Summer of sport

Making the most of Golf, Cricket and F1

By Liam Coleman

- Last updated on GMT

Making the most of Golf, Cricket and F1

Related tags Red bull The open championship

As the Euro 2016 group stages reach their midway point, the summer of sport is finally in full swing. Yet the sad reality is that it’s time to start thinking about what’s next up when England inevitably get knocked out in a quarter-finals penalty shoot-out.

There is little doubt that the Euros are still going to provide an amazing spectacle and the Rio Olympics are not too far away. Yet with the US Open this weekend, plenty of England cricket Tests still to 
come and the most exciting F1 season in years, these are the sports that will be driving people into pubs.

Here the Publican’s Morning Advertiser has a look at the state of play in each of these sports, what to expect in the next few months and how these sports can be capitalised on.



A Test series win against a still-maturing Sri Lanka side seemed all but inevitable. So it proved with a victory of more than an innings in the first Test and a nine-wicket triumph in the second Test. Yet this shouldn’t understate the formidable talent this England team is blessed with. You can only play the opposition in front of you and England’s lethal bowling attack has decimated Sri Lanka.

Yet Sri Lanka have so much more to give than they showed. Their style of play will be much more suited to their limited overs clashes with England. A five-part one-day series runs from the middle of June to the first week of July and is likely to go right down to the wire. Add to this the fact that a couple of these are day/night matches — including one on a Friday — and we could be in for some thrillers. Meanwhile the solitary T20 match starts at 6.30pm on a Tuesday and will, no doubt, absorb the evening crowd.

Next up England host world number three Test side, Pakistan. England are currently ranked as the fourth best team in the world in the long format and will be out for revenge after a 2-0 series defeat to Pakistan in the UAE last autumn.

Despite that series loss, and their inferior world ranking, England will start the Test series as comfortable favourites, thanks to the bowling attack that proved so lethal against Sri Lanka. Yet Pakistan are an exceptional Test side and are likely to give England a very close-run battle. This four-match Test series, therefore, gives us a chance to see England’s impressive bowling attack and resilient middle order ply their trade against some of the best.

Formula 1


You could be forgiven for predicting that the 2016 season was going to be another year of domination for Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team. They looked as unstoppable as ever in pre-season testing.
Yet nobody anticipated a new determination from Hamilton’s Mercedes team mate, Nico Rosberg, as well as the Red Bull and the Ferrari teams.

Rosberg burst out of the blocks by winning the first four races of the season. He appeared to have the measure of Hamilton and to have found a new assured confidence when pit against his team-mate.

The races that have followed have been anything but predictable though. The Spanish Grand Prix saw 18-year-old Max Verstappen become the youngest race winner in the sport in his first race for the Red Bull team. Monaco, meanwhile, saw Hamilton stand on the top step of the podium for the first time since last October with a champion’s drive in challenging conditions. As for Rosberg, he achieved six points over the course of the two races and has seen his lead at the top of the world championship cut quite substantially.

The European season is now in full swing and there are four races in the month of July, including the British Grand Prix. Hamilton will want to use his home race as well as the glorious historic tracks of the Red Bull ring (formerly known as the Österreichring) in Austria; Budapest, Hungary; and Hockenheim, Germany; to haul himself right back into the fight for the title.

It’s also impossible to rule out a challenge from the ever improving Ferrari and Red Bull teams throughout the summer months and the second half of the season.

The only prediction that can be made for the 2016 F1 season is that predicting it is impossible.



Twenty years on from Nick Faldo’s triumph, we finally have another British winner of the Masters. It is not the player you were expecting though. Amid all the talk of Rory McIlroy finally completing a career grand slam by winning at Augusta, it was Yorkshireman Danny Willett that emerged in the final nine holes to secure the green jacket in April.

This was not in a script for a year that was apparently meant to be one dominated by a new found big three of McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day.

Willett’s surge to a first major is symptomatic of what we may well see in the case of several players over the three majors that occur this summer as they chase a place in this autumn’s Ryder Cup.

First up we have the US Open in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, which starts this week. This will represent the first opportunity to see the world’s elite in action at a major after the dramatic final day of April’s Masters. The likely questions to be posed will centre on that event’s winner and its runner-up. How will Willett cope now that he is a marked man? And has Spieth recovered from his dramatic capitulation?

In four weeks, it will be time for the oldest and most famous golf major there is, The Open. Royal Troon in south Ayrshire, Scotland, hosts the event for the ninth time and, as ever with The Open, it is anyone’s guess as to who will lift the Claret Jug.

The PGA Championship has been moved forward this year because of golf’s inclusion at the Rio Olympics. The result is that there is only two weeks to wait after the Open to see if Jason day can retain his title — this time it will take place at Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, New Jersey.

This means golf is going to be a near constant source of drama throughout the summer months.

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