Kumar leads Indian Open
India’s Chiragh Kumar raced to a three-shot lead yesterday to put himself in a good position to secure a dream victory after the second round of the Hero Indian Open. He battled to a solid five-under 67 to retain his overnight lead with a two-day total of 13-under 131 at his home course, the Delhi Golf Club. Australia’s David Gleeson, a two-time Asian Tour winner, eagled two holes for 66 to lie in second, while Chapchai Nirat of Thailand was a further two shots back in third after his blemish-free round of 67. Taiwan’s Lu Wei-Chih shot a four-under 68 to finish tied for ninth at five-under.
Stoner dominates practice
Casey Stoner dominated both practice sessions yesterday for the Australian GP as he chases his fifth straight win at his home race and a chance to clinch the world championship. The Australian recorded a best time of 1 minute, 30.475 seconds around the Philip Island track ahead of Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in the first session. Stoner, whose 26th birthday coincides with tomorrow’s race, can seal the rider’s title with if he scores 10 points more than Lorenzo. He said his chances of taking out the championship in front of his hometown crowd are “slim, almost impossible.” Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi finished 13th overall on his Ducati.
UEFA suspends Rooney
England striker Wayne Rooney was on Thursday banned for three matches by UEFA for his red card against Montenegro, a decision which will rule him out of the group stages of Euro 2012. Manchester United star Rooney was punished for his 74th-minute sending off in the 2-2 draw in Podgorica on Oct. 7 in England’s final qualifier when he kicked out at Miodrag Dzudovic. “The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has today handed down a three-match suspension to England forward Wayne Rooney following his dismissal during the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro last Friday,” a UEFA statement said. The English Football Association is yet to decide whether or not to appeal, an action which could lead to an even longer suspension.
RUGBY WORLD CUP
Fans prank wrong man
South African rugby fans still blaming New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence for the Springboks’ World Cup quarter-final defeat have been prank calling his home. Trouble is, they have been phoning the wrong Bryce Lawrence. The Bryce Lawrence who is not a referee told the New Zealand Herald in yesterday’s edition that his listed number in Auckland had been ringing virtually nonstop since it was posted online in a viral campaign against the ref. He told the Herald he has spoken to his telephone provider and the police, and believes his number has been removed from Web sites. Since defending champion South Africa’s 11-9 loss to Australia on Sunday, more than 66,000 people have signed on to a Facebook petition “to stop Bryce Lawrence ever reffing a rugby game again.” One online video records a prank call apparently to Lawrence in the middle of the night, with someone saying: “This is a little bit of payback, just to let him know how South Africa feel about him.” Afterward, the narrator adds: “At least he knows how we feel ... I’ve got his number if you want it.” The Bryce Lawrence who is not a referee said he was taking all of the abuse in stride. “Well, these things happen,” he said. “It’s one of these things in life.”
“Road Runner” Alphonso Davies lived up to his nickname with another lightning sprint on Saturday as Bayern Munich opened a 10-point lead in the Bundesliga. Having defeated second-placed Borussia Dortmund 1-0 away in midweek, Bayern enjoyed a 5-0 romp over Fortuna Duesseldorf. Defender Mathias Joergensen scored an early own-goal before Benjamin Pavard, Robert Lewandowski (2) and Davies scored for Bayern. With five games remaining, the defending champions, who have won their past eight league games, are comfortably on course for an eighth straight league title. Davies scored the best goal of the game when the fleet-footed defender pressed Duesseldorf into making a mistake, barged
The losing captain thanked the winning team’s players for their personal sacrifices leading into the match and a charter flight pilot received a big round of applause when his plane beat incoming fog to touch down after midnight following another game as feel-good stories off the field matched those on it as the National Rugby League (NRL) restarted its season in Australia over the weekend. The New Zealand Warriors’ 18-0 win over St George Illawarra was the Auckland-based team’s first of the season after three rounds and it could not have come at a better time. Due to international travel restrictions
Taiwan Steel celebrated a big win over Tatung in the Taiwan Premier League yesterday, while undefeated Taichung Futuro remained at the top of the table, although their lead is only one point. Four of the eight teams were in action, completing matches postponed the previous weekend due to rain, with Taipower and Hang Yuan playing out a scoreless draw in Kaohsiung. Taiwan Steel are sorting out their early-season problems as they chase the leaders and it showed against defending champions Tatung at the Jhubei Stadium in Hsinchu County. Haitian striker Benchy Astama netted a brace and midfielder Kuo Po-wei’s outstanding solo effort sent
DISTANCING RULES: The government said social distancing should be maintained during disputes and celebrations, but conceded it would not be possible during play The Premier League on Saturday was given British government approval to press ahead with its June 17 restart, although players will have to stay apart during goal celebrations and disputes to maintain social distancing. Further details of the league’s plans for dealing with COVID-19 cases have been disclosed with clubs likely to have to play even if they only have 15 fit squad members. In a further boost to the league’s restart plans, there were no positives in the fourth round of twice-weekly testing. Tests were conducted on 1,130 players and club personnel on Thursday and Friday as contact training resumed. The season