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Ford, Phelan share Africa Open lead

Englishman Matt Ford and Irishman Kevin Phelan shared the Africa Open first-round lead on 67 Thursday after taming blustery East London Golf Club conditions. Phelan, joint second in the Joburg Open last weekend, collected six birdies over the 6,108-metre (6,679-yard) layout with his sole blemish a bogey five on 11. Ford put unspectacular Joburg Open form -- a share of 43rd spot -- behind him to

Ex-number ones Park, Tseng outshine jetlagged Ko

Former world number ones Park Inbee and Tseng Ya-ni outshone top-ranked Lydia Ko, 17, as they seized the joint lead on day one of the HSBC Women’s Champions on Thursday. Teenage sensation Ko blamed jetlag and fatigue as she carded four-under-par 68 to lie two shots off Park and Tseng's 66 at a sun-baked Sentosa Golf Course. She ended the day tied at the top of the leaderboard with Taiwan’s Tseng

Tseng revival continues with solid Singapore opening

By John O'Brien SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Yani Tseng had the golfing world at her feet during a glorious five-year spell from 2008 that saw the Taiwanese pick up five major victories and top the world rankings for 109 consecutive weeks. Following her 15th and final LPGA Tour victory in March 2012, Tseng began to second-guess herself on the course, her form disappeared along with the ever-present smi

Former number ones overshadow Ko in Singapore

By John O'Brien SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Lydia Ko's meteoric rise to the top of women's golf has shown little sign of slowing down but the New Zealand teen was forced to take a back seat to a pair of former number ones at the HSBC Women's Champions on Thursday. The 17-year-old phenomenon arrived in Singapore fresh from her Australian and New Zealand Open victories and an opening round four-under 68

Westbrook explodes for fourth straight triple double

Russell Westbrook finished with 49 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists and became the first player since Michael Jordan with four straight triple doubles as Oklahoma City beat Philadelphia 123-118 in overtime. Westbrook played with a clear plastic face mask in his return after missing the last Thunder game with a facial fracture that required surgery. "It is definitely a blessing," Westbrook said

Rodriguez hits single in exhibition return to plate

Disgraced drugs cheat Alex Rodriguez was greeted with a mixture of cheers and boos as he hit a single in his first exhibition game at-bat since returning from a performance-enhancing scandal. The New York Yankees slugger hit a two-strike single to left field Wednesday in a spring training plate appearance. He also walked and hit into an inning-ending play in the Yankees' 3-1 loss to the Philadel

Gasol's game winner lifts Grizzlies past Rockets

Marc Gasol sank a jump shot with 0.01 seconds left as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Houston Rockets 102-100 in a Southwest Division showdown. The Grizzlies on Wednesday led by seven points (98-91) with three minutes left but they let the Rockets back in it. Houston scored seven consecutive points to tie the game 98-98 as Terrence Jones and James Harden hit jump shots and Corey Brewer draine

Rodriguez gets walk in first game in 18 months

(Reuters) - Alex Rodriguez singled in his first at-bat in nearly 18 months as the formerly banished player began his attempted comeback with the New York Yankees with a Spring Training contest in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday. Rodriguez, 39, is coming off a 162-game suspension for his role in a drug scandal and is attempting to work his way back with the Yankees. His journey began with the exhibit

Yankees' Tanaka on track for pre-season debut

Japanese hurler Masahiro Tanaka is moving closer to his first game of spring training for the New York Yankees. The Yankees have been keeping a close eye on Tanaka, looking for trouble related to the partially torn right elbow ligament that sidelined him for part of last season. He threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday at the Yankees' spring training facility in Tampa, Florida. "Graduall

Manning reportedly set to return, take pay cut

Five-time NFL Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning will return for an 18th NFL season and has agreed to a $4 million paycut with the Denver Broncos, US media reported. The Denver Post and ESPN on Wednesday reported that Manning's pay will be cut from $19 million to $15 million. NFL.com reported Manning will still be able to earn the $4 million back in performance incentives. The Broncos are expec

Florida shooting inadmissible in ex-NFL star murder trial: judge

By Daniel Lovering FALL RIVER, Massachusetts (Reuters) - The judge in Aaron Hernandez's murder trial ruled on Wednesday that jurors will not be allowed to hear about a former friend of the ex-NFL star who claimed Hernandez shot him in the face after an argument in Florida in 2013. Associate Justice Susan Garsh denied a renewed request by prosecutors to allow evidence related to the shooting of A

Players set for another Blue Monster challenge

(Reuters) - An elite field including the top 50 in the world rankings will vie for supremacy at this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami where the infamous Blue Monster course will once again pose a daunting challenge. Last year, only four players were below par at the midway point of the $9.25 million event and many questioned the fairness of a layout which had been extensively redesigned s

Upbeat McIlroy aims for Doral bounceback after missed cut

(Reuters) - A rare missed cut for Rory McIlroy at last week's Honda Classic was the result of a rusty game and windy conditions, said the world number one, who was in an upbeat mood for this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami. In three starts this year, McIlroy has also recorded a win at the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic and a runner-up spot at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

No. 1 McIlroy more confident for Doral after work

World number one Rory McIlroy, looking to bounce back after missing the cut at last week's US PGA event, is more confident entering this week's World Golf Championships event at Doral. The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland has regained confidence after practice rounds ahead of the WGC Cadillac Championship and a victory in Seminole Golf Club's Pro-Member outing Monday where he fired a 63 on his

Allen says he won't join a team this season

Ray Allen, who helped the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat win NBA titles, will not reunite with LeBron James in Cleveland, saying Wednesday he will sit out the current season. The 39-year-old guard, one of the NBA's all-time top shooters and the league's career 3-pointers leader, had hinted that he might sign as a free agent with a title contender.

Growth of soccer in U.S. no threat to NFL ratings: Fox

By Steve Keating NEW YORK (Reuters) - Soccer may be a hot commodity in the U.S. sport market but poses no threat to the NFL, which will remain King of the Hill for the foreseeable future, Fox Sports president Eric Shanks said on Wednesday. Fox, which broadcasts NFL games, also owns U.S. television rights to the 2018, 2022 and 2026 World Cups, the 2015 Women's World Cup and a portfolio of domestic

Bills make deal for Vikings quarterback Cassel

New coach Rex Ryan has the Buffalo Bills in a deal-making mode, the NFL club announcing Wednesday it has an agreement in place to obtain Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel. The Bills will ship two undisclosed NFL Draft choices to the Vikings in the deal, which cannot be made official under league rules until next Tuesday. Grabbing Cassel comes a day after ESPN reported the Bills have agre

US Ryder Cup captain Love named President Cup aide

Davis Love, the 2016 US Ryder Cup captain, was named Wednesday as an assistant to US captain Jay Haas for this year's Presidents Cup at Incheon, South Korea. The American squad has won its past five meetings with the Internationals team of non-European players and owns an 8-1-1 overall edge in the rivalry entering its first staging in Asia on October 8-11. Love was captain of the 2012 US Ryder C

Price, Haas finalize assistants for Presidents Cup

(Reuters) - The assistants for this year's Presidents Cup in South Korea were finalised on Wednesday with Internationals captain Nick Price opting for continuity and his United States counterpart Jay Haas turning to experience. Price, whose Internationals were beaten by 18-1/2 points to 15-1/2 at Muirfield Village in 2013, named fellow Zimbabweans Mark McNulty and Tony Johnstone as his assistant

Poulter, Westwood, Donald, Rose to host British Masters

By Tony Jimenez LONDON (Reuters) - Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Justin Rose are to take turns in hosting the British Masters, an event that will return to the European Tour calendar this season for the first time in seven years. The leading British quartet will help select the venue each season for the next four years and Poulter has kicked things off by opting to play the three mi

Open hosts Royal St. George's to allow women members

Royal St George's, one of three male-only clubs on the British Open rota, has voted to allow women members for the first time, British media reported on Wednesday. "The Royal St George's Golf Club is pleased to announce that, following an extraordinary general meeting held on 14th February 2015 and a subsequent ballot of the full members of the Club, a resolution to alter the Club's rules to make

Singapore's rising mercury a challenge for Ko's hot streak

By Patrick Johnston SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's steamy temperatures will be no less a challenge than the star-studded field at the HSBC Women's Champions for teenaged world number one Lydia Ko's bid for her third successive title. "At that time, I had glasses and the moment I opened the door and went out my glasses just fogged up straightaway," Ko told reporters on Wednesday. The Seoul-bor

Record rise may never sink in, says teen golf star Ko

Teenage sensation Lydia Ko said her record rise to world number one still hadn't sunk in and may never do as she heads into this week's HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Ko astounded the golf world last month by reaching number one at the age of just 17, the youngest by a male or female player and smashing the record set by Tiger Woods at 21. Ko, who has been in the spotlight since winning he

Golf-Relaxed approach key for pressure free Park

By Patrick Johnston SINGAPORE, March 4 (Reuters) - Free of the burden that comes with the world number one ranking, South Korea's Park In-bee is looking forward to a more relaxed year on the LPGA Tour that she hopes will lead to an elusive British Open title. The 26-year-old world number two was displaced by 17-year-old New Zealander Lydia Ko at the top of the rankings in January and Park was hopi

Harden-less Rockets grounded by Hawks late rally

Rallying from a 15-point deficit in the final 10 minutes, the Atlanta Hawks beat Houston 104-96, retaining the NBA's best record with their fifth victory in a row. Taking advantage of a Rockets' squad playing without suspended scoring leader James Harden, the Hawks had 25 points from Jeff Teague, 18 points from Al Horford and 16 points and 14 rebounds from Paul Millsap. The Rockets outplayed Atl

LeBron bounces back, Irving returns in Cavaliers' win

LeBron James bounced back from a sub-par NBA effort and Kyrie Irving returned after a two-game absence as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics 110-79. James scored 27 points on 12-of-23 shooting Tuesday while Australian-born guard Irving added 18 to lead seven double-figure Cavalier scorers in Cleveland's 12th home triumph in a row. The Cavaliers improved to 38-24, trailing Chicag

Hayne inks three-year deal with 49ers as undrafted free agent

(Reuters) - The San Francisco 49ers confirmed on Tuesday they had signed Australian rugby league star Jarryd Hayne to a three-year-deal. Hayne had earlier told a news conference in Sydney that he had agreed to a futures contract with the 49ers but San Francisco later announced the undrafted free agent had been given a three-year deal. The 27-year-old Hayne has never played American football before

Austin to host Match Play Championship from 2016-19

(Reuters) - The elite WGC-Match Play Championship will be staged in Austin, Texas, from 2016 to 2019 as part of a four-year deal with its new title sponsor, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced on Tuesday. Texas-based PC maker Dell, which has major sports sponsorship experience with Formula 1 and America's Cup, will take over as the event's title sponsor next year when the event wil

Golf-Austin to host Match Play Championship from 2016-19

The elite WGC-Match Play Championship will be staged in Austin, Texas, from 2016 to 2019 as part of a four-year deal with its new title sponsor, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced on Tuesday. Texas-based PC maker Dell, which has major sports sponsorship experience with Formula 1 and America's Cup, will take over as the event's title sponsor next year when the event will be renamed

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