Tag Archives: legend

Mario Balotelli named as one of TIME"S 100 most influential people

Which former Premier League bad boy has made the list of the world's top 100 influential people And which three other sporting giants are there too

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One thing nobody could dispute is Balotelli's news value, with the 22-year-old often finding himself plastered over pages at the front end of newspapers, as well as at the back.

Former French Open tennis champion Na is back at the very top of women's tennis. The popular Chinese player narrowly missed out on another Grand Slam title in January, when she lost the Australian Open final to Victoria Azarenka.

Top star: Li Na, seen here in action last month in Florida, has made the TIME list

Top star: Li Na, seen here in action last month in Florida, has made the TIME list

Speaking about Na, tennis legend Chris Evert said: 'Tennis has exploded in China. The country now has some 15 million tennis players; 116 million people watched Li win the French Open. That kind of exposure is crucial to our sport, and it never would have happened without Li.

'At tournaments, I’ve seen her charm the crowds. When she smiles, everyone melts. She’s such a breath of fresh air. And like Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova before her, Li Na has transcended her sport.'

James is quite simply a superstar of American sport. The Miami Heat forward became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 career points earlier this year.

Jump to it: LeBron James goes up for a dunk against Philadelphia last month

Jump to it: LeBron James goes up for a dunk against Philadelphia last month

He is one of the most well-known characters in American public life, and New York Yankees baseball stalwart Derek Jeter said: 'I’ve had the chance to meet LeBron James, and I know he’s a Yankees fan. I also know it must be tough to root for the Yankees while living in Miami and Cleveland.

'Most people in LeBron’s position aren’t as grounded as he is. He hasn’t forgotten where he comes from, and he’s given back so much to Ohio and Akron, his hometown. LeBron cares deeply about these places, and that says a lot about him.'

Vonn is a titan of winter sports, with the American at the top of skiing for more than a decade.

Looking good: Vonn has made her name on the slopes

Looking good: Vonn has made her name on the slopes

Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn

Supporting Tiger: Lindsey Vonn was at Augusta last week to watch Woods play at the Masters

The Olympic downhill champion will be best remembered this season for a terrible crash in the super-giant slalom at the World Championships in Austria. Despite serious injuries suffered by Vonn, she insists that she will be fit and ready for next February's Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

If Vonn wasn't already famous enough in her own right, the identity of her significant other ensures an even higher profile. She is of course dating golfing icon Tiger Woods.

SIX NATIONS 2013: Andy Farrell – Jim Telfer "arrogant England" jibes are just a Scotsman trying to stir passion

Farrell: Telfer's 'arrogant England' jibes are just a Scotsman trying to stir up passion

By
Alex Lowe, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

16:15 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 29 January 2013

JIM TELFER EXCLUSIVE

Lions legend: Jim Telfer was critical of England

England are too arrogant, pretentious and condescending to realise they're not as good as they think they are!

Click here to read the full explosive interview

Andy Farrell has insisted he does not recognise the accusation of 'arrogance' that has been levelled at the England squad by Lions legend Jim Telfer.

Responding to Sportsmail's exclusive interview with the former Scotland coach, Farrell revealed the players have laughed off the jibes, which he believes are designed to get the Scots fired up before their trip to Twickenham for Saturday’s Calcutta Cup showdown.

The England management under Stuart Lancaster have worked hard over the last 12 months to eradicate any sense of arrogance from the national team.

Big week ahead: The England squad in training at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot on Tuesday morning

Big week ahead: The England squad in training at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot on Tuesday morning

Farrell said: 'I definitely don’t recognise anything he has said.

'People say this every year about the English anyway. It has stuck now. That is why we take it tongue-in-cheek. We know exactly what we are about.

'A couple of the lads have seen it and they are all taking the mick out of each other. They think it’s quite funny about those who have been mentioned. There are a few jokes flying around the place.'

Telfer told Sportsmail that England, who beat New Zealand on the same weekend as Scotland lost to Tonga, are not as good as they think they are.

Impressionable England scrum-half Ben Youngs (above) and wing Chris Ashton (below)

Impressionable England scrum-half Ben Youngs (above) and wing Chris Ashton (below)

Impressionable England scrum-half Ben Youngs (above) and wing Chris Ashton (below)

He said: 'They are too arrogant, too pretentious and too condescending to realise they have a problem.'

Chris Ashton, Danny Care, Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi were named as 'very impressionable' players who let the All Blacks win go to their heads.

There was credit for England’s coaching team of Lancaster, Farrell and Graham Rowntree, who Telfer described as: 'All from the North and all down to earth.'

Lancaster’s first aim when he took interim charge of the England squad a year ago was to reconnect the national team to their roots.

On the ball: England backs coach Andy Farrell, and with captain Chris Robshaw (below) on Tuesday

On the ball: England backs coach Andy Farrell, and with captain Chris Robshaw (below) on Tuesday

Talking tactics: England backs coach Andy Farrell (right) with captain Chris Robshaw on Tuesday

Top post: England boss Stuart Lancaster

Top post: England boss Stuart Lancaster

In the wake of the 2011 World Cup disappointments, Lancaster wanted to restore a sense of pride in the jersey from within the squad and a sense of pride in the England team from the public.

England now prepare for the RBS 6 Nations in Leeds rather than in Portugal. They drew 6,000 to an open training session at Headingley and Lancaster last Friday held a seminar for 500 grass-roots coaches.

Telfer’s comments have certainly stoked the boiler ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations opener at Twickenham, where Scotland have not won in 30 years.

'He’s Scottish isn’t he, very passionate about his country and he wants to give his lads as much belief as he can,' Farrell said. 'He cares about his country.

'It is him trying to do the right thing by his own country, to try and motivate them.

'That is what he has always been about really – passion and stirring a few feathers up along the way. It is what you want, a bit of passion.'

Sir Alex Ferguson watches Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama at Parkhead

Fergie runs the rule over Celtic midfielder Wanyama as United boss returns to Glasgow

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

08:43 GMT, 23 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 23 January 2013

As his Manchester United side prepare for this weekend's FA Cup clash against Fulham 4,500 miles away in Qatar, Sir Alex Ferguson returned to his Glasgow roots to watch Celtic's 4-0 victory over Dundee United.

The Old Trafford boss was spotted in the Parkhead crowd as Neil Lennon's SPL leaders romped to an emphatic SPL win with Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama putting in a stand-out performance.

All smiles: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands at Parkhead on Tuesday night to watch Celtic beat Dundee United

All smiles: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands at Parkhead on Tuesday night to watch Celtic beat Dundee United

United are believed to be among a host of potential suitors for the 21-year-old, who struck the hosts' second goal of the evening in the 33rd minute.

Lennon is keen to keep hold of Wanyama, who arrived at the Scottish club from Belgian outfit Beerschot in 2011 and has played an instrumental role in guiding Celtic into the knockout stages of this season's Champions League.

Ferguson, meanwhile, will today pay his respects to Sean Fallon as the United manager attends the funeral of the Celtic legend, who was the assistant to Jock Stein when they won the European Cup in 1967.

Standing out: Victor Wanyama was impressive and scored Celtic's second in their 4-0 win

Standing out: Victor Wanyama was impressive and scored Celtic's second in their 4-0 win

Sachin Tendulkar is useless: The Little Master"s terrible run of form

THE USELESS COLUMN: If you have a shocker, beware…we'll be watching and branding men and women in sport Useless! Today it's the iconic Sachin Tendulkar

PUBLISHED:

12:23 GMT, 14 December 2012

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UPDATED:

12:38 GMT, 14 December 2012

Your striker fluffs a sitter, your keeper drops a clanger or
your team's opening batsman has been out for a pair… all together now: 'Useless!' Here, in Sportsmail's new 'Useless' column, we
highlight sportsmen and women who flop and deserve a panning from our man who delivers it best… Today the dubious honour goes to the greatest batsman still playing the game Sachin Tendulkar…

Before we get started: Yes, he's the Little Master. Yes, he's a living legend. Yes, he's one of the greatest batsman ever to have played the game…

But Sachin Tendulkar's current run of form is USELESS! He's Jimmy Anderson's bunny and England no longer fear him when he walks to the crease.

The 39-year-old maestro has not scored a Test hundred for almost two years – he made 146 against South Africa at Cape Town in the 2011 new year Test – his scores in 2012 read two, 76, eight, 13, 17, 19, 25, 15 and 41. Plenty of starts but no 'Daddy Hundreds' as Graham Gooch might say.

Time to wave goodbye, Sachin Indian great Sachin Tendulkar fell to England's Jimmy Anderson again today (FILE IMAGE)

Time to wave goodbye, Sachin Indian great Sachin Tendulkar fell to England's Jimmy Anderson again today (FILE IMAGE)

THE USELESS HALL OF SHAME…

Gervinho's miss v Bradford
December 12, 2012
Click here to read more

His form belies his status as one of the greats – if not THE greatest. Tendulkar has over 15,000 Test runs to his name at an average well above 50.

Those stats are sensational, but his record against England's Anderson are shocking.

The dismissal of Tendulkar today for the ninth time in Tests, means Anderson has broken Muttiah Muralitharan's record total (see panel below).

It's a landmark achievement for the England paceman, but another failure for Tendulkar has left some commentators to wonder if it's time for him to hang up his bat.

We're sorry to say it, Sachin, but for a great, great player this run of form is…

USELESS! Click to hear the verdict….

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JIMMY'S TENDULKAR HOODOO…
James Anderson

March 19, 2006, Mumbai
A rare false shot from Tendulkar gifted Anderson (right) his wicket for the
first time. Having made only one, the batsman drove loosely outside off
stump and the ball took the toe of his bat and went through to
wicketkeeper Geraint Jones.

July 20, 2007, Lord's
Umpire Steve Bucknor adjudged Anderson's full inswinger, which hit
Tendulkar on the pad as he looked to drive through the leg side, would
have clipped leg stump and sent him on his way lbw for 37.

August 10 & 12, 2007, The Oval
Anderson established his dominance over Tendulkar by taking his wicket
in each innings, first via a regulation edge to Andrew Strauss at slip
when on 82 and then bowled off the inside edge for one second time
around.

December 22, 2008, Mohali
Another loose edge saw Tendulkar depart for five, with Graeme Swann at gully the catcher on this occasion.

July 25, 2011, Lord's
Tendulkar's likely last innings at Lord's brought him just 12 runs
before Anderson nipped one past his inside edge to dismiss him lbw.

July 29, 2011, Trent Bridge
In the second Test of the same series, Tendulkar managed 56 in a forlorn
fourth-innings chase before shouldering arms to a big inswinger which
trapped him leg before once again.

December 5, 2012, Kolkata
Tendulkar made 76 before an excellent outswinger from Anderson caught
his outside edge and was held by a tumbling Matt Prior behind the
stumps.

December 14, 2012 Nagpur
Tendulkar made just two before Anderson got one to nip back off the
seam, deflect off a thin inside edge and on to middle stump.

Bradford City invite Diana Ross to practise penalties

EXCLUSIVE: We're the shootout Supremes! Bradford cheekily invite '94 World Cup penalty flop Diana Ross to hone her spot-kick skills

|

UPDATED:

17:05 GMT, 13 December 2012

With an incredible nine penalty shootout wins in a row, Bradford City are the undisputed spot-kick kings – and now they want to share their secret with the world.

After they again showed nerves of steel to knock Arsenal out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, the club cheekily wrote a letter to the taker of officially the worst penalty of all time offering their assistance.

Many of you will recall the cringe-worthy moment when pop star Diana Ross somehow missed from about five yards in the opening ceremony for the 1994 World Cup finals in Chicago.

Spot-kick Kings! Bradford City won their ninth consecutive penalty shootout as they dumped Arsenal out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday

Spot-kick Kings! Bradford City won their ninth consecutive penalty shootout as they dumped Arsenal out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday

Enlarge

Cheeky: Bradford's invite to Diana Ross, through her agent, to come over to Valley Parade and practice her penalties

Cheeky: Bradford's invite to Diana Ross, through her agent, to come over to Valley Parade and practice her penalties

What made it so ridiculed was that the goal then collapsed in on itself as though her spot-kick had smashed it while the ball trickled hopelessly wide of the mark.

But with Bradford so 'Supreme' from twelve yards, they've kindly offered the music legend some advice.

In a letter addressed to Ross's agent, the club explain that a 'major upheaval' happened in English football this week as Arsenal were dumped out.

Special guest: Could we see Diana Ross at Valley Parade (below) practising her penalties in the New Year

Special guest: Could we see Diana Ross at Valley Parade (below) practising her penalties in the New Year

Valley Parade, the home of Bradford City

It goes on to claim that the shootout win, Bradford's ninth in a row, is an unofficial World Record.

It then gently reminds Ross of her embarrassment before the World Cup kicked off 18 years ago, saying: 'Sadly at that event Diana bowed to the pressure and missed with her kick.'

The letter, on Bradford City headed notepaper, continues: 'We would like to improve Diana's record by sharing some of the squad's techniques and hopefully help Diana learn how to take penalty kicks with the proper skill set.'

Embarrassing: Diana Ross missed from about ten yards out during the opening ceremony of the 1994 World Cup in Chicago

Embarrassing: Diana Ross missed from about ten yards out during the opening ceremony of the 1994 World Cup in Chicago

An invitation is then made by City and tournament sponsors Capital One to have Ross over for a match in the New Year – perhaps the home leg of the semi-final.

While the chances of actually seeing Ross lining up a spot-kick at Valley Parade remain slim it is worth remembering what she taught us – 'There ain't no mountain high enough…'

Video: Diana Ross misses from close range in the 1994 World Cup opening ceremony

Rory McIlroy can break Jack Nicklaus record before Tiger Woods, says Greg Norman

Rory stands a better chance than Tiger of breaking Nicklaus' record, says Norman

PUBLISHED:

12:30 GMT, 12 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

12:31 GMT, 12 December 2012

Golf blog

Former world No 1 Greg Norman believes Rory McIlroy is more likely to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships than Tiger Woods.

Woods claimed his 14th major at the 2008 US Open in a dramatic 19-hole play-off with Rocco Mediate, but has not won one since after seeing his career set back by the sex scandal which led to the breakdown of his marriage.

And Norman, speaking on the eve of the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum, would like to see McIlroy – who has two majors to his name – be the man to surpass Nicklaus instead.

Glory boy: Rory McIlroy celebrated his second major success by winning the PGA Championship earlier this year

Glory boy: Rory McIlroy celebrated his second major success by winning the PGA Championship earlier this year

'I don’t think so, no,' Norman said when asked if Woods was capable of winning the five majors he requires to pass Nicklaus.

'Every year that passes by that he hasn’t won a major it just gets that much harder to win a major.

'I don’t care how many you have won, it just becomes more and more difficult He might win one or two more but I don’t think he will win the four or five more that he needs to win to break the record.'

Legend: Jack Nicklaus has won the most majors in the history of golf, with 18 to his name

Legend: Jack Nicklaus has won the most majors in the history of golf, with 18 to his name

Waiting game: Woods won his last major - and 14th - at the US Open in 2008 when he defeat Rocco Mediate in a sudden death play-off at Torrey Pines

Waiting game: Woods won his last major – and 14th – at the US Open in 2008 when he defeat Rocco Mediate in a sudden death play-off at Torrey Pines

McIlroy won the US Open in 2011 and this year’s US PGA Championship and Norman says the sky is the limit for the talented 23-year-old.

'I think if anybody can break Nicklaus’ record I think he could, because he is young, he is ahead of the game, he is ahead of the curve on a lot of things and he has a very balanced life across the board,' Norman said.

'So I will keep my fingers crossed for him because I would love to see that happen. Somebody will do it one day and it could be Rory.

All smiles: Greg Norman has backed McIlroy to continue his success in 2013

All smiles: Greg Norman has backed McIlroy to continue his success in 2013

'I am a big fan of Rory’s, he can be as big as he wants to be.'

Norman was bullish about his chances at this week’s PGA Championship but conceded golf is low down on his list of priorities these days.

Asked his goal for the week, Norman quipped, ‘to do a Peter Senior’, referring to the 53-year-old’s victory at last week’s Australian Open.

Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure launch new Puma boots

VIDEO: Legend Henry joins Cesc, Aguero and Toure to launch new Puma boots

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UPDATED:

18:19 GMT, 4 December 2012

Thierry Henry is back on the small screen to lead an all-star cast of Cesc Fabregas, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero to launch Puma's latest range of football boots.

The France 1998 World Cup winner – and star of the once famous Renault Clio adverts – is set to return to the Premier League for a third stint at Arsenal next month, on loan from American outfit New York Red Bulls.

And the 35-year-old legend has given Gunners fans a glimpse of the boots he'll wear in his bid to add to his record haul of 226 goals for the club.

Va va voom: Cesc Fabregas shows off his new Puma Power Cat boots to his Twitter followers

Va va voom: Cesc Fabregas shows off his new Puma Power Cat boots to his Twitter followers

'The nature of the speed junkie, needs Evo Speed,' says Henry in this short video.

Manchester City striker Aguero models the 195 boot in the promotional trailer. The Argentina international became the face of the German sport brand when he penned a three-year deal last season worth 5million.

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas features as he puts the 110 Power Cat studs to the test.

The former Arsenal captain had tweeted a picture of the boots and will wear them against Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Need for speed: Manchester City striker wears Puma's Evo Speed range

Need for speed: Manchester City striker wears Puma's Evo Speed range

City midfield general Yaya Toure appears wearing the 155 re-modelled classic King number.

And Henry says: 'Football: why do we do it Why do we have to kick it Why does it mean so much to us And why can we never stop playing Because it is in our nature to perform. And the better we perform, the more we enjoy. And the more we enjoy it, the better we perform.

'The nature of the speed junkie, needs Evo Speed. The nature of the power hungry, needs Power Cat. And the nature of the control freak needs King.

'This is the nature of performance.'

Who needs Va Va Voom…

John Fashanu: MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon should get along

Fashanu: I understand the emotions, but let's have some peace and love in the FA Cup

|

UPDATED:

20:50 GMT, 1 December 2012

Wimbledon legend John Fashanu has
called for 'peace and love' to break out between bitter rivals MK Dons
and AFC Wimbledon at their FA Cup second-round tie.

Fashanu, a key member of Wimbledon's
FA Cup-winning side in 1988, has defended the existence of MK Dons, a
team dubbed Franchise FC by many Wimbledon fans who accuse them of
'stealing' their old club when, in an unprecedented move in English
football, they were relocated to Milton Keynes and renamed nine years
ago.

Existing fans formed AFC Wimbledon as
a non-League club in 2002 and, while some will boycott the tie
altogether, others will attend the game in contamination suits to
underline their continuing contempt for Milton Keynes, who incorporated
the original 'Dons' nickname into their official name.

Different times: Wimbledon players celebrate their incredible 1988 FA Cup win

Different times: Wimbledon players celebrate their incredible 1988 FA Cup win

AFC's directors will keep away from the MK boardroom, while MK manager Karl Robinson said his scouts have been asked not to attend AFC home games in the build-up to the match.

Yet against this highly charged backdrop, Fashanu has admitted he embraces both clubs and defended his long-time chairman Sam Hammam, who sold Wimbledon to Pete Winkelman, who then moved them 60 miles north.

'I have to tread very carefully because I love the Dons and I love AFC Wimbledon,' said Fashanu. 'If AFC can beat MK it will be hard to know whether to laugh or cry. It's going to be so emotional for anyone and everyone connected to the Crazy Gang.

Legend: John Fashanu in action for Wimbledon

Legend: John Fashanu in action for Wimbledon

'All I hope is that we get to see a brilliant game and that afterwards, no matter who has won or lost, that there might be some peace and love between both clubs.

'MK Dons have a right to be where they are. Hard as it might be for some to stomach, Sam Hammam did what was necessary. He couldn't go any further in Wimbledon, he had hit a brick wall. This was the man who spent millions of his own money to keep Wimbledon going. He bankrolled the club and paid everyone huge salaries given the crowds we used to get.

'Wimbledon were a family club with unity and love for each other. That never changed for me even when they became the MK Dons. I'd never tell the fans what they should do or whether they should boycott the game. Only the individual can make that call. It's understandable people feel this way but it's also a huge shame.'

Fashanu, 50, will watch the contest on television in Nigeria, where he now works in business.

'It is a juggernaut of a tie. They have so much in common and, despite all the problems, will forever be linked in history,' said Fashanu, who will open a 50million football academy in London next weekend. 'It's going to be explosive.'

AFC Wimbledon are currently managed by former player Neal Ardley and now play their football only one division behind League One MK Dons after five promotions in nine seasons.

Much maligned: Former Wimbledon chairman Sam Hammam

Much maligned: Former Wimbledon chairman Sam Hammam

Former Wimbledon director and lifelong fan Peter Miller, who grew up in a flat overlooking the club's original ground at Plough Lane, says those AFC supporters who attend will boycott any supplementary spending on food, drinks, merchandising or programmes.

'I will be there but many who have travelled the length and breadth of the country are boycotting the game,' said Miller. 'A few won't even watch it on television and even the directors are split.

'Such is the resentment against everything the MK Dons represents that our supporters have been asked not to put money into their coffers by buying programmes or using any of their food stalls.'

What's in a name: The MK Dons' stadium

What's in a name: The MK Dons' stadium

Pete Winkelman, the MK Dons chairman, has admitted that he is 'not proud' of the way football came to Milton Keynes, having done the original deal, built the new stadium and developed the surrounding land.

But he insisted the club would not relinquish their 'Dons' name.

'I do understand that on this special occasion, this historic occasion, this first meeting, that AFC Wimbledon officials would rather sit with their own supporters,' he said. 'If there is a replay, I will do the same.

'But I was disappointed to hear about the boycott, I hope that doesn't happen. Boycotting your team or leaving your team alone is perhaps the worst way of voicing your disapproval of what went on.

On the up: AFC Wimbledon celebrate promotion from the Blue Square Premier League

On the up: AFC Wimbledon celebrate promotion from the Blue Square Premier League

'I've been very clear about this. I'm a custodian of the club and the only way our name could ever change is if our supporters demanded it. I take responsibility for the club getting here, but now it's here it's actually the responsibility of all of us. And I think it's incredibly clear, and clear in every conversation I have, that we are the MK Dons, we're going to stay the MK Dons, and in the future we're going to be the MK Dons.'

Although there is a tradition for sports clubs to change location for business reasons in America, the story of the Dons remains unique in English football.

Former player Wally Downes, now assistant manager at West Ham, said: 'I am not looking forward to the game. It's AFC Wimbledon against Franchise FC. MK Dons are in a position they didn't earn, they didn't even inherit it, they just bought it. Of the two teams, one is a proper football club and one is a fraud club. I can see why AFC fans would boycott the game.'

Lee Westwood to play Greg Norman for short-game returns – Derek Lawrenson

Long-haul Lee swims with the Shark for short-game returns

|

UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 26 November 2012

Where next for Lee Westwood in his search for salvation on and around the greens Here’s an eye-catching name – Greg Norman.

Before anyone adds the Aussie great to the long list of hired help Westwood has acquired over the years in the short-game department, it should be said that seeing Norman will be more along the lines of two friends getting together for some social golf and bouncing ideas off one another.

‘Lee has always been an admirer of Greg’s short-game technique,’ said Westwood’s manager Chubby Chandler. So it is that when the Englishman begins his brave new adventure in Florida in January he will seek out a long-time pal and neighbour for some brain-storming.

Old pals: Lee Westwood (right) with Australian legend Greg Norman

Old pals: Lee Westwood (right) with Australian legend Greg Norman

Not just Norman, either. Nick Price, another legend with a gossamer touch, also lives in the vicinity. Then there are contemporaries Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen, who are both moving to the same gated community as Westwood at Old Palm, near Fort Lauderdale. There’s also Ernie Els and Luke Donald.

This will be the first time in his career that Westwood will play some serious social golf against players of his own calibre. Up to now, he has always lived miles from anyone, in Worksop. Imagine what difference it might make to his short game mixing with the likes of Norman and Els, and playing regular $100 money games with a competitive edge.

It can only help in terms of sharpness, can’t it The Norman connection is particularly intriguing. One of the finest victories of Westwood’s career came as a young man playing against the Shark in his ferocious prime at the Australian Open. It gave Westwood the belief to go on an astonishing run that would see him claim 17 more victories over the next three seasons.

Fifteen years on, could the wily Norman prove the catalyst once more We can but hope.

More from Derek Lawrenson…

Derek Lawrenson: If Augusta can see sense on women members, why can't the R&A
12/11/12

Derek Lawrenson: It's already been a November to remember
05/11/12

Derek Lawrenson: HSBC Championship shows golf faces hurricane alert over fees
29/10/12

World of Golf: Rose blooming, so let’s not rake over the coals
22/10/12

Derek Lawrenson: Overpaid Most earnings aren't on a par with Rose's fortune
15/10/12

Derek Lawrenson: It's a Turkish delight as eight greats battle it out for big bucks
08/10/12

Derek Lawrenson: Why we should be saying Yanks for the memories to gracious losers
01/10/12

Derek Lawrenson: McIlroy a victim of trash talk in American press ahead of Ryder Cup
24/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

About time too

Given the chronic lack of tournament golf in England at a time of vast riches in the playing department, the idea of three events taking place in the country in 2014 is a pleasant one indeed.

Traditionalists too will be cheered immensely by the prospect of the Volvo World Match Play returning home, if only for one year. This event has been held in Spain for the last two years and will break new ground in Bulgaria next season. The idea after that is for it to rotate between three nations, with England next up.

If the plan comes to fruition, it would mean two events in England in May — the other being the flagship PGA Championship at Wentworth — alongside The Open at Royal Liverpool in July.

Quote of the week

‘Every goal I set myself at the start of 2012 I’ve achieved this year. It really doesn’t get any better than that and I’m already excited about 2013.’

How typical that while patting himself on the back with one hand, Rory McIlroy should be driving himself forward with the other. Rory’s era has begun in truly thrilling fashion.

Simply the best: Rory McIlroy has enjoyed a quite brilliant year on the course

Simply the best: Rory McIlroy has enjoyed a quite brilliant year on the course

Long putter: Open champion Ernie Els

Long putter: Open champion Ernie Els

Belly rumbles

Is tomorrow the big day in terms of a decision from the governing bodies regarding the vexed subject of the belly putter

Such were the whispers in Dubai last week. ‘We’re about to have some fun and games,’ said Luke Donald, smiling.

Rather than a straight ban, most of the money is on a form of wording that effectively prevents any player from anchoring a putter to his body. Which would be a smart way of effectively bringing in a ban while reducing the chances of this ending up in a messy court battle — the fun and games to which Donald refers.

No changes to the Rules of Golf can be introduced until the next review in 2016, but there is some talk it will be introduced in the professional game before then. Among the players who would be affected are three of the last five major winners — Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els.

Bold course for new ideas

Any talk of changes to the Old Course at St Andrews is always a move into ‘painting a moustache on the face of the Mona Lisa’ territory.

So it was that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club got another shellacking last week following the announcement, in conjunction with the St Andrews Links Trust who manage the course, of a number of changes before The Open is held there in 2015. It has to be said, some of the planned amendments sound positively radical.

Widening the Road Hole bunker and recontouring the area around it, for example; the first alterations to the 11th green for about 250 years.

Let’s go easy on the outrage, however, and have a little faith in the two bodies in question. After all, they have more to lose than anyone.

DAVID LLOYD TEST DIARY: Rolling Stones fan Bumble says – It"s only an England Test victory in India… but I like it, like it, yes I dooo!

BUMBLE TEST DIARY: Rolling Stones fan Bumble says – It's only an England Test victory in India… but I like it, like it, yes I do!

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UPDATED:

12:57 GMT, 26 November 2012

MOVE OVER LOCK AND LAKER, IT'S THE MONTY AND SWANNY SHOW

Well, everyone is thrilled. You win some and lose some in Test cricket but that was a fabulous performance from England, individually and collectively. The two spinners bowling in tandem was reminiscent of Laker and Lock in their prime. Monty and Swann took 19 wickets in the match between them! Magic. England are sitting pretty and now have 10 days to absorb everything.

Spin twins I: Australian Jimmy Burke, caught Tony Lock (first slip) bowled Jim Laker for 33. The pair bowling in tandem was an effective weapon for England

Spin twins I: Australian Jimmy Burke, caught Tony Lock (first slip) bowled Jim Laker for 33. The pair bowling in tandem was an effective weapon for England

Spin twins II: England's Monty Panesar (left) is congratulated by team-mate Graeme Swann after taking his fifth wicket during the third cricket Test against India in Dubai on February 5, 2012 (FILE IMAGE)

Spin twins II: England's Monty Panesar (left) is congratulated by team-mate Graeme Swann after taking his fifth wicket during the third cricket Test against India in Dubai on February 5, 2012 (FILE IMAGE)
REUTERS/Philip Brown (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Tags: SPORT CRICKET)

BROAD IS STRUGGLING AND I'D KEEP BELL OUT

England will look at making two changes. Ian Bell could come straight back in but I would want assurances that his mind is in India and not back in Birmingham with his baby boy. And the selectors need to talk to Stuart Broad, who is under the weather and looks as though he needs a break. He is trying his guts out but is only bowling at 80mph when he can reach 90mph. Stuart is vice-captain, so he is part of the management team – therefore he will be part of the final decision but he is honest enough to admit when he is struggling.

HARBHAJAN AND DHONI IN A SPIN AT BACKLASH

There will be an almighty backlash in India. All the newspapers will be selecting the team for the next Test and questioning the captain, MS Dhoni, and the living legend that is Sachin Tendulkar. The Indian team will be confused now because they have just produced a raging turner and been shaken to their boots by English spin! And they played three spinners themselves in Mumbai but it didn’t work.Harbhajan Singh looks a shadow of his former self and expect him to make way.

MS Dhoni

Harbhajan Singh

Under pressure: Captain MS Dhoni (left) and Harbhajan (right) are facing a backlash in India follow defeat

LIVING IN A BATSMAN'S PARADISE

India are now likely to produce a batsman’s paradise for the Third Test in 10 days’ time in Kolkata, where India have made 600 in their last three Tests. When it’s flat as a pancake, England’s bowlers can struggle but even if it is a draw, England would have snapped your hand off for 1-1 going in to a decider. If it is flat, there should be confidence in the England batting line-up that they can just be selfish and help themselves to big runs.

VICTORY I LIKE IT, LIKE IT, YES I DO!

I’ve got to finish with the Rolling Stones. I’ve seen them three times now in London and Cardiff and they are simply awesome, the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world! My favourite tracks Gimme Shelter and It’s Only Rock n Roll…and I like it, like it, yes I do!

Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger

Keith Richards

Keith Richards

Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood

Wannabe rocker: Sportsmail's David 'Bumble' Lloyd

Wannabe rocker: Sportsmail's David 'Bumble' Lloyd

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