Triple major winner Padraig Harrington, a late addition to the four-man field, birdied three of the last five holes to take a two-shot lead after the opening round of the end-of-season PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda, writes Henry McCall.
The 41-year-old Irishman, who replaced Ernie Els, the Open champion, in the elite event which brings together the winners of the year's four majors, shot a sparkling five-under-par 66 at Port Royal course in Southampton. He had birdies at the 14th, 15th and 17th around a bogey at the 16th to finish two strokes clear of the American left-hander Bubba Watson, the Masters champion.
Webb Simpson, winner of the US Open, was a further shot back after carding 69 in the 36-hole event and his fellow American Keegan Bradley, the defending champion, shot a 72.
Harrington, who accepted an invitation to compete at Port Royal after the South African Els withdrew on Saturday because of an ankle injury, is bidding to win the prestigious event for the first time after twice losing out in play-offs. He was edged out by Argentina's Angel Cabrera in 2007 and was pipped to the title by American Jim Furyk in 2008.
Bradley, winner of last year's PGA Championship, gained his place in the field as the first alternate after Rory McIlroy pulled out because of a scheduling conflict. The Northern Irishman, who won his second major title by a staggering eight shots at the PGA Championship, had already committed to the European Tour's BMW Masters in China.
The Grand Slam of Golf, billed as "the most exclusive tournament in golf", was held in Hawaii from 1991 to 2006 before going to Bermuda in 2007.
Tour de France organisers will seek to draw a line under a grim few weeks for the world's greatest race when the route for next year's event is revealed, writes Colin Renton.
The 100th edition will visit Corsica for the first time with the opening three days spent there before the peloton moves to the mainland. Nice, Montpellier and Marseilles are expected to feature on the schedule, while Mont St-Michel, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also tipped to host a stage finish.
The biggest deviation from the norm could come on the final day. There has been speculation that the race will follow tradition and conclude on the Champs Elysees in Paris but will move from its normal Sunday afternoon climax to an evening finish.
Video umpires, designed to assist on-field officials with decisions that could affect the outcome of games, were in heavy demand during the Olympic Games in London according to statistics just issued by the International Hockey Federation, writes Craig Madden.
It was clear that use of the video umpire had an impact on the outcome of some games: there were a total of 110 team referrals in the 76 men's and women's matches. Such referrals are not requested lightly by the teams; it is generally only for important decisions that affect the award of goals, penalty corners and penalty strokes. Teams were allowed only one referral and lost the right for the rest of that game if it is turned down by the video umpire. The statistics revealed that 51% of such referrals in the men's games were upheld and 59% in the women's.
The Olympics demonstrated that technology coul rectify the human error factor and also removed player complaint, since the video umpire is usually able to come up with a correct decision. Only four times during the Games did the video umpire fail to come up with a decision on an incident.
Umpires, without prompting from either team, could also make use of their video colleague if they are were not convinced by their own decision, and there were 14 such incidents in London. Video umpires are also used in the World Cup, Champions Trophy, European Cup and other events if the technology is available.
Sebastian Alden helped Swindon Robins to victory in the Elite League and now has his sights set on earning a winner's medal with Berwick Bandits in the Premier Challenge Trophy, writes Nigel Duncan. Bandits take on Rye House Rockets over two legs this weekend starting with the home tie on Saturday (7pm) and Alden said: "I was so pleased to come to Berwick halfway through last year and even happier when the club had enough faith to buy my contract. I'll be doing everything I can to help Bandits win this trophy; it would be a medal really worthy having after what must be the toughest season ever."
Bandits have booked the Edinburgh Monarchs No.1 Craig Cook, the new Premier League Riders' champion, as a guest. Ian Rae, Bandits' team manager, said: "Cookie has been in great form, and we're hoping his contribution on Saturday night will set us on the road to victory. Critics had us dead and buried a few times this year. We're hoping for a really big final attendance as we try to add the Challenge Trophy to our Fours title."
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