Ireland’s Shane Lowry during the Pro-Am ahead of this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Photograph: Getty Images

He is looking to Abu Dhabi to be the springboard - again - to another great year

Ireland’s Shane Lowry tees off during the final round of the Hong Kong Open on Sunday. Photograph:  Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images

Irish golfer recalls importance of desert win in build-up to British Open success

Collin Morikawa has made every cut in his professional career since his debut at the Canadian Open. Photograph: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

There’s a tsunami of young talent emerging onto the pro golf tours around the world

Shane Lowry begins a run that includes a defence of the Abu Dhabi Championship that kick-started a brilliant 2019 for the Irish golfer. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

British Open champion returns to action in Hong Kong ahead of Abu Dhabi defence

Martin Kaymer of Europe celebrates after holing the decisive putt in his crucial match with Steve Stricker. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Mission impossible from the European team as they come from 10-6 down

 Shane Lowry with the Professional Player of the Year award for 2019 award, with Des Smyth with the award for Distinguished Services to Golf, and James Sugrue with the Men’s Amateur of the Year Award. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Memorable British Open win at Portrush capped a great year for the Offaly man

Jon Rahm has been named European Tour Player of the Year. Photo: Karim Sahib/Getty Images

Spaniard won three times on tour but Lowry was the only European to win a Major

The Borg-Warner Trophy

Eyes on the prize – here are some you could not miss

Graeme McDowell has taken over Irish Open hosting duties from Paul McGinley. Photograph:  Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

DJ in President’s fitness race . . . quote and tweets of the week . . . Larrazabal’s bag . . . Know the rules

Wearing of gumshields is not mandatory in rugby, hockey or basketball

Jon Rahm celebrates his victory at the 2017 Irish Open. Photo: Matt Mackey/Inpho

Club will host the event for second time in four years after Jon Rahm won in 2017

Suzann Pettersen and her caddie celebrate victory in the 2011 Irish Women’s Open. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Venture between Ladies European Tour and LPGA could see tournament finally return

Rory McIlroy brought his consistency to a new level through the year. Photograph: Keyur Khamar/PGA Tour via Getty Images

Ireland’s likely Olympic partnership set to re-emerge seperately in middle of January

Leona Maguire turns 25-years-old on Saturday. Photograph: Stacy Revere/Getty

LPGA Tour going from strength to strength, McManus Pro-Am attracts star-studded field

Spain’s  Jon Rahm  celebrates with the Race to Dubai Trophy after the final round of DP World Tour Championship  at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA

Shane Lowry picks up €545k bonus as he finishes season in career-best fourth position

Rory McIlroy acknowledges the crowd during the third round of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. Photo: Ali Haider/EPA

Jon Rahm and Mike Lorenzo-Vera hold the joint lead heading into the final round

Rory McIlroy  and France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera  on the 18th hole during the second round of the DP World Tour Championship  in Dubai. Photograph:  David Cannon/Getty Images

Lowry in fine form for first 15 holes only to suffer late blips with three-putt bogey on 16th and closing bogey on 18th

Rory McIlroy celebrates with his caddie Niall O’Connor after carding an opening round of 64 in Dubai. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty

Final hole eagle sees McIlroy card a 64 to trail Lorenzo-Vera by one in Tour Championship

Jonathan Caldwell has secured his European Tour card for next season.  Photograph: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Caldwell graduates with flying colours but Kearney and Moynihan miss out

Shane Lowry with caddie Bo Martin during the Turkish Airlines Open. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty

McIlroy winner has enjoyed a fine year but Lowry’s British Open win sets him apart

 Northern Ireland’s  Jonathan Caldwell: he shot a fifth round 69 at Lumine, Spain, featuring three birdies and a bogey. Photograph: Getty Images

Denmark’s Benjamin Poke continues to lead as Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Caldwell edges into the all-important top 25

Shane Lowry   during a practice round for the DP World Tour Championship  at Jumeirah Golf Estates  in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photograph:  Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Wiesberger in pole position in Race to Dubai but Lowry among those poised to pounce

Jonathan Caldwell is the leading Irish player in Spain. Photograph: Aitor Alcalde/Getty

Irish quintet all have work to do as Denmark’s Benjamin Poke extends his lead

Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan is in a tie for 22nd position after the second round of the European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain. Photograph: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Second round of 69 leaves Moynihan in a tie for 22nd position in Spain

Patrick Catlin of the United States, seen here last weekend on the way to winning the Thailand Open, leads the way after the first round of the European Tour Final Qualifiying School at the  Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain. Photograph:   Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour/AFP via Getty Images

Robin Dawson leads Irish challenge after opening with a two-under 70 in Spain

Kurt Kitayama is one of the six players who successfully retained their cards in 2019, and he did so in some style. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

There are 156 players involved in this week’s European Tour’s Final Qualifying School

 Shane Lowry in action during the  Turkish Airlines Open   in Antalya, Turkey. He is one of those in the frame for the overall grand prize in  Dubai next week as  the winner there will get a whopping 2,000 points. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Lowry critical of the heavy weighting of points for the final events of the season

Shane Lowry is looking forward to taking a week off after a poor weekend at the Turkish Open. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

British Open champion will miss Sun City before Tour finale in Dubai

England’s Tyrrell Hatton putts on the 18th green during the playoff at the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal  in Antalya, Turkey. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

English golfer makes history by winning six-man playoff under floodlights

Shane Lowry  reacts to his  tee shot on the fourth hole during the third round of the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Antalya, Turkey. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Irish golfer drops right out of contention as game deserts him on moving day

Shane Lowry after finishing his  second round of the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Antalya. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Irish star five shots off leader Mathias Schwab in Antalya

Lisa Maguire - pictured in 2012 - has called time on her professional golf career. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Leona’s 24-year-old sister plans to remain within the sport but not in a playing capacity

 Pádraig Harrington in action on day one of the   Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal  in Belek, Turkey. Photograph:  Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Young Austrian shoots a 65 in company of Ryder Cup captain who posts a 10 on one hole

Shane Lowry of Ireland and his caddie Bo Martin during day one of the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

In tied-52nd he’s seven shots behind co-leaders Mathias Schwab and Tom Lewis

Shane Lowry is set for his penultimate start of a fine year in this week’s Turkish Airlines Open. Photograph: Wu Hong/EPA

British Open winner set for penultimate start of a golden year in the Turkish Airlines Open

 Justin Rose  in action during a practice round ahead of the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal  in Antalya, Turkey. Photograph:  Jan Kruger/Getty Images

English golfer will attempt to win Turkish Airlines Open for third successive year

Rory McIlroy poses with his trophy after winning  the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai. Photograph: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images.

Victory in Shanghai confirms that nobody had a better year in 2019

Ireland’s Katie Taylor after winning the WBO world super-lightweight championship against Christina Linardatou at Manchester Arena. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Insights into Taylor’s corner as she slips and slides to another victory

 Rules referee Anne O’Sullivan with Robert Rock at the Irish Open at Lahinch Golf Club. Photograph:  Patrick Bolger/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

Late starter to the game of golf has found her niche as a leading rules official

Tiger Woods claimed his 108th worldwide win in Japan on Sunday. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Out of Bounds: Mount Juliet hosting the Irish Open allows a throwback to Woods’ dominance

Spain’s Jon Rahm with Paul McGinley at the 2019 Irish Open at Lahinch Golf Club in Co Clare.  Will  McGinley step in for back-to-back hosting duties?  Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Mount Juliet the venue for Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2020 – now to find a host

Sam Torrance won the 1995 Irish Open at Mount Juliet. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Kilkenny course will hold tournament for first time since run of 1993, 1994 and 1995

Thomas Davis celebrate their win over Kilmacud Crokes. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Tallaght club upset the odds to reach Dublin final while the All Blacks are beaten in Japan

Ireland’s Paul Dunne  plays out of a bunker  on the seventh hole  during the second round of the  Portugal Masters at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course  in Quarteira. Photograph:   Luke Walker/Getty Images

Oliver Fisher leads by one shot after completing back-to-back 65s

Rory McIlroy hits his tee shot on the 8th hole during The Challenge: Japan Skins at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Inzai, Chiba, Japan. Photo: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Four-time Major winner will play in the Irish Open for which the venue is yet to be decided

 Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton kicks the winning point in against Kerry in the 2011 All-Ireland final. Photograph: Brian Lawless/Sportsfile

Framed records of famous sporting moments proving increasingly popular

Katie Taylor: bidding to add another title belt to her already impressive  collection. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Undisputed lightweight champion faces Linardatou in bid for WBO Super-lightweight title

Cuala’s Colm Cronin celebrates at the full-time whistle after his side’s victory over St Brigid’s in the Dublin SHC Final at Parnell Park. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Dalkey club make it four titles in five years after tough battle at Parnell Park

Shane Lowry is all but assured of representing Ireland at next year’s Olympics alongside Rory McIlroy. Photo: Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Out of Bounds: Perhaps system should not run for as long to create closer competition

Cormac Sharvin will be one of the home hopes at this week’s Stone Irish Challenge. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Club professional Brendan McGovern reckons course will stand up to professionals

Lahinch Golf Club in Co Clare hosted the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open this year, and was televised live on the Golf Channel in the US. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

While iconic links courses are the main draw, lesser-known courses want a slice of the pie

 Stephanie Meadow tees off on the second hole during the final round of the Volunteers of America Classic golf tournament at the Old American Golf Club  in The Colony, Texas. Photograph:  Chuck Burton/Getty Images

Meadow salvages her card with top-6 finish in Texas while Maguire clinches her card via Symetra Tour

Stephanie Meadow hits her approach shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Volunteers of America Classic golf tournament at the Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas. Photo: Chuck Burton/Getty Images

At the Symetra Tour finale, Leona Maguire is well placed to secure her full LPGA Tour card

Stephanie Meadow is 110th on the LPGA Tour order of merit heading into this week’s tournament. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Out of Bounds: LPGA Tour is the pro tour which makes it hardest to retain a full card

Sutton Golf Club will host the Annesely Williams Skoda PGA 9-Hole Championship this coming weekend. Photograph: Sutton Golf Club

Players can expect to be out and about for up to six hours at the Alfred Dunhill Links

A match programme from the recent All-Ireland ladies final. The Irish Football Programme Club organise regular fairs around the country while also hosting a Facebook page which enables collectors to source material. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, or one man’s treasure is another man’s trash’

Olgiata Golf Club in Rome will host the Italian Open in October.

Event has grown in importance and Lowry, Molinari and Rose will compete this year

Camp Nou

Massive Camp Nou a fittingly grand home for magical Messi and Barcelona

Shane Lowry plays a shot during the Pro-Am tournament prior to the start of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Out of Bounds: Season now enters prime time for raking in the big prize money

Team Europe captain Catriona Matthew - her team are the underdogs on home turf and that could prove a valuable weapon. Photograph: PA

We are still awaiting the appearance of a first Irish woman in the Ryder Cup equivalent

Irish Times golf correspondent  Philip Reid, Balmoral Golf Club officers and Peter Kilcullen of Allianz at The K Club.  Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

A 144-yard rescue club shot is the standout in the Belfast club’s four-point winning margin over Rathfarnham

Séamus Power will still get some starts on the new PGA Tour season despite losing out on his card. Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Waterford player lost his full card but will still get some starts in new 2020 season

James Sugrue is one of three Irish representatives in thie weekend’s Walker Cup. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Ireland have three representatives in this weekend’s 17th edition at Royal Liverpool

Ireland’s Sam Bennett wins the third stage of the recent La Vuelta tour of Spain. Bennett’s recent run of good form has ensured a strong Irish team in the elite world championship in Yorkshire. Photograph: Getty Images

Flights, tickets and accommodation details for cycling’s showcase event

Open Championship winner Ireland’s Shane Lowry plays with a Srixon Z-Star XV. The big players in the game are Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade, Srixon and Callaway. Photograph: Inpho

Balls account for one third of the estimated €3 billion annual global golf equipment market

Rory McIlroy hits a shot in practice prior to the start of the Omega European Masters at Crans Montana Golf Club. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Out of Bounds: Rory McIlroy will provide some of the star power on this side of the pond

Rory McIlroy celebrates with the the Calamity Jane and FedExCup trophies after winning the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

$15m man will play in Switzerland this week but reclaiming world No1 spot still a way off

Rory McIlroy celebrates after winning on the 18th green during the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Final round 66 was enough to earn McIlroy his second Tour Championship

 Rory McIlroy  plays his second shot to the  18th hole during the second round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club  in Atlanta, Georgia. Photograph: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Mcilroy just a shot behind leader Brooks Koepka going into the weekend at East Lake

Rory McIlroy plays a shot on the third hole during the first round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Erik S. Lesser/EPA

McIlroy’s opening 66 leaves him at nine under as Justin Thomas struggles

Brooks Koepka has garnered the most points in the official world rankings this season but goes into the Tour Championship in third. Photograph: Getty Images

The 30 who made it to the season finale will divvy up wheelbarrows full of greenbacks

 Philip Reid, Irish Times, Emlyn O’Reilly,  Heath Golf Club president, Noirin Gohery, lady captain Galway Bay Golf Resort, Siobhán Bergin Corri, lady captain  of The Heath, Paul O’Callahan, captain The Heath  and Sean McGrath, CEO, Allianz. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Allianz Irish Times Officers’ Challenge at Galway Bay Golf Resort

Justin Thomas celebrates his victory after made a birdie on the 18th green during the final round at the BMW Championship golf tournament at Medinah Country Club,  in Medinah, Illinois. Photograph: Nam Y. Huh/AP

New weighted points system gives BMW Championship winner a nice head start in season-ending finale

The European Tour are to implement a four-point plan to tackle slow play from next season. Photograph: Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Two bad times in a round will incur a one-shot penalty while fines are increased by almost 200%

Rory McIlroy acknowledges the applause from the crowd  on the 18th green during the first round of the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club  in Illinois. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Shane Lowry cards level-par 72 as Justin Thomas and Jason Kokrak lead way

Leona Maguire is on the verge of securing her full LPGA Tour card for the 2020 season. Photograph: Kelly Defina/Getty

This week’s tournaments in Antrim will offer equal €250,000 pots for men and women

Rory McIlroy plays his shot from the eighth tee during the final round of The Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club last week. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

BMW Championship this week is the second of the three season-ending playoff events

Patrick Reed plays a shot from a bunker on the second hole during the final round of The Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey. Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Former Masters winner moves to second in FedEx Cup rankings behind Brooks Koepka

The last time a Ladies Irish Open tournament took place was back in 2012 at Killeen Castle. It was won by Catriona Matthew. Photograph: Inpho

Not a whisper of any return of a Ladies Irish Open to the Ladies European Tour schedule

The victorious Mount Juliet team, from left  Peter Kilcullen, Allianz; Freda Mullen, lady captain; Kevin McCartan, captain  and lady vice captain Annette Hogan. Photograph:  Dylan Vaughan.

Hurling Cats pip Waterford Golf Club with Kilkenny GC claiming the third spot on offer

Spain’s Jon Rahm celebrates his victory at the  Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Lahinch. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Different Strokes: Séamus Power in need of strong finish at Wyndham Championship

 Shane Lowry celebrates with the Claret Jug trophy after winning the British Open at Royal Portrush. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

How the Champion Golfer of the Year put all the pieces together on road to Portrush triumph

Shane Lowry in action during the JP McManus Pro-Am launch. The Co Limerick course has been redesigned with the Ryder Cup in mind. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Government’s investment could reach €50m but boost to Ireland will be many times that

Pádraig Harrington putts on the 18th at Adare Manor as the 2020 JP McManus Pro-Am was launched. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Redesigned Limerick course could see record attendances for the event in Europe

Shane Lowry with the Claret Jug and his grandmother Emily Scanlon during his homecoming to Offaly after winning the British Open at Portrush. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

British Open winner is very much on course to pair up with Rory McIlroy for Ireland

The 2019 British Open champion Shane Lowry with the Claret Jug at a media conference at House Dublin. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

New Major champion says he hasn’t stopped going since leaving the 18th green on Sunday

Shane Lowry at a media conference in Dublin on Tuesday. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The biggest win of his career has moved him to 17th, which equals his best-ever ranking

Shane Lowry plays his tee shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the British Open at Royal Portrush. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Successful return of golf’s oldest Major to north Antrim course could prompt quick return

Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with the Claret Jug on the 18th green at Portrush. Photograph: Getty Images

It was three years before the Offaly man's first European Tour win as a professional

Ireland’s Shane Lowry  at a press conference after winning the  Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Photograph:  Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Irish man sixth to win one of golf’s Majors and fifth to lay claim to the Claret Jug

Shane Lowry raises his arms in triumph as he walks up the 18th fairway during the last day of Open Championship at  Royal Portrush Golf Club. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Six-shot victory over the world’s best sees Offaly man crowned champion in memorable style

 Shane Lowry celebrates a birdie on the 15th hole. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

The Offaly man will take a four-shot lead into the final round of the British Open

Francesco Molinari hands the Claret Jug over to Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Philip Reid provides some snapshots of a famous week on the Causeway Coast

Shane Lowry shares the halfway lead int he British Open at Royal Portrush. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Rory McIlroy falls agonisingly on the wrong side of the line as Lowry keeps dream alive

Shane Lowry comes up the 18th at Portrush with caddie Brian Martin. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

A second cosecutive 67 sees Lowry seize initiative despite losing fluency on back nine

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

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