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Rory McIlroy makes blistering start to US PGA; Broadhurst and O’Rourke win gold

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

Rory McIlroy made a blistering start to the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills as he aims to end his eight-year Major drought. The Northern Irishman, playing with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, shot an opening round of 65 to finish the day in the lead, one stroke ahead of Americans Will Zalatoris and Tom Hoge.

Philip Reid writes that Woods and Spieth at times must have felt like witnesses to McIlroy’s masterclass as this was Rory of old, more often than not making the aggressive play and trusting his driver to get him into position to attack. Shane Lowry was the best of the other Irish at Tulsa, after an opening round of 70.

A landmark day for Irish boxing yesterday as Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O'Rourke won gold medals for Ireland at the World Championships, all within 30 minutes of each other at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul. Broadhurst at 25 years old and O'Rourke, who turned 20 years old last weekend and in her first major championship, won unanimous and split decisions respectively to become world champions for the first time in their careers as well as $100,000 richer. It is also a first in that no two Irish boxers have won gold medals at the same world championships, or, in quite the dramatic fashion as Broadhurst and O'Rourke.

In today's Subscriber Only piece, Joe Canning says Clare must leave nothing to chance as they have the opportunity to end Waterford's chances of All-Ireland glory. Any talk of Clare resting players is "dangerous", he says. "Going from celebrating a draw against an understrength Limerick team to allowing Waterford a bit of leeway to possibly stay in the championship would be sending out the wrong signal two weeks in a row."

Everton ensured their Premier League safety last night with a dramatic comeback against Crystal Palace, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin's diving header five minutes from time sent Everton fans into a premature pitch invasion. Burnley are out of the relegation zone after a draw at Aston Villa. The final day comes down to Burnley and Leeds for survival. Burnley will stay up if they match Leeds's result. Lisa Fallon writes that Uefa's new financial model is a game changer for women's soccer. There is a real incentive for clubs and countries as governing body greatly increases funding ahead of tomorrow's Champions League final between Lyon and Barcelona.

In rugby, almost everything is up for grabs as the final round of URC matches kick off with Munster, Sharks, Stormers, Ulster and Bulls all competing for home quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Johnny Watterson writes that World Rugby are showing some bottle in facing up to water carriers as the governing body is about to put a stop to the staff invasions and the on-pitch orgy of info exchange. "This could be a hallelujah moment in the sport," he writes.

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