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Woods plots return to top

GOLF: Tiger Woods is convinced he is finally in a position to begin his rise to the top of world golf again -- but he will have to beat a world-class field at the Australian Open if he is to end his two-year title drought.

With the Presidents Cup next week in Melbourne, the 107-year-old tournament has attracted one of its strongest fields, including eight of the world's top 20, to compete for the modest $1.5m purse.

The 35-year-old, ranked 58 in the world, arrived in Australia amid a media frenzy caused by a racist remark made by his ex-caddie Steve Williams, but Woods said he believed he could dominate golf again -- even if it might take some time.

"If you're Usain Bolt you don't just go out and run in world record time, it takes time," he said, referring to the Jamaican Olympic sprint champion.

"I finally feel like I'm able to do that. "I'm here to try to get a W (win), like I am at every event."



Armitage told to learn from bans

RUGBY: RFU disciplinary chief Judge Jeff Blackett has warned Delon Armitage that he needs to learn the lessons of his misdemeanours after the England back was handed a fourth suspension of 2011.

Armitage, 27, will serve a five-week ban after an RFU panel, chaired by Blackett, found the London Irish star guilty of a dangerous tackle on Bath wing Tom Biggs during their league clash on October 29.

Armitage was also handed a three-week suspension for striking Bath lock Dave Attwood with a knee during the same fixture, a punishment he will serve concurrently.



Tendulkar falls shy of 100th ton

CRICKET: Sachin Tendulkar missed out on a potential 100th international century, but his innings of 76 was enough to move India close to victory by lunch on day four of the first test against the West Indies.

India were yesterday well placed at lunch on 254-4, with only 22 more runs needed to win.



Thorpe struggles

SWIMMING: Ian Thorpe continued to struggle on his return to swimming as he failed to reach the 100m butterfly final at the FINA World Cup meet in Beijing.

The Australian's time of 54.35 seconds left him more than two seconds adrift of the fastest qualifier, Japan's Kosuke Hagino in 52.13sec.


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