Maruyama in tie for lead
Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama birdied four of his last seven holes to end the rain--delayed second round of the Sony Open in Honolulu in a tie for the lead with Stuart Appleby on Saturday. One stroke behind the pacesetting Appleby overnight, the ever-smiling Maruyama fired a five-under-par 65 in soft conditions at Waialae Country Club for a 10-under total of 130. The 41-year-old Japanese held a two-shot lead for much of the day before being caught in the afternoon by late starter Appleby, who finished birdie-birdie-birdie for a 66. Americans Steve Marino (67), Roland Thatcher (65) and Mark Wilson (67) were next best at eight under, with US Ryder Cup player Matt Kuchar and Britain’s Justin Rose among a group of six a further stroke back after carding matching 68s.
Wind baffles Schwartzel
Charl Schwartzel held on to a share of the Joburg Open lead despite struggling to read the wind and the greens in a tough third round on Saturday in South Africa. Schwartzel shot a two-under-par 69 to move to 15-under together with fellow South Africans Thomas Aiken and Garth Mulroy, but he recognized it had been a struggle. “It was tougher out there today,” he told reporters. “The wind blew a lot and never from one direction. It was always swirling around, which made it real difficult to choose the right club.” He could be relieved that the East Course Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club proved tricky all round, with none of the top eight at the start of the day able to shoot better than Aiken’s three-under-par 68. Briton Jamie Donaldson made the biggest move of the third day, his marvelous six-under-par 65 taking him to 11-under and a tie for eighth place.
Phelps demolishes record
Michael Phelps won the 100m backstroke in 54.14 seconds — more than a second off his personal best — in the Austin Grand Prix in Texas on Saturday night. The 14-time Olympic champion edged emerging rival Ryan Lochte for the second straight night after winning the 100m butterfly on Friday. Phelps was slated to race the “B” final in the 200m breaststroke, but dropped out as expected. Missy Franklin, a 15-year-old rising star, won the 50m freestyle and 100m backstroke. In the backstroke, she recorded a personal-best of 59.75 seconds. Franklin, second behind Katie Hoff on Friday in the 200m freestyle, was set to race in the 200m medley, 200m backstroke and 200m freestyle yesterday. Hoff, a three-time Olympic medalist, finished second on Saturday behind Kate Ziegler in the 400m freestyle. Ziegler finished in 4:08.28 and Hoff was more than a second back. Eric Shanteau raced to his second victory of the meet, taking the 200m breaststroke in 2:12.12.
England’s Lofthouse dies
Former England international Nat Lofthouse has died aged 85, his old club Bolton announced on their Web site yesterday. Lofthouse, who scored 30 goals in his 33 appearances for England, died peacefully in his sleep at a nursing home in Bolton on Saturday night, the statement said. He made more than 450 appearances for the Trotters, scoring 285 goals for the club between 1946 and 1960, and four years ago was voted Bolton’s greatest ever player. After he hung up his boots, Lofthouse held a number of off-field positions at Bolton including chief coach, chief scout, caretaker manager and club president, a position he held right up until his death.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two