McIlroy makes slow progress

first_imgA Valhalla course set up for low scoring succeeded in producing early drama in the third round of the 96th US PGA Championship, although not perhaps as expected. Press Association England’s Danny Willett had looked on course for something even better after playing his first 13 holes in six under, meaning he needed to play the final five in three under to shoot the first ever 62 in a major. However, Willett bogeyed the 14th and had to settle for a 66 to finish six under. “I had no clue about the record to be honest. I was just trying to go forward and keep pushing,” he told Press Association Sport. “I didn’t hit the ball fantastic but just scored phenomenally, especially as my back was not feeling great this morning.” McIlroy reclaimed the lead when Day bogeyed the sixth after a wild drive and the Northern Irishman was two clear when he holed from five feet on the par-five seventh for birdie. However, McIlroy duffed his chip from the edge of the eighth green to drop his first shot of the day and was just one ahead of Day, Fowler and Palmer, with European trio Henrik Stenson, Mikko Ilonen and Bernd Wiesberger another stroke back on a crowded leaderboard. More than a dozen players had broken 70 by the time the final group of Rory McIlroy and Jason Day teed off at 3pm local time, but the leading duo were soon scrambling for spectacular pars rather than picking up birdies. Day hooked his tee shot on the second so badly that it cleared Floyd’s Fork, the creek running down the left-hand side of the hole, and into deep grass on the far side. Television commentator David Feherty initially looked to be searching for the ball in order for Day to work out where he could take a penalty drop, but the Australian then sent his caddie Colin Swatton to wade through the creek to assist. When the ball was found in a good enough lie for Day to be able to play it, the 26-year-old then took his shoes and socks off as well and made the journey across to the other side. Instructing Swatton to “throw me a pitching wedge”, Day duly hacked out of the rough, pitched onto the green and holed from 12 feet for a remarkable par. Two holes later it was McIlroy’s turn to escape with a par after pulling his drive into a hazard on the par-four fourth, which had been reduced to 292 yards to allow players to try to drive the green. After taking a drop McIlroy pitched to 11 feet and holed the putt, although he was joined in the lead by Day who was left with a tap-in birdie after missing from close range for an eagle. Both players then made birdie on the fifth to move to 10 under par, one ahead of Jim Furyk and two clear of Rickie Fowler and Ryan Palmer. England’s Lee Westwood, seeking a first major title at the 67th attempt, had shown McIlroy just how to play the fourth hole, hitting his drive to three feet and holing for an eagle two to move to seven under. American Hunter Mahan had set the early clubhouse target on seven under par after a 65 which equalled the lowest round of the week. last_img read more

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Cricket News Langer saw ‘a bit of Aussie humour’ in Paine-Kohli’s heated exchanges

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi : The war of words between Tim Paine and Virat Kohli was a throwback to the heydays of Australian cricket for coach Justin Langer, who saw in it “a bit of Aussie humour”. “I loved watching that. We saw a bit of Aussie humour – call it sledging, banter, what you like. There was a bit of humour to it, and we pride ourselves on that. The great days I have seen in Australian cricket, that’s all it is. “It’s so much fun, that’s why when people tell me ‘there can’t be any speaking out on the ground’. I say it’d make it boring, like playing on a flat wicket,” Langer said on Monday. Kohli’s heated exchanges with his Australian counterpart Paine in the second Test have been a subject of discussion. “It doesn’t need to be angry, doesn’t need to be abusive. But when there’s that humour and there’s a bit of – we’ve also got to stand up for ourselves. That’s really important.“That’s the Australian way of doing things as well. We’ve got to stand up for ourselves. I thought the way Tim did it – I am that impressed with Tim Paine’s captaincy.”Langer expressed surprise that the ICC had rated the Perth pitch ‘average’ but was pleased with the effort put in to improve the pitch in Melbourne for the third Test.Also Read | Ahead of crucial Melbourne Test, Virat Kohli’s advice for batsmen: Complement efforts of bowlers“I was really surprised (about Perth rating). A couple of deliveries stayed low, but I thought it was entertaining Test cricket. That was the fastest pitch I’ve ever seen in Perth and I’ve been there a long time,” he said.About the Melbourne Cricket Ground, he offered caution knowing how the MCG pitch plays out over the course of five days.“It’s great to see some grass. I’ve said forever the most important thing in Test cricket are the pitches. If you have great pitches you’ll have contest between bat and ball, then Test cricket will be alive and well.“If we play on flat wickets then it becomes a boring game and that’s from someone who loves Test cricket. Hopefully it’s a contest between bat and ball because it’s important, not just for this series but also for world cricket.”The rubber is pegged at 1-1, with India winning the first Test at Adelaide and then Australia claiming the second in Perth. “We fought hard in Adelaide without the result so it’s disheartening. Then to win one, it’s nice to get rewarded for the work the boys are doing. There were some really good signs in Perth,” said the coach.Australia will have a decision to make as all-rounder Mitchell Marsh looks poised to get in the side in place of Peter Handscomb who has looked out of sorts. “In a perfectly balanced side you have someone who can bowl some overs so Mitch becomes an attractive commodity on a wicket, unlike Adelaide and Perth were we knew it would be an even contest.“Our pacers had been lucky, they have bowled fewer overs than the Indians at the moment, particularly Jasprit Bumrah, and the more we can look after those guys the better. It will come down to that decision,” Langer added.He said that the duo has their own strengths, but the final call will be made keeping the balance of the side in mind. “We weight up all those things. Pete’s a very good player of spin bowling and Mitch is a good player of spin too. They are the hard decisions. You generally talk about one position and they are the ones that give you the most headaches.”Also Read | India vs Australia Melbourne Test Playing XI: KL Rahul, Murali Vijay dropped, Ravindra Jadeja returnsLanger was full of praise for Nathan Lyon who has taken 16 wickets in two Tests and has been a pivotal member of the attack. He talked up his duel with Kohli, whom Lyon has dismissed seven times in Test cricket.“I hope it’s 11 by the end of the series because we know Virat is another level. That hundred in the first innings is an unbelievable Test innings. He’s a great player and great bowlers get out the great batsmen. They are great players for a reason because they stand up under pressure. Kohli does that, and Nathan Lyon doing it at the moment.“He’s turned into a world-class bowler and it’s great to have him. The other thing about him is there’s some real confidence and he shows great leadership. He hasn’t got a title at the moment? and his fielding is like a gazelle. He seems really settled off the field and he’s having a big impact on it.” last_img read more

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