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Ronaldo the World Cup wonder

Steven Lynch February 4, 2013
Ronaldo is top of the pops for World Cup goals © Getty Images

Who has scored the most goals in the World Cup? asked Robbie Patrick
Assuming you mean goals in the final stages of the FIFA World Cup, the leader is Ronaldo, the toothy Brazilian forward, who scored 15 in all - four in 1998, eight as the trophy was won in 2002, and three in 2006. Just behind him come a pair of Germans with 14: Gerd Muller (ten in 1970, and four as West Germany won in 1974) and Miroslav Klose (five - all headers - in 2002, five in 2006 and four in 2010). Next comes Just Fontaine, the Morocco-born Frenchman, who scored 13 goals in 1958, still the record for a single finals tournament. He's just ahead of Pele, who scored 12 - six in 1958 (when he was 17), one in both 1962 and 1966, and four in 1970. The most goals scored if you include all qualifying matches is 35, by Iran's Ali Daei between 1994 and 2006.

I seem to remember someone breaking their putter in anger during a Ryder Cup, probably in the 1980s. Who was it, and what happened? asked Colin Maitland
This famous incident occurred in the 1987 Ryder Cup at Muirfield Village in Ohio (the course designed by Jack Nicklaus, who was the USA's captain that year). During his crucial final-day singles match against Europe's Eamonn Darcy, the American Ben Crenshaw broke the shaft of his putter by banging it into the ground in a moment of frustration after losing the sixth hole to go two down. Crenshaw was forced to putt for the remainder of the match with either his one-iron or the leading edge of his sand wedge ... yet somehow clawed his way back to take the lead at the 16th. But Darcy won the 17th to square the match, then won the last as well when Crenshaw had to take a penalty drop after driving into the water. It was a vital point for Europe, their 13th of a match they eventually won 15-13.

Kauto Star won the King George VI Chase at Kempton five times. Is this a record for a horse winning the same annual race? asked Carl Matthews
It's not quite a record, no. Golden Miller won the Cheltenham Gold Cup five years running (1932-36), but the record for a major British race is held by Brown Jack, which won the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot six years in a row, from 1929 to 1934. There's now a statue of him at Ascot. Kauto Star's five wins in the King George (2006-09 and 2011) broke the previous record for the race of four, by Desert Orchid (1986 and 1988-90).The worldwide record is held by an American horse called Leaping Plum, which won the Grasmick Handicap at Fonner Park in Nebraska eight times between 1995 and 2003, missing out in 2002.

David Ferrer of Spain reached his fifth grand slam semi-final at the 2013 Australian Open - and he's still never played in a final. Is this a record? asked Becky McDonald
The men's record is held by Britain's own Tim Henman, who reached six grand slam semi-finals without ever winning one - four at Wimbledon, and one each in the French and US Opens. The only man other than David Ferrer (who has reached the Australian and US Open semis twice, and the French once) to have played five grand slam singles semi-finals and lost them all was the Japanese player Jiri Satoh, who reached two Wimbledon and two US semis, and one in Australia, in the early 1930s. Turning to the women, Australia's Mary Bevis Hawton reached the semi-finals of the Australian Championships six times, between 1948 and 1956, and lost the lot; and in the early days of the US Championships, Edith Rotch appeared in five semi-finals between 1896 and 1910, and never won one.

Who was Britain's only Olympic athletics gold medallist in the 1970s? asked George Clarke
In these days of plenty for Team GB, it's a bit of a jolt to remember that there was a time, not very long ago, when Olympic medals seemed rather harder to come by. At the 1976 Montreal Games, Britain's only athletics medal was a bronze, by Brendan Foster in the 10,000 metres. Four years previously at Munich, in the only other Olympics in the '70s, Britain did a little better: David Hemery (400m hurdles) and Ian Stewart (5000m) picked up bronze medals, the men's 4x400m relay team (which included Hemery) won silver ... and Mary Peters took gold in the pentathlon. Peters - now Dame Mary - was only the third British woman, after Ann Packer and Mary Rand in 1964, to win an individual athletics gold medal.

What is the longest winning streak in American football? asked Geoffrey Agar
The longest winning streak in the NFL is 21 games, by the New England Patriots in 2003-04, a run which included their narrow (32-29) Superbowl victory over the Carolina Panthers in February 2004. In the 2007 season the Patriots also won their first 18 games, before losing the Superbowl to the New York Giants early the following year. The only perfect season in NFL history was achieved by the Miami Dolphins in 1972, when they won all 17 of their matches - 14 regular-season games, two playoffs, and the Superbowl early in 1973.

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