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New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko will head
into today ’s Kia Classic in California
with her world No 1 ranking hanging by
The 19-year-old bounced back from a
mediocre start to her LPGA campaign
with three straight top-10 berths over
the past month, including equal-eighth
in last week’s Bank of Hope Founders
Cup in Phoenix.
Ko went bogey-free across all four
rounds in Arizona and secured a final
round four-under 68, but still fell six
shots short of victory.
The North Harbour-based Ko’s 74-
week stint as LPGA world No 1 is now
also on the line, with Thai counterpart
Ariya Jutanugarn snapping at her heels.
Jutanugarn is almost certain to leapfrog
Ko as the world’s premier female golfer
if she betters the Korean-born New
Zealander this weekend.
She is less than 10 points behind Ko,
while South Korean golfer Chun In-
gee has jumped a spot to sit in third but
remains well off the pace.
On the bright side, Ko appears near
her best again after switching up her
swinging coach in the off-season and
an abysmal 46th-place finish in the
“ I was stroking it well, so I just trusted
my read and put a good stroke on it,” Ko
said after her showing in Phoenix.
She is also about to tee off on a happy
hunting ground, having won last year’s
Kia Classic, held in the Californian
town of Carlsbad.
Ko snared her first win of the 2016
LPGA season at the Classic before
winning the ANA Inspiration major
the following week in Rancho Mirage.
Friday, March 24, 2017
New Zealand will take a severely-
depleted pace bowling attack into the
decisive third test against South Africa
after Trent Boult was ruled out with
Left-arm spearhead Boult has failed
to recover from the groin injury which
sidelined him from the second test loss
He joins long-time test new ball
partner Tim Southee (hamstring) on the
Uncapped pace bowler
Kuggeleijn has been called into the
squad ahead of the final test starting at
Hamilton’s Seddon Park tomorrow
with New Zealand trailing 1-0 in the
The Boult setback is an enormous one
for the hosts, coming 24 hours after
Southee’s injury was announced.
The Northern Districts pair have taken
nearly 400 wickets between them in a
combined 107 tests.
Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen says
Boult had worked hard to make himself
available but it was clear he needed
further recovery time.
“ Trent did everything possible to
get himself ready for this test and is
extremely disappointed to be missing
out,” Larsen said.
“ While he has made good progress,
after training yesterday we spoke with
medical staff and it was agreed that
Trent required a little further time to be
ready for the demands of Test cricket.”
Kuggeleijn joins Neil Wagner and Matt
Henry as pace options on a wicket
which is expect to be slow and favour
Larsen says Kuggeleijn will join the
squad as cover on the weight of a prolific
The right-armer has taken 166 wickets
in 51 first class matches since his debut
The son of former Black Caps
allrounder Chris Kuggeleijn, the
25-year-old wins his promotion one
month after being cleared of a rape
Earlier in the season Scott Kuggeleijn
made himself unavailable for any
international selection because of the
pending trial relating to an incident in
When he was acquitted, New
Zealand Cricket boss David White said
Kuggeleijn would be subject to the same
selection criteria as any other player.
Larsen hinted Kuggeleijn’s chances of
making his debut were relatively slim.
“Not having Trent or Tim available
tests the depth of our squad, but we’re
confident of the job that Neil and Matt
can do for us,” he said.
Another pace option, Lockie Ferguson,
was unavailable for selection because of
Ferguson, who has played eight limited
overs internationals, injured himself
during a Plunket Shield match for
Auckland this week. — NZ N
ruled out of
Claybird shooters from around
the country will converge on the
Greymouth Clay Target Club this
weekend for the New Zealand Open.
Greymouth club president Brian
Forrest said he expected up to 60 of
New Zealand’s top shooters to take
“There are also a couple of
Williams and Jimmy Eakin, who will
be taking aim over the weekend. ”
The event is being hosted at the
Coal Creek shooting range by the
South Island Claybird Shooting
Two of New Zealand’s best
shooters, Mark Vessy and Jeff We l l ,
will be among the competitors.
“There are coming from all around
New Zealand, from Auckland
to Te Anau. The event is the top
competition for the year for claybird
shooters,” Forrest said.
Spectators were welcome to view
“Everyone will be very impressed
with the set up and the standard of
The event started today with practice
and registration, with competition to
fire up tomorrow and Sunday.
Claybird shooters head to Greymouth for NZ Open
Accomplished New Zealand bowler
Jo Edwards has dedicated her fifth
World Cup singles crown to her
World No 1 ranked Edwards
withstood a fightback from
Guernsey’s Lucy Beere to win the
final in a tie-break in Warilla, New
Edwards fought back tears after
the 8-5 2-9 (4-1) win, recalling the
inspiration of her mother Brenda.
“It has been emotional losing my
mum a few months ago and coming
in here after getting silver at the
world (championships) and silver in
the Premier League,” Edwards said.
“Fortunately this time I got over the
line.” Edwards added to to titles won
in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.
The 47-year-old is a four-time
world championships medallist,
including two golds, while she
has also claimed twin golds at
Commonwealth Games level.
Edwards lost just one of her 12
matches during the week-long
tournament at Warilla.
New Zealand ’s Ali Forsyth had the
best record of anyone in men’s section
play but bowed out in a semi-final
loss to Malaysian Soufi Rusli.
Australian five-time champion
Jeremy Henry beat Rusli in the final.
Edwards claims fifth World Cup title
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson
has had enough of the Houdini acts.
Four wins from four represents
a fine start to the Super Rugby
season but he is not in the mood for
his team to cede another big lead
when they host the Western Force
Robertson’s men have conjured
Highlanders, Reds and Blues, where
they came from 21, 17 and 19 points
down respectively to secure victory
Those comebacks are a few points
adrift of their franchise record
25-point rebound to beat South
Africa’s Cats in 1999. They trailed
6-31 before prevailing 58-38 in
Robertson said eclipsing that
mark would be remarkable but he
is hoping his team will not fall into
such a deep hole.
“ We’d be happy to do that (break
the record) but it’s not planned,”
“ We’ve got to be tactically smarter
and we’ve got to execute early.
“ We had a great 20 minutes at
the start against the Highlanders
and couldn’t finish, then the Reds
game we seemed to play behind the
whole time and the Blues had some
brilliant individual efforts so we
were chasing from there.”
Despite his demands, Robertson
was encouraged by the character
shown by his players when the heat
“ We’ve done a lot of work on
making sure we stay calm under
pressure and on how we react to
“I’m stoked with our leadership
group and the way they ’re making
decisions on the field and using them
in a way to make changes tactically.”
Matt Todd returns from a calf
injury on the openside flank and is
primed for a big performance fresh
off signing a one-year contract
extension with the Crusaders and
New Zealand Rugby.
Todd said he had trained well
after two frustrating weeks on the
sideline. He was buoyed by his
decision to remain at home.
“There were options to go overseas
but I am enjoying footy in New
Zealand and one year was best for
me and my family at this stage.”
Another to make his starting
return is centre Tim Bateman, who
is looking for ward to linking up with
Ryan Crotty in a powerful midfield
Bateman, who is back from
three seasons in Japan, says
communication were behind his rise
to test status in recent seasons.
“It’s awesome to see how far he has
come in the short time that I have
been away from the area,” Bateman
“He’s grown hugely in his game.
There are a lot of things I am picking
up from him.” — NZN
Unbeaten Crusaders demand better start
Do or die as Ko defends
LPGA No 1 ranking
A testy Anthony Hudson has
questioned what he perceives as
negativity around some of his
selections for the All Whites ahead
of their World Cup qualifying
series against Fiji.
The New Zealand team leave
for Lautoka today after a week’s
training camp in Wellington, then
return for the second leg of the
home-and-away series at Westpac
Stadium on Tuesday.
The omissions of Phoenix
midfielder Kosta Barbarouses and
Central Coast Mariners defender
Storm Roux have caused some
discussion, as have surprise call-
ups for Alex Rufer and 17-year-old
defender Dane Ingham.
“I feel positive about this squad
and positive about where we’re at,”
Hudson told media yesterday.
“But there’s a lot of negativity
around this selection, and I don’t
quite get that. I find it really
bizarre.” Despite his lack of game
time for the Phoenix, Rufer has
been called up as a late replacement
for injured Ipswich Town attacking
midfielder Monty Patterson.
Rufer has played just three
A-League games this season, the
most recent a five- minute cameo
against the Mariners on November
His game time with the Phoenix
reser ves has also been limited.
Ingham has played two games
for the Brisbane Roar, making his
first team debut last month against
Hudson said there was little
point in comparing a national
team to club sides who play week-
in and week-out.
“Just because a player isn’t playing
well for his club, or is not in favour
with his club, it doesn’t mean
he’s not in favour for his national
team,” he said.
“ To compare us to the Phoenix
is completely different — we
have a different selection policy,
we’re only allowed to pick Kiwi
“ We have a completely different
style of play, we train differently,
we work differently.
“I would never be influenced by
decisions at the Phoenix.” Despite
the absence of injured defender
Winston Reid, Hudson feels
the squad he’s assembled is his
strongest to date.
“I feel positive about where we’re
at — training this week has been
outstanding.The intensity, the work
ethic of the team, the togetherness
have all been fantastic.
“The mindset for our team is to
go there, and dominate and impose
ourselves on the opposition and
win.” — NZN
Hudson questions negativity
around All Whites selections
A 1-1 draw against Pakistan has
consigned the Black Sticks men
to series defeat in the five-match
The tourists lost the first test
but two wins and two draws
subsequently handed them the
series honours 2-1 over a rebuilding
New Zealand side.
Black Sticks coach Darren Smith
says his youthful team performed
better in the final test in Clareville,
Wairarapa, yesterday than they had
in the loss a day before.
They created the better chances
but Pakistan broke the deadlock
early in the final quarter when
Abdul Haseem Khan opened the
scoring, following on from his
double in the fourth test.
New Zealand struck back through
a rifling reverse stick shot from
Smith said his team were more
disciplined against a Pakistan team
who proved hard to break down.
He said he had learned plenty in
his first series in charge since taking
over from Colin Batch.
“I have got to know the guys a bit
and they ’ve gotten to know me,” he
“I’ve really enjoyed it but I can
also see opportunities where we can
do better, both on and off the pitch.
It ’s a pretty impressive hockey team
with some young guys in there. ”
Draw hands Pakistan series win over NZ
A Lockie Ferguson-inspired
Auckland have crushed Otago
inside three days to keep their
Plunket Shield hopes alive.
Black Caps international
speedster Ferguson took eight
wickets for the match in an eight-
wicket win at Dunedin’s University
His 3-45 in Otago’s second
innings helped dismiss the hosts
for 205, a total made respectable
by 108 from former Auckland
batsman Anaru Kitchen.
Auckland, who held a 22-run
first innings lead, wasted little time
in clinching victory, reaching 185-
2 inside 30 overs. Glenn Phillips
top-scored with 59 not out off 43
The game’s other notable knock
was 102 from Auckland’s Colin
Munro in the first innings.
Munro remains on the outer
with New Zealand’s test selectors
despite another prolific domestic
With one full round remaining,
Auckland move level on points
with leaders Canterbury, who
can reclaim the lead with victory
on the final day of their match
against Central Districts in
Canterbury resumeed on 273-8
in their second innings, holding an
overall lead of 346.
Meanwhile, Wellington are
213-9 in their second innings
against Northern Districts in
Mount Maunganui. — N ZN
Auckland thrash Otago in Plunket Shield
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