Brittany leaps into two-shot Bahamas lead

MIAMI - American Brittany Lincicome fired a tournament record nine-under par 64 Thursday to grab a two-stroke lead after round one of the LPGA Pure Silk Bahamas Classic, the tour's 2017 season opener. Lincicome made seven birdies and eagled the par-5 seventh hole in a bogey-free tour of the Ocean Club course on Paradise Island, her lowest round since a 64 at the 2011 ShopRite Classic and one shot below the old mark she matched in the 2016 last round on her way to sharing eighth. "I was making everything -- 30-footers, 10-footers, five-footers -- it was a pretty easy day," Lincicome said. "I was driving it well, hitting it well, putting, making everything. It was one of those where it's like, wow, is it too good to be true for it to keep going for three more days?"–AFP


Stepanova returns at Boston indoor meet

NEW YORK - Russia's Yulia Stepanova, who helped lift the lid on a state-backed doping programme in her homeland, will return to major competition in the 800 metres at Boston Indoor Grand Prix. Stepanova is set to compete as a neutral athlete, listed without a nation in the start list that opens US television coverage of the meet, which launches the five-city IAAF World Indoor Tour. After being hit with a two-year doping ban in 2013, Stepanova helped gather evidence of systemic dope cheating in Russia. She turned whistleblower for the World Anti-Doping Agency and has been living in the United States with husband Vitaly Stepanov in a hidden location following death threats. Stepanova, 30, returns to competition with an eye toward the World Championships in London next August.–AFP


Shaggy to light up PSL opening ceremony

LAHORE - The opening ceremony of HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) promises to be another glittering affair as internationally acclaimed singer Shaggy confirms his participation for the event set to take place at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium (DICS) on February 9. The Jamaican reggae singer will be one of the main attractions at the ceremony that will also see performances from top Pakistani singers Ali Zafar and Shehzad Roy. Renowned TV host and movie star Fahad Mustafa will host the ceremony, a spokesman of Pakistan Cricket Board said here on Friday. In a special message for his Pakistan fans, Shaggy expressed his excitement ahead of the performance and requested his fans to flock the stadium.–APP


Shabbir leads Garrison Open Golf

LAHORE - Islamabad Golf Club players dominated the second day in professional category of All Pakistan Garrison Open Golf Championship Friday. Shabbir Iqbal, Haseebur Rahman and M Munir were first round leaders while Lahore Garrison Golf & Country Club’s Matloob Ahmed was on fourth. Pakistan number one Shabbir carded a gross score of 65, seven under par over the first 18 holes. His teammate Haseeb was trailing by one stroke while Munir carded a score of 68. Matloob scored 69, Hamza Amin and M Tariq carded 70 apiece while Wisal Khan and Kamran Shafiq were bracketed at 71. In the junior category, Usman Ali with a score of 148 topped the card with Shawan Pervaiz second and Nasir Masih third. Youngster Roman Khan holed in one at the par three 14th hole and won a Suzukki WagonR.–Staff Reporter


Surya leads National Tenpin Bowling

ISLAMABAD – Ali Surya was the surprise leader of the 10th National Ranking Tenpin Bowling Championship 2017 singles category after six-game first round finished here at Leisure City Bowling Club, Safa Gold Mall late Thursday night. Heavyweights including Ijaz Khan, Zafar Iqbal, Saqib Shahzad and Afzal Akhatr were nowhere close to what was expected from them at their home turf. Karachi-based bowlers enjoyed comfortable victories and managed to take away almost all the titles on offer. Ahmer Saldera is all set to grab Pakistan number 1 rankings if he bagged this title and is also in the hunt. After six games were completed it was Ali was topper while Saleem Baig was right at his tail and veteran M Hussain Chatha and Sardar Ahmer Abbas Saldera are battling it out for the top honours. Ali finished first night with an average of 192.3, while Saleem Baig remained second with 180.3 average and Ahmer Abbas and Hussain Chatha were scoring at an average of 180.1. The situation will be clear after second and final round which will start late Friday night. Ijaz Khan’s top ranking is very much on the stake. It will need more than a miracle for Ijaz to retain his top position, while doubles, team event and trios will also start late Friday night.–Staff Reporter