WEEKLY SPORTS DIGEST: McIlroy takes U.S. Golf Open
20/06/11 Executive sport summary– An overview of the major sporting events – Results, key moments and talking points – Everything you need to know to foot it at the water cooler this week.
By Jonathan McKeown
US OPEN:Rory McIlroy’s superb victory in the U.S. Golf Open could herald a new era in professional golf. An absolutely stunning four rounds of golf earned McIlroy, among other accolades, his first Major victory since he faltered while leading by four shots at this year’s Masters. McIlroy set the scoring recordfor 36, 54 and 72 holes finishing at 16-under 268, eight shots ahead of second placed Jason Day.
The 22-year-old Northern Irishman is no Tiger Woods, mainly because he is not an American, but he could be the champion golf has been seeking since the downfall of Woods. A further possibility, if McIlroy holds his form and starts winning multiple Majors, is this young man could be the player to spark Woods back into form with someone finally mounting a challenge to become the latest golfing great.
V8 SUPERCARS:Rick Kelly scored his second win for the season in the opening race in Darwin. A controversial re-start allowed Kelly to jump from fifth to first on lap 37, leap-frogging his main rivals.
New Zealand's Shane van Gisbergen won a tight battle with Craig Lowndes to claim the second win of his career. The 22-year-old showed an experienced calm to claim victory in the final race in Darwin.
The victory transports Van Gisbergen into third in the Championship behind leader Jamie Whincup and Lowndes. The next round will be in Townsville in early July.
WRC: Citroen claimed a 1-2 finish in the Acropolis Rally with young French gun Sebastien Ogier finishing ahead of seven-time world champion Sebastien Loeb. Over the course the lead changed only between the teammates, both bettering each other’s times until Ogier made his move to take a third victory for the season. Loeb extended his series lead to 17 points over Mikko Hirvonen with Ogier five further adrift in third.
SUPER RUGBY:Queensland beat the Chiefs 11-19 in Hamilton to finish on top this season. After being one of the competition easy beats three years ago, Queensland have completed a remarkable turnaround led by their playmaker pairing of Quade Cooper and Will Genia. The Chiefs said goodbye to many stars including captain Mils Muliaina, flying winger Sitiveni Sivivatu and Coach Ian Foster.
A strong season ended poorly for the Highlanders as they were beaten 33-16 by the Blues. The Blues will host the Waratahs for their qualifier after NSW smashed the Brumbies 41-7.
The Crusaders beat the Hurricanes 16-9 to secure a qualifier against the Sharks in Nelson. Ma’a Nonu and Andrew Hore were visibly disappointed this would be their last game for the Canes, while those like Nemia Tialata, who left on their own terms celebrated with fans.
In South Africa the Sharks ended the Bulls title defence 23-26 to book a spot in the play-offs while the Stormers topped the South African Conference to get a week off with the Reds.
RUGBY LEAGUE:A three-try blitz helped the Cowboys overcome the Warriors 30-10 in Townsville. Leading 10-8 the Warriors missed two gilt-edged opportunities to stretch the margin and paid the price. After a poor start the Warriors won six in a row but the rot has set back in after the bye week with three straight losses.
Elsewhere, Newcastle’s debutant five-eighth Ryan Stig helped set up a 16-12 win over Penrith. The Broncos’ gamble paid off when their Origin stars helped knock-off the top-of-the-table Dragons 21-14. South Sydney were too strong for a disappointing Gold Coast outfit easing to a 31-8 victory.
JUNIOR RWC:Australia will face the Baby Blacks in the semi-final of the Junior World Championship. Unbeaten over 48 games over the previous three tournaments, New Zealand also accounted for Australia in the title decider last year. The semi-final will see France for the first time face their familiar foes England.
OTHER RESULTS:The New Zealand women's hockey team are warming up well for their Champions Trophy tournament in the Netherlands. The Kiwis won their final practice game against China 2-0 and are confident despite being ranked seventh out of the eight teams.
The New Zealand women's football team are building nicely ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany next week. Following their 2-0 win over Wales the football ferns beat Columbia 1-0 at the Matchworld Cup in Switzerland.
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