Thursday Evening Sports Update

GOLF

Rory McIlroy has had an opening round to forget at the BMW PGA Championship.

The PGA Tour Player of the Year shot a four over round of 76 at Wentworth.

Padraig Harrington sits on one over a 73, with Paul Dunne four over through eight holes.

Open champion Shane Lowry is best of the Irish after an opening level par round of 72.

The Offaly man says he was pretty pleased with how he played on day one:

England’s Matt Wallace leads by a shot on 7 under after an impressive 65 that include an eagle and five birdies.

SOCCER

Sergio Romero, Axel Tuanzebe (PRON: TWAN-ZEB-AY) and Mason Greenwood will all start for Manchester United in their opening Europa League Group L tie.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side take on Kazakh champions Astana at Old Trafford at 8pm.

Last season’s runners-up Arsenal travel to Eintracht Frankfurt in their opening Group F game.

Kick-off is at 5.55pm in the side’s first competitive meeting.

That is also the time Neil Lennon’s Celtic take on Rennes (PRON: REN) in France while their Glasgow rivals Rangers welcome Feyenoord to Ibrox at 8.

Wolves are in the main stage of a European competition for the first time since 1980.

Portuguese outfit Sporting Braga visit Molineaux (PRON: MOLLY-NEW), with kick-off at 8pm.

Peter Beardsley has been banned from all football and football-related activity for 32 weeks.

The punishment comes after the FA charged him with three breaches of rules relating to ethnic origin and/or race – while coach of Newcastle’s Under-23 side.

The ban will last until April 29th next year.

RUGBY

Back-row C-J Stander feels the Ireland squad have prepared well for the Rugby World Cup.

The tournament kicks-off tomorrow morning Irish time when host Japan play Russia in Tokyo.

Ireland play their first game in Pool A against Scotland on Sunday and Head Coach, Joe Schmidt will name his team at 7am tomorrow.

Keith Earls and Rob Kearney have been recovering from injuries this week and Andrew Conway is being tipped to play at full-back with Jordan Larmour on the wing if Earls is not fit to start.

CJ Stander says Ireland are ready.

GREYHOUND RACING

The Irish Greyhound Board says the commercial future of the racing industry is uncertain.

It’s told the Public Accounts Committee today that attendances at meetings across the country are down.

Three sponsors of the sport pulled out following a recent RTÉ expose into the sector but the Board says they only amounted to 10,000 euro combined.

Gerard Dollard, chief executive of Bord na gCon says the existing model from a financial sustainability perspective is problematic: