Monday 22 January 2018

Bradley's title Opens door for Irish visit

On America's Golf Channel last Sunday night, Pat Bradley rang a bell to signal the PGA Championship triumph of her nephew, Keegan.

And while it was something her parents did for her after no fewer than 36 professional victories, there was one notable disappointment for the Irish-American family.

It came in the 1984 Smirnoff Irish Ladies Open at Clandeboye, where the prize fund of £100,000 was a record for this country.

"This is my first visit to Ireland and I feel I've come home," said Bradley, whose grandparents hailed from Ballycotton, Co Cork. "It's an opportunity of doing something for the Bradley name in Irish golf."

As it happened, a coveted win eluded her. After a disappointing third-round 72, she was tied second with fellow American, Becky Pearson, two strokes behind the winner, Kathy Whitworth, who was capturing her 87th and last professional title.

Meanwhile, Keegan Bradley could yet rectify the family omission. "Someday I want to play in the Irish Open, I really do," he said in the wake of his Atlanta triumph. Like his illustrious aunt who happens to be an honorary life member of The Old Head of Kinsale, he will be most welcome.

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DERRY CITY have done well in the transfer market, with James McClean moving recently to Sunderland for €400,000, but the club missed out on another big fee earlier in the year.

Conor Sammon was transferred to Kilmarnock in 2008 for a meagre €50,000, but there were valuable add-ons in the event of a subsequent transfer.

That eventuality occurred in the January transfer window, when Wigan Athletic splashed out £600,000 to secure the signing of the free-scoring Killies' striker. Sadly, the add-on wasn't realised by Derry City. It went straight into the hands of the receiver appointed when the club's previous board ran into difficulties.

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England's cricketers this week get their chance to extract revenge for one of their most humiliating defeats. Losing to Ireland was a huge shock for players who glory in their exalted status as No 1 Test team. The man who drove Ireland to victory, Kevin O'Brien, has written his account of the World Cup, published this weekend.

Six After Six is a colourful story of the fastest century-maker in the history of the competition. O'Brien pulls back the veil on one of the game's mysteries -- what players actually say to each other out in the middle. The Englishmen's jibes come across as pathetic, and O'Brien was quick to put them down:

". . . just after I got to 50, James Anderson bowled a ball at my feet. I got my bat down on it just in time.

"'Good ball, Jimmy,' I said to him.

"Anderson's face darkened and snapped back, 'What would you know what a good ball is?'

"'Well, I mightn't know what a good ball is,' I came back with, 'but I know a bad one. I just hit your last one over there,' as I pointed my bat towards the grandstand."

Six After Six is published by Brickfields Press and is out now, priced at €12.99.

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ENTRIES will remain open until 11.30am today (Sunday) for the Jog For Jockeys 5km runs, which take place at five racecourses all starting at noon.

Cork, Down Royal, Galway, Leopardstown and Naas are the tracks involved. Members of the public can jog with racing professionals and personalities in aid of Injured Jockeys' Fund.

The initiative is the brainchild of Audrey O'Dwyer, wife of trainer and former jockey Conor O'Dwyer, who will be jogging at Down Royal.

She said yesterday: "We're expecting over 500 people at each of the five racecourses and we want to let people know that it's not too late to enter. We will take entries at each track up to 11.30am on Sunday. The entry fee is €25."

Families are welcome and children will gain free admission.

Dermot Gilleece, Seán Ryan,

Jerome Reilly and Fergus McDonnell

Sunday Indo Sport

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