SPORTS DAY: Gloves off for Tiger and Phil at US Open

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SPORTS DAY: Gloves off for Tiger and Phil at US Open

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Journalist

GOLF
Woods, Mickelson face tall task
Lanky world No1 Dustin Johnson leads a string of in-form stars out to deny Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson another measure of major magic at the 118th US Open. Woods, whose pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major victories has remained stalled at 14 since his 2008 US Open triumph, will put his fused spine and gradually improving game to the test at Shinnecock Hills in the 10th official start of his comeback season. Five-time major winner Mickelson will try to become just the sixth golfer to complete the career Grand Slam in a tournament in which he has settled for second a remarkable, heartbreaking, six times.
SOCCER
Former Bafana stars favour Germany for World CupThree of four former South African football players polled on Wednesday believe Germany will win the 2018 World Cup in Russia that kicks off on Thursday, with one favouring France. John Moeti‚ Brendan Augustine and Maimane Phiri said they fancied Germany. “They have proven themselves over the years as a very consistent team‚ and they’re also a team for big occasions,” said Moeti. George Koumantarakis is going for France. “They’re a European team and the World Cup is in Europe‚ so the conditions favour them.”
Spain fire World Cup coach
Spain dramatically sacked coach Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday and appointed federation sporting director Fernando Hierro —  just two days before the team’s opening game at the World Cup. In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, Real Madrid appointed Lopetegui as Zinedine Zidane’s successor to take over after the tournament in Russia, sparking outrage at the federation and among Spanish fans at the timing of the announcement.
Salah joins training session 
Mohamed Salah gave Egypt’s World Cup hopes a huge boost Wednesday when he joined a squad training session at their Grozny base. The Pharoahs’ superstar has been sidelined since suffering a shoulder injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final loss to Real Madrid on May 26.
Rivalry turns violent in Bangladesh 
The World Cup is arousing high passions in Bangladesh, where machete-wielding fans of Brazil and Argentina have clashed in the streets and flags of the two countries are so ubiquitous that some people want to ban them. Last week in the central town of Bandar, rival followers of Lionel Messi and Neymar fought with machetes, leaving a man and his son critically wounded, police said. Meanwhile, a 12-year-old boy died after being electrocuted while putting a Brazil flag on a roadside pole.
RUGBY
Beast ‘will play’ 100th Test on Saturday
He’s a man of few words‚ but thankfully many scrums. Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira will play his 100th Test on Saturday‚ a fact that was confirmed well before the team is named on Thursday. He is that important to the Bok cause. “He will definitely get picked‚” said Rassie Erasmus‚ following the trend set by his predecessors for their No1 choice.
Ireland to work on kicking game, says assistant 
Ireland will work on their tactical kicking game ahead of Saturday’s second Test against Australia in Melbourne as they seek to keep the three-match series alive, assistant coach Andy Farrell has said. The Wallabies delivered something of a surprise in the series opener in Brisbane last weekend when they ended the Six Nations’ champions 12-game winning streak with a 18-9 victory.
All Blacks prop escapes red card
All Blacks prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi received an official warning on Wednesday but escaped further sanction for a tackle which caused a double fracture to the face of Remy Grosso, ending the France wing’s tour.
CHESS
Star boycotts Iran event over headscarf law 
One of India’s top women chess players has pulled out of an upcoming championship in Iran in protest at having to wear an Islamic headscarf. Soumya Swaminathan, a former world junior girls champion, said the dress code at the Asian Nations Chess Cup starting next month violated her rights. “I find the Iranian law of compulsory headscarf to be in direct violation of my basic human rights,” the grandmaster said.
GRIDIRON
Bush awarded $12.4m over knee injury 
The Los Angeles Rams have been ordered to pay former running back Reggie Bush $12.45-million over a 2015 knee injury he blamed on a dangerous stadium design. Bush, who retired from the NFL last December, suffered a torn meniscus after slipping on concrete which bordered the playing field at the Rams’ former stadium home in St. Louis, the Edward Jones Dome.
CYCLING
Rider drowns during mountain bike race 
A mountain biker drowned on Wednesday after falling into a river during an international race in Sri Lanka, police said. The Nepali rider was swept to his death after falling into the Mahaweli river at Kuda Oya, 230km southeast of the capital Colombo.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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