JB Holmes of the United States on the 18th hole during the first round of the 148th British Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Portrush. Photograph: Getty Images

Compact nature of the field emphasised by 41 players being within four of the leader

 Rory McIlroy in the rough on the 18th hole during the first round of the 148th British Open at Royal Portrush. Photograph:  Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Tournament favourite faces huge task just to make the cut after opening round of 79

Rory McIlroy stands dejected during the first round of the British Open at Portrush. Photo: Paul Childs/Inpho

Home hero opens his British Open bid with quadruple bogey eight at the first

Shane Lowry during a practice round at Royal Portrush. “It’s one of my favourite golf courses in Ireland. . . I think the scoring is going to be a little trickier than what people think.” Photograph : Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Offaly man says his form is as good as it’s ever been coming into an Open

A view of the 18th grandstand at Royal Portrush on Wednesday. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire.

Championship could become a battle for survival on famous Portrush links

The stunning Par 4 fifth hole at Royal Portrush. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP

Spectacular course set to challenge the world’s best golfers

Rory McIlroy of Ireland talks with his caddie Harry Diamond during a practice round at Portrush. Photograph: Getty Images

A winner of The Players earlier this season, he’s played a light schedule in the run-up

Ireland’s Pádraig  Harrington  practising for  the 148th Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Photograph:  Francois Nel/Getty Images

Dubliner insists ‘there is nothing that I fear out here this week, I can definitely do it’

Tiger Woods during a practice round at Royal Portrush. He texted Brookes Koepka in the hope of sharing a practice round with the latter’s caddie Ricky Elliott. He is yet to receive a reply. Photograph: Kevin C Cox/Getty Images

Caddie’s familiarity with famous Portrush links another feather in world No 1’s cap

US golfer Tiger Woods takes part in a press conference at The 148th British Open at Portrush golf club. Photograph: Getty Images

In the past he played a lot of links golf in Ireland ahead of various British Opens

Darren Clarke: “You think about that time, when everything that was going on, whether we were ever going to have a tournament such as this? It was beyond the realms of possibility.” Photograph:  Francois Nel/Getty Images

For many years the idea of Northern Ireland hosting a British Open was unthinkable

England’s Tommy Fleetwood during a press conference at Royal Portrush golf club. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

English player has been a model of consistency this year without tasting success

Darren Clarke will get the British Open underway on Thursday at Portrush. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Rory McIlroy gets under way at 10.09am alongside Gary Woodland and Paul Casey

The 148th British Open takes place at Royal Portrush this week. Photograph: PA

Philip Reid uses the alphabet to guide you through the British Open’s past and present

Rory Mcilroy: warming up at the  Scottish Open. Photograph:  Kevin Cox/Getty Images

Philip Reid picks his favourites, mid-rangers and dark horses for final Major of the year

Pádraig Harrington on the 14th tee during the second round of the British Open at in 2002. Photograph: Harry How/Getty Images

Until Harrington’s victory in 2007, Major championship brought only tales of woe

Tiger Woods on the eighth green during the first practice round at the British Open in Royal Portrush. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Former world number one among those who arrived early ahead of final Major of the year

 Royal Portrush Golf Club in Co Antrim. With all of the world’s top golfers playing, the 148th British Open is the biggest international sporting event ever staged in Northern Ireland. Photograph:  Matt Mackey/Inpho

Next week is a new dawn that few in darkest days of the Troubles could ever have envisaged

Matthew Wolff reacts after an 18th hole eagle gave him a maiden PGA Tour victory in the 3M Open. Photograph: Craig Lassig/EPA

Young prodigies have signed lucrative deals after their breakthrough on the PGA Tour

Northern Ireland’s Cormac Sharvin at the Irish Open in Lahinch. He has  jumped to 404th from 479th in the world rankings on the back of his top 15 finish. Photograph:  Reuters/Peter Cziborra

McIlroy to resume competitive play at Scottish Open alongside Dunne, McDowell and Harrington

England’s Robert Rock in action during the final round of the Irish Open in Lahinch, Co Clare. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images via Reuters

Tournament may have to be moved from usual slot to avoid clash with WGC in US

Cormac Sharvin during day four of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Pádraig Harrington, for one, was impressed with how Sharvin went about his business

 Jon Rahm with The Irish Open trophy after his victory on Sunday. Photograph: PA

He moves to the top of Race to Dubai order of merit and back into the world’s top-10

Cormac Sharvin shot a 66 on Saturday to remain firmly in the hunt in the Irish Open. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty

Sharvin well placed at Irish Open as English veteran shoots a tournament record of 60

Robin Dawson made a fine 64 at Lahinch on Saturday. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty

Late Irish Open call-up finished one stroke inside cut before surging up leaderboard

Zander Lombard has the halfway lead in the Irish Open at Lahinch. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty

Shane Lowry battles with a stomach upset as Cormac Sharvin leads the home challenge

A stunning back nine saw Séamus Power post a second round of 66 in the Irish Open. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty

Six birdies on the back nine see Waterford man roar back to post an improbable 66

Cormac Sharvin’s second round of 69 leaves him firmly in contention at the halfway stage of the Irish Open. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

26-year-old taking it ‘one shot at a time’ as he chases one of three places at British Open

Pádraig Harrington struggled to keep up the pace as he shot a second round of 73 at Lahinch. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Dubliner follows fine opening round with a 73 on Friday while Cormac Sharvin digs in

Cormac Sharvin opened with a 66 at Lahinch. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Shane Lowry overcomes nerves and climate change protestors to start well at Lahinch

Shane Lowry opened with a 66 at Lahinch. Photograph: Donall Farmer/PA

Offalyman says he feels the added pressure this week but sits just one off clubhouse lead

Pádraig Harrington started his Irish Open with a fine round of 63. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty

47-year-old puts struggles behind him and seizes moment with fine 63 at Irish Open

The fifth hole at Lahinch. The key is to  find the hidden green with the tee shot.  Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

The finishing hole offers an opportunity for a birdie but also the potential for disaster

England’s Tommy Fleetwood on the seventh tee during the pro-am   before the Irish Open at Lahinch. Photograph:   Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Rahm confident his temperament allows him to adapt to different challenges of links golf

Gavin Moynihan practising for the Irish Open at Lahinch golf club. “I know a very good event is not very far away.” Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Dublin player says while driving would normally be a strength, it has been letting him down of late

Shane Lowry: “Hopefully, I’ll have a few chances along the years. And hopefully one of them is this week. If I do get a chance, I’ll be giving my best.” Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Offalyman would love nothing better than to repeat his Irish Open win of a decade ago

French golfer Alexander Levy on the fourth hole in practice at Lahinch Golf Club. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Dawson benefits from Moynihan’s fortune with possible sellout in store at Lahinch

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open host Paul McGinley pictured beside the  The Rampant Goat bronze at Lahinch Golf Club, host of next week’s event. Photograph:   Brian Arthur

Although missing many of the game’s top stars, Lahinch is set to swing on and off the course

James Sugrue putts on the fourth green during the Amateur Championship Final at Portmarnock Golf Club. Photo: Patrick Bolger/Getty Images

Real loss is that male-only membership is restricting the hosting of big tournaments

Shane Lowry  at a Dublin media event.” I do feel like I am playing with a lot of confidence at the minute, and if I shoot a bad score today I am going to shoot a good score tomorrow.” Photograph:   Lorraine O’Sullivan/Sharppix

The Offaly player is on the hunt for a second win this season after his Abu Dhabi victory

Sean Hession (Dundalk honorary secretary), Peter Kilcullen (Director Allianz), Criona O’Reilly (Dundalk lady captain)  and Patrick Davis (Dundalk captain) at the Allianz/Irish Times golf challenge at Malone Golf Club in Belfast. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Allianz Irish Times Officers’ Challenge

Tom McKibbin:  the  16-year-old from Holywood GC  shot a 68 to secure  one of the 13 places on offer from the regional qualifier for the British Open at  Co Louth GC.  Photograph: Matt Mackey/Presseye/Inpho

Seapoint star shoots a splendid 66 to make it to final qualifying stage next week

Ireland’s James Sugrue celebrates with the Amateur Championship trophy after victory at Portmarnock Golf Club. Photograph:   Patrick Bolger/Getty Images

22-year-old bound for British Open and the Masters after win over Scotland’s Euan Walker

Mallow’s James Sugrue  celebrates victory in the British Amateur Championship  at Portmarnock Golf Club. Photograph:  Patrick Bolger/Getty Images

Mallow golfer brought to the 36th green by Scotland’s Euan Walker in epic encounter

Cork golfer James Sugrue  progressed to the 36-holes British Amateur Championship final against Scotland’s Euan Walker. Photograph: Pat Cashman

Sugrue within touching distance of earning invitations to British Open and US Open

Mallow’s James Sugrue fist bumps his opponent David Micheluzzi of Australia after both birdied the 14th hole during the semi-final of the  British Amateur Championship at Portmarnock Golf Club. Photograph: Pat Cashman

After battling back in quarter-final Mallow golfer takes out top-ranked Micheluzzi

Rory McIlroy during the final round of the  US Open at Pebble Beach. “I felt like I did a lot of good things [at Pebble Beach] even though I didn’t win the tournament.” Photograph:  Warren Little/Getty Images

'I haven’t tried to hide the fact that I'm playing a Major championship basically at home'

Mallow’s James Sugrue signals with his driver on the eighth hole during the  British Amateur championship at Portmarnock Golf Club. Photograph:  R&A via Getty Images

Mallow golfer joined in quarter-finals of British Amateur by Galway’s Ronan Mullarney

Ronan Mullarney recovered to see off England’s Jake Bolton and progress in the British Amateur Championship. Photograph: R&A/Getty

James Sugrue through as British Amateur Championship field is trimmed down to 32

Adare Manor Golf Resort is at the forefront of contenders to play host to the Ryder Cup in 2026. Photograph: Inpho

Last year’s Ryder Cup in Paris boosted economic activity in France by €235.7 million

Caolan Rafferty shot a round of 68 at Portmarnock Golf Club. Photograph: Pat Cashman

26-year-old’s mood lifts as a 68 at Portmarnock keeps his challenge alive and kicking

Conor Purcell: faces a battle to make the top 64 and the matchplay stages following a 76 at The Island. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Australian Amateur Open champion struggles to an opening 76 at The Island

The British Amateur Championship  trophy. Photograph: Inpho/Getty

British Championship is free for spectators with world’s brightest prospects on show

Rory McIlroy wearing a Toronto Raptors vest after winning the Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ontario. Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

History indicates McIlroy tends to continue playing well whenever he hits the winning trail

Rory McIlroy on the 18th green after making a putt to win the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club. Photograph: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Shane Lowry finishes in second place as McDowell secures British Open place

Brooks Koepka with  his caddie, Ricky Elliott, during the final round of the  2019 PGA Championship on the Black Course, Bethpage State Park, in Farmingdale, NY. Photograph:  Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Irish caddie enjoying every minute as his employer goes in search of a fifth Major title

Graeme McDowell  on  the fifth hole during the second round of the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club. Photograph: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

McDowell and Shane Lowry four shots off the lead as Rory McIlroy makes move with 66

Ireland’s  Shane Lowry drives from the seventh tee during the first round of the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club. Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Irish golfer one shot off clubhouse leader Keegan Bradley after six-under 64

Matt Kuchar hits his third shot on the 18th hole during the second round of The Memorial Tournament. Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Out of Bounds: American has done nothing for his image this year with numerous gaffes

Leona Maguire missed the cut at the US Open in South Carolina. Photograph: Steve Helber/AP

Leona Maguire’s US Open adventure comes to a premature end in stifling conditions

Stephanie Meadow tees off the second tee during the first round of the US Women’s Open in Charleston. Photo: Steve Helber/AP Photo

Two Irish players need improvements in their second rounds if they are to make the cut

Rory McIlroy watches his tee shot on the 15th hole during the first round of The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Tiger Woods looked much improved on his missed cut at the US PGA as he shot a 70

Stephanie Meadow in action during this year’s Kia Classic in California. Photograph: Steve Dykes/Getty

Ireland will have two women professionals competing in a Major for the first ever time

Tiger Woods: has been a five-time winner of the Memorial tournament at Muirfield Village. Photograph:  Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Na doesn't Dodge his commitment to caddie after win, Maguire in Major company

Shane Lowry has added the Canadian Open to his schedule as he build up to the US Open at Pebble Beach. Photograph:  Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Offaly golfer expects famous California course to suit his game for upcoming US Open

Slieve Russell in Cavan is now the PGA National in Ireland.

Co Cavan resort will be one of just eight courses worldwide with the title

Séamus Power will play in the Irish Open in July. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Waterford man will take a break from PGA Tour to tee it up at Lahinch in July

Phil Mickelson high fives fans during the US PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty

New York course will hold 2024 tournament with ‘Lefty’ a live captaincy contender

Brooks Koepka and  caddie Ricky Elliott with  the Wanamaker Trophy  at the Bethpage Black course in New York. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Caddie Ricky Elliott will bring local knowledge to Koepka's pursuit of the Claret Jug

Shane Lowry on  the second tee during his  final round of the  PGA Championship at  Bethpage Black, New York. Photograph:   Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Offaly man’s tied-eighth place in the US PGA moves him up to 39th in the world rankings

CEO of Allianz Sean McGrath presenting first prize to Tim Smyth, captain of Kinsale Golf Club; Jo Condon, lady captain; and Michael Landers, president. Photograph: John Allen/Provision

Allianz Irish Times Officers’ Challenge qualifying

Brooks Koepka reacts to his putt on the 18th green to win the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Word number one saw his seven shot lead cut to one on the back nine before rallying

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland drives off the 10th tee during the final round of the US PGA Championship golf tournament at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York on Sunday. Photograph: Charles Krupa/AP

Lowry, McIlroy and Graeme McDowell glad to survive punishing course in tough conditions

Brooks Koepka of the United States walks off the sixth tee during the third round of the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

American takes a seven shot lead into the final day as he shows no signs of let up

Shane Lowry carded a two-under 68 in the third round of the US PGA at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy enjoys early eagle in third-round 69 at Bethpage Black

 Brooks Koepka  chips on the fifth hole during the second round of the US PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York. Photograph:  Tannen Maury/EPA

Defending champion cards 65 to record lowest 36-hole score in Major history

Rory McIlroy drives on the 18th hole  during the second round of the 2019 US Championship at  Bethpage Black  in Farmingdale, New York. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Four birdies in five holes on his back nine makes up for nightmare 40 on his front

Tiger Woods on the 17th hole during the first round of the US PGA Championship Bethpage Black. Photograph: Brad Penner-USA Today Sports

Masters champion had two double-bogeys on his front nine en route to two-over-par 72

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his missed putt on the 11th green during the first round of the 2019 PGA Championship at the Bethpage Black course in Farmingdale, New York. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Defending champion Brooks Koepka one shot clear of Danny Lee after a stunning 63

Graeme McDowell plays his  approach on the second hole during the first round of the US PGA Championship at  Bethpage Black  in Farmingdale, New York. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

‘What I like about it is no one can play the course in the rough’

Rory McIlroy tees off during a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bethpage Black, Long Island on Wednesday. Photograph: Charles Krupa/AP

Challenging set-up will suit a certain type of golfer – one who can hit 300 yards-plus

Shane Lowry practices ahead of the US PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty

‘I have won one, had a great chance to win another one. Statistically that is decent’

Rory McIlroy  signs autographs during a practice round prior to the 2019 PGA Championship at the Bethpage Black course in Long Island, New York, on Monday. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Golfer commits to representing Ireland in Tokyo 2020 after skipping Rio in 2016

 Tiger Woods catches a ball as he practices on the driving range for the PGA Championship  at Bethpage Black course in Bethpage, New York. Photograph: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Masters champion back at Bethpage Black – where he won the 2002 US Open

 Rory McIlroy during a practice round ahead of the 2019 PGA Championship at the Bethpage Black course in New York. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Four time Major winner confirmed the news ahead of this week’s PGA Championship

 Tiger Woods   looks on during a practice round prior to the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black  in Bethpage, New York. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

American in prime form for PGA Championship after 15th Major title win last month

Max Homa celebrates on the 18th green after making his par putt to win the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

By its very nature golf is a selfish sport and is worlds apart from the likes of football

Séamus Power of Ireland plays a shot from a bunker on the 13th hole during the third round of the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Waterford golfer has gone from 11 missed cuts to 101st position in FedEx Cup standings

Rory McIlroy  after his shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the  Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow club  in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph:   Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Lowry and McDowell will also prepare for Bethpage away from tournament play

 Rory McIlroy during the final round of the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow. Photograph: Getty Images

Seamus Power is in eighth place through 15 holes as play is suspended due to heavy rain

Rory McIlroy watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday. Photograph: AP

Northern Irishman still in the mix despite disappointing finish on day two

Leona Maguire in action at the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photograph: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Cavan woman briefly shared the lead before closing with a 70 for a seven-under-par total

Leona Maguire during the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photograph: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Maguire, playing on a sponsor’s invitation, had a share of the lead on the 11th hole

Rory McIlroy plays his second shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Brilliant back nine of 31 strokes gets two-time champion off to perfect start

Leona Maguire of Ireland takes a shot from the 15th fairway during Day Two of the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic at Emirates Golf Club. Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Cavan player failed to find a single birdie on second day after scintillating first round

 Leona Maguire of Ireland smiles after her last putt on day one of the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic at Emirates Golf Club. Photograph: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Irish star takes the lead under lights at the inaugural Moonlight Classic

Tiger Woods is yet to return to action following his win on the US Masters at Augusta. Photograph: Bryan Snyder/Reuters

The US Masters champion is yet to play again as he meticulously plans his 2019 schedule

Edoardo Molinari of Italy plays out of the 17th greenside bunker during the first round of the Trophee Hassan II at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat, Morocco. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Different Strokes: Italian names and shames slow coaches, Thompson on abuse over Trump

Rory McIlroy makes his first appearance since the Masters at the Wells Fargo Championship this weekend. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

Four-time Major winner turns 30 on Saturday and returns after disappointing Masters

Tiger Woods walks through the crowd on the 18th hole after winning the Masters at  Augusta National Golf Club. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

The comeback of comebacks will continue at Bethpage, Pebble Beach and Portrush

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