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Strongest field to battle for Honda-PTT LPGA Thailand 2010

Alonso leads F1 testing with first Ferrari drive

In John Terry, football has its Tiger Woods

Strongest field to battle for Honda-PTT LPGA Thailand 2010

This month’s Honda-PTT LPGA Thailand 2010 will feature a strong field of top contenders including Lorena Ochoa, Jiyai Shin, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen, Ai Miyazato and Michelle Wie. Local stars Virada Nirapathpongporn and Russamee Gulyanamitta will lead the Thai challenge to compete for the US$ 1.3 million prize purse at the Siam Country Club Old Course in Pattaya, Eastern Thailand, from February 18 to 21.

World No 1 woman golfer, Lorena Ochoa from Mexico, will be returning to Thailand to defend her Honda-PTT LPGA title from February 18-21 at the Siam Country Club in Pattaya.

Fans wishing to attend the tournament can purchase tickets at Thai Ticket Major Outlets or www.thaiticketmajor .com. Admission fee for Wednesday and Thursday is available at BT200 per day, for Saturday at BT300 and BT400 for Sunday. A four-day admission package is available at BT600. Spectators below 18 or over 60 years of age are exempted from the admission price.
Golf fans can also follow coverage and highlights on Channel 7 at 00.30 am – 1.30 am on February 18 while live coverage can be viewed between 2 pm – 5 pm on February 19 and between 3 pm – 5 pm on February 20-21.


Alonso leads F1 testing with first Ferrari drive

Paul Logothetis
Valencia (AP) - Fernando Alonso took to his Ferrari immediately last Wednesday as the two-time Formula One champion produced the fastest time in the season’s first testing session.
Alonso set a fastest time of 1 minute, 11.470 seconds from 127 laps of the Cheste circuit, where a single-day record of 36,400 spectators gathered for the Spaniard’s first session in the iconic red car.
“It was an important day for me, my first time in Ferrari, a very emotional day,” Alonso said.
Pedro De la Rosa of Sauber trailed his Spanish countryman by just over half a second, while Michael Schumacher was nearly one second back for third as the seven-time F1 champion begins his comeback with Mercedes GP.

Ferrari F1 driver Fernando Alonso of Spain drives his car during a testing session at the Ricardo Tormo race track in Cheste, just outside Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Feb. 3. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

“We will be competitive, but whether it’s right away a winning car or not that’s another story,” Schumacher said. “I wouldn’t expect to be winning right from the beginning, it wasn’t something I was aiming for and expecting to be the case but we need to be strong enough in the development.”
Defending F1 champion Jenson Button was fifth after a slow start in his McLaren, managing a best time of 1:12.951 from 82 laps after working out seating issues in the morning and getting to grips with his new car.
“It would have been nice to have got some more testing done, set-up work,” Button said. “But this test was always to get used to the environment inside the cockpit, get used to the team and to run through all of the checks you do at the first test.”
The interest over Alonso’s move to Ferrari eclipsed the previous record of 35,000 set more than two years ago when Alonso had his first drive here after returning to Renault from McLaren.
Alonso, who left Renault at the end of last year to join Ferrari, fizzled in that session but sizzled in the Italian car, which has shown signs of being a lot more competitive than last season.
But Alonso tempered expectations.
“The problem with the first impression is it’s always good - it was very good last year and I was not in Q3 very often,” Alonso said. “It was a very good day because I found the car very easy to drive because Felipe (Massa) was running two days and I’ve been taking this information from him and it was a help. Let’s wait.”
Ferrari showed no reliability problems as they ran more laps than the other six teams over three days, with Massa leading the field over the first two days as the Brazilian showed no effects from the life-threatening crash he survived in July.
After two wasted seasons at Renault and a difficult one at McLaren, Alonso seems to be feeling at home.
“It’s unbelievable the feeling here, the passion of everybody,” Alonso said of his new team before comparing Wednesday to his first day at McLaren in 2007. “We don’t have the same culture or character so it was more cold the atmosphere there.”
Schumacher, who drove for Ferrari before retiring in 2006, ran 82 laps with a best time of 1:12.438 to improve on his best time from Monday by more than half a second. The 41-year-old German is returning to the sport for the first time in three years.
“Much easier than I expected it,” Schumacher said about readapting to an F1 car. “I thought it needed more time but it went pretty quickly.”
Button, who finished behind Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari, won the championship last season driving for Brawn GP, which was bought up by Mercedes.
“It would be wrong to compare because this is the first day in the new team,” Button said. “It was a useful day but it was a little bit frustrating this morning it took us a long time to sort the seat but that’s how it is the first time with a new team.”


In John Terry, football has its Tiger Woods

John Leicester
Paris (AP) - If John Terry helps England lift football’s World Cup this July, his alleged marital infidelities will be forgotten faster than you can say “Love Rat.” Everyone loves a winner, even when they’re a sinner, too.
No one, other than Terry’s wife, perhaps, will recall so-called glamor model Alicia Douvall’s tabloid claim that the Chelsea defender seduced her in a London nightclub by placing a cocktail stirrer in her surgically enhanced cleavage.
The Amazonia-sized mounds of newsprint wasted on whether Terry is unfit for the national team’s captaincy because of the allegations that he also strayed with the ex-girlfriend of England teammate Wayne Bridge will long since have been used to wrap fish and chips or been otherwise recycled.

England’s John Terry celebrates scoring against Hungary during an international match at Old Trafford in this May 2006 file photo. Terry was stripped of the England captaincy last Friday after a meeting with national team football coach Fabio Cappello. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

All people will see and care about is the World Cup’s sheen, not the flaws of the man himself. The reporters now feigning moral indignation wouldn’t dare mention his alleged mistress Vanessa Perroncel at a cup winner’s news conference because they’d be hissed at by their peers and shot looks of disgust usually reserved for those who pick their nose in public.
Terry irritated Britain’s ruthless tabloids by trying to get a judge to suppress the stories about him, applying for the nuclear weapon of gagging orders, a so-called “super injunction.” After judge Michael Tugendhat lifted the reporting restrictions over a week ago, editors exacted revenge by splashing tawdry details on page after page.
But imagine the headlines should he score the winning goal in the World Cup final in Johannesburg on July 11, ending four decades of disappointment for England since they last won in 1966.
“Terryfic!” Even “Saint John” perhaps?
It might not be right. It might not be admirable. But if fans are honest, they’ll acknowledge that they expect their sporting heroes to perform and to win — not cure cancer, solve global warming or even be sober or nice.
Standards are so low that some fans aren’t even bothered that their icons cheat to win. If they were, they wouldn’t cheer dopers at the Tour de France or baseballers whose steroid-assisted muscles blew up faster than an Atlantic storm.
Admit it: It’s the winning that counts, not the character of those taking part.
So pretending that sports people have let each and every one of us down when they are caught with their pants around their ankles, bringing guns into the locker room, smoking a marijuana pipe or urinating in public is hypocritical.
Sports people are just ordinary people who, if they are lucky, get paid extraordinarily well for doing extraordinary things with their bodies. But that doesn’t make them extraordinary. Some of them are barely literate. One reason, surely, that teams bus players to matches is because some of them aren’t adult enough to find a stadium unassisted or get there on time.
If society wants kids to have role models, point them toward the likes of Mother Teresa, not Terry or Tiger Woods. Even the animal kingdom offers better examples of monogamy than the venal world of modern sports.
Paying often poorly educated young men — because it’s still mostly men making the really big money from bigoted and sexist sports — the equivalent every week of what company CEOs might earn yearly buys guaranteed trouble from rich young men whose sudden wealth attracts dubious company and dubious choices. It does not buy role models. Never has.
For the FA to suddenly pretend that it truly cares about Terry’s off-field antics would stretch credulity, given the philanderers and boozers who have previously worn the captain’s armband. Terry’s behavior can hardly have surprised the FA. This is, after all, the same player fined by Chelsea for a drinking binge at a hotel packed with shaken American tourists 24 hours after the 9/11 terror attacks of 2001 — long before he was made England captain.
While Terry might not be smart enough to keep his name out of gossip pages, he does seem to realize that his path to public redemption lies on a football pitch. Unlike Woods, who has been Mr. Invisible since his infidelities were dished up to the fickle court of public opinion, Terry is playing through the storm. He may no longer wear the captain’s armband for his country, but each match, each goal, both for England and Chelsea, is a step back from disgrace.
Weeks in a sex-addiction clinic may help rescue Woods’ marriage. The reported possibility that Terry might visit his estranged wife in Dubai could rescue his. But if Terry scores a World Cup-winning goal, or if Woods breaks Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors, then they can be assured of undying love from fans.
Perhaps not tasteful. But it is true.