| 12.6°C Dublin

Rory’s eye on Shanghai high

GOLF: Europe’s Asian fringe is the setting for Rory McIlroy’s attempt to clean up on both sides of the Atlantic.

ALREADY unassailable at the top of the American money list, McIlroy takes a Race to Dubai lead of €427,334 (£350,000) into the BMW Masters in Shanghai this week. The money on offer, $1.4m (€1.1m) to the winner, has attracted a deep field.

Justin Rose, second in the money list, is best placed to challenge McIlroy, but after the Irishman’s listless display in Turkey, everybody in the top dozen will be paying attention.

“I am going to give it one last push,” McIlroy said.

KP apology was sincere - Strauss

CRICKET: Former captain Andrew Strauss insists England can put the Kevin Pietersen saga behind them and claims the batsman’s apology was sincere over his texts to South Africa players.

Pietersen criticised Strauss in the messages, but has since apologised and begun the process to be re-integrated into the England one-day set-up.

Strauss said: “Maybe it actually makes it easier for the team that I’m not there because some of it was directed to me.”

Strauss said he was not aware Pietersen had a problem with him and was surprised by the text affair.

He said: “Nine-tenths of my time as England captain I found him a good guy to have in my team.

“I don’t think anyone got to the bottom of the text messaging saga. But Kevin has since come up to me and apologised for it and I respect that. He seemed contrite and I think he was sincere.”

Chargers boss is sticking to story

NFL: San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner has rejected claims players used an illegal substance to help them hold on to the ball in a National Football League loss to the Denver Broncos.

The NFL said it was “gathering facts” concerning an alleged incident in the October 15 game, which the Chargers lost 35-24, afer leading 24-0 at half-time.

Aussies: Kiwis claim ‘insulting’

RUGBY: Australian Rugby Union CEO John O’Neill has dismissed as “insulting and ill-informed” claims by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen that Australia is stealing New Zealand players. Hansen made the assertion after an 18-18 draw with the Aussies. Kiwi-born centre Mike Harris kicked five penalties for Australia.

SF in World Series

BASEBALL: The San Francisco Giants routed the St Louis Cardinals 9-0 in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series last night to advance to the World Series against the Detroit Tigers.