Press Association Rule 6-3a states that if a player arrives at his starting point, within five minutes after his starting time, he is given a two-shot penalty. Otherwise, the penalty for a breach of the rule is disqualification. The story took another twist when it later emerged that Jeppe Huldahl was about to tee off in Granberg’s place, only to be told that he was only first reserve if a European Tour member pulled out. As Granberg is an Asian Tour member, his place should have gone to first reserve Anthony Kang, but Kang had given up hope of getting a place and withdrawn to caddie for his friend Uhno Park instead. That meant Singapore’s Chih-Bing Lam, who was originally second reserve, took up the place and had to sprint to the 11th tee, where he joined Park’s group and proceeded to shoot a four-under-par 66 to lie joint third. Lam told European Tour Radio: “We were sitting having lunch and I was nudging Anthony to go and caddie because we just didn’t think we had a chance. You couldn’t script it any better and to get paired together, that was just hilarious. “When I got the call to go to the 11th tee I was just waiting for Anthony to be on the other end and say ‘Gotcha’ but somehow it worked out pretty well today.” Kang added: “I felt really bad for Joonas being in that situation and felt bad for me not getting a spot, but I’m glad Chih-Bing got a spot and played a fantastic round today.” Sweden’s Joel Sjoholm almost got disqualified as well, arriving on the first tee with moments to spare and having to play the first hole without his golf shoes. “I set six alarm clocks this morning and woke up in desperation at 7:58am, tee time was 8:30am and we live a good 25 minutes from here so I was panicking to the tee box,” Sjoholm told European Tour Radio. “I was lucky to get a taxi pretty quickly and the European Tour helped me out big time because I showed up without any golf shoes on because they were in the locker. They went to the locker for me and I played the first hole in sneakers until I came up to the green when they were standing nicely there with two pairs of shoes so I could pick. It was the royal treatment! “It felt quite awkward and when I was standing over the first tee shot I realised I hadn’t even tied the laces on my sneakers, which are a half size too big as well. “I managed to scramble a four on the first; the whole day I have just been waiting to make a bogey and it happened on the last hole. I am happy I shot minus two, I should not even be here. I am really happy at the moment. Maybe I should do it more often because it’s a long time since I started that good.” Sjoholm’s round of 68 left him four behind Higgins, who carded nine birdies and three bogeys in his six-under-par 64 to finish one ahead of Italy’s Andrea Pavan. Higgins, who lost his European Tour card by less than 20,000 euros at the end of the season, said: “It was great. I just played good solid golf from tee to green, holed some lovely putts and had a chip in; if you’re going to shoot a low score like that you’ve got to do some good stuff. “If you drive it well here you’ve got a lot of short irons into the greens and that’s a strong part of my game so I’m comfortable on that. It has quite a linksy feel with the firm conditions and I grew up on Waterville, one of the best courses in Ireland, so that suits me. “I played quite well towards the end of the season so I have been coming into some form, been working hard and it’s time to push on and have a good week here.” Pavan dropped just one shot, at his penultimate hole, in his 65, with English duo Adam Gee and Seve Benson among a seven-strong group a shot further back on four under. Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, seeking a record-equalling fourth win in the event, three-putted the last and had to settle for a level-par 70. Granberg was due to tee off at 11:50am local time from the 11th hole at Hong Kong Golf Club, but initially went to the first tee before realising his mistake. The 26-year-old then dashed to the 11th tee only to find his caddie had gone to the 10th tee – the more usual starting place for a two-tee start – instead. Ireland’s David Higgins claimed a one-shot lead after the first round of the Hong Kong Open that saw Finland’s Joonas Granberg suffer a bizarre disqualification and massive confusion over his replacement.
Black Stars head coach, C.K. Akonnor, insists that Asamoah Gyan is part of his plans and ideas for the national team going forward.Gyan has not played for the Black Stars since the 2019 AFCON tournament in Egypt and following his exclusion from the 23-man team named to face Sudan this month, there has been speculation that the North East United striker has quit the national team.However, Akonnor says he has not had any indication of Gyan’s retirement and the player is still with the national team.“The last time I checked, Asamoah Gyan had not retired from the national team. He remains the general captain of the team.I had a chat with him at the Accra Sports Stadium when Kotoko took on Bechem United (in the Ghana Premier League) and he never told me that he had retired or that he did not want to no longer play for the team.So, I consider to be part of the team.”It is likely Gyan could get back into the team especially as Akonnor stated that the players who had missed the Sudan ties were not totally out of his future plans.What does Gyan make of Akonnor?The player has been complimentary of his newest coach in the Black Stars. In an exclusive interview with Pulse.com.gh, Gyan stated how highly he rated Akonnor and he was of the opinion that he would a lot of support from all the stakeholders if the Black Stars will be hugely successful under the former Wolfsburg captain.“CK [Akonnor] is a good coach. Although he coached the local teams here, I didn’t see him that much until the Black Stars played a friendly game against Kumasi Asante Kotoko at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.I saw his tactics, I saw how he arranged players, I saw his IQ, I saw something in him. After the game, I went to him and I told him he can be a very good coach. And lo and behold he is a coach of the national team.I’m not saying he is the best coach but he is a good coach and I think if we give him the confidence and we give him what he wants, definitely I’m sure he is going to do well.”
Substitute Javiera Grez wasted a golden chance with a panicked finish but it mattered little two minutes later as Yanara Aedo’s shot struck the post and then Boonsing before creeping over the line.The keeper did not cover herself in glory for the second either, allowing Urrutia’s header to creep in, while her rash leap at the Chile striker saw a penalty awarded following a VAR review.Lara could not convert, however, leaving La Roja heartbroken while Nigeria was able to celebrate a place in the knockout stages. Women’s World Cup 2019: Updated group stage results and standings Women’s World Cup 2019: 3 takeaways from USA’s win over Sweden And they looked on course to do exactly that as Thailand goalkeeper Waraporn Boonsing’s own goal was added to by Maria Jose Urrutia’s header 10 minutes from the end, with Chile well on top.Boonsing’s clumsy foul on Urrutia offered Lara the chance to net the crucial third from the spot four minutes from time, but her effort crashed against the crossbar, meaning Nigeria, from Group A, advance at Chile’s expense. Related News Women’s World Cup 2019: USA on collision course with France after beating Sweden Congrats, @NGSuper_Falcons!See you in the Round of 16! #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/OEONhzRapY— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) June 20, 2019Chile began the brighter and went agonisingly close to an opener as Urrutia’s effort was headed onto the post by Natthakarn Chinwong.Thailand improved as the opening period progressed, Silawan Intamee seeing an effort deflected narrowly wide before Kanjana Sung-ngoen’s 35-yard chip was tipped over.Rosario Balmaceda rattled the Thailand woodwork for a second time late in the half, but Chile was ahead soon after the restart. Chile bowed out of the Women’s World Cup despite a 2-0 win over Thailand as Francisca Lara’s late penalty miss cost Jose Letelier’s side a place in the last 16.La Roja needed to win by three goals in Rennes on Thursday to advance from Group F as one of the best third-placed teams.