Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Major drought continues but U.S. in good shape behind Clarke


If American golf is in crisis then it is a crisis every other nation would like a taste of as the sport’s most dominant country made a determined assault on the 140th British Open at Royal St George’s this week.

They came up short as Darren Clarke secured a third major triumph in 14 months for Northern Ireland but the final leaderboard was otherwise littered with the Stars and Stripes as Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson shared second and Americans filled five of the top seven places and 12 of the top 24.

Clarke’s victory means that American golfers have failed to land any of the last six majors — the worst run since the Masters was launched in 1934 and the first time since 1994 that the sport has had a year without an American holding at least one of the four grand slam crowns.

Throw in last year’s defeat in the Ryder Cup and the fact that Europeans occupy the top four spots in the world rankings for the first time in 20 years, and something was surely rotten in United States golf.

Time to end the NFL’s blackouts?


A bar in Tampa, Florida is facing possible action from the NFL after reports that it broke the league imposed television ‘blackout’ for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers by broadcasting an internet feed of the match on screens.

The case highlights the increasingly antiquated blackout regulations which have been in place since 1973. The rules ensure that a home game will not be televised locally if it is not sold out 72 hours before kick-off.