Phelan hits superb form to lead at Brabazon Trophy
SPORTS DIGEST:GOLF Kevin Phelan swept to the top of the leaderboard in the English strokeplay championship for the Brabazon Trophy at Walton Heath in Surrey yesterday.
The 20-year-old University of Florida student from Waterford Castle fired a superb four under par 68 to grab a two-stroke first round lead over Sleaford’s James Burnett.
Nicholas Grant from Knock returned a 76 giving himself a lot of work to do. Lucan’s Richard O’Donovan and Kelan McDonagh from Athlone struggled and took 78 while Muskerry’s Niall Gorey finished on 79.
Elsewhere, Stephanie Meadow kept Irish hopes alive in the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Carnoustie yesterday as she moved into the third round. The 20-year-old Curtis Cup heroine was taken four extra holes in the morning before getting past Lancashire’s Emily Taylor.
Slieve Russell teenager Leona Maguire, however, was beaten 53 in the first round by Parisienne Celine Boutier.
Meanwhile, veteran Vijay Singh set the early pace in the first round of the ATT National in Bethseda, Maryland, shooting seven birdies en route to a three-under-par 68 to take the clubhouse lead.
The 49-year-old Fijian’s total was being threatened by US pair Bo Van Pelt and Jimmy Walker, who were touching four-under-par towards the ends of their respective rounds. Tiger Woods was yet to make a charge as he sat one-over-par through his opening 11 holes.
Elsom joins Japan club after season disrupted by injury
RUGBYFormer Australia captain Rocky Elsom has signed for Japanese club Kobe Steel and injury means he has almost certainly played his last match for the New South Wales Waratahs this season, the Super rugby team’s coach Michael Foley said yesterday.
Elsom was omitted from Australia’s squad for the recent Tests against Scotland and Wales, effectively ending his 75-Test career.
Meanwhile, Andy Farrell is to rejoin the England coaching team on July 2nd, the Rugby Football Union have announced. Farrell has signed a contract through to January 2016 and he will take charge of England’s backs and defence for their tilt at World Cup glory on home soil in 2015.
Duo support idea of London Grand Prix
FORMULA ONELewis Hamilton would love to play his part in the design of any potential London grand prix circuit. Hamilton and McLaren team-mate Jenson Button unveiled a four-minute video last night outlining a possible route that would start on The Mall and take in landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.
It has to be remembered the concept is nothing more than fantasy F1, with no official plans proposed or in the pipeline for the event. The route even takes in Admiralty Arch, which as anybody will be aware has three single-lane arches, making it impossible for a race to be run with that as a feature.
Santander, who sponsor the British Grand Prix due to take place at Silverstone next weekend, are behind the event at the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall. The banking giant have put together a CGI video to highlight the possibility of what could be achieved. They are also effectively taking advantage of the euphoria building towards the London Olympics.
Cheng secures wild card for Games
OLYMPIC GAMESDong Cheng of China has secured a wild card entry to the 2012 Olympic Games in Katie Taylor’s lightweight class. Romania’s Mihael Lacatus, Morocco’s Mahjoub Oubtil and Queen Underwood of the USA have also been granted wild cards to make up the 12-strong lightweight division at the Games.
World amateur boxing chiefs AIBA yesterday confirmed their full list of male and female boxers for the 30th Olympiad. Four-time world champion Taylor beat Cheng in the 2010 and ’08 world lightweight finals in Barbados and China and holds six straight victories over the Asian fighter.
Lacatus was due to meet Taylor in the quarter-finals of last month’s AIBA World Women’s Championships in China but withdrew because of injury. The Romanian’s entry will come as a huge shock to Turkey’s two-time World and European champion (at light-welter) Gulsum Tatar, whose Wikipedia page, as of yesterday, reads that she had received the 60kg wild card for Europe.