Tag Archives: dubliner

India v England ODI series: Eoin Morgan praises preparations

Morgan praises England's preparations for India as one-day series looms large

. There are a lot of foundations already set so it's a matter of building on that,' he said.

'The majority of our preparation has already been done pre-Christmas. Many of us have been here (with the Test squad) since the 24th or 25th of October and some of the guys who weren't spent three weeks here before Christmas too.

'Over the next few days we'll just be doing top-ups in different areas of our games. We are prepared.'

'We've seen in past series how important that is – like the (2010/11) Ashes where we were there three or four weeks prior to the first game. It has done us good in the Test and Twenty20 matches and hopefully it will in the one-dayers too.'

While England are looking to get 2013 off to a winning start at the Palam Services Ground, all eyes in Delhi will instead be on the host nation's ODI match against Pakistan.

India have already lost that series after back to back defeats to their fierce rivals, but there is plenty still to play for in the final fixture.

Media pundits, former internationals and fans alike have called for a change when the squad for England is announced and established stars like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh are all in need of runs.

Run drought: Gautam Gambhir is in a rut

Run drought: Gautam Gambhir is in a rut

Spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin has been another target for criticism, having performed also modestly against England in the Tests, but Morgan is not ready to take the reigning world champions lightly.

'I don't think it is a good time to play India. I don't think it is ever a good time to play India,' said the Dubliner.

'We know how successful they have been in the past and they are the World Cup champions at the moment.

'They might be going through a bad patch but they are very, very dangerous cricketers and they have guys who can turn the game on its head in a matter of minutes.'

Tomorrow's match is due to begin at 9am local time (3.30am GMT) in conditions likely to be colder than an April outing at Chester-le-Street.

England's new limited-overs coach Ashley Giles is in charge of his country for the first time and has a couple of selection issues to ponder.

Somerset's Jos Buttler and Yorkshire's Joe Root appear to be battling for one place in the top six, while the variations of Jade Dernbach and the pace of Stuart Meaker offer different options for the final pace bowling spot.

Giles must also decide whether to leave Ian Bell at opener or restore Kevin Pietersen, back in the 50-over set-up after reversing his retirement, alongside Alastair Cook at the head of the innings.

Harrington wins first title for two years with victory in Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda

Harrington wins first title for two years with victory in Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda

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UPDATED:

19:42 GMT, 24 October 2012

Padraig Harrington stormed to a 375,000 victory in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda, his first win for two years.

Not in the four-man event – meant to be a battle between the season's major winners – until Ernie Els pulled out injured last Saturday, and only there because Rory McIlroy and first two reserves Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods all turned it down, the 41-year-old Irishman had rounds of 66 and 67 to beat US Open champion Webb Simpson by one and both Masters champion Bubba Watson and last year's winner Keegan Bradley by six.

Winning formula: Padraig Harrington chips onto the sixth green on his way to victory

Winning formula: Padraig Harrington chips onto the sixth green on his way to victory

In the swing: Harrington

In the swing: Harrington

He joins 1991 champion Ian Woosnam as the only European winners of the title, and it was a case of third time lucky after losing play-offs to Angel Cabrera and Jim Furyk in 2007 and 2008.

Two ahead overnight, Harrington went to the turn in 34 with birdies at the fifth and eighth, but with eight holes to play was only one in front of both Simpson and Watson.

Then came a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th, and although Simpson narrowed the gap by picking up shots at the 14th and 17th, the Dubliner was able to bogey the last and still triumph on nine under par.

Harrington's last victory came in Malaysia 24 months ago, but he has not tasted success on the European or PGA Tours since 2008 and is down at 57th in the world.

After three-putting the 18th Harrington, who switched from the BMW Masters in Shanghai when the invitation came, said: 'It was always the right decision no matter what.

'You've got to give yourself the chance – it's a fantastic tournament and even if I finished fourth I'd be quite confident that I made the right decision.

'It is a bonus to come and win, no doubt about it, and it was unfinished business for me having lost in two play-offs.

'I believe I'm playing really good golf. I see a lot of good things happening and I do believe that I'm turning the corner into a peak. What those peaks are, we'll wait and see.'

Simpson said after his bogey-free 65: 'He's playing well and made the putts you've got to make, but I'm really encouraged with how I played.

'My weakness this year has been when I'm in between clubs and I try to smooth one. My body kind of shuts down and doesn't work as well – it's just an eye-opener that I've got a lot of work to do in the off-season.

'I wish I could have putt a little more pressure on Padraig (at the last), but he'd probably have two-putted if he had to.'

Padraig Harrington leads Grand Slam from Bubba Watson

Harrington takes control of Grand Slam after surging into two-shot lead over Watson

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UPDATED:

22:29 GMT, 23 October 2012

Padraig Harrington is halfway towards the 375,000 PGA Grand Slam title in Bermuda – just three days after being offered the chance to play.

The 41-year-old Dubliner, who lost play-offs at Mid-Ocean in 2007 and 2008, started with a five-under-par 66 at Port Royal to lead Masters champion Bubba Watson by two, US Open winner Webb Simpson by three and holder Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy's replacement, by six.

Leading the way: Padraig Harrington is halfway towards winning the PGA Grand Slam in Bermuda

Leading the way: Padraig Harrington is halfway towards winning the PGA Grand Slam in Bermuda

The event is meant to be between the year's four major winners, but with McIlroy opting to play in Shanghai, Ernie Els pulling out with an ankle injury and reserves Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods turning it down – they are in Asia as well – Harrington received a call.

In contention: Bubba Watson is two shots adrift of Harrington

In contention: Bubba Watson is two shots adrift of Harrington

Eighth behind Watson at Augusta and fourth to Simpson in San Francisco, he grabbed seven birdies and would have been even more in control but for bogeys at the third and 16th, both par threes.

Simpson came back into the picture with three back-nine birdies but then bogeyed the 431-yard last while left-hander Watson, his Ryder Cup partner, mixed an eagle and five birdies with four bogeys. Bradley, who last year beat McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Charl Schwartzel, was always fighting an uphill battle from the time he double-bogeyed the fourth and bogeyed the next two to stand four over.

Even the player who finishes last still earns 125,000.

Padraig Harrington inspired to be back at Portrush and leads the calls for Ryder Cup return

Harrington inspired to be back at Portrush and leads the calls for Ryder Cup return

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UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 26 June 2012

Padraig Harrington can remember travelling to play golf at Royal Portrush and being stopped at a roadblock because the police had discovered a 500lbs bomb.

Contrast that grim picture during the Troubles with the happy times leading up to the start of the Irish Open here. Less than an hour away the Queen will shake hands today with the former IRA commander, Martin McGuinness.

No wonder Harrington, an ambassador for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, thinks politics should no longer be an issue when it comes to the prospect of The Open returning to the Antrim coastline for the first time since 1951.

Looking forward: Harrington

Looking forward: Harrington

‘It shouldn’t be an issue for the R&A, we are much bigger than that now,’ said the twice Claret Jug winner.

‘It’s really only the infrastructure that should concern them because the course is plenty capable of hosting an Open.

‘This has long been my favourite course. I had a great time here as an amateur, I’ve probably played it over 60 times. But I remember one day when we were stopped on the road going into Newry. When we asked a policeman what was going on, he told us it was just a small problem. it turns out it was a 500lb bomb on the road – just a small problem then!

‘I remember going back I was getting a lift and thinking maybe we should have checked under the car before we left but people just got on with it. You just went and played.’

The Dubliner played a practice round with USPGA Champion Keegan Bradley yesterday. ‘Like me, he was taken aback by the size of the crowd for a Tuesday,’ said Harrington. 'It seems like it was an inspired decision.'

Joel Sjoholm leads BMW International Open in Cologne

Sjoholm takes halfway lead in Cologne as Chilean-born Swede guns for first European Tour title

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UPDATED:

18:05 GMT, 22 June 2012

Chilean-born Joel Sjoholm, adopted by a Swedish couple when three months old, is the halfway leader at the BMW International Open in Cologne.

Sjoholm, dressed in his now customary plus-fours, eagled both the 577-yard 16th and 546-yard third for a superb 66 in the windy conditions at Gut Larchenhof.

A closing birdie took the 26-year-old, 306th in the world and chasing his first European Tour win, to 11 under par. He enters the third round two ahead of Ireland's Paul McGinley, English pair Chris Wood and Danny Willett and Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti.

In the driving seat: Chilean-born Sjoholm leads in Cologne

In the driving seat: Chilean-born Sjoholm leads in Cologne

Local favourite Martin Kaymer, at 13th the highest-ranked player in the field, missed the cut, but 54-year-old compatriot Bernhard Langer shot 67 and at five under is not out of the hunt yet.

Swede Sjoholm, with a best finish on the circuit of third in Sicily last year, followed his first eagle with back-to-back bogeys.

But it was a different tale after the second one. He added birdies on the fifth and ninth to go clear in the race for a first prize of just under 270,000.

All smiles: Sjoholm is gunning for his first Tour title

All smiles: Sjoholm is gunning for his first Tour title

McGinley, now 45 and front-runner to captain Europe in the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, has not won for seven years but his career appears to be on the rise again.

He finished seventh in Korea in April, but on his last start in Wales three weeks ago produced a closing 65 for sixth place.

The Dubliner began his 518th Tour event with another 65 and then added a 70 like Wood and Willett.

'It was much tougher – a real good test of golf,' McGinley said.

'You had to work the ball and it's very important to keep it on the fairways.'

He had an eagle on his card for the second day running, making a 20-foot putt at the third before finding the target as well with a 20-foot birdie attempt three holes later.

Former amateur internationals Wood and Willett have yet to register their first victories.

Wood is best known for finishing fifth in the 2008 Open as an amateur and then coming third a year later at Turnberry, while Willett was a team-mate of Rory McIlroy in the 2007 Walker Cup – against an American side that included new US Open champion Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson.

Zanotti had shared the first-round lead with Marcus Fraser, but managed only a 71 while the Australian fell five behind with a 74.

Sjoholm's eagles were far from routine. First he chipped in from heavy rough and then he pitched in from almost 100 yards.

'Of course it's going to be a new situation for me, but I've watched a lot of the Euro Cup and have seen what happens after 45 minutes,' said the Chelsea fan.

'I'm just enjoying it so much and am not thinking too much about it, but of course I want to be a winner.'

Top gear: Marshall, who won a BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe with a hole-in-one

Top gear: Marshall, who won a BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe with a hole-in-one

Sergio Garcia's 67 lifted him into a share of 13th on six under alongside, among others, Fraser and England's Andrew Marshall, who won a BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe with a hole-in-one at the 215-yard 17th.

Kaymer three-putted for bogey there and missed out by a single shot like Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal, while Paul Casey's latest return from injury saw him make yet another early exit.

Rounds of 76 and 74 by the former world number three gave him a six over total, seven strokes too many to survive.

He has made only one cut since dislocating his shoulder snowboarding in Colorado on Christmas Eve and is down to 60th in the rankings.

Euro 2012: Richard Dunne ready to fight to stay in tournament for Ireland fans

Dunne ready to fight to stay in Euros for Ireland's loyal fans

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UPDATED:

00:00 GMT, 12 June 2012

As the reality of the Republic of Ireland’s disastrous start to the Euro 2012 finals engulfed Giovanni Trapattoni and his players, a voice of defiance rang out from the dressing room.

Few Irish players in this group have wanted the opportunity to play on the biggest stage as much as Richard Dunne.

Deprived of the opportunity 10 years ago, the reliable defender has been an inspirational leader under the four years of Trapattoni’s reign.

Keen to fight on: Richard Dunne wants to do it for the fans

Keen to fight on: Richard Dunne wants to do it for the fans

And the man mountain, who was handed the captain’s armband when Robbie Keane departed early in Poznan on Sunday night, will have the scars from Moscow for life, as well as the adoration.

The crushing 3-1 defeat to Croatia will have hit the proud Dubliner more than most. And as he looked for inspiration among the deflated troops, Trapattoni knows that Dunne typifies the spirit Ireland will need if they are to keep their dream alive in Poland this week.

‘We have to believe we can still qualify. We still believe we can go and win the games,’ said Dunne.

‘The first night was disappointing and we wanted to get off to a good start but there is still two games to go so there is no point in packing up and going home. We want to come back to Poznan and hopefully we’ve got enough points to go through.

The Green Army: Around 20,000 Ireland fans were at the game with Croatia

The Green Army: Around 20,000 Ireland fans were at the game with Croatia

‘We came to win all three games. This was a setback, without a doubt, and we’ve got two really tough games coming up. But this is what we came for. We want to play against the best teams, we want to beat them and see where we are. This is the opportunity that we’ve craved for a long, long time.’

Dunne knows that causing an upset in Group C by beating Spain and Italy is something few people believe Ireland are capable of. But that doesn’t mean they should give up hope.

‘We understand that we’ll be written off and not given a chance. But we’ve got 180 minutes of football, so why not We’ve done it before. We’ve beaten bigger teams than Croatia. We can go and win the games,’ said Dunne.

Team spirit: Ireland showed fight to get back into the game

Team spirit: Ireland showed fight to get back into the game

‘Especially when everything is going against us, we still believe we can win our group and we just want everyone to keep supporting us.’

Thousands of Ireland supporters were packed into Poznan and Dunne admitted that the biggest disappointment among the players was for the travelling fans, who sang throughout the game on Sunday night.

‘We were blown away,’ he said. ‘It was the same all day Saturday and Sunday in our hotel. They’ve been amazing and that is one of the biggest disappointments.

‘They’ve not got the result that they deserve. Hopefully we can turn it around for them.

‘It’s still a massive occasion for everyone back home. We’ve got to make sure when we get there on Thursday, our heads will be right and we’ll go there to win.’

MASTERS 2012: Padraig Harrington shares par three win with Jonathan Byrd

Harrington shares par three win as thunderstorm cuts short contest

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

21:03 GMT, 4 April 2012

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UPDATED:

21:03 GMT, 4 April 2012

Padraig Harrington became the first player to win a hat-trick of par three titles at The Masters – but just like his first victory in 2003 he had to share the honour.

The competition could not be completed because of a thunderstorm, leaving Harrington as joint winner with American Jonathan Byrd after both returned five-under-par scores of 22.

Nine years ago the 40-year-old Dubliner tied with David Toms, but bad weather prevented a play-off then as well. Twelve months later he beat Argentina's Eduardo Romero in sudden death.

Three-sy does it: Padraig Harrington celebrates winning the Par 3 Contest for the third time

Three-sy does it: Padraig Harrington celebrates winning the Par 3 Contest for the third time

What it means again, though, is that Harrington will have to beat a jinx to become Masters champion on Sunday.

Since the par three event started in 1960, nobody has lifted that crown and then won the event proper as well four days later.

Last year's Wednesday champion Luke Donald did not even take part this time because he wanted to focus on the main event, while Open champion Darren Clarke was another non-participant because he wanted to rest a sore groin.

Most players treat it as light relief and invite family, friends or even celebrities to act as their caddies.

Share of the win: Jonathan Byrd was joint 1st in the Par 3 contest

Share of the win: Jonathan Byrd was joint 1st in the Par 3 contest

Lee Westwood and Thomas Bjorn had television presenters Ant and Dec – Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly – carrying their bags, with Bjorn finishing with a hole-in-one.

Harrington went round with his sons Patrick (eight) and Ciaran (four), as well as Japan's Ryo Ishikawa and American amateur Patrick Cantlay.

'This is my 13th time playing it and the least amount of wind, so the scoring was on,' he said. 'The whole thing is memorable. I didn't hit anything stone dead or anything like that.'

He actually missed the last green and was close to going into the water, but chipped to four feet and saved par.

Volvo Golf Champions: Branden Grace leads on day two at Fancourt

Grace takes charge at Fancourt as Harrington suffers another day to forget

The lead is still four shots after two rounds of the Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt in South Africa – but now it is local man Branden Grace rather than Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts out in front.

Grace, last man into the European Tour's winners-only event thanks to his victory at the Joburg Open last Sunday, shot 66 to reach 12 under par.
Colsaerts, on the other hand, had a 76 – 12 more than his course record first round – to drop to joint fifth place.

While that was the joint worst score of the day, the best was a 65 from England's Lee Slattery. And it not only lifted the 33-year-old from 22nd to joint second with Thomas Aiken, another of the home contingent, but also earned him a 25,000 car.

Leading the way: Branden Grace plays a sweet shot at the 18th to finish his day on a high

Leading the way: Branden Grace plays a sweet shot at the 18th to finish his day on a high

Playing partner Retief Goosen (68) received the same prize as they combined with English amateur Mark Vandenberghe to win the one-round team event.

Jose Maria Olazabal almost joined them in winning a car, lipping out for a hole-in-one at the short 17th, but Europe's Ryder Cup captain – at 596th in the world the lowest-ranked player in the 35-strong field – was happy enough with a 68 to be in fourth spot on his own.

Water under the bridge: Padraig Harrington was in cheerful mood despite another woeful day on the course

Water under the bridge: Padraig Harrington was in cheerful mood despite another woeful day on the course

For the second day running, though, Padraig Harrington finished with a double-bogey seven and, having also dropped shots on the previous two holes, the Dubliner's 73 left him with eight shots to make up like Open champion Darren Clarke (68) and England's Tom Lewis (74).

Only last month 23-year-old Grace was at the Tour qualifying school in Spain, but he came through that six-day ordeal in joint 10th place and has been flying ever since.

'I'm just really enjoying it out there,' he said after grabbing eight birdies.

'It's probably my favourite course in the world and coming back here is a fabulous feeling, especially playing well.'

Take a break: Darren Clarke and Charl Schwartzel plan their putts

Take a break: Darren Clarke and Charl Schwartzel plan their putts

Slattery feared he would be at the Tour school as well – in his case for the ninth time – until he won the Madrid Masters in October.

'Winning certainly gives you belief,' said the 33-year-old from Southport after picking up an amazing 10 birdies just as Colsaerts had done in the opening round.

'That's probably my best round out there, one I'm going to remember for the rest of my life.

'Because of the team prize I was willing Retief's putts in as well. God knows what the amateur felt like, but he handled it well.

'I've had about 12 holes-in-one, but have never won a car before. I still might take the money instead, though.'

Digging in deep: Colin Montgomerie misses a putt at the eighth

Digging in deep: Colin Montgomerie misses a putt at the eighth

Olazabal insists that even if he grabs his first victory for seven years on Sunday it will not change his view about September's match in Chicago.

'I've made that point very clear – there is no way,' said the 45-year-old Spaniard.

'Even if I make the Ryder Cup (team) I will not play. I've answered that question.'

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Aiken has an added reason for wanting to come out on top – he is on a campaign to help save the rhino and the more publicity he can get the better.

'I've started my own charity,' he said.

'It's disgusting what's happening. We've got a war going on basically with the east.

'Rhino horns are being valued a million dollars. We've got tractors on the grounds, roadblocks and help from the Air Force because they are shooting them from helicopters now.

'We've got about six years left until they are extinct and if we hang around too long we are going to be too late.'

Colin Montgomerie had been hoping to improve on his opening 70, but instead shot 75 and so will go into the third round only joint 24th – 11 strokes behind.