StrugglingMontyhasfairwayto go,orthiswillbehisclosingOpen 40 Wednesday, 1 July 2009 London Lite LITESPORT Inbrief Lance reckons hes a chance LANCE ARMSTRONG starts the Tour de France in Monaco on Saturday saying hes happy to play second fiddle. He feels capable of winning for an eighth time but said he was willing to put his ambitions on hold for team-mate and rival Alberto Contador. The pair ride for the Astana team but Armstrong, 37, said he would play the support role if Cantador proved the likelier winner of the three-week event. Pakistan pass hockey Test ENGLANDS men slipped to a 2-1 defeat in the first of three hockey Test matches against Pakistan in Cannock. Akhtar Ali made the breakthrough on the counter-attack from the hosts 19th-minute penalty corner. Two minutes later Ashley Jacksons drag-flicked set-piece produced the equaliser, but England conceded the winner at a penalty corner three minutes from half-time from Muhammad Irfan. Have a crack at the backstroke ITALIAN swimmer Flavia Zoccari was forced to withdraw from the 200m freestyle at the 16th Mediterranean Games in Pescara yesterday... due to technical problems. Her high-tech swimsuit split down the back and she left the pool in tears. She did return for a crack at the 4x200m relay -- and won the gold medal. Taylor-made to ambush Aussies ENGLANDS women took a commanding 2-0 lead in their one- day international series against Australia with a 55-run win at Chelmsford. The World Twenty20 champions continued their dominance over Jodie Fields side with a convincing display underpinned by Sarah Taylors run-a-ball 120 which helped England to 259 for six in their 50 overs, despite losing opener Caroline Atkins for a duck. ANDREWSTRAUSSinsistshehasno worriesabouthavingAndrewFlintoff inhissideasEnglandtakeonWarwick- shire at Edgbaston in their final Ashes warm-up game today. Flintoff, 31, was handed an undis- closed punishment -- probably a fine which will go to charity -- and told to apologisetohisteam-matesaftermiss- ing part of last weekends squad bond- ing trip to Flanders. He failed to board the bus taking cap- tain Andrew Strauss and the other players on a tour of First World War trencheslastSaturdaymorning,spark- ing speculation that he had drunk too much during -- and after -- Friday evenings private team dinner. Strauss said: Fred has worked very hard on knowing the right and wrong times to drink, but its important he stays on the right side of that line. Hes very aware hes stuffed up on this occasion and hes taken it on the chin. The appropriate action has been taken. He must not do it again. Suchincidentsarenotanewphenom- enonforFlintoff.Hewassuspendedfor a World Cup match in St Lucia in 2007 afteralatenightcruiseonapedaloand formercoachDuncanFletcherclaimed he was too hungover to practise prop- erly the day before a limited-overs international in Sydney the same year. ButStraussappearstothinkthesitu- ation is firmly under control. He added: Fred is very keen to buy into what we are doing with the side. Teamspiritandteamunityisvitally important for us going forward. From my conversations with Fred he is very keen to play a full part in that. Ive got no worries about him being partof theside.Ithinkhehasgotplenty of pointstoprovethissummerandthat excites me. Heisdesperatelykeentocomeinand do well. Hehastrainedreallyhard--youjust BY NEAL COLLINS JUST four years after he finished runner-up to Tiger Woods, it could be that The Open in two weeks is Colin Montgomeries last. While fellow Scot Paul Lawrie is certain of a start in every Open until he is 60 thanks to his victory at Carnoustie 10 years ago, Montgomerie has to fight for his place every time. For the past 19 years, all the way through since his debut at St Andrews in 1990, he has found a means of winning that fight, but it is getting harder. The world rankings and European Order of Merit have more often than not secured him a spot, but after 12 months without a top- 10 finish Montgomerie goes into tomorrows French Open down at 211th and 94th. He turned 46 last week, but can take heart from the fact that 48- year-old American Kenny Perry reached fourth in the world on Sunday and Greg Norman, of course, came third in last years Open at 53. Being Ryder Cup captain will not come to his rescue next year. While he has being given an invitation to the US PGA Championship next month, the Royal and Ancient Club have never gone down that road. So the bottom line is that Montgomerie simply has to start playing better if he wants to be part of the action at St Andrews next year the 150th anniversary of the first Open. Freddie ready: Andrew Flintoff in the nets at Edgbaston before todays final Ashes warm-up against Warwickshire THEASHESDATES FIRSTTEST Wednesday, 8 July - Sunday 12 July Sophia Gardens, Cardiff SECONDTEST Thursday, 16 July - Monday, 20 July Lords, London THIRDTEST Thursday, 30 July - Monday, 3 August Edgbaston, Birmingham FOURTHTEST Friday, 7 August - Tuesday, 11 August Headingley, Leeds FIFTHTEST Thursday, 20 August - Monday, 24 August Kennington Oval, London BY KRISS IVERSEN Flagging: Montgomerie is well below par Out ofbriefs index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html