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Kuchar clinches second win of year

Ice-cool Matt Kuchar held off a late challenge from fellow American Kevin Chappell to clinch the Memorial Tournament by two shots yesterday and become the PGA Tour's second multiple winner this year.

Leading by two going into the final round at Muirfield Village Golf Club, 34-year-old Kuchar was never caught as he fired a four-under-par 68 in the high-profile event hosted by Jack Nicklaus.

Kuchar birdied all four of the par-fives to remain in control and rubber-stamped his win by sinking a 20-foot birdie putt at the par-four last for a 12-under total of 276.

Chappell birdied four of the last six holes for a bogey-free 68 and outright second place while five-times champion Tiger Woods ended a forgettable week with a 72, finishing a distant 20 strokes off the pace.

Having clinched one of the biggest victories of his career at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February, Kuchar emulated Woods as a multiple champion this season and pocketed the winner's cheque for $1.116million.

"It's a real honour to win this tournament," Kuchar said to 18-times major champion Nicklaus as he was greeted by his long-time idol after walking off the 18th green. "This is such an amazing feeling."

Steady Ilonen takes Nordea title

GOLF: Finland's Mikko Ilonen produced a steady final round to complete a first European Tour victory in six years at the Nordea Masters in Stockholm yesterday.

Ilonen, who last won at the same event in 2007, carded a three-under-par 69 to finish with a 21-under total at the Bro Hoff Slott Golf Club. Jonas Blixt was the best of the Swedish contingent in second after a 72 on the final day left him 18-under.

Ireland's Damien McGrane finished with a 68, 12 under and joint 14th, with Northern Irish amateur Alan Dunbar two over after a closing 74.

 

Southpaw Nolan through to last 16

BOXING: Bray-based garda Adam Nolan progressed to the last 16 of the European Championships with an impressive unanimous decision (30-27 29-28 29-28) over Polish welterweight Tomasz Kot in Minsk.

Wexford-born Nolan dominated all three rounds at the 36-nation tournament. The Bray BC southpaw will meet 2013 Great Silk Way gold medallist Bogdan Shelestyuk of the Ukraine next.

Meanwhile, London 2012 bronze medallist Michael Conlan and 2011 European champions Ray Moylette and Joe Ward, as well as Con Sheehan, will be in action today.

 

Lawler in record-breaking sprint day

ATHLETICS: Marcus Lawler broke the 30-year-old schools record in the senior 200m at the Aviva All-Ireland Schools Championships in Tullamore with a time of 20.87 seconds.

It was a first sub 21-second time for Lawler, an Irish junior record, and tantalisingly close to the World Championships qualifying mark of 20.60.

On an exceptional day for Irish sprinting, Phil Healy was another double winner and record breaker. Her time of 11.83 seconds for the 100m broke Emily Maher's 1998 mark of 11.91, while the 23.98 she ran for the 200m was the first ever sub 24-second schools run.

Siofra Cléirigh-Buttner's winning time of 2:03.81 in the senior girls' 800m race knocked almost seven seconds off the record.


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