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The British Open returns to the nasty links of Carnoustie

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press Carnoustie is known as much for the calamity it causes as the British Open champions it crowns. Any mention of Carnoustie immediately brings back that image of Jean Van de Velde, equal parts tragedy and comedy, standing in Barry Burn on the 18th hole with water up his shins and rising. He made triple bogey to lose a three-shot lead, and then completed as great a collapse as can be found in a major championship by losing in a three-man playoff in 1999. Just don't get the idea Van de Velde owns all the rights to bad endings at Carnoustie. Jose Jurado was the first victim. He had a three-shot lead going into the final round in 1931 and was still two shots clear late in the round until coming undone in the brutal closing stretch, topping one shot on the 17th hole into the burn. He lost out to Tommy Armour. More recently was Padraig Harrington , only it worked out well for him in 2007. Playing the 18th with a one-shot lead, the Irishman hit his tee shot into the Barry Burn. He took a penalty drop and then hit his next shot into the winding stream. Harrington managed the best double bogey of his life. It got him into a playoff when Sergio Garcia made bogey from the bunker, and Harrington went on to win his first major. Of the six previous Opens on these menacing links, Ben Hogan is the only winner to hold a 54-hole lead. For most everyone else, Carnoustie always seem to dish out its share of carnage. Rod Pampling once opened with a 71 and had the lead. He followed with an 86 and missed the cut. Phil Mickelson still hasn't seen a weekend at Carnoustie. Garcia made his major debut as a professional at Carnoustie. He shot 89. "That's a brutal course," Bernhard Langer said. He speaks from experience in 1999, when Langer had his third-highest score of the 23 Opens he completed. He shot 297, and he tied for 18th that week. The first time Tiger Woods went an entire round without a birdie in a major was in 1999 at Carnoustie. "I think I made one birdie on the weekend and I finished three or four back of the playoff," Woods said. "That was ridiculous how hard it was." One month after Shinnecock Hills was punishing as ever in the U.S. Open, golf's oldest championship doesn't figure to be much of a reprieve. Scotland has been going through a warm, dry patch of weather, which figures to make it firm and bouncy. Mickelson, who played Carnoustie a week before the Open, said it was unlikely he would even carry a driver. "I'm either going to carry a driver or that hot 3-wood, but there's only two or three holes — there's actually only two holes I plan on using it, both par 5s. I have a low 1-iron that I've been putting in the bag and ... it's very low. Gets on the ground quick. I'll hit that on probably the last ten holes, almost every hole." Carnoustie in any conditions is regarded as a beast, with a reputation as the toughest links in the world. Sir Michael Bonallack, the former R&A secretary, might have sized it up the best when he said, "When the wind is blowing, it is the toughest course in Britain. And when it's not blowing, it's probably still the toughest." In recent Opens, it has picked up a nickname: Car-nasty. For so much of the field, it will be a new experience. Only two players from the top 10 in the world have played a British Open at Carnoustie — Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy , who was an 18-year-old amateur in 2007 and immediately showed his potential when he opened with a 68. He tied for 42nd that week. Only 33 players in the 156-man field have played an Open at Carnoustie, and only 12 have played it twice. Defending champion Jordan Spieth only knows it from television. He was 13, just starting to blossom as a junior, and he watched the Open from home as Garcia and Harrington tried to survive the finish. "I remember ... how good of a score par was on that hole and will continue to be for Opens going forward," Spieth said. "It's one of probably the toughest closing holes in the Open Championship anywhere, and that creates some drama when it comes down to Sunday, as we've seen. And I don't think it will be any different this year." Carnoustie gets its mean streak from the way the course was set up in 1999, with narrow fairways and high grass. But its strength comes from the wind, like most links courses, and this course near the North Sea is particularly exposed. It measures 7,402 yards, which is 19 yards shorter — yes, shorter — than it was in 2007, the last time the Open was at Carnoustie. Spieth will try to become the first player in 10 years to repeat as British Open champion, and right now he'd simply settle for a chance. Since his closing 64 at the Masters to finish third, Spieth has finished at least 12 shots out of the lead in four of his seven tournaments. He missed the cut in the other three. Like most majors these days, the Open figures to be wide-open. Dustin Johnson, who lost a four-shot lead over the final two rounds at Shinnecock, is back to No. 1 in the world and eager to pick up another major. He has not played since the U.S. Open. The next three players behind him in the world ranking — PGA champion Justin Thomas, Rose and U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka — all have a chance to replace him at No. 1. Recent history would suggest a young American — the last five majors have been won by Americans in their 20s. "It's definitely been pretty one-sided, and the Americans are dominating," Rose said. "So it would be lovely to turn that around next week." Woods is happy to get another crack at it. Carnoustie was his first experience with links golf in 1995, when he was still at Stanford and came over for the Scottish Open at Carnoustie ahead of the British Open at St. Andrews. He opened with a 69, closed with a 78 finished 48th. "Carnoustie is an unbelievable driving golf course," Woods said. "You have to drive the ball well there, but also it's not your traditional in (and) out golf course. It's a lot of different angles, so a lot of different crosswinds. I have to be able to maneuver the golf ball both ways there efficiently. You just have to hit the golf ball well." There is no faking. Nothing comes easily. No one really conquers Carnoustie. It's more about survival. The highest compliment might have come from Tom Watson, who won his first major at Carnoustie in 1975 in a playoff over Jack Newton. "Carnoustie is like an ugly, old hag who speaks the truth no matter how painful," Watson once said. "But it's only when you add up your score, you hear exactly what she thinks of you.".....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJul 13th, 2018

Column: This version of Woods seems like a nostalgia act

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland --- All around him on a windy summer day on the links of Carnoustie, the leaders were imploding as Tiger Woods moved into the lead at the turn. It felt like old times at the British Open, as familiar as his Sunday red shirt and the swarm of fans that cheered his every shot. Then Woods imploded, too, and there's something that's become increasingly familiar about that. If this was the Woods of 15 years ago, he likely would be "the champion golfer of the year," as they say over here, and have his name on the claret jug a fourth time. The fans felt this could be the culmination of the comeback. Twitter told late-rising Americans to get to their screens, and fans at ...Keep on reading: Column: This version of Woods seems like a nostalgia act.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

Johnson and Kisner, housemates and British Open leaders

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) — A light rain in the morning that gave way to soft sunlight in the afternoon took some of the sting out of Carnoustie. Just not all of it. Kevin Kisner found that out with one swing that erased his two-shot lead Friday in the British Open and left him tied with housemate Zach Johnson. He hit an 8-iron that only needed to go 150 yards to clear the Barry Burn in front of the 18th green. Instead, it floated out of the yellow grass to the right, bounced off the base of the rock wall that frames the winding stream and led to a double bogey. Disappointed but not down, Kisner removed his cap behind the green and scratched his head as if he wondered what hit him. "They call it 'Car-nasty' for a reason," he said after signing for his 1-under 70. "Even when you think you've got it, it will jump up and bite you." It took a chunk out of Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, the Nos. 1 and 2 players in the world who won't be around for the weekend. Johnson finished with a double bogey to miss the cut by one. Thomas made three straight double bogeys on the front nine and missed by one. And it left a wide-open weekend on a course with a history of crazy finishes. Zach Johnson, whose name already is on the claret jug from his playoff victory at St. Andrews three years ago, played in the morning under an umbrella and finished with a 30-foot birdie putt for a 67. Johnson and Kisner are staying in a house of seven players — five of them major champions — and share the lead at 6-under 136. They played on different ends of a day that started gray and ended with shadows. Scotland's unusually dry summer finally got a reprieve. There wasn't enough rain to turn brown fairways green, though it at least kept shots from rolling endlessly. They head into a weekend with endless possibilities. One shot behind were Tommy Fleetwood (65), Pat Perez (68) and Xander Schauffele (66). Perez was tied for the lead until he hit into a bunker on the 18th hole and took bogey. Rory McIlroy, pledging to "go down swinging" to rid himself of a bad Masters memory this year, had another 69 and was part of a large group two shots behind. Jordan Spieth also is in the mix in his bid to take the claret jug back home to Texas. Spieth hit 8-iron through a gap in the trees for a birdie-birdie start to the back nine, and he dropped only one shot — not four like he did on Thursday — over the four closing holes at Carnoustie for a 67. He goes into the weekend just three shots back. "Very happy to be back in the tournament," Spieth said. Tiger Woods still has work to do after a rugged start, good recovery and then a mix of birdies and bogeys that left him stuck in neutral on a better day for scoring. Woods had another 71 and was six shots behind, with 28 players between him and the lead. "We've been fortunate with the conditions. It hasn't blown yet," Kisner said. "I think it will blow this weekend and make it even more difficult. Who knows what's going to happen? We're going to just keep trying to get after it." Carnoustie was a far different test from the opening round, when sunshine baked the fairways crisp and it was difficult to figure out how far the ball was going when it hit the ground. The steady, light rain made them a little slower and a lot more predictable. The greens held shots a little better. Strategies changed. Slightly softer conditions meant power players who were driving beyond the trouble hit more irons off the tee, and shorter players hit more drivers and fairway metals. Kisner hit 5-iron off the first tee Thursday. He hit 3-wood Friday. "Hit the same club as the approach," Kisner said. "That's a pretty dramatic difference in distance." Kisner is a newcomer to what amounts to an American fraternity house at golf's oldest championship the last three years. Four of them are among the top 11 on the leaderboard going into the weekend with Spieth and Rickie Fowler, who shot 69 and was at 3-under 139. As for talking shop after work? Nothing is off limits. "Everybody will tell their horror stories and good stories, and we'll laugh and eat a big old meal and sit around and watching something stupid," Kisner said. Thomas will have one of the horror stories. The PGA champion took three to get out of a pot bunker from the fairway on the par-5 sixth hole, making the first of three straight double bogeys. Johnson became the first No. 1 player to miss the cut since Luke Donald in 2011, and it was the second straight that the top two players in the world ranking missed the cut in a major. The way golf has been going, it would be reasonable to see the name "Johnson" atop the leaderboard and assume it belonged to the top-ranked player. But not necessarily at the British Open. "I've been called Dustin many times," Zach Johnson said. "I doubt he's been called Zach that many times." Johnson overcame a bogey on the opening hole with birdies on the third and fourth holes, and he never put himself under too much pressure the rest of the way. Already a two-time major champion with titles at St. Andrews and Augusta National, the 42-year-old from Iowa now has made the cut 12 straight times in the British Open, a streak that began at Carnoustie in 2007. His low ball flight, grinding nature and good putting give him the right ingredients. Kisner is no stranger to pressure at a major. He had at least a share of the lead after each of three rounds at the PGA Championship last summer until a bogey on the 70th hole ruined his chances. "Hopefully, I'll have another chance to prove that I can do it here," Kisner said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 21st, 2018

Thompson returns to LPGA

LOS ANGELES, California — Lexi Thompson defends her LPGA Indianapolis title this week after more than a month away from the game to give herself a mental, emotional and physical break. The American said it was a “hard decision” to skip the Women’s British Open two weeks ago, but one she thought was well worth […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 17th, 2018

Molinari rises to 6th in world ranking

PARIS, France — Newly-crowned British Open champion Francesco Molinari climbed to a career-high world ranking of sixth while 14-time major winner Tiger Woods edged back into the top 50. Molinari became the first Italian in history to win one of golf’s four majors on Sunday with a flawless final-round 69 at Carnoustie, and has jumped […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 24th, 2018

Molinari wins maiden major at British Open Open

ITALIAN STALLION CARNOUSTIE, United Kingdom — Italy’s Francesco Molinari emerged from the pack in a thrilling finale at Carnoustie to win the British Open on Sunday, seeing off the challenges of reigning champion Jordan Spieth and a revived Tiger Woods to win the first major of his career. At the age of 35, he becomes […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

Column: This version of Woods seems like a nostalgia act

Tiger Woods of the US plays out of a bunker on the 8th hole during the final round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Sunday July 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison) CAR.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

Spieth s title defense at British Open ends without a bang

Jordan Spieth of the US during the final round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Sunday July 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Jon Super) CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) - Defending champi.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

Spieth’s title defense at British Open ends without a bang

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland --- Defending champion Jordan Spieth wasn't the only one struggling to gain traction on the wind-swept final day at Carnoustie. But he was one of just two in the 79-player field who failed to make birdie, shooting 76 and sliding from a three-way tie atop the leaderboard at 9 under at the start into a tie for ninth by the end. A bogey, double-bogey run at Nos. 5 and 6 let a handful of contenders squeeze past Spieth, who owns three major championships, and bogeys at two of the last four holes killed his chance of catching up. "When you put yourself in position enough times, it goes your way sometimes, it doesn't go your way sometimes," said Spieth, who wound up at ...Keep on reading: Spieth’s title defense at British Open ends without a bang.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

Molinari survives wild day to win British Open

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland --- Francesco Molinari didn't get the loudest cheers for the best golf at British Open. He was overlooked for so much of Sunday playing alongside Tiger Woods, who caused pure pandemonium at Carnoustie by taking the lead in the final round of a major for the first time in nine years. Molinari settled for the best cheer of them all. The last one. Amid so much chaos --- seven players atop the leaderboard, six of them still tied on the back nine --- Molinari played a steady hand by going the entire weekend without a bogey and finishing with a5-foot birdieputt that secured his place in history as Italy's first major champion. "Clearly, in my group, the attention wa...Keep on reading: Molinari survives wild day to win British Open.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

Molinari could not believe he won the British Open

CARNOUSTIE, United Kingdom – Francesco Molinari said it would take some time for the achievement of winning the British Open to sink in as he gripped the Claret Jug on Sunday, July 22,  following his remarkable victory at Carnoustie. The Italian also admitted he would probably need to change his flight ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

Woods creates buzz at Carnoustie

For 20 minutes on a warm Saturday afternoon at the British Open, Tiger Woods’ name was back atop a leaderboard at a major championship and Carnoustie was buzzing. Woods creates buzz at Carnoustie CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — For 20 minutes on a warm Saturday afternoon at the British Open, Tiger Woods’ name was back atop a… link: Woods creates buzz at Carnoustie.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2018

Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks

Jordan Spieth of the US, left, and Kevin Chappell of the US finish the third round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Saturday July 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison).......»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2018

McIlroy loses ground with tough finish at British Open

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) — Rory McIlroy pledged to "go down swinging" in his bid to win a major for the first time in four years. He might have to swing for the fences after the way he finished Saturday at the British Open. On a day of low scoring, McIlroy bogeyed two of his last three holes for a 1-under 70. Instead of being two shots behind, he was four back, certainly not out of it. And he wasn't about to change his strategy of being aggressive. "Go out and hit a lot of drivers," McIlroy said. "I felt like today the course was perfectly set up to take advantage of it and attack it. Tried to do that for the most part. Maybe my wedge play wasn't quite as good as it should have been, but I gave myself plenty of chances." McIlroy said he felt like he left some shots out on the course, and was disappointed at the way he finished. Still, he's won the Open before and believes he has a reasonable shot to do it again. "I've got a bit of experience at this," he said. "Maybe more so than some of the other guys on the leaderboard. But the leaderboard is packed with a lot of very, very good players." McIlroy and other players on the leaderboard are keeping an eye on the notoriously fickle Scottish weather going into the final round. The wind is expected to pick up some and if it shifts direction the scores could go a different direction than they did on Saturday. The best thing, McIlroy said, is there are only five players in front of the group bunched four shots off the lead. "Just need to get off to a fast start tomorrow," he said. "I'm obviously disappointed after the way I finished, but I'm still in the tournament. I'm only a few shots behind. The wind is supposed to pick up a little bit. So it will make things interesting." ___ WINDWARD FINALE Kevin Kisner has been hearing all week that the strongest wind would be on Sunday, which is fine by him. "I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow," Kisner said. He only had one wish. "As long as 18 is downwind, I don't really care," he said. "I played with Zach (Johnson) today and he said the last time they were here, they hit 3-woods all four days on 16 and 4-iron on 18. So I can't imagine that direction and how difficult that finish would be." ___ REDEMPTION Zander Lombard dropped two shots on the 17th hole when he pulled it into a ditch, took a drop, hit into a bunker and missed the cut. He made up for it in a big way. "I said to my caddie walking down the fairway, 'Let's have a finish for the crowds at least,'" Lombard said. After a strong drive on the 18th, the South African hit a gap wedge from 132 yards that landed in front and to the left of the hole, checked and turned to the right and then dropped in for an eagle. "It was just awesome soaking up the energy and taking it in," Lombard said. "I feel really positive for tomorrow, and I'm going to fight for it." ___ ONE BAD SWING Rickie Fowler opened with two birdies in four holes and was one shot out of the lead with a par 5 coming up at No. 6. That turned out to be his undoing. Fowler pulled his tee shot so far left that it went out-of-bounds. He sent his next shot from the tee some 40 yards to the right, and he wound up making a triple-bogey 8. That wasn't his only mistake. He made three more bogeys, including on the 18th, and that offset the eagle he made on the par-5 14th. But it added to a 73 — only Pat Perez with a 74 had a higher score among the last 14 players to tee off Saturday. "Obviously wanted to head in the right direction today, but didn't do that," Fowler said. "Back to the drawing board. We'll come out hot tomorrow and see what we can do. Made some good swings coming in, but like I said, just didn't execute through the middle of the front nine and (it) cost me." Fowler was eight shots behind and plays Sunday with Patrick Reed. ___ ROSE RALLY Justin Rose was about 18 feet away from going home Friday when he made the birdie putt on the 18th to make the cut on the number. One day later, he was five shots out of the lead. No one took advantage of the calm conditions like Rose, who played bogey-free from the third group out and shot 64. It was his lowest score at the British Open by two shots, and at the end of the day, Rose was in a tie for 13th. "There's a difference between being 3 over on Friday and way off the lead and 3 over and way off the lead on Saturday morning," Rose said. "You kind of feel a bit more grateful to be here rather than Friday night, you feel frustrated to be there. So I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I'm just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning. "Obviously, I had nothing to lose." He won't be losing much sleep. Rose had the entire afternoon off to rest, and he gets to sleep more on Sunday. ___ AP Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2018

Tiger Woods moves into share of lead at British Open

  CARNOUSTIE, United Kingdom – Tiger Woods rediscovered his golden touch on Saturday, July 22, with 6 birdies in his 3rd round moving him into a share of the lead at the British Open. After two underwhelming even-par rounds, Woods needed something special in the 3rd round at Carnoustie and he was on ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2018

Tiger Woods finds his Open return a pain in the neck

Tiger Woods of the US plays off the 5th tee during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Friday July 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Jon Super) Tiger Woods' much-.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJul 21st, 2018

McIlroy eager to chase title at site of his 1st British Open

As Rory McIlroy returns to the site of his first major championship, the memories of being young and on an adventure of a lifetime come back. And he wonders why it all can’t be that simple again......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 19th, 2018

Woods on expectations for another major win: Absolutely

By Jimmy Golen, Associated Press SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — Hoist the anchor, and set sail the great ship Privacy on a course for Carnoustie Bay, Pebble Beach or some other future site of a golf major. Tiger Woods isn't going to win the U.S. Open this year. He still thinks he can win another major before he's done. "Absolutely," Woods said after shooting a 2-over 72 at Shinnecock Hills on Friday for a 36-hole total of 10 over that saw him miss the cut. "They're not easy," he said. "I mean, I've won a few of them over the course of my career, and they're the hardest fields and usually the hardest setups. So they're meant to be testers, and you don't win major championships by kind of slapping all around the place and missing putts. "You have to be on," he said. "You just can't fake it at a major championship." Woods couldn't even fake it for the first 34 holes in Southampton, and despite birdies on the last two holes, he needed a lot of help to avoid the cut for the fifth time in his last eight majors. That means he won't need to bunk for the weekend at the Sag Harbor Yacht Club on the 155-foot boat he jokingly calls "the dinghy." Woods also missed the cut when he brought Privacy to the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot in New York City's northern suburbs. He has not played the weekend at a U.S. Open since 2013, or won one since 2008 — his last major victory. He remains stuck at 14 in his career, four short of Jack Nicklaus' record. "Our whole careers are pretty much measured as if you can win four times a year," Woods said. Woods' chances were effectively eliminated after two holes. He shot a triple bogey on Thursday on No. 1 — a 399-yard par 4 that is the fourth-easiest hole on the course — needing three tries to manage a short rise to the elevated green and then two-putting. He entered the second round nine strokes behind the leaders and thought if he could shoot in the 60s on Friday he would have a chance to get back into it. Now he won't even have a chance to play. "I couldn't chase down the leaders right away. It's going to take me probably 2½ to 3 rounds to do it," he said. "Unfortunately, I went the other way." Starting the second round on No. 10, Woods made the turn at even par and came back around to No. 1. His drive was fine, but he yanked his approach shot to the right of the green into deep rough, and then rolled his third shot over it. After pitching to about 14 feet, he missed a bogey putt. He then bogeyed No. 2 for the second straight day. "I didn't play the first and second hole very well," said Woods, who started on No. 10 for the second round. "I was kind of hanging in there until, unfortunately, first and second hole kind of derailed it." Woods said he would take the week off before playing the National and then heading to Carnoustie, Scotland, for the British Open......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 2018

Cilic joins elite group by reaching Australian Open final

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Marin Cilic has joined an elite group at the season-opening Grand Slam, becoming just the second man outside the so-called Big Four to reach the Australian Open final in a decade. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have dominated the finals here since 2009, with only 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka breaking the quartet's court occupation in the men's championship match. After his 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-2 semifinal win over No. 49-ranked Kyle Edmund, Cilic could face one of the Big Four on Sunday night. That's if defending champion Roger Federer can get past Hyeon Chung on Friday night. "Now I have two days off — it's going to be a nice one on Sunday," he said. Cilic lost to Federer in last year's Wimbledon final, but beat the Swiss star on the way to his own Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open in 2014. The 29-year-old Cilic was under pressure early against Edmund and had to fend off break points in the opening game. He held and quickly got on top in the first set and, after maintaining his composure in a nervy second set tiebreaker, quickly established a break in the third set against the tiring British player. "I think in that second set, I was just a little up and down with my game. I wasn't getting enough returns back to put pressure on him in his service games," Cilic said. "I noticed that in the third game in third set, when I broke him, he just let a couple balls go past him. ... I was seeing with this movement he was a little bit restricted so I just tried to move the ball around." Cilic didn't face another break point after the opening game and took advantage of his experience, while Edmund got heated in his first major semifinal, arguing with the chair umpire over a call in the fifth game of the second set and demanding the tournament supervisor come onto court to explain the ruling. Wins over U.S. Open runner-up Kevin Anderson in the first round and in the quarterfinal over No. 3-seeded Grigor Dimitrov took a toll on Edmund, but Cilic praised him for a breakthrough major. "He's playing great tennis, last couple years he improved a lot." Cilic said. "He had an extremely tough run to the semis, couple five setters and four setters, as well. Definitely it left some scars on his body. I can feel that, too." It took Cilic 10 attempts to reach the final in Australia, equaling an Open era record held by Kim Wawrick. He lost a semifinal in 2010 to Murray, and said he benefited from the experience......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 25th, 2018

Libyan-Canadian cleric linked to Manchester bomber plans return to Canada to clear his name – CBC News

A Libyan-Canadian cleric linked in U.S. and British media reports to Manchester bomber Salman Abedi says he will return to Canada in weeks with the intention of clearing his name. Abdul Baset Egwilla was an Ottawa-based imam until his return to Libya in 2007. In an exclusive interview with CBC News over Skype, Egwilla denied any connection to Abedi. &'8220;I challenge whoever accuses me of such a connection to produce evidence, such as a time, date and place where I met with the suicide bomber,&'8221; Egwilla said. CBC News has agreed not to disclose Egwilla's current location due to concerns for his safety, as he is the subject of death threats in Libya. Salman Abedi, 22, was identified on May 23 as the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded more than 60 others, including children, at a pop concert in Manchester. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomber's father, Ramadan Abedi, who denies his son was a member of ISIS, has since been arrested by Libyan counter-terrorism officers. U.S. and British media reports, citing anonymous sources, have claimed a link between Salman, his father and Libyan-Canadian cleric Egwilla. A senior American official told the New York Times on May 24 that Salman Abedi &'8220;had links to a radical preacher in Libya&'8221; identified as Abdul Baset Egwilla, and that Egwilla's son had died fighting for ISIS. Egwilla's son did die in 2016, but Libyan news reports and a martyrdom notice at the time said he was killed fighting for the Omar Mukhtar Brigade, a Libyan Islamist militia that is not a listed terrorist organization. The Times newspaper in the U.K. reported May 27 that Ramadan Abedi was an associate of &'8220;extremist Canadian-Libyan preacher&'8221; Egwilla, and that the Libyan-Canadian is believed to have radicalized Ramadan's son, Salman Abedi. The father would regularly meet with Egwilla at Friday prayers in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in 2015, added the Times, citing a resident of the city who asked not to be named. The Greater Manchester Police Force would neither confirm nor deny to CBC News that Egwilla is under investigation for possible involvement in the Manchester bombing. Egwilla, who has been absent from Libya for several months since fleeing a plot to assassinate him, said he has never, to his knowledge, met either Salman or Ramadan Abedi. &'8220;I am a public figure, I appear in the media. I show up in mosques and preach to a multitude of people. People know me, but I do not know them,&'8221; Egwilla said. &'8220;And if I met him once or twice before, it could be that he changed his beliefs later on, but I never met him in the first place,&'8221; Egwilla said of the Manchester bomber. Declassified documents released by Canada's Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre in 2014 flagged a YouTube video in which Egwilla is seen &'8220;promoting violent jihad in Libya.&'8221; &'8220;In the video, Egwilla urged an audience of Libyan Islamist fighters to take part in jihad, stating that 'jihad is simply and easily accessible, and does not require moving as in the past, as it was for Afghanistan and Iraq,'&'8221; the report said. Egwilla says that call to jihad was made to recruit people to fight specifically against a militia led by a former general in Moammar Gadhafi's regime, and not a call to support the global jihadi movement. &'8220;I spoke about jihad only through Fajr Libya Dawn (a rebel militia alliance) and only when [Moammar Gadhafi] suppressed peaceful demonstrators and bombed them with anti-aircraft weaponry,&'8221; said Egwilla. &'8220;This was unjust and an act of tyranny.&'8221; Egwilla said people claiming to be with the government of Canada have attempted to reach out to him using the app Viber, though he says he has never agreed to an interview. Egwilla said he intends to speak to authorities to clear his name when he returns to Canada. After seven years in Ottawa, Egwilla left Canada for Libya in 2007, when Gadhafi's regime began sending signals that it would not persecute returning dissidents. ​ He began working at a Tripoli religious radio station and associated with a group of clerics that included Sadiq al-Ghariani, who today is the country's Grand Mufti, the top religious leader, and a strong supporter of Islamist militias. When rebellion broke out in 2011, Egwilla was a prominent supporter, and after the fall of Gadhafi's regime, was promoted to be the administrative director for the mosques in Tripoli. He said he became a prominent imam and broadcaster. In 2014, as splits emerged between liberals and Islamists over the direction post-Gadhafi Libya should take, Egwilla identified with the &'8220;Libya Dawn&'8221; coalition of Islamist militias that seized Tripoli from the UN-backed government. Libya Dawn soon found itself involved in a war with the secular forces of Gadhafi-era general Khalifa Haftar, and Egwilla's Ottawa-raised son Owais joined one of the Islamist militias battling Haftar. Owais died in combat in March last year. It was reported in some quarters that Owais Egwilla had died fighting for Islamic State. In fact, martyrdom notices posted at the time of his death show him as a member of the Omar Mukhtar Brigade, an Islamist militia that was part of the coalition that fought Islamic State and drove it out of its Libyan stronghold in Sirte. Egwilla says he fled Libya eight months ago following the kidnapping and murder of fellow cleric Nadir al-Omrani by assassins of the Madkhali sect of Sunni Islam. Madkhalis, followers of a school of thought founded by a Saudi cleric, have become increasingly active in Libya. Like Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Madkhalis in Libya have destroyed ancient shrines and manuscripts they deem un-Islamic and they consider voting to be heresy. In a videotaped confession seen by CBC News, one of [&'].....»»

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