Teen Ko signs with IMG
Lydia Ko, who earned an exemption to join the USLPGA Tour in October as a 16-year-old, has signed with management company IMG. Born in South Korea and raised in New Zealand, Ko is already No. 4 in the women’s world rankings and won the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters last week in her second start as a professional. She won the Women’s Canadian Open at 15 last year to become the youngest winner in tour history and defended that title this year. Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie are among the women’s golfers represented by IMG. Guy Kinnings, global head of golf at IMG, said in a statement that Ko “is an incredibly impressive young lady and an astonishing player.”
Germany add friendlies
Germany are to play three more friendly matches as part of their World Cup preparations, including a clash on May 15 next year against Poland in Hamburg, the German soccer federation (DFB) said. After that match, Joachim Loew’s team are to host opponents, who are yet to be decided, in Moenchengladbach on June 1 and in Mainz four days later, with the DFB hoping to line up an African and another European team. Germany had already lined up a home game with fellow qualifiers Chile in Stuttgart on March 5 next year. The Germany squad are to leave for Brazil on June 7 next year and be based at Santo Andre in the state of Bahia. At the World Cup, Germany are in Group G along with Portugal, Ghana and the US.
Dan Carter to get surgery
New Zealand flyhalf Dan Carter is to spend part of his six-month sabbatical recovering from ankle surgery, New Zealand media reported on Friday. Carter came off the field after aggravating an Achilles problem during the All Blacks’ 30-22 win over England at Twickenham last month. Although the 31-year-old’s right Achilles tendon was suffering “wear and tear,” the surgery would be to remove bone spurs from the same ankle, All Blacks doctor Tony Page told TVNZ. “This is similar to what he had done a few years ago,” Page said. Carter has begun a planned six-month sabbatical from rugby and will not be available for selection for his Super Rugby side, the Canterbury Crusaders, until at least July next year.
London Irish get new bosses
The London Irish said that a consortium of London-based Irish businessmen have completed a takeover of the Premiership club. The group is led by London Irish president Mick Crossan and has former Exiles captain David Fitzgerald acting as interim executive chairman. The new owners will invest substantial funds to invest in the new center of excellence at Hazelwood and to strengthen the professional playing squad. Director of rugby Brian Smith said the Exiles’ new owners are determined to build on their Irish roots by signing more players from the Celtic nation. “We have to be what we say we are on the tin and that means being representative of Ireland,” Smith said. Fitzgerald said there are no plans to move ground from Reading, where they are contracted to stay at the Madejski Stadium until 2025-2026. While stating Irish now have access to “substantial funds,” he refused to embark on a spending spree to sign new players. The club also confirmed the arrival of South Africa prop C.J. van der Linde until the end of the season.