Ken Early on Ireland’s latest blank; Johnson dominates Augusta to claim green jacket

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

Ireland players dejected after their Nations League loss to Wales. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Ireland players dejected after their Nations League loss to Wales. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Another 90 minutes without the ball hitting the back of the opposition’s net and more frustration for Ireland and Stephen Kenny. Last night’s 1-0 defeat to Wales in the Nations League means that Ireland are nearly halfway to breaking Northern Ireland’s world record of 1,298 minutes without a goal. This morning, Ken Early writes that the current circumstances make a mockery of Kenny’s early travails in the job. After the game Kenny was in bullish form despite the latest blank on the goals front, saying that he has “no doubts” that he will be a success in the job. “It’s difficult, you know how it is. Once you have a few bad results, people start talking and the pressure builds, it’s just one of those things we have to deal with. But we all have enough games under our belt. Please God we get a win Wednesday and we can push on from there.”

In golf, world number one Dustin Johnson finally got his hands on a second Major championship title yesterday when he blew the field away at Augusta National to win the Masters by five shots. Johnson’s final round of 68 also gave him the tournament scoring record of 20 under par in what was a stunning performance. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods’ defence of his title did not go to plan but the 15-time Major winner did remind us, as if we needed it, what he is made of down the stretch. At the treacherous Par 3 12th hole Woods racked up a scarcely believable 10 – the highest single hole score in his career – after putting three balls in the water. However, the ultimate competitor wasn’t going to go out on that note as he responded by making birdie at five of the last six holes.

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