American Kelly Kraft will take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Greenbrier.
The former US Amateur champion carded a second-round 63 in West Virginia to advance to 13 under par for the week.
The 29-year-old, chasing a first PGA Tour title, lies a stroke clear of compatriot Webb Simpson and India’s Anirban Lahiri.
Waterford’s Seamus Power missed the cut after carding a second consecutive 70 that left him on level par.
Kraft carded four birdies in a front-nine 30 and holed a five footer at the 11th, before dropping his only shot of the day on the 12th after a wild tee shot was followed by finding a bunker with his third.
He responded with three birdies in his next four holes, the highlight an approach to six feet at the 16th.
Lahiri had nine birdies in a flawless 61, while former US Open champion Simpson mixed six birdies with a bogey on the 13th and a double bogey seven on the 12th after taking four shots to find the green and three-putting in an eventful 67.
American Jason Kokrak lies fourth on 11 under following a 64, one ahead of compatriot Harold Varner III and Korean Whee Kim.
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Tomás Ó Sé: ‘Cork are not a football county’
On the back of two heavy defeats in this year’s championship, the state of Cork football has come in for much discussion and Tomás Ó Sé believes the desire is currently not there within the county to fully support the code.
On Saturday evening, the Rebels offered little resistance when going down by 16 points to Tyrone in Round 4 of the All-Ireland qualifiers. That reverse followed a Munster final mauling by Kerry for Ronan McCarthy’s side. This season’s league saw Cork finish in the bottom half of the Division 2 standings.
Ó Sé is familiar with the scene in Cork by way of his time playing for Nemo Rangers, and he wasn’t holding back in his assessment of the Rebels’ current woes when he spoke on The Sunday Game.
“Cork are not a football county in my eyes. They have great clubs like Nemo Rangers and St Finbarr’s. At county level they haven’t had success like other GAA superpowers have had. If the Cork hurlers were beaten by 17 points by Tipperary and then got another thumping by another team, say Kilkenny, there would be absolute war.
“There is a culture down there of things being half acceptable for the footballers.
Cork boss Ronan McCarthy after the loss to Tyronne
“The current squad lack belief, they lack arrogance. I see Stephen Cronin when he plays for Nemo but he’s not the same player when he plays for Cork.”
It’s the overall culture that must change within Cork GAA, says the Kerry legend, as he looks for some positivity.
He continued: “East Cork is a stronghold of hurling, while west Cork was always football. Now east Cork are dominating football at underage level but when they come to a certain age they are told that hurling is the game.
“I do think another county board for football should be set up. There are very good footballing people in Cork but I don’t think there is the desire to drive the football as much as hurling from not just the county board but from everybody.”
Doherty and Hayes take national triathlon titles
Con Doherty and Carolyn Hayes won the 2018 Triathlon Ireland Standard (Olympic) Distance National Championships following victory at the Base2Race Harbourman Triathlon in Wicklow.
The pair came out on top of a field of hundreds of athletes, who raced in the sweltering heat in what was also Round 6 of the 2018 BMW Triathlon National Series.
Temperatures reached 28c during the race, which saw competitors swim 1,500m, bike 40km and run 10km.
And that heat took its toll – with light winds making the run particularly gruelling.
A rolling start to the 1,500m swim allowed athletes to enter the race at their own pace but towards the front of the field there was no holding back as the main contenders ran from the strand inside Wicklow harbour in to perfectly calm waters.
Kieran Jackson took an early lead on the swim but hampered by a wrong turn surrendered first position to teenager Cillian Tierney who bettered his rivals by more than 30 seconds when exiting the water.
Behind him a pack containing Jackson, Aichlinn O’Reilly, James Walton and defending champion Doherty vied for position and entered the first transition within a handful of seconds of one another.
Carolyn Hayes during the run
On the bike, Jackson battled his way back to first position but he had close company with Doherty never letting him out of his sight.
Doherty made what is becoming a trademark move coming out of transition two, blasting the first part of the 10km run to gap Jackson who was labouring with a stitch. The winner crossed the line to comfortably retain his national title with a time of 2hrs 5secs.
While Jackson had slowed behind him, he was never under any pressure for silver and crossed the line almost four minutes later.
Action from the swim
Eoin Lyons, who ran a superb 36mins 09sec 10km, claimed the bronze medal
The women’s race saw the return of multiple times national champion Carolyn Hayes to top level racing. She took an early lead on the swim that she never looked likely to relinquish as she posted the quickest swim and run splits of the day to finish with a time of 2hrs 15mins 58secs.
Behind her, Amy O’Keeffe swam 23mins 28secs over the 1,500m to move in to second place but later in the race was losing time to Ellen Murphy – the day’s quickest biker with a time of 1hr 10mins 28secs.
Murphy moved in to second place during the 10km run to claim the silver medal at this distance for a second year running with a time of 2hrs 25mins 07secs. It was a close run affair however, with O’Keeffe crossing the line just 1min 07secs later to claim bronze.
Mickelson calls two-shot penalty on himself
Phil Mickelson took a penalty on his return to the course following his controversial actions at the US Open last month.
The American was handed a two-shot penalty at Shinnecock Hills after deliberately hitting his moving ball to avoid a more difficult shot.
Plenty called for him to be disqualified in New York but the penalty was seen as punishment enough – and he took the same penalty at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier.
This time round the issue seemed much more black and white than at the US Open, Mickelson consulting with an official after tapping down a patch of long grass at the seventh.
After consulting a rules official, Phil Mickelson assessed himself a 2-stroke penalty for improving his line of play (violation of Rule 13-2). pic.twitter.com/61GiY5ggaj
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 8, 2018
He called the two-shot penalty himself for falling foul of rule 13-2: ‘Improving Lie, Area of Intended Stance or Swing, or Line of Play.’
The 48-year-old was already struggling to challenge the leaders in West Virginia, starting the day nine shots off the pace.
Croatia coach pin-points Sterling as England dangerman
He might divide fans at home but Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic picked out Raheem Sterling as one of England’s most dangerous players ahead of Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final.
Having failed to score in an England shirt for nearly three years, Sterling has been strongly criticised by supporters and some pundits, with the BBC’s fan-driven player-rater tool repeatedly giving him the lowest mark on the team.
Speaking to reporters in Moscow a day after his side’s dramatic quarter-final win over hosts Russia, Dalic was asked about England’s strengths and weaknesses.
The 51-year-old coach, who has only been in charge of the national side since October, said: “I wouldn’t say there are any glaring weaknesses – they are in the semi-finals, that says it all.
“They showed from the games I’ve seen so far that they play direct football and they are very fast.
“They are really good at set-pieces and their tall players are dangerous at corners.
“I think Raheem Sterling is an important player because he is really fast and his combination with Harry Kane is really dangerous.”
He actually mentioned Sterling a second time, praising his pace and power, and said he and his coaching team would be analysing England more closing over the next two days and passing that information on to his players.
“They dealt with Sweden relatively easily so we know they are going to be a difficult opponent and we respect them,” he said.
“But we believe in our strengths, too. We don’t fear England or anybody else.”
Coach Dalic celebrates victory over Russia
Croatia’s shoot-out victory over Russia was their second straight win on penalties at the World Cup, having beaten Denmark in the same fashion in the last-16.
Dalic admitted that playing 120 minutes twice in the last six days was not ideal, particularly as some of his players are now carrying injuries.
He would not give any details of how serious those injuries are, saying only that reaching the last four was “a new motivation” for his squad, but did say he might have to make changes to his line-up as now was not the time to take any risks with players who are not 100 per cent.
On a more positive note, he looked forward to playing another attack-minded team in England after his side’s relative struggles against the more defensive styles of Iceland, Denmark and Russia.
He also said Croatia took great heart from the form of “the World Cup’s best central midfield pairing” Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, with the latter playing “the best football of his career”.
There is also much relief in the Croatia camp, which has now moved to Moscow after spending the last four weeks near Saint Petersburg, after FIFA decided to only warn defender Domagoj Vida for shouting “Glory to Ukraine”, a highly-charged slogan in the current climate, in a post-match video that has gone viral in Russia.
Cody hails reaction against ‘best in the country’
Kilkenny boss Brian Cody has praised his charges for the reaction they produced against Galway in the second half of their Leinster SHC replay defeat.
Cody’s side looked to be facing a real crisis in Semple Stadium after the defending champions surged into an 11-point lead before the 20th minute of the clash, but a Ger Aylward goal just before half-time injected some life in to the Kilkenny challenge and inspired them to stage a comeback.
Further goals from substitutes Richie Hogan and Colin Fennelly helped Kilkenny to reduce the gap to a point before Galway pulled away once more before the end to claim a second consecutive Leinster crown.
“I’d be disappointed with how we played in the first half,” Cody told RTÉ Sport after the game.
“We gave ourselves kind of a mountain to climb but the reaction of the lads in the second half was excellent playing against the best team in the country essentially.
“We pulled a big lead back to two points. It’s hugely difficult to keep that going in weather like this and a day like today after playing last Sunday.
“They pulled away again a small bit at the end. We’re obviously disappointed not to win the game because it’s why we came up here but at the same time from my own point of view, I would give the lads great praise for their reaction and the way they stood up, took on the challenge in front of them and fought to the end.”
Kilkenny won’t have long to heal from this defeat as they prepare to face an All-Ireland quarter-final clash with Limerick next Sunday, meaning they will be playing championship hurling for the third weekend in-a-row.
Limerick’s Seamus Flanagan in action against Carlow’s Michael Doyle.
Limerick were also in action this weekend as they brushed Carlow aside in their preliminary quarter-final on Saturday which gives them an extra day to recover for the tie compared to Kilkenny.
Cody accepts that many people will believe that the Shannonsiders will be slightly better rested for the meeting, but he insists that his team will prepare accordingly in the time that they have.
“Once the ball is thrown in it’s up to ourselves to cut that advantage they may have from the point of view of rest and everything, and just get on with it.
“Both days were very warm weather and tough going [against Galway], it’s fairly exhausting. But we’ll recover and we’re prepared to settle right for playing another match to get to the All-Ireland semi-final. If we had won today we’d be in the semi-final.
“Win next weekend and we’re in the semi-finals.How difficult is it going to be? Hugely difficult, we’re playing a team that are many people’s favourites to be the ones of possibly winning an All-Ireland final.
“We know the quality they have and it’s going to be very difficult but it’s a great challenge to be faced with. We’ll dust ourselves off and recovery is everything now. It’s going to take a few days for the lads to recover but they well because they’re in great shape.”