| 16.3°C Dublin

McGee Tour card hopes take blow

GOLF: Ruaidhri McGee's hopes of obtaining a European Tour card took a blow after his third round of the final qualifying stage in Spain.

After a superb four-under par 66 at the PGA Catalunya Course in Girona on Monday, he slumped out of the top 10 after carding a two-over par 72.

McGee is in a share of 32nd place along with Waterford's Kevin Phelan after his impressive round of 68 shot him up the leaderboard to four under.

David Higgins is just inside the top 70 in a share of 66th while Dermot McElroy's hopes of getting his hands on a card look bleak after a four-over 76.

England's James Morrison and Sweden's Jens Dantorp lead the way with both players on 10-under par heading into the next round.

After today's fourth round, the top 70 will advance to the final 36 holes tomorrow and Friday, after which the top 25 will win a spot on next year's European Tour.



cycling: World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey has said it would take something "close to a miracle" for Lance Armstrong to have his lifetime ban from cycling reduced even if he co-operated with an inquiry into doping.

The international cycling union, under new president Brian Cookson, is putting together an independent commission to investigate doping in the sport's past and says it will make contact with Armstrong about testifying.

However, even if he does that, Fahey does not believe it will lead to the 42-year-old Texan's case being re-opened. "As far as I'm concerned it's done and dusted. He did not co-operate, he did not defend the charges that USADA put out there last year and he was dealt with in a proper process," Fahey said.



F1: Fernando Alonso will compete in this weekend's United States Grand Prix despite ongoing back pain.

Alonso jarred his back after bouncing over kerbs during the race in Abu Dhabi nine days ago, with sensors in the Spaniard's Ferrari measuring the impact as he hit the track at 26g.

Via his Twitter account, Alonso said: "Packing the bag for Austin, with some pain, but eager and confident to help the team."



CRICKET: Ireland's T20 World Cup Qualifying warm up preparations were dealt a jolt as they slumped to a shock 18 run loss against Papua New Guinea in the searing heat of Dubai today.

PNG were fully deserving of their victory, following up a positive batting display with a disciplined bowling performance which saw Ireland always struggling to maintain the required run rate.

PNG openers Tony Ura (32) and Kila Pala (31) got their side off to a racing start, adding 62 in just 40 balls as an Irish failed to bowl a consistent line or indeed length on their way to an imposing 161 for 8. Kevin O'Brien (3-31) was the most successful of the Irish attack, with Paul Stirling (2-18) bowling well.