Rain postpones start
Steady rain punctuated by heavy downpours at Locust Hill in Rochester, New York, forced the postponement of the first round of the LPGA Championship on Thursday. The LPGA’s second major of the year was to begin yesterday morning, the second round would be staged today and the players would attempt to complete 36 holes tomorrow, the LPGA said. Two weeks ago, at the Bahamas LPGA Classic, the course was closed for two days because of severe flooding and when the tournament finally got under way it was shortened to 12 holes.
Astros select Mark Appel
The Houston Astros have selected Stanford University pitcher Mark Appel with the No. 1 pick in the Major League Baseball draft. Appel was considered a possible top pick last year, but Houston passed on the hometown prospect and instead chose 17-year-old shortstop Carlos Correa from Puerto Rico. Appel was chosen by Pittsburgh at No. 8, but turned down a US$3.8 million offer and returned to Stanford for his senior season. The move paid off for Appel, a hard-throwing right-hander. He went 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 106-1/3 innings this season for the Cardinals. The draft, which is held over three days and 40 rounds, started on Thursday night with the first two rounds at MLB Network Studios in New Jersey.
Healy cleared of biting
Irish loosehead prop Cian Healy was cleared of misconduct at a disciplinary hearing yesterday after being accused of biting an opponent during the British and Irish Lions’ match against the Western Force in Australia. Healy, who suffered suspected ankle ligament damage during the game and was taken off the field by stretcher, was cited after Force scrumhalf Brett Sheehan complained to the referee that he had been bitten in the first half of the Lions’ 69-17 victory in Perth on Wednesday. Judicial officer Nigel Hampton found insufficient evidence to support the allegations, the Australian Rugby Union said in a statement yesterday. “There is no conclusive video evidence of the incident and post-match it was not possible to distinguish any discernible bite marks outside of the ‘regular’ marks usually found following a rugby match,” Hampton said in his findings. The Lions face the Wallabies in the first Test on June 22.
Cooper gets last chance
Mercurial flyhalf Quade Cooper is to captain the Queensland Reds when they take on the British and Irish Lions in Brisbane today in his last chance to persuade Australia coach Robbie Deans to give him a spot in the Wallabies squad. Cooper was controversially omitted from the Wallabies’ preliminary squad to take on the touring Lions in the three-Test series, with Deans concerned about a perceived defensive frailty, but he could win one of the final six additional berths to be named on Tuesday. The New Zealand-born playmaker is to lead a team shorn of seven other capped Wallabies at Lang Park in an honor that Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said was well deserved. “Quade is a proven winner and real facilitator of success here at the Reds, and the reality is that we win more games with him in the side,” McKenzie said in a statement. “But, what most people don’t know or see is the responsibility and ownership he takes on with regards to our game plan.”