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Sports Digest, January 15, 2013

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 January, 2013, 3:35am

Henley youngest to score Sony Open crown

American Russell Henley, remarkably unflappable for a PGA Tour rookie, became the youngest champion of the Sony Open, in Hawaii, when he won his maiden title on the US circuit in record style by three shots. At just 23, the fresh-faced Tour graduate displayed ice-cool nerves as he stormed home with five consecutive birdies to fire a seven-under-par 63 on the tree-lined layout at Waialae Country Club. Co-leader overnight with fellow rookie and good friend Scott Langley, Henley mixed eight birdies with a lone bogey to post a record 24-under total of 256 in the PGA Tour's first full-field event of the season. When he rolled in an eight-footer to birdie the par-five last, one of several stunning clutch putts he made on the day, he gave a roundhouse sweep with his right arm in celebration. "I don't really even know what just happened," a smiling Henley said after becoming the event's youngest winner, eclipsing compatriot Ben Crenshaw who was just 24 when he triumphed in 1996. "This is the most nervous I have ever been and that's the hardest thing I have ever done. I was just trying to stick to my routine and stay committed and stay in the present," the 23-year-old said. Reuters


S Africa's pace attack crush New Zealand

South Africa crushed New Zealand by an innings and 193 runs yesterday after the tourists were bowled out for 211 in their second innings before lunch on the fourth day of the second test. Dale Steyn took three wickets and Morne Morkel claimed two in the morning session at St George's Park as New Zealand slumped to a 2-0 series whitewash against the top-ranked test team. BJ Watling resisted for 63, his second half-century of the match, and Dean Brownlie made 53, but New Zealand was heavily outclassed throughout the test and the series. Three South Africans made centuries in their first-innings 525-8 declared, and Steyn then led with eight wickets in the match as New Zealand tumbled to 121 and 211 and an even bigger loss than the first test in Cape Town, where South Africa won by an innings and 27 runs. "They were very professional and very big wins for us," South Africa skipper Graeme Smith said. "I think things are slotting in nicely. There's a mature bunch of guys who understand what it's like to be successful at this level." New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said: "It was going to be tough playing the No 1 team. We're well short of the mark where South Africa is at." AP


McIlroy seals lucrative 10-year Nike deal

World No1 Rory McIlroy confirmed he signed with Nike in a deal believed to be one the biggest sponsorship contracts in the history of sport. With the Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque behind him, McIlroy stepped out wearing the swoosh and revealed the clubs he will use at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Press reports estimated the deal could net the 23-year-old Northern Irishman up to US$250 million over 10 years. "I began testing the clubs late last year at the Nike factory in Texas and I could not be more happy." AFP



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Sports Digest, January 15, 2013

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