Today’s sports news: What you need to know

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Latest – Rory McIlroy and J.T Poston each shot a bogey-free, 8-under-par 62 to tie for a one-shot lead over a packed field in the opening round at the Travelers Championship.

New Zealand golfer Danny Lee.

Danny Lee
Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Fourteen players shot a 66 or better at TPC River Highlands, a welcome break from the scores at The Country Club in Brookline the rugged course where the U.S. Open was contested last week.

The two hold a one-stroke lead over Xander Schauffele and Martin Laird, who recorded 63s, and are two up on Charles Howell III, Webb Simpson and Patrick Cantlay. Cam Davis and Matthew NeSmith shot rounds of 65 to sit three strokes off the lead.

Five more players are four strokes behind the leaders with a round of 66.

New Zealand’s Danny Lee was forced to withdraw from the Travelers Championship with a hip injury after completing just 14 holes.

In Gee Chun of South Korea took advantage of early-afternoon conditions during the Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club, matching a tournament record with an 8-under-par 64 to finish atop the field after one round of action.

Chun is five strokes ahead of Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum and South Korea’s Hye-Jin Choi, who are tied for second after shooting 3-under-par 69s. Jennifer Chang and Paula Reto of South Africa are tied for fourth at 2 under.

New Zealand’s Lydia Ko is tied for 15th after firing an even par opening round.

Li Haotong fired two eagles in his last four holes to tie the course record at Golfclub München Eichenried and open up a one-shot lead on day one of the 2022 BMW International Open.

New Zealand’s Ryan Fox is in a tie for fourth on 6-under par, four shots behind the leader.

At the US Senior Open Championship, Steven Alker was tied for 22nd overall.

Sell-out for rugby league’s return

The first international Test match on New Zealand soil in over two years has officially sold out.

Saturday will see Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium at full capacity as the Kiwis and Kiwi Ferns face Pacific rivals Mate Ma’a Tonga.

Kiwis player Nelson Asofa-Solomona in action during rugby league Test match between Kiwis and Tonga, held at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand.  22  June 2019       Photo: Brett Phibbs / www.photosport.nz

Kiwis player Nelson Asofa-Solomona in action during the last rugby league Test match between Kiwis and Tonga, held at Mt Smart Stadium in 2019.
Photo: Photosport Ltd 2019

Over 26,000 fans will celebrate the return of Test match rugby league to Aotearoa’s shores and the return of the biggest rivalry in international rugby league.

The sold-out crowd goes a long way towards helping NZRL achieve a new world record crowd attendance for a women’s rugby league match, which currently sits at 18,000.

The Kiwi Ferns take on Tonga at 3.10pm while the Kiwis face MMT at 5.20pm.

“This is a historic occasion for rugby league,” NZRL chief executive officer Greg Peters said.

“To celebrate the return of international rugby league to Aotearoa with a sell-out crowd is something special.

“This is a momentous occasion for fans, players, and our rugby league communities across the country,” he adds.

“It’s been a long time between drinks and a long time since a Test match sell out. What an occasion Saturday will be, one for the history books.”

3×3 Tall Blacks advance out of pool play at world cup

The 3×3 Tall Blacks have battled back into contention for the quarterfinals of the 3×3 World Cup in Belgium.

Following wins against Puerto Rico and Brazil the New Zealand basketballers have finished third in their pool and will play the United States for a place in the top eight today.

After losing to Serbia and France in the first two days for the FIBA 3×3 World Cup in Antwerp, the 3×3 Tall Blacks had a pair of tense victories in their final two pool games.

The 3×3 Tall Blacks, dispatched Puerto Rico 20-18, securing victory with a game-winning 2-pointer from Nikau McCullough.

Jayden Bezzant led all scores with 7 points.

The New Zealanders then beat Brazil 19-18 in a tense encounter, with Brazil missing a pair of free throws in the final seconds to allow the Kiwis to retain the lead.

McCullough top-scored with 6 points and 5 rebounds, while Tai Wynyard had 5 points, 5 rebounds and 2 huge blocks before leaving the game late due to an ankle injury.

Squads boosted for Football World Cup

Teams will be able to select up to 26 players for this year’s World Cup after global football’s governing body FIFA increased the maximum squad limit by three.

Qatar will host the 2022 Football World Cup.

Qatar will host the 2022 Football World Cup.
Photo: Photosport

FIFA said the change was due to the unusual timing of the tournament as well as the impact of COVID-19 on squads. The showpiece event in Qatar will run from 21 November to 18 December.

“The number of players to be included on the final list has been increased to at least 23 and a maximum of 26,” it said in a statement.

“No more than 26 people (up to 15 substitutes and 11 team officials) will be allowed to sit on the team bench.”

UEFA took a similar decision last year, allowing sides to pick three extra players for the European Championship due to the pandemic.

The International Football Association Board this month gave the green light to the use of five substitutions in matches, which was initially introduced as a tweak to the rules because of Covid-19.

– Reuters

Coll into semifinals at World Tour Finals

New Zealand squash player Paul Coll has had a significant victory at the World Tour Finals in Cairo beating local hero Mostafa Asal in straight games to be assured a place in the semifinals.

Paul Coll celebrates

Paul Coll
Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Asal started the better of the two with Coll slightly inaccurate than his usual play as Asal ran out to a 7-2 lead.

World number 2 Coll then took eight of the next nine points to earn the first game ball, which he took.

The New Zealand number 1 moved from strength to strength and confidently closed the game out 11-5 to move into the semi-finals as the group B winner.

Coll was pleased with how he contained the power-hitting of Asal 11-8, 11-5 in just 21 minutes.

Meanwhile fellow New Zealander Joelle King was beaten in straight games in her round robin match by American Amanda Sobhy 11-5 11-5.

Fury to finally take on Paul in the ring

YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul will finally get his shot at Tommy Fury, the half-brother of world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, on 6 August at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

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Photo: 123rf

Paul is undefeated in his five professional bouts, which began with fellow YouTubers before moving on to former MMA fighters Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.

But he has never faced a professional boxer like Fury (8-0).

“You guys wanted me to fight a real boxer and this is as real as it gets,” Paul said in an online video.

“Tommy Fury is taller than me, he has been boxing four times as long as me, he has longer arms than me, and he has way more ring experience. This is by far my toughest test yet.

“I came from doing YouTube two years ago to beating professional fighters and now I’m moving on to beat a professional boxer.”

Fury, who comes from a long line of boxers, has also looked to grow his celebrity outside the sport and appeared on the British reality TV show Love Island in 2019.

The pair were originally scheduled to meet in December but Fury was forced to withdraw due to injury.

– Reuters



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