Monthly Archives: March 2015

Tiger Woods drops out of the world’s top 100 golfers

Will Woods ever rediscover his title winning form?

Will Woods ever rediscover his title winning form?

Tiger Woods has dropped out of the world’s top 100 golfers for the first since 1996.

The 39-year-old has struggled to return to the form which saw him spend a record 683 weeks as world number one and is now ranked 104 in the official rankings.

The 14-time major winner carded an 82 at the Phoenix Open in January, a round which he described as his worst as a professional.

Woods has not played since he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on February 6 saying he will not return until he can "compete at the highest level".

Woods has said he is "hopeful" of a return at the Masters which starts on April 9, but if he does forgo the tournament it will be the second successive occasion he has done so.

Woods was last outside the top 100 in September 1996 when he was ranked 225.

The then 20-year-old won the Las Vegas Invitational, the first of his 79 PGA Tour victories.

Sebastian Vettel wins Malaysian Grand Prix for Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel records his first victory for Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel records his first victory for Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel put in a faultless display to record his first victory for Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The victory ended a long drought for the Italian Formula One team, whose last win was at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2013, and was the 40th of the German's career.

Australia's Daniel Ricciardo finished ninth after having qualified on the second row of the grid.

Starting from second place on the grid behind Lewis Hamilton's seemingly unbeatable Mercedes, four-time world champion Vettel and Ferrari produced a tactical masterclass to overhaul the Briton and cross the line 8.5 seconds ahead of the double world champion.

"Numero uno is back, Ferrari is back," Vettel was told over the team radio as he took the chequered flag.

"Grazie, grazie. Forza Ferrari!" he shouted in reply.

Hamilton's team-mate Nico Rosberg finished a distant third while 17-year-old Max Verstappen claimed seventh place for Toro Rosso to become the youngest points scorer in Formula One history.

The race got off to a clean start with Hamilton pulling away from Vettel on the first lap, but the race turned in Ferrari's favour when Sauber's Marcus Ericsson spun off at the start of lap four to bring out the safety car.

While Mercedes pulled both their cars into the pits to put on hard tyres, Vettel stayed out on the medium compound and made the lead stick until the end of the race.

Vettel, who failed to win a race for Red Bull last year after four successive titles, has now won grands prix for three separate teams – Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Ferrari.

 

Departing Australian captain leads his country to World Cup glory

A jubilant Australia celebrate their win

A jubilant Australia celebrate their win

Michael Clarke hit a supreme 74 as the departing Australian captain led his country to World Cup glory against New Zealand with a seven-wicket victory in Melbourne.

New Zealand, who defeated Australia by one wicket in the pool phase, were all but out of the match after being dismissed for just 183 following captain Brendon McCullum’s decision to bat first, having won the toss.

The writing was on the wall for New Zealand, appearing in their first World Cup final, when McCullum was bowled for a duck in the first over by impressive left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc.

Grant Elliott (83) and Ross Taylor (40) rebuilt the innings with a stand of 111 before New Zealand lost a trio of quick wickets, with Starc and fellow left-arm seamers Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner sharing eight wickets between them.

Australia captain Clarke, playing his last one-day international before he retires from white-ball, but not Test cricket, saw his side to the brink of victory before he was bowled for 74 in his 245th ODI, with the skipper walking off to a standing ovation from a record Melbourne Cricket Ground crowd of 93,013.

Steven Smith, who put on 112 for the third wicket with Clarke, made 56 not out — his fifth successive score of 50 or more this tournament — and hit the winning boundary as Australia finished on 186 for three with a huge 101 balls remaining.

A crowd of 93,013 witnessed Australia claim their fifth world title as a match that promised so much ended up being incredibly one-sided.

New Zealand were always looking for a miracle after being bowled out for a below-par 183 in 45 overs, despite 83 from Grant Elliott – as Mitchell Starc bowled Brendon McCullum for a duck in the first over.

In response, Clarke and Steve Smith shared a 112-run third-wicket partnership as Australia cruised to victory in 34 overs.

McCullum called right at the toss and on a sun-bathed Melbourne Cricket Ground the New Zealand captain understandably chose to bat.

So often the 33-year-old’s own innings sets the tempo of the Black Caps innings and on Sunday it was no different.

Having come out swinging and twice been beaten, McCullum was bowled for a duck by a full, in-swinging Starc delivery that cannoned into off-stump.

It sent the MCG crowd into a fit of delirium as a wicket fell in the first over in a World Cup final for the first time ever.

Paul O’Connell wins Six Nations Player of the Tournament

Paul O'Connell

Paul O’Connell

Paul O’Connell has been voted the Player of the 2015 Six Nations Rugby Championship.

The Irish skipper won a public vote after leading his team to back-to-back titles, playing superbly all through the five matches and even scoring the opening try in the decisive win over Scotland last weekend.

Wales forward Alun-Wyn Jones was second, with Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw pipping Wales fly-half Dan Biggar for third place.

O'Connell becomes the first Irishman to gain the accolade since his current team-mate Tommy Bowe five years ago.

A shortlist of 12 players was decided through a combination of match statistics, analysing the best performing players across a set range of criteria and then followed by a public vote.

O'Connell, who won his 100th cap during the tournament, said: "I am delighted to receive the RBS player of the championship trophy.

"When you see the names that have gone before, you realise what a great honour it is. I am very grateful for all the supporters who voted for me."

A total of 70,448 votes were cast, with O'Connell gaining 18,842 of those.

Paul O’Connell wins Six Nations Player of the Tournament

Paul O'Connell

Paul O’Connell

Paul O’Connell has been voted the Player of the 2015 Six Nations Rugby Championship.

The Irish skipper won a public vote after leading his team to back-to-back titles, playing superbly all through the five matches and even scoring the opening try in the decisive win over Scotland last weekend.

Wales forward Alun-Wyn Jones was second, with Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw pipping Wales fly-half Dan Biggar for third place.

O'Connell becomes the first Irishman to gain the accolade since his current team-mate Tommy Bowe five years ago.

A shortlist of 12 players was decided through a combination of match statistics, analysing the best performing players across a set range of criteria and then followed by a public vote.

O'Connell, who won his 100th cap during the tournament, said: "I am delighted to receive the RBS player of the championship trophy.

"When you see the names that have gone before, you realise what a great honour it is. I am very grateful for all the supporters who voted for me."

A total of 70,448 votes were cast, with O'Connell gaining 18,842 of those.