Paul Dunne is likely to feature at the EurAsia Cup. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

I’ll be interesting to see who Thomas Bjorn will name as members of his 12-strong team

Shane Lowry of Ireland prepares to play a shot during the final round of the DP World Tour Golf Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. Photo: Karim Sahib/Getty Images

Offaly golfer ended the season on a high with his second place finish in Race to Dubai finale

Next year Paul Dunne could be defending a Rolex Series event at the British Masters. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

While Rolex Series has been a success, it is not until May that really elite events begin

Shane Lowry after  his third shot on the 18th  during the final round of the DP World Tour Championship   in Dubai. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Offalyman doubles his season’s winnings on the European Tour to €1,393,916

 Ireland’s Shane Lowry  on the 18th   during the final round of the DP World Tour Championship  in Dubai. Photograph:  Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Jon Rahm’s final round of 67 secures his second title of the European campaign

Paul Dunne of Ireland reacts to the crowd on the 18th hole during the second round of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Shane Lowry also fought his way back at the Earth Course where Matt Fitzpatrick leads

Jon Rahm of Spain is to become the first European in five years to lay his hands on the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year award. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Out of Bounds: The last four winners of the award have been American or South Korean

 Bernhard Langer: “We voted for (the change) and that’s what it is at the moment. It was never meant to be fair. It was to be playoff. Photograph: Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Different Strokes: German forced to take a dose of his own medicine as he loses out

Paul Dunne is currently a career best 77th in the world. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty

Fleetwood in driving seat in order of merit but Rose and Garcia remain in contention

Gavin Moynihan is one of four Irish players bidding to secure their European Tour card in Spain. Photograph: Tom Dulat/Getty

Qualifying school puts intense pressure on players and is starting to look outdated

Shane Lowry’s second shot on the 7th hole during the final round of the Turkish Airlines Open  in Antalya, Turkey. Photograph:   Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Harrington’s fourth place in Turkey moves him from 170th to 126th in world rankings

Henrik Stenson injured his rib during this publicity stunt ahead of the WGC - HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan has his sights firmly set on the European Tour

Good fight: Pádraig Harrington after chipping in on the 10th hole during the final round of the Turkish Airlines Open. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty

Harrington fightback falls short as Lowry fails to end tour drought

Justin Rose poses with the trophy after winning the Turkish Airlines Open at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort in Antalya, Turkey. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Harrington needed to eagle the last to force playoff but made par as Shane Lowry faded

Shane Lowry hits his second shot on the 16th hole during the third round of the Turkish Airlines Open. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Pádraig Harrington’s third round 64 for 201 left him sharing third place at Regnum Carya

Shane Lowry of Ireland tees off on the 11th hole during the second round of the Turkish Airlines Open at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort in Antalya, Turkey. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Offalyman carded a round of 66 at Turkish Airlines Open to go into the weekend at -8

 Pádraig Harrington hits his second shot on the first hole during the first round of the Turkish Airlines Open at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort  in Antalya, Turkey. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Three-time Major winner a stroke off the lead as Shane Lowry and Paul Dunne also flourish

Paul Dunne, Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington of Ireland play a practice round ahead of the Turkish Airlines Open at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort in Antalya, Turkey. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Irishman is facing into a three-week stretch of Rolex Series events to finish his season

 Padraig Harrington celebrates after winning the 136th Open Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland in 2007. Photograph: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Dubliner's desire to perform and compete and possibly win is as strong as it ever was

Shane Lowry  practising  in Antalya, Turkey, ahead of the Turkish Airlines Open. Photograph:   Warren Little/Getty Images

World ranking points and over €6m in prize money at Turkish Airlines Open

Paul Dunne currently lies 14th in the Race To Dubai. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Paul Dunne and Shane Lowry have plenty to play for starting with Turkish Airlines Open

Paul Dunne: looking forward to four big-money events following his strong start to the Ryder Cup qualifying campaign.  Photograph:  Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Ex-captain convinced Wicklow man has the potential to make the team for Paris

Tiger Woods is back playing golf but will he soon be back playing competitively? Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Social media clips hint at a return to playing, but will he really be able to compete properly?

Dustin Johnson has been world No.1 for 35 straight weeks. Photograph: Getty Images

Since US PGA, the player who has gained the most points of all is actually Marc Leishman

Pádraig Harrington is looking to win on Spanish soil for a third time at this week’s  Andalucia Masters in Valderrama. Photograph:   Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Irish duo need strong finishes to have a chance to make lucrative tour finale in Dubai

Tyrrell Hatton of England plays a shot on the 18th hole during the final round of The Italian Open at Golf Club Milano in Monza, Italy. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Gavin Moynihan closes in on European Tour, by the numbers and more

England’s Tom Murray won the inaugural Irish Challenge at Mount Wolseley in 2015. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Getty

Scheduling conflicts mean some players will shun this weeks event at Mount Wolseley

Paul McBride hits out of a bunker on the ninth hole during his singles match defeat at the Walker Cup  at Los Angeles Country Club. Photograph: Mark J Terrill/AP

Five of world’s top-six ranked amateurs help USA romp to comprehensive victory

Nigel Edwards the victorious 2015 Britain and Ireland team captain poses with the Irish players - Paul Dunne, Cormac Sharvin, Gary Hurley, Gavin Moynihan and Jack Hume - at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Photograph: Getty Images

Out of Bounds: Exactly two years ago a record quintet of Irishmen won the Walker Cup

Philip Reid (The Irish Times), with the victorious Gort GC team, Michael McMahon, captain, Margaret McMahon, lady captain, Gerry Broderick and Sean McGrath CEO of Allianz at the K Club. Photograph: Tom Honan.

McMahons and Broderick deliver glory for Gort Golf Club

After winning the 2016 Irish Open, Rory McIlroy donated his €666,000 winnings back to his charity the Rory Foundation. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Sergio Garcia announced this week that he will donate to victims of Hurricane Harvey

 European Tour CEO Keith Pelley has apologised after a botched upgrade to the tour’s website. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty

‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ - Tour’s new platform reeled back after failing to deliver

 Henrik Stenson reacts after making a putt on the 17th hole during the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. Photograph:  Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Four-time Major winner fit enough to tee it up in the first of the FedEx Cup playoffs

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry have had frustrating seasons. Photograph: Getty Images

Out of Bounds: 12 Major championships have come and gone since the last win in 2014

Justin Thomas poses with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship at  Quail Hollow. Photograph: Chris O’Meara/AP

PGA Championship success heralded the emergence of another special young talent

Jordan Spieth  reacting to his putt on the first green during the final round of the  PGA Championship at Quail Hollow. Photograph:   Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

'Buddy, we won one of the Majors. I understand that’s a great year in the Majors'

 Rory McIlroy on the third tee during the final round of the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow club  in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph:  Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

McIlroy rib injury has not gone away and needs further medical assessment

Justin Thomas of the United States thanks the crowd after winning the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

The 24-year-old becomes eighth first time major winner in last nine major championships

 Rory McIlroy  plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club  in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

World No 4 will return home to seek medical opinion after back problems flare up at US PGA

Rory McIlroy plays a  shot on the third hole during the third round of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

World number four endures another frustrating day as Kevin Kisener leads by one

Shane Lowry of Ireland is consoled by his caddie Dermot Byrne after the second round of the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Offaly golfer was five under through his first 16 holes before it all came apart at the 17th

Rory McIlroy chips onto the second green. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

McIlroy flirts with disaster but lives to fight another day at Quail Hollow

 Rory McIlroy  plays his fourth shot  on the 14th hole during the first round of the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph:  Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Double-bogey on short par-4 14th hole leaves McIlroy off the pace at US PGA

Shane Lowry on the 10th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Offalyman can take satisfaction from his battling effort that featured 10 single putts

Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark plays out of the bunker on the 16th hole during the first round of the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Jordan Spieth rallies late on to keep his Grand Slam hopes in sight

 Jordan Spieth addresses  a press conference during a practice round prior to the  PGA Championship at Quail Hollow  in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph:  Warren Little/Getty Images

PGA Championship win would see American join elite group of Grand Slam winners

Shane Lowry plays from a bunker during a practice round for the 99th PGA Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

Offalyman to concentrate full-time on the PGA Tour from next January

Fans look on as Brooks Koepka hits a shot during a practice round prior to the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Out of Bounds: US PGA moving to May could help put more focus on the Race to Dubai

Irishman believes his game in good shape ahead of US PGA at Quail Hollow

Pádraig Harrington returns to the familiar surroundings of Quail Hollow this week. Photograph: Peter Morrison/Inpho

2008 winner aiming to be fresh on Thursday at familiar surroindings of Quail Hollow

 Rory McIlroy during the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio. Photograph: Getty Images

Promised thunderstorms disrupt practice; and, secondly, they ensures a softer course

Bernhard Langer with the senior Claret Jug. Photograph: Phil Inglis/Getty

German has been dominant in Senior Majors despite the putting ban imposed in 2016

Rory McIlroy stands with his former caddie JP Fitzgerald during the third round of the Open Championship. Photograph: Reuters

Irishman parted ways with JP Fitzgerald and is due to address the issue on Wednesday

Fintan Kelly scores Monaghan goal during the All-Ireland Round 4B Qualifier against Down at Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Level at half-time, Conor McManus leads scoring spree in second half at Croke Park

Rory McIlroy holds aloft the US PGA after winning at Valhalla in 2014. Photo: Getty Images

The tournament is likely to move to May with the Players being pushed back into March

 Jordan Spieth  embraces his caddie Michael Greller after victory in  the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Photograph:  Christian Petersen/Getty

Irishman will be out to foil American’s bid to seal a career Grand Slam at the US PGA

Jordan Spieth hits his third shot from the practice range on the 13th hole during the final round of the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

American correctly used the rules to his advantage in dropping on practice ground

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy chips from the rough on the 18th during day four of the British Open  at Royal Birkdale Golf Club. Photograph: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Northern Irish man finishes joint fourth after horrendous first round at Royal Birkdale

Jordan Spieth celebrates after holing out on the 18th green to secure the British Open title. Photograph:  Andrew Boyers/Reuters

He comes back from poor start with incredible final five holes to win Open title

 Jordan Spieth reacts after sinking a birdie putt on the 18th hole during the third round of the British Open at Royal Birkdale in Southport. Photograph:  Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Ice-cool Texan cards 65 to take three-shot lead; Branden Grace cards historic 62

“There was a lot of quality out there and I was happy to see that. I just have to try to keep that going for the next two days.” Photograph:  Dan Mullan/Getty Images

After back-to-back misses cuts McIlroy back at the business end of a tournament

Ian Poulter: “I play some of my best golf when I’m pretty confident. And I’m excited for this weekend. I can’t wait.” Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

Englishman has regained his confidence following a difficult last 12 months

 Rules officials help remove a signpost to allow Rory McIlroy  play a shot on the 15th hole during the second round of the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty

Proven Major winner leads by two from Kuchar as McIlroy storms back into contention

 Rory McIlroy  chips onto the 11th green during the second round of the 146th British Open at Royal Birkdale. Photograph:  Dan Mullan/Getty Images

McIlroy plays the conditions beautifully at Birkdale to finish on one-under

Philip Reid with the golf ball he was hit by, signed by Dustin Johnson.

DJ did say sorry, and he did sign the golf ball. So, thanks for that. I’ll find a frame for it

 Rory McIlroy plays from the rough on the eighth hole during the first round of the British Open at Royal Birkdale, Southport. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

“JP gave me a talking to. Reminded me . . . ‘You’re Rory McIlroy, what are you doing?’"

 Shane Lowry: “I just have to keep plugging away because this game is very difficult at times.” Photograph:  Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Double bogey on 16th costly for Offaly man who has to settle for a two-over 72

Padraig Harrington acknowledges the crowd after his first round at Royal Birkdale. Photograph:  Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Harrington, Lowry and Clarke all finish over par while McIlroy makes poor start

Rory McIlroy during a practice round at Royal Birkdale ahead of the 146th Open Championship. Photo: Andy Buchanan/Getty Images

Shane Lowry is the only one of the quartet not to have already lifted the claret jug

Jason Day of Australia hits a bunker shot during a practice round prior to the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Australian has faced a tumultuous time on and off course but is coming out the other side

Rory McIlroy is hopeful of turning his fortunes around at Royal Birkdale this week. Photograph: Gerry Penny/EPA

2014 British Open winner feels odds of 20/1 for him to win this week are very generous

R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers has called the BBC’s coverage of the British Open ‘tired’ and ‘outdated.’ Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

R&A’s stance on ‘growing game’ doesn’t sit easily with Majors stuck behind a paywall

Padraig Harrington and  Shane Lowry  practising  at Royal Birkdale.  Photograph: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Lowry looking forward to playing seven weeks in a row and making FedEx playoffs

Spaniard John Rahm  during a practice round prior to the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale on Tuesday at Southport, England. Photograph: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Irish Open winner gets into the zone by listening to ‘motivational’ rapper before rounds

Pádraig Harrington: 'I’ve come in in better form. I’m playing decent golf and contending, trying to contend.' Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Fourth-place finish in Scottish Open shows former champion’s game is in good shape

Rory McIlroy in action during a practice round for the the 146th Open Championship at  Royal Birkdale, Southport. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Major success at the US Masters has instilled further confidence in the popular Spaniard

 Pádraig Harrington  plays a shot from the rough on the sixth hole  at Royal Birkdale. Photograph:  Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Of all the courses on the British Open rota, this one punishes inaccuracy off the tee

Jon Rahm on the 17th tee during the third round of the 2017 Irish Open. Photograph: Inpho

Portstewart is likely to be host again whenever the tournament returns to the North

 Pádraig Harrington in action during the  Irish Open at Portstewart. “I am very comfortable where I am at with my game of golf and general attitude to it.” Photograph:  Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Time is also running out for Paul Dunne and Graeme McDowell to secure Open spots

Jon Rahm celebrates with the trophy after his victory at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Photo: Matt Mackey/Inpho

T-Bone steaks one of the secrets in winning title also held by Garcia, Seve and Olazabal

Spain’s Jon Rahm  embraces his caddie on the 18th green after his victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open  at Portstewart Golf Club. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Gavin Moynihan makes the most of late invite with closing 64 to finish as top Irish player

Spain’s Jon Rahm  hits from the rough on the 17th hole during the third round of the   Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club. Photograph: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Young Spanish sensation in contention to join the Spanish roll of honour at the Irish Open

Fans watching Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell on the 12th hole during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

The Spaniard is one off the lead with a number of Irish players also in contention

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland waits on the 18th hole during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

After missing cut at Portstewart, McIlroy still confident in his game and practice regime

Riory McIlroy’s Irish Open title defence looks over after he shot a second round 73. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Title defence is all but over with Paul Dunne leading the Irish charge at Portstewart

 Rory McIlroy lines up a putt during the first round  of the Irish Open  at  Portstewart, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Reuters

After a round of 72, the world number four said: “I felt like I was swimming against the stream”

Rory McIlroy plays his second shot to the 6th hole during day one of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Paul Dunne, Graeme McDowell and Gavin Moynihan head Irish challenge at Portstewart

Graeme McDowell carded an opening round 67 at the Irish Open. Photograph: Peter Morrison/Inpho

Shane Lowry and Pádraig Harrington also enjoy good opening rounds at Portstewart

Rory McIlroy on the 1st at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. The Northern Irishman said: “The next 10 years is where I really want to start to make hay and win a lot of tournaments and be in contention in a lot of majors.” Photograph: Justin Kernoghan/Photopress Belfast

Irish Open favourite would ‘love’ to get on sustained run like US golfer did in his prime

Paul Dunne: “My card’s been wrapped up for a while, the big goal would be to try and win something but I’m going to pick up as much money as I can on the way.”

With his card already secure, Dunne can afford to go take risks in Irish Open

Rory McIlroy putts on the 1st during the Pro-Am of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

‘I must have wrote that tweet and deleted it about five times before I actually sent it’

Rickie Fowler was the last big name American to compete in the Irish Open at Royal County Down in 2015. Photo: Matt Mackey/Inpho

None of the big name PGA Tour players are at Portstewart, despite the impending Open

Players make their way up the second fairway during practice on Wednesday at Porstewart. Photograph: Peter Morrison/Presseye/Inpho

Course will demand strategy and creative shot-making – a learning curve for many awaits

Padraig Harrington: “I’m putting well, the long game [is good].” Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Dubliner sees upcoming Irish Open as the springboard to better things this season

Captain of Seapoint Peter Higgins. Photograph: Arthur Allison

Shandon Park, Donabate and Greenore also earn place in August’s K Club final

 Rory McIlroy with The Irish Open trophyat the K Club last year. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Moving tournament to Portrush in 2012, and Rory McIlroy’s involvement pivotal in saving event

Rory McIlroy reacts to a missed putt on the 16th green during the final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

For Rory McIlroy, average putting weeks often lead to titles due to long game excellence

Rory McIlroy: finished tied-17th in the Travelers Championship. Photograph:  Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

World number four already looked happier with new putter in Travelers Championship

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland lines up a putt on the 18th green during the final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

He was joined on six under par at Travelers Championship by Pádraig Harrington

Tim Rice: with the Irish PGA Championship trophy at Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort.

Limerickman posts a final round 70 to hold off challenge of Colm Moriarty

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