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Padraig plans to use belly putter

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Ireland's Padraig Harrington. Picture: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington. Picture: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington. Picture: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile.

GOLF: Less than a year after wishing anchored putters would swiftly be banned, three-time major winner Padraig Harrington has said he intends to use one in the Wells Fargo Championship.

After the Open Championship at Lytham last year, which Ernie Els won using a belly putter, Harrington said he expected them to be banned and the R&A and USGA subsequently proposed a ban on anchored strokes.

But Harrington said last night: "I decided to bring it with me this week and see how it would go in practice. Having used it for the two days I am probably going to use it in the tournament."

Meanwhile, Holland's Robert-Jan Derksen claimed a two-shot lead over three of the European Tour's most in-form players after an historic first round of the Volvo China Open yesterday.

China's Ye Wo-cheng had to settle for a round of 79 as he became the youngest player in tour history, aged 12 years and 242 days, but Derksen, without a win since 2005, birdied two of the last three holes to card a six-under 66 and finish two ahead of France's Raphael Jacquelin, Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Australian Brett Rumford.

 

Four-week ban for August after stamp

RUGBY: Biarritz hooker Benoit August has received a four-week ban after being cited for stamping on Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip. August was reported following an incident during Biarritz's Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final defeat against Leinster last Saturday.

 

Cavendish aims to sit pretty in pink

CYCLING: Mark Cavendish is optimistic of sitting pretty in pink tomorrow night by winning the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia in Naples.

Omega Pharma-QuickStep sprinter Cavendish's target is winning stages and victory in tomorrow's 130km opening stage would see him claim the leader's pink jersey.


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