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Flogas Brand Ambassador Gary Murphy



The second major of the year starts on Thursday and Valhalla will provide an excellent test for the stellar field.It will also add that extra sense of magnitude which has been lost under the current financial narrative.Jordan Spieth will start the week on the cusp of golfing immortality. He has an opportunity to complete the major grand slam. Just 5 golfers have added this to their CV in the history of the sport and only Tiger from the present day players.

It should help him to dilute the form and go for it. He has massively improved his driving and that gives him greater hope if he can square the circle this week.Scottie Scheffler is the outstanding favourite due to his phenomenal form on course this season with 4 wins in the last 5 starts.It has been reported that his wife has had their baby last news and he will tee it up.

They are a very private couple and not on social media "lucky them" so it kind of is a wait and see.He has had a two week break from his last win at Harbour Town to be at home for the imminent arrival. One can only wish them well that everyone is ok. On our first child it turned into 7 weeks off, so nature has a wonderful way of making you realise many things.He would normally be a clear favourite but maybe a slight diversion of reality might add a little rust to his chances.

He is actually 50/1 to complete the Grans Slam of majors this season so that gives you an idea to his dominance.I expect Scheffler to be in the mix,but golf is a fickle beast and maybe his focus might be slightly altered, understandably.Rory sparked back into life again last week at one of his favourite venues. Quail Hollow had sparked his arrival on the world stage in 2010 with his first PGA Tour win and he added his 4th here Sunday night with some sparkling golf.It seems that his win alongside Shane Lowry in New Orleans was a catalyst for a revival in form.

Backing it up with a solo victory will add to his belief this week.The split in golf, means that the field this week will add to the challenge.Koepka had a stunning win in Singapore and Aberg seems to already a serious major threat. Jon Rahm is back for the second major of the year. He can consider this a better opportunity than Augusta.There can be no doubt the LIV story and defence was an added pressure and I'm sure he has learnt from that.His form has been very solid on LIV and his ability has not gone anywhere.The beauty of Rory is that he has the ability to confound. Is a blowout victory just what he needed. He has previous form of this, whilst 10 years ago of keeping his foot down.

Ironically at this same venue,Valhalla. So are the stars aligning for Mcilroy?

Golf is a sport where it is impossible to predict with certainty the outcome but indicators are strong that he will get a sniff this weekHis issue internally and externally is only a win will suffice.But that is what the greats deal with and fair to say this year must include adding to his major haul. Nobody will want it more than himself. I think that his rejection from the policy board was a catalyst too for him. My opinion on Rory is that he has a talent to become one of the greatest ever. If you don't have full focus on that journey it is unachievable.

Trying to become something other than the best golfer he can be shouldn't be in the equation.He will always have a Tour to play and his financial situation should be similar to his golf. If he can compound the interest every year both on and off the course you are looking at majors in double figures and 40+ Tour wins.

The rest takes care of itself.Hopefully that will be his focus and learning from his off course distractions with the flux in the sport at the moment. Just turn up and have yourself ready the play.The three other Irish on show are all showing great signs to this seasonHarrington has won already on the Champions Tour and will relish the bigger stage. He will continue to defy father time. I would love to see him have a run at it this week.

Shamus Power has been rock solid this year after a huge lay off with injuries. All that is missing is a big finish. I don't think major pressure will hinder his performance and hopefully he can continue his form with a little extra for the week that is in it. Lowry must really fancy a big week.His win in New Orleans has freed him up for the remainder of the year. He did disappoint in Charlotte but this week can be different.He always seems to feel like the majors are in his sights.

Valhalla should should him as ball striking is key. Lowry holds a big advantage here and maybe last week knocked the edges off. It will also get him focused straight from the start. A quick opening is crucial for Lowry to get the juices flowing.Matt Mcclean produced an outstanding performance to capture his first domestic major in The Flogas Irish Amateur Championship

His winning total was a professional level performance. Co.Sligo Golf Club is one of our most demanding links courses and he dominated the final outcome after a great dual with fellow Walker Cupper Liam Nolan.He is late to Amateur golf but seems to be turning into a very accomplished player.

It was also a big week for runner up Liam Nolan who was trying to add to his Brabazon Trophy win last week. He has finally finished he studies and will look forward to a big summer.Seapoint Golf Club will host the championship next year so it will be marvellous to see all the top amateurs on my doorstep.

USPGA Picks - "Rory McIlroy, Dean Burmester, Matt Wallace, Ludwig Aberg, Ben An and MacKenzie Hughes"