Sport in brief: Blue Monster is pain in neck for Poulter

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The Independent Online

Golf: Just three weeks on from his breakthrough win at the World Match Play, Ian Poulter almost crashed to last place on six over in the CA Championship in Miami yesterday. After shooting 78 on the Blue Monster, the world No 5 then said that he had nearly quit the event due to a neck problem.

The Englishman, who found the lake on the treacherous 18th, said: “The neck’s been coming on for a while and the pillows are not very good this week. My usual physio guy is in Australia, so I had to get some treatment when I got to the course and as I went to practice I still wasn’t sure I’d be playing.”

Leading the way on 10-under is Ernie Els, bidding to end two years without a win. The South African goes into the weekend one in front of Australian Robert Allenby, whose second eventful day in a row included a hole-in-one with a fairway wood at the 245-yard 13th. “It’s been two good days, especially considering where I was last week,” said Els. “I got out of whack and when you make changes you need to hit a million balls to get used to it.”

Vonn adds third world title to Vancouver gold

Skiing: Lindsey Vonn claimed the overall World Cup title for the third year running with victory in yesterday's Super-G race in Garmisch Partenkirchen in Germany. Vonn's closest rival, Maria Riesch of Germany, could only finish fourth to give the American an unassailable 215-point lead at the top of the standings heading into today's slalom, the final race of the season. The 25-year-old, who won downhill gold at the Vancouver Olympics, finished 0.16secs ahead of Austria's Elisabeth Görgl, with Nadia Styger of Switzerland third.

Sagan triumphs again but Contador stays in yellow

Cycling: Slovakia's Peter Sagan won stage five of the Paris-Nice Race to the Sun yesterday, his second victory of the event, but Alberto Contador retained the yellow jersey by finishing 10th. Sagan won the dash to the line in Aix-en-Provence by two seconds from Italy's Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre) and Spain's Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), who were among a group of 25 to finish two seconds behind. Astana rider Contador's overall advantage stands at 20 seconds from Valverde with two days of racing remaining.

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