Lipsky sets early pace
Asian Tour rookie David Lipsky set the pace at the US$2 million Iskandar Johor Open yesterday, holding the opening-round lead at eight-under through 16 holes before a thunderstorm stopped play. Australia’s Unho Park posted a flawless 65 for second place, while Kevin Na of the US scored 66 to take third at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club. Play was suspended in the early afternoon and 84 players are set to resume their round at 7:15am today. South Africa’s Peter Karmis scored 67 to take a share of fourth place with India’s S.S.P. Chowrasia, Angelo Que of the Philippines and Australia’s Darren Beck, who is at five-under through 17 holes. Asian Tour Order of Merit contenders Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and Australia’s Marcus Fraser are at one-under after 17 holes. Taiwan’s Chan Yih-shin was on one-under through 16 holes, while compatriot Lin Wen-tang was one-over through the fourth hole.
Emotional Popovic leads
An emotional Daniel Popovic fired a sizzling eight-under 64 to grab a two-shot opening round lead at the Australian PGA Championship yesterday after Greg Norman withdrew due to a bout of food poisoning. Popovic flirted with the course record of 62 at the Palmer Coolum Resort in southern Queensland, before settling two shots ahead of compatriot Scott Strange. Former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, China’s Zhang Xinjun and Singapore’s Choo Tze-huang were one shot further behind tied for third place. Defending champion Greg Chalmers began with an even-par 72, while Northern Irishman Darren Clarke carded a 70. The 57-year-old Norman bogeyed the first two holes before deciding he could not continue.
Lochte bags two golds
US star Ryan Lochte bagged two golds on the opening day of the world shortcourse championships in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday to add to the five medals he won at the London Olympics. The American led from start to finish to win the men’s 200m freestyle, before he teamed up with Anthony Ervin, James Feigen and Matthew Grevers to win the 4x100m freestyle relay. The US women added a third gold by winning the final race of the day, the 4x200m freestyle relay. The quartet of Megan Romano, Chelsea Chenault, Shannon Vreeland and Allison Schmitt were pushed all the way by Russia. Elsewhere, it was a good day for eastern European women. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu set a competition record of 2 minutes, 2.20 seconds when she won gold in the 200m butterfly. Hosszu then returned to the pool 30 minutes later to overhaul compatriot Zsuzsanna Jakabos in the final stages of the women’s 400m individual medley and win bronze behind Britain’s Hannah Miley and Ye Shiwen of China.
Crowd trouble ends match
The CEV Challenge Cup match between Bulgaria’s Levski Sofia and Greece’s Olympiakos was abandoned on Wednesday after fans threw flares and other objects onto the court. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” Olympiakos spiker Boyan Yordanov told reporters. “They threw beer cans and even a bottle of vodka at us.” The match was suspended in the third set with twice winners Olympiakos leading 9-8 and the set score at 1-1. Russian referee Maxim Berdnikov took the players off the court and the match was abandoned. “Levski should expect a European competitions’ ban,” Bulgarian volleyball federation president Dancho Lazarov said.