Sat, Oct 15, 2011 - Page 18


Kumar leads Indian Open

India’s Chiragh Kumar raced to a three-shot lead yesterday to put himself in a good position to secure a dream victory after the second round of the Hero Indian Open. He battled to a solid five-under 67 to retain his overnight lead with a two-day total of 13-under 131 at his home course, the Delhi Golf Club. Australia’s David Gleeson, a two-time Asian Tour winner, eagled two holes for 66 to lie in second, while Chapchai Nirat of Thailand was a further two shots back in third after his blemish-free round of 67. Taiwan’s Lu Wei-Chih shot a four-under 68 to finish tied for ninth at five-under.


Stoner dominates practice

Casey Stoner dominated both practice sessions yesterday for the Australian GP as he chases his fifth straight win at his home race and a chance to clinch the world championship. The Australian recorded a best time of 1 minute, 30.475 seconds around the Philip Island track ahead of Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in the first session. Stoner, whose 26th birthday coincides with tomorrow’s race, can seal the rider’s title with if he scores 10 points more than Lorenzo. He said his chances of taking out the championship in front of his hometown crowd are “slim, almost impossible.” Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi finished 13th overall on his Ducati.


UEFA suspends Rooney

England striker Wayne Rooney was on Thursday banned for three matches by UEFA for his red card against Montenegro, a decision which will rule him out of the group stages of Euro 2012. Manchester United star Rooney was punished for his 74th-minute sending off in the 2-2 draw in Podgorica on Oct. 7 in England’s final qualifier when he kicked out at Miodrag Dzudovic. “The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has today handed down a three-match suspension to England forward Wayne Rooney following his dismissal during the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro last Friday,” a UEFA statement said. The English Football Association is yet to decide whether or not to appeal, an action which could lead to an even longer suspension.


Fans prank wrong man

South African rugby fans still blaming New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence for the Springboks’ World Cup quarter-final defeat have been prank calling his home. Trouble is, they have been phoning the wrong Bryce Lawrence. The Bryce Lawrence who is not a referee told the New Zealand Herald in yesterday’s edition that his listed number in Auckland had been ringing virtually nonstop since it was posted online in a viral campaign against the ref. He told the Herald he has spoken to his telephone provider and the police, and believes his number has been removed from Web sites. Since defending champion South Africa’s 11-9 loss to Australia on Sunday, more than 66,000 people have signed on to a Facebook petition “to stop Bryce Lawrence ever reffing a rugby game again.” One online video records a prank call apparently to Lawrence in the middle of the night, with someone saying: “This is a little bit of payback, just to let him know how South Africa feel about him.” Afterward, the narrator adds: “At least he knows how we feel ... I’ve got his number if you want it.” The Bryce Lawrence who is not a referee said he was taking all of the abuse in stride. “Well, these things happen,” he said. “It’s one of these things in life.”