Morikawa secures Sony lead
Collin Morikawa on Thursday displayed wisdom beyond his 22 years in strong winds to vault to a two-shot lead after his opening round at the Sony Open in Hawaii. The Californian handled the windswept conditions with aplomb, although riding his luck at times after some errant drives, while running up five birdies in a five-under-par 65 at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Australian Matt Jones and Americans Ted Potter, Ryan Palmer and Sam Ryder shared second place after they all posted rounds of three-under-par 67. Ten players were locked in a tie for sixth place in a round that was suspended due to darkness with a handful of players still out on the course. Morikawa, born in Los Angeles of Hawaiian and Japanese heritage, turned professional in June last year and took only six starts to clinch his first PGA Tour victory at the Barracuda Championship in Nevada. Part of an exciting wave of fearless young players with seemingly unlimited potential, he is already ranked 55th in the world, but has said that he needs to sharpen up his driving to stay atop the leaderboard. “Next few days I have to hit a few more fairways and we’ll be good from there,” Morikawa said.
Veerman leads by one shot
American Johannes Veerman on Thursday fired nine birdies in a flawless 62 to lead the South African Open Championship by one shot as he maintained a great start to his first European Tour season. The key to the nine-under-par round at Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg for the 27-year-old was finding 17 greens in regulation. Having picked up two birdies on the front nine, Veerman claimed three in a row from 10 and four more from 15 to 18 to head Italian Nino Bertasio and South African J.C. Ritchie. After just qualifying for a maiden European Tour, Veerman has proved his worth with two top-10 finishes in three starts before arriving in South Africa. Bertasio, whose No. 357 world ranking puts him 30 places below Veerman, had a chance to lead the field after an eagle-three at 17 left him at nine-under. However, after being just short of the green on the final hole in two, he chipped past the pin and failed to hole a par putt. Ritchie, a 25-year-old seeking his first European Tour victory, birdied eight holes and did not drop a shot in warm, dry conditions.
Torino advance to quarters
Torino on Thursday beat Genoa 5-3 on penalties to reach the Coppa Italia quarter-finals after both sides were tied 1-1 after extra time. Andrea Favilli put Genoa ahead after 14 minutes against their Serie A rivals in Turin, but Lorenzo de Silvestri pulled the hosts level on 23 minutes. Genoa goalkeeper Andrei Radu denied an Andrea Belotti header in the second half, with the Torino captain also missing a chance for the winner in injury time. Torino played the final 15 minutes of extra time a man down after midfielder Souahilo Meite was sent off for a second yellow card. The game went to a shoot-out, with Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu saving Ivan Radovanovic’s effort and Alex Berenguer slotting in the winning penalty. Five-time winners Torino, who last won the trophy in 1993, are to meet either AC Milan or SPAL in the quarter-finals. Holders SS Lazio open their title defense against Serie B side US Cremonese on Tuesday next week.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two