Sporting Q & A

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Q. As I understand the rules of golf, if a player knocks a ball off the tee while addressing it he can replace it without penalty. If he knocks the ball accidentally at address on any other part of the course it incurs a penalty. Why the difference?

A. It is a fundamental principle of golf that one plays the ball (winter conditions apart) as it lies. Any "accidental" movement of the ball through the green or in a hazard - even by a quarter of an inch - could dramatically improve the lie. Within the defined limits of the tee, the player can place the ball anywhere; any accidental movement or re-teeing in this area would confer no advantage.


Sedgefield, Co Durham (via e-mail)

A. The difference with knocking a ball off the tee is that it is yet to enter play on that particular hole. Elsewhere, whether on he fairway, green, rough, or hazard, the ball has already begun its weary way. Of course it should be noted that only the opening shot can be made with a tee in the first place.



Q. I have only seen real tennis played at Lord's. Are there any other major centres for the sport? Who is the British Champion? Is there a World Champion?

A. There are real tennis courts opening all around the country. Apart from Lords, Queen's Club and the Chelsea Harbour Club in London, it is possible to play at Leamington Spa, Cambridge University, Manchester Tennis and Racquets Club and the Bristol and Bath Club, to name but a few. The World Champion is Rob Fahey, from Melbourne in Australia. There is no British champion as such, though the Open champion, world No2, and highest ranked British player is Julian Snow. The British and World women's Champion is England's Penny Lumley.


Taunton, Somerset

Answers please

Q. Since losing a group match to Juventus in December 1997, Manchester United have played 14 consecutive Champions' League matches without defeat. Is this a tournament record?


London N2 (Via e-mail)

Q. It was interesting to read Steve Tongue's contention (Independent on Sunday 9 May) that no team have lost as few as three matches and finished outside the top two in the Premiership or old First Division. But what is the most number of games a club has lost and still gone on to lift the championship in the top flight. And what about in the other Football League divisions, or Scotland?



If you know an answer, or have a sporting question, write to Q and A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171-293 2894. E-mail: