The success of the British Open at Portrush means the timeline for a return could be moved forward by as much as five years, with the possibility of a return as soon as 2024. Irish caddie Colin Byrne believes that British Open champion Shane Lowry - "a very accessible superstar" - has matured into a serious contender: "Of late, at 32, he has matured into a serious contender by gaining equilibrium in his life; if he doesn't perform as he knows he can he does not beat himself up in the way he might have as a younger man."
The controversial "Croke Park round" may be part of this year's review process at the end of the football championship. Under the experimental provision now in its second year, Croke Park rather than "neutral venue" is specified in the rule book although obviously for all counties except Dublin, it is neutral. Kevin McStay writes in his column that this would be a golden age for football if Dublin were not such a force: "I don't have any sense that Dublin are ever going away again. It points to very difficult times for every other county in Ireland for many years to come. And the solution is not at all obvious."
John O'Sullivan has stuck with the theme of golf in the Pay for Play pages this morning, he speaks to three club professionals about the massive changes in their trade over the past decade. He writes: "Golf clubs and their pros are linked in many ways that are mutually beneficial but perhaps the key one that a growth in membership is the key to the future wellbeing of both parties."
Meanwhile Ireland's Dundalk are set to play either Montenegro club Sutjeska or APOEL of Cyprus in the Champions League third qualifying round if they can get past Azerbaijan side Qarabag. The Europa League third-qualifying round draw also took place on Monday, and Shamrock Rovers will make it there if they beat Apollon Limassol of Cyprus. That would set up a clash with FK Austria Wien. Champions League defeat would send Dundalk into a third-round Europa League qualifying tie against either Slovan Bratislava of Slovakia or Kosovo side Feronikeli. Former Ireland defender Richard Dunne has called on Mick McCarthy to fast-track Tottenham's teen sensation Troy Parrott into his senior squad.