Woods in strong group
Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson have been grouped together for the first two rounds of next week’s US Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. The three, all winners of the Masters after Watson triumphed at Augusta National in April, will start on the ninth tee at 7:33am on June 14 and from the first hole at 1:18pm on June 15. Players normally start their rounds from the first and 10th tees, but tournament officials decided to send players off on the first and ninth holes for logistical reasons, as the ninth tee is closer to the clubhouse. Defending US Open champion Rory McIlroy was also put in a star-studded group alongside world No.1 Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. Louis Oosthuizen, who was beaten by Watson in a playoff at the Masters, was paired with last year’s US Open runner-up, Jason Day, and last year’s USPGA runner-up Jason Dufner. Three of the sport’s rising stars, Ryo Ishikawa, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler, were also paired together. Ernie Els, a two-time US Open champion, will tee off alongside Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 winner, and Angel Cabrera, who won the following year.
Cooper, Beale face probe
Wallabies playmakers Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale face a disciplinary investigation by the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) after local media reported they had been involved in a scuffle outside a Brisbane bar early yesterday morning. The two injured backs were involved in a brawl with security guards at the Victory Hotel in the early hours of the morning after being evicted from the venue, the Daily Telegraph said. The ARU has launched a probe into the incident, a spokesman said, while declining to provide details. The incident comes as the Wallabies prepared for their series-opening Test against Wales in Brisbane today. Neither Cooper nor Beale were named in the match-day 22, as they both continue their recovery from injuries.
Swimmers ‘sorry’ about guns
Controversial Australian swimmers Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk apologized yesterday for posting a photo of themselves posing with high-powered guns on the Internet, saying it was just “a bit of fun.” The pair have been blasted as “foolish” by Australia’s Olympic authorities and could face sanctions, although whether their places on the London Games team are under threat remains unclear. “If anyone’s been offended I deeply apologize. It was never the intent, it was never supposed to be offensive,” 200m butterfly star D’Arcy, 24, said on his arrival back in Australia from the US. It was in the US, where they had been competing at the Santa Clara International Grand Prix, that the swimmers posed in a gun shop, with D’Arcy brandishing a pistol and Monk holding two shotguns crossed over his chest.
Free house for Tendulkar
Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has been offered a free five-bedroom house in the center of New Delhi as a perk of his new post as a member of parliament, reports said yesterday. Tendulkar was sworn into the Upper House this week, claiming a seat reserved for distinguished figures in Indian public life. He has been offered a colonial-era bungalow with large lawns on one of the smartest streets in the capital, the Press Trust of India agency reported, adding he would be provided with 24-hour security and two escort vehicles. It was unclear whether Tendulkar would accept the offer.