Ireland secure first Olympic berth in rugby; Leona Maguire finishes second in Michigan

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

The Ireland team and staff celebrate qualifying for Tokyo 2020. Photograph: Manuel Blondeau/Inpho

The Ireland team and staff celebrate qualifying for Tokyo 2020. Photograph: Manuel Blondeau/Inpho

The Ireland Sevens team has secured qualification for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after defeating France 28-19. Terry Kennedy’s try gave Ireland an early lead in Sunday’s final qualifier, before scores from Stephen Perez and Paulin Riva put France ahead. Ireland responded through Jordan Conroy, who scored a pair of second-half tries, while Harry McNulty added a fourth as they booked their ticket for the Tokyo Games. The Irish side were unbeaten across six matches and two days to achieve a momentous first; not bad for a programme that was only reconstituted in 2015.

Fifteen days after his preparations were seemingly thrown into disarray, Jon Rahm produced a grandstand finish to claim his first major title in the 121st US Open while Rory McIlroy’s challenge faded on the back nine. Leona Maguire had to settle for solo runner-up to world number four Nelly Korda at the LPGA Meijer Classic in Grand Rapids, despite hardly putting a foot wrong in her quest to capture a breakthrough tour win. She’ll receive a runners-up payday of $214,010 (€180,464) and move up from 20th to 13th on the updated LPGA Tour order of merit.

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