2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
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- Burgess named in England Saxons team
Rugby league convert Sam Burgess will make his international debut on Friday after being named in the second-string England Saxons team to face the Irish Wolfhounds in Cork. Burgess will partner Elliot Daly at centre and Saxons coach Jon Callard says he has been impressed by what he has seen from the 26-year-old Bath player so far. Burgess only joined Bath from South Sydney Rabbitohs last October, but has been tipped to stake a claim for a place in England head coach Stuart Lancaster's squad for the World Cup.
- Serena and Sharapova's 'black heart' rivalry
The bitter rivalry between Australian Open finalists Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova took root on the hallowed Wimbledon turf in 2004 and is still thriving more than a decade later -- both on and off the court. The problem was, the fairytale victory that catapulted her to global celebrity came at the expense of Serena Williams -- top seed at the time and hot favourite for a third straight Wimbledon title -- a result that the American has never forgotten. It has spurred her on to an overall record of 16-2 against Sharapova, with the Russian's last victory over the world number one coming more than a decade ago. Since 2005, the American's winning streak is 15-0, including straight sets wins over Sharapova in the Australian and French Open finals (2007 and 2013), as well as the gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics.
- Woods struggles as Palmer sets pace in Phoenix
By Mark Lamport-Stokes SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (Reuters) - While Tiger Woods struggled in his first PGA Tour start of the season, Ryan Palmer birdied two of his last three holes to seize a one-shot lead at the weather-hit Waste Management Phoenix Open on Thursday. Palmer, bidding for his fourth career victory on the U.S. circuit, covered his last seven holes in five under par to card a seven-under 64 in the opening round at the TPC Scottsdale before play was suspended for the day in fading light. Nine players were yet to complete the round when the siren sounded to halt the action with PGA Tour rookie Daniel Berger the best placed at six under after 16 holes. Keegan Bradley and Masters champion Bubba Watson opened with 65s but 14-times major winner Woods looked very rusty in his first PGA Tour event in five months as he started out with an erratic 73 on a mainly overcast day in the Arizona desert.