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Fine weather to help McIlroy's Dunhill bid

GOLF: RORY McIlroy's bid to prove himself as a man for all seasons at the Dunhill Links Championship could amazingly be foiled by a Scottish heatwave in September.

McIlroy caused a stir following this year's Open Championship at Royal St George's when he complained about playing in tournaments where "the outcome is predicted so much by the weather" and insisted he would not change his game "for one week a year".

The US Open champion could be forgiven for expecting more bad weather in Scotland at this time of the year, but he played his final practice round at St Andrews yesterday in glorious sunshine, with the prospect of more to come.

Asked if this week was a chance to prove he could play in bad weather, McIlroy joked: "The weather's going to be perfect. There's going to be no wind and we're playing in sunshine. I've never seen St Andrews like this in September.

"Coming off the course at Royal St George's (where he finished 25th), I was very frustrated. I was cursing everything, the draw, the way I played, the weather," McIlroy said.

"Looking back on it, it wasn't the right thing to say. If you want to be a great golfer you have to try and play well in all conditions. It will be great if the weather stayed like this all week, but if it doesn't then it's another opportunity to challenge myself."

Fears mount for Lomu's health

rugby: New Zealand legend Jonah Lomu remains in an Auckland hospital amid growing concern about his health.

The 36-year-old was recently admitted to Auckland City Hospital's renal and transplant unit. He underwent a kidney transplant in 2004 after New Zealand radio host Grant Kereama became his donor.

Lomu had been diagnosed nine years earlier with a kidney disorder known as nephrotic syndrome. No official statements have emerged from the hospital about Lomu's condition, but friends and former playing colleagues are said to be concerned for the former All Black.

Lomu's last public appearance was during the World Cup opening ceremony at Eden Park on September 9.

Leading trio to run NY Marathon

ATHLETICS: Reigning Boston Marathon champions Geoffrey Mutai and Caroline Kilel of Kenya and countrywoman Mary Keitany, the London Marathon winner, will run the New York City event in November.

Mutai, a 29-year-old Kenyan, won Boston in two hours, three minutes, two seconds -- the fastest time ever recorded for a certified marathon. It did not count as a world record because the course was considered too straight and downhill.

He joins a field that includes New York's last two winners, Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia and American Meb Keflezighi, and another top Kenyan, London Marathon winner Emmanuel Mutai (no relation). However, two-time New York champion Martin Lel has withdrawn from the race on November 6 because of injury.

Aussies give Irish revenge hope

cricket: Australia will return to Ireland next summer to play an RSA Challenge one-day international in Belfast only two years after their last visit. The 50-over match at Stormont on June 23 will give Phil Simmons' team another chance to claim an upset win after they threatened to topple the Aussies in Clontarf last year before they eventually lost by 39 runs.

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