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Hume on form as Ireland soar

GOLF: Ireland stormed up the leaderboard in the third round of the European Nations Cup in Sotogrande as Jack Hume and Dermot McElroy hit top form.

With three of the four cards counting in each round, Ireland's 54-hole aggregate is 659, putting them in second spot – four strokes behind Italy, who have been in pole position from the start.

Hume, the 20-year-old Naas star who has been Ireland's top player this week, fired a three-under-par 69 and Ballymena's McElroy posted a 70.

Both of them played flawless rounds to put Ireland in a strong position for a medal today – it is going to be tight, however, as Scotland and Denmark are only a stroke behind. Gary Hurley of West Waterford and Ardglass man Cormac Sharvin both returned scores of 76, one of which was discarded.

In the women's competition, in which Ireland are not represented, England surrendered the leadership to hosts Spain, who are two ahead of the English and France.

MAHAN EDGES INTO SLENDER WGC LEAD

GOLF: Hunter Mahan took a slender advantage at the top of the WGC-Cadillac Championship after he was one of the few players to make ground as high winds played havoc at Doral.

Mahan was one of just four players to have shot an under-par score in the second round, as the redesigned Blue Monster course claimed the world's top two, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, and Phil Mickelson among its victims.

Mahan had initially bogeyed his first hole, but a pair of birdies through his opening eight holes meant he held a one-stroke advantage over fellow American Dunstin Johnson.

Johnson, playing in the group behind mahan, was level for his round.

Patrick Reed had taken the first-round lead, after a number of players completed rain-delayed rounds this morning, but had dropped two shots through 14 holes to be two off the pace.

With low scoring proving almost impossible, holding ground was the order of the day.

DENNIS INSISTS MCLAREN WILL BE WINNERS AGAIN

F1: Ron Dennis has vowed McLaren will return to winning ways this season after enduring the pain of one of the worst campaigns in the team's history last season.

Now back in his former role as McLaren Group CEO after ousting Martin Whitmarsh earlier this year, the over-riding message from Dennis is that he is back to ensure McLaren are victorious again.

"What we have to do is get them focused on winning. I believe we will win races this year," he said.

"Right now the company is unfit, it needs to get fit, and there is pain to getting fit," he added.


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