Rory McIlroy has urged professional golf to find a "compromise" to the ongoing rift between the PGA Tour and the breakaway LIV circuit.

The world number two suggested they should follow the example of the Northern Ireland peace process, recalling the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, a peace deal that helped to end the Troubles in his homeland.

McIlroy noted the advantages of a deal being reached soon while admitting that both golf tours would have to compromise in the process.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina, McIlroy said: "I sort of liken it to like when Northern Ireland went through the peace process in the '90s and the Good Friday Agreement. Neither side was happy.

"Catholics weren't happy, Protestants weren't happy, but it brought peace and then you just sort of learn to live with whatever has been negotiated, right?

"That was in 1998, and 20, 25, 30 years ahead, my generation doesn't know any different. It's just this is what it's always been like, and we've never known anything but peace.

"That's sort of my little way of trying to think about it and trying to make both sides see that there could be a compromise here.

"It's probably not going to feel great for either side, but if it's a place where the game of golf starts to thrive again, and we can all get back together, then I think that's ultimately a really good thing."

Tiger Woods has been officially named as part of the field for next week's PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.

Woods, who has clinched four of his 15 major titles at the PGA Championship, made a record-breaking 24th consecutive cut at the Masters last month.

A nightmare third round of 82 – his worst ever at Augusta National – meant he finished last of all players to make the cut on 16 over, but he immediately outlined his intention to play the remaining three majors of 2024.

On Tuesday, the 48-year-old was officially confirmed as being part of the field for next week's event in Louisville, joining 15 other past winners including Rory McIlroy and defending champion Brooks Koepka. 

Two further spots will be allocated to the winners of this week's Wells Fargo Championship and Myrtle Beach Classic.

While McIlroy won the last PGA Championship to be held at Valhalla in 2014, Woods triumphed on the previous occasion in 2000, the first leg of the 'Tiger Slam' in which he held all four major titles at once. 

Last week, Woods was given a special exemption to allow him to feature at June's U.S. Open, for which he failed to qualify after slipping to 801st in the world rankings.

Brooks Koepka believes things are trending in the right direction as he prepares to defend his PGA Championship title next week, having warmed up with a two-shot win at LIV Golf Singapore.

Koepka recorded his first triumph on the LIV circuit this year on Sunday, shooting a three-under final round of 68 to see off competition from Australian duo Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith.

A resurgent Smith shot five under in the third round in Singapore, but Koepka carded four birdies and one bogey to ensure he became the first player to win four titles on the LIV tour.

His return to form comes at an ideal time, as he gears up for a bid to win his fourth PGA Championship title – and sixth major overall – at Valhalla Golf Club next week.

"It's all starting to come around. I've put in a lot of work and I like the way things are trending," the Florida native said.

"I just need to go back next week and make sure everything continues, do the right stuff and go from there."

Kopeka had finished in a share of ninth in LIV's previous event in Adelaide one week earlier, four shots back of winner Brendan Steele.

The 34-year-old continued: "I feel good – I feel a lot better than I did last week. 

"It was about rounding the corner for me. I was improving but the results weren't there. It's nice to see some results and the hard work paying off.

"I still have the same expectations every time I go tee it up and that's to win. Those are my expectations, what I want to do. One result doesn't mean anything really in the scheme of things.

"For two weeks, a lot can change. Yeah, it does help, but at the same time, I've seen guys miss cuts and then go win and then win and then not compete the week after. It's all ebbs and flows."

Top Bajan female golfer, Emily Odwin, made history when she became the first Barbadian golfer to win an American Collegiate Conference Championship by helping the Southern Methodist University Mustangs win the American Athletic Conference Women's Golf Championship from April 15-17 at the Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville, Florida.

Odwin’s Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs staged a major come back from a tournament-low 12-under 276 to move up two spots.

They then overcome a nine-stroke deficit to secure the title, becoming only the second team to repeat as champions in the process.

Odwin, who is also the first Barbadian female to ever play NCAA Division One golf, had a five-under 211 to lead her team’s charge along with teammates Ellie Szerk and Mackenzie Lee. All three tied for fifth in the individual standings.

Odwin shot a three-under 33 on the back nine to shoot up the standings. 

She joined the Mustangs after transferring from the University of Texas and has played for them in seven starts this season in which she had four top ten finishes.

 

Tiger Woods will play in next month's U.S. Open at Pinehurst after accepting a special exemption.

The 15-time major winner had been set to miss out on competing in the event for the first time in his professional career after failing to qualify.

However, Woods – whose five-year exemption for winning the Masters in 2019 has expired – has been given a special invitation by organisers.

"The U.S. Open, our national championship, is a truly special event for our game and one that has helped define my career," Woods said.

"I'm honoured to receive this exemption and could not be more excited for the opportunity to compete in this year's U.S. Open, especially at Pinehurst, a venue that means so much to the game."

Woods, ranked 789th in the world, has played just two tournaments this year as he continues to struggle with a leg injury sustained in a car accident three years ago.

The 48-year-old finished 60th in last month's Masters after making the cut for a 24th successive time.

Woods is a three-time winner of the US Open, most recently doing so in 2008, with this year's event beginning on June 13.

Jamaica's young golfers recently completed their three-day trials at the Caymanas Golf Club where they performed well under challenging conditions.

The trials were geared towards selecting the team for this year's Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship which will also be held at the Caymanas Golf Club in early July of this year. 

Trey Williams led the boys while Mattea Issa led the girls with outstanding performances. Williams was the only golfer to post an under-par score with a two-under-par 70 on the final day. 

Williams faced six competitors in the Boys 18 and Under category. He posted eight over par 80, four over par 76 and two under par 70 for the three days respectively, for a combined total of 10 over par 226 which is his best placement in a local competition to date. 

"I feel really good about it. After the first day I was down by a good amount but I just kept my cool. I knew that I can play this course well and for the next two days I just made sure I played conservative and I gave it my all and it worked out" said Williams. 

He now looks forward to the championships.

"Seeing how the championship is at this very course and I know I can play well at this course I am going to continue to practice, make sure that my game is at the top that it can be and give it my all when the championship comes and make sure that I can do well." 

Aman Dhiman was second with scores of 72, 84 and 78 for a total score of 18 over par 234 while Ryan Lue was two strokes back on 236 (76, 83, 77). 

Issa, with scores of 81, 80 and 81 (242), said that the trials conditions were difficult. 

"To set the scene, the layout of the course was very difficult. Where they put the pins and where they put the tee boxes, they made the course as hard as possible for us kids to challenge us and then also the conditions of the course like the wind and the condition of the grass and the bunkers. That wasn't in the best condition so obviously it was unpredictable where the ball might go at certain times and the speed of the greens and things like that so you have to take that in consideration before analyzing the scores and analyzing the weekend." 

The other female competitor in the Girls 18 and Under category was Anoushka Katri. She scored 107, 99 and 94 for a three-day total of 300. 

Results in the other age groups were: Boys 15 and U - Kemari Morris - 256 (89, 81, 86), Davion Hogan 263 (85, 94, 84) and Cameron Coe 273 (92, 92, 89); Boys 13 and U - Shasa Redlefsen 245 (83, 82, 80) and Girls 13 and U - Alessandra Coe 266 (92, 88, 86). 

The team, when announced will under-go intense preparation by coach Jonathan Newnham who was himself a successful junior golfer, and coach Jason Lopez who has guided several junior teams to the CAJGC. 

Newnham was pleased with what he saw at the trials. "I feel good that everybody had enough good signs this week and we have a few months to prepare. We obviously will know the course very well by the time the champs come around so I am excited for this group and I think it's fair to say that within most if not all the categories we have a chance to do well individually, which if we do well individually that bodes well for the team championship as well." 

Lopez on the other hand was happy with the mix of players at the trials. "We have a nice new crop of guys and girls who are coming up. A lot of young players and exciting players and obviously developing players and you have some guys like Trey (Williams) who have been around for a while. I think overall the kids performed well. I think the conditions were tough which is always good to see the kids tested. Today was not an easier day because there was a lack of wind but we know that come the championship time in July it’s gonna be very windy so it's nice to see those conditions replicated. I think the kids handled it very well." 

According to Alison Reid, the convener for junior golf, the trials is "almost like a test run for the actual event because this is the course they are gonna play in the event and this is pressure condition because they are each trying to make the team so it’s like a mini tournament. It really puts them under the same amount of pressure."

 

With the lush greens of the picturesque Sandals Golf and Country Club in Upton at their disposal, a number of young talents took centre stage as they paraded their skills in the inaugural drive, chip and putt tournament.

Hosted by the Sandals Foundation, through their Care for Kids Junior Golf Programme, the tournament, not only treated the aspiring stars to a day of excitement, but also served as a qualifier for the prestigious Sandals Golf and Jerk Festival, scheduled for June.

Among the 13 competitors, who graced the course on Saturday was 12-year-old Cavani James, whose passion for the sport and unwavering determination shone brightly as he executed well in all three strokes to emerge victorious. James tallied a score of 75 to finish ahead of Jerone Thomas (66) and Tyreek Smith (58).

By virtue of their performances, all three junior golfers secured spots in the Sandals Golf and Jerk Festival – an exciting sports and food event –where they will be paired with their senior counterparts.

For James, golf is more than just a game, it is a lifelong dream in the making. From the moment he first picked up a club two years ago while attending Exchange Primary, James knew that he had found his calling.

His appetite for the sport intensified even more when he started attending weekend sessions under the guidance of Sandals golf pro Bill Williams, who has nurtured homegrown talents such Romaine Williams and others.

With each swing and each putt, James, fuelled by a burning desire to excel on the golf course, honed his skills, and the Ocho Rios High student recently showcased that skill with a level of maturity beyond his years.

Throughout the tournament, James faced stiff competition from older players and fellow aspiring young golfers alike. But with nerves of steel and a steady hand, he navigated the challenges with precision and poise.

"I feel very good to have won the tournament, especially because I was late in getting to the course and I thought that I wasn't going to make it, but God had other plans for me. So, I am really happy, the tournament itself was also a challenge, anybody who knows golf knows it can be frustrating when the strokes don’t come off how you want them to, but it was good,” James said.

“My expectation is very high for the Sandals Golf and Jerk Festival, I know it is going to be good for me because when I start playing in more tournaments, the better I will get because my ambitions are to go as far as possible in the sport. So, I am going to keep working on what I have to with Mr. Bill [Williams] because I would like to go far in this sport, not only for me, but also to make my mother proud,” he added.