Sport Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates on the 18th hole after winning the Australian Open

Northern Irishman pleased to put frustrating year behind him

Now for something completely different... John Cleese and Jumping Jack on our notes

Quantitative easing no longer means literally printing cash; 97 per cent of the money in circulation is neither coins nor notes. But the Bank of England keeps a list of faces to feature just in case it needs to produce new notes.

The Back 9 - 26 February 2009

Karlsson leads Sweden to Cup joy

Robert Karlsson was delighted to join the host of golfing greats who have won the coveted trophy after combining with Henrik Stenson to capture the World Cup for Sweden yesterday. The duo had made a relatively low-key start to the tournament and went into the final round four strokes behind leaders Spain and Australia.

Credit crisis diary: Your chance to bring Darling to book

Here's your chance to hold Alistair Darling to account. The Treasury Select Committee is planning an inquiry into the banking crisis and MPs want to know what you want to know. Such is the fury out there, our elected members reckon, that the public should have the opportunity to submit questions to the Chancellor. Try not to be too rude.

James Lawton: Calm after savage storm should induce a sense of perspective in Valhalla captains

A sports event is not the best reason for grown men to behave like teenagers

An email conversation with golfer Sam Torrance

'Europe will win at Valhalla. I just think we've got the stronger team'

Alex Salmond: The new king of Scotland

The Scottish Nationalists are riding high in the polls and savouring a crushing victory over Labour in the Glasgow East by-election. Their administration is earning plaudits, even from Cabinet ministers, but can the First Minister really pull off a break-up of the Union? John Mullin meets... Alex Salmond

Shin ushers in new era as Sorenstam bids farewell

On the day the female game's greatest champion said farewell to major competition, the Ricoh Women's British Open welcomed its third winner from Korea. Ji-Yai Shin may never become quite as famous as Annika Sorenstam, but the movement of which she is an integral part is dominating the game in a manner the Swede could never have imagined.

Arnie & Jack, by Ian O'Connor

Walter Hagen was reputedly golf's first millionaire but, with Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, the era of the big-business player truly arrived. This account of the rivalry between the two most successful golfers of their era suggests that their relationship was soured by mutual envy.

Brian Viner: Open circus provides stage for the clowns of Merseyside

One could quite easily be forgiven for thinking that the Open Championship is about golf, but in fact the Royal and Ancient game is only the very tip of the iceberg that, were it to appear in the Ribble estuary just north of Southport, would surprise nobody, least of all those Americans in town who appear to be suffering from the delusion that the summer is about sunshine.

Mickelson makes light of Tiger's absence

"Will it really count?" That is the question everyone who is anyone in golf will hear in the run-up to next week's Open at Royal Birkdale and yesterday at Loch Lomond two rather important competitors were pressed for their opinions.

Tiger loses battle of wounded knee

US Open champion out for rest of season to have vital reconstructive surgery

Rose blooms with hard work

Mathew Goggin squandered a great start but still held the clubhouse lead after his second round at the Memorial tournament here yesterday.

James Lawton: Glimmer of genius not enough to rescue Tiger

History applied some rare pressure here yesterday on Tiger Woods, the man who was anointed the game's best player so long ago. It said that he may be great, yes, indeed the greatest, but could he win hard and mean in his sport's equivalent of a street fight?

'I went from winning a tournament to a hospital bed'

When Trevor Immelman was laid up in a hospital bed, wondering if that lump growing inside his body was cancerous, the last thing on his mind was winning a golf tournament – much less a major. He thought about all his loved ones, especially one-year-old son Jacob.

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