| 26.1°C Dublin

Hamilton pips Rosberg

F1: Lewis Hamilton lapped six tenths of a second faster than Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in a twice halted Belgian Grand Prix practice session.

After championship leader Rosberg had set the pace yesterday morning with a lap just 0.097 seconds faster than the Briton's best, Hamilton turned the tables after lunch, with a substantially quicker effort.

The time of one minute 49.189 was 0.604 better than Rosberg's on a cloudy but bright day at the longest track on the calendar.

Rosberg had topped the first session timesheets in 1:51.577, as the two title rivals, separated by just 11 points after 11 of 19 races, renewed their duel after the August break, with their domination intact.

The afternoon running was interrupted when Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado crashed his Lotus into the barriers on the way to Pouhon.

There was a further stoppage in the first half hour, when Mexican Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber spun and was stranded on the track at Blanchimont. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third fastest in both sessions with McLaren's Jenson Button fourth in the morning and fifth in the afternoon.

Donaldson Prague lead

GOLF: Jamie Donaldson remained on course to secure his place in the European Ryder Cup team with a 69 in the second round of the D+D REAL Czech Masters.

The Welshman held the overnight lead after shooting a 66 on the first day and he remained one-shot ahead at the top of the leaderboard on nine under midway through yesterday's action.

Donaldson currently holds the eighth of nine automatic places for the team in Gleneagles due to his position on the world points list, but he is the only person who can still qualify via the European list as well.

To do that he needs a combined winning haul of just under €30,000 in the Czech Republic and in Italy next week, with a triumph in Prague netting the victor €166,660.

Meanwhile, Jim Furyk shot a two-under-par 69 for a share of the clubhouse lead at The Barclays, while Sweden's Henrik Stenson surged into contention with a sizzling 64 midway through the second round last night.

Furyk was joined on seven-under-par 135 by fellow AmericansKevin Chappell (67) and Brendon Todd (69) on an overcast day atRidgewood Country Club in the opening tournament of the PGATour's season-ending, four-event FedExCup playoffs.

Stenson, who failed to make a single birdie in his openinground 72, had eight of them on Friday against a lone bogey toreach the halfway mark at 136 along with Ernie Els (68) andovernight leader Bo Van Pelt (71).

"To be honest, it was pretty much only on the greens," saidStenson about his dramatic turnaround.

"I played nicely yesterday but I couldn't make one singleputt out there," added the Swede, who won the FedExCup playoffslast year but begins these playoffs in 70th place in thestandings.

Furyk used a string of three birdies in a row from the 15thto hit the top of the leaderboard, and overcame two bogeys withfour birdies overall on the day.

Chappell posted four birdies in a bogey-free round, whileTodd overcame a double-bogey six at the seventh, his 16th holeof the day, with a birdie at the last.

Alone in the clubhouse at five-under 137 was England's PaulCasey, who birdied his last hole for an even-par 71.


Privacy