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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.

Cricket: English cricket needs total rethink after Dutch disaster

England cricket must make sweeping changes after a humiliating defeat to the Netherlands in the World Twenty20 capped off a dismal winter, the national press said Tuesday. England, who had already been eliminated from the competition before Monday's debacle in Chittagong, were bowled out for just 88 runs with more than two overs to spare in reply to the Netherlands' modest 133 for five.

Cricket: Pietersen plans Caribbean commute

For most cricketers the fact the Caribbean Premier League and its English county Twenty20 equivalent are taking place at the same time would mean playing in both was impossible. However, England exile Kevin Pietersen is planning to do just that, turning himself into a jet-set player like no other by flying in and out of the West Indies, a commute of thousands of miles, from his London base. "I will be fulfilling ALL my @surreycricket commitments and just flying into the Caribbean to honour this opportunity," Pietersen told his Twitter followers on Friday.

McLaren confident of more podium places in Malaysia

By Patrick Johnston SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - McLaren duo Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen believe a lack of pace will not stop them vying for more podium spots on Malaysia's notoriously fast track after promising shows at the season-opener in Australia. The two drivers were promoted to second and third in Melbourne two weeks ago after the disqualification of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, putting the team on top of the constructors standings.

McLaren confident of more podium places in Malaysia

By Patrick Johnston SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - McLaren duo Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen believe a lack of pace will not stop them vying for more podium spots on Malaysia's notoriously fast track after promising shows at the season-opener in Australia. The two drivers were promoted to second and third in Melbourne two weeks ago after the disqualification of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, putting the team on top of the constructors standings.
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