Press Association Rory McIlroy has played himself into title contention at the Valero Texas Open and is relishing the opportunity to push for victory this weekend. The world number two’s mission this week was to play himself into form ahead of the Masters, and Friday’s five-under-par 67 indicated he is back in the old groove. Billy Horschel, eight under after 36 holes, leads the way but McIlroy is only three shots back. “I’m looking forward to getting into contention. I haven’t really been in contention this year and it’ll be nice to get in the mix,” the Northern Irishman said. “I want to play well and know if I play well I’ll have a great chance to win.” He said of his third round: “I knew the conditions were good and you had to take advantage of it. I played solid, I drove the ball well, hit quite a lot of greens, and made some nice putts coming in. It gets me in a good position going into the weekend. I turned in one under par and felt I was playing better than that.” A run of three birdies from 16 to 18 reassured McIlroy, and the challenge will be to shoot another low round today. “I think I was rewarded for my patience out there,” he said. “It was a great way to finish and it’ll make dinner taste nicer and give me a few more hours in bed. I’m feeling comfortable with my game. I definitely feel like I made the right decision to come here, and even if I hadn’t been in this position and have been a few shots back I’d still feel the same way.” American Horschel leads from compatriots Charley Hoffman and Daniel Summerhays and Australian Steven Bowditch, all on six under. Dubliner Padraig Harrington had been four under after the opening round, but at one stage in his second 18 holes he slipped back to one under. Starting on the back nine, he dropped shots at 11, 13 and 17 before repairing much of the damage with birdies at the sixth and ninth lifting him to a 73 and a healthier three under. Scotland’s Martin Laird was also three under after a 71, with Englishmen Brian Davis and David Lynn steady on two under after their respective rounds of 72 and 70. Ireland’s Shane Lowry also carded a 72 to be two under through 36 holes. Ian Poulter and Charl Schwartzel just made the cut at one over after shooting rounds of 75 and 73 respectively.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) has expressed satisfaction with the preparation of host country of the 2015 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Morocco ahead of the competition.The CAF Inspection team travelled to the competition host cities namely; Rabat, Marrakech, Agadir and Tangier on 14th to 21st of April, 2014.CAF second vice president Almamy Kabele Camara, who led the inspection mission, said that CAF was satisfied with the quality of the inspected facilities (stadiums, hotels, roads, and telecommunications).The Moroccan government, represented by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Karim Aqary reaffirmed the commitment of the authorities to ensure every effort is not spared to make AFCON 2015 a success.Mr Agary also revealed that it was decided to work on improving the infrastructure of the stadium in Rabat in keeping with the high standards set at other venues.At each stage of the inspection visit, the CAF delegation met the administrative and municipal authorities of each of the host cities of the competition to lay the foundations for a partnership to ensure the success of CAF’s flagship competition which will be played under the theme of the “Celebration of Africa”. To enhance cooperation and coordination of the smooth running of the tournament, Morocco has created a platform where the Ministries of Higher Education, National Education and the Youth and Sports will work together with their representatives and those from host cities and football leagues, all pooling their resources to make it a successful AFCON finalsMeanwhile, CAF on 21st April, 2014 signed the Framework Agreement on the organization of the competition with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) in Rabat, Morocco.CAF was represented by its 2nd Vice President, Almamy Kabele Camara and FRMF by its President Fouzi Lekjaa at the signing of the 78 page document which lays out among others things, the legal framework for collaboration between the two institutions, defines the responsibilities of each stakeholder and actions to be executed in areas such as marketing, media, transportation, lodging, ticketing, accreditation, security and finances.CAF and the Moroccan AFCON 2015 LOC will meet again in Cairo Saturday, April 26, 2014, on the eve of the AFCON 2015 qualifying draw.The Organising Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations will among other things affirm official dates of the qualifying tournament schedule and the final tournament. The final draw will take place on November 26, 2014 in a city that will be named during next week’s CAF meetings in Cairo.