Tiger Woods kept a low profile in his role as a vice-captain as the USA took a comprehensive win in the Ryder Cup after a hard-fought match and some quite brilliant golf but he will be unable to escape the spotlight when he returns to the course as a player on Thursday.
WOODS ON THE TEE
Having been out for 14 months after surgery, he will play competitively for the first time since he finished tied for 10th at the Wyndham Championship in 2015 – his best result of the season – in the Safeway Open in California (Sky Sports 4, 10pm). The US PGA tour event at Napa is the first of the season and Woods, who made only 11 starts in 2014-15 will be the major draw – he has 79 tour titles, second only to Sam Snead’s 82. Patrick Reid was the star at Hazeltine but no one puts bums on seats like Tiger.
SHARAPOVA BACK IN PLAY
Maria Sharapova also makes a comeback but one that is likely to illicit less sympathy if not similar interest to Tiger’s. She received a two-year ban in June after failing a test for the drug meldonium, which was reduced by nine months last week, allowing her to return officially in 2017. She plays on Monday, however, in the World Team Tennis competition Smash Hits event in Las Vegas, a charity tournament not covered by ITF regulations. The event splits the players into two teams captained by Billie Jean King and Elton John and proceeds go to the Elton John Aids Foundation. She will play alongside John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Martina Navratilova, Mardy Fish, Mark Philippoussis and Liezel Huber.
ARMISTEAD IN THE SADDLE
After a difficult summer, when missing drug tests led to a ban before the Olympics, subsequently overturned but then only a fifth place at The Games, Lizzie Armistead has the opportunity to put it behind her at the UCI Road World Championships in Doha, where she could become the first British woman to defend a road race title, having taken it with great ride last year. Mark Cavendish attempts to win for the second at the same event, after victory in 2011 and the course should suit the sprinter (women’s race, Tuesday, 11.05am, mens race: Wednesday, 11.35am, Eurosport).
HOY AT LE MANS
Already proven as a great champion on two wheels, Sir Chris Hoy’s attempt to succeed on four is captured to fascinating effect in Sir Chris Hoy: 200mph at Le Mans (Sunday, BBC2, 9pm). The documentary, shot over four years, follows Hoy as he pursues his childhood dream of competing in the greatest sports car race in the world. A Scalextric set had inspired him as a boy but the real thing is a gruelling test of car and driver, with Hoy competing at the second highest LMP2 level, in what is a remarkable story.
DECISION TIME FOR FURY
Tyson Fury’s increasingly uncertain future may be taken out of his hands on Wednesday when the British Boxing Board of Control will decide on whether to withdraw his licence. Their decision follows Fury’s interview with Rolling Stone magazine in which he revealed he had used cocaine. “I’ve done lots of cocaine,” he said. “Lots of it. Why shouldn’t I take cocaine? It’s my life isn’t it?” Five days before it was reported he had tested positively for the drug. The interview took place before he announced his retirement on Twitter and then promptly withdrew the statement. He had already pulled out of his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, having taken the Ukrainian’s title on points last November. If his licence is removed he will be unable to defend his WBO and WBA titles but the interview suggested he was not in a fit state to do so. “I’ve not been in a gym for months,” he said. “I’ve not been training. I’ve been going through depression. I just don’t want to live any more, if you know what I’m saying. I’ve had total enough of it.”
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