A round-up of today's other stories in brief
Schwartzel leads by one in Thailand after seven birdies
GOLF:Thailand Championship: Seeking his first victory since he won the 2011 Masters, Charl Schwartzel shot a seven-under-par 65 yesterday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round. The South African made seven birdies in a bogey-free round at the Amata Spring Country Club, four coming in the opening seven holes, to lead Thitiphun Chuayprakong.
Masters champion Bubba Watson (68) had an eagle and six birdies to sit three shots off the lead, while defending champion Lee Westwood (70) was in 21st place alongside Darren Clarke. Sergio Garcia was in a share of 10th place after an opening 69.
Australian Open: John Senden made the most of benign early conditions to shoot a six-under-par 66 and take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the $1.25 million event at The Lakes Golf Course, Sydney. The Queenslander is two shots clear of world number four Justin Rose and four others after they carded 68s.
Nelson Mandela Championship: No play was possible on the opening day – the first event of the new European Tour season – in South Africa. Play was postponed until today because of a flooded Royal Durban course following further rain.
McIlroy's coach of 15 years wins award after successful season
PHILIPS SPORTS MANAGER OF THE MONTH:Michael Bannon, coach to Rory McIlroy, was yesterday named Philips Sports Manager of the month for November.
Bannon has been Rory’s swing coach for the past 15 years and has recently received the 2012 UK High Performance Coach of the Year award in the non-Olympic category. He recently gave up his coaching position in Bangor GC to be available to Rory on a full-time basis.
McIlroy’s season has seen him top both the PGA and European Tours’ money lists with five victories, including a Major, and nine other top-five finishes including four runner-ups. Rory has also just been voted PGA Player of the Year.
Bannon has been McIlroy’s coach since he was eight years old, firstly in Hollywood GC and latterly when Bannon moved to Bangor GC.
Walker settles for bronze at world youths
BOXING:Kurt Walker had to settle for bronze at the AIBA World Youth Championships in Yerevan, Armenia, yesterday after losing out to England’s Oliver Simpson in the 52kg semi-final. Walker, who was trailing 9-5 entering the final round, produced a big finish against the Yorkshire flyweight, but his opponent held out for a 14-12 decision.
Simpson will now meet Jeyvier Cintron Ocasio of Puerto Rico in the final, who beat Cuba’s Luis Cordero-Parlay yesterday.
Today Walker will be presented with his medal and Katie Taylor will collect the AIBA World Female Boxer of the Year Award for a third time.
Tyrone’s Michael Gallagher will pick up his second AIBA World Referee and Judge Award.
Murphy makes most of errors from Brecel
SNOOKER:Shaun Murphy shattered the teenage dreams of Luca Brecel as he survived a nerve-wracking quarter-final at the UK Championship in York. Murphy looked beaten but 17-year-old Belgian Brecel twice faltered with victory in sight, missing pinks in the 10th and 11th frames to allow the 2008 UK champion to pinch a 6-5 win.
Murphy handed him a chance in the decider, missing the final red when it appeared he got a kick but Brecel left the cue ball the wrong side of the blue, and once he sank that ball, he could not get close enough to the pink. Brecel rattled the pink in the jaws and it rolled kindly for Murphy who seized the chance to win.
Murphy, 30, will today tackle Ali Carter in the first semi-final.