Three tied for lead in Turin
Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium took a share of the lead in the first round of the Italian Open on Thursday. The Ryder Cup standout shot a 65 at the Golf Club Torino to join Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina and Maximilian Kieffer of Germany at seven-under. Colsaerts withdrew from last week’s KLM Open with the flu and appears to have benefited from some time at home. “Nothing beats being back home with your mum looking after you,” Colsaerts said. Gonzalez missed three cuts in a row since finishing as runner-up at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, but he was on form with six birdies, one bogey and an eagle. Kieffer had a 25-foot putt for the outright lead at the last hole, but had to settle for a par.
Bennett wins in Caerphilly
Ireland’s Sam Bennett won the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain from Machynlleth to Caerphilly, Wales, on Thursday, while Sky Pro Cycling leader Bradley Wiggins retained the overall lead. The AN Post-Chain Reaction rider took the first stage victory of his career, ahead of Poland’s Michal Golas and Switzerland’s Martin Elmiger, after a sprint finish at the foot of Caerphilly mountain.
Murray to go under the knife
Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is to undergo minor back surgery with the aim of being fully fit for the new season, his management team said in a statement on Thursday. The 26-year-old missed this year’s French Open due to a back injury, but recovered to become the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years. He failed to retain his US Open title this month after losing in the quarter-finals to Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka. Murray, the world No. 3, has qualified for the season-ending World Tour Finals in London in November, but now looks certain to miss the tournament. A statement from his management company reported by British media read: “Next week Andy is set to undergo minor back surgery in an effort to clear up a long-standing back problem... The aim is to be fully fit for the new season.” Murray said on his Facebook page: “Thanks so much for all the nice messages today... Having operation on Monday. Will let everyone know how it goes. I’ll be ‘back’ stronger.”
Mayweather bout is richest
Floyd Mayweather Jr’s win over Mexico’s Saul Alvarez has been confirmed as the richest fight in boxing history with nearly US$150 million in pay-per-view revenue, US cable network Showtime said on Thursday. The revenue for last Saturday’s unified super welterweight championship in Las Veges surpassed the US$136 million that was generated by Mayweather’s 2007 showdown with Oscar de la Hoya. Showtime said that the fight attracted about 2.2 million pay-per-view customers, which is second all-time to the 2.48 million for the Mayweather-De la Hoya bout. Showtime said the numbers on pay-per-view are still being added up, but it has already beaten the third-most popular fight in history (1.97 million) between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson in 1997. The fight, which had an average ticket price of more than US$1,200, also set a boxing record for gate revenue at more than US$20 million. It also established boxing television records in Mexico. The fight was watched by 22.1 million people and in 5.9 million households, making it the highest-rated boxing program ever in Mexico. Mayweather and Alvarez went the 12-round distance, with the American taking the decision to improve his record to 45-0. Alvarez suffered just the first loss of his career.