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Kaymer gives Gleneagles a miss as Ryder chase hots up

GOLF: Martin Kaymer has decided not to play the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles next week following his first major victory. But it is the absence of other stars that is looming as a real headache for Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.

Kaymer's USPGA Championship triumph secured a debut for him, but it also knocked Luke Donald out of an automatic spot.

Pádraig Harrington and Justin Rose have not made it into the top nine either after missing the cut at Whistling Straits, and while Paul Casey did climb into the last qualifying spot he -- like the others -- has decided not to play in Scotland and could be knocked out.

Montgomerie has only three wild cards to hand out. Harrington had said after double-bogeying the last hole to miss the cut by one: "At the end of the day I have to be competitive and stick to my schedule. The Ryder Cup does come first. And that means if I get picked I will be ready to play. There is no point playing the next two weeks and burning myself out. I hope Monty is a guy who looks through things and sees stats -- 16 top-10s in the last year is going to be a lot of comfort. I am sure he needs some experience in that team and some older guys. I have done everything I can now and there is nothing more I can do."



Wilson's Dutch delight at Clontarf

CRICKET: Gary Wilson grabbed centre stage at Clontarf yesterday with his maiden international century to help Ireland ease to a 70-run victory over the Netherlands in the first RSA Series clash.

Opening the batting in his 88th match for Ireland, Wilson powered 10 fours in a bustling 113 from 147 balls that was the meat in the home side's total of 275-6. The Surrey wicketkeeper then ended any doubts as to the destination of the man-of-the-match award by stumping Dutch danger man Tom Cooper for 66.

The Netherlands innings petered out for 205 in the 46th over, with part-time spinner Andrew White taking 4-44 to make sure there was no sting in the visitors' tail. The margin of the win will make Ireland confident of wrapping up a 2-0 series win tomorrow at Castle Avenue against the new boys of the ODI rankings.

Meanwhile, absent Ireland skipper William Porterfield scored his second century of the county championship season for Gloucestershire at Northampton yesterday. He made 150 of his side's total of 302.

SAILING: Steady performances by each of the three Irish boats at the Rolex Commodores' Cup maintained Ireland's overall lead of the event at Cowes in near perfect conditions yesterday.

Team captain Anthony O'Leary's Antix earned a first-place tie with Codiam of the France Blue team in the morning. The French crew beat Antix into second place in race two in very consistent conditions. Dave Dwyer's marinerscove.ie had a fourth and second place for the day.

The team small boat Roxy 6 -- owned by Welshman Rob Davies -- had a seventh place in the first race readily compensated for by a win in the afternoon.

Overall, Ireland ended the day slightly further ahead on points than the opening day but very mindful of today's high-scoring offshore race that offers plenty of uncertainty over the next 36 hours.

The strength of the French teams is legendary when it comes to offshore racing and Ireland's 20-point lead could prove to be a very small cushion.

GOLF: The Maguire twins, Lisa and Leona, last night pulled out of the British Ladies Open Strokeplay Championship which begins tomorrow at Tenby in Wales. No official reason was given for the withdrawals, but they have played a lot of golf this season.

The Cavan girls intend to play for Ireland in next month's Home Internationals at Whitchurch in South Wales.

TENNIS: Ireland's James Cluskey bravely overcame his shoulder problem to reel off a brace of wins in the ITF Men's Futures event in Jurmala, Latvia. The No6-seeded Swords man overwhelmed Latvia's Janis Stepins 6-1 6-2, and he followed up with a hard-earned 3-6 6-3 7-5 victory over another Latvian, Arturs Kazijevs. Louk Sorensen faces a stiff test in today's first round of the ATP Challenger Tour event in Brazil, being paired against the No2 seed, Argentina's Federico del Bonis.

Cycling: International cycling union chief Pat McQuaid says nobody involved with a US investigation into cheating in professional cycling has contacted his federation. "I don't see we have involvement with the feds or anything like that because that is a different investigation," the Dubliner said. "That is not an anti-doping investigation as such."

NFL: The New York Giants beat the rival New York Jets 31-16 in their pre-season opener, the first National Football League game at the new Meadowlands stadium. The Giants scored three second-half touchdowns to overcome a 16-10 deficit after starting quarterback Eli Manning was knocked out of the game with a three-inch gash to his forehead that required 12 stitches.

MLB: Baltimore 5 Seattle 4 (11 innings), NY Yankees 1 Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 7 Florida 1, Tampa Bay 6 Texas 4, Atlanta 4 LA Dodgers 3, Chicago Cubs 5 San Diego 9, Houston 1 NY Mets 3, Oakland 1 Toronto 3.


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