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Kuchar grabs 3-shot Riviera lead as Tiger fumbles

Los Angeles---Matt Kuchar fired a sparkling seven-under 64 on Thursday to seize a three-shot lead after the first round of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club......»»

Category: sportsSource: thestandard thestandardFeb 15th, 2020

International clings to 2-point lead in Presidents Cup

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The International team has the lead going into the final day of the Presidents Cup for the first time in 16 years, and it has a trio of rookies to thank for that. Marc Leishman and unbeaten rookie Abraham Ancer staged a remarkable rally Saturday afternoon in foursomes, going from 5 down with eight holes to play to earn a most unlikely halve against Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler. Byeong Hun An and Joaquin Niemann never led in the final match and scratched out another half-point against Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau. That gave the Internationals a 10-8 lead going into Sunday singles, and a real chance to win the Presidents Cup for only the second time in its 25-year history. “We've given ourselves ... a great shot to win the session tomorrow and win this cup,” said Adam Scott, who has been part of one tie and seven straight losses. “I think we've got to be pretty happy about that. Come out tomorrow, leave it all on the golf course." Nothing inspired the Internationals more than to watch the final two teams on the course scratch out a half-point despite never leading at any point in the match. “For us to scratch and scramble for one point, the guys were very excited about that,” Els said. It looked as though it could have been even larger, when the Internationals built a 9-5 lead after the morning session. The Americans finally showed some fight, even with captain Tiger Woods sitting out for both sessions. And the caddie of Patrick Reed might have shown too much fight. He confirmed in a statement to the Barstool Sports podcast “Foul Play” that he shoved a spectator who he felt got too close to Reed while cursing him. Kessler Karrain, who is also Reed's brother-in-law, will not be on his bag for the final session. Reed said in a statement he respects the tour's decision and that everyone was focused on winning the cup. It was the second straight week of scrutiny for the Reed camp, following his rules violation of scooping sand out of the way in the Bahamas that led to a two-shot penalty. There was plenty of drama Saturday, and all that did was set the stage for 12 singles matches. Woods put himself out first against Abraham Ancer, who got his first taste of a big stage when he was grouped with Woods at the World Golf Championship in Mexico City in February. Reed, a target of the fans all week, will play C.T. Pan in the third match. The International team needs six points from the 12 matches to claim the cup for the first time in 21 years. Reed and Webb Simpson lost matches each of the first two days. Woods sent them out again Saturday morning, and they delivered a dud by making only one birdie in fourballs and losing, 5 and 3, to Hideki Matsuyama and Pan. Even more curious was Woods, who won matches each of the first two days with Thomas, benching himself in the morning and the afternoon, and saying it was best for his team. “I trust the guys,” Woods said. Dustin Johnson finally got the board when he and Gary Woodland took down Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen in the lead match in foursomes. California rookies Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantly rallied from 3 down through 5 holes by winning three straight holes and pulling away at the end over Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im. It was only the third time in 13 events that the International team had the lead after team matches. It had a three-point lead in South Africa in 2003, the year the matches ended in a tie. And they had a nine-point lead at Royal Melbourne in 1998, the only team to beat the Americans. The Americans trailed in all four matches Friday and kept it close. The Internationals trailed in all four matches Saturday afternoon and returned the favor. Both captains appeared to use that as motivation in their press conference. Woods noted that his team could have been trailing 9-1, “and for the International team only to get one point from that point on, for us to fight back and get eight points, was a huge, huge win.” Els couldn't stifle a laugh, for the International team was never leading 9-1 — they were only leading matches. “You're the absolutely optimist, aren't you?” Els said with a laugh. “My God.” The shocker of the day was Thomas and Fowler losing a big lead. They were dormie with three holes to go when Leishman made an 18-foot par putt and Fowler missed his 6-foot par attempt. Then, Thomas missed a 10-foot par putt to end it on 17. On the final hole, Thomas sent his tee shot well to the left and under a tree, leaving the team no chance to get closer than 150 yards from the green. It might not have mattered. Leishman dropped his approach to within 6 feet, a birdie that was conceded. “Speechless,” said Thomas, the star of this American team. “It's unacceptable for us to get a half a point. They made a couple long putts there on 15 and 16 to keep it going. We had our chances, and flat honest, just didn't execute.” Woods watched it all unfold from the sidelines, sticking to his job as captain. Even after losing the morning fourballs session, he kept himself out of the lineup in a decision that surprised International captain Ernie Els. Woods and everyone else will be playing Sunday, including Bryson DeChambeau, who has not played since Thursday. Long thought to be a strength, the Americans have not won the singles session in the Presidents Cup since 2009. They haven't had to. Now they do......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2019

Lowry, Holmes share Open lead as McIlroy leaves with cheers

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — Everyone in the massive grandstand rose to cheer and celebrate a bold performance by Rory McIlroy, who longed for such support and affection on his walk toward his final hole at Royal Portrush in the British Open. Except this was Friday. And now McIlroy can only watch on the weekend as one of his best friends, Shane Lowry of Ireland, goes after the claret jug. Lowry birdied four of his opening five holes on his way to a 4-under 67 and shared the 36-hole lead with J.B. Holmes, who had a 68. Lee Westwood and Tommy Fleetwood were one shot behind. Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth were three back. That can wait. This day was all about McIlroy, who kept the sellout crowd on edge as he tried to make the cut after opening with a 79. The roars had the intensity of a final round as McIlroy ran off five birdies in seven holes to brighten a gloomy sky over the North Atlantic. Needing one last birdie, his approach took a wrong turn along the humps left of the 18th green. He made par for a 65. "It's a moment I envisaged for the last few years," McIlroy said. "It just happened two days early." He was disappointed. He was proud of his play. Mostly, though, he said he was "full of gratitude toward every single one of the people that followed me to the very end and was willing me on." "As much as I came here at the start of the week saying I wanted to do it for me, by the end of the round there today I was doing it just as much for them," he said. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson won't be around, either. It was the first time in 77 majors they have played as professionals that both missed the cut in the same major. Darren Clarke, who honed his game on the Dunluce Links as a junior and now calls Portrush home, missed the cut in a most cruel fashion with a triple bogey on his final hole. And now the first British Open in Northern Ireland since 1951 moves on without them, still with the promise of a great show. Lowry was so nervous he was shaking on the tee when the tournament began Thursday, swept up in the emotion of an Open on the Emerald Isle, and on a course he knows. He gave fans plenty to cheer when he opened his second round with three straight birdies, added a birdie on the fifth and holed a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 10 to reach 10 under, making him the only player this week to reach double figures under par. The cheers were as loud as he has heard. "Just incredible," Lowry said. "You can't but smile, but can't but laugh how it is. There's no point trying to shy away from it. It's an incredible feeling getting applauded on every green, every tee box. I'm out there giving my best, trying to do my best for everyone." He three-putted the 14th, saved par on the next three holes with his deft touch around the greens, and closed with a bogey to fall back into a tie with Holmes, who played earlier in the day and was the first to post at 8-under 134. Holmes won at Riviera earlier this year, and then failed to make the cut in eight of his next 12 tournaments as he battled a two-way miss off the tee and felt so bad that he never thought he'd recover. But he did enough in Detroit three weeks ago to regain some confidence, and he has been in a groove at Portrush. "You can have that great round and that day where everything goes right. But it's nice to get two rounds in a row," Holmes said. "It shows a little consistency. And two days in a row I've hit the ball really well and putted well." Fleetwood and Westwood, two Englishmen at different stages in their careers, each had a 67 and will play in the group ahead of Lowry and Holmes. Westwood is 46 and can make a case as the best active player without a major considering his status — a former No. 1 in the world and on the European Tour — and the number of near misses in the majors, such as Muirfield and Turnberry at the Open, Torrey Pines in the U.S. Open and Augusta National when Mickelson out played him in 2010. Is it too late? Westwood wasn't willing to look that far ahead. "There's too much ground to cover before Sunday night," Westwood said. "There's a long way to go in this tournament. I've never felt under that much pressure, to be honest. You lads write about it. I've always gone out and done my best. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen, and if it doesn't, it doesn't." The experience of winning majors was behind them. Justin Rose had a 67 and was two shots behind, along with Cameron Smith of Australia and Justin Harding of South Africa. Another shot back was a group that included Koepka, who has won three of the last six majors. He was in a tie for eighth, the 16th time in his last 17 rounds at the majors he has ended a round in the top 10. Koepka wasn't happy with much about his 2-under 69, calling it "a little bit disappointing," perhaps because he played in dry weather and only a mild wind. "But at the same time, I'm close enough where I play a good weekend, I'll be in good shape," he said. Spieth hasn't quite figured out how to get the ball in play more often — too many bunkers on Thursday, too much high grass on Friday. But that putter is not a problem, and it carried him to a collection of mid-range birdie and par putts for a 67. "I'm in contention. I feel good," Spieth said, winless since his Open title at Royal Birkdale two years ago. "I feel like if I can continue to improve each day, hit the ball better tomorrow than I did today, and better on Sunday than Saturday, then I should have a chance with how I feel on and around the greens." Graeme McDowell, born and raised in Portrush, played well enough to make the weekend. He finished with four straight pars for a 70 to make the cut on the number at 1-over 143, and felt the pressure of sticking around for the home crowd. Woods, meanwhile, began this major championship season as the Masters champion, ended it as a mystery. He missed the cut in two of the next three majors, and never seemed fully fit or engaged at the British Open. He was 3 under for his round through 11 holes with hopes of making it to the weekend, but he had no more birdies and finished with two bogeys for a 70 to miss by five shots. "I'm going to have my hot weeks. I'm going to be there in contention with a chance to win, and I will win tournaments," Woods said, facing the reality of a 43-year-old who has gone through eight surgeries on his knee and back. "But there are times when I'm just not going to be there.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2019

Koepka survives Bethpage Black to win PGA Championship

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Brooks Koepka took his place in PGA Championship history with a wire-to-wire victory, minus the style points. In a raging wind that turned Bethpage Black into a beast, Koepka lost all but one shot of his record seven-shot lead Sunday. He lost the brutal Long Island crowd, which began chanting "DJ!" for Dustin Johnson as Koepka was on his way to a fourth straight bogey. But he delivered the key shots over the closing stretch as Johnson faded with two straight bogeys, and Koepka closed with a 4-over 74 for a two-shot victory and joined Tiger Woods as the only back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship since it went to stroke play in 1958. Koepka said at the start of the week that majors are sometimes the easiest to win. This one should have been. It wasn't. His 74 was the highest final round by a PGA champion since Vijay Singh won in a playoff in 2004 at Whistling Straits. "I'm just glad I don't have to play any more holes," Koepka said. "That was a stressful round of golf. I'm glad to have this thing back in my hands." Koepka appeared to wrap it up with a gap wedge from 156 yards to 2 feet on the 10th hole for a birdie, as Johnson made his first bogey of the round up ahead on the 11th. That restored the lead to six shots, and the coronation was on. And then it all changed in a New York minute. Koepka missed three straight fairways and made three straight bogeys, having to make a 6-foot putt on No. 11 to keep it from being worse. The wind was so fickle that it died as he hit 7-iron to the par-3 14th that sailed over the green, leading to a fourth straight bogey. The crowd sensed a collapse, and began chanting, "DJ! DJ! DJ!" as Koepka was playing the hole. Ahead of him, Johnson made birdie on the 15th — the toughest hole at Bethpage Black all week — and the lead was down to one. That was as close as Johnson got. His 5-iron pierced through a wind that gusted close to 25 mph, over the green and into a buried lie. He missed the 7-foot par putt, went long of the green on the par-3 17th for another bogey and had to settle for 69. "Hit the shot I wanted to right at the flag," Johnson said of his 5-iron from 194 yards on the 16th. "I don't know how it flew 200 yards into the wind like that. Johnson now has runner-up finishes in all four of the majors, the wrong kind of career Grand Slam. "I gave it a run," he said. "That's all you can ask for." Koepka returned to No. 1 in the world with a performance that defines his dominance in golf's biggest events. He becomes the first player to hold back-to-back titles in two majors at the same time, having won a second straight U.S. Open last summer 60 miles down the road at Shinnecock Hills. He was the first wire-to-wire winner in the PGA Championship since Hal Sutton at Riviera in 1983. And what stakes his claim as one of the best in his generation was a third straight year winning a major. He joins a most elite group — only Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer have done that since the Masters began in 1934. He now has four majors in his last eight, a streak not seen since Woods won seven out of 11 when he captured the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. Next up is the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where Koepka defends his title for the third time. No one has won the U.S. Open three straight years since Willie Anderson in 1905. No one will doubt whether Koepka is capable the way he is playing. The 29-year-old Floridian is an imposing figure, a power off the tee and out of the rough with no obvious weakness in his game and the kind of mental fortitude that majors require. He needed all of it over the final hour of this one. Koepka doesn't know his resting heart rate, and he said on the eve of the final round that it probably was not much different on the first tee of a major than when he was chilling on his couch. But he could feel this one getting away from him. He could sense Johnson making a charge. He could hear it. "How could you not with the 'DJ' chants," Koepka said. "I heard everything." Bethpage has a reputation for being over the top, and it irritated Harold Varner III, who shot 81 playing in the final group. "I thought it was pretty weird how they were telling Brooks to choke," Varner said about the 14th hole. "That's not my cup of tea. I was pulling for him after that." Koepka held it together at the most crucial moment. He piped his driver down the 15th fairway and two-putted for par. And he drilled another one into the 16th, which played the most difficult in the final round because it was into the wind. Johnson hit 5-iron just over the green. The wind died enough 20 minutes later that Koepka hit 7-iron only to 50 feet and had another good lag putt to get par. He kept it interesting to the end, three-putting the 17th as the lead went back to two shots, and pulling his driver on the 18th into fescue so thick it left him little choice but to lay up and scramble for par. Once his medium lob wedge settled 6 feet away, he could relax. Finally. Woods won the Wanamaker Trophy in consecutive years twice, in 1999 and 2000, and again in 2006 and 2007. Koepka was starting to draw comparisons with Woods for the way he obliterated the competition, much like Woods in his 12-shot victory in the 1997 Masters and 15-shot victory in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Koepka tied the PGA Championship record by opening with a 63. He broke the major championship record for 36 holes at 128. He set another PGA Championship record with his seven-shot lead. In the end, just having his name on the heaviest championship trophy in golf was all that mattered. Jordan Spieth registered his first top 10 since the British Open last summer with a 71 to finish at 2-under 278, six shots behind. He tied for third with Patrick Cantlay (71) and Matt Wallace (72). This really was a two-man race over the back nine that not many would have seen coming at the start of the final round. Only the outcome was expected......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019

McIlroy grabs 2-shot lead at World Golf tilt

Mexico City--Rory McIlroy started strong in his bid to complete his WGC trophy collection, firing a six-under par 65 on Thursday for a two-shot lead in the Mexico Championship......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 21st, 2020

McIlroy, Scott, Kuchar share slim lead at Riviera

Rory McIlroy, looking to cement his return to number one in the world, fired a three-under par 68 on Saturday to join Matt Kuchar and Adam Scott in a three-way tie for the third-round lead at the Genesis Invitational. Kuchar was atop the leaderboard for a third straight day after a one-under par 70 at […] The post McIlroy, Scott, Kuchar share slim lead at Riviera appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2020

WINLESS NO MORE: Torculas saves the day; UPIS stops 19-game losing slide

STANDINGS Bullpups 13-0 (twice-to-beat) Baby Tamaraws 12-1 (twice-to-beat) Blue Eaglets 8-6 (semifinals) Baby Falcons 8-6 (semifinals) Tiger Cubs 7-7 Jr. Warriors 3-11 Jr. Archers 3-11 Jr. Maroons 1-13 There will be no winless season in the UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament as the University of the Philippines Integrated School thwarted University of the East’s plot to keep it out of the win column. Jordi Gomez de Liano caught fire anew while Sean Torculas came to the rescue in the endgame as the Jr. Maroons weathered the storm brought by the Jr. Warriors, 86-81, Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. Jordi GDL topped the scoring column with 21 points and was at the forefront of an attack that buried their opponents under a barrage of threes in the first half. State U totaled 11 triples in the first two quarters where it mounted a lead of as much as 34. Come the final frame, however, they let their foot off the gas pedal quite a bit and saw UE come as close as one, 81-82, with under two minutes left. It was at that point, however, that with the shot clock winding down, Ray Allen Torres set up Torculas for a trey at the top of the key. The do-it-all weapon wasted no time taking and making the shot that ultimately broke the back of the Jr. Warriors. In the end, Torculas had 14 points, 15 rebounds, seven blocks, and three assists to his name while Torres also added 12 markers, five boards, and three dimes. Collin Dimaculantan then chipped in 16 points, seven rebounds, and five assists to help UPIS just barely dodge the ax of a winless season. Even more, they won for the first time since the second round of last year - having dropped 19 games in between wins. On the other hand, UE closes its campaign at 3-11 even after a furious fightback of a 33-9 final frame. BOX SCORES THIRD GAME UPIS 86 - Gomez de Liano 21, Dimaculangan 16, Torculas 14, Torres 12, Canillas 7, Lopez 5, Napalang 5, Armamento 3, Morejelo 2, Abreu 1, Avinado 0, Cordero 0, Jacob 0, Villarivera 0, Villaverde 0 UE 81 - Austria 18, Cruz 15, Marasigan 14, San Juan 11, Montecalvo 10, Montecastro 7, Caliwag 5, Mara 1, Cabili 0, Castillo 0, Pelipel 0, Peralta 0, Serrano 0 QUARTER SCORES: 26-13, 59-32, 77-48, 86-81 —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2020

Blue Eaglets sizzle in 37-0 run to seize UAAP 82 playoff berth

STANDINGS Bullpups 13-0 Baby Tamaraws 12-1 Blue Eaglets 8-5 Baby Falcons 7-6 Tiger Cubs 6-7 Jr. Archers 3-10 Jr. Warriors 3-10 Jr. Maroons 0-13 De La Salle Zobel landed the first blows in its rivalry game, Sunday in the middle of the Filoil Flying V Centre, but it was Ateneo de Manila High School that landed the decisive knockout. Unleashing a monstrous 37-0 run bridging the first and second quarters, the Blue Eaglets dominated their archrival Green Archers for a convincing 79-52 victory that assures them of at least a playoff for a place in the next round of the UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament. The kids from Katipunan actually fell victim to a scorching start by the boys from Alabang as the latter went up, 14-3, after three and a half minutes of play. It was at that point, however, that Ateneo flipped the script and fired 37 unanswered points to erase the double-digit and erect a large lead at 40-14, all of a sudden. They wouldn’t look back all the way to stretching their streak to four straight. Now at 8-5, the Blue Eaglets will play one more game, at the very least, after the elimination round no matter what happens in their matchup opposite Adamson High School on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Far Eastern University-Diliman gave itself a shot at the top-seed after getting the better of very game University of Sto. Tomas, 81-73. Cholo Anonuevo posted a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double, all while keying the final frame rush that boosted the Baby Tamaraws past the Tiger Cubs once and for all. He was joined there by Penny Estacio who wound up with 19 points on top of six rebounds, five steals, and two assists as well as Patrick Sleat who totaled 13 markers and eight boards of his own. Turning up the heat in the endgame, FEU-Diliman took care of business for its 12th win in a row following a season-opening loss. They still have a shot at the top-seed if, and only if, they find a way to take down undefeated defending champion Nazareth School of National University by 16 points or more in the last game of eliminations on Wednesday. The two teams had met in the very first game day of the season and the Bullpups won that one, 64-49. If a repeat happens, the defending champions automatically advance into the Finals and trigger stepladder playoffs with the Baby Tams positioned at the second-seed and powered with a twice-to-beat advantage. For UST, Bismarck Lina kept up the heat with 25 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and two steals while Jacob Cortez his 15 markers and 11 boards to his name. All of that wasn't enough, however, to prevent their second straight setback and seventh overall in 13 games. They now need to win their last assignment opposite DLSZ just to have a chance at the next round......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 2nd, 2020

Rahm takes the lead at Torrey Pines with McIlroy lurking

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jon Rahm is playing some of his best golf with two victories and a runner-up in his last four tournaments. He was at his best Saturday at Torrey Pines, holing a chip for birdie and a full gap wedge for eagle to start his round. Even after a 7-under 65 for a one-shot lead in the Farmers Insurance Open, Rahm knows as well as anyone that the hard work is still in front of him, mainly because of whoever might be behind him. Three years ago, that was Rahm. He made two eagles over the last six holes for a 66 to capture his first PGA Tour title. This year, it could be Ryan Palmer and Rory McIlroy in the final group, maybe even Tiger Woods from five shots back. “The back nine three years ago? It will do absolutely nothing, really,” Rahm said. “The only thing it's going to do is keep me focused, no matter how good I'm playing, knowing that somebody can come and do the same thing.” After a two-hour fog delay, Rahm had the ideal start. He chipped in from just off the green at No. 1. Then, he hit a gap wedge from 111 yards that landed short of the hole and rolled in for an eagle. Equally important was saving par on No. 5, and then on Nos. 12, 14 and 15, each of them feeling just as good as birdies. It led to the low round of the day. He was at 12-under 204 and had a one-shot lead over Palmer, whose card was a mixture of birdies and bogeys until a 10-foot birdie on the 17th gave him a 71. Rahm and Palmer have good history. They were teammates at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans and won. This time they're on their own, with company. McIlroy can go to No. 1 in the world with a victory, and after a poor finish on Friday, he got it right this time. McIlroy hit a 5-iron from a bunker on No. 12 — the third-toughest hole of the day — to 6 feet for birdie. He also powered a 3-wood over the water to 20 feet on the par-5 18th that set up an easy birdie for a 67. That left him three shots behind and in the final group with Rahm, the first time they've played together on Sunday on the PGA Tour. “It was nice to shoot a good third round here and get myself a little bit closer,” McIlroy said. “There's a lot of guys like 6-, 7-, 8-under par. Need to go out and try to replicate what I did today. If I can do that, I'll have a good shot.” Woods finished with a 15-foot putt — his longest of the round — on the par-5 18th and hopes it will give him some momentum going into Sunday. Never mind that the putt was for par. He sent his wedge over the green and into the bunker, and another dropped shot could have been costly. The par salvaged a 69 that got him within five shots. It wasn't a bad score, it just felt like way after the start. Woods opened with two birdies in three holes, chipped in for par, added two more birdies for a 32 and suddenly was within two shots of the lead as he goes for a ninth victory at Torrey Pines, and a record 83rd in his PGA Tour career. But he didn't make another birdie, and didn't even have a chance at one from closer than 20 feet. “It was important to make that putt,” he said. “By the end of the day, there will probably be 10, 11, 12 guys ahead of me. I've still got to go out there and post a low one tomorrow.” Woods was among 16 players within five shots of the lead. Sung Kang (67), PGA Tour rookie Harry Higgs (69) and Cameron Champ (68) joined McIlroy at 9-under 207. The group another shot behind included Tony Finau, Patrick Reed and Brandt Snedeker, a two-time champion at Torrey Pines who birdied his last two holes to salvage a 72. McIlroy is playing for the first time since late November and didn't appear to pick up too much rust during his break. This is his second time playing Torrey Pines, and it feels suited for him, even if he struggles like everyone else on poa greens. “Even if you're not making that many birdies but if you keep giving yourself chances, it's one of these golf courses that you feel like you're playing really well, you might be a couple under,” McIlroy said. "That's OK. No one else is going that low. Keep doing the same thing tomorrow and should be right there."  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 26th, 2020

Rahm grabs lead; Tiger 5 off

Third-ranked Jon Rahm seized the lead of the Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday while Rory McIlroy chased the world number one spot and Tiger Woods charged into contention for a record-setting 83rd career US PGA title. Rahm made five birdies and an eagle to shoot a bogey-free seven-under par 65 and stand on 12-under 204 […] The post Rahm grabs lead; Tiger 5 off appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJan 26th, 2020

Palmer with 62 takes 2-shot lead at Torrey Pines

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer SAN DIEGO (AP) — Ryan Palmer wasn't aware of any score but his own Friday at Torrey Pines, and he knew it was good enough to at least get himself back into the mix at the Farmers Insurance Open. He was on the North Course without much bustle — Tiger Woods was on the South — and without any scoreboards. As he kept piling up birdies, Palmer was tempted to get out his phone and see where he stood. "I said, 'Just don't look. We'll see when we get done.' I knew it would be close," he said. It was much better than that. His 10-under 62 — with a bogey on the last hole — went a long way, taking him to a two-shot lead over Brandt Snedeker going into the weekend. It was a magnificent round to match the weather along the Pacific bluffs. But it wasn't pretty for everyone. Woods opened his round with four putts from 25 feet for a double bogey, and then a spurt of birdies around the turn to get some momentum, only to stall the rest of the way for a 71 that left him six shots behind. At least he's still playing.  Phil Mickelson was wild again off the tee and shot 73 on the North to miss the cut by two shots. He also missed the cut in the desert last week. The other other time Mickelson missed the cut in consecutive PGA Tour events to start the year was in 1988. He was 17, and those were the only two tour events he played. Joining him with a weekend off were defending champion Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele, Rickie Fowler and U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland. Palmer was worried about the cut when he was 3 over through eight holes on the South in the first round. He rallied to shoot 72 and carried that momentum into Friday. "I knew today when I got out here, the low rounds were out here," Palmer said. "A good 5-, 6- under par round was to be had. I just took what I had and it turned into a 62. So driving the ball great and I was able to finally get some putts to go in. And the golf course with the par 5s reachable and No. 11 as well, it's a golf course you can take if you're hitting it well. "   Palmer, who lost in a playoff at Torrey Pines two years ago, was at 10-under 134. Snedeker, who won the wind-blown edition of this event in 2016, renewed his love affair for poa annua greens and shot 67 on the South to get into the final group, along with J.B. Holmes, whose 69 left him three shots behind. Woods has won eight times as a pro at Torrey (including the U.S. Open) and twice at Pebble Beach (including the U.S. Open) and twice at La Costa in the Match Play (no U.S. Opens there). He knows poa. And this time he says it wasn't his friend, at least at the start. His 25-foot birdie putt up the hill was wide left, leaving him 30 inches. Woods missed the hole on that one, and it ran down the slope about 5 1/2 feet away. And then he missed the next one. "It's just poa," he said. "I tried to ram it in the hole and it bounced, and hit obviously a terrible third putt, pulled it. The second putt, it's just what happens on poa. I tried to take the break out and it just bounced." The bounced it on four birdies in a five-hole stretch through the 10th hole, but he didn't make another birdie until the 18th for his 71 that put him in the group at 4-under 140. Jordan Spieth (70), Jason Day (67) and Rory McIlroy (73) also were at 140. Snedeker fell in love with Torrey when he tied the North Course record with a 61 as a rookie in 2007, shared the 54-hole lead and finished third behind Woods. "Puts a smile on my face. I love being here. I love the challenge that Torrey Pines brings. I love the greens," Snedeker said. "When I come here, I'm always in a good mood, which when you get on poa annua is probably half the battle." He's been around long enough to know the next two days, anything can happen. Sixteen players were separated by five shots for the final two rounds on the South. Not to be overlooked was Woods, going for his record 83rd victory on the PGA Tour. Woods was nine shots behind after 36 holes when he shot 62-65 to win in 1999, before the South was beefed up for the U.S. Open.  "Somebody's going to get hot over the weekend," Snedeker said. For one day on the North, that was Palmer......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 25th, 2020

Fortea catches fire as Bullpups capture first playoff berth in UAAP 82

STANDINGS Bullpups 9-0 Baby Tamaraws 8-1 Tiger Cubs 5-4 Baby Falcons 4-5 Blue Eaglets 4-5 Jr. Archers 3-6 Jr. Warriors 3-6 Jr. Maroons 0-9 It was just a matter of time before Terrence Fortea got into his groove in the UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament. That time came, Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre, as Fortea scorched the nets for 25 points and shot Nazareth School of National University over very game Adamson High School, 94-79. The gunslinging guard got all but four of his output from beyond the arc to give the defending champions their ninth win in as many games and the first playoff berth in the tournament. "Si Terrence naman, kahit naging ganun yung first round, nandun pa rin yung trust namin," head coach Goldwin Monteverde said. It was also Fortea who fired two backbreaking bombs in the 12-2 run that re-increased National U’s lead from three points to 81-68 inside the last five minutes. He was flanked by Carl Tamayo and Reyland Torres in the timely response that repulsed the Baby Falcons who pulled to within three, 66-69, early in the final frame on the back of Jake Figueroa. Tamayo wound up with 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks while Torres had 15 markers, eight boards, two assists, and two steals of his own. "Alam naman naming lalaban ang Adamson, pero buti nung fourth, nakuha ng bigs namin yung rhythm nila," coach Gold said. Kevin Quiambao was also a force with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals to make sure the Bullpups overcame an all-around 16-point, nine-rebound, six-assist, and three-steal outing from MVP leader Figueroa. John Erolon also added 13 points, five steals, four assists, and two rebounds, but Adamson just fell short of matching their opponents' firepower to fall for the third time in a row and fifth time overall in nine games. Still not that far behind National U is Far Eastern University-Diliman which charged through Ateneo de Manila High School in the final frame for what eventually ended as a convincing 67-57 victory. Chiolo Anonuevo and Jorick Bautista came through for the Baby Tamaraws in their eighth consecutive victory following a season-opening loss. On the other hand, the Blue Eaglets dropped to 4-5 - tied with the Baby Falcons for the fourth spot. With those losses by Adamson and Ateneo, University of Sto. Tomas rose to solo third courtesy of an 87-63 rout of still winless University of the Philippines Integrated School. Bismarck Lina turned in his best game of the season with a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double while James Maliwat and Jacob Cortez chimed in 17 and 12 markers, respectively for the Tiger Cubs who improved to 5-4. In the day's other game, University of the East climbed up the leaderboard by jumping on De La Salle Zobel, 81-68. Vhoris Marasigan busted out with a dominant double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Jr. Warriors now stand on even ground with the Jr. Archers at 3-6......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2020

Justin Thomas grabs a win he thought he had lost

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — Justin Thomas began the new year mildly disappointed by not having won more than he already has on the PGA Tour. That's not to suggest he ever thought it was easy. Sunday at Kapalua was proof of that. Thomas won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in a three-man playoff over Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele for his third victory in his last six starts on the PGA Tour, and the 12th of his career. Thomas, 26, now has more victories than any active players younger than 30. That took time to digest, mainly because of how he got to No. 12. He birdied six out of eight holes to turn a two-shot deficit into a two-shot lead with three holes to play. “Through 15 holes, it was one of the best rounds I had played,” he said. He fell into a playoff by hitting at toe-hook off the tee at the par-5 18th, followed by a 3-wood that landed in knee-high vegetation so thick that a nine-member search party couldn't find it. He made bogey. “I botched it up pretty badly,” he said. Schauffele became only the fourth player in the final round to reach the 18th green, a 3-wood that left him a 35-foot eagle attempt. He three-putted for par, missing a 7-foot putt for the win. Thomas, who had stood off the green with his cap removed and his head bowed anticipating defeat, suddenly had another chance. It also gave life to Reed, who nearly an hour earlier had made a 20-foot birdie putt for a 66 — matching the best score of the tournament — that he figured would fall short at 14-under 278. It was the first three-man playoff since the tournament moved to Kapalua in 1999. “I got very lucky to even have that opportunity,” Thomas said. Schauffele was eliminated with a three-putt par from 100 feet on the 18th in the playoff. Thomas had to watch Reed have two putts at the win, a 30-foot eagle putt on the first extra hole, a 12-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole. Reed missed them both, and Thomas finished him off on the final hole before darkness. “That's what happens when you win," Thomas said. “Obviously, you have to play well and make some putts and hit some shots. But at the end of the day, you need stuff to go your way. And it definitely did today. And it feels great.” It was more crushing for Schauffele than for Reed, even though Reed had the last chance to win. Schauffele had a one-shot lead going into the final round and was two shots ahead through seven holes when Thomas went on his big run with golf so pure that Schauffele said, “I'd like to see anyone else try it.” But it was right there for him at the end when Thomas chopped up the 18th hole. The wind on the Plantation Course is most treacherous on the greens, with players having to guess if a 30 mph gust will knock putts offline or give them too much speed. That's what cost him on the 18th in regulation, and it cost Reed on the last two playoff holes. “I should have won the tournament,” Schauffele said, pausing to consider how wild the final hour really way. “JT was right there. But with the circumstances, I should have closed it out. I did everything I was supposed to until the last moment.” Reed also spoke to the gusts on his 12-foot birdie to win and 8-foot birdie to stay alive. What bothered him equally — at least based on the glare he shot to the gallery — was the fan who screamed, “CHEATER!” after he hit his putt on the third playoff hole. Thomas says he didn't hear it, presumably because he was locked into his own moment. The reference was to Reed scooping away sand to improve his lie in the Bahamas, which was caught on video and shown to him after the round, leading to a two-shot penalty. Reed heard plenty more — and plenty worse — a week later from the Australian crowd at the Presidents Cup. Thomas was more exhausted than elated, mainly because of the sharp swing in emotions at the end. He carries momentum to the Sony Open in Honolulu, and perhaps the rest of the year and beyond. Thomas remains No. 4 in the world, but his record since June bears noting. He has not finished worse than a tie for 17th in his last 11 tournaments worldwide. “It's not an accomplishment getting to 12,” Thomas said. “It's an accomplishment winning today. But I'll have fun with my family and celebrate it tonight. And next week, we try to get 13.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2020

Woods comeback at Masters named AP Sports Story of the Year

By Eddie Pells, Associated Press A green jacket. A heart-melting embrace. A stirring return to the top of golf by one of the sport’s all-time greats. In choosing Tiger Woods’ victory at the Masters as The Associated Press sports story of the year, voters went with the uplifting escape of a great comeback over options that were as much about sports as the issues that enveloped them in 2019: politics, money and the growing push for equal pay and equal rights for women. The balloters, a mix of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, elevated Woods’ rousing victory at Augusta National over the runner-up entry: the U.S. women’s soccer team’s victory at the World Cup. That monthlong competition was punctuated by star Megan Rapinoe’s push for pay equality for the women’s team and an ongoing war of words with President Donald Trump. Rapinoe’s efforts to use sports as a platform to discuss bigger issues was hardly a one-off in 2019. Of the top 12 stories in the balloting, only three — titles won by the Toronto Raptors, Washington Nationals and University of Virginia basketball team — stuck mainly to what happened between the lines. All the rest — including the blown call that cost the Saints a chance at the Super Bowl, a California law that threatens to upend the NCAA and Simone Biles’ dominance at gymnastics' world championships, set against the backdrop of the sex-abuse crisis consuming the sport in the U.S. — were long-running sagas that went beyond a single day or event. They painted sports not as an escape from the world’s problems but merely another window into them. It’s no stretch to say that the whole of the Woods saga — namely, the sordid, pain-riddled, decadelong prelude to his victory at Augusta National in April — would fit into that category, as well. His downfall began in the wee hours the day after Thanksgiving in 2009, when he ran over a fire hydrant outside his house in Florida, triggering an avalanche of stories about infidelity that would lead to the breakup of his marriage and play into the near-destruction of his career. Part 2 was the injuries. Woods came close but did not return to his dominant form after his return to golf following his breakup with his wife. And as time went on, his physical condition deteriorated. He didn’t play in 2016 or 2017, and at the end of '17, he conceded his back was so bad that his days of competitive golf might be behind him. There were four risky back surgeries. Woods also required a good deal of inner healing after a mortifying DUI arrest in 2017 that exposed his reliance on painkillers. Through it all, Woods somehow kept nurturing his love for golf. And eventually, he found his game again. He climbed his way back to the top. He had close calls at two majors in 2018 — the British Open and PGA Championship — and then won the season-ending Tour Championship, as good a sign as any that, at 43, he could take on the best and win. But regular tournaments are not the majors, and no major is the Masters. It was on those hallowed grounds at Augusta National where Woods set the marker, starting a decade of dominance that would redefine the game. He blew away the field by 12 strokes in 1997 to win the first of what has become five green jackets and 15 major titles. On that day, Woods came off the 18th green and wrapped himself in a warm embrace with his father, Earl, whose death in 2006 left an undeniable void in the player's life. Though there had been a handful of close calls between his U.S. Open victory in 2008 and the start of 2019, it was clear that if there was a single course where Woods could conjure the old magic and end a major drought, it would be Augusta National. As a four-time champion, Woods built a career on studying every inch of the layout, knowing every fault line and every sneaky twist and turn of the slickest greens on earth. But where, at one time, he might have overpowered the course and intimidated the competition, in 2019, he simply outlasted them both. He avoided mistakes while everyone else was making them. Instead of taking a lead into the last day, then never giving anyone a whiff of hope, this was a comeback. He started the day two shots behind. As AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson wrote in his wrapup of the final day: “Woods never missed a shot that mattered over the final seven holes, taking the lead with a 5-iron to the fat of the green on the par-5 15th for a two-putt birdie, delivering the knockout with an 8-iron that rode down the ridge by the cup and settled 2 feet away for birdie on the par-3 16th.” When it was over, Woods came to the same spot where he’d met Earl 22 years before. He scooped up his son, Charlie, and held him in a long embrace, then did the same with his 11-year-old daughter, Sam, and mother, Tilda. “For them to see what it’s like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope that’s something they will never forget,” Woods said. Very few golf fans will. And in a sports year dominated by weightier topics, Woods at the Masters stood out — a comeback story that left people smiling at the end......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2019

Tiger Woods and US team rally to win Presidents Cup again

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — High emotions, fierce hugs from Tiger Woods, this time as a winner both ways in the Presidents Cup. Woods capped off a big year that began with his 15th major at the Masters by playing and leading his U.S. team to another victory in the Presidents Cup on Sunday at Royal Melbourne. The first playing captain in 25 years, he opened the 12 singles matches by beating Abraham Ancer to set the Presidents Cup record with his 27th match victory, and set the tone for the rest of his team. The scoreboard was filled with American red scores all day as they rallied from a two-point deficit to win the Presidents Cup for the eighth straight time against an International team that faltered at the worst time. Matt Kuchar delivered the clinching putt, a 5-footer for birdie that assured him a halve against Louis Oosthuizen and gave the Americans the 15 1/2 points they needed to win. “For us to be in a hole, to come back and win this thing ... to win it as a team, but to do it with Tiger Woods as our captain was just a huge thrill,” Kuchar said. They result was 16-14, and at least this one was a contest. The U.S. victory two years ago at Liberty National was so resounding that it nearly ended on Saturday. International captain Ernie Els was determined to turn it around. He created a new logo for the International team. He relied heavily on analytics. It still wasn't enough. “I followed a plan, and it didn't quite work out, but we came damn close,” Els said. “If you compare our team on paper with other teams in other sport, you would have laughed us out of the building. But we gave it a hell of a go and we came mightily close to winning and upsetting one of the greatest golf teams of all time.” Els thought back to Friday, when the Americans won two matches with birdies on the 18th hole and rallied to halve another to keep the International lead from growing. On Sunday, all he saw was U.S. momentum that couldn't be stopped. “We gave you everything we had," Els said to Woods at the closing ceremony. “You were the better team.” Woods hugged everyone hard, players and vice captains alike, wearing a smile not seen since he walked off the 18th green at Augusta National after becoming a Masters champion again after injuries that nearly ended his career. “We relied on one another as a team, and we did it — together,” Woods said, his voice choked slightly with emotion. “This cup wasn't going to be given to us. We had to go earn it. And we did.” Els fashioned the youngest International team from a record nine countries from everywhere outside Europe and took a 10-8 lead into the final day, the first time it had the edge in 16 years. It wasn't enough. Patrick Reed, whose caddie was benched for shoving a fan who had cursed Reed from close range Saturday, built a 6-up lead through seven holes before eventually putting away C.T. Pan to win for the first time this week. Webb Simpson, who played with Reed as they lost all three team matches, never trailed in beating Byeong Hun An. Everyone on the U.S. team contributed something. With so much red on the board, Tony Finau might have been his team the biggest boost. He was 4 down through 10 holes against Hideki Matsuyama, won the next four holes and earned a half-point. It came down to the final hole in South Korea four years ago. This time, the Americans were assured of a tie if the Internationals were to win the last three matches, creating at least a little drama. But it was a familiar ending. The Americans now are 11-1-1 in an event that began in 1994. “It's hard to digest,” said Adam Scott, who has played in nine Presidents Cup without ever winning. “It's incredibly disappointing but ... I like where this team is going, and I'll be working really hard now to be on the team in two more years.” The only International victory was in 1998 at Royal Melbourne, and several players from that team came to Australia this week to conjure up good vibes. It only worked for so long. The Americans won the singles session for the first time since 2009. Most years, their lead was so big it wasn't critical. This time it was. They hadn't trailed since 2003 in South Africa, the year of the tie. So inspired was the American play that none of their six singles victories made it to the 18th hole. The last two matches were halved, and the 8-4 advantage in singles matched the record for the largest Sunday margin since the Americans won 8-4 in the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994. The next Presidents Cup is in 2021 at Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina. In the meantime, the Americans will try to get on another team and win back the Ryder Cup, which gives them far more trouble......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2019

Bullpups stay spotless, Baby Tams still streaking in UAAP 82

STANDINGS Bullpups 5-0 Baby Tamaraws 4-1 Baby Falcons 3-2 Blue Eaglets 3-2 Tiger Cubs 2-3 Jr. Archers 2-3 Jr. Warriors 1-4 Jr. Maroons 0-5 Nazareth School of National University went all-out to make sure it didn’t suffer the same fate that befell new-age rival Ateneo de Manila High School in the continuing UAAP 82 Boys’ Basketball Tournament. With Kevin Quiambao towering above all and everybody else taking care of their own business, the Bullpups made quick work of University of the East, 91-49, Wednesday at Paco Arena. Quiambao was a force with a 15-point, 15-rebound double-double while Ernest Felicilda and Reyland Torres also added 12 and 11 markers, respectively, to make sure the Bullpups stayed away from the upset ax. Just four days ago, the Jr. Warriors pulled the rug from under the favored Blue Eaglets. There was no such thing happening to National U as Carl Tamayo and Terrence Fortea didn’t even have to do much with all 16 players fielded in by head coach Goldwin Monteverde contributing in the scoring column. Still, coach Gold saw much room for improvement at the other end. “Okay naman shooting namin, but yung defense namin, wala pa dun,” he said. That defense actually suffocated the Jr. Warriors to just 26 percent shooting from the field and yet, the softspoken shot-caller wants much more from his wards moving forward from their 5-0 start to the season. Right behind the Bullpups in the standings is Far Eastern University-Diliman which charged through very game University of Sto. Tomas, 80-73. Penny Estacio stuffed the stat sheet with 21 points, five assists, five steals, and four rebounds while backcourt partner Jorick Bautista had his own 19 markers, six dimes, five boards, and two pilfers. With those two at the controls, the Baby Tamaraws ran circles around their opponents for a 28-6 edge in transition en route to their fourth win in a row following a season-opening loss. Bouncing back onto the win column is Ateneo de Manila High School courtesy of a 99-70 rout of the University of the Philippines Integrated School. Transferees Lebron Lopez and Josh Lazaro were big in the Blue Eaglets’ bounce back to 3-2 with the former finishing with 20 points, three rebounds, and three blocks and the latter ending with 17 markers and 13 boards. In the day’s other game, Adamson High School dropped a 32-point hammer on De La Salle Zobel, 89-57. Marcus Nitura busted out with 21 points to lead the Baby Falcons to back-to-back wins and a 3-2 standing. The Tiger Cubs, who suffered a second straight setback to fall to 2-3, were paced by Jacob Cortez who had 23 points while the Jr. Archers, sporting the same slate, were paced by Kean Baclaan and John Dalisay who had nine markers apiece. Meanwhile, Jericho Montecalvo had 14 markers to front the effort for UE even though they dropped down to 1-4 and Ray Torres showed the way for UPIS with 21 markers even though they remained winless in five games. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME FEU-DILIMAN 80 - Estacio 21, Bautista 19, Sleat 15, Bagunu 7, Remogat 6, Anonuevo 5, Padrones 4, Pasaol 3, Buenaventura 0, Libago 0, Mantua 0, Saldua 0 UST 73 - Cortez 23, Villarez 14, Salazar 13, Escoto 7, Montemayor 6, Bugarin 4, Oliva 4, Maliwat 2, Bautista 0, Biag 0, Calivozo 0, Jalbuena 0, Lina 0 QUARTER SCORES: 21-19, 46-37, 65-59, 80-73 SECOND GAME NU 91 - Quiambao 15, Felicilda 12, Torres 10, Alarcon 9, Abadiano 8, Fortea 8, Laure 6, Abiera 4, Tamayo 4, Mailim 3, Songcuya 3, Duremdes 2, Enriquez 2, Lantaya 2, Tulabut 2, Buensalida 1 UE 49 - Montecalvo 14, Austria 8, San Juan 6, Mara 5, Marasigan 5, Cabili 3, Maximo 3, Cruz 2, Serrano 2, Peralta 1, Caliwag 0, Castillo 0, Montecastro 0, Ortiz 0, Pelipel 0, Tan 0 QUARTER SCORES: 32-16, 53-25, 77-38, 91-49 THIRD GAME ATENEO 99 - Lopez 20, Lazaro 17, De Ayre 16, Padrigao 11, Jaymalin 7, Ladimo 7, Espinosa, Nieto 4, Pangilinan 4, Salvador M 4, Felix 2, Salvador G 2, Corral 0, Diaz 0, Rubiato 0, Santos 0 UPIS 70 - Torres 21, Gomez de Liano 18, Dinaculangan 17, Torculas 8, Canillas 3, Jacob 2, Napalang 1, Armamento 0, Avinado 0, Lopez 0 QUARTER SCORES: 24-17, 46-27, 70-53, 99-70 FOURTH GAME ADAMSON 89 - Nitura 21, Dominguez 10, Hanapi 10, Quinal 10, Abdulla 8, Erolon 8, Figueroa 7, Barcelona 4, Ignacio 4, Tulabut 4, Gonzaga 2, Timbancaya 1, Cosal 0, DLSZ 57 - Baclaan 9, Dalisay 9, Quimado 7, Tupas 7, Villarin 6, Milan 4, Del Mundo 3, Sevilla 3, Unisa 3, Luna 2, Macasaet 2, Omer 2, Cudiamat 0, Lawrence 0, Reyes 0 QUARTER SCORES: 16-18, 32-30, 65-46, 89-57 —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 27th, 2019

Unforgettable UAAP Final Four Moments

A Final Four in any of the UAAP seasons in the last 26 years has always been memorable and epic. Since Season 56, the format has intensified the competitiveness in the league, as it has since given four teams the chance at a championship, instead of just two teams in the 55 seasons prior. Here we witnessed dramatic, climactic face-offs between the first and fourth placers, and the second and third placers, with the top two teams enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage. This is to determine who will slug it out in the Finals. Yet there are rare instances when a school tops the eliminations unscathed, just like this year’s mighty Ateneo Blue Eagles, who advanced to the Finals outright after sweeping the round. In this case, a stepladder Final Four is implemented wherein the third and fourth battle each other in a do-or-die match before facing the second placer, which has a twice-to-beat advantage. And yes, these teams have made their playoff wars exciting and spectacular with a level of play that is truly exceptional. Here are some of the most powerful, controversial, heroic, and reverberating moments in the UAAP Final Four that have been forever etched in our minds:   1) UP enters Finals for first time in 32 years in Season 81 In their first Final Four appearance in 21 years, the UP Fighting Maroons had the utmost desire to make history once more with the battlecry “Atin ‘To,” captain Paul Desiderio’s famous call to arms.  And, in Season 81, barreling into the semifinals was already a gigantic feat, having been in the cellar for quite a while in the UAAP.  But they wanted more, and facing a championship-ready Adamson Soaring Falcons was an immense challenge with its lean and mean arsenal, given how the San Marcelino cagers had waylaid the competition in the eliminations, including the defending champions Ateneo. But they were unfazed with Adamson’s twice-to-beat advantage, and in Game 1, they would beat the odds, as the Fighting Maroons and the Soaring Falcons ended up tied at 71-all with three seconds to go. As Juan Gomez de Liano was inbounding, he found an open Bright Akhuetie near the basket to convert the game-winner for UP to arrange a winner-take-all.  And in the decider, it was again a tedious trek for both teams, with the game tied for the last time at 87-all in overtime. Then, the fiery captain will again own it for the Fighting Maroons as he swooshed a jumper off Adamson’s Sean Maganti with 6.6 seconds left. With Falcon guard Jeron Lastimosa missing a three off a timeout as time ran out led to utter euphoria in the Maroon-dominated Araneta Coliseum, spilling out to the numerous UP campuses across the nation, as the Fighting Maroons entered the Finals for the first time in 32 years. They would be denied a repeat of their 1986 title run however by the back-to-back champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, which won the Finals convincingly.   2) Blue Eagle Gec Chia’s miracle “shot” in Season 65 Season 65 was certainly the most unforgettable for the Ateneo Blue Eagles as it achieved a flurry of milestones. Already with a well-developed line-up and the immense motivation to win it all, after their previous heartbreaking campaigns, the Eagles had beaten the league-leading and four-peat-hunting DLSU Green Archers in the last game of the eliminations, denying them a sweep and an outright finals berth. And in third place at the end of the elims, the Eagles would face another formidable squad, the James Yap and Paul Artadi-enforced second-placers UE Red Warriors. After staging a stunning upset in the first game of their Final Four match-up, 84-78, Ateneo again engaged UE in a close, hard fought decider and both teams were tied at 70-all with 7.8 seconds left.  With LA Tenorio trapped in the offensive play, he would kick the ball out to the gutsy marksman Gec Chia, who would rise to the occasion and soar over a phalanx of defenders to make that miracle “Shot” heard everywhere as time expired. That unforgettable shot pushed the Eagles into that climactic end to a 14-year title drought in the Finals by that Herculean drubbing of La Salle.   3) FEU’s Mac Belo buries last-second corner three against La Salle in Season 77 On October 1, 2014, the defending champions DLSU Green Archers threatened the second placers FEU Tamaraws, with a menacing win in their first match in the Final Four of Season 77, nearing to book another trip to the Finals. In Game Two, with 24 ticks remaining, the Tamaraws used up the remaining seconds with the intent of taking the last shot.  FEU point guard Mike Tolomia then barreled his way through the paint, drawing two La Salle defenders and leaving Mac Belo free at the corner. With a little over two seconds to go, Tolomia would hand the ball off to Belo for a catch-and-shoot beyond the arc at the right corner and buried the three as time expired, giving the Tamaraws a return trip to the Finals. They would, however, eventually lose to a gritty NU Bulldogs, which won their first title in 60 years.   4) FEU eliminates Ateneo with Mac Belo’s follow up buzzer beater in Season 78 In Season 78, the FEU Tamaraws would most certainly want another crack at the title, after losing to NU the previous year. And they were really scorching hot in the eliminations, ending up tied with the UST Growling Tigers at the top of the heap, but dropped to second place due to a lower quotient. In the Final Four, they would face the third placers Ateneo Blue Eagles with a twice-to-beat advantage. On November 21, 2015, the FEU and Ateneo were stuck in a really close game with Roger Pogoy waxing hot for the Tams, and Kiefer Ravena leading all departments for the Eagles. With ten seconds to go, Adrian Wong of Ateneo streaked for a layup after a Richard Escoto miss. Wong’s daredevil shot was deflected and the ball ended up in the hands of Mike Tolomia, who rushed back to the FEU side of the court for the final shot. He would make a gallant incursion with a near acrobatic layup with one second to go. And as the ball rimmed out, a well-positioned Mac Belo was below the basket for the quick, buzzer beating putback that once more sent the Tamaraws to the Finals. FEU would then claim their 20th title overall over the UST Growling Tigers in the Finals.   5) FEU's Miko Roldan hits game-winner against Ateneo in Season 63  Mac Belo breaking the hearts of Ateneans with that buzzer beater in Season 78 was like history repeating itself. Fifteen years earlier, the Tamaraws, led by Celino Cruz and Edwin Bacani, also engaged the Blue Eagles to a Final Four battle, with Ateneo having that twice-to-beat privilege.  Led by Rich Alvarez, LA Tenorio and Larry Fonacier, the Blue Eagles were really soaring to get that elusive title it last won in 1988. And in the first game in the Final Four, people were expecting the Blue Eagles to cruise past FEU, having beaten them twice in the elims.  But the Tamaraws really gave them a hell of a match. As Andrew Cruz flubbed two charities in the dying seconds that should have given the Blue Eagles a comfortable three-point lead, FEU gunner Miko Roldan sank a semi-hook shot at the buzzer in the ensuing play to break the hearts of Ateneans everywhere and extend the series, 61-60. In the decider, Cruz and Bacani would conspire for 39 points to complete a monster upset, 75-67, and reach the Finals. The defending champions DLSU Green Archers, led by the legendary Renren Ritualo, was just too much for the Tams in the Finals and copped their three-peat.   6) Fight-marred Ateneo-La Salle Final Four series in Season 66 Joseph Yeo was all over the court in a scoring binge while Rookie-of-the-Year JVee Casio showed a glimpse of being a clutch player as the DLSU Green Archers, the fourth seed, took their storied rivalry with defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, the top seed, to a tenacious, heated Final Four war. Heightened emotions were at play since Ateneo’s colossal Finals victory the previous season, and the animosity between the two ballclubs was at its fiercest and most intense. In Game 1, after La Salle’s Jerwin Gaco’s putback sent the game into overtime, the extended play’s physicality went to overdrive. With 1:31 left in overtime, Gaco bumped LA Tenorio in the battle for the loose ball. Tenorio would then sneak a punch at Gaco, who then nudged the Ateneo guard. This led to a bench-clearing brawl, as players punched, kicked and shoved each other while the coaches tried to break up the fight even as referees whistled repeatedly.  La Salle’s Ryan Arana kicked Ateneo’s Wesley Gonzales from behind and the league meted the Archer with a one-game suspension. Also suspended were Tenorio and fellow Blue Eagle Christian "Badjie" del Rosario. The Archers would prevail after the five-minute extension, 76-72. The decider was also as heated with on-court and off-court flare-ups and violent confrontations between players and supporters. Ateneo’s steady offense, however, prevailed in the final minute, as the Blue Eagles hung on to 74-68 victory, entering the Finals for the second straight year. FEU, however, would deny Ateneo a back-to-back run, winning the championship in two games.   7) UST trounces NU twice to become first fourth placer to eliminate the top-seed in a Final Four series in Season 76 The NU Bulldogs were on a roll, and 2013 seemed to be their year, with Bobby Ray Parks returning after back-to-back MVP seasons and leading them to reach the top of the standings at the end of eliminations. But they have their Achilles heel—the dribblers of Espana—who have exerted their mastery of the Bulldogs, winning twice in the elims. And bad news for the Bulldogs, they would meet the UST Growling Tigers, which ended at fourth place, in the Final Four.  In Game 1, a red-hot Kevin Ferrer would lead UST to its biggest margin of 18 within the match, but they needed to fend off NU’s late charge, 71-62, to force a rubber match. And in the winner-take-all, UST completed its mastery of top-ranked Bulldogs, again with a game-long dominance to end at 76-69, marking the first time a fourth seed would snatch a Finals berth from a first-placer in the league.   8) NU’s Alfred Aroga’s monster block on Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena in Season 77 After a frustrating loss to UST in the Season 76 Final Four, NU would get another crack at gaining that elusive Finals appearance. But in the next chapter of the semifinals, NU will hope for a Cinderella finish to gain that berth, trying to beat the top placers Ateneo Blue Eagles, just like what UST did to them in the previous year when they were the top-seed. Jay-Jay Alejandrino and Troy Rosario led NU’s surge in the fourth quarter of the first game to spoil Ateneo’s twice to beat to force a deciding game. In the rubber match, no clear advantage was evident in the majority of the game. But after NU’s Gelo Alolino broke a 63-all tie with two charities off a foul from Ateneo’s Nico Elorde, 65-63, Kiefer Ravena would try to send the game to overtime with a drive against several NU defenders with three seconds left.  He failed however after NU’s Alfred Aroga swatted his attempt as time expired—a monster block that brought NU to its first finals appearance in 44 years. The Bulldogs would then wallop the FEU Tamaraws in the Finals, 2-1, to clinch their first title in 60 years. 9) Coming out party of UE’s Paul Lee in Season 72 The UE Red Warriors had come off from a heartbreaking Finals loss to the DLSU Green Archers in Season 70 after sweeping the eliminations, and another hurtful exit the succeeding year with a Final Four defeat at the hands of the Ateneo Blue Eagles. The Red Warriors would then make another trip to the Final Four in Season 72, which was the coming out party of prolific scorer Paul Lee, as the league’s third best after the eliminations. UE would battle second placers FEU for the chance to enter the Finals once more after the Season 70 debacle. They extended the series after Lee led a late game spurt with three consecutive three-pointers in a devastating 18-5 run, he would end up with a game-high 26 points. In the rubber match, with UE trailing FEU in the first half, the Red Warriors would make an explosive comeback in the second half and would again rely on the dependable Lee and Pari Llagas for their late-game heroics. Llagas would lift UE up for good with two straight field goals, 72-70, while Lee showed nerves of steel as he sank four consecutive free throws at the end of the game, 78-72, to give UE their Finals ticket. UE, however, would bow to powerhouse Ateneo Blue Eagles in the Finals in three games.   10) UST’s Jojo Duncil completes winning three-point play that frustrated UE in Season 69 By this time, the UE Red Warriors were in their fifth straight Final Four appearance. And in Season 69, UE would land at second place after the eliminations behind Ateneo, relishing its twice-to-beat advantage.  In the Final Four, UE would face a determined UST Growling Tigers, who were seeking redemption after last winning the championship in 1996, the last year of their 90s four-peat dynasty. UST would eke out a hard-earned Game 1 victory, 79-75 victory over UE that led to a deciding Game 2. In this clincher, both UST and UE kept the match close.  And in the final quarter, with the score tied at 79-all in the dying seconds, Growling Tiger Jojo Duncil converted on a tip-in, and-1, after a previous miss and teammate Jervy Cruz’s failed putback. Duncil would then complete the three-point play to give the UST an 82-79 edge, a few seconds left. UE’s Marcy Arellano would drive unmolested for an easy two to cut the lead to a solitary point, 82-81, nearing the end of the game. After UST committed a turnover, the Red Warriors had the chance to drop the game-winner but UE’s Jorel Cañizares missed a medium-range jump shot and a follow-up. Teammate Robert Labagala would then grab the rebound, but time ran out on the Recto dribblers. UST entered the Finals and annexed its first UAAP title in 10 years over the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Will there be another unforgettable Final Four moment in this current Season 82? Catch the start of the stepladder Final Four hostilities with the do-or-die match between the UST Growling Tigers and the FEU Tamaraws on Wednesday, November 6, for the right to meet the twice-to-beat second placers UP Fighting Maroons on Sunday, November 10......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 4th, 2019

Wilson throws 4 TD passes, Seahawks hold off Rams 30-29

By Tim Booth, Associated Press SEATTLE (AP) — Russell Wilson threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Chris Carson on fourth-and-goal with 2:28 remaining to give Seattle the lead, Greg Zuerlein missed a 44-yard field goal with 11 seconds left and the Seahawks held on for a wild 30-29 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night. Jared Goff and the Rams (3-2) appeared on the verge of a victory after driving into field-goal range in the final 90 seconds. Zuerlein hit three field goals earlier, but this attempt slipped wide right and gave Seattle (4-1) a win it needed against its NFC West foe after losing six of the past eight to the Rams. Wilson was 17 of 23 for 268 and four touchdowns. He was at his best, whether it was his throws from the pocket or when he was forced to improvise. It was one stunning play after another from Seattle’s star, continuing the best start to a season in his career. Seattle appeared to wrap up the victory when Tedric Thompson made a juggling interception of Goff’s deflected pass while lying on the turf with 2:08 left. But the Rams forced Seattle to punt and took possession at their own 7 with 1:38 left. In just seven plays, Goff had the Rams to the Seattle 30 after a 28-yard strike to Gerald Everett. The Rams stalled and a 9-yard pass to Everett on third-down set up Zuerlein’s attempt. The snap was good, but the kick stayed just to the right. Goff finished 29 of 49 for 395 yards and one touchdown just days after throwing for a career-high 517 yards and tying an NFL record with 45 completions in a loss to Tampa Bay. Everett had seven catches for 136 yards, and Cooper Kupp had nine grabs for 118 yards and a TD. Wilson, though, was the star. Wilson had touchdown passes of 13 yards to Tyler Lockett and 40 yards to DK Metcalf in the first half. He threw a 10-yarderto David Moore in the third quarter and he had a final answer after the Rams’ had taken a 29-24 lead. Wilson led Seattle 60 yards in 12 plays, helped during the drive by a roughing-the-passer call on Clay Matthews. After stalling inside the 10, Seattle faced fourth down at the 5. Wilson scrambled like he had all night, buying enough time to find Carson open in the corner of the end zone. The running back scared nearly all of the 69,000 in attendance by juggling the pass before gaining control. Carson finished with 118 yards rushing on 27 carries. The touchdown was his only reception. GURLEY’S MISTAKE Todd Gurley was a featured part of the Rams’ offense early and finished with 51 yards on 15 carries, but the run game vanished during most of the second half. Gurley also fumbled for the first time since Week 3 of last season. The fumble was ripped out by Jadeveon Clowney, who also recovered the ball. It was Gurley’s first fumble in 338 offensive touches. He had gained 1,915 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns between his two fumbles. KEY CATCH Brandin Cooks had just one reception but it was a big one. Cooks pulled in a 29-yard catch from Goff on third-and-8 from the Rams 27 early in the fourth quarter as he was being covered tightly by Shaquill Griffin. Cooks was being evaluated for a concussion after the play and did not return. Carroll challenged there should have been offensive pass interference but the call on the field stood. The catch led to Zuerlein’s field goal that gave the Rams a 29-24 lead. INJURIES D.J. Fluker suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter. He was replaced at right guard by Jamarco Jones, who typically is a backup tackle, but was forced to play guard with normal backup Ethan Pocic out because of a back injury. UP NEXT: Rams: Los Angeles stays in the NFC West, hosting San Francisco on Sunday, Oct. 13. Seahawks: Seattle is at Cleveland on Sunday, Oct. 13......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 4th, 2019

Thomas loses cushion, shares lead in Tour Championship

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Xander Schauffele was six shots behind before he ever hit a shot Thursday in the new scoring format for the Tour Championship. His goal was to keep his head down, play good golf and see where he stood to par at the end of two days. The TV cameras following his every move on the back nine at East Lake were the first hint it was going well. A leaderboard on the 18th green confirmed it. "I saw I was in first," he said. "Happy with the day." Schauffele didn't come seriously close to a bogey in a 6-under 64 that was the best score of the opening round by two shots. It was only worth a share of the lead with Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka in a Tour Championship where players started with better scores to par than others depending on their place in the FedEx Cup. Thomas, who started at 10-under par and a two-shot lead as the No. 1 seed, still led despite having trouble finding the fairway. That was the least of his problems on the back nine. He hit pitching wedge into the water for double bogey and missed a pair of 3-foot putts for a 70. Instead of being six shots behind Schauffele, who started at 4 under as the No. 8 seed, Thomas was tied for the lead. Koepka, the No. 3 seed who started three shots behind, birdied three of his last four holes for a 67 to join them at 10 under. "It's weird on Thursday to be three back after a couple of holes," Koepka said of the start. "It's nice to close that gap on Day 1." Rory McIlroy, five shots behind at the start as the No. 5 seed, had a 66 and was one shot behind at 9 under going into the second round. Over the next three days, it should look and feel like a normal tournament. The score to par is all that matters in deciding who wins the FedEx Cup and the $15 million prize. And after one day, it was setting up to be a shootout. The top five players were separated by five shots at the start, and that number was at 12 players by the end of the day. That included Paul Casey, who felt a new kind of anticipation for a Thursday. "After five holes, I wanted to see scores. I never usually care about what's going on after five holes," said Paul Casey, who shot 66. He started eight shots behind as the No. 16 seed and cut that margin in half after one round. The concern was that Thomas, who won last week at Medinah, might post another low score and build a huge lead. It didn't work out that way. "We've got a golf event now," Casey said. "This is kind of cool. Looks like it's working." There were a few other moments that indicated this Thursday was different from all others in golf. Thomas made the turn at 1 under, and as the walking scorer brought the sign across the road and onto the 10th tee, one fans was shocked to see him at 11 under until he said, "That's right — he started at 10 under." Schauffele was at 10 under when he approached the 18th green to face a 6-foot birdie putt. "I had a putt for 59 on the last hole," he said with a smile. "That's what (Matt) Kuchar told me. I looked at him the same way. Got it." Patrick Cantlay, the No. 2 seed who began two shots behind, shared the lead briefly until two bogeys over the last five holes for a 70. It wasn't a good day, yet he still was only two shots behind. Thomas missed a 3-foot par putt on No. 12. On the par-3 15th, which played 60 yards shorter than usual, his wedge was right all the way and found the water. And on the 17th, he hit wedge to 3 feet only to see his birdie putt spin 270 degrees around and out of the cup. He salvaged the day with a good drive — only his sixth fairway of the round — that set up a two-putt birdie. "It's fine," Thomas said. "I'm tied for the lead." Schauffele won the Tour Championship two years ago in a situation that led to this change in format. FedEx Cup points accrued during the regular season and quadrupled in the postseason were reset to give everyone a chance. The top five players only had to win the tournament to capture the FedEx Cup, and odds of winning the bonus were higher as the position in the standings got lower. Schauffele, a rookie in 2017, was the No. 26 seed when he won the tournament. The FedEx Cup went to Thomas, who was the No. 2 seed and finished one shot behind. There were two winners that day and mixed emotions. Thomas had never been so irritated winning $10 million. Now, the reward for a good season and two playoff events is a lower score under par to start the Tour Championship, and the lowest score to par at the end of the week wins $15 million. "I think everyone needed help from J.T.," said Schauffele, a phrase usually only heard going into the final round, not on a Thursday. "If J.T. went out and shot a pair of 65s, I don't think the tour would be very happy and I don't think the rest of the field would be happy. "But it looks to be a good tournament so far.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2019

A new format for FedEx Cup brings clarity and curiosity

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Justin Thomas has a two-shot lead, and the Tour Championship hasn't even started. If that seems difficult to fathom, consider that someone could win this week without having the lowest 72-hole score. And remember, such a radical change was to make the FedEx Cup finale easier to follow. The first staggered start in PGA Tour history — Thomas begins at 10-under par, the bottom five players are at even par — unfolds Thursday at East Lake when 30 players who reached the final stage of the FedEx Cup playoffs chase the $15 million prize, the biggest payout in golf history. "I could see a scenario where come Sunday, 15 guys might have a chance to win the entire thing," Rory McIlroy said Wednesday. "It will be exciting. It will be different. But at the same time, you've just got to go out there and try to play some good golf and not look around at what other guys are doing, and trust that by the end of the week things will hopefully even out." The idea behind the new format was to bring clarity to the FedEx Cup by having only one winner Sunday. Each of the last two years, one player won the Tour Championship and another player won the points-based FedEx Cup. It was especially awkward last year because while Justin Rose won the FedEx Cup, all anyone cared about was seeing Tiger Woods in his red shirt celebrating a two-shot victory, his first in five years. "My bank manager didn't mind," Rose said. One function of the FedEx Cup hasn't changed: It was designed to give an advantage to players who had the best season, and who played their best golf in the postseason when the points were valued four times higher. Now, the advantage is strokes to par. Thomas, who won the BMW Championship last week to become No. 1 in the FedEx Cup, tees off Thursday already at 10-under par. Patrick Cantlay is No. 2 and will start at 8 under, followed by Brooks Koepka at 7 under, Patrick Reed at 6 under and McIlroy at 5 under. The next groups of five players in the standings will be at 4 under, 3 under, 2 under, 1 under and even par. The leaderboards on the course, online and on television will show only the score to par, not what was shot each day. "The FedEx Cup is not a tournament. The Tour Championship is now for the FedEx Cup," PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said. "So when you make that transition, you have to recognize there are 45 tournaments that precede it." If nothing else, the new format eliminates the kind of math that would give even Bryson DeChambeau a headache, computing where players needed to finish to earn points to win. Last year for example, Rose was the No. 2 seed and his birdie on the last hole gave him a three-way tie for fourth, enough points to win the cup. Dustin Johnson was the No. 4 seed and finished third. If he had finished in a two-way tie for second, he would have won the cup. Using this year's format, Rose would have won the FedEx Cup by one shot over Woods because as the No. 2 seed, Rose would have started six shots better. Now it's time to see if it will work. "I think it's hokey," Cantlay said. "It's weird to have a format no one has ever seen. And I think it's a shame we lose the Tour Championship. I haven't gone through it. No one has. I'm going to reserve final judgment until I've gone through the week." Whoever finishes with the lowest score to par wins the FedEx Cup and gets credit for winning the Tour Championship, even if he doesn't have the lowest score in the Tour Championship. Meanwhile, the tour will keep track of conventional scoring — everyone will the first year — to award world ranking points. "For all of us guys chasing, the first day will be important," said Rose, who is No. 17 and thus starts at 2 under. "You can't give up more shots." Most curious about the format is how many players have a reasonable chance of winning. McIlroy won his first PGA Tour event at Quail Hollow in 2010 when he made eagle on his 16th hole Friday to make the cut on the number. He shot 66-62 on the weekend to rally from nine shots behind. "And that was just two rounds," McIlroy said. "With two extra rounds, you can free-wheel it. There's a lot more volatility." There have been a number of players who made the cut on the number and rallied from big deficits over 36 holes. Carl Pettersson shot 60-67 on the weekend to come from nine back in the 2010 Canadian Open. Brad Faxon rallied from 12 shots behind with a 65-61 finish in Hartford in 2005. It could be wild on the weekend. Or maybe Thomas opens with a pair of 64s and makes it a runaway. He is keeping it simple. "I'm just going to have to try to play another golf tournament and act like everyone's starting at zero and try to shoot the lowest 72 holes," Thomas said. "Because I know if I do that, then I should be OK.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2019

Thomas wins at Medinah, takes No. 1 seed to FedEx Cup finale

By The Associated Press MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) — Justin Thomas had more stress than he wanted and answered with the shots he needed Sunday at Medinah to win the BMW Championship and claim the No. 1 seed going into the FedEx Cup finale. Thomas watched a six-shot lead shrink to two in a span of three holes around the turn until he regained control with two great wedges, and two pivotal putts. One last birdie gave him a 4-under 68 and a three-shot victory over Patrick Cantlay (65). The victory, the first for Thomas since the World Golf Championship at Firestone last year, gives him a two-shot lead starting the Tour Championship next week as the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup chase the $15 million prize. The field will have a staggered start based on their position in the FedEx Cup, meaning Thomas starts at 10-under par. The top 30 who advanced includes Lucas Glover, who went bogey-double bogey late in his round until finishing with a par to wrap up his first trip to East Lake in 10 years. It will not include Masters champion Tiger Woods, the defending champion. Woods was a long shot going into the final round to crack the top 30, and he closed with a 72. East Lake was his first victory in five years, capping his return from four back surgeries, a special moment replaced some six months later by his Masters victory. Hideki Matsuyama took the 36-hole lead with a 63 until falling back with a 73. He responded with another 63 to finish alone in third, making him one of three players who moved into the top 30 to reach East Lake. The other was Jason Kokrak, but only after J.T. Poston made bogey on his final hole. The U.S. team for the Presidents Cup didn't change, with Bryson DeChambeau holding down the final spot. Tony Finau would have needed to finish alone in third. He closed with a 69 to finish fourth, unable to keep up with Matsuyama. Nothing changed for the International team either, as Jason Day failed to earn one of the eight automatic spots. Thomas finished at 25-under 263 — seven shots lower than what Woods shot at Medinah when he won the 2006 PGA Championship — and earned $1,665,000. Even more money is at stake next week, though this was a burden lifted. All he cared about was winning......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 19th, 2019