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Snooker: Former world champions miss out in qualifying

Former world champions Mark Williams and Graeme Dott failed to reach this year's renewal as both lost in the final qualifying round on Tuesday. Welshman Williams, world champion in 2000 and 2003, lost to veteran Scot Alan McManus. The 43-year-old two-time world championship semi-finalist winning through to this year's championship 10 frames to eight.

Moore the merrier after American wins par-three event

By Tony Jimenez AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - American Ryan Moore won the event that no one wants to win on Wednesday when he triumphed in the annual eve-of-Masters par-three contest. In the 54 years the event has been staged since Sam Snead won the inaugural competition in 1960, no par-three winner has gone on to emerge victorious at the Masters in the same year. Raymond Floyd came within an eyelash of ending the jinx in 1990 but lost to Nick Faldo in a playoff.

Faldo likes Scott's chances of repeat Masters win

By Mark Lamport-Stokes AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Nick Faldo is one of only three players who have claimed back-to-back Masters victories and he rates Adam Scott's prospects of joining that illustrious group as "good" in this week's edition. Scott has enhanced his status as one of the game's leading players with a superb run of form over the past year, but needs to avoid "getting wound up about defending" if he is to retain his Masters crown, according to Faldo.

Golf: Masters matters more than football, says Fitzpatrick

Just making the cut would be a dream for this year's youngest player at the Masters, 19-year-old Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick, but he could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Making it into the weekend would mean he would be sure of missing his football club, Sheffield United, play Hull City in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday. Languishing down in England's third tier, it is a rare look at glory for one of the oldest clubs in the world, who last won the famed trophy in 1925.

Masters golf advisory

The 78th edition of the Masters golf tournament starts at Augusta National in Georgia on Thursday, April 10, without the injury-hit world number one and four-time former winner Tiger Woods. AFP has prepared a package of advancer stories to file in the buildup to the first of the year's four majors. On Wednesday/Thursday we filed the first of these looking at the consequences of Woods' back injury and we followed on Friday with a general preview, a story on defending champion Adam Scott of Australia and a list of past winners.

Golf: Masters wide-open, says McIlroy

Rory McIlroy believes golf is at a crossroads as the top players fine-tune their preparations for next week's Masters and he is determined to be the one to show the way forward. The 24-year-old Irishman has two major titles under his belt -- the 2011 US Open and the 2012 PGA Championship -- but he endured a torrid 12 months last year when equipment changes, business wrangles and personal matters got in the way of his supreme natural talent.

Cricket: Moores, Newell in contention for England post

Lancashire coach Peter Moores has emerged as a leading contender to become the new England cricket coach, although Nottinghamshire's Mick Newell has also made clear his interest. The duo are on a four-man shortlist along with current England limited-overs coach Ashley Giles and Trevor Bayliss, as the race to succeed Andy Flower hots up. Moores previously served as England coach from May 2007 until January 2009, when the breakdown of his relationship with then captain Kevin Pietersen forced the England and Wales Cricket Board to act.

Cricket: Cook in favour of Pietersen axe

England captain Alastair Cook has given his backing for the "brave call" to end the international career of Kevin Pietersen. Despite being England's leading run scorer across all formats, South Africa-born batsman Pietersen was axed by the England and Wales Cricket Board in February following the team's 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia. But exactly why he was sent into seemingly permanent international exile remains a mystery, with ECB statements citing a need for team "rebuilding" and "trust" raising more questions than answers.

Cricket: Cook in favour of Pietersen axe

England captain Alastair Cook has given his backing for the "brave call" to end the international career of Kevin Pietersen. Despite being England's leading run scorer across all formats, South Africa-born batsman Pietersen was axed by the England and Wales Cricket Board in February following the team's 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia. But exactly why he was sent into seemingly permanent international exile remains a mystery, with ECB statements citing a need for team "rebuilding" and "trust" raising more questions than answers.

Cricket: Cook still unable to lift lid on Pietersen axe

England captain Alastair Cook said Tuesday he was "frustrated" at his inability to reveal the reasons behind Kevin Pietersen's international exile, although he promised all would become clear "soon". Despite being England's all-time leading run scorer across all formats, South Africa-born Pietersen was axed by the England and Wales Cricket Board in February following the team's 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia.
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