The Agenda: Jordan Spieth out for top spot and Richie Benaud remembered

Jordan Spieth & Jake Owen

With Rory McIlroy ruled out, there is a chance for some pleasing golf symmetry as the top spot in the game is up for grabs.

CHANGE AT THE TOP ...

But possibly not quite so pleasing for McIlroy, however. He retook the world No1 position in 2014 at the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational but his absence this year means there is a chance for Jordan Spieth to take over at the same event, should he win at Firestone (Sky Sports 4, from Thursday, 6.30pm). The rankings, which began in 1986, have had only 17 leaders since and Spieth would be the fifth player from the US to top the table alongside Tiger Woods, Fred Couples, David Duval and Tom Lehmann. With two majors and a fourth at The Open this year he has an excellent chance of joining them.

WHEELS IN MOTION ...

Anyone suffering withdrawal symptoms after the Tour de France can satiate their need for two wheel speed with the RideLondon-Surrey Classic today (see feature, page 14) or for a real fix, enjoy the Tour of Poland (begins on Sunday, British Eurosport, 6.30pm). The race, across seven stages from Warsaw to Krakow, offers a great match-up. Two of cycling’s most promising talents will go head-to-head and both are Poles. Michal Kwiatkowski, who is expected to sign with Team Sky at the end of the season and is the 2014 road race world champion, will face off with last year’s winner Rafal Majka in what should be a fine battle.

ENGLAND IN ACTION ...

After a very strong performance at the Commonwealth Games where they finished fourth, beaten by only one point by World Cup holders Australia and runners-up New Zealand, England go to the this year’s Netball World Cup, optimistic. They finished third in 1999 and 2011 and fourth in 2003 and 2007 and Manchester Thunder’s Helen Housby believes they have the “best chance in a long time” at the tournament in Australia (Sky Sports 3). They open their campaign against Scotland in Pool B on Friday (5.40am) in a bid to reach their first final since 1975.

RICHIE AND RORY ...

With an extraordinary third Ashes test already done and dusted , there’s a further treat in the documentary Morning Everyone, in which Rory Bremner looks back at the career of Richie Benaud, who died in April (today, 5 Live, 6pm). Bremner hosts former players remembering Benaud’s abilities on the pitch, the great man’s own recollections from behind the mic as well as some of the his finest commentaries, including the 1960 tied Test, Botham’s Ashes and Edgbaston 2005. Bremner was a mimic and satirist Benaud respected and, as a huge cricket fan, brings genuine affection to the subject matter. Also on the radio, catch up with England’s women footballers after their magnificent run at the World Cup in England’s Lionesses (today, 5 Live, 10am).

LEAGUE COUNTDOWN ...

Super League begins its new structure with the first round of the Super 8s that will decide the teams that will make the Grand Final in October. The top eight now face one another in a mini league, with points carrying over from the previous 23 matches and the top four making it to the semi-finals. The opening fixtures are Wigan v Huddersfield (Thursday, Sky Sports 1, 7.30pm) and Leeds v Warrington (Friday, Sky Sports 1, 7.30pm).

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Giles Richards, for The Observer on Saturday 1st August 2015 15.45 Europe/London

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