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Chile amateur goes from no big victories to Masters

DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer   HONOLULU (AP) — Toto Gana hit what he described as the 'best shot I've hit in my whole life,' a wedge to 3 feet for a birdie to win the Latin America Amateur Championship and earn a trip to the Masters in April. His best shot produced his biggest trophy. Asked what his greatest achievement in golf was before his victory in Panama, the 19-year-old from Chile said: 'I didn't have any achievements, to be honest. I had won a couple of tournaments at home when I was really, really young.' The Latin America Amateur completed its third year, a stroke-play tournament created by Augusta National, the USGA and the Royal & Ancient to spur growth in that part of the world. It follows the successful launch of the Asia Pacific Amateur. The Asia Pacific Amateur is producing a higher pedigree of champions — Hideki Matsuyama won twice, and the winner last year was Curtis Luck, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion. The last two Latin America winners were surprises — Gana and 16-year-old Paul Chaplet of Costa Rica last year. The other winner was Matias Dominguez of Chile, who was a junior at Texas Tech. Gana said the only hard part about his victory was beating Joaquin Niemann of Chile, one of his best friends who won the Junior World in 2015 at Torrey Pines. 'I really never thought I could win this tournament because all the other players have won many other tournaments, very big tournaments,' Gana said in a conference call after his victory Sunday. 'What I did was keep a cool head. When I saw that I had a chance to win, I believed in myself that I could do. And I gave it my all.' Chile will have a player represented at Augusta National for the second time in three years. The only other Chilean player at the Masters was Enrique Orellana, who missed the cut in 1964. Gana has flair, and he showed how much passion he has for golf when explaining how he got started. 'When I was a little boy, 8 years old, my stepfather taught me to play golf on the practice range,' he said. 'When I shot a really nice shot, I never quit.' Gana will be enrolling at Lynn University in Florida. ___ BLOOMING START: Justin Rose played the Sony Open as part of the new 'strength of field' regulation on the PGA Tour that requires players who played fewer than 25 events last year to add a tournament they had not played in four years. Rose was so excited about this year that he might have started earlier if he would have been eligible. He failed to win a PGA Tour event for the first time since 2009. But in a year slowed by injury, Rose geared himself for golf's return to the Olympics and won the gold medal in Rio. That was worth an exemption into the four majors (Rose already is eligible for them), but the PGA Tour did not offer a spot in SBS Tournament of Champions. 'I didn't inquire,' Rose said about Kapalua. 'But in my mind, I was surprised that it didn't count in a way, just because, why wouldn't it? It's a one-off thing.' He thought maybe the tour would only give a spot to Kapalua if the gold medalist was already a PGA Tour member, much like it treated the HSBC Champions early on in its World Golf Championships history. Rose chuckled, however, when he realized his history in Hawaii. 'It's funny enough, I don't have the right to say I should have been at Kapalua,' he said. 'Because I've won six years in a row and I've only been once.' A birdie on the final hole at the Sony Open gave him second place alone, which was worth $648,000. ___ PLAYING TO HIS STRENGTH: Jason Dufner is the defending champion at the CareerBuilder Challenger, where he won last year for the first time since the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill. What changed? Very little. He attributed the drought to a neck and shoulder injury that he suffered at the 2014 Masters. Dufner tried to play through it all year until he was forced to pull out of his title defense in the PGA Championship at Valhalla, which kept him off the Ryder Cup team. Playing with the injury led to bad habits with his swing, which led to bad shots, too many memories of bad shots and eventually shattered confidence. 'People don't realize, once you start playing, you have to redo everything,' Dufner said. 'You see it with a lot of guys coming back. It takes them 6, 8, 12 months. I spent 2015 trying to get back to where I was.' Where he wants to be is one of the top ball-strikers in the game. As for putting? He manages. Dufner has finished no higher than No. 143 in the key putting statistic over the last four years, and while he has to pay attention to his setup, it's not as though he's going to abandon what got him here (his swing) to pour everything into becoming Jordan Spieth. 'I've been putting bad for 17 years,' he said. 'It's tough to change. I can hit it good enough to make up for it. I'll wait for my weeks where I putt good and try to win.' ___ THE RACE TO MEXICO: Mackenzie Hughes won the RSM Classic, and his first thought was going to the Masters. Now that it's beginning to sink, the Canadian rookie has reason to consider other tournaments that were not on his schedule at the start of the season. First up is the World Golf Championship in Mexico. The top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings through the Honda Classic are eligible for the Mexico Championship, and there are only six tournaments between now and then. That's also true for Pat Perez, who tied for third at Kapalua and is No. 3 in the FedEx Cup. Rod Pampling is at No. 6. The other World Golf Championships event in March is based off the world ranking, so those three players have much more to do for them to get into the top 64. One player who might have secured his spot was Kevin Kisner, who shot 60 in the third round of the Sony Open and wound up in a tie for fourth. That took Kisner from No. 51 to No. 41, making it difficult to fall that far in two months. ___ DIVOTS: Justin Thomas moving to No. 8 in the world means that six of the top 10 players are under 30. ... The Golf Writers Association of America has voted former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem for the William D. Richardson Award for outstanding contributions to golf. For the GWAA's award for press cooperation, it was a tie between Ben Crenshaw and Stewart Cink. They will be honored at the GWAA annual awards dinner on April 5 in Augusta. ... The three courses used for the CareerBuilder Challenge — PGA West Stadium Course, PGA West Nicklaus and La Quinta — ranked among the top 10 in easiest courses on the PGA Tour last year. ... The fourth Latin America Amateur Championship will be played at Prince of Wales Country Club next year in Santiago, Chile. ... The European Tour now has eight events in its Rolex Series with China-based HNA Group signing a five-year deal to be title sponsor of the French Open. That will raise the purse to $7 million in line with other Rolex Series events. ___ STAT OF THE WEEK: Justin Thomas hit 34 drives that went at least 330 yards during his two weeks in Hawaii — 20 on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, 14 at Waialae Country Club. ___ FINAL WORD: 'If there's no defense, then you ought to be able to make birdies. If there's wind, you ought to be struggling.' — Kevin Kisner. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

LUCKY STRIKE: Tacagni slots title-clinching goal for San Beda

Filipino-British Connor Tacagni came through with a 'lucky' goal late in extra time as San Beda College edged College of St. Benilde, 1-0, Tuesday to emerge as the league's winningest seniors football team in the 92nd NCAA tournament at the Rizal Memorial Football field. Tacagni, 23, attempted a cross from the left flank but went straight to the top right part of the net and past St. Benilde goalkeeper Jake Allen Vicen that proved to be decisive as San Beda hung tough to preserve the crown. The Red Booters thus clinched their 22nd title, the most in the league today ahead by one over former member La Salle's 21. And they did it via 13-match sweep. 'We cherish this win because it came against St. Benilde,' said San Beda coach Michael Pediamonte. Tacagni, who hails from Manchester, England but whose mother is a Filipina, said he was just lucky. 'I was just trying to get into the box but it went in. I guess I was a little bit lucky,' he said. San Beda also completed a double celebration as its juniors squad smashed last year's titlist La Salle-Greenhills, 5-1, to capture its 17th title.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

Cawaling delivers the goods as Alab stretches streak to three

Ray Parks Jr. did not score in double-digits for the first time in the 2016-2017 Asean Basketball League. And yet, there was still no problem for Alab Pilipinas. JR Cawaling stepped up to the plate and knocked every pitch out of the park as the Filipinos had all the answers for defending champion and home team Malaysia in a 65-54 decision on Sunday. Cawaling scored 11 points built on three triples, none bigger than his last one inside the last two minutes that punctuated a 10-3 run for the Philippines and re-established a 63-51 lead. Parks Jr. only had nine points in what was his lowest-scoring game in the tournament. The former Far Eastern University standout and the rest of the reserves had his back, however, and outplayed their counterparts, 31-13. With Alab starting slow, it was also Cawaling standout who sparked the 18-6 second quarter surge that snared away a 28-22 advantage. They would never relinquish the lead all the way to their third win in a row and fifth win in seven games overall. Although falling short of double-digits in scoring, Parks Jr. collared 10 rebounds while imports Sampson Carter and James Hughes also combined to contribute 15 points and 15 rebounds. The Filipinos have now scored back-to-back wins against the defending champion Dragons and runner-up Singapore. They remain in third-place, but are breathing down the necks of 5-1 Hong Kong and 7-2 Slingers. Malaysia dropped to 1-5 in its title defense. BOX SCORES ALAB PILIPINAS 65 — Cawaling 11, Parks 9, Carter 9, Acuna 6, Hughes 6, Thiele 6, Hubalde 5, Domingo 5, Fortuna 4, Celiz 4, Knuttel 0. MALAYSIA DRAGONS 54 — Melvin 15, Spencer 11, Yeo 9, Loh 7, Goldstein 6, Ting 4, Teo 2, Ma 0. QUARTER SCORES: 16-18, 32-28, 51-41, 65-54. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2017

Klinsmann believes US Soccer made progress before his firing

GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer br /> LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jurgen Klinsmann is proud of his half-decade in charge of the U.S. national team, and the coach believes he left successor Bruce Arena in a position to make the Americans even better. Klinsmann made his first public remarks since his firing when he spoke Friday at a convention of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in downtown Los Angeles. Klinsmann agreed to speak at the session before losses in the first two games of the final round of World Cup qualifying led to his dismissal. Klinsmann also was the program's technical director for his final three years in charge, supervising every aspect of the team's development and training. 'The results will tell in the future if it helped Bruce to achieve the goals that are set,' Klinsmann said. 'But I think whenever you have the chance to put your stamp on a program, you do it with everything you have, and that's what I tried to do. I think we achieved a lot within the system of U.S. Soccer, connecting a lot of dots — even though there are so many out there that are disconnected, which we know. But now it's there for the next group of leaders to continue that.' When his team lost at home to Mexico and at Costa Rica late last year, falling into an early hole in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Klinsmann was fired by the U.S. Soccer Federation on Nov. 21 after 5 1/2 years. Klinsmann didn't appear to agree with the decision, but he understands how it was reached. 'You have to be measured against benchmarks,' Klinsmann said. 'You cannot lose to Costa Rica and Mexico (if) that's the benchmark. Then that's the benchmark, and you have to live with that.' Klinsmann took the U.S. job after stints in charge of the German national team and Bayern Munich. The Americans won 16 games in his first year in charge, and they later claimed the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup title and a spot in the second round of the 2014 World Cup. But the program encountered several recent setbacks, and criticism grew for Klinsmann's style and strategy. The Americans still reached last year's Copa America semifinals before getting routed 4-0 by Argentina. Klinsmann wryly recalled that loss, saying it was a 'fair question' to ask how U.S. Soccer could accept such a blowout. Hyperbolizing, he said a team led by Lionel Messi 'could have given us eight' against the best American squad. Arena, who coached the U.S. from 1998 to 2006, opened the first training camp of his second stint this week, welcoming roughly 30 Major League Soccer-based players to a month-long camp. The U.S. resumes qualifying at home against Honduras on March 24, then plays four days later at Panama. Arena's roster includes several players ignored by Klinsmann, who at times seemed to preferred those on European clubs. He also engaged in public clashes with popular veterans, most notably leaving Landon Donovan off the 2014 World Cup team. Klinsmann, a World Cup champion player with West Germany in 1990, looks at his relationships with the top American players through the lens of experience now. 'I think as a player, you are kind of in a mindset where you know it always better than the coach, so you go through your career as a player and you never have the perfect coach,' he said. 'Later on, when you become a coach, you realize you were so wrong.' Klinsmann got a standing ovation from the audience of soccer coaches after his hour-long remarks during an interview and question-and-answer session. The coaches in attendance asked Klinsmann extensively about his technique and philosophy around numerous aspects of the job. 'As coaches, it's important to look outside and see, 'How do they do it there?'' Klinsmann said. 'We are always learning. I want to encourage you to understand how a better plan can be built.' As for his unfinished work with the U.S. team, Klinsmann sounded philosophical about that, as well. 'I think we all need to be aware that we're just part of a certain timeline, and then somebody else takes over and takes it to the next level in his own way,' he said. 'But a lot has been done in the last five years which I've been really proud of.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2017

Tacagni brace saves Red Booters

strong>Games Thursday: /strong> (Rizal Football Field) 8:00 a.m.- AU vs SBC (jrs) 10:00 a.m.- Letran vs CSB (jrs) 12:00 nn.- AU vs SBC (srs) 2:00 p.m.- LPU vs CSB (srs)   Filipino-British Connor Tacagni scored two goals to lift San Beda College to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over upset-conscious Lyceum of the Philippines University Tuesday that boosted its sweep bid in the 92nd NCAA football tournament at the Rizal Football Field. Down by a goal after LPU's striker Riel Mark Subebe came through on a set piece on the 15th minute, Tacagni, a 24-year-old native of Manchester, England, came to the rescue and unloaded a pair of rockets--one coming on the 41st minute and the other on the 81st. 'I just focused on helping my team win,' said Tacagni. It was a win that pushed the Red Booters closer to sweeping their way to the championship after winning all their matches in the first round to win the opening round pennant. San Beda faces off with defending champion Arellano U tomorrow and St. Benilde next week and if it could hurdle both teams, it will clinch a league-best 22 seniors titles. And San Beda nearly blew it. 'I have to commend LPU, they prepared against us well,' said San Beda coach Michael Pediamonte. In juniors' action, Arellano U shocked reigning titlist La Salle-Greenhills, 1-0, on a 64th minute goal by Kent Talam to stay in the title hunt. The Junior Chiefs will need to beat the Junior Red Booters, who ruled the first round, tomorrow and top the Final Four for it forge a one-game title duel against the latter.  San Beda routed Letran, 5-0, on a hat-trick by Christopher Villanueva, to close in on its 17th juniors crown. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

Giants need to turn their attention to fixing the offense

TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer br /> EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP) — Hiring Ben McAdoo to replace Tom Coughlin as coach, spending a mint on the defense in free agency and picking up a couple of gems in the first two rounds of the NFL draft got the New York Giants back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Despite a one-sided wild-card loss to the Packers on Sunday, there is much optimism looking toward 2017. The team went from 6-10 the past two seasons to an 11-5 regular-season mark that included a pair of wins over the NFC top-seeded Dallas Cowboys. All general manager Jerry Reese has to do in the offseason is fix the offense this time around, with a lot less money to spend in free agency. The unit that was supposed to be the strength of the team failed to score 30 points in any game and wrapped up the year by scoring less than 20 in the final six games, including Sunday's 38-13 setback to the Packers. The running game was among the worst in the league and 36-year-old Eli Manning never had much time to throw. Odell Beckham Jr. was his big weapon — 101 catches, including 10 touchdowns — but there was little else outside of him and rookie Sterling Shepard, the second-round pick. 'We felt that we had the talent and the coaching in the scheme this year to have a better year than we had,' McAdoo said. 'We obviously fell short from an offensive prospective.' The offensive line might need the most attention. Left tackle Ereck Flowers, the No. 1 pick in 2015, has underperformed, and right guard John Jerry and right tackle Marshall Newhouse will be unrestricted free agents. A decision has to be made on the future of receiver Victor Cruz. He played after missing most of the last two seasons but was limited to 39 catches playing on the outside instead of his normal slot position, which was given to Shepard. 'Obviously you can't do everything in one year, or one draft, or one free agency period,' Reese said. 'We have things that we can build on. We want to continue to build on every position and upgrade where we can, and build as strong a football team as we can, moving forward.' Most of the players in the locker room felt the foundation was set for the future and a fifth Super Bowl title for the Giants. 'I'm by no means satisfied,' linebacker Devon Kennard said. 'I don't think anybody in this locker room is satisfied with how things ended. It's going to be motivation for us moving forward.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo wins FIFA best player award for 4th time

GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer br /> ZURICH (AP) — Capping what he called the best year of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo won his fourth FIFA best player award on Monday. The double European champion with Portugal and Real Madrid beat great rival Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to complete a sweep of top individual awards. 'It was a year that was magnificent at a personal level and at a sporting level,' the 31-year-old Ronaldo said in Portuguese in his acceptance speech, which he began by exclaiming 'Wow, wow, wow.' Ronaldo's fourth career FIFA award closed the gap on five-time winner Messi, who has been the runner-up to each Ronaldo victory. His 34.54 percent of total voting points in a 23-candidate ballot was clearly better than Messi's 26.42 percent. Griezmann got 7.53 percent. Voting was by national team captains and coaches, selected media, and fans online. Messi did not attend after being pulled out hours before the ceremony by his club Barcelona to prepare for a cup match on Wednesday. 'Of course, I wish that they (Barcelona players) had been here tonight like in the other years. We have to respect the decision,' Ronaldo said. Yet again, Ronaldo and Messi snubbed each other on ballot papers they got as captains of Portugal and Argentina. Ronaldo selected three Real Madrid teammates headed by Gareth Bale, and Messi picked Luis Suarez atop an all-Barcelona ballot. Ronaldo's 2016 trophy haul included the European Championship, Champions League, and Club World Cup, plus individual best player awards from UEFA and France Football magazine. 'I won a lot trophies, collective and individual, so I am proud,' said Ronaldo, adding he would send the inaugural silver FIFA Best trophy to the museum dedicated to his career on his home island, Madeira. Messi's Barcelona won the Spanish league and cup double in 2016, though Argentina lost another Copa America final. Griezmann's France and Atletico Madrid lost their finals to Ronaldo's teams. Ronaldo's mentors for club and country were beaten to the coaching award by Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, who earned the prize for a stunning English Premier League title. 'What happened last year was something strange. The God of football said Leicester must win,' said Ranieri, who was in his first season at the unfashionable provincial club widely tipped for relegation. Ranieri rose from his seat and politely shook hands with his two opponents, Madrid's Zinedine Zidane and Portugal's Fernando Santos, plus their partners before heading to the stage. The 65-year-old Italian collected his trophy from Diego Maradona, who earlier Monday played in an exhibition match with other retired greats at FIFA headquarters. Carli Lloyd of the United States won a FIFA player prize for the second straight year, despite a quarterfinals exit at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. With gold-medal winner Melanie Behringer of Germany in third place, Lloyd got more than 20 percent of the vote and five-time winner Marta of Brazil was runner-up with 16.6 percent. Behringer got 12.34 percent. 'I honestly was not expecting this,' Lloyd said. 'I know Melanie did fantastic in the Olympics.' Germany did win the women's coaching prize as Silvia Neid earned her second FIFA prize, after also winning the 2010 award. Neid beat two previous winners: last year's winner, Jill Ellis of the United States, and Pia Sundhage of Sweden, the Olympic silver medalist. The Puskas Award for best goal was won in an online poll by Mohd Faiz Subri, who scored with a wildly swerving long-range free kick for Malaysian club Penang. A players' vote organized by international union FIFPro gave a World XI of: Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich); Dani Alves (Brazil, Barcelona/Juventus), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain, Barcelona), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid); Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid); Messi, Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Barcelona), Ronaldo. The First FIFA fan award was chosen by fans and was made to supporters of Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, who joined in singing the English club's anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone' before a Europa League quarterfinal. The other nominees were Iceland fans at Euro 2016, and Dutch club ADO Den Haag, whose fans brought soft toys to children supporting rival team Feyenoord. FIFA made its Fair Play Award to Atletico Nacional, the Colombian club which was scheduled to host Chapecoense in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final on Nov. 30. After most of the Brazilian team died in a plane crash flying to the match, Atletico Nacional asked the South American soccer confederation to present the title and trophy to Chapecoense. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Red Booters begin semis quest

strong>Games Tuesday: /strong> (Rizal Football Field) 8:00 a.m.- San Beda vs Letran (jrs) 10:00 a.m.- St. Benilde vs Arellano U (jrs) 12:00 n.n. - San Beda vs LPU (srs) 2:00 p.m.- St. Benilde vs Arellano U (srs)   San Beda College seeks to duplicate its undefeated first round performance as it clashes with Lyceum of the Philippines University on Tuesday’s start of the Final Four of the 92nd NCAA football tournament at the Rizal Memorial Football Field. The Red Booters clinched the first round pennant via a six-match sweep it capped with a 6-0 bashing of the Arellano University Chiefs, the defending champions, on Dec. 12 last year and will clinch the title outright if they could top the single-robin format Final Four. They face off with the Pirates, which finished tied with the Perpetual Help Altas at No. 4 with six match points apiece but ended up clinching the fourth and last berth via better goal differential, 0 to -9. Interestingly, San Beda, which is eyeing a league-best 22nd seniors title, had a hard time beating LPU, 3-0, in their first meeting on Dec. 8. 'We should be physically and mentally prepared because the it gets tougher from here on,' said San Beda coach Michael Pediamonte. 'We also can't underestimate any team.' No. 2 College of St. Benilde and No. 3 Arellano clash in the other match set at 2:00 p.m., which will precede the 12:00 noon showdown between San Beda and LPU. If San Beda goes on to rule the second round, it will go on to claim the championship.  Otherwise, it will play the second round winner in a one-game title contest. San Beda's junior counterparts, likewise seeks to top the second round as it tackles No. 4 Letran at 8:00 a.m. while No. 2 defending champion CSB-La Salle Greenhills faces off with No. 3 Arellano U at 10:00 a.m. The Cubs clinched the first round pennant by finishing with 16 match points on five triumphs and a draw. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Spieth makes 9 birdies and has 2 bad holes at Kapalua

DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer br /> KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — Jordan Spieth made nine birdies Friday with the kind of round that should have put him in contention at the SBS Tournament of Champions. Except for two holes, he might have been. Instead, Spieth left Kapalua thinking more about a high finish than a title defense. He made a double bogey on the par-3 eighth when his ball caught a wicked lie in the bunker and his next shot buried in deep rough. What really irritated him was a bad drive on the 17th, compounded by not getting the right yardage and laying up into a hazard, leading to triple bogey. 'I'll struggle for the next couple hours getting over 17 kind of throwing me out of the tournament,' Spieth said after his 69. 'Just feel like it's going to be too big of an uphill battle. But I can get myself probably 12- to 14-under par the next two days and finish in the top five. So that becomes the next goal.' He spoke outside the scoring trailer, still running hot enough to rule himself out so quickly. Spieth was at 5-under 141. By the end of the round, he was seven shots behind Justin Thomas and Ryan Moore with 36 holes remaining. Still, his outlook illustrated the irritation. Spieth thought his 7-iron on No. 8 had a chance to be close until it took a hop into bunker on the downslope. He blasted out across the green, and the ball had so much spin that it buried in the rough. He couldn't control the spin on that one as it raced across the green into the rough. Spieth had to make a 5-footer for double bogey. His caddie, Michael Greller, set a short goal of making five birdies the rest of the way. 'We got five on the next five,' Spieth said after rolling in four birdies from inside 10 feet and one from about 35 feet across the 11th green. He missed a couple of other chances on the 14th and 15th, but still was only one shot behind until the 17th. Trying to hammer a tee shot, he hit a toe-hook into the hazard. 'Hitting a ball where I did on 17 with about a 95-yard fairway is as bad a shot as I'll hit this year,' he said. And then he compounded the mistake. Spieth said he and Greller rushed the next one and didn't get the right yardage, and it didn't help that he caught a flier with a 7-iron out of the rough. It bounded into the gorge dividing the fairway and green for another penalty shot. Spieth rebounded with a fifth shot to about 4 feet, and then he missed the putt. 'What we should have done was take the time for us to sit back, look at the options, make sure that this next shot's in play and have Michael maybe walk off the 185-, 190-some-odd yards we had to the end and say, 'Hey, this needs to pitch at 160.' I just took a 7-iron, caught a flier and ripped it, thinking I had way more than I did,' he said. 'It was kind of a rookie move.' For the second round of the year, there were plenty of positives, starting with those nine birdies set up by an impeccable wedge game. Even so, it was difficult to ignore a double bogey and triple bogey that wrecked a round that otherwise matched the brilliant weather. 'Just because we were in contention,' Spieth said, 'and now pretty surely out of it.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2017

Ronaldo favored to win his 4th FIFA award as world's best

GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer br /> Cristiano Ronaldo's remarkable run of success can continue with a fourth FIFA award as the world's best player on Monday. A European champion with club and country last year, the Real Madrid and Portugal forward is favored to beat great rival Lionel Messi and France forward Antoine Griezmann when winners of the rebranded Best FIFA Football Awards are presented in Zurich. Messi leads Ronaldo 5-3 in their career-long duel for FIFA's top individual prize. However, Ronaldo is set to complete a hat-trick of major awards for 2016 after taking home trophies presented by UEFA and France Football magazine's prestiguous Golden Ball. FIFA will also name the best women's player, and the best coaches in men's and women's soccer. Voting is by national team captains and coaches, selected journalists and — for the first time — an online poll of fans. Each category counts for 25 percent of the points. Here is a look ahead to the awards ceremony: ___ CRISTIANO RONALDO After Messi in 2015, it was Ronaldo's turn to win the Champions League in 2016 as the prolific scorer netted 16 goals in the competition. He also got the decisive penalty in a shootout after a 1-1 draw with Griezmann's Atletico Madrid. But where he really dominated Messi was on the national-team stage. Ronaldo captained Portugal to a long-awaited first title at the European Championship — two weeks after Messi's Argentina again lost the Copa America final to Chile. Portugal seemed a long way from glory, and faced a humiliating group-stage exit, before Ronaldo's two goals helped salvage a 3-3 draw with Hungary. He also netted in the 2-0 semifinal win against Wales. In the final against host France, Ronaldo went off injured in the first half, then returned to the bench for extra time as — with his knee strapped — he passionately urged teammates on to a 1-0 win. For good measure, Ronaldo scored a Club World Cup final hat trick against Kashima Antlers in December, but that was after FIFA voting had closed. ___ LIONEL MESSI Messi looks to extend a streak of being winner or runner-up in nine straight seasons since placing second behind Kaka of Brazil in 2007. Last year, Messi and won a Spanish league and Cup double with Barcelona. Yet there was another painful Copa America final loss — a third straight year Argentina lost a major final without scoring — and a Champions League quarterfinal exit against Atletico. Nearing his 30th birthday, Messi's prolific scoring rate has not slowed, and 10 goals in the Champions League group stage means that Ronaldo's season record of 17 — set in 2013-14 — is within his sight this year. ___ ANTOINE GRIEZMANN Griezmann's goals helped get France and Atletico Madrid into major finals in 2016. In the Champions League final in Milan, Atletico trailed 1-0 to its city rival when Griezmann missed with a penalty kick that struck the crossbar. Still, he confidently converted his kick in the penalty shootout. Griezmann's six goals at Euro 2016 made him the tournament top scorer. In a tricky round of 16 match, his two goals overturned an early Ireland lead, and he also struck twice — including a coolly taken penalty — against favored Germany in the semifinals. However, he missed two good chances in the final against Portugal as France 1-0 in extra time. ___ COACHING AWARD Could the coach of a provincial club side beat the men who coached European champions Real Madrid and Portugal? Yes, when that coach is Italian Claudio Ranieri and his team, unheralded Leicester City, won an English Premier League title that delighted and stunned fans worldwide. Zinedine Zidane started 2016 having never coached a senior match. The newly appointed Madrid coach won a Champions League title within five months and started 2017 riding a 37-match unbeaten run. Fernando Santos marshalled one of the less obviously talented Portugal teams of recent years to win Euro 2016 despite winning only one of its seven matches during the 90 minutes. ___ WOMEN'S AWARDS Germany's Olympic gold medal-winning team is favored to sweep the awards. Midfielder Melanie Behringer is challenging two past FIFA award winners: defending champion Carli Lloyd of the United States and five-time winner Marta of Brazil. All three coaching candidates are previous FIFA award winners: Silvia Neid of Germany, last year's winner Jill Ellis of the United States and Pia Sundhage of Sweden. ___ FIFA AWARDS FIFA has added a Fan Award to its annual ceremony, and all three candidates from an online poll are European. Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, whose fans sang You'll Never Walk Alone before a Europa League match at Anfield; Dutch club ADO Den Haag, whose fans brought soft toys to children supporting rival team Feyenoord; and the Iceland fans at Euro 2016 for their inspirational clapping salute to players after games. A fans' vote will also decide the Puskas Award for best goal. The candidates are: Marlone of Corinthians, Daniuska Rodriguez of the Venezuela women's Under-17 team, and Mohd Faiz Subri of Malaysian side Penang. FIFA will also present a Fair Play award, and members of the players' union FIFPro worldwide have voted to select a World XI team. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2017

Content Mourinho enjoys luxury of injury-free Man United

JUSTIN PALMER, Associated Press br /> Jose Mourinho gleefully proclaimed something predecessor Louis van Gaal was unable to do when he was the Manchester United manager. 'There are zero injuries,' Mourinho said on Friday. 'Zero injuries! We have 27 players and zero injuries.' Mourinho confirmed that skipper Wayne Rooney will start on Saturday in the FA Cup third-round match against Championship visitor Reading, which was managed by former United defender Jaap Stam. Rooney needs one goal to equal Bobby Charlton's record of 249 for United which has stood for more than 40 years. A fully fit squad midway through the season was a luxury Van Gaal only dreamed of during his Old Trafford tenure, which began in 2014 and ended when he was fired days after their FA Cup final triumph last May. Even in an era of large and expensive squads, such was the extent of United's injury crisis last season that Van Gaal was unable to call on 11 first-teamers at one point, and forced to blood youngsters and fringe players. For one Premier League game, against Bournemouth in December 2015, the Dutchman handed debuts to two full-backs while completing his patched-up defense with the inexperienced Paddy McNair and midfielder Daley Blind. By then, questions were already being asked about why United had so many injuries. Former assistant manager Mike Phelan, fired this week as manager of Hull City, claimed Van Gaal's fitness regime was to blame. In contrast, Mourinho appears to be steering a happy United ship, although they remain outside the top four in sixth place, despite six successive league wins. Reflecting on his first six months at the helm, Mourinho hailed his squad and the absence of the injuries that so blighted Van Gaal. 'During the season, we have never had big, big problems with that. We had the normal amount of injuries that happen all the time but, in this moment, we have zero. We have every player available apart from (Eric) Bailly, who is in the African Cup,' he said. 'I like my players very, very much. Not just the players, but the combinations between the players as people. They are very good guys and I love to work with them.' United began the season by winning the Community Shield and its first three league games. Then came just one victory in its next seven, including a humiliating 4-0 drubbing at Mourinho's former club, Chelsea, which was the team to catch in the race for the title. But since early November, United has been unbeaten in 13 consecutive games and on a roll. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2017

Tottenham beats Chelsea 2-0 to end 13-match EPL winning run

br /> ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer   LONDON (AP) — Dele Alli underlined his growing reputation by single-handedly ending Chelsea's 13-match winning run Wednesday, scoring two headed goals to give Tottenham a 2-0 victory over the Premier League leaders. The defense has been the bedrock of Chelsea's three-month hot streak but Alli was gifted space to score carbon copy goals in each half at White Hart Lane after meeting crosses from Christian Eriksen. By taking his tally to seven goals in four games, the 20-year-old Alli inflicted Chelsea's first loss since its last trip to north London at Arsenal in September and prevented the Blues from earning a league record 14th successive win in a single season. 'This league is very tough,' Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said. 'Now it's important to restart. After 13 wins in a row it's difficult to accept defeat.' Chelsea still leads Liverpool by five points but Tottenham is now only seven points behind in third after a fifth successive victory. 'It's a big statement for us but we are happy to stay under the radar,' said Alli, whose team's hopes of a first title since 1961 were ended by Chelsea last season. Conte established the winning run that sent Chelsea to the summit after switching to a three-man defense to stem the tide of goals in a 3-0 first half collapse at Arsenal. But the defense is now leaking goals, conceding four in the last two matches after only letting in two in the previous 12 fixtures. Tottenham matched Chelsea's formation and restricted Conte's side to few chances, while proving more cohesive and solid at the back to frustrate the visitors' forward line. 'I didn't get on the ball as much as I would have liked to,' Alli said. The midfielder didn't need to. Alli was described on the eve of the game by manager Mauricio Pochettino as the 'most important player to emerge in English football in recent years.' Signed from third-tier club MK Dons two years ago for 5 million pounds (then $8 million), Alli lived up to his manager's exalted praise with his mastery of the attacking spaces. While Chelsea was looking more likely to score on the counterattack in the first half, Tottenham used a break to devastating effect on the stroke of halftime with Alli making the breakthrough. Kyle Walker teed up Eriksen and as the cross was floated into the penalty area, Alli was left unmarked between Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta to coolly nod past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. It was an assertive start to the second half by Chelsea, but Tottenham preserved its lead. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris blocked a low shot from Diego Costa, Eden Hazard's low header was off target and Moses' penalty appeals were dismissed when he was clipped by Mousa Dembele. Spurs then punished Chelsea's porous defending again in the 54th minute with a replica of the opener. Walker did the running down the right flank before laying the ball off for Eriksen. The Danish international picked out Alli between Moses and Azpilicueta, and the midfielder found the target with this header. 'We were short of the levels we set ourselves, for whatever reason that may be, a few misplaced passes and not moving the ball as quick as we have been,' Chelsea defender Gary Cahill said. 'They are a top quality opposition and we got punished for being short.' Chelsea's plight in the derby was summed up in the first half by the team's top scorer, Costa, engaging in an on-pitch row with Pedro Rodriguez for several minutes. It followed Pedro's failure to run into space in front of goal to meet a pass from Costa when the score was still 0-0. 'It is normal disappointment,' Conte said. 'It was a good chance for us and we wasted it.' ___ Rob Harris is at www.twitter.com/RobHarris and www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

Mag-isip sila sa laro -- coach Gorayeb on Lady Stags

strong>Games on January 4: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- EAC vs LPU (jrs) 10:00 a.m. --- EAC vs. LPU (m) 11:30 a.m. --- EAC vs LPU (w) 1:00 p.m. --- Arellano vs JRU (w) 2:30 p.m. --- Arellano vs JRU (m)     San Sebastian College may be just three games away from completing an eliminations sweep to earn a free ride straight to the Finals but head coach Roger Gorayeb is still doubtful if the Lady Stags can make a repeat of their last year’s feat. The multi-titled mentor said that there’s a lot of things that his team needs to improve on heading into the final stretch of the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament.  “’Yung kasing kilos nila kung oobserbahan ko ngayon, ‘yang kilos nilang ‘yan hindi 'yan pang-straight (elims sweep) na panalo,” said Gorayeb, who wants to end a six-year title drought. “Wala, ang dami pa nilang butas.” SSC-R won its first six games to remain the only undefeated team but will next face Perpetual Help, Lyceum of the Philippines University and a championship rematch with defending champion College of St. Benilde to wrap up their elims campaign. Gorayeb said that he’s not thinking about the Lady Stags completing a sweep of the elims, but what he wants to see is for his team to play as a team and his players to do their roles and not rely too much on reigning back-to-back Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones, who is averaging 16.17 points per game.    “Actually 'di ko na tinitingnan ang sweep. Ang gusto ko lang manalo ng manalo,” said Gorayeb, whose team swept last year’s elims to advance in the Finals outright only to fall at the hands of CSB in four games. “Hindi rin naman pwedeng umasa na lang ng umasa kay Grethcel,” he added.  Gorayeb pointed out that his team should work harder both on offense and defense and must be the side dictating the tempo of the match. He added that he wants his wards to think and adjust inside the court. “At this point in time marunong na silang maglaro,” he said. “Ang problema hindi sila marunong mag-isip during the laro. Nagre-rely sila dun sa sasabihin ko sa kanila. Ayoko na ngang magsalita para kumilos na lang sila ng kumilos.” SSC-R will resume action on January 11 against Perpetual Help (3-2) before taking on LPU on January 23 while the Finals rematch against CSB is scheduled on the 25th. In case of a sweep, SSC-R will advance to be the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. The next three teams after the elims will play in the stepladder semifinals with the no. 2 seed enjoying a twice-to-beat incentive.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2017

Before clasico, Barca must break losing streak at Sociedad

JOSEPH WILSON, Associated Press br /> BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona's next two matches will go a long way to making or breaking its Spanish league title defense. Barcelona hosts league leader Real Madrid in two weeks. But.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 25th, 2016

Perpetual kicks off NCAA men s volley title defense

MANILA, Philippines - The University of Perpetual Help Altas launches its bid of re-establishing its dominance of the league it ruled for almost a decade as.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 15th, 2016

St. Benilde fires off title defense

St. Benilde opens its title defense against a dangerous Perpetual Help even as Grethcel Soltones seeks to help San Sebastian win a championship on her last season as they clash with Arellano U in today’s start of the 92nd NCAA women’s volley.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsNov 13th, 2016

St. Benilde opens NCAA title defense vs Perpetual

MANILA, Philippines – St......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 13th, 2016

Benilde, Perpetual open title defense

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Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 11th, 2016

BaliPure opens title defense

BaliPure begins its title campaign without Alyssa Valdez in its roster when it clashes with pacesetter University of Santo Tomas today in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsOct 7th, 2016

Casimero looking at a bout with Chinese star Zou Shiming

Reigning IBF flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero could set up a clash with two-time Olympics gold medalist and current WBO International flyweight champion Zou Shiming May next year. Casimero is looking at a voluntary title defense in Decembe.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2016