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Rose relishes champ status

GOLF: Justin Rose allowed himself a smile as he was introduced as the US Open champion at the Travelers Championship, his first tournament as a major winner.

The 32-year-old teed off in Connecticut just four days after holding four-time major champion Phil Mickelson at bay during a tense final round at Merion.

The intervening period has been a whirlwind of media engagements, leaving Rose with little time to prepare and just keen to get the first round out of the way.

But he said: "The announcement on the first tee, being announced as the 2013 US Open champion, I couldn't help but smile before I hit my first tee shot.

"That's an achievement that I've been dreaming about."

Rose had more reason to smile as he birdied the first, but three bogeys in the next four holes left him two over par. Rose then birdied the seventh and picked up four further shots in five holes from the 12th for a three-under-par 67, six shots back on first-round leader Charley Hoffman.

Hoffman hit two eagles in a stunning opening 61 to lead by one from Hunter Mahan. On a low scoring day at TPC River Highlands, Dubliner Pádraig Harrington hit a four-under-par 66.


BASKETBALL: LeBron James, his legacy as one of the game's greats now secure, led the Miami Heat to their second straight NBA title last night with a 95-88 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

James dominated the decisive seventh game of an epic series through a combination of athleticism, pinpoint shooting and sheer will. When it really mattered, in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a Game Seven decider, he scored a game-high 37 points and pulled in 12 rebounds. Miami were the overwhelming favourites to take the title.