Italian Edoardo Molinari claimed his first European tour title when he won the Scottish Open on Sunday with a closing three-over-par 74 in bad weather at Loch Lomond. \nMolinari’s 12-under-par 272 total gave him victory by three strokes over Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, who led for the first two rounds. Clarke’s 76 was still enough to earn him a place in this week’s British Open one stroke ahead of Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin. \nJacquelin holed a 50-foot putt on the last to total eight-under, while Clarke slipped back to nine-under by three-putting the 18th. \nThe winner’s younger brother Francesco (72), with whom he won the World Cup of golf last year, took a share of fourth place, five shots adrift of his sibling, along with Swede Peter Hedblom (72) and Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher (68). \nStarting only a stroke ahead of Clarke, Edoardo Molinari soon broke four clear of the Ulsterman, who ran up a double-bogey on the long third. Clarke took three strokes to emerge from a hazard. \nWhen brother Francesco, beginning the round five strokes in arrears of his sibling, also bogeyed the hole by straying on to the loch beach, the outcome of the tournament was in little doubt. \nEdoardo made mistakes in strong winds and occasional heavy rain, running up a double-bogey on 15 after hitting into the woods, to give himself a nervy finale before picking up the US$743,500 first prize. \nWith it came a vault up the world rankings to just outside the top 20 and sixth place in Europe’s Ryder Cup world points table, now only two places adrift of automatic qualification for Colin Montgomerie’s team. Francesco has climbed to fifth place in the overall European Cup table, with nine players qualifying automatically. \nEdoardo, 29, the 2005 US Amateur champion, had great success on the lower-ranked Challenge Tour last year, winning three times and totting up record winnings. \nHe has now followed on from 27-year-old Francesco’s 2006 Italian Open success. \n JOHN DEERE CLASSIC \nAFP, SILVIS, Illinois \nSteve Stricker won his second straight John Deere Classic title on Sunday, hanging on for a two-stroke victory over Paul Goydos after leading by as many as seven. \nStricker had posted the lowest 54-hole total in US PGA Tour history, and while he couldn’t maintain the blistering scoring pace he set in the first three rounds he did get a crucial birdie at the 17th en route to a one-under 70 and a 26-under par winning total of 258. \nGoydos, who shot a dazzling 59 in the first round, carded a 66 for 260. Although he couldn’t secure his first victory since 2007, Goydos’ runner-up finish did give him a place in the British Open at St Andrews. \nDeere officials arranged for two charter jets to fly players direct to Scotland on Sunday night. \nJeff Maggert carded a 70 to take third place on 264. \nStricker led by six at the start of the day and quickly stretched the lead to seven with a 7ft birdie putt on the first hole. \nHowever, he had to battle through the rest of the round before giving himself some breathing room at 17, where he drove into the trees right of the fairway, punched out to 91 yards and landed his next shot within 6ft. \nHe made that for a much-needed birdie. \nGoydos also birdied the hole, and when Goydos’ was in the water at 18, it no longer mattered that Stricker bogeyed the last after laying up.
A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympic Games has said that he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, financial records showed. Takahashi said the work included lobbying International Olympic Committee (IOC) members such as Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital
If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would in part be thanks to the pioneering role played by Formula One (F1) racing teams in the country. Seven of F1’s 10 teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering firms to ramp up production of ventilators, while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid. Normally obsessed with improving the performance of cars that race at more than 320kph, the teams are stripping back lifesaving devices and using computer simulation to test whether more simplified models can be mass produced. The seven
For many in Japan, the postponement of the Olympic Games is a heartbreaking necessity, but for a small and motley crew opposed to the Games altogether, it does not go far enough. “Damn it — we absolutely reject postponement. The Olympics should be canceled and abolished,” an umbrella group of anti-Games advocates wrote on Twitter after the historic delay to this year’s Olympics was announced. Just minutes before Tuesday’s dramatic decision, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, a handful of protesters gathered in central Tokyo to hold one of their regular demonstrations against the Games. “We’ve been doing a monthly rally for various reasons.
STILL MAJOR: Next month’s draft is to be televised, but the clubs are to conduct procedures with only a limited number of people present, the NFL commissioner said An NFL draft handled remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic is the latest twist to an event that has become as popular as any professional football happening, short of the NFL Super Bowl. On Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell alerted NFL teams in a memo that the dates of this year’s draft are to remain April 23 to 25, and the eight owners who comprise the NFL Management Council Executive Committee unanimously endorsed moving forward as planned. So next month’s draft, originally set for Las Vegas, is to have a pretty much spartan look. “All clubs should now be doing the necessary planning