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Golf – Woods eyes US Open up turn

World number one Tiger Woods has vowed to get his game in shape in time for the US Open, which gets underway in Pennsylvania next week. Woods finished an amazing 20 shots adrift of winner Matt Kuchar at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio at the weekend, but remained calm when asked about his preparations for the second major of the season. The 14-time major winner said: “It happens to us all and I’ll go home next week and practice. You want everything clicking on all cylinders, especially at the US Open, because everything is tested in the US Open.” Woods, 9/2 with bet365 to win the US Open in 2013, is a three-time champion in the tournament, having triumphed in 2000, 2002 and 2008 which was his last win in a major. Meanwhile Rory McIlroy also has much to ponder after finishing 18 shots off the pace at the Memorial, with the Northern Irishman saying: “It’s not that far away. “I hit the ball much better today. I actually putted a little better too, it feels pretty good.”

 

Soccer – Scolari fires England warning

Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari believes that England could face major difficulties in qualifying for next year’s World Cup finals. Scolari was speaking after seeing his side who will host the 2014 World Cup finals, held to a 2-2 draw at the Maracana in Rio; with England still second in their qualifying group behind Montenegro with four games to play. With the Three Lions 1/8 with bet365 to qualify for the finals, Scolari said: “England are an excellent team who are well organised, but will be facing some difficulties to be the first in their group. “In a group where you have 10 games, if you make a mistake in one or two you might have a problem to qualify automatically and you might have to go to the play-offs. “England are very good, but they have to be very careful.” England currently trail Montenegro by two points in Group H, with the two sides due to meet in a crunch showdown at Wembley in October.

 

Cricket – Cook expects England response

Captain Alastair Cook believes that England will be back on top form for the ICC Champions Trophy, despite their one-day series defeat to New Zealand. The Black Caps won at both Lord’s and Southampton to wrap up the ODI with one game to play, but Cook is already looking ahead to the Champions Trophy, which gets underway just a day after the final ODI against the Kiwis. Cook told reporters: “It’s a concern that the standards we’ve played to here haven’t been good enough, but this will be of little relevance when the Champions Trophy starts. “Clearly we have been outplayed in these two games. It has hurt us, but we need to learn why (and) get better.” England, who are 4/1 with bet365 to win the Champions Trophy, hope to have fast bowling pair Stuart Broad (knee) and Steven Finn (shin) fit and available for the Champions Trophy. The pair have missed the opening two ODIs against New Zealand and are unlikely to be risked in the third game at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.

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