Thu, Feb 24, 2011 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

GOLF

Poulter tees off early

Ian Poulter certainly felt like the defending champion at the Match Play Championship. He is featured prominently on the cover of the program. The Englishman’s name and picture are on banners along with other World Golf Championship winners. There even was a Facebook promotion in which fans picked his outfits for the week. Those feelings ended, however, when Poulter looked at the starting times. Poulter played Stewart Cink in the first of 32 matches yesterday, on the tee at 7:25am with a chill in the air in Marana, Arizona. “I was a little surprised,” Poulter said. “I wasn’t expecting to be out first. I mean, 7:25, defending champion. How many people are going to be through the gates at 7:00 in the morning?” The starting times are based strictly by the player’s seeding and his location in the bracket. The No. 12 seed overall has been the leadoff match every year since the Accenture Match Play Championship moved to Arizona in 2007. Poulter is the No. 12 seed. A British reporter jokingly suggested that Poulter could have the shortest defense by the clock. His match could end by 11am “Could be on an airplane by mid-afternoon, I guess,” Poulter said. “Thanks for that. I hadn’t really thought about that until you just mentioned it, but thanks, well done. I’d rather be having a nice salmon for a starter and filet steak for dinner tomorrow night.”

SOCCER

McCoist to manage Rangers

Ally McCoist will take over as Rangers manager when Walter Smith steps down after the season, the Scottish Premier League (SPL) champion said on its Web site. McCoist, 48, has agreed to a one-year rolling contract, Rangers said. Current coach Kenny McDowall will step up to become his assistant manager, the Glasgow club said. McCoist had been the assistant to Smith since 2007 and has helped Rangers win the past two SPL titles. The club is second this season, eight points behind city rival Celtic. “Over the past few years I have been privileged to learn from one of the greatest managers in world football and Walter’s record speaks for itself,” McCoist said on Rangers’ Web site. McCoist scored 355 goals in 581 matches during his playing career at Rangers from 1983-1998. He also had 19 goals for the Scotland national team and played at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

FORMULA ONE

Kubica faces weeks of rehab

Injured Polish driver Robert Kubica is recovering well from surgery, but faces several more weeks of rehabilitation in hospital, his surgeon said on Tuesday. “He is doing pretty well and his condition is positive considering what he has been through,” Mario Igor Rossello told the Renault team Web site (www.lotusrenaultgp.com). “The good news is that there have been no complications following all the surgery he has had recently.” The 26-year-old driver suffered career-threatening arm, leg and hand injuries in a crash during a minor rally in Italy on Feb. 6. He has had three rounds of surgery to save his right hand and fix broken bones. Rossello said Kubica was out of intensive care, could move his fingers slightly and had some sensitivity in the hand already. “He’s no longer in pain and his psychological condition is pretty good. He’s obviously keen to start the rehabilitation work as soon as possible,” the Italian said. “For the next couple of weeks, he will stay here so we can monitor his condition. During that time there is still the possibility of infection and other complications so he will have the dressings on his hand changed every few days. After two weeks we will assess his next move.”

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