Sports Digest


A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Favre misses first game since 1992

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: The New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens earned critical victories on Monday to keep pace in their respective conference play-off races.

In Detroit, the Giants took advantage of Brett Favre’s rare absence to rout the Minnesota Vikings 21-3 and move into a tie with the Philadelphia Eagles atop the NFC East Division. In Houston, the Ravens held off a comeback from the Texans, who scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to send the game into overtime where Josh Wilson’s 12-yard interception return clinched a 34-28 win in overtime for Baltimore.

Stealing the headlines was 41-year-old Favre, who missed his first game since 1992 due to a shoulder injury, breaking his record streak of 297 straight starts. “(There’s) relief in one sense. It’s probably been long overdue,” Favre said. “I won’t play again if I can’t feel my hand. It’s been a great run. Im proud of it.”

Ranking system saves Woods dropping to 41st

GOLF: Tiger Woods would be only 41st in the world now if the ranking system was based solely on points earned this year.

A review of the season shows that Europe has the top four points-earners – Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald – and six of the top seven thanks to Rory McIlroy and Paul Casey.

Woods has dropped only to second on the official rankings behind Westwood, though, because it is a two-year system and a points average rather than a points total.

The American did not play the first three months of 2010 because of his sex scandal, then failed to win a single event all year for the first time in his professional career.

LEADING POINTS SCORERS IN 2010 (actual world ranking position in brackets: 1 (1) L Westwood 374.2pts, 2 (3) M Kaymer 346.3, 3 (7) G McDowell 331.4, 4 (9) L Donald 325.6, 5 (12) E Els 282.8, 6 (11) R McIlroy 266.0, 7 (8) P Casey, 8 (13) M Kuchar 257.3, 9 (4) P Mickelson 247.6, 10 (5) J Furyk 247.6 Other notables: 11 (10) I Poulter, 13 (15) F Molinari, 17 (26) M Angel Jimenez, 19 (18) E Molinari, 20 (16) R Karlsson, 21 (30) J Rose, 39 (22) P Harrington, 41 (2) T Woods.

Shortlist for RTÉ awards named

SPORTS AWARDS: The shortlist of nine finalists for the RTÉ Sports Person of the Year Award and eight finalists for the RTÉ Team of the Year Award, in association with The Irish Sports Council, were announced yesterday. The winners will be presented with their awards on Wednesday, December 22nd (live on RTE1, 9.30pm).

The RTÉ Sports Person of the Year shortlist: Katie Taylor ( World Amateur Boxing Champion); Graeme McDowell (US Open champion); Grainne Murphy (European Long and Short Course Swimming Championships triple medal winner); Tony McCoy (Grand National and Champion Hurdle winning jockey); Lar Corbett (Tipperary); Paddy Barnes (European Boxing Champion); Tommy Bowe (Rugby); Derval O’Rourke (European Athletics Championships silver medallist); Rory McIlroy, winner of his first PGA Tour event at 20 years of age and the youngest winner since Tiger Woods on America’s PGA tour.

Team: Men’s Boxing team; All-Ireland champions Cork; Women’s World Cup quarter-finalists, Ireland U17 team; Women’s All-Ireland champions Dublin; League of Ireland champions Shamrock Rovers: All-Ireland Hurling champions, Tipperary; European Championship Winners, the Irish Men’s U-23 Cross Country team and All-Ireland Camogie champions, Wexford.

Goggins beaten in semi-final

SNOOKER: Rodney Goggins’ bid to become the first Irish winner of the World Amateur Snooker Championships since Stephen O’Connor came unstuck at the semi-final stage yesterday after he was beaten by India’s Pankaj Advani in Damascus, Syria.

The 32-year-old former professional from Wexford recorded a 147 maximum earlier in the competition but his form deserted him against Advani who prevailed 7-4.

Wozniacki gets ITF award

TENNIS: Caroline Wozniacki has become the first Danish player to win the International Tennis Federations (ITF) World Champion award, even though she has never won a grand slam. Spain’s Rafael Nadal took the mens award for the second time after winning three of the year’s four grand slam titles.

“To be listed with all the former ITF World Champions is something I am really proud of,” the 20-year-old Wozniacki, who in October became the first Dane to be ranked number one in the world, said in a statement. Wozniacki, who knocked 13-times grand slam champion Serena Williams from the top spot, was a model of consistency this season, winning six titles.

Nadalwon the French Open for a fifth time, Wimbledon for the second time and became the youngest man to complete a career grand slam when he won the US Open in September.