| 16.1°C Dublin

Woods suffers putting troubles on return to competitive action

GOLF: Tiger Woods endured another poor day as he shot a two-over-par 73 in the opening round of the Frys.com Open at the CordeValle golf club in San Martin, California.

While Woods is now in danger of missing the cut, there was a four-way tie for the lead, with Brendan Steele, Briny Baird, Garrett Willis and Matt Bettencourt all shooting four-under-par 67s.

However, as ever the attention has turned to Woods, who had tumbled out of the world's top 50 for the first time in 15 years, coming into the tournament.

Woods has a new caddie in Joe LaCava and a rebuilt swing, and had claimed constant practice at his home course in Florida meant he was ready to take on the world once more.

This was not the case in practice, though, as Woods started his first tournament in seven weeks having not played since failing to make the cut at the USPGA Championship owing to injury.

Woods went 13 holes between his only two birdies on the day and suffered two bogeys and a double bogey, putting him in danger of missing consecutive cuts for the first time in his career.

"That's one of the worst putting rounds I've ever had," Woods said afterwards. "I can't putt the ball any worse than I did today."

Woods missed three putts inside six feet, two of them for birdie.

Even towards the end of his round, he froze when he saw a four-foot par putt on the 16th hole take a 360° ride around the edge of the cup before falling into the hole.

"The rest of the game was not too bad," Woods said. "I hit some bad shots, yes. But also, I hit some really good ones. And I'm very pleased at the shots I was hitting most of the day. But I got nothing out of the round on the greens."

The last time Woods missed consecutive cuts on the PGA tour was in 1994, when he was an 18-year-old amateur.

Hylton into last eight with Whitlock shock

DARTS: Another night of the PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix of Darts at Citywest and another major upset last night -- and this time around Simon Whitlock made an unexpected exit, writes Niall Cronin.

Whitlock was a short-price favourite to progress to the quarter-finals at the expense of Mark Hylton, but it was Hylton who caused the latest shock of the tournament with a 3-1 win to set up a meeting with 1995 BDO World Champion Richie Burnett later tonight.

Burnett was an unlikely candidate for the last eight of the tournament and it's the first time in seven years that he has reached this stage of any major televised event after coming from one set down to beat Denis Ovens 3-1.

The big game of the night was the eagerly anticipated clash of 15-time World Champion Phil Taylor (right) and the up and coming Paul Nicholson. But despite instigating a war of words with Taylor, Nicholson was simply no match for the 'Power', who conceded just two legs on the way to a 3-0 win.

Taylor will be third on the oche tonight as he takes on Mark Webster in what is sure to be the match of the evening.

BBC 'to comply in boxing bribe allegations'

BOXING: The BBC has vowed to hand over evidence to the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) as the body yesterday began its investigation into accusations that bribes were accepted in return for 2012 Olympic gold medals.

The governing body denied "in the strongest possible terms" allegations made by the BBC's Newsnight programme that large amounts of money were paid out in an attempt to ensure boxers from Azerbaijan received gold medals at the London Games.

The AIBA, like the International Olympic Committee, urged the BBC to work with the organisation and provide evidence, but while the broadcaster agreed to assist and intend to hand over material, it has yet to actually do so.

The AIBA said in a statement: "The AIBA Special Investigation Committee met for the first time today and commenced its investigation into the legitimacy of the recent allegations made by the BBC.

"The BBC has yet to provide the committee with any documentation or evidence."

A BBC spokesperson said: "We are in contact with the authorities and will be supplying material."

Button fastest in practice as Vettel crashes

formula one: McLaren driver Jenson Button set the fastest time in today's practice sessions for the Japanese Grand Prix. The Briton clocked a time of 1 minute, 31.901 seconds in the afternoon session at the Suzuka circuit to finish 0.174 seconds ahead of Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who crashed in the morning session, was third-fastest. Button must win Sunday's race and hope that Vettel finishes out of the points in order to keep the drivers' championship fight alive.