Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

GOLF

Rickie Fowler is the early joint leader in the opening round of the Scottish Open near Edinburgh.

The Masters runner up is showing great form ahead of the Open at Carnoustie next week.

He carded an eagle and five birdies to lie on 7 under par after just 12 holes.

He’s since dropped a shot to leave him tied at the top with England’s Robert Rock on 6-under par.

Graeme McDowell lies on one under par through 14 while Pádraig Harrington is one-over par.

Paul Dunne will begin his round at 2.20. 

CYCLING

Dan Martin has a good chance to close the gap on yellow jersey-holder, Greg van Avermaet, in today’s sixth stage of the Tour de France.

The finish is at the Mur-de-Bretagne, where Martin finished second in 2015.


SOCCER

Three League of Ireland clubs kick off their Europa League campaigns this evening.

Premier Division leaders Dundalk have travelled to Estonia to play Levadia Tallinn.

Shamrock Rovers welcome A-I-K Stockholm to Tallaght, while Dinamo Minsk are the visitors to Derry City.

Rovers have lost just once in their last nine games.

Midfielder Greg Bolger says it is vital they build a lead ahead next week’s second leg in Sweden.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard takes charge of Rangers for the first time in a competitive match this evening.

The Glasgow side welcome Shkupi of Macedonia to Ibrox.

Rangers were dumped out of the Europa League by Luxembourg part-timers Progres Niederkorn last season.

Gerrard says it is time to start over again.

Newly promoted Premier League club Fulham have completed the signing of Jean-Michael Seri from Nice.

The Ivory Coast midfielder has signed a four year contract in deal said to be worth around 35 million euro.

He had been linked with a move to Chelsea.

TENNIS

Serena Williams can reach her first Grand Slam final in 18 months today.

The 36-year-old continues her come back after giving birth, by playing Germany’s Julia Goerges in the semi-finals of Wimbledon.

The last 4 encounter between 11th and 12th seeds Angelique Kerber and Jelena Ostapenko opens the afternoon’s proceedings on Centre Court.

Williams is a seven time Wimbledon Ladies Singles champion, but says she has exceeded her expectations at this year’s tournament.


RACING

There is racing today on the Standard Track at Dundalk from 2.30 and in Leopardstown, where it’s good to firm, from 5.40.

Today’s meeting at Newmarket gets underway at 1.50. The going there is good to firm.

At Doncaster, it’s good to firm and good in places, off at 2.15

At Carlisle they run at 2.05 where it’s good to firm

There are evening meetings at Newbury at 5.50pm – good to firm and at Epsom from 6pm, good to firm, good in places.