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McEnroe: Lendl great for Murray

TENNIS: John McEnroe was surprised when Andy Murray named Ivan Lendl as his new coach but thinks his old rival may prove to be the missing ingredient the Briton needs to take his career to the next level.

World number four Murray has been runner-up in three grand slam finals, including at the last two Australian Opens, but has been blown away in them all.

The Scot enlisted the help of eight-times Grand Slam winner Lendl last week and the initial results look promising with Murray winning his opening tournament of the year in Brisbane yesterday.

"I hate to give credit to Lendl but (Murray) needed to do something out of the ordinary instead of going with the predictable re-tread," McEnroe said today.

Stricker stuns Hawaii

GOLF: Steve Stricker produced a strong finish to his third round to ensure he will take a five-shot lead into today's final round of the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

The Wisconsin-born 44-year-old, who was 15 under par and five strokes clear of Webb Simpson at the tournament's midway stage following a stunning 10-under-par 63 on Saturday, struggled to continue his momentum in the early part of his third round yesterday and was level par through 14 holes.

That meant his advantage had dwindled to just one shot, but four birdies on his final four holes propelled him back ahead of the pack as he carded a four-under-par 69 to move to 19 under overall.

Tebow pulls the trigger

GRIDIRON: Denver quarter-back Tim Tebow connected on an electrifying 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime to give the Broncos a stunning 29-23 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC wild-card game yesterday.

The whole play took just 11 seconds of overtime, making it the quickest ending to an extra period in NFL history.

In East Rutherford, New Jersey, quarter-back Eli Manning boosted his best pro season by throwing for three touchdowns in the New York Giants' 24-2 rout of the misfiring Atlanta Falcons in the NFC wild-card game.

NBA: Washington 72 Minnesota 93, Sacramento 97 Orlando 104, Oklahoma City 108 San Antonio 96, Phoenix 109 Milwaukee 93, Portland 98 Cleveland 78.