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Clarke favourite for Ryde Cup captain role

Former Open champion Darren Clarke remains a strong favourite to be named European Ryder Cup captain for 2016 on Wednesday.

Clarke, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn are the contenders to succeed Paul McGinley at Hazeltine in September next year, when Europe will be looking to maintain their recent dominance with a seventh win in the last eight contests.

Darren Clarke is optimistic. Credit: PA

McGinley is part of the five-man selection panel who will each have a vote when they meet at European Tour headquarters in Wentworth, with predecessors Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie joined by European Tour chief executive George O'Grady and players representative David Howell.

Sources close to Clarke are understood to be quietly optimistic that the Northern Irishman has enough support to get the nod, although the 46-year-old is understandably said to be not taking anything for granted.

Davies 'flattered and honoured' by R&A membership

Laura Davies is one of the first members. Credit: PA

Dame Laura Davies has spoken of her honour after being named as one of the first female members of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

The Scottish club had a men-only membership rule for its 260-year history until they voted to change the rules.

It’s an incredible honour and I am so flattered. I’ve had such an amazing time lately, with the Damehood, Hall of Fame and now this lovely news, that I feel so very lucky. This is such an historic moment in golf’s history and I really appreciate that the R&A have invited me to be part of it.

– Laura Davies

St Andrews announce first ever female members

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews have named their first ever female members.

Princess Anne and six top female players are the now on the membership list after a 260-year history of only admitting men.

More than three quarters of the club's 2,400 members took part in a ballot, with 85 per cent voting to allow women members.

Princess Anne is now a member. Credit: PA

The club said in a statement on its website: "The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is delighted to announce that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Dame Laura Davies, Renee Powell, Belle Robertson MBE, Lally Segard, Annika Sorenstam and Louise Suggs have accepted invitations to become honorary members of the club."

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Tiger Woods' future in doubt after another injury

Tiger's future is in doubt. Credit: Reuters

Tiger Woods faces further questions over his future in golf after being forced to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open in California on Thursday.

Woods missed last year's Masters and the US Open after having surgery on a pinched nerve and only managed 11 holes in his first round at Torrey Pines before pulling out of the tournament.

The 14-time Major winner appeared to hurt his back after hitting his tee shot at the 12th - his third hole of the day - but carried on for eight more holes before calling it a day.

Woods said this was the first time he has experienced such a situation as he tries to manage his comeback.

Usually you don't have to wait like this. At home practising I keep going and keep going. This is different.

My glutes (gluteus maximus muscles) are shutting off. If they don't activate it goes into the lower back. I tried to activate my glutes best I could but they didn't stay activated.

– Tiger Woods speaking to Sky Sports.

Golfer McIlroy settles for more than £13m - reports

Rory McIlroy's settlement with his former agent is worth more than £13million after the two came to an out of court agreement, Press Association report.

The golfer was suing Conor Ridge, of Horizon Sports Management regarding the cut the agent was taking from McIlroy's earnings.

"It's in the public domain that the amount of money owing under the contract and the money likely to be generated from the the contract was 20 million dollars," a source said.

Rory McIlroy was in court on Tuesday. Credit: PA

McIlroy had sued Mr Ridge's agency over the cut his firm was taking from on and off-course earnings in a potentially ugly row over £4.2million in fees.

A brief statement agreed between the McIlroy and Ridge camps was released following the hearing.

"The legal dispute between Rory McIlroy and Horizon Sports Management has been settled to the satisfaction of both parties, who wish each other well for the future," it said.

"The parties will be making no further comment."

Caddies launch lawsuit over £33m bib sponsorship

The caddies aren't happy. Credit: Reuters

Golf caddies have instigated a lawsuit against the PGA Tour, claiming they deserve a share of £33million earned from sponsored bibs.

Caddies earn nothing from the bibs they wear, so filed the action on Tuesday in North California.

The Tour is also accused of not providing access to healthcare and pension plans.

Golfer McIlroy spends 42 seconds in court

Rory McIlroy is involved in a dispute with his former agent. Credit: PA

The world's top golfer Rory McIlroy spent just 42 seconds in court before his lawsuit against his former agent was deferred.

McIlroy is suing Conor Ridge's Horizon Sports Management over the percentage of his earnings they took.

The bitter row over £4.2million in fees has taken the pair all the way to the big business division of the Irish High Court in Dublin.

Court number one in the Four Courts in Dublin was packed, as Judge Brian Cregan agreed to give lawyers for both sides time to open discussions. The case is scheduled to resume at 2pm and is expected to last eight weeks.

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