Dawson hopes to ease McIlroy pressure

first_img The 23-year-old Northern Irishman would be eligible for selection by either Great Britain or Ireland, but may opt out instead for fear of upsetting people with his choice. But Dawson believes there may be a way to make life easier for McIlroy and others, saying: “Because of Rory’s history of playing for Ireland at amateur level and World Cup level, there may be an Olympic regulation that because you played in a previous world championship for a certain country, that has to carry with you.” He added: “Does the World Cup count as a world championship? Golf isn’t structured the way other sports are.” McIlroy has twice played in the World Cup for Ireland – both times alongside fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell – and Dawson added: “I would very much like to take this burden of choice away from the player if we can possibly find a way because it’s not fair. “The last thing we want is the player to worry about it.” In September last year, McIlroy released an open letter on his Twitter account in response to quotes attributed to him which said he felt “more British than Irish”. “I am in an extremely sensitive and difficult position and I conveyed as much in a recent newspaper interview,” he wrote at the time. “I am a proud product of Irish golf and the Golfing Union of Ireland. I am also a proud Ulsterman who grew up in Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. That is my background and always will be. “I receive great support from both Irish and British fans alike and it is greatly appreciated.” R&A chief executive Peter Dawson would like to take the pressure off Rory McIlroy’s decision of who to represent at the 2016 Olympics.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Kearns names unchanged side for Galway clash

first_imgThe Tipp boss has decided to keep faith with the side that scored a dramatic victory over the Ulster county at Kingspan Breffni Park last weekend.This is the XV that Liam Kearns will send into battle:1.            Evan Comerford – Kilsheelan-Kilcash2.            Colm O’Shaughnessy – Ardfinnan 3.            Alan Campbell – Moyle Rovers4.            Ciarán Mc Donald – Aherlow5.            Bill Maher – Kilsheelan-Kilcash6.            Robbie Kiely – Carbery Rangers7.            Jimmy Feehan – Killenaule8.            Peter Acheson (Capt.) – Moyle Rovers9.            George Hannigan – Shannon Rovers10.          Josh Keane – Golden-Kilfeacle 11.          Kevin O’Halloran – Portroe12.          Brian Fox – Éire Óg Annacarty 13.          Philip Austin – Borrisokane14.          Michael Quinlivan – Clonmel Commercials15.          Conor Sweeney – Ballyporeen Tipp FM’s build-up to live commentary on the big match begins at 3.30 on Sunday afternoon.Our coverage will be brought to you in association with John Kennedy Motors, Clonmel.last_img read more

Sad Serena Gracious in Agonising Defeat

first_imgWith a 22nd Grand Slam title as elusive as ever, world No.1 Serena Williams’ misery was palpable as she left Roland-Garros.Win or lose in a Grand Slam, the immediate post-match formalities are the same – speak into this microphone and tell us how you feel.Twenty-one times Serena Williams has undertaken that task wrapped in the joy of victory, but Roland-Garros 2016 has set a new, unwanted mark in her career – this is the first time she has ever been forced to undertake the task after suffering a second successive Grand Slam final defeat. In Australia she had to watch Angelique Kerber lift the trophy, and here it was Garbine Muguruza.Williams turns 35 in September, and that 22nd Slam title to equal Steffi Graf’s haul is as far out of reach as ever… maybe even a little further.On court, Serena is polished in these public moments of private agony. Having walked around the net to embrace her usurper, she delivered a few moments of gracious thanks into the proffered microphone. Her visible expression was all smiles, but her voice broke as she thanked her coaching team, especially “mon ami Patrick” – Mouratoglou, of course, the coaching consultant who did so much to revitalise her career. And she told the crowd: “Tu es toujours dans mon coeur” – you are always in my heart – with that touching use of the more personal “tu” over the formal “vous”.There were a few more court formalities, very few of which involve – how else to phrase it? – the loser. Serena lingered as briefly as she was politely able. Her understandable instinct was to be away from the court, from inquisitive eyes. But she had yet to undertake her media obligations. She could have ducked them entirely – it would have incurred a fine, but nothing she cannot afford. Instead she headed at once to the press conference room to get the job done as soon as possible. Having taken more than two hours to arrive there after her quarter-final victory on Thursday evening, this time she darted in there so quickly that the world’s media was still scrambling to get inside the room by the time she was already taking questions.Those questions took various forms. But fundamentally they followed that terrible, obligatory pattern – speak into this microphone and tell us how you feel.“I haven’t had a lot of time to think about what made the difference in this match,” said Serena, her voice now glacially composed. “I want to dissect and see what I can learn, and what can I do to get better from it. That’s the only way to keep improving.“I know she won the first set by one point, which just goes to show you have to play the big points well. I think she did that.”She described her own game as having “just so many holes”, insisting she could both have served and returned better. And she declined to blame the adductor injury she picked up halfway through the week, or the demands created by the rain-hit schedule.“I’m not one to ever make excuses. I have played four or five matches in a row lots of times. I just didn’t do what I needed to do. I didn’t play the game I needed to play to win and she did. Adductor or not, she played to win. That’s what she did.“I want to play the best, and I kind of gear up for that. It was a great challenge. She’s definitely hitting hard. She just goes for broke on every shot and it works for her. She has a bright future, obviously. She knows how to play on the big stage and clearly she knows how to win Grand Slams.”For all her careful composure, there was no mistaking her bewilderment, especially recalling the point that clinched the match, when Muguruza’s dazzling lob landed millimetre-perfect on the baseline. Yes, agreed Serena when asked, it was one of the best match points ever played against her.“For sure – I thought that ball was going out,” she said, and then added painfully: “But it didn’t.”And what of that new, unwanted career benchmark of losing successive Grand Slam finals for the first time? “In Australia, Kerber made 16 errors in three sets, so what do you do in that situation? Today Garbine played unbelievable. The only thing I can do is just keep trying.”With that, she was gone, exiting the press conference room even as some reporters were still arriving. Enough with the questions and the microphones and the how-do-you-feels. Even as she left, somewhere all too near within the same centre court complex, Garbine Muguruza had not yet left Philippe-Chatrier Court, happy to answer the photographers’ requests as she held the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen, experiencing the joy that only a champion knows.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more