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Monday 11 December 2017

Tiger back in trouble again

GOLF: Tiger Woods faces further questions over his future in golf after being forced to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open in California.

Woods, who missed last year's Masters and the US Open after having surgery on a pinched nerve, managed only 11 holes in his first round at Torrey Pines before pulling out of the tournament.

The 14-time Major winner appeared to hurt his back after hitting his tee shot at the 12th - his third hole of the day - but carried on for eight more holes before calling it a day.

His withdrawal completely overshadowed the opening day of the tournament, which finished with Nicholas Thompson holding a one-shot lead at eight under par.

Fog had led to a lengthy suspension of play before Woods teed off, and he said the disruption to his warm-up routine had caused the back problems to flare up.

"When we had that break I never loosened back up again and then when we went back out it got progressively tighter," said Tiger. "It's frustrating that it started shutting down like that. I was ready to go. I had a good warm-up session and then we stood out here getting cold and everything deactivated again. I just can't stay activated. That's the way it is."

Lee to help Irish

CRICKET: Brett Lee will aid Ireland's World Cup preparations after agreeing a short-term deal with Cricket Ireland to act as their bowling coach during the warm-up period in Sydney.

The 38-year-old Australian legend retired from all forms of cricket last month following the conclusion of the BBL final. During a glittering career, Lee took 310 wickets in 76 Test matches, and in addition played 221 ODIs, claiming 380 scalps.

Ireland Head Coach Phil Simmons is hoping two times World Cup winner Lee can pass on some of his considerable experience to the Irish attack.

"Brett Lee has a wonderful knowledge of fast bowling, and his special insight of Australian pitches will help give our bowlers further confidence ahead of their group matches."

McGuigan's joy

SHOW JUMPING: Tyrone's Ronan McGuigan on Capall Zidane won the opening speed class in Florida, making it the third week in-a-row that Ireland has claimed this prize at Wellington's Winter Equestrian Festival. Second place also went to Ireland, with Down's Conor Swail and Ariana just an eighth of a second behind McGuigan and his Baloubet de Rouet gelding Capall Zidane.

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