World sports round-up

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Home rule

PADRAIG HARRINGTON survived an extra play-off hole against Bradley Dredge to end Ireland’s 25-year wait for a home winner at the Irish Open, on Sunday.

The Ryder Cup star will now have to recharge his batteries in double quick time ahead of this weekend’s PGA Championship at Wentworth, which could secure him the one-million euro bonus on offer for back-to-back European Tour victories.

Slide and splash

AUSTRALIAN CHRIS Vermeulen scored a surprise victory at the French MotoGP after heavy rain transformed the Le Mans circuit into a giant lake.

Amongst a host of crashes, pit-stops and frantic tyre-changes, the Suzuki rider came home one lap clear of Marco Melandri and championship leader Casey Stoner. On four wheels, world rally champion Sébastien Loeb was all set to extend his lead in this season’s competition before crashing out during the final special stages on Sardinia. Closest rival Marcus Grönholm took immediate advantage of the Frenchman’s slip, taking a seven-point lead at the head of the drivers’ classification.

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