LITESPORT London Lite Thursday, 13 August 2009 35 SPURRED ME ONBREakINg NEwS... Injury forces Casey to pull out of US PGA PAUL CASEY has withdrawn from the US PGA Championship because of a rib injury. Casey, a three-time winner this year on the PGA and European tours, first strained the rib muscle a week before the British Open at Turnberry. He attempted to let it heal with rest and physiotherapy, but had to pull out early in the first round a week ago at Firestone. Casey (above), the world No3, was replaced by Tim Petrovic, who headed straight to the 10th tee to start his round. The Englishman is the third player to withdraw at Hazeltine, leaving 97 of the top 100 players in the world at the final major. Robert Karlsson and Trevor Immelman previously withdrew. king fisher: page 33 And Defoe had double cause for joy 13 minutes from time when he poked home James Milners low cross to cap an impressive all-round display. The pint-sized poacher must have put himself further ahead of Michael Owen in Fabio Capellos pecking order on last nights showing. And with four goals in his last two games he is rightly confident about his chancesof fendingoff achallengefrom Owen, whose high-profile move to Manchester United will surely boost his own England chances. Defoe said: I think this was my best game for England. Its only normal to read things and obviously I have heard a lot about MichaelandwhathismovetoManches- ter United could do. But I want to con- centrate on myself, scoring goals for club and country. Im getting older now, Im 26 and I feel a lot stronger and sharp. I have worked really hard in pre-season. I just want to get off to a good start to the season and score goals. He is certainly in pole position as far as Capello is concerned, who added: I think Defoe is one of the best English strikers there is. Hes very fast, techni- cally hes good and hes always in front of the goal. Its hard to remember a time when an England manager had so many options athisdisposal withthe likesof Carlton Cole and James Milner adding their names to the mix with eyecatching contributions against Holland. TheWestHamstrikerandAstonVilla winger, along with Defoe, turned the game on its head after catastrophic errors from Rio Ferdinand and Gareth Barry allowed the hosts to race into a 2-0 lead through Dirk Kuyt and Rafael van der Vaart. And former skipper David Beckham, one of Englands more impressive performers during a lacklustre first period, is excited by the depth of qual- ity in the squad. He said: Weve got a whole squad of exciting young players, not just 11. Weve got a whole host of players who can come on and make a difference. Without a doubt competition for places is getting stronger. Its what you want in World Cup year. l CROATIA closed the gap on England to seven points at the head of WCQ Group Six last night with a 3-1 win in Belarus. Arsenals Eduardo da Silva was on target either side of an Ivica Olic double. Two-goal Defoe is hungry to make up for 2006 HH 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.html