Cantlay extends Riviera lead; Woods begins near cut line

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Patrick Cantlay came within an inch of a hole-in-one, the start of three straight birdies that led to a 2-under 69 and a two-shot lead in the Genesis Open. Cantlay, the No. 1 amateur in the world when he played at UCLA, had to wait until the end of Friday to see if the lead held up. Tiger Woods was among those playing in the afternoon, when the greens typically are at their worst. Woods was on the cut line when he began the second round. Cantlay was coming off a three-putt bogey when his tee shot at the par-3 sixth — the hole with a bunker in the middle of the green — landed above the flag and to the right, and then rolled back down the slope just over the right edge of the cup. "I actually missed a little to the right, but it's a bowl back there so as long as you get the number right, it should be pretty close," Cantlay said. He followed with a short iron into 5 feet for birdie, a 15-foot birdie on the next hole and then a wild drive that led to a bogey on his final hole. Cantlay, who won in Las Vegas last fall, was at 7-under 135. Tony Finau, who shared the 18-hole lead with Cantlay, recovered from a sluggish front nine with a 3-3 start to the back nine that helped him salvage a 71. He was two shots behind among the early finishers. Bubba Watson, a two-time winner at Riviera, ran off five birdies in a six-hole stretch around his turn before he was undone by a double bogey on No. 5. His approach went into shin-high grass short of the green and he three-putted. Even so, he had a 70 and was in the mix heading toward the weekend. That would be considered progress. Watson hasn't won since his most recent Riviera victory in 2016. He was at No. 4 in the world after that title. He arrived this week at No. 117. The two-time Masters champion says he is getting back some weight he lost when he was ill. More putts are going in. One aspect of his personality hasn't changed. When Watson is in L.A., he takes in a lot more than golf. Watson was scheduled to play for Team Clippers in the celebrity game during NBA All-Star weekend. He suggested that he might have taped a show with Jay Leno and perhaps spent time with a friend named Ellen (DeGeneres). He was in full celebrity mode when he won at Riviera in 2016, so maybe that's the recipe. Dustin Johnson was just happy to still be in the game. He managed a 69 on Friday, which should enable the defending champion at No. 1 player in the world to make the cut. Depending on how the afternoon went, Johnson still would only be eight shots behind. That's a tribute to firm, dry Riviera and greens that get bumpy in the afternoon and make it hard for anyone to get to hard ahead. Rafa Cabrera Bello tried in the morning. The Spaniard opened with six birdies in seven holes, but he still only managed a 67. He joined two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen (71) and Troy Merritt (71) in the group at 3-under 139. Jordan Spieth had a 70 and was six shots behind......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnFeb 17th, 2018

Bubba Watson wins at Riviera for the 3rd time

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bubba Watson ended two years without winning with his third victory at Riviera. Watson seized control Sunday with two par putts as everyone around him was dropping shots, then pulling ahead by holing a bunker shot on the par-3 14th hole. He closed with a 2-under 69 for a two-shot victory in the Genesis Open over Kevin Na and Tony Finau, and more tears on the 18th green. It was his first victory since he won at Riviera two years ago, rising to No. 4 in the world. Watson showed up this year at No. 117, coming off a year filled with so many doubts that he says he discussed retirement with his wife on a dozen occasions. If anything, the only talk of retirement should be whether settle down off Sunset Boulevard. He joined Ben Hogan and Lloyd Mangrum as three-time winners at Riviera. Hogan's victories include a U.S. Open. Na hit a wedge close to perfection from the worst angle on the reachable par-4 10th hole for a birdie and two-putted for birdie on the 11th to briefly take the lead. He fell back with consecutive bogeys from the trees and shot 69. Finau lurked all day. His last chance was an eagle putt on the 17th that stopped inches short of the hole. Patrick Cantlay had a one-shot lead going to the back nine until he ran into tree trouble on the 12th and 13th holes. The UCLA alum could do no better than pars the rest of the way for a 71 to tie for fourth with Scott Stallings (68). Phil Mickelson also was in the hunt. He was within one shot of the lead when he hit a 4-iron from a deep bunker on the 15th hole to just right of the green. But he went after birdie and watched the ball roll 20 feet down the hill, leading to bogey. Mickelson shot 68 and tied for sixth. Coming off good weeks at Phoenix and Pebble Beach, Mickelson has three straight top 10s for the first time since 2009. Watson, meanwhile, wrapped up another fun-filled week in L.A. on and off the golf course, which included an appearance in the NBA All-Star celebrity game, where he shot an air ball from just inside the top of the key and was rejected by Tracy McGrady driving — jogging, really — along the baseline toward the basket. Far more memorable was getting his 10th career PGA Tour victory. "My goal has always been to get 10 wins. So many emotions going through my head right now," Watson said, choking back tears. "You never know if you're going to play good again. You never know if you're going to lift the trophy." Watson once jokingly said he would retire if he reached 10 tour victories, though this should only motivate him more, especially with the Masters closing in. Watson already had two green jackets. He finished at 12-under 272 and moved to No. 41 in the world, which makes him eligible for the World Golf Championship in Mexico City in two weeks. Watson had a one-shot lead going into the final round, though this was up for grabs from the start. A week of sun made Riviera firmer than usual and penalized even the slightest mistakes, especially starting on the 12th hole when the course turns back toward the west and into the wind. Watson hit a delicate chip from short of the 12th green to 8 feet and made the par putt on its last turn. Then, he came up short to a tough pin on the 13th, chipped to 8 feet and made it again to take a one-shot lead. His big moment came on the 14th. Watson hit too big of a fade toward the left pin, and it came up short and into the bunker. He blasted out and watched it bang into the pin and disappear, and he pointed at caddie Ted Scott and said, "You called it." From there, he didn't make any mistakes with regulation pars on the next two holes, two putts from 60 feet for birdie on the 17th and a safe par on the 18th. Defending champion Dustin Johnson, starting the final round four shots behind after a 64 on Saturday, made a double bogey on No. 5 that derailed him. Johnson made a triple bogey on that hole in the opening round......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018

Bubba Watson takes the lead at Riviera

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Back to his day job, Bubba Watson started with a tap-in eagle and finished with a 6-under 65 to build a one-shot lead in the Genesis Open. Watson is a two-time winner at Riviera who hasn't won in two years. But he loves L.A., and not just the golf course. Taking in the full entertainment aspect of the city, Watson was eager to play in the celebrity game Friday night during the NBA All-Star weekend. Along with an air ball, he was rejected by Tracy McGrady. He was much better with a club in his hand. Watson was at 10-under 203, one shot ahead of UCLA alum Patrick Cantlay, who holed a 55-foot birdie putt on his last hole for a 69......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2018

Tiger plans to play Torrey Pines, Riviera on West Coast

KAPALUA, Hawaii — Tiger Woods is playing twice in California over the next six weeks as he begins another comeback on the PGA Tour from back surgery......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

Rams Rules: LA routs Seattle 42-7 for control of division

By Tim Booth, Associated Press SEATTLE (AP) — Todd Gurley rushed for 152 yards and scored four total touchdowns in just 2.5 quarters, and the Los Angeles Rams moved to the cusp of their first division title since 2003 with a 42-7 thumping of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. The matchup to determine first place in the NFC West was completely one-sided. Los Angeles (10-4) was dominant, embarrassing Seattle into the worst loss during Pete Carroll’s eight seasons in charge. Taking advantage of field position, the Rams scored on six of seven first-half drives, including a 21-point scoring blitz in the second quarter capped by a 57-yard TD run by Gurley on third-and-20 with less than a minute remaining in the first half to take a 34-0 lead at the break. Gurley had 144 yards rushing in the first half, twice scoring from the 1. He added a 14-yard TD reception midway through the third quarter for a 40-0 Rams lead and spent the rest of his day watching. The 152 yards rushing were the second-best of his career. The Rams don’t have the division wrapped up, but have a two-game lead with two weeks to play. A win against either Tennessee or San Francisco is enough for their first division title in 14 years. Perhaps bigger than the division title was the statement made by the Rams. They didn’t just win in Seattle — a place losing its aura as the toughest to play in the league. They completely dominated the Seahawks, making a Carroll-coached team look rarely overmatched in a big game. Seattle (8-6) is barely alive for the postseason, but it will likely need some help. While the Seahawks don’t look playoff ready, the Rams look playoff scary, dominating the line of scrimmage and taking advantage of their first-half opportunities. Six of the Rams seven possessions in the first half started at midfield or inside Seattle territory and they scored on all six. The only miscue of the half was a questionable fourth-and-1 decision at the Seattle 24 where the Rams called a play-action pass that was tipped and intercepted. It was the one highlight of the first half for Seattle. Rams QB Jared Goff didn’t need to do much, completing 14 of 21 for 120 yards and two TDs. He threw a 1-yard TD to Robert Woods in the second quarter along with his TD to Gurley. Seattle avoided the shutout on Russell Wilson’s 26-yard TD pass to Luke Willson late in the third quarter. But it was one of Wilson’s uglier performances. He missed key throws early when Seattle’s offense couldn’t get started. He threw a backward pass for a 23-yard loss in the second quarter when Seattle finally got to midfield. He fumbled trying to spin out of a sack. And he cost Seattle a safety being flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone in the fourth quarter. Wilson was 14 of 30 for 142 yards and rushed for 39 yards. He was sacked seven times. SPECIAL IMPACT Rams punt returner Pharoh Cooper had a big first half that helped Los Angeles build its huge lead. Cooper set up the Rams first touchdown with a 53-yard punt return to the Seattle 1 in the first quarter. He later had a 26-yard return to set up another short field for the Rams that was capped by the second of Gurley’s 1-yard TDs. HALFTIME THUMPING The 34-0 halftime deficit was the largest for Seattle since the 2010 season — the first under Carroll — when it trailed the New York Giants 35-0 at halftime on the way to a 41-7 loss. It was the largest halftime lead in a road game for the Rams in franchise history. UP NEXT Rams: Los Angeles is at Tennessee next Sunday. Seahawks: Seattle is at Dallas next Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2017

James Harden scores 48 points, Rockets win 9th in row

By Nick Daschel, Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The NBA’s hottest team has found a home on the road. Houston won its ninth consecutive game after James Harden scored 48 points and the Rockets rallied from 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 124-117 on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). The Rockets, who trailed for most of the game, won their eighth consecutive road game, running their season road record to 12-1. It is Houston’s best road start since the 1996-97 season. Harden hit 16-of-29 shots and grabbed eight rebounds, while Chris Paul scored 24 points and Trevor Ariza had 13 for Houston. The Rockets’ 20-4 record is the best by percentage in the NBA this season. “We’re riding high right now. That’s great. We know we’ll have some bumps. We have a lot of things to figure out, but we just keep getting better and grinding it out,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said. Houston took a good punch from Portland, which was trying to end a three-game home court losing streak. Damian Lillard tied a franchise record with nine three-pointers and scored 35 points, while C.J. McCollum had 28 for the Blazers (13-12). “It was disappointing to lose. ...We had a lot of good efforts from a lot of different players. It was good to be in a game at the end against a really good team,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. Houston hasn’t had a close game in a while, particularly with Paul returning to action from an early season knee injury. That changed Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) as Portland built a 98-84 lead after three quarters, though Lillard started the fourth quarter with an ice bag on his right foot after limping to the bench. Houston went to a small lineup, and punished Portland’s defense with 1-on-1 offense. The Rockets hit 15-of-18 shots, and Harden and Paul combined to score 25 of the team’s 40 fourth-quarter points. “Me and James were talking about how cool it was. I went a few times and then he got to go a few times. It was fun that we got to play off of each other like that,” Paul said. Harden went 6-of-7 during the fourth quarter, including five layups. “We went small and they had to adjust to us . once they did that, we had shooters on the court and the lane was wide open. So it was layup, layup, layup, 3-ball,” Harden said. With Lillard’s foot on ice, Houston launched a rally, pulling to 103-98 when Lillard returned with seven minutes remaining. But the Rockets had momentum, and took a 110-109 lead on Ariza’s three-pointer. The Rockets never trailed again, outscoring Portland 14-6 during the final three minutes. “It took everything we had to beat them,” D’Antoni said. The Blazers, eager not to finish a home stand 0-4, were aggressive early, as Lillard hit two three-pointers but also drew two fouls during the first three minutes. Midway through the first quarter, Lillard stepped in front of Paul and earned a charging foul, touching off a battle of words that resulted in technicals to Portland’s Meyers Leonard and Paul. Lillard’s three-pointer gave Portland its largest lead of the first half at 57-46, but Houston outscored the Blazers 16-5 during the final 5:37 to pull even at 62 at halftime. TIP-INS Rockets: Houston is 10-0 with Paul in the lineup. ... Paul missed 14 games with a knee injury. ... Nene returned to action after missing one game with a corneal abrasion. ... Houston plays its next seven games at home. ... Harden has scored at least 20 points in each of Houston’s 24 games this season, only the second player to accomplish such a feat since the 1990-91 season. Trail Blazers: Portland had fresh faces in its starting lineup, as Leonard made his first start and guard Evan Turner his second of the season. They were replacements for injured Jusuf Nurkic (ankle) and Maurice Harkless (quad). ... The Blazers hit a season-high nine three-pointers during the first half. ... Portland begins a five-game trip Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) at Golden State. ROCKETS WIN BIG AT THE LINE Houston piled up a big edge at the free throw line, making 34-of-42 shots, while Portland took only 12 free throws, making nine. “The disparity was ridiculous,” Stotts said. UP NEXT Rockets: Host New Orleans on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). Trail Blazers: At Golden State on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 10th, 2017

49ers earn first win of the season, top Giants

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — C.J. Beathard threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third score to lead the San Francisco 49ers to their first win of the season, 31-21 over the New York Giants on Sunday. Beathard connected on an 83-yard TD to Marquise Goodwin and a 47-yarder to Garrett Celek in the second quarter as the 49ers (1-9) took advantage of another listless effort by the Giants (1-8) to win for the first time under coach Kyle Shanahan. Beathard's time as starting quarterback in San Francisco figures to be numbered after the team acquired Jimmy Garoppolo two weeks ago in trade from New England. Garoppolo has been learning the offense and could take over when the team returns from the bye in two weeks. While the Niners could be making a quarterback change soon, this performance will only heighten the questions about whether the Giants will need to change coaches. Ben McAdoo has been under fire after a report this past week from ESPN that quoted an anonymous player as saying the players have given up on the season and don't view McAdoo as a leader. The Giants have not fired a coach during the season since 1976 when Bill Arnsparger was let go after a 0-7 start and replaced by John McVay. FALCONS 27, COWBOYS 7 ATLANTA (AP) — Adrian Clayborn set an Atlanta record with six sacks, Matt Ryan threw a pair of short touchdown passes and the Falcons romped to victory over Dallas. The Cowboys looked anemic offensively in their first game without suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott. Ryan hooked up with Justin Hardy on a 3-yard pass for Atlanta's first offensive touchdown in the third quarter this season. Early in the fourth, Ryan put the game away for the Falcons (5-4) by tossing one to Austin Hooper for a 1-yard score. While the Cowboys (5-4) sure missed Elliott, who finally began serving a six-game suspension for allegations of domestic abuse after three legal reprieves, they really noticed the absence of left tackle Tyron Smith. He sat out the game with back and groin injuries, leaving third-year player Chaz Green to protect Dak Prescott's blind side. It didn't go well for Dallas. Beating Green time after time, Clayborn forced two fumbles, recovered one of them and surpassed the team record of five sacks, held by Chuck Smith and Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey. Even more impressively, Clayborn's performance matched the second-most sacks in NFL history. RAMS 33, TEXANS 7 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert Woods caught two of Jared Goff's three touchdown passes during a dominant third quarter, and surging Los Angeles returned after a month away from home for their fourth straight victory, 33-7 over depleted Houston. After struggling to a 9-7 lead during a quiet first half for the NFL's highest-scoring team, the Rams (7-2) ran away with a series of big throws by Goff, who passed for a career-high 355 yards. Woods caught a 94-yard TD pass to break it open before Sammy Watkins and Woods made TD catches 19 seconds apart late in the third quarter. The Rams defense shut out Houston in the second half and won at the Coliseum for just the third time in 11 games since returning to Los Angeles last season. Woods finished with eight catches for 171 yards, making the longest catch of his NFL career before following it up with a 12-yard TD. Bruce Ellington caught a 26-yard TD pass for the Texans (3-6), who have lost three straight and four of five. Tom Savage passed for 221 yards with two interceptions for Houston, which lost its second straight since losing rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson for the season with a knee injury. SAINTS 47, BILLS 10 ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Mark Ingram scored a career-best three touchdowns and New Orleans won its seventh straight game by plowing through a porous Buffalo defense. Alvin Kamara also had a 3-yard touchdown rushing as the Saints blew the game open by scoring five times on their first six possessions, not including a one-play series to close the first half. Ingram finished with 131 yards rushing. He scored twice from 3 yards and again on a 1-yard plunge. The Saints finished with 298 yards rushing and 32 first downs. Their defense was just as dominating in limiting Buffalo to 198 yards and 10 first downs. And five of those first downs came on Buffalo's meaningless final drive that ended with backup quarterback Nathan Peterman hitting Nick O'Leary on a 7-yard touchdown pass. New Orleans set a franchise record by scoring six touchdowns rushing, and it marked the most allowed by Buffalo in team history. Even Saints quarterback Drew Brees got involved in the run of rushing touchdowns by scrambling in from 6 yards in the final minute of the third quarter. Trey Edmunds capped the scoring with a 41-yard touchdown run. The Saints never punted, the only thing to stop them was tight end Josh Hill losing a fumble at the Buffalo 9 in the first quarter. The Saints (7-2) haven't lost since dropping their first two games and matched their longest winning streak since closing the 2011 season 8-0. New Orleans has already matched its win total from each of the past three seasons. The Bills (5-4) simply unraveled in losing their second straight and dropping to 4-1 at home. STEELERS 20, COLTS 17 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger's 32-yard completion to Antonio Brown with 35 seconds set up a 33-yard field goal from Chris Boswell as time expired. The Steelers (7-2) have won four straight overall and five in a row in the series. But it sure wasn't easy as the Colts (3-7) held Roethlisberger, Brown and Le'Veon Bell in check. Pittsburgh needed two second-half TD passes from Roethlisberger to fight its way out of a 17-3 third-quarter deficit. And Roethlisberger reverted to his traditional form on the Steelers' final possession. The two -time Super Bowl champion methodically marched the Steelers 70 yards in the final 3 minutes, 10 seconds to give Pittsburgh its only lead. Roethlisberger was 19 of 31 for 236 yards with one interception. Bell had 26 carries for 80 yards and Brown, the league's leading receiver, caught three passes for 47 yards. VIKINGS 38, REDSKINS 30 LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Case Keenum threw touchdowns to four different receivers to build a big lead, and the NFC North-leading Vikings won their fifth in a row. With Teddy Bridgewater active for the first time since January 2016 after a devastating knee injury, Keenum was 21 of 29 for 304 yards and TD passes to Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, David Morgan and Jarius Wright. He was picked off on consecutive throws by D.J. Swearinger. Thielen had eight catches for a season-high 166 yards. Latavius Murray also ran for a score as five players got into the end zone for Minnesota (7-2), which was 8 of 12 on third downs. The Vikings won their first game out of the bye week for the second time in eight seasons as they try to avoid a repeat of the swoon that cost them a playoff spot last season. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins had three TDs — two rushing and one passing — and was 26 of 45 for 327 yards with an interception. The Redskins (4-5) failed to build off an upset victory at Seattle and now find themselves on an uphill climb in the wild-card race. PACKERS 23, BEARS 16 CHICAGO (AP) — Brett Hundley threw for 212 yards and a touchdown, Nick Perry had three sacks and the Packers snapped a three-game losing streak. Hundley, starting his third game for an injured Aaron Rodgers, threw a 17-yard touchdown to Davante Adams to make it 23-13 with 5:29 to play, and the Packers (5-4) hung on to beat the Bears (3-6) for the eighth time in nine games. It was the first victory for a Packers QB not named Rodgers or Brett Favre since 1989. Chicago's Mitchell Trubisky threw for a career-high 297 yards. The rookie hit Josh Bellamy for a 46-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the Bears dropped their second in a row after winning back-to-back games. The win was Green Bay's first since a narrow victory at Dallas on Oct. 8. A week later, Rodgers got driven to the turf by the Vikings' Anthony Barr in a loss at Minnesota week and the Packers haven't been the same since then. Hundley completed 18 of 25 passes to help the Packers win their eighth straight at Soldier Field counting the playoffs. TITANS 24, BENGALS 20 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Marcus Mariota tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to DeMarco Murray with 36 seconds left , and the Titans rallied for their fourth consecutive victory. It's the longest winning streak for the Titans (6-3) since takin five straight in 2009, and it's their best start to a season since 2008 when the Titans last reached the playoffs as the AFC's No. 1 seed. Murray ran for two touchdowns, and Mariota finished with 264 yards passing. The Bengals (3-6) lost for the third time in four games despite sacking Mariota four times. They started with three defensive starters scratched and lost a fourth when linebacker Vontaze Burfict was ejected in the second quarter after pushing the arm of an official. Cincinnati took its only lead at 20-17 on a 70-yard TD pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green with 5:03 left, but the Bengals couldn't stop the Titans, who drove 73 yards for the winning TD. JAGUARS 20, CHARGERS 17, OT JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Josh Lambo kicked a 30-yard field goal with 3:12 remaining in overtime, lifting the Jaguars in a wild game. Lambo's kick got tipped at the line of scrimmage and still cleared the crossbar. The former soccer player and one-time Charger ran the other way and slid on both knees near midfield before getting mobbed by teammates. It gave Jacksonville its first three-game winning streak since 2013. The game ended up in overtime after a wacky final two minutes of regulation that included a fumble, two interceptions, a taunting penalty and a costly flag for roughing the passer. At times, it looked as if neither team wanted to win. After all the chaos, Lambo drilled a 34-yard field goal to send it to the extra period. After Jacksonville punted, A.J. Bouye intercepted a pass from Philip Rivers on third down and returned it to the 2-yard line. But a taunting call on cornerback Aaron Colvin pushed the Jaguars (6-3) back 15 yards. Lambo hit the winner a few plays later. The Chargers are 3-6. LIONS 38, BROWNS 24 ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Matthew Stafford lofted a 29-yard, tiebreaking touchdown to Eric Ebron early in the fourth quarter and the Lions went on to beat the winless Browns. The Lions (5-4) rallied from first- and second-half deficits to earn consecutive victories for the first time since winning the first two games this season. The Browns, who fell to 0-9 on the season, led 10-0 early in the game for their first double-digit lead of the season, and were up 24-17 in the third after Deshone Kizer led two consecutive touchdown drives. Detroit is the only franchise to have a 0-16 season in 2008. Cleveland's chances to finally win this season were hurt when Kizer took a shot to the ribs by blitzing defensive back Quandre Diggs late in the third period. The rookie quarterback, who came back to play late in the fourth, had perhaps his best game. He completed 21 of 37 passes for 232 yards with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt in the first quarter. Kizer ran seven times for 57 yards, including a go-ahead, 1-yard sneak with 6:01 left in the third. BUCCANEERS 15, JETS 10 TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick led two long scoring drives and Tampa Bay limited the Jets to less than 200 yards of offense until late in the fourth quarter to snap a five-game losing streak. With Fitzpatrick filling in for injured quarterback Jameis Winston, the Buccaneers (3-6) used three field goals to build a 9-3 lead. Charles Sims put the game out of reach with a 6-yard touchdown reception with just over six minutes remaining. Fitzpatrick, facing the team he played for the past two seasons, completed 17 of 34 passes for 187 yards and was intercepted once. The 34-year-old Fitzpatrick, one of just four players in NFL history to throw TD passes for seven different teams, led a seven-minute drive that produced a field goal in the first quarter. He finished a 15-play, 81-yard march, also lasting more than seven minutes, with his TD pass to Sims to make it 15-3. Josh McCown, also facing one of his former teams, was 23 of 39 for 263 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Robby Anderson caught a 38-yard TD pass in the final minute for the Jets (4-6), scoring for the fourth straight game to give New York one last chance......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 13th, 2017

Rams use big offensive night to beat 49ers 41-39

em>By Josh Dubow, Associated Press /em> SANTA CLARA, California (AP) — Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns and Todd Gurley ran for two TDs and caught another to help the Los Angeles Rams put up another big offensive performance with a 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night. The NFL's lowest-scoring team last year looks like a completely different outfit this season under first-year coach Sean McVay thanks to vastly improved play by Goff after a rough rookie season as the No. 1 overall pick. The Rams (2-1) have also been helped by the additions of receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods and the play-calling of McVay as they have scored 107 points through three games. That's the second-most in franchise history, trailing only the 119 by 'The Greatest Show on Turf' squad in 2000. This win didn't come easily as the Rams nearly blew a 15-point lead, giving up two late touchdowns, fumbling a kickoff return and failing to recover an onside kick. But Los Angeles managed to stop a potential game-tying 2-point conversion and then used an offensive pass interference penalty against Trent Taylor and a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald to stop the Niners after the onside kick. The 49ers (0-3) scored five touchdowns after failing to get any the first two weeks but still came up short in part because a missed extra point by Robbie Gould forced them to try for 2 on their late touchdown. This time it was a tired defense that hurt San Francisco. After facing 79 plays in a 12-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the 49ers appeared to run out of gas on the short week as Goff frequently had wide-open receivers, especially on third down. All three of Goff's touchdown passes came on third down, including a 13-yard pass to Watkins early in the fourth quarter that gave Los Angeles a 41-26 lead. The Rams needed all that offense on a night where Brian Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score. The Rams took just 12 seconds to get on the board as Nickell Robey-Coleman intercepted Hoyer on the first play from scrimmage and returned it to the 3-yard line. Gurley ran it in on the next play to give the Rams a 7-0 lead. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2017

Bolton says he’s no longer allowed to see Trump – CNN News

A hawkish ally of Donald Trump claims he cannot see the President due to &'8220;staff changes&'8221; at the White House. John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN who at one point was a candidate to lead the State Department, claimed in a National Review op-ed published Monday that his plan for the US to exit the Iran nuclear deal had to be presented publicly, because staff changes at the White House have made &'8220;presenting it to President Trump impossible.&'8221; CNN has reached out to the White House for comment. His alleged snubbing is the latest development in the tug-of-war for influence over Trump's White House between firebrands such as Bolton and those who have taken a more moderate approach to foreign policy, such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis. Bolton's op-ed comes days after Sebastian Gorka, who advocated a hawkish stance against terrorism, left his position as a White House adviser. Chief of staff John Kelly, who assumed the role in late July, has been conducting a review of the West Wing that includes assessing individual staffers' portfolios. In a memo drawn up after a July directive from Steve Bannon, the recently ousted White House chief strategist, Bolton pushes for selling the idea of leaving the Iran deal to the public in a &'8220;white paper&'8221; and lays out a strategy for the &'8220;campaign&'8221; and its &'8220;execution.&'8221; Bolton has been frustrated at the rise of more traditional foreign policy thinkers within the White House, such as Mattis and Tillerson, who have favored remaining in the deal. The agreement curbs Iran's nuclear weapons program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. Iran remains under multiple sanctions for terrorism-related activities. &'8220;Trump can and should free America from this execrable deal at the earliest opportunity,&'8221; Bolton writes. Where proponents of the deal, including lawmakers and former Obama administration officials, see the pact as a way to get visibility on Iran's nuclear activities, and, at least for the time being, stop it's nuclear program, Bolton sees only danger. &'8220;The JCPOA is a threat to US national-security interests, growing more serious by the day,&'8221; Bolton writes, though he doesn't offer evidence. &'8220;If the President decides to abrogate the JCPOA, a comprehensive plan must be developed and executed to build domestic and international support for the new policy.&'8221; His memo, he says, fills that function. &'8220;It is only five pages long, but like instant coffee, it can be readily expanded to a comprehensive, 100-page playbook if the administration were to decide to leave the Iran agreement,&'8221; Bolton writes. He adds that there is no need to wait for the next deadline in October, when the US must next certify that Iran is sticking to the deal. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the JCPOA, was an international agreement hammered out over 20 arduous months of negotiations. China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, the US, the EU and Iran reached a deal in July 2015 and it was implemented in January 2016. The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency has regular access to nuclear sites inside Iran and verifies that it is implementing its side of the deal; in exchange, the US, UN and EU lifted nuclear related sanctions. Every 90 days, the US president must certify that Iran is keeping up its end of the deal. Trump campaigned against the deal and continues to criticize it, but because Iran is complying, he has certified it twice on the advice of his national security staff. But officials in his administration have clearly been looking for ways to find wiggle room to get out of the deal. Some, like US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, have used the line that Iran is not complying with the &'8220;spirit&'8221; of the deal, pointing to Tehran's activities in the region, including its support for Houthi rebels in Yemen and its backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Bolton says that Trump can bolster his case for abrogating the deal &'8220;by providing new, declassified information on Iran's unacceptable behavior around the world.&'8221; These activities, though, are not part of the JCPOA, deliberately left as a separate issue by the Obama administration and the other international negotiators, who said that to include every single gripe with Iran would make negotiations too unwieldy to resolve. Some proponents of the deal, watching the Trump administration's moves, are already campaigning to keep it. They point to the security consequences of an Iran without constraints on its nuclear weapons program and to the economic fallout as European and Asian firms would likely continue to do business with Tehran while US firms are shut out. &'8220;Accordingly,&'8221; Bolton writes, &'8220;we must explain the grave threat to the US and our allies, particularly Israel.&'8221; But many in Israel's security establishment argue for keeping the deal in place, and making sure its implementation is as rigorous as possible. Bolton makes the case for a four-step campaign that begins with &'8220;early, quiet consultations with key players such as the UK, France, Germany, Israel and Saudi Arabia, to tell them we are going to abrogate the deal based on outright violations and other unacceptable Iranian behavior, and seek their input.&'8221; That would be followed by a detailed white paper that includes declassified intelligence explaining why the deal hurts US security interests; a diplomatic campaign against the deal, especially in Europe and the Middle East; and efforts to sway lawmakers and the [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsAug 30th, 2017

Korean eyes strong finish as LPGT Riviera begins

SILANG, Cavite, Philippines — Korean amateur Hwang Min-jeong hopes to recall the form she flashed in a dominant run in the recent Philippine Amateur Champion.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated News16 hr. 53 min. ago

DOC VOLLEYBALL: Out-serving the Competition

In what turned out to be another too-close-to-call five-set thriller between the DLSU Lady Spikers and FEU Tamaraws, both teams duked it out to claim the top spot, which was crucial in cementing a good position for the Final Four moving forward. Being the top two teams in the serving department, both DLSU and FEU relied heavily on their service prowess to edge out each other. On one hand, the Lady Spikers needed to challenge the passers of FEU as the latter’s bread and butter attack is the combination x-play while FEU needed to ensure that they're serving tough enough to prevent Queen Spiker Majoy Baron from winding up for the quick attack, which is one of the defending champion’s strongest suit. Both team’s serving performance was perhaps the best determining factor in the scoring trend for each set. Just by looking at the serve performance, the outcome of the game could be relatively easy to predict. Set 1: DLSU 25 - FEU 17 DLSU took command of the first set coming off strong with aggressive services from Des Cheng early on. Her low and flat jump floaters ensured that FEU was not able to execute the combination play early on. The Lady Spikers took full command of the set when Queen Spiker Majoy Baron ran a nine consecutive serving stint with four disrupting FEU’s attack pattern. DLSU had a 96% serving efficiency with only 1 error out of 24 attempts. On the other hand, FEU started slow with their serving game gaining ground only with services from Jerrili Malabanan and Chin Basas midway. FEU had a respectable 86% efficiency with 3 errors out of 17 attempts. Set 2: FEU 25 - DLSU 21 The second set was too close to call as both teams were neck and neck in tying the set as well as several lead changes. The trend of the set was consistent with their serving pattern as both DLSU and FEU tallied a remarkable serving efficiency of 90% and 88%, respectively. What FEU did better however was they had a higher percentage of excellent serves at 46% compared to DLSU’s 39%. This goes to show that despite the almost similar efficiency, FEU had better quality or excellent serves that either resulted to aces or disruption of DLSU’s attack pattern. Set 3: FEU 25 - DLSU 16 In the third set, DLSU came out strong with the usual suspect Baron forcing FEU to do broken plays with her services. It was not until Basas made a series of aggressive serves midway where FEU started to take a commanding lead. Despite a couple of service errors early on, the Lady Tamaraws ensured consistent tough serving towards the end with a couple of aces in between. FEU tallied an 88% serving efficiency with a whopping 50% excellent serves out of 24 attempts whereas DLSU had an efficiency of 82% with an unusal 35% excellent serves out of a relatively lower 17 attempts. In line with that, FEU had a total of two service aces while DLSU had none. Set 4: DLSU 25 - FEU 20 The fourth set was a reflection of the second set, but in the favor DLSU. Both teams once again had commendable serving efficiency with DLSU at 88% and with FEU at 90%. The difference however was once again with the quality of serves. The Lady Spikers had a solid 12 excellent serves out of 24 attempts (50%) while the Lady Tamaraws showed less aggressive serving at eight excellent serves out of 21 attempts (38%). It has to be noted as well that FEU’s excellent services were during the early parts of the fourth set when they were neck and neck with DLSU. Set 5: DLSU 15 - FEU 5 Though it seemed to be a tight match by the fifth set started, DLSU came out strong with Mich Cobb at the service line to quell FEU’s hopes of exacting their revenge. Though both teams were immaculate with their efficiency, the Lady Spikers were able to limit the Lady Tamaraws to just five service attempts throughout the set. In addition, DLSU had 11 excellent services out of 15 attempts with much credit to Cobb and Baron splitting almost all the services all throughout. Serving 101 With three of the best serving teams (DLSU, FEU, ADMU) currently on the upper half of the league, the serve is a reliable indicator of how good a team is performing. Unlike any other aspect of the sport, the serve is the only skill where the outcome is determined by the player alone. The goal of the serve can be simplified into two simple keys. The serve aims to either get quick points through aces or get the opposing team out of system. In addition, especially in top level of play where teams do intensive scouting, teams set up reception patterns based on the strongest servers of their opponents. In the league right now, two types of serves predominate which are the standing float and jump float. Regardless if jumping or standing, the goal of the serve and more importantly, the mechanics by which a good serve is achieved remains the same. A good floater starts with the point of contact. To ensure that the flight of the ball will be flat, the contact should be right smack at the middle of the ball. Since the ball utilized in the league (dimpled Mikasa) is designed to float and fall fast, minimizing the height of the serve to around 2 feet above the tape ensures that the physics of the ball is being used to the advantage. A low and flat serve also diminishes the time for the opposing passer to track the ball, shuffle step to location, and establish a platform. Lastly, the location of the target is equally important as serving into either zone 5 or zone 1 ensures that either the middles mess up their approach or the setter gets blind sided in setting up the play. Perhaps the best example of good serving throughout the game is from Majoy Baron who had a good share of consecutive excellent services and aces. Baron goes up for a jump float to get a decent initial height and contacts the ball right at the center for a flat trajectory. With the ball just within a foot above the net, her services limited the time for FEU’s passers to establish a solid passing form in a good number of attempt. In addition, she was able to target zone 5 consistently ensuring that FEU’s middles not being able to approach consistently.      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News21 hr. 40 min. ago

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Inako lang namin ang responsibility -- Baron

Just as expected, the veterans of De La Salle University stepped up when needed the most. With the game on the line, graduating players Kim Kianna Dy and reigning Most Valuable Player Majoy Baron delivered the much-needed points while providing leadership to steer the Lady Spikers on the right track as they downed an equally dangerous team Far Eastern University Sunday.   Dy and Baron scored 18 points each in DLSU’s 25-17, 21-25, 16-25, 25-20, 15-5, escape over the Lady Tamaraws to secure at least a playoff for a Final Four berth in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “Siguro inako lang namin ‘yung responsibility na kailangan fifth set, nandun na yung character namin,” said fifth year middle blocker Baron. After the Lady Spikers clawed their way back from a 1-2 deficit, the Taft-based squad opened with a 5-0 lead in the fifth frame.    FEU gave DLSU a scare when it narrowed the gap to 4-7 before Dy, Baron and Desiree Cheng took the lead in the Lady Spikers' closing 8-1 scoring spurt to reassert their mastery over the Morayta-based squad. “Well ‘yung mindset namin coming inside the fifth set is dapat mauna kami,” said Dy. “Kasi ‘yun nga, FEU is very aggressive so pag dikit, mahihirapan kami. So game plan talaga namin is unahan sila.” Head coach Ramil de Jesus also lauded his veteran duo for responding to the challenge of carrying the team at crunch time.   “Actually nu’ng second and third sets, sila rin yung nawala eh,” said De Jesus. “Kaya sabi ko walang magbubuhat nitong team kung lahat tayo mahihirapan sa adjustments ng FEU.” Still, Baron was quick to deflect all the credit for the win, saying that it was team effort that brought them to their eighth win in 10 outings.   “Nakita naman na ‘yung teammates ko nag-effort and teamwork talaga ‘yung nangyari,” she said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2018

League-leading UP reaping rewards of JB Borlongan’s breakout season

When University of the Philippines opened the men’s football tournament of UAAP Season 80, they did so by handing defending champions Ateneo de Manila their first and so far only un-avenged loss of the season. Third-year forward JB Borlongan was the difference-maker as he scored late to give UP the opening day win. As it turns out, that first match would be an indication of how Borlongan’s season would be going, as the Cagayan de Oro native has been having a breakout year in terms of offense, and the league-leading Fighting Maroons are enjoying every bit of it. While Borlongan has already been showing flashes of his goal scoring capabilities his first two seasons in the UAAP, he’s taken it to another level this year. With a team-high nine goals in nine matches, Borlongan is the league’s second-best striker, and with UP already clinching a seat in the Final Four, it’s highly likely that he isn’t done scoring. Along with fellow third-year striker King Miyagi, who’s netted eight goals of his own this season, Borlongan is on the forefront of UP’s attack, and the significant jump in terms of scoring output was the product of the need to step up, especially with the departure of key players, including former skipper Daniel Gadia. “Coach told King and I na since sila Gadia aren’t here anymore on the team, it should be us stepping up already, since we’re the seniors on the attacking line.” Borlongan told ABS-CBN Sports. “So that’s what we did, in training we made sure that we worked on our finshing drills so that we’ll be able to convert our goals.” With even more veterans set to call it a UAAP career at season’s end, Borlongan knows that it’s up to them to take the reins and make sure that UP remains competitive in the coming seasons. “That’s also what we’re trying to do, because after this season, next season, sila Ian Clarino, our captain, wala na. It’s gonna be our batch na, King’s batch and my batch that’s gonna lead the team.” So far, so good. “I think it’s a good sign naman, we’ve been scoring goals naman diba, so next season we hope we can do the same.” Borlongan added. His coach Anto Gonzales hopes so too. “I think with JB, he’s more focused this season, and he’s been working very hard. During our first four games, he was our best performer, medyo nag-dip after that, but he came back very strongly in the last two games. I hope he continues playing that way.” Ten matches into the season, the Fighting Maroons own the best record in the league at eight wins and two draws. They’re also the only team in the league that hasn’t suffered a loss. When asked what’s fueling this impressive Maroons run, Borlongan shares that it’s the same thing that helped fuel them to men’s and women’s titles two seasons ago. “Our fight. Every game, we make sure we really wanna win, and we wanna do it for Rogie and the UP community.” In 2016, Rogie Maglinas, a member of the UP men’s football team, passed away after a battle against a rare form of cancer. Maglinas’ passing became the emotional spark that helped UP claim men’s and women’s football titles back in UAAP Season 78. Two years later, UP hopes to once again find themselves at the top of the UAAP men’s football mountain, and Borlongan is helping lead the fight......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2018

Céleteque relaunches anti-aging line

CÉLETEQUE relaunched it’s anti-aging skincare line during a party in Pasig City last week, where guests were invited to get to know their skin a little bit more. The line consists of five products, lead by the Anti-Wrinkle Collagen Gel (P779, 50ml) which contains hydrolyzed collagen that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, […] The post Céleteque relaunches anti-aging line appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 18th, 2018

Stenson clings to share of lead; Tiger slips back

MIAMI – Sweden’s Henrik Stenson birdied three consecutive holes and clung to a share of the lead Friday as Tiger Woods slipped back in the second round of th.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 18th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: FEU spoils Espejo s 39, snaps Ateneo s win streak

Far Eastern University clawed its way back from a two-point deficit in the fifth set before surviving a furious rally by three-time defending champion Ateneo De Manila University, 25-27, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 16-14, Saturday in the 80th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Tamaraws snapped the Blue Eagles’ eight-game winning streak and spoiled four-time Marck Espejo’s career-best 39 points to improve to 7-2 win-loss record. Jude Garcia and Redijohn Paler finished with 17 points each while JP Bugaoan and Richard Solis, who scored the game-clinching cross court hit, posted 15 and 13 markers, respectively, for the Morayta-based squad.      Up, 6-3, to open the fifth frame, FEU saw its lead evaporate and trailed Ateneo, 11-9, after Chumason Njigha scored on a quick attack. The Tams countered with a scoring barrage to move at match point, 14-11, on a Paler kill. FEU committed three straight errors that tied the deciding frame at 14. Raymond Bautista made his relief stint count with a down the line hit before Paler finished the two-hour, 25-minute match with a booming hit to complete the Tams’ elims sweep of Ateneo. Espejo scored all but one of his points off attacks and had 22 excellent receptions and 10 digs in a lost cause for the Blue Eagles, which fell to 8-2 slate. Skipper Karl Baysa got 11 markers while Ron Medalla and Njigha finished with eight points each for Ateneo.   ---              Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 17th, 2018

Stenson sizzles with 64; Woods four strokes off

ORLANDO, Florida – Henrik Stenson had a hot putter, a much quieter crowd and a one-shot lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 17th, 2018

Javillonar saves Valenzuela in home stand

Valenzuela relied on the steady hands of Jeff Javillonar at the foul line as he sank five pressure-packed free throws to help the Classic protect their home court in an 84-79 win over Quezon City in the 2018 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Rajah Cup at the Valenzuela Astrodome. Javillonar broke and 79-79 deadlock with 17 seconds left on a split charity. He was sent back to the line following his miss in his second free throw after Ford Ruaya grabbed the offensive board, this time getting both attempts find the bottom of the net for a three-point lead with 14 ticks left on the clock. Joco Tayontong missed on his three-point shot for the Capitals in the next play before Javillonar sealed Valenzuela’s sixth win in nine games to close the elimination round at solo second spot with two more charities. QC took a 79-77 lead with 1:31 remaining in the game on a Peejay Barua triple Ruaya tied it at 79 just 16 seconds later on a layup. RJ Argamino finished with 22 points and eight rebounds to lead the quarterfinals-bound Valenzuela. Javillonar had 12 points with seven coming off free throws while Rocky Acidre had 11 for the Classic. QC dropped to 5-4 win-loss record tied with the Navotas Clutch, who defeated Paranaque, 78-74, in the curtain-raiser. Tayongtong paced the Capitals with 22 points and 11 rebounds while Barua and Jomar Santos finished with 17 and 11 markers, respectively. Meanwhile, ex-pro Sunday Salvacion led Navotas with 16 points, Yves Sazon had 14 markers and seven rebounds while Ron Dennison flirted with a triple double with 13 markers, eight boards and seven assists. The Patriots slid to seventh spot with a 4-5 card. Juneric Baloria had 19 points, Jemal Vizcarra had 18 while Daniel De Guzman got 15 markers and 11 rebounds for Paranaque......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 15th, 2018

Kiefer on missing free throws: I should not be thinking anything else

NLEX Road Warriors rookie guard Kiefer Ravena vows to take his free throw woes against Magnolia against himself, and start focusing more when taking them as they prepare for Game 4 of the PBA Philippine Cup semis against the Magnolia Hotshots on Friday. The two-time UAAP MVP shot 6-of-16 from the field, a dismal 1-of-6 from three, and missed five shots from the line, including some in crunch time. Ravena is not blaming anyone else but himself, and acknowledged that some of the pressure exerted by the semifinals is slowly creeping up to him. "Nawawala ka sa focus, nawawala ka sa moment. Yun ang hindi pwede mawala. Kung free throw, yun lang iisipin mo. You cant be thinking about the scoreboard, thinking about the next play, siguro it comes with the pressure with the semifinals…. I am a rookie," Ravena said after the game. He then added that he will try clearing out his mind once practice rolls along tomorrow before going to battle again the day after. For NLEX, a franchise that has reached the Philippine Cup semis for the first time, the leading Rookie of the Year candidate pointed out the calmness of their veteran opponents in the clutch, lamenting that they controlled that part of the game like many times before. "Naalaagan na nila yung lead. Medyo kahit papano nung nagrrun kami, they would make their free throws or score. Medyo mahirap yung ganung ano pag dating sa dulo," Ravena said. "For a team like Magnoloa, medyo mahirap yun pag lumamang sila, kaya nilang alagaan talaga. So for us, just keep it close." As they are set to joust again for Game 4 on Friday, which his coach Yeng Guiao called a "make-or-break" game for them, Ravena noted that they need to take advantage the situation gives them, much like how the team took the cudgels from from the stunned Magnolia team that had lost veteran Marc Pingris to a season-ending ACL tear. "[We] just have to take care of business come Friday and nothing more important than the game on Friday. We lost our advantage that first game. Period of adjustments. 24 hours. Go back to battle." -- Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 14th, 2018

Woods looks closer than ever to winning again

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — The red shirt didn't have a collar. His head doesn't have quite as much hair. His lower spine has been fused. Everything else about Tiger Woods is starting to look familiar. For the first time since the late summer of 2013, Woods worked the fans into a frenzy on the weekend and keep them on their toes right to the very end. He wound up one shot — one putt — short to Paul Casey in the Valspar Championship. He broke par all four rounds and tied for second, the first time he had done either of those since the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs in August 2013. All that did was turn attention to this week at Bay Hill, where Woods has won eight times and twice ended long victory droughts. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2009 for his first victory after reconstructive knee surgery. He won there again in 2012 for his first victory since the scandal in his personal life, followed by various leg injuries. "It's going to be good for me to get back," Woods said. "I've had some great memories there." Casey ended a nine-year drought on the PGA Tour when he took the lead with three straight birdies on the back nine at Innisbrook, saved par over the last four holes for a 6-under 65 and then settled into a leather sofa in the locker room to see if anyone could catch him. A playoff looked imminent when Patrick Reed tied for the lead with a birdie on the 14th hole and was in the middle of the 18th fairway, 133 yards away, for a chance at birdie for the win or a par to force a playoff. And then someone else entered the picture. Woods, who opened with a two-putt birdie to briefly share the lead, had gone 15 consecutive holes without a birdie and needed to finish birdie-birdie to catch Casey. His tee shot on the par-3 17th was long, rolling out some 45 feet away. From the time the ball left his club, there was something inevitable about the putt . Woods posed, waiting for the grain in the green to take over, and it did at just the right time. The ball moved left and dropped into the cup, setting off more pandemonium. Brandt Snedeker, playing with Woods, just smiled. Casey even got caught up in the emotion that swept over Innisbrook for four days. "I loved his putt on 17. That was amazing," Casey said. "I thought he was going to hole the one on 18." Maybe next time. But after a week like this, next time doesn't seem all that far away — not with Bay Hill four days away, and the Masters a few weeks behind it. Casey won on the PGA Tour for the first time since the Houston Open in 2009, a span of 132 starts, though he had won five around the world since. It was the second time he won a tournament with Woods in the field. The other occasion was in 2006 at the HSBC World Match Play at Wentworth, when Casey wore a red shirt Sunday. Woods had been eliminated at the start of the week. Woods signed for his 70 and worked his way through the crowd of camera crews and officials to seek out Casey. "It's the only time he's congratulated me immediately after a victory," Casey said. "Normally, it's the other way around. That's something special. Just really cool. I'm sure he was disappointed he didn't get the victory. I actually thought he was going to win today before the round started. I thought it was just teed up beautifully for him. I said a couple times, 'If I don't win this thing, I actually want Tiger to win it.' "I'm glad it's this way." Casey, a 40-year-old from England, is among the players from the previous generation who want to see Woods at his best again. Interest spikes, as record crowds and a big boost in TV ratings indicated. The energy makes a sleepy tournament feel just short of a major. They remember the dominance. The young kids don't. "I just want the young guys to see what we saw for such a long time," Casey said. There might be a chance, which is remarkable considering the most recent timeline. Woods won by seven shots at Firestone in the Bridgestone Invitational in early August 2013 for his 79th career victory on the PGA Tour and still his last one. Back problems first began to surface a week later. The following year, he missed the Masters after back surgery and returned too soon on a couple of occasions. Another back surgery followed in September 2015, then another a month later. He returned after 15 months and lasted two starts before he had fusion surgery. Woods still didn't know what his future held at the Presidents Cup last October. Then, on Oct. 7, he posted a video of him hitting an iron . Eight days later, another video showed him hitting a driver. Another eight days passed, and he was hitting a stinger. What really gets attention are the results. He still hasn't won. By all accounts, he's getting closer......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 12th, 2018

Towns, Wiggins step up for Timberwolves in win vs Warriors

By Steve Aschburner, MINNEAPOLIS – Certain games count more than others over the course of an NBA team’s 82-game schedule, and the one the Timberwolves played – and won 109-103 – against the Golden State Warriors Sunday afternoon (early Monday, PHL time) at Target Center was one of those. Did it count double what some ordinary contest might have? Triple? Keep going. More like exponential. It’s too early to claim that Minnesota’s resiliency in the comeback from 12 points down, against the defending champ, saved their season. But the dueling scenarios, win vs. lose, were rather stark for a team facing a rigorous and largely uncharted final month. Fail Sunday (Monday, PHL time), and the Wolves would be lugging a four-game skid on the road to face Washington Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) and San Antonio Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). By the time they got home to face Houston Sunday night (next Monday, PHL time), the losing streak could be six, going on seven. The Timberwolves at the All-Star break was a surprising third seed in the West. However, since Jimmy Butler’s absence from the lineup after a right meniscus tear on Feb. 23 (Feb. 24, PHL time), the Wolves have gone 2-4. Now the Wolves, whether they admit it publicly or not, are driven simply to qualify. Period. Ending up seventh or eighth is no prize, given a likely first-round ordeal against either the Rockets or the Warriors. But for a franchise that hasn’t reached the postseason since 2004, either would be far better than landing ninth. By beating the Warriors, though, the Wolves bought themselves time and opened a smidgen of breathing room over the next few days. More than that, they responded to a serious challenge the way a playoff wannabe is supposed to. They didn’t unravel, they stuck to what was working and they had players slide into Butler’s roles as primary defender, go-to scorer and late-game closer. That is essential until the All-Star wing and obvious team leader returns, ideally, for playoffs that his teammates can deliver. Center Karl-Anthony Towns scored 14 of his team-high 31 points in the fourth quarter. Wing Andrew Wiggins scored 22 of his 23 in the first three quarters to help Minnesota claw back to an 84-84 tie. Those two stepping into the void of Butler’s injury suggested the sort of growth that, frankly, coach Tom Thibodeau and the team’s followers might look back on after this season (and postseason?) as a turning point. “This is a great opportunity for everybody, and certainly those two, in that whenever you have someone like Jimmy go out, it’s an opportunity to grow and get experience in different situations,” Thibodeau said. “We’ve talked about it a lot. We have good veterans on the team. But this is an opportunity for them to step up and lead.” Sure, Golden State was playing without team MVP Steph Curry (ankle) and ace reserve Andre Iguodala (wrist). But the visitors still had three All-Stars and the motivation of Friday’s (Saturday, PHL time) loss in Portland to propel them through the matinee. So, the Wolves did well to start with what Towns admitted was both “urgency” and “desperation.” They did even better to close with aplomb. Towns and Wiggins, both still 22-years-old, stayed cool in reacting and thwarting Golden State double-teams. Wiggins, who still needs to attack and earn his way to the foul line more often, wound up with a team-high plus-21. Towns shot 6-of-10 in the final quarter, while Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were combining to go 3-for-13 and 11 points. Butler’s presence this season often has taken the ball out of the two younger stars’ hands late in games. But Towns is so skilled, inside and out, he should get more opportunities when games are on the line – and will in Butler’s absence. He came in averaging just 3.2 field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter this season, with 1.8 buckets and 5.1 points. Compare that to his 5.7 makes, 10.6 shots and 15.4 scoring averages through the first three quarters of games so far this season. His usage rate drops from 22.4 to 20.9 when it ought to go up. You’d believe that too if you saw his work in the final three minutes, from bulling through Draymond Green for a layup that made it 101-96 to stepping in for a left baseline jumper two possessions later. At 104-103, Towns posted up Green near the end line again, banged a bit, then spun for a fadeaway jumper. Next time down, he followed up a shot against Durant to all but clinch it. The play of Towns, Wiggins and the other three Minnesota starters took any onus off Derrick Rose. Newly signed by his old Chicago coach, Rose had a rusty, regrettable debut with the Wolves, missing five of his six shots with two turnovers and a minus-17 in just 6:36. But his presence, if nothing else, ought to remind Towns and Wiggins that 22 is plenty old enough to grab a pack of Wolves by the scruff of their necks and take responsibility. Rose was 22 when he became the youngest MVP in NBA history, leading the Bulls all the way to the Eastern Conference finals that season. Minnesota basically is in the playoffs now – every outcome matters, bolstering or damaging its run to the postseason. There’s no running away now, no hiding either. “I think we’re more prepared because we’ve had most of the season to go through experiences,” Towns said. “Now that we’re at this point, we have the chance to do something great. It’s for us as a group to take all the experiences we’ve had – of losing close games, winning big, winning games offensively, winning games defensively – and putting them to [use].” It is vital that the Wolves’ young stars stay focused on the opportunities before them, rather than succumbing to the pressure. Said Towns: “The thing is, you don’t ever want to have pressure turn to stress. We have to make sure we keep our composure. Obviously, the situation we’re in, it’s a lot of pressure on us. But we can’t turn that into stress, because that’s when we start becoming undisciplined and start making errors that are more mental.” The proof now is in the playing, said Thibodeau. “The best leadership you can have is your actions,” the coach said. “What are you doing? It’s not what you say. Oftentimes people say things and never do what they say. It’s what you do.” Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 12th, 2018