Pampling close, but no cigar. Rod Pampling narrowly missed
out on another US PGA Tour victory this morning, falling two shots short in Texas. Pampling was thereabouts the
whole tournament, and again today, but faltered just when it mattered, missing
a short birdie putt on the tenth that would have given him the
outright lead, and then spraying a shot to the wrong side of a footpath when he
needed to be charging. But it was a strong showing and Pampling looks very
comfortable in such company. Nathan Green also threatened but then faded in the
stretch today, eventually tying for fourth along with Peter Lonard. Tim Herron
beat Swede Richard S Johnson in a play-off.

Barbaro breaks down. It was supposed to be a
celebration of a rare moment in US horse racing. When Barbaro,
an unbeaten three-year-old, won last month’s Kentucky Derby the pundits were
saying he was a chance at the Triple Crown – the Derby plus the Preakness Stakes and
Belmont Stakes. But racing in the Preakness on Saturday, Barbaro broke his
right hind ankle and two bones below it. “You can expect being beaten. You
didn’t think about this,” owner Gretchen Jackson told USA Today.
Barbaro has been operated on but it’s unclear whether he’ll survive the injury.
Affirmed won the last Triple Crown in 1978.

St Kilda & Collingwood: just what the
doctor ordered.
By
the end of the season St Kilda and Collingwood may both remember round eight as
the weekend their seasons came together. St Kilda demolished the Blues to
record a 92 point win, while Collingwood, even more impressively, beat finals
contender Geelong by 102 points – an all-time
record for the club against the Cats. St Kilda in particular will head into the
middle of the season with a confidence missing just a few weeks ago. But while they
proved they can beat a disorganised rabble like Carlton, the question remains, can they
perform at that level against a genuine opponent? After annihilating the Cats
and narrowly losing to West Coast last week, it seems the same question does
not apply to Collingwood.

Bonds, finally, reaches Ruth’s famous
mark.
Barry
Bonds’ troubled attempt at passing Babe Ruth’s 714 career home runs took one
step close to becoming fact on Saturday, when he hit his first homer in weeks
to equal Ruth’s historic mark. Bonds, whose career is clouded by drug
allegations, was booed when he stepped up to bat, but got a standing ovation
when he cleared the fence, with the homer over right field helping the San
Francisco Giants to a 4-2 win over the Oakland Athletics. In Sunday’s game
(which the Giants won 6-0), Bonds failed to hit that elusive 715th career home
run, but in doing so he gave himself the chance to overtake Ruth at his home
stadium in front of a far more sympathetic crowd.

Peter Fray

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