunday. Photograph: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

McIlroy has opted not to play in Scottish Open and will make early visit to Troon

Shane Lowry: “Based on these circumstances, I have received firm medical advice that I should not travel to Rio.”  Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Shane Lowry and Jason Day the latest big names to say no to Games in Rio

Paul Dunne has secured a place at next month’s British Open at Royal Troon. Photograph: Getty

Greystones golfer topped qualification at Woburn for a third consecutive year

Shane Lowry: the holder of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational has returned to Akron, Ohio to defend his title. Photograph: Charlie Riedel/AP

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy leads a strong Irish contingent at the French Open in Paris

Dustin Johnson celebrates with partner Paulina Gretzky and son Tatum after winning the US Open at Oakmont. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Outpouring of goodwill towards Johnston from fellow tour players after US Open victory

Shane Lowry on the fourth hole during his final round of the US Open at Oakmont. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

In collecting a cheque for €660,000 Lowry jumps from 41st to 25th in official world rankings

 Dustin Johnson of the United States poses with the winner’s trophy as Shane Lowry looks on at Oakmont Country Club. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

‘I always say it’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it. I’m sure I learned a lot’

Shane Lowry of Ireland walks along the 11th hole during the third round of the US Open at Oakmont Country Club. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

From his coach to his caddy - good judgment very nearly paid off with US Open glory

Evaporated dreams: Shane Lowry of Ireland reacts to a missed putt on the 14th green during the final round of the US Open at Oakmont  before finishing joint second in the competition with  Jim Furyk and Scott Piercy . Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Dustin Johnson retains calm after confusion over shot penalty to take first major title at US Open at Oakmont

Dustin Johnson holds his son Tatum as his wife Paulina reacts after he birdied the final hole to win the 116th US Open Championship at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. Photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA

Shane Lowry’s final round challenge collapsed on the back nine amid rules chaos

 Shane Lowry  reacts after holing his par putt on the 18th green as he completed his third round at the US Open at Oakmont   Country Club  in  Pennsylvania. Photograph: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Irish golfer plans to take in Tipperary-Limerick game ahead of date with destiny at Oakmont

Shane Lowry of Ireland reacts to his third shot on the first hole during the third round of the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Offaly golfer leads the US Open after third round play was suspended due to darkness

Shane Lowry of Ireland walks  off the ninth green after saving par in the second round of the US Open. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Despite calling penalty on himself, Lowry remains in the thick of things

Dustin Johnson made a strong start on Friday at Oakmont. Photograph: Getty

McIlroy, Spieth and Day all struggle as players make up for lost time at Oakmont

 Shane Lowry  drives from the 18th tee. “What’s the point of moaning about it? I find the guys that are moaning about it are guys that are going to be going home early.” Photo:  David Cannon/Getty Images

Offaly man undaunted by the stiffest of tests at Oakmont Country Club

A general view of the fifth green during a delay due to inclement weather during the first round at Oakmont Country Club yesterday. Photograph: Sam Greenwood/Getty images

Chance for unknowns to make limelight after incomplete round

Ireland’s Shane Lowry  drives from the   fourth tee during the first round of the US Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Elements have their say on a stop-start day that was just about survival

Rory McIlroy on the 16th hole during the final practice round for the 116th US Open Championship at Oakmont Country Club in  Pennsylvania. Photograph: Erik Lesser/EPA

Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Willett among the leading contenders

All you need to know ahead of the US Open at Oakmont

The iconic stretch of bunkering known as the Church Pews line the left-hand side of the fairway.

Dangers threatens from first hole as McIlroy admits players will feel trepidation

Rory McIlroy: “I feel like I’ve got a good game plan for the course. It’s just a matter of going out there and executing it.” Photograph: Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports

World number three says winning at Oakmont would be biggest accomplishment

Shane Lowry practising for the US Open at Oakmont country club. He believes if you make 10 birdies in the week “you’ll have a chance of winning the tournament”. Photograph: EPA

Offaly man has put a two-iron in his bag as he takes on the ‘brutal’ Oakmont course

Graeme McDowell: “I do relish that challenge. I think I am more of a purist US Open guy. I’ve performed well on the pure US Open tests like Pebble Beach, Olympic Club and had it going at places like Winged Foot – very much looking forward to this one and feel like I am taking some decent amount of game in there.”

Busy weeks ahead as 2010 US Open winner aims for place in Ryder Cup team

Irish trio Leona Maguire, Maria Dunne and Olivia Mehaffey celebrate ther GB&I  victory over the United States at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty

Important win in her singles clash helps B&I squad regain title with an 11 ½ to 8 ½ win

 Leona Maguire: “We know what to expect, the captains know what to expect. All week, we’ve been trying to pass on any bit of advice we can give to the other girls,”

Nothing could rain on Maguire’s parade, for the 21-year-old was queen of her own domain

Olivia Mehaffey of Britain and Ireland plays her tee shot on the 13th  during the morning foursomes matches at Dun Laoghaire. Photograph: by David Cannon/Getty Images

Britain and Ireland claim foursomes in Dun Laoghaire but Americans tie matters at 3-3

Leona Maguire, and Charlotte Thomas fought back to claim a 4 and 2 win in the middle foursomes. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

USA managed to avoid a morning whitewash thanks to Bailey Tardy and Monica Vaughn

 Ireland’s Leona Maguire gets in some  chipping practice on the ninth hole at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Leona Maguire and Olivia Mehaffey will also feature in today’s opening foursomes

Leona Maguire: was ranked world number one amateur for almost a full year before being overtaken by Curtis Cup rival, the USA’s Hannah O’Sullivan. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Great chance to see likes of Leona Maguire and world No 1 amateur Hannah O’Sullivan play

Paul O’Hanlon: “I am working full-time now and it kind of feels like one against the head. It’s come out of nowhere. It’s bizarre.” Photograph: Pat Cashman

Local hero Gerard Dunne staged comeback in Louth to come within one shot of winner

The victorious 2012 Great Britain and Ireland team with the Curtis Cup after their ten and a half to nine and a half win during the final day singles matches  at Nairn Golf Club. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

Meanwhile, McIlroy on his Oakmont lack of knowledge, McGirt’s first win and more

 Rory McIlroy of Europe shakes hands with Jack Nicklaus at the Ryder Cup  in   Scotland. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Meadow has cut at tournament drop-outs; Spieth’s goal; Twitter twaddle; In the bag; Know the Rules

Pádraig Harrington has missed out on a place at the US Open following international qualifying at Walton Heath. Photograph:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Paul Dunne and Peter Lawrie also miss out at Walton Heath

Chris Wood secured the biggest win of his career at Wentworth. Photograph: Getty

Englishman grinds out tense victory with Danny Willett finishing two strokes adrift

Lee Westwood is two shots off the lead after the third round at Wentworth. Photograph: Getty

Masters runner-up is two shots off lead while Danny Willet struggles to a third round 76

Shane Lowry of Ireland waits on the 17th hole during the second round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Masters champion the joint leader as Shane Lowry five putts the 15th to miss the cut

Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke alongside his vice-captains Paul Lawrie, Padraig Harrington and Thomas Bjorn. Photo: Getty Images

Thomas Bjorn and Paul Lawrie also named for clash at Hazeltine

Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates a birdie on the 18th green during day one of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Irish duo four shots off the pace following three-under-par 69s in first round

Graeme Swann and US Masters champion Danny Willett during the Pro-Am before the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Photo: Getty Images

Previous form at event has Shane Lowry among favourites to have a big week

Rory McIlroy  has said he and his  fiancée Erica Stoll are contemplating the prospect of starting a family in the next year or two. Photograph: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

Irish Open winner monitoring situation ahead of return of golf to the Games in Rio

Matthew Southgate jokes with world number three Rory McIlroy during the third round of the Irish Open at the K Club. Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile Eamonn Brady is remembering Seve before his dream Wentworth debut

Rory McIlroy acknowledges the galleries as he makes his way up the 18th fairway on the way to a three-shot victory at The K Club. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Knox claimed birdies on 14th and 15th to move one ahead of tournament host

Rory McIlroy  poses with the trophy following his three-shot victory in the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club  in Straffan, Co Kildare. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

World No 3 closes with eagle on 18th to see off challenge of Russell Knox

A Weather Warning is announced as play is suspended during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Photo:  Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Play finally suspended for the day at 8.30pm as McIlroy hits the front at the K Club

World number three Rory McIlroy plays from the rough on the fifth hole during the second round at The K Club.Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

World number three anxious to eliminate ‘soft bogeys’ in business end of tournament

Shane Lowry finished two over after the second round at The K Club - barely making the cut. Photograph: Inpho

Irish Open: Offalyman barely makes the cut, struggling on the lousy side of the draw

Rory McIlroy tees off on the third hole during his opening 67 at The K Club. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

World number three laments Muirfield’s decision on women members

The purse for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is set to rise to €7 million in coming years, making it one of the biggest on the European Tour. Photograph:  Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Dubai Duty Free set to increase investment to make prize fund amongst the biggest on European Tour

Danny Willett shares a joke with Lee Westwood’s caddie Billy Foster  during the first round of the  Dubai Duty Free Irish Open  at  The K Club in Dtraffan. Photograph: Paul Childs/ Action Images via Reuters/Livepic

Masters champion opens with blistering 65 on first day of Irish Open

Rory McIlroy lines up a putt at the Irish Open pro-am in The K Club as AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh, his caddie for the day, look on. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

K Club quest to claim €666,660 winner’s cheque will be tough

Antonia Beggs: “Everyone in Ireland seems to care about golf and everyone says you punch above your weight”

Irish Open director talks about life as a woman on tour

Rory McIlroy at the K Club: “It just hasn’t happened yet, and I’m trying to stay as patient as possible.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

As Irish Open starts, Graeme McDowell says world number three is the best around

Shane Lowry: was the last Irish player to win the Irish Open when he triumphed at Baltray, while still an amateur,  in 2009. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Last home winner of Irish Open says financial penalties don’t impact on players

Danny Willett at the K Club: “I just feel very fortunate that the second time I’ve been in contention in a Major I was able to polish it off.”  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Englishman’s career has been transformed by his US Masters win at Augusta last month

 Rory McIlroy finished tied 12th at the Players:  “Hopefully this is the week that can kick-start the rest of the season.” Photo:  Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tournament host believes his game is in good shape as he prepares for K Club test

Jason Day of Australia celebrates with son Dash after winning  The Players Championship  at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Jason Day takes Tiger talk in his stride; Jeung-hun Wang targets hat-trick

Christy O’Connor snr –  a  legend of Irish golf and golf in general  –  who has died aged 91. Photograph: Getty

Lee Trevino once remarked: ‘Christy flows through the ball like fine wine’

Paul Dunne is back on track after a bout of food poisoning. Photograph: Getty

The rookie pro is back on track after a spell in the hospital rather than on the greens

 Rory McIlroy has three successive top-10 finishes in Sawgrass. Photograph: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

World number three concedes that a more conservative approach is needed

 A general view of the 17th green at TPC Sawgrass  in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Eccentric Swede puts travails behind him with Champions Tour success

Authors Colin Byrne and Karl McCullagh at Royal Dublin yesterday with Irish Times sports editor Malachy Logan for the launch of The Little White Ball. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Informative, concise guide simplifies what is becoming increasingly technical game

 Branden Grace:  “Getting this first victory, I can settle down a bit and forget about just keeping the card.” Photo:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

South African has ticked off a big box by registering breakthrough win in the USA

Cormac Sharvin has decided to take the Challenge Tour route as he sets out on his professional career. Photo: Inpho

The Walker Cup star begins his season at the Turkish Airlines Challenge next month

 Danny Willett celebrates after winning  the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on Sunday. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Englishman’s career set to shift into fast lane as he moves to ninth in world rankings

 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his second shot on the 11th hole during the third round  at Augusta National. Photo:  David Cannon/Getty Images

World number two played the 4th and 11th holes at Augusta in a total of nine over par

Shane Lowry aced the 16th in his final round at Augusta National. Photograph: AP

Offaly’s finest landed a hole in one on the 16th green to end his US Masters week in style

England’s Danny Willett celebrates on the 18th green after winning the 80th playing of the US Masters at Augusta National. Photo: Jim Watson/Getty Images

Englishman triumphs at Augusta as reigning champion collapses on back nine

Bernhard Langer heads into the final round of the US Masters firmly in contention. Photograph: AFP

58-year-old has played his way into Masters contention 21-years since last Green Jacket

Rory McIlroy reacts to a missed putt on the 17th green as Jordan Spieth looks on during the third round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

A closing double bogey means Spieth will only take a one shot lead into the final round

Ireland’s Shane Lowry reacts after teeing off on the 12th hole during Round 2 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club. Photo: Getty Images

Offaly man recovers his composure following a difficult bogey-bogey start

Jordan Spieth lines up a putt on the 7th hole during Round 2 of the 80th Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

Northern Irishman posts a battling 71 in difficult conditions to get to three under

Shane Lowry plays from the second tee during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Photograph: Kevin C Cox/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy stumbled to a bogey at the last but is still well in contention after a 70

 Rickie Fowler: his opening round of 80 effectively ends his US Masters challenge at Augusta. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty

Chastening opening 80 at Augusta for a man who was hoping to claim his first Major title

World number one Jason Day with his son Dash during the  Par 3 competition at Augusta yesterday. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Irishman aiming to join elite group who have claimed the career Grand Slam

 Bubba Watson:  has arguably the best game tee-to-green with his monster drives giving him an edge on the field. Photo:  Harry How/Getty Images

Proven winner Bubba Watson can master Augusta again

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