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Hoey's poised to pounce in Castello

GOLF: Ballymoney's Michael Hoey (pictured) has his sights on a second successive victory after an opening 67 at the Castello Masters in Spain.

The former British amateur champion is back in action three weeks after he held off fellow Ulstermen Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell to claim the Dunhill Links title at St Andrews.

"I wanted to play last week, but had a little injury," he said.

"I've not been celebrating -- I had three or four pints of Guinness on the night I won, but was tired and headed to bed."

Hoey's name was at the top of the leaderboard again yesterday until he bogeyed the 16th and double-bogeyed the 17th, but a closing birdie left him in a tie for fourth.

Ross McGowan led by two overnight from fellow Englishman Richard McEvoy and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti.

Tournament host Sergio Garcia was alongside Hoey, while Tom Lewis -- the 20-year-old Englishman who won on his third start as a professional in Portugal on Sunday -- opened with a 71 as he battled with a stomach virus.



Donald stays focused

GOLF: Luke Donald has vowed not to be distracted by his personal duel with Webb Simpson in Florida after the pair set up the prospect of a rivetting end to the PGA Tour money list race this weekend.

Donald, England's world number one who has to finish in the top two at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic to have a chance, opened with a six-under-par 66 to share the lead after the first round.

But playing partner Simpson, who moved £229,000 ahead by coming second in Georgia last weekend, was only two behind -- and neither had a bogey all day on the Palm Course at the Disney World resort.

If Donald wins, the American would have to be runner-up on his own to claim the crown, while if Donald is solo second or in a two-way tie, Simpson would miss out if he is lower than eighth or 21st respectively.

Donald said: "Not only do I have to beat Webb, I have to beat the rest of the field -- I have to keep my eye on everyone."



Texas square up Series

BASEBALL: The Texas Rangers scored two runs in the ninth inning to defeat the St Louis Cardinals 2-1 yesterday and tie the best-of-seven World Series at 1-1. The Rangers snatched victory with a scrappy rally built on two singles and some daring base running to win a taut pitchers' duel and send the series back to Texas all square.



Egan set to join Leipzig

BOXING: Ken Egan and Tipperary super-heavyweight Con Sheehan are poised to put pen to paper with the Leipzig Leopards in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

The Irish duo have been offered one-season deals with the German side and will travel to Leipzig on October 31 for training. Egan said that he had reviewed his contract this week and that it was now "just a matter of signing up".

Egan was on a three-year deal with Miami Gallos in the WSB but the American side have gone out of business after one season.