US PGA Championship: What a difference a year makes, with Mickelson opting out of title defence

By Sports Desk May 18, 2022

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  • Morgan quits as history-making captain and record-breaking batsman Morgan quits as history-making captain and record-breaking batsman

    Eoin Morgan signalled the end of an era for England's limited-overs team as he announced his international retirement on Tuesday.

    Morgan, who started his career playing for Ireland, had captained the white-ball side for eight years.

    In that time, England went to the 2016 World Twenty20 final and then overcame the pain of that narrow defeat by winning a dramatic 2019 Cricket World Cup final.

    Morgan will "go down as one of the most influential figures not just in English cricket but in world cricket", according to Brendon McCullum, while Nasser Hussain lauded "our greatest ever white-ball captain" and Michael Atherton hailed his "white-ball dynasty".

    But more than merely an outstanding leader - who is expected to be replaced in his role by Jos Buttler – Morgan has also been a brilliant player for England.

    Indeed, there is scarcely a white-ball record Morgan does not have his fingerprints on, with his Test career lasting only 16 matches.

    Despite playing 23 ODIs for Ireland between 2006 and 2009 before switching allegiances, no player has appeared in more matches for England in the format (225); the same is true of T20Is (115).

    Perhaps it is no surprise then that Morgan leads England in runs in both formats – 6,957 in 50 overs and 2,458 in 20. In fact, only eight players of any nationality have scored more T20I runs.

    Morgan has played with some of the sport's biggest hitters but can hold his own, too: his 220 ODI sixes (202 for England) include 17 in one match against Afghanistan at the 2019 World Cup, a record that stands to this day.

    In the shortest format, he has hit 120 sixes – the most of any England star and the fourth-most overall.

    A star in the field, too, Morgan has taken 46 catches in T20Is to lead England all internationals and rank joint-eighth across the board.

    But Morgan will perhaps still be best remembered as the man organising the field as England scaled new heights – and he owns his fair share of records in that regard, too.

    Morgan was captain for just over half of his ODI appearances (126), comfortably the most such outings of any England player, ahead of Alastair Cook (69).

    It is unsurprisingly a similar story in the younger T20I format, with Morgan's 72 games as captain matching India's MS Dhoni for the record.

    Morgan's sublime career is unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry, but this array of dominant records ensures that will remain the case.

  • The three Man Utd youngsters who could be breakthrough stars for Erik ten Hag The three Man Utd youngsters who could be breakthrough stars for Erik ten Hag

    Erik ten Hag is the latest boss Manchester United have turned to in their pursuit of success in the post-Alex Ferguson era.

    David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have failed to meet expectations since Ferguson's retirement in 2013, leaving Ten Hag with a difficult challenge on his hands.

    Aside from getting results right on the pitch and challenging for honours, Ten Hag also has the task of bleeding young talent into the first-team fold on a regular basis – something his predecessors have all continued to do despite their eventual failings.

    The likes of Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay have capitalised on opportunities in the past decade after rising through the club's youth ranks – and United have no shortage of players who can follow suit.

    Three players in particular are ones that Ten Hag should be keeping close tabs on, and they could become integral.

    Facundo Pellistri

    The highly rated winger has spent the past 18 months on loan in Spain with Deportivo Alaves, accumulating plenty of first-team opportunities with a total of 33 appearances across all competitions in that period, but just 11 have been as a starter.

    United may feel they can provide those limited opportunities off the bench themselves and, if utilised, can expect plenty of link-up play down the right side from Pellistri – with the majority of his final-third passes during his spell with Alaves coming in that area.

    No team in the top six of the Premier League last season scored fewer goals than United last term (57), with seventh-placed West Ham (60) and eighth-placed Leicester City (62) also bettering that tally.

    The attacking third is an area where Ten Hag needs to find more threat and Pellistri may provide that option, albeit he failed to register a goal or an assist during his spell in Spain. He created seven chances in 753 first-team minutes last season, but none of those were converted.

    With more creativity in the squad at United and better support, Pellistri should be able to improve on his direct return to register more influential moments in matches.

    James Garner

    Garner has helped turn Nottingham Forest from second-tier middlemen to a Premier League outfit – with a play-off victory against Huddersfield Town bringing an end to a 23-year wait for top-flight football.

    In Forest's promotion-winning campaign, loanee Garner was a regular fixture in the side with 41 appearances, 36 of which were as a starter, resulting in four goals and eight assists – with only Brennan Johnson, Lewis Grabban and Philip Zinckernagel being involved in more direct goal contributions.

    Seven of Garner's assists came from set-pieces, with United's overall total in 2021-22 being 10 in that regard – so Garner could play an integral part in improving that return with his deliveries from corners and free-kicks, if Bruno Fernandes can occasionally be shuffled off such duties.

    Crucially for a club like United, Garner has shown he can perform under pressure given his display in the Championship play-off final against Huddersfield – where his accuracy of 88 per cent from 48 attempted passes included completions across the field.

    Forest, understandably, are reportedly interested in bringing Garner back to the City Ground again next season in their bid to remain in the Premier League, but United will assess the 21-year-old in pre-season before making a final decision.

    Alejandro Garnacho

    Earning his senior debut for United in the Premier League clash against Chelsea in April, Garnacho's introduction to the Premier League was merely a cameo at the end of that clash.

    On the final day of the season, in a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, Garnacho again came off the bench for an 11-minute appearance and was once more limited with his opportunity to make an impression – though that has already been done in the youth ranks.

    He scored in UEFA Youth League matches against Atalanta and Young Boys. However, it was in the FA Youth Cup where Garnacho made perhaps his biggest impact, scoring in every round bar the fourth as United lifted the trophy – with a seven-goal haul in the competition including a double in the 3-1 victory against Nottingham Forest in the final.

    With Jadon Sancho struggling for consistency down the left for United since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund, Garnacho could return to the first-team fold during the 2022-23 season.

    Opportunities could well come in the cup competitions, including the Europa League, in what will be a frantic season due to the disruption caused by the World Cup in Qatar.

  • Chun In-gee hangs on to win Women's PGA Championship Chun In-gee hangs on to win Women's PGA Championship

    South Korea's Chun In-gee has managed to hold on and win the Women's PGA Championship by one stroke, despite finishing her week with back-to-back 75s on Saturday and Sunday.

    Chun finished on five under to win her third major championship, but she entered the weekend with a massive lead after rounds of 64 and 69 had her at 11 under, six strokes clear of the chasing pack.

    Only nine players finished the tournament under par, illustrating the difficulty of the course and conditions at Congressional Country Club.

    In a tie for second was Australia's Minjee Lee – fresh off her U.S. Open win – along with American Lexi Thompson at four under.

    Thompson entered the day at five under and shot a 73 to drop one stroke, while Lee came in at two under – and bogeyed her first two holes of the day – but went four under across her final 16 holes for a Sunday 70.

    Thailand's Atthaya Thitikul claimed outright fourth place at three under, two strokes clear of the five-woman pack tied for fifth at one under.

    That group had three South Koreans – Kim Hyo-joo, Kim Sei-young and Choi Hye-jin – to give the country four of the top nine.

    In a notable performance, Australian Stephanie Kyriacou posted four consecutive even-par 72s and finished tied for 10th.

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