Best of the Weekend: July 1-2

Despite the lack of football due to the summer break, Germany still found time to win the only trophy on offer while in golf it was the turn of an unexpected winner to claim some major glory. Join us as we round up the best of the weekend.

Kang keeps her cool in Chicago

Danielle Kang surprised a few people, including herself probably, on Sunday as she fought off defending champion Brooke Henderson to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Kang held her nerve admirably to birdie the last hole (the first winner to do so in more than 25 years) and seal her first LPGA Tour win. The fact that it was also a major makes it even more impressive.

It was all the more surprising given that in 30 prior starts at majors, Kang had never recorded a top-10 finish. Her previous best being a tie for 14th place at the 2012 US Open.

Still, congratulations are in order, plus maybe a little help in lifting that trophy!

Stanley ‘Quicken’ off the mark!

Over on the men’s tour there was another unlikely winner as Kyle Stanley beat Charles Howell III in a playoff to claim the Quicken Loans National.

The win was only Stanley’s second PGA title and his first in five years, it also marked the pinnacle of a career comeback for someone who lost his tour card for a couple of years in between.

Stanley now gets a chance to make a name for himself in Europe as the win saw him earn an invite to the British Open at Royal Birkdale later this month.

Germany win yet another trophy

Despite sending what most pundits termed a ‘B-team’, Joachim Low and his Germany side still managed to sweep all before them and win the Confederations Cup – the warm up for their title defence in Russia next summer.

OK, they were a bit fortunate to come away with a win after Chile dominated the final match, but the South Americans only have themselves to blame after a defensive error gifted Lars Stindl the only goal of the game.

Still, a win is a win. And with a ‘B-team’ this good Low could probably be forgiven for expecting a repeat performance in Russia 12 months from now.

Marquez makes his ‘marc’ at last

The old saying ‘the cream rises to the top’ rang true on Sunday as reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez went top of the standings for the first time this year after victory in Germany.

The win at the Sachsenring was only Marquez’s second of the season, but now he leads the rankings with 129 points.

It is still anyone’s title at the moment with only 10 points separating the top four riders as the race calendar takes a month-long break before returning in the Czech Republic early next month.

Djokovic ‘bourne’ again in Eastbourne?

Novak Djokovic signalled a welcome return to form – for him, anyway – ahead of Wimbledon on Saturday as he crushed Gael Monfils of France in straight sets to claim victory in the Aegon International.

It hasn’t been a good year for the former world number one so far, but he will be hoping that he can carry this upturn in form into SW19 as he seeks a fourth Wimbledon title.

Karolina Pliskova was another player displaying good form on the grass as she defeated Caroline Wozniacki to claim victory in the ladies tournament.

It was the world number three’s third title of the year and ninth of her career as she heads to Wimbledon in top form.

Meanwhile, it was good news for Asian tennis as Japan’s Yuichi Sugita clinched his first ever title on the ATP World Tour, defeating Frenchman Adrian Mannarino at the Antalya Open.

Sugita beat Mannarino in straight sets to become only the third Japanese player ever to win on the circuit, alongside Shuzo Matsuoka and Kei Nishikori.

Will there be more Asian success at SW19?

Jeff ‘de-Horns’ Pacquiao in shock decision

The sporting surprise of the weekend came in Australia as Jeff Horn defeated Manny Pacquiao to claim the WBO welterweight belt.

The former schoolteacher overcame the odds and a vastly experienced opponent to claim the win following a bruising 12-round contest.

The result came as shock to many observers, who had Pacquiao well ahead on points, but they must have been watching a different fight to the judges as Horn won a unanimous decision.

To his credit, Pacquiao did not cause a fuss, and accepted the controversial decision.

A lesson for everyone in both perseverance and sportsmanship!