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McIlroy fighting fatigue as he plots Grand Slam glory

GOLF: US Open champion Rory McIlroy said he was ready for this week's end-of-season PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda despite a dizzying tournament schedule that has taken him around the world this month.

Jet-lagged and tired, the 22-year-old Northern Irishman arrived on the picturesque Atlantic Ocean island yesterday after competing in Scotland, South Korea and China over the past three weeks.

"I might be falling asleep and my head might be in my soup tonight at dinner but I feel OK," the Northern Irishman said at Port Royal Golf Course ahead of today's opening round.

McIlroy admitted he's delighted to be facing only three competitors this week. "I'm looking forward to the next couple of days," he said of the prestigious 36-hole strokeplay event which brings together the winners of the year's four majors.

"I only have three guys to beat rather than 155 every (other) week so it should be easier. We'll have a lot of fun."

McIlroy will be competing against compatriot Darren Clarke, who won this year's British Open, South African Charl Schwartzel (Masters) and American Keegan Bradley (PGA Championship) over the next two days.



Taylor makes last 16 of Euros

Boxing: Katie Taylor and Sinead Kavanagh opened their European Championships accounts with impressive wins in Rotterdam, Holland, yesterday, but Laoise Traynor bowed out of the tournament following a 21-2 reversal to tough Welsh welterweight Lauren Price.

Taylor, who is aiming for her fifth European title on the trot, beat German lightweight Julia Irmen 15-7 to set up today's last-16 contest with Italy's Romina Marenda.

Kavanagh, who boxes out of the Drimnagh BC, posted an 18-9 decision over Viktoria Kebikava of Belarus and will meet English middleweight Savannah Marshall tomorrow.

Taylor, Kavanagh, Katie Rowland, Michaela Walsh, Ceire Smith, Lynne McEnery and Kelly Harrington will be involved in last-16 bouts today. Kilkenny light-heavyweight Laura O'Neill has received a bye into tomorrow's 81kg quarter-final against Tinea Naga of Hungary.



Wales considered cheating

Rugby: Wales coach Warren Gatland has revealed he considered asking a front-row forward to feign injury and force uncontested scrums during the controversial World Cup semi-final defeat against France.

Gatland had already seen prop Adam Jones depart with a calf injury, and then eight minutes later Wales captain Sam Warburton was sent off by Irish referee Alain Rolland.

Gatland, still disappointed by the referee's decision, revealed that in the wake of the red card the coaches talked about faking an injury.

"We'd already lost Adam Jones, and we discussed in the (coaches) box whether we would fake an injury to one of our props and go to uncontested scrums," he said.

"But morally, I made the decision it wasn't the right thing to do. In the spirit of the game, I didn't think that was the fairest thing."



Wheldon father leads tributes

Motorsport: Dan Wheldon's father Clive led the tributes to his son, describing him as a "true champion", following the 33-year-old's death at the Las Vegas Indy 300 race on Sunday.

Mr Wheldon also said his son, who lost his life after a 15-vehicle crash which caused his Dallara Honda to hurtle through the air and hit a trackside fence, was a "gentleman on and off the track".

Speaking outside the family home in Emberton, Buckinghamshire, Clive Wheldon said: "Daniel was born to be a racer and left us doing what he loved to do. He was a true champion and a gentleman on and off the track."

Jackie Stewart has questioned the safety of IndyCar racing, saying: "The accident we saw was something different."



Lorenzo's finger worries eased

Motorsport: Spanish MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo should suffer no permanent damage to his left ring finger after it was severed in a warm-up for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.

Lorenzo lost the tip of the finger when he crashed at turn 12 of the Phillip Island track, ending any hope he had of catching Australia's Casey Stoner in the title race.

Plastic surgeons in Melbourne said after surgery to reattach the finger that Lorenzo was unlikely to suffer any permanent damage. He hopes to be fit in time for next month's final race in Valencia, Spain.


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