Harrington withdraws from PGA Championship; The Airtricity League returns tonight
The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
The Airtricity League will return tonight at the Brandywell Stadium in Derry. File photograph: Inpho
The Airtricity League kicks back into action tonight, with Derry City taking on Sligo Rovers at 5.45pm before Dundalk play St Pat’s at 7.45pm. Check out Emmet Malone’s team by team guide here, ahead of what will be a sprint finish. The asterisk will be back this season, that much we know already - but “however far short of an ideal season this one eventually ends up falling, it is still very good to be facing into the prospect of some competitive football being played again.” Brentford and Fulham will play for a Premier League place on Tuesday after Scott Parker’s side squeaked through their Championship playoff semi-final second leg against Cardiff last night. A 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff was enough to see Fulham edge the tie 3-2 on aggregate. In Premier League news, a Saudi Arabia-led consortium has withdrawn its bid to buy Newcastle United, and Manchester City have agreed to sign centre back Nathan Aké from Bournemouth for €43m.
Major champions Padraig Harrington and Francesco Molinari have withdrawn from next week’s PGA Championship in San Francisco. Neither player has competed on the PGA Tour since it resumed from the Covid-19 shutdown. Defending champion Brooks Koepka fired a superb eight-under par 62 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the St Jude Invitational in Memphis. Rory McIlroy made a poor start, the world No 2 shooting a three-over 73 which left him in grave danger of missing the cut, while Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry are both two-under and in a share of 15th place. Co Down’s Cormac Sharvin is leading the way for the Irish contingent at the Hero Open at the Forest of Arden championship course in Warwickshire, with a two under par, 70.