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Johnson ahead in Northern Trust Monty to announce his vice-captains in July Depleted Ireland show spirit in Sri Lanka loss Eeckhout is still to the fore in Besseges chase

GOLF: American Dustin Johnson fired a seven-under 64 at Riviera Country Club to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the $6.4m Northern Trust Open.

Johnson made the most of cool, calm morning conditions as he nabbed seven birdies without a bogey on the par-71 layout for a one-stroke lead over Argentina's Andres Romero and American Kevin Stadler.

World No2 Phil Mickelson left himself plenty of work to do if he is to claim an unprecedented third straight title in the event, posting a one-over 72, as did Ireland's Padraig Harrington.

Mickelson had four birdies, but his round got away from him with four of his five bogeys in his last seven holes.

Derval admits rustiness for Woodies after lay-off

ATHLETICS: Derval O'Rourke happily admits she'll be "rusty as hell" at this weekend's Woodies DIY Irish Indoor Championships in Belfast after only running hurdles this week for the first time in four months.

Two weeks ago O'Rourke wasn't sure she would be able to compete because of a torn calf muscle which kept her from running for 21 days last month.

Monty to announce his vice-captains in July

GOLF: Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie will not announce his vice-captains until after July's Open Championship at St Andrews at the earliest.

Corey Pavin on Wednesday named former Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman, Davis Love, Jeff Sluman and Paul Goydos as his vice-captains for October's showdown at Celtic Manor.

Depleted Ireland show spirit in Sri Lanka loss

CRICKET: Ireland produced a spirited performance against Sri Lanka 'A' in Colombo yesterday before losing their final match of a Twenty20 quadrangular tournament by five wickets.

A side lacking the experience of Trent Johnston, Andre Botha and William Porterfield did well to post 174-6, but the hosts eased to a third win with 10 balls to spare.

Eeckhout is still to the fore in Besseges chase

CYCLING: Niko Eeckhout of the An Post/Sean Kelly Team remains to the fore of the five-day Etoile de Besseges after finishing third in stage two 141km-leg from Nimes to St Ambroix.

All three Irish participants in the event -- Nicolas Roche, Conor McConvey and Paidi O'Brien -- came home in the main group and are off the pace by 20 seconds overall.

NBA: Cleveland 102 Miami 86, Portland 96 San Antonio 93