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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top golfers

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida - The world's top women's golfers will meet from next year in an eight-nation biennial LPGA global match-play event worth $US1.6 million ($A1.5 million). The International Crown will debut from July 24-27 at Caves Valley Golf Club at Owings Mills in Maryland, with the second edition to be staged in 2016 at the site of the 2009 Solheim Cup, Rich Harvest Farms near Chicago. Four-player squads from eight nations will compete with the winning side taking home $US100,000 ($A96,000) per player.

Bayern leads

BERLIN - Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Mueller scored second-half goals for Bayern Munich in a 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart on Sunday to extend their lead to 11 points at the top of the Bundesliga. Midtable Stuttgart finished the game with 10 men when Austria striker Martin Harnik was shown a second yellow card in the 80th minute for a foul on Franck Ribery. Bayern improve to 48 points, with Bayer Leverkusen, who played a goalless draw at Freiburg on Saturday, on 37, one ahead of champions Borussia Dortmund, who were 3-0 winners over Nuremberg on Friday.

Cricket record

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Graeme Smith is on course for a cricket landmark in the first Test against Pakistan when he'll become the first player to captain in 100 matches. Smith is set to lead the Proteas in a Test for the 99th time in the series-opener at the Wanderers starting Friday. Having also led the World XI once against Australia, he will become the first skipper to reach the 100 mark. Cricket South Africa CEO Jacques Faul said on Sunday "this is a truly remarkable achievement."

Africa through

DURBAN, South Africa - South Africa fought back twice to draw 2-2 with Morocco in a Group A thriller on Sunday and qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals. Bafana Bafana (The Boys) finished level on five points with Cape Verde, and a better goal difference enabled the hosts to stay above the debutants, whose fairy-tale continued with a 2-1 triumph over Angola in Port Elizabeth. Issam El Adoua and Abdelilah Hafidi put the Atlas Lions ahead only for May Mahlangu and Siyabonga Sangweni to equalise. "We feel very, very proud to have achieved our first objective," said South African coach Gordon Igesund.

Hirscher wins

KITZBUHEL, Austria - Austria's Marcel Hirscher powered to a stunning victory in Sunday's World Cup slalom with a winner-takes-all second run that left the onlooking Arnold Schwarzenegger punching the air in delight. Current World Cup leader Hirscher, 23, clocked the third fastest time in the first leg behind Italian duo Stefano Gross and Giuliano Razzoli. But the local hero's second leg effort of 53.51sec gave him a winning total of 1min 44.34sec for a maiden victory on the Hahnenkamm.

Seventh title

LES SABLES D'OLONNE, France - Frenchman Francois Gabart won the seventh Vendee Globe round-the-world race on Sunday after a two-and-a-half month epic journey that ended in a new record time for the course. Gabart, at 29 the youngest skipper in the race, sailed back into the port at Les Sables d'Olonne in western France in mid-afternoon to a rousing welcome home.

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