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Clarke struggles again in Coolum

GOLF: Like many first-time major-winners, Darren Clarke has struggled to make an impact at tournaments since his stunning victory at the British Open.

Blown out of contention at the Australian PGA by Saturday's third round 79, the Ulsterman signed off at Coolum with a 70 to finish the tournament in a tie for 54th on three-over par.

Sweeney retains title

ATHLETICS: Joe Sweeney joined some stellar company yesterday when he became the first man in eight years to retain the Senior Inter-County Cross-Country Championships at Sligo Racecourse.

Not since legendary Clareman Seamus Power in 2003 has anyone won successive titles and the big Dundrum South Dublin post-graduate student, who won both the counties and inter-club crowns last year, covered the 10,000m course in 32 minutes seven seconds.

Meath's Sara Treacy proved the wildcard in the senior women's race to beat Cork's Claire McCarthy by 17 seconds.

Maybin on edge of Tour card loss

GOLF: Gareth Maybin's grim battle to save his European Tour card took another turn for the worse yesterday as a tie for 53rd in the South African Open dropped the Ulsterman down the Order of Merit to 120th position. Padraig Harrington, currently 81th, will need a top-six finish to be sure of his place in the 60-man Dubai World Championship.

Hennie Otto won his native Open by a stroke from Austrian Bernd Wiesberger today.

MOTORSPORT: Sebastian Vettel believes Red Bull have been "faultless" this year after ending the season in style with a one-two triumph yesterday in Brazil.

The German, who had to settle for second yesterday, said: "We have had a great, great season. The team has been faultless most of the time."

RUGBY: Jake White effectively threw his hat into the ring to become the next England coach.

The 2007 World Cup-winning coach said: "If an opportunity came about, it's something I'd like to do again. It would be (an) achievement to become the first coach to win two World Cups."

TENNIS: Roger Federer revealed he had overcome some mental demons after defeating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-7 6-3 to win a record sixth title at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.