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    PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland _ Shane Lowry sets the early target with a 4-under 67 in the first round of the first British Open in Northern Ireland in 51 years. Rory McIlroy has a far rougher day at Royal Portrush in his home country, shooting a 79 that matched his worst start in the British Open. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 450 words, photos. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 6 p.m. With The Latest, sidebars on Lowry (sent) and David Duval's 13 on seventh hole (sent), notebook, glance, leader cards, key hole.



    PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland _ It was a day that went horrendously wrong for the hometown hero. Rory McIlroy shoots a 79 and likely knocks himself out of the first British Open in Northern Ireland in 68 years. "Inexcusable," he says. By Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg. SENT: 750 words, photos.


    PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland _ The excitement that always surrounds Tiger Woods even brought out the hired help near the fourth hole at Royal Portrush. They couldn't help his sore back, or his soaring score at the British Open. By Chris Lehourites. SENT: 600 words, photos.


    PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland _ The buzz among the locals at Royal Portrush has been all about Northern Irish natives Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell this week, so Shane Lowry felt like he came into his "home" British Open a little under the radar. "Obviously not now," Lowry said after a 4-under 67. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 700 words, photos.



    BAGNERES-DE-BIGORRE, France _ In 116 years of racing at the Tour de France, riders have done all sorts of bizarre things, from jumping on a train to fighting with fans at mountain stops. Rarely have they just vanished in the middle of a stage like Rohan Dennis did on Thursday during the first Pyrenean stage. By Samuel Petrequin. SENT: 800 words.



    GENEVA _ Known as the FIFA Masters course, it’s the Swiss finishing school that has prepared hundreds of post-graduate students to lead, manage and litigate world sports. Graduates have later headed campaigns to host soccer’s World Cup, run Olympic sports federations, and prosecuted landmark cases in international sports law. By Graham Dunbar. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. By 0500 GMT.


    CAIRO _ FIFA president Gianni Infantino promised unwavering support for the scandal-ridden and dysfunctional African soccer confederation on Thursday as he deflected criticism by Sepp Blatter and others that FIFA was exceeding its authority by overseeing a cleanup operation to stem the embarrassment. By Gerald Imray. SENT: 600 words, photos.



    LONDON _ Zimbabwe was suspended from international cricket on Thursday because of government interference. The International Cricket Council said it was also freezing all funding to the southern African country, which is a test-playing nation and full member of the ICC. SENT: 350 words.



    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina _ The Jaguares of Super Rugby took off their face mask and revealed themselves as the Pumas of the Rugby Championship for their opening match against New Zealand on Saturday. Argentina named a starting XV that was only two players removed from that which lost the Super Rugby final on July 6 to the Crusaders in Christchurch. SENT: 600 words.


    JOHANNESBURG _ Melbourne No. 8 Isi Naisarani will make his debut for Australia against South Africa in the Rugby Championship on Saturday, and prop Harry Johnson-Holmes is set for his maiden appearance from the reserves. Nic White was starting ahead of Will Genia at scrumhalf in his first test in four years, and Canberra fullback Tom Banks relegated Kurtley Beale to the reserves. SENT: 650 words.

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