GOLF: Modern day midas Tiger Woods claimed another pot of gold by claiming victory in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio after one of the gr-eight-est capitulations in the career of serial bottler Padraig Harrington. Ireland’s three-time major winner Paddy couldn’t handle the heat at the Firestone Country Club in his head-to-head battle with the feline phenomenon.
First he lost a three-shot lead, only to come back to take a one-stroke advantage before a disastrous triple bogey eight on the 16th hole decisively handed Woods his fifth win of the year and the 70th of his PGA Tour career.
His meltdown came after he’d been put on the clock by referee John Paramor for slow play. Tiger criticised the official for getting “in the way of a great battle”.
Harrington now heads to Chaska, Minnesota, to prepare for the defence of his US PGA title at Hazeltine National, where he is been paired with Woods – chasing his 16th major – and Rich Beem for the first two rounds.
He insisted last night his horror hole at Firestone’s 16th was already behind him and would not be travelling with him to Hazeltine.
“I think it’s pretty much out of my system now. You know, I’ll probably be a better player because of it.”
You’ll be a poorer man though. And a laughing stock. With a high voice.
Schumacher takes it on the chin
FORMULA ONE: For years Michael Schumacher was a pain in the neck to every other F1 driver in the world so it was ironic a pain in his neck thwarted his return to the starting grid – the weight of his chin was too much to support.
The geriatric German admitted he was “disappointed to the core” that his fairytale return was scuppered by an injury suffered in a motorbike accident in February in which he suffered “fractures in the area of head and neck”.
The seven-time F1 world champion had agreed to help out former team Ferrari and step in for Felipe Massa on a temporary basis after the Brazilian’s face exploded after headbutting a suspension spring at the Hungarian Grand Prix last month.
He will be replaced by unknown Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer for the European GP in Valencia on August 23.
Since announcing his intention to return, Schumacher has undergone a series of tests on and off the track as he tried to prove he was able to race again after retiring at the end of the 2006 season. But he was unable to withstand the huge G-forces.
So the most unlikely comeback since Bubbla Ranks left the Carphone Warehouse to team up with Peter Andre once more on Mysterious Girl is over before it has begun.
It seems that grand pricks just can’t handle grand prix any more.
BOXING: Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather says the chance to go down in history, rather than the purse, is behind his return to the ring.
The six-time world champion – who used to be called Pretty Boy until his mirrors were covered in 100 dollar bills – will come out of retirement to face Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 19.
His Mexican opponent is a five-time world champion in three weight divisions.
The 32-year-old American said: “To be labelled as one of the best fighters of all time, to go down in history as one of the best, you have to fight the best fighters in your era – and he’s one of the best fighters in my era.”
Quotes of the week
• “THERE are car dealers, for example, who see footballers as a way to make easy money. They’ll think: ‘He’s a young lad with plenty of cash, he won’t miss £5,000, let’s do him over’. This site has people who won’t rip you off and that’s something nobody else is doing for footballers, as far as I know” – Middlesbrough defender Andrew Taylor reveals his plans for the new Platinum Players website, which features a variety of ‘trusted’ businesses for his fellow players to use, from financial advisers and lawyers to jewellers, restaurant chain Nobu and Movida, the trendy nightspot which, incidentally, charges only £500 (“inclusive of VAT”) for membership.
• “AS A club we understand what the haka represents and we simply wanted to celebrate the launch of our new all black playing strip with a dedicated Everton haka” – Everton spokesman Mark Rowan defends his club’s decision to upset New Zealand’s Maori population by appropriating their traditional “posture dance” and making it look even more ridiculous.
• “I HAVE to be happy that the referee didn’t blow because maybe I blocked him a little bit,” – Ballack pretty much sings na-na-na-nah in the direction of Patrice Evra after responding to questions about his forearam smash to Evra during last week’s Charity Shield penalty-kick triumph against Manchester United.