Thomas
Hunter at the Crikey sports desk writes:

Tiger
Woods, consistency is thy name.
Aftershooting his fourth straight round of
66, Woods grabbed his second title in two weeks at the Buick Open overnight,
finishing on 24 under, three ahead of his nearest rival Jim Furyk. Aside from
the $US864,000 winner’s cheque and a new trophy for the cabinet, the victory
was important for a host of statistical reasons. It was Woods’s 50th career PGA
title
,
making him only the seventh player to claim 50 titles, and
significantly, he’s three years ahead of Jack Nicklaus, who got to 50
PGA career
wins when he was 33 years old. The win also means Woods has won all 21
tournaments
he has led by one or more strokes entering the last round. Furyk clung
to the eventual winner throughout the final round, briefly joining
Woods at the
top of the leader board after Woods bogeyed the 12th, but even Furyk’s
eight under
final round of 64 wasn’t enough to pressure Woods into losing his grip
on the
lead. Woods’s form couldn’t be healthier leading into the PGA
Championship. Starting
in Chicago in a little under two weeks, a win will bring him his 12th
major and
a step closer to Jack Nicklaus’s all-time record of 18. Meanwhile, the
Women’s
British Open was won by 43-year-old American Sherri Steinhauer, who
finished at seven under, three shots clear of Cristie Kerr and Sophie
Gustafson. Julie Inkster
finished in equal fourth, while Australian hope Karrie Webb missed the
cut
after finishing her second round at an astonishing 14 over the card.

High
scoring Test in the balance.
After losing the
second Test to England by an innings and 120 runs, Pakistan’s batsmen have
found some resolve with Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan compiling a 363-run partnership
to set an all-time, all-wicket record for Pakistan against England, giving the
Pakistanis a 23-run lead on the first innings. The pair have a certain
chemistry while at the crease together, averaging over 85 in their 31
partnerships. As The Independentreports: “Among
pairs who have amassed more than 2,500 runs together – a figure these two went
past yesterday – only Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe, at 87.86 from 39
innings, have a higher average.” Yousuf was eventually out to Steve Harmison on
192, while his partner notched up 173 before being run out. The Pakistani
innings ended on 538, and with two days left to play both teams can press for
victory. The seemingly gremlin-free pitch is unlikely to provide much help for
bowlers, raising the likelihood of a draw, a result the English might be
satisfied with given their 1-0 lead in the series with one Test left to play. After
a disappointing series against Sri Lanka and fielding some rather uncomfortable
questions about their likely competitiveness in the upcoming Ashes, the current
series is a pleasing reversal of fortune for a team still missing a host of its
best players.

Webber
off the pace … again.
After announcing last week that
he wouldn’t be driving for Williams next year, nothing in last night’s Hungarian
Grand Prix would have made Mark Webber second-guess his decision. Again, the competitive
Aussie started from a respectable spot on the grid (fifth), only to find himself
well back in the field after just one lap. On a wet track, Webber found the
barriers soon after, before taking the keys from the ignition, locking the
doors, and walking back to the shed. “I got murdered
into turn one by the Michelin cars and had no confidence whatsoever in the car.
It was difficult enough getting through the first lap and then going through
turn ten on lap two, the rear of the car snapped out – I had absolutely no grip
at all. The way things are going, it looks like today will be all about
Michelin,” Webber said. That makes nine non-finishes from 13 races, and four in a row. Over
the weekend, it also became clear Webber has already signed for a drive next
year, with his manager Flavio Briatore claiming,
“The situation has been settled
for days.” The good money is on Webber driving for Red Bull next season,
with Schu tipped to swap the fire-suit for a long and lavish retirement. For
the record, Englishman Jenson Button won last night’s race (his first ever F1 win),
with Pedro de la Rosa second for McLaren and Germany’s Nick Heidfeld in
third driving a BMW Sauber.

Peter Fray

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