Morning update from the Paddy Power Blog on all the latest betting moves in sport
Rory McIlroy is the USPGA Championship winner after a final round performance so commanding we had enough time to check out the Spice Girls at the Olympics closing ceremony. Sadly. The 23 year old claimed the second major of his short career at Kiawah Island by a margin of eight shots – a record for the tournament.
After completing his storm-delayed third round on Sunday morning, he held a three shot lead over Carl Pettersson. Some imperious golf and audacious recovery shots looked to be necessary due to an early round charge from Ian Poulter, but as the king of the silly-pants faltered as the round went on, leaving Rory in splendid isolation at the top of the leaderboard.
In a notable trivia titbit, the Holywood man has won his second major four months earlier than Tiger Woods. That’s not quite as good as it sounds because both the brilliant Seve Ballasteros and Jack Nicklaus had claimed their second big prizes at marginally younger ages than McIlroy. Still though, it’s not bad company to be in.
As a bonus, he returns to the top of the world rankings and as an super extra bonus, people will probably stop suggesting that Caroline Wozniaki is ruining his career.
The next major date on the calendar is the Ryder Cup and the English contingent helped their chances of a large representation thanks to a strong showing. David Lynn, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter all finished in the Top 6.
England take on Italy in a friendly match on Wednesday night being played in Berne, Austria for some reason, but manager Roy Hodgson has been struck down by an outbreak of ‘vague unspecified injuries’ amongst his squad. Joe Hart misses out due to a back injury whilst Daniel Sturridge is also absent, despite getting a run out in the Community Shield. England are 8/5 to gain a not very important revenge for their Euro 2012 defeat in the match.
In Toronto, Novak Djokovic sealed his third victory in the Rogers Cup by beating Richard ‘I definitely didn’t take cocaine’ Gasquet in straight sets. Despite some good showings in the Grand Slam events, Djokovic (25) hadn’t actually won a tournament since the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami last March so it’s encouraging ahead of the US Open later this month. The Serbian is the defending champion at Flushing Meadows and is the 15/8 favourite to grunt his way to his second major of the year.
The London Olympics came to an end last night with performances from such musical talents as the Spice Girls, One Direction and Beady Eye. But there was more than enough goodwill in the bank to make up for that. It wasn’t the visual feast of Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony, but it was very British and featured Eric Idle and Ray Davies, so it was a fitting way to bring the curtain down on a very successful event.
Prior to the ceremony, Samantha Murray claimed silver in the Modern Pentathlon bringing Team GB’s total haul for the games to an eBay-busting 65 medals. It’s their biggest total since the 1908 Olympics, which were also held in London town. That’s good enough for third on the overall Medals Table, behind the USA and China, but delightfully distant of Australia in 10th position. After John Joe Nevin’s silver on Saturday night, Ireland remained on a total of five – 39th overall better than Argentina, not quite as good as Mexico.
Kevin Pietersen may or may not play for England ever again. We don’t know. He’s been dropped from the team for this week’s third Test against South Africa, but that’s about all we know.
Via the medium of YouTube video released on Saturday, the batsman (28) said he wants to represent his country in all forms of the game, but not long after he was dropped after allegations that he slagged off captain, Andrew Strauss and manager, Andy Flower in text messages to his South African opponents.
England need to win the match to claim a series draw and they’re 13/5 outsiders to do so.