Chris
Canty and Thomas Hunter at the Crikey sports desk write:

Beckham
on the outer.
Times are tough for the former Mr
Universe of English football. After standing down from the English captaincy
after his country’s mediocre performance at the World Cup, David Beckham has
lost his spot in the national team. Worryingly for Beckham, new English coach
Steve McLaren told the media the door is not closed for the star: “While David
says he has the passion to play for England, I have to respect that and I will
monitor the situation in Madrid. I will never say never,” McLaren said.
Sounds suspiciously like Beckham has McLaren’s “full support”. McLaren appears
to be making an early statement as coach, plotting a course for the future and
shaking up the current squad in one fell swoop. No doubt Becks will see this as
a “challenge” and an “opportunity”, but with Real Madrid’s new coach Fabio
Capello also leaving him out the starting line-up for the club’s last warm-up
match,
there are signs that he may not get the opportunities in club football to
impress the new national coach.

Wilson captures first PGA win. Shooting the highest score in
golf is something that weekend hackers
hope not to do, but on the PGA tour this weekend, at the International
in
Colorado, Dean Wilson did exactly this, and captured the US$990,000
first
prize. Playing under the Modified Stableford scoring system, where
golfers are
awarded points for Eagles (5), Birdies (2), Pars (0), Bogeys (-1) and
anything
worse (-2), Wilson sank a six-foot birdie on the second playoff hole to
defeat US
Ryder Cup Team captain, Tom Lehman. In an event that rewards aggressive
play,
eight of the world’s top 16 players were in the field, but none could
overtake Wilson, who had won six times previously in Japan but never on
home
soil. 2005 winner Retief Goosen had a nightmare of a day, shooting five
bogeys
and two double bogeys to finish last, summing up the round when he told reporters “I played like a dog today”.

Hafner slams Kansas and equals record. Travis Hafner of the
Cleveland Indians scored his sixth grand slam homer (a home run with all bases
loaded) of the season, equalling the 19-year-old record held by Yankee great
Don Mattingly. Interviewed after the match, Hafner doffed his batter’s helmet
to the star whose record he had just equalled, saying:
“It’s pretty cool to
tie a major league record. Mattingly was one of the best hitters in the game. I
liked to watch him on TV when I was young.” Hafner’s strike put the Indians
ahead 11-0, and helped his team to a 13-0 drubbing of the Kansas City Royals. Another
record was set when the Indians piled on 11 runs in the first innings, which
was the team’s highest first innings score since taking on the Baltimore
Orioles in 1954. There are 45 games remaining in the
season, giving Hafner the chance to break the record outright.

Peter Fray

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