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Couples, Hulbert to assist Cup bid

GOLF: US captain Davis Love III appointed good friends Fred Couples and Mike Hulbert as his assistants for this year's Ryder Cup against Europe.

Former Masters champion Couples, 52, is a veteran of five Ryder Cups as a player and has twice captained the US to victory over the Internationals in the similar-style Presidents Cup.

Hulbert, 54, served as assistant to 2002 US Ryder Cup captain Curtis Strange but has never represented his country in the competition. The 2012 Ryder Cup will take place at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago from September 28-30 when Europe will defend the trophy.

Wiggins 'can win Tour'

CYCLING: Everything is in place for Bradley Wiggins to become the first British winner of the Tour de France, according to the man overseeing the Londoner's bid for the fabled yellow jersey.

As Wiggins prepares for Saturday's prologue in Liege, Dave Brailsford -- Team Sky principal -- has stated his belief the 32-year-old has all the qualities to stand atop the Paris podium on July 22. He said: "The bookies don't make him one of the favourites for nothing. He's earned his place there and it's now about execution."

Medal joy for Irish duo

boxing: Jason McKay and Brian Wall guaranteed Ireland at least two bronze medals from the 16th European Junior Championships in Bulgaria yesterday.

McKay, who boxes out of the Canal BC, romped home to an 18-6 victory over Lithuanian light-flyweight Arturas Bankauskas.

And Cashen Vale BC middleweight Wall had his hand raised in victory after Turkey's Mustafa Atmaca was retired after suffering a cut under his right eye.

Meadow makes the cut

golf: Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire squeezed through to the knockout stages of the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship over the tough Carnoustie Links in Scotland.

Meadow (81 75) made it through on 156 while Leona Maguire's second-round 84 for a 157 total proved enough. Lisa Maguire missed the cut on 161 after she added a 78 to a first-round 83.

Ireland land ICC grant

CRICKET: Ireland have received a welcome bonus with the announcement of a €401,187 additional annual grant from the International Cricket Council.

The cash from the ICC's Targeted Assistance and Performance Programme will help pay for more international fixtures, a National Academy and the setting up of an inter-provincial structure.

MLB: Cincinnati 4 Milwaukee 8, NY Yankees 5 Cleveland 4, Minnesota 5 Chicago White Sox 12, Boston 10 Toronto 4, Kansas City 5 Tampa Bay 4, Chicago Cubs 1 NY Mets 17, Seattle 1 Oakland 2, San Francisco 3 LA Dodgers 0, Baltimore 1 LA Angels 13, Philadelphia 7 Pittsburgh 11, Atlanta 6 Arizona 4, Miami 5 St Louis 3, Houston 1 San Diego 0, Texas 13 Detroit 9, Colorado 5 Washington 11.