Kaymer clinches first win of 2012 at Sun City

© Reuters Former world number one Martin Kaymer won his first tournament in more than a year with a two-stroke victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at a rain-soaked Gary Player Country Club on Sunday.

The German, whose last victory came at the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai in November 2011, hit a final round 69 to finish on eight-under-par, two better than local favourite Charl Schwartzel who also shot a 69.

American Bill Haas was a further three strokes back after a one-under 71, one shot better than South African Louis Oosthuizen who was too inconsistent and struggled to a two-over-par 74 and fourth place.

Defending champion Lee Westwood was aiming to become the first player to win the event three times in a row but the Briton's poor putting let him down and he fell away, shooting a one-over 73 to finish fifth.

Kaymer, the 2010 U.S. PGA champion, started well and eagled the par-five second but then double-bogeyed the third to give his rivals hope in the soaking conditions.

Schwartzel emerged as his closest challenger and the former U.S. Masters champion got it to four-under after a birdie at the 14th to trail by one.

But the pivotal moment for Kaymer also came at the 14th. The German badly hooked his tee shot into some dense rough but a superb recovery helped him to get down in two more for a birdie four.

A bogey at the 17th effectively ended Schwartzel's hopes and Kaymer coasted home with three pars over the closing three holes.

World number 32 Kaymer, whose victory gave him the $1.25 million first prize in the 12-man invitational event, told reporters: "The biggest stroke of luck was definitely on 14. I could very easily have made a six or a seven.

"I'm just very happy to finally win this year. I've practised very hard and played very well but it just hasn't happened for me. I said to my caddie, we have to win one tournament every year and this was our last chance."

Kaymer had an eight-week spell as world number one early last year.

Schumacher fans hail their departing hero

© Reuters Michael Schumacher's fans made their presence felt at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday as the seven times Formula One champion prepared to say farewell to the sport at the age of 43.

"On 25 Nov 2012, last day of the golden age of F1," declared one banner in the grandstand overlooking the main Interlagos straight.

"Michael, F1 is nothing without you" and "Michael, we love you," said others.

Schumacher will start the race in 13th place, hoping to finish in the points at least at the end of a career that started in 1991 when Red Bull's current world champion Sebastian Vettel was four years old.

"We're not really in a position to offer a lot of fireworks in this last race although I wish to do," the German said, standing next to championship leader Vettel on a truck as they went around the circuit for the pre-race drivers' parade.

"It's been a pleasure to come back," added the sport's most successful driver, who won his titles and 91 races with Benetton and Ferrari before returning with Mercedes.

"I enjoyed most of it. It wasn't as successful as we wanted it to be but still I learned a lot for life and I'm quite glad for the good emotions again. Now is a good time to go..."

Schumacher retired for the first time in Brazil in 2006 and came back in 2010.

With Mercedes he has just one podium finish to his credit, at the European Grand Prix in Valencia this season. The German has not scored a point in his last six races.

Force India to get investment boost

© Reuters Force India will have a 50 million pound ($79.67 million) boost to help them move up the Formula One grid after a strong performance this year, the team's co-owner Vijay Mallya announced on Wednesday.

"We had a board meeting in India after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the board has approved a 50 million pound capital investment programme for the team," he said in a preview for Sunday's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

"We are going to invest heavily in new technology and give more tools to our design team to try and move further up the grid."

Indian Liquor and aviation tycoon Mallya is principal of the British-based team that he co-owns with the Sahara Group, who have a 42.5 percent stake.

Force India are seventh overall on 99 points, 25 behind sixth-placed Sauber and 23 ahead of Williams in eighth, and are almost certain to stay in that position now unless they or Williams have an astonishing result on Sunday.

They finished sixth last year, but with only 69 points, and their current tally is the most they have managed since Mallya bought the struggling Spyker (previously Jordan) team in 2007.

"Every year we've demonstrated that we've gone up the ladder," said Mallya. "And we've taken fairly significant steps, not just baby steps. Given the tools that we have, which are mostly of the Jordan era, we have done exceptionally well."

Sahara invested $100 million in Force India when they bought into the team in October 2011 and Mallya has said the money would be paid in three tranches over three years with the final instalment due in 2013.

No details were given on Wednesday about the time frame for the latest investment.

Both Mallya and Sahara have attracted negative headlines recently, with the former's Kingfisher airline grounded while the Sahara Group was ordered in August to refund about $4.6 billion to investors after India's Supreme Court ruled finance schemes run by two of its companies were illegal.

Mallya, one of India's richest men, also agreed a $2.1 billion deal this month to sell a majority stake in his United Spirits Ltd to Diageo Plc.

Sunday's race at Interlagos will be German Nico Hulkenberg's last with the team before he moves to Swiss-based Sauber.

Hulkenberg, who has scored 53 of the team's points so far, took pole position against the odds for Williams on his last outing in Brazil in 2010 and Mallya praised his contribution to Force India.

"Nico has been one of the stars this season. He's delivered exactly what we expected of him and brought a lot to this team. He has a big future in Formula One and we wish him well," said the Indian.

Galatasaray boost hopes with win over United

© Reuters Galatasaray earned a 1-0 victory in a hard-fought battle with a young Manchester United side on Tuesday, snatching the win through a Burak Yilmaz header in their Group H Champions League game.

The victory boosted Galatasaray's hopes of reaching the knockout stage, putting them in second place in the group, behind United who had already qualified after four wins in their first four matches.

Burak put the Turkish champions ahead in the 53rd minute, heading into the top left corner above the head of Rafael after Felipe Melo had gone close seconds earlier and won a corner.

Hamit Altintop just failed to double Galatasaray's lead in the 78th minute with a powerful shot which flew off the crossbar.

United, knowing qualification was already assured, rested a number of senior players including Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David De Gea and Robin van Persie.

In their final match on Dec. 5, Galatasaray, who are ahead of CFR Cluj on goal difference, will play Braga. The Portuguese side, who lost 3-1 to Cluj, are already out of the competition on three points.

After a cagey start, Galatasaray became more of a threat as the first half progressed, pinning the visitors back into their own half but creating few goalscoring opportunities.

Striker Burak headed over the bar from a Selcuk Inan free kick in the 21st minute.


Galatasaray went close again some 10 minutes later when a strike from Hamit forced a save from Anders Lindegaard and United scrambled the ball away.

United worked hard to keep possession and neutralise any threat from Galatasaray and had chances of their own in the first half.

Eighteen-year-old Nick Powell, on his Champions League debut, saw his header fly off the crossbar in the 43rd minute.

Galatasaray started the second half in determined fashion and an Albert Riera volley from outside the penalty area was save by Lindegaard in the 49th minute.

United stepped up a gear and sought to find a way back into the game but Galatasaray survived a late bout of pressure to secure the points.

"Beating Manchester United is important," said Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim. "We played brilliantly and unselfishly. My players played football in a way we have been expecting for a long time.

"We are very hopeful for second place," he added. "There is no guarantee in football but we will play well at Braga who no longer have any chance."

United manager Alex Ferguson said: "Parts of the game were good but in the area which we were worried about - set pieces - we suffered.

"Other than that I was satisfied and it was a decent performance," Ferguson told the club website (www.manutd.com). "We had some good attacking play in the first half and at that point the only trouble they gave us was from outside the box. It was a very competitive, good game."

United's Darren Fletcher said the Istanbul pitch had made things difficult. "The biggest problem was that the pitch wasn't good at all," the midfielder told Sky television. "It was difficult to play one-twos."

Luiz Adriano nets hat-trick as Shakhtar qualify

© Reuters A hat-trick by Luiz Adriano helped Shakhtar Donetsk qualify for the Champions League last 16 as they beat Nordsjaelland 5-2 away on Tuesday, but the striker will be remembered as a villain in the Danish capital.

Nordsjaelland had taken the lead through Morten Nordstrand but Adriano equalised when he pounced on a pass back to the Nordsjaelland goalkeeper after an injured player received treatment, prompting loud jeers and whistles from the home crowd.

Kasper Lorentzen put Nordsjaelland back in front when he turned and rifled home minutes later, but a brilliant brace by Willian either side of halftime and two more by Luiz Adriano saw the Danish champions routed and put the Ukrainian side into the knockout stages.

Shakhtar top the group on 10 points, one ahead of Juventus who beat Chelsea 3-0 in Turin. Despite being out of the race, Nordsjaelland can still play a part in deciding who comes second as they face Chelsea in London in their final group game next month.
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