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Will history repeat itself with Rory?

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Rory McIlroy with the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake.  Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Rory McIlroy with the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Rory McIlroy with the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

WITHIN hours of his US GPA Championship win, Rory McIlroy became clear favourite to win the 2015 Masters, comfortably ahead of Tiger Woods and Adam Scott with the bookies.

While his public expect Rory to achieve the goals he's set for himself - winning the Green Jacket that will complete a career Grand Slam, becoming Europe's greatest ever player and maintaining his position as world number one - the Northern Ireland golfer would do well to remember the fate of the last golfer to win back-to-back Majors. Since 2008, his best year, Pádraig Harrington has consciously struggled to maintain the imperious form he displayed then.

Amid conflicting reports, it would seem Louis van Gaal is keen on having a high-quality attacking winger like Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria or Fiorentina's Colombia player, Juan Cuadrado. He's also in the market for a proven defender and, having failed to land Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen, continues to express interest in Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund) and Roma's Moroccan international Mehdi Benatia. It's said Ajax player Daley Blind would welcome a move to Old Trafford. The clock is also ticking on a move from Juventus by Arturo Vidal (pictured) of Chile. But as the season opening match approaches, Man United supporters watch chief executive Ed Woordward with an alarming sense of deja vu.

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The Formula 1 Drivers' Championship 2013 was won by Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), who won the final nine races of the season. This year, at the summer break, there's a Red Bull driver in third place behind Lewis Hamilton and leader Nico Rosberg. With two wins in eleven races, it's Vettel's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. The man from Perth gained valuable experience when he signed with HRT in 2011, before moving to Toro Rosso before replacing Mark Webber at Red Bull. "I want to keep on building on what I've done in the first six months," he says.

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After a Championship of brawling, fine-paying, pushin 'n' shovin' and sulking, Armagh ultimately showed themselves to be a worthy Division 3 National League team. Will Paul Grimley be reinstated as manager or will his assistant Kieran McGeeney take over? Will either man coach players in taking important frees off the ground? Or will the Orchard boys continue to specialise in being stubborn? Questions for another day.


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