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Payton propels Magic past Bucks

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Elfrid Payton scored 20 points, Jeff Green added 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and the Orlando Magic snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 112-96 on Friday night. The Magic, returning home from a 1-5 road trip, played with a small lineup for much of the night and it provided the offense they needed with two of their top scorers out. Orlando had six players in double figures, including starters Aaron Gordon (17), Serge Ibaka (13) and Nikola Vucevic (13). Orlando shot 46 percent from the field while limiting the Bucks to 41 percent. Jabari Parker led Milwaukee with 25 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo contributed 17 points and 14 rebounds as the Bucks dropped their fourth straight game. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 20th, 2017Related News

Penny Hardaway inducted into Magic Hall of Fame

em>By Terrance Harris, Associated Press /em> ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Magic have inducted Penny Hardaway into the franchise's Hall of Fame. Hardaway, a game-changing point guard at 6’7”, becomes just the fifth player in franchise history to be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame. He was enshrined during a pregame ceremony Friday (Saturday, PHL time) and will be honored during a special halftime presentation during Orlando's game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Amway Center. Acquired by the Magic during the 1993 NBA Draft, Hardaway spent six seasons in Orlando where he averaged 19 points, 6.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.95 steals per game. Hardaway and center Shaquille O'Neal guided the Magic to the NBA Finals in 1995 where they lost to the Houston Rockets. Hardaway remains third on the team's all-time steals list (718) and fourth in assists (2,343). .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 20th, 2017Related News

Heat win back-to-back games, hold off Mavericks

MIAMI (AP) — Goran Dragic had 32 points, Tyler Johnson scored 10 of his 23 in the fourth quarter and the Miami Heat topped the Dallas Mavericks 99-95 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Dragic shot 11-for-15 from the field and 4-of-4 from three-point range. He also got a big offensive rebound in the final minute to extend a possession, and Johnson made a pair of free throws with 29.9 seconds left to give Miami an eight-point lead. Hassan Whiteside scored 13 and Dion Waiters added 12 for the Heat. Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points for Dallas, which had its season-best three-game winning streak snapped. The Mavericks went 1-for-8 from the field during a late stretch of the fourth quarter and never got the lead again. Wesley Matthews scored 18 for the Mavericks, who got 15 apiece from Harrison Barnes and Seth Curry. Nowitzki made 2-of-3 free throws with 18.5 seconds left to get the Mavs within 95-92. The Heat needed to burn two timeouts before even getting the ball inbounded on the ensuing possession, and Johnson hit two from the line five seconds later to help seal the win. Dragic tied a career-best for shooting percentage when taking at least 15 shots; he was 11-of-15 on two other occasions, both with Phoenix. It was also the fourth time he was 4-for-4 from three-point range in a regular-season game -- he was 5-for-5 once, in a 2010 playoff game with the Suns. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Mavericks: /strong> /em>Nowitzki took Dallas' first four shots. J.J. Barea scored 13 points and has reached double figures in 11 of his 17 games this season. At 32, he's on pace to average more than 12 points a game for the first time. Dallas took only 11 free throws to Miami's 29. em> strong>Heat: /strong> /em>Miami is up to 170 games missed by players for illness or injury this season, most in the NBA. Okaro White made his NBA debut in the first quarter. He was signed to a 10-day deal earlier this week. Wayne Ellington got his 1,000th career rebound and is one three-pointer shy of 500. strong>PROMOTION ISSUE /strong> A fan avoided injury when a door -- depicting a hotel room door -- on a wheeled frame fell over on her during a promotion after the first quarter. The promotion had several fans slide hotel 'keys' into the door, and the one that worked would win a hotel stay. Heat officials said the woman was fine, and the game was delayed a couple of minutes while some cosmetic scrapes to the floor were removed. strong>BOGUT CLOSER /strong> Dallas center Andrew Bogut missed his fourth straight game with a right hamstring strain. He worked out on the court before the game and is improving, though he isn't expected to play Friday (Saturday, PHL time) against Utah. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Mavericks: /strong> /em>Host the Utah Jazz on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Dallas is 0-7 on the second night of back-to-backs this season. em> strong>Heat: /strong> /em>Host the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Miami is 1-1 against the Bucks, with both teams winning at home. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 19th, 2017Related News

Say tough defending Rockets at home ‘Bucks stopped here’

HOUSTON – James Harden and the Houston Rockets used their defense to get back on track......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJan 19th, 2017Related News

Anthony Davis 21 points lead Pelicans past Magic 118-98

Anthony Davis 21 points lead Pelicans past Magic 118-98.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJan 18th, 2017Related News

Harden, Rockets beat Bucks 111-92

Harden, Rockets beat Bucks 111-92.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJan 18th, 2017Related News

Run and gun Pelicans cruise past Magic

em>By Guerry Smith, Associated Press /em> NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 21 points and 15 rebounds and the New Orleans Pelicans cruised past the road-weary, short-handed Orlando Magic 118-98 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Terrence Jones and Langston Galloway added 18 points each for the Pelicans, who never trailed after the first quarter and extended their lead to as many as 28 points. Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton had 14 points each to lead Orlando, which finished 1-5 on a season-long six-game trip that featured five games in the last eight days. The Magic played their third straight game without leading scorer Evan Fournier, who is out with a bruised right heel. The Pelicans, back from their own season-long five-game trip, beat the Magic down the court all night to start a season-long six-game home stretch. New Orleans passed its season-high of 30 fast-break points midway through the third quarter and finished with 38. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 18th, 2017Related News

Harden, Rockets blast Bucks

HOUSTON (AP) -- James Harden had 38 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and the Houston Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-92 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Harden drilled a straightaway three-pointer with six minutes left to give Houston a 13-point lead and shimmied his shoulders down the court in a celebratory dance as the Bucks called timeout. After losing three of four, the Rockets regained their form while improving to 17-4 at home this season. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three blocks for Milwaukee. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 18th, 2017Related News

Lady Chiefs out to secure second semis berth

Arellano University shoots for a Final Four berth while Lyceum of the Philippines University guns for at least a playoff for a semis spot Wednesday in the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan. The Lady Chiefs pulled the rug from under defending champion College of St. Benilde Lady Blazers, 25-21, 25-21, 25-21, last week to nail their sixth straight win in seven outings to secure at least a playoff for a Final Four spot. A victory in their 11:30 a.m. showdown with Lady Pirates, who are precariously clinging to a spot in the magic four, would send Arellano to the next round alongside the Grethcel Soltones-led San Sebastian College Lady Stags, the lone unbeaten squad with seven victories. LPU currently owns a 5-2 (win-loss) record and would be in dire need of a win that will secure it of at least a playoff for a berth in the semis. It plays San Sebastian on Jan. 23 in its last elimination round game. In juniors' action, LPU seeks the first of needed two triumphs to barge straight to the finals as it tackles Arellano (4-1) at 8:30 a.m. The Junior Pirates shocked the Perpetual Help Junior Altas, 19-25, 20-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-12, Friday to remain unscathed in five outings that put the former two wins away from booking a slot in the finals where they will enjoy a thrice-to-beat edge. In men's play, LPU (3-4) and Arellano (5-2) collide at 10 a.m. while ousted Jose Rizal (1-6) and Jose Rizal (1-6) face off at 2:30 p.m. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 17th, 2017Related News

Jokic scores career-high 30, Nuggets beat Magic

em>By Pat Graham, Associated Press /em> DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored a career-high 30 points, Emmanuel Mudiay dished out a career-best 13 assists and the Denver Nuggets followed up their 'home' win in London with another at the Pepsi Center, beating the Orlando Magic 125-112 on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). Jokic also grabbed 11 rebounds and Kenneth Faried scored 20 points for the Nuggets, who certainly packed their surging offense with them when they returned home from London. They routed Indiana 140-112 last Thursday (Friday, PHL time) in England and remained on that sort of shooting streak, hitting a season-high 58.4 percent from the floor. They also had 33 assists. Elfrid Payton scored 20 points and had 12 assists as the Magic fell to 1-4 on their current six-game trip. Denver arrived home from London late on Friday (Saturday, PHL time), took Saturday off (Sunday, PHL time) and then went through an intense practice Sunday (Monday, PHL time) designed to shake any sort of lingering jet lag. 'Now, it's mental,' Nuggets coach Michael Malone said before the game. 'Can you push all that tiredness and fatigue and jet lag out of you mind?' They certain did. Up 69-63 early in the third quarter, the Nuggets pulled away with a 16-2 run. The Magic cut into a 22-point deficit, but Faried put the game way with an emphatic dunk with 1:28 remaining. The officials operated with a two-person crew after Nick Buchert was a late scratch for personal reasons. It really didn't seem to be an issue for Tom Washington and Justin VanDuyne, who were never really out of position. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Magic: /strong> /em> G/F Evan Fournier was out with a bruised right heel. C Nikola Vucevic scored 17 points, and the Magic had seven players in double figures. em> strong>Nuggets: /strong> /em> G Gary Harris suffered a sprained right ankle early in the first quarter and didn't return. X-rays were negative. Jokic had five assists. He entered the game averaging 3.9, which is fourth-best among centers. strong>ALL-STAR ATTENTION? /strong> Although Jokic is averaging 13.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists, Malone doesn't expect his big man to be in All-Star consideration just yet. That has to do with Denver's sub-.500 record and not his play. 'Unless you're winning, I don't think you're going to be in the conversation,' Malone said. 'With that being said, everybody in the NBA knows Nikola and what he brings to the table. He's probably one of the most fun players to watch.' strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Magic: /strong> /em> At New Orleans on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) for the sixth and final game of this trip. em> strong>Nuggets: /strong> /em> At Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). The Nuggets are 1-6 in the second game of a back-to-back this season. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 16th, 2017Related News

Embiid strong in the fourth as 76ers beat Bucks

em>By Joe DiGiovanni, Associated Press /em> MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Joel Embiid scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the Philadelphia 76ers won for the fourth time in five games, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 113-104 on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). The Sixers improved to 13-26. Their only recent loss was Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) at Washington, when Embiid didn't play. Embiid is limited to 28 minutes per game while trying to overcome injuries that have slowed his career. Embiid had 12 rebounds. He made four of nine shots and 13 of 18 free throws. Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo each scored 23 points for Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo was in foul trouble for most of the second half, scoring only two points in 11 minutes after the break and fouling out with 2:51 to go. Dario Saric scored 17 points and Ersan Ilyasova added 12 for the Sixers. The 76ers used a 12-2 run to take control of the game midway through the fourth quarter. A dunk by Jahlil Okafor began the burst and Embiid capped it with a pair of free throws. Milwaukee missed 10 of its first 13 shots in the quarter to fall behind 97-87 with less than five minutes to play. Tony Snell's three-pointer capped a 13-0 run and gave Milwaukee a 48-40 lead. strong>FOUL TROUBLE /strong> Antetokounmpo had a marvelous first half with 21 points, making 9-of-11 shots. But the Bucks star picked up his fourth foul with 6:04 left in the third quarter and didn't return until the beginning of the fourth quarter. He lasted just 38 seconds in the fourth quarter before committing his fifth foul and heading back to the bench. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>76ers: /strong> /em> G T.J. McConnell was in Philadelphia to have an MRI on his right wrist. He had started the past seven games for the 76ers, which went 5-2 in that span. Sergio Rodriguez started in his place. em> strong>Bucks: /strong> /em>Parker spoke to the Milwaukee crowd before the game about Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. 'His legacy, his leadership, his characteristics really resemble what our country needs to be like today,' he said. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>76ers: /strong> /em>Host Toronto Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). em> strong>Bucks: /strong> /em> At Houston Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 16th, 2017Related News

Dunleavy’s 20 points carry Hawks past Bucks

Dunleavy’s 20 points carry Hawks past Bucks.....»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsJan 16th, 2017Related News

Love Actually: Alex Gonzaga and Mikee Morada, The Unparalleled Magic Of Finding The Right Person

Because when you're in the right relationship, everything is different......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: LifestyleJan 16th, 2017Related News

Raptors rout Knicks; Hawks swoop down on Bucks

TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan had 23 points while Norman Powell added 21 as the Toronto Raptors used a dominant third quarter to beat the New York Knicks 116-101 o.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJan 15th, 2017Related News

Bazemore, Dunleavy pick up offense, Hawks beat Bucks

em>By George Henry, Associated Press /em> ATLANTA (AP) — Kent Bazemore scored 24 points, Mike Dunleavy added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-98 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 33 points and was a tough matchup in the paint for Milwaukee, which dropped 2.5 games behind the fourth-place Hawks in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta has won eight of nine. The Bucks have dropped three of five. Dunleavy, in his second game since arriving in a trade last week with Cleveland, had his first 20-point performance since a first-round playoff game for Chicago on April 30, 2015. Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in eight games in a breakout season. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 15th, 2017Related News

Hood injured in Jazz's victory versus Magic

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Gordon Hayward scored 23 points and Rudy Gobert had 19 points and 19 rebounds to help the Utah Jazz beat the Orlando Magic 114-107 on Saturday night. Joe Ingles made two 3-pointers in the final 1:07 to wrap up the victory that was tempered by the loss of Rodney Hood to what looked like a serious knee injury with 2:54 remaining. Hood had 14 points. The Magic led 102-97 after Aaron Gordon's 3-pointer and Elfrid Payton's driving layup with 3:54 to play, but the Jazz scored 13 straight points en route to their fourth victory in five games. Orlando has lost five of six. Payton had a career-high 28 points and added nine rebounds and nine assists. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 15th, 2017Related News

Parker, Antetokounmpo lead Bucks past Heat, 116-108

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks made quick work of the slumping Miami Heat......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsJan 14th, 2017Related News

Parker, Antetokounmpo lead Bucks past Heat

em>By Rich Rovito, Associated Press /em> MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Jabari Parker had 24 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 19 to help the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Miami Heat 116-108 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Antetokounmpo also had eight rebounds and six assists after being limited by illness throughout the week. Greg Monroe added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside each had 19 points for the Heat, and Luke Babbitt added a season-high 16. They have lost 10-of-11 games, including the last four on their trip. After leading by as many as 21 points in the first half, the Bucks maintained a large lead throughout the third quarter, pushing it to 22 at one point. But the Bucks allowed the Heat to get within eight points midway through the fourth. Antetokounmpo then scored six straight points and the Bucks quickly built the lead back to 14 with about five minutes remaining. Miami cut the lead to seven with 16 seconds remaining, but would get no closer. The Bucks scored 42 points in the first quarter, their most in any quarter this season, to grab a 12-point lead. Monroe had 12 points in the quarter. CHANGING COURSE The last time the teams met, in November, Miami held Milwaukee to a season-low 73 points in notching the victory. The Bucks surpassed that mark with 8:57 remaining in the third quarter. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Heat: /strong> /em> Center Willie Reed sat out with a bruised sternum, leaving Miami with just 10 available players, all of whom played. em> strong>Bucks: /strong> /em> Antetokounmpo logged 37 minutes after being limited to nine minutes at San Antonio on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time) while struggling with an unspecified illness that also caused him to miss Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) home game against Washington. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Heat: /strong> /em> Host Houston on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) in the first of two regular-season matchups. The Heat have won six of their last seven against the Rockets in Miami. em> strong>Bucks: /strong> /em> Travel to Atlanta for a matinee matchup Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The Hawks have won three consecutive games and six of the last eight against Milwaukee. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 13th, 2017Related News

Thomas will take his 59, and a trophy would be a bonus

div>DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer /div> div>  /div> div>HONOLULU (AP) — Two islands, two big moments to celebrate, and Justin Thomas had to think about which meant more to him. /div> div>  /div> div>He won at Kapalua, but that won't put him in the record book. Winning a PGA Tour event happens 47 weeks out of the year. /div> div>  /div> div>And then on Thursday in the Sony Open, he made a 15-foot eagle putt on the final hole to shoot 59 . That gets him in the record book with the eighth sub-60 round in PGA Tour history. But he still hasn't won the tournament. /div> div>  /div> div>That won't be decided for three more rounds, and history is not necessarily on his side. Of the previous seven sub-60 rounds, only three players wound up winning — Al Geiberger at the Memphis Classic in 1977, David Duval at the Bob Hope Classic in 1999 and Stuart Appleby at the Greenbrier Classic in 2010. Duval and Appleby each shot 59 in the final round. /div> div>  /div> div>So which was the greater feat? Which brought more satisfaction? Winning a tournament or shooting 59? /div> div>  /div> div>'On paper, it would be today,' Thomas said. 'I have a chance to win a golf tournament every week. I don't have many chances to shoot 59.' /div> div>  /div> div>Oddly enough, only when he thought he had a chance did he start thinking he was out of chances at Waialae Country Club. /div> div>  /div> div>Golf's magic number — even though Jim Furyk holds the record with a 58 , any score that starts with 'fifty' is still magic — first crossed his mind when he two-putted for birdie on the par-5 18th to make the turn in 29. /div> div>  /div> div>'As well as I was driving it, I can go shoot 6 or 7 (under) on this side and really, really post history,' he said. /div> div>  /div> div>He birdied the next two holes. On the par-3 fourth, he hit 7-iron to 5 feet for birdie. He was 9 under through 13. And then he started to think that maybe this wasn't going to be his day. Thomas missed a 10-foot birdie chance on No. 5 and still doesn't know how his 30-foot birdie attempt on the No. 7 didn't go in. /div> div>  /div> div>Spieth and Daniel Berger — all of them were born in 1993 and graduated high school in 2011 — were as much into this pursuit as Thomas, if not more. Spieth wrapped his hands around the back of his neck when Thomas didn't make the putt on No. 7. /div> div>  /div> div>'When those didn't go in, I was kind of saying to myself, 'Maybe this isn't meant to be.' I thought some of the things that happened earlier in the day, I was kind of curious if I was going to post a number or if it was just an unbelievable round,' Thomas said. /div> div>  /div> div>He made eight birdies and two eagles. Equally important — maybe even the key shot for him — was a 10-foot par save on the eighth hole. That kept him at 9 under going to the par-5 ninth, his final hole which is 506 yards and easily reachable with a good drive. /div> div>  /div> div>He thought he hit a good drive. It wasn't easy. Instead of clearing a fairway bunker down the left side, Thomas saw it hit top of the bunker. /div> div>  /div> div>'I saw some sand flying and I was ready to punch something,' Thomas said. 'I was pretty upset about that, because I felt like all chances right there were gone.' /div> div>  /div> div>That's when Berger saved the day. /div> div>  /div> div>Berger, who beat out Thomas for PGA Tour rookie of the year in 2015, also was in the bunker. Thomas already was planning to hit wedge out of the sand and take his chances from the fairway. At worst, he shoots 60 or 61. /div> div>  /div> div>But then Berger hit a 4-iron out of the bunker and onto the green. Thomas asked for a 5-iron. /div> div>  /div> div>'This isn't a time for me to lay it up,' he said. /div> div>  /div> div>From 207 yards, with as good a shot as he has hit, Thomas cleared the lip and hit it to 15 feet. Berger was just outside of him, so he got a good read — the putt broke to the right — and he poured it in. /div> div>  /div> div>Thomas joined Duval as the only players to break 60 with an eagle on the last hole. He joined Furyk as the only players to break 60 with a bogey. /div> div>  /div> div>He just wasn't sure what to make of it. This wasn't the stoic Duval fist-pumping his way around the green. Thomas held both arms to the side, and he punched the air with his right fist only after seeing Spieth and Berger celebrating far more than he was. /div> div>  /div> div>'I think I got more excited from seeing them get excited than I did my putt going in,' Thomas said. 'I thought about it going up to the green. I'm like, 'If I make it, what am I going to do?' It's not like winning a tournament. You have three days left to try to play well. So I didn't really know how to react. I never had a putt on the last hole on a Thursday mean that much.' /div> div>  /div> div>And that's where he was on Friday. Back to work. His name is in the record book, but not yet the trophy. /div> div>  /div> div>The only other player to shoot 59 in the opening round was Paul Goydos at the John Deere Classic in 2010. He was runner-up to Steve Stricker, who opened with a 60. /div> div>  /div> div>Thomas only had a three-shot lead over Hudson Swafford when the day ended. /div> div>  /div> div>No matter. It's already a great week. /div> div>  /div>.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 13th, 2017Related News

Fresh off a victory, Justin Thomas joins the 59 club

DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer   HONOLULU (AP) — Staring over the top of a bunker on his final hole, the prudent play for Justin Thomas might have been to make sure he got out of the sand and avoided a big number. But then, Thomas didn't care about a big number. It was about golf's magic number. 'This isn't a time for me to lay it up,' Thomas said Thursday at the Sony Open. He hit a 5-iron so clean and so high that it carried 207 yards into a light Pacific breeze to 15 feet on the par-5 ninth hole at Waialae Country Club. Thomas poured in the eagle putt for an 11-under 59, becoming the seventh player to post a sub-60 round in PGA Tour history. For a brief moment, he reacted as if it were little more than the perfect finish to a great opening round. He stretched out his putter that was still in his left hand, smiled and punched the air with his right fist. Only when he looked over at Jordan Spieth and Daniel Berger, the two witnesses to a 59 that Thomas made look easy, did the sense of history start to hit him. Berger thrust his arm in the air. Spieth, his best friend in golf since they were 13, crouched as the ball neared the cup and delivered a left-handed fist pump as both raced over to congratulate him. 'I think I got more excited from seeing them get excited than I did my putt going in,' Thomas said. 'I thought about it going up to the green. I'm like, 'If I make it, what am I going to do?' It's not like winning a tournament. You have three days left to try to play well. So I didn't really know how to react. I never had a putt on the last hole on a Thursday mean that much.' It was different from the feeling he had four days ago when he won the SBS Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. That was his third victory on the PGA Tour, and the 23-year-old Thomas is sure to win more. 'I don't have many chances to shoot 59,' he said. Jim Furyk was the last player with a sub-60 round when he closed with a record 58 at the Travelers Championship last summer. Furyk also had a 59 in 2013 at the BMW Championship, joining the exclusive group that includes Al Geiberger (1977 Memphis Classic), Chip Beck (1991 Las Vegas Invitational), David Duval (1999 Bob Hope Classic), Paul Goydos (2010 John Deere Classic) and Stuart Appleby (2010 Greenbrier Classic). This was special because he made it look so easy. He began by pitching in for eagle from 35 yards. Thomas never hit more than a 7-iron into the par 4s at Waialae on a perfect day for scoring — very little breeze, fast fairways and soft greens. That 7-iron was chipped under the trees and into a bunker on No. 8 when he was trying to save par. His only bogey came on his second hole, the par-3 11th, when his tee shot went into a bunker and he missed an 18-foot par putt. Duval was the only other player to shoot 59 with an eagle on the last hole. Furyk at Conway Farms is the only other player to shoot 59 with a bogey. Spieth was more nervous than Thomas and far more demonstrative. Thomas had a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 7 that looked good even when it was inches from the cup until burning the edge. Spieth clutched the back of his neck and was still asking how the putt didn't fall when he walked onto the next tee. He was talking to himself, of course. He gave Thomas his space. 'It's like sitting on the bench with a teammate throwing a perfect game,' Spieth said. 'It was awesome. What an awesome last five rounds he's had.' Thomas first thought about a 59 when he found an extra long tee at the par-5 18th and figured that was an omen for him to tee it high and hammer a high draw, which left him only an 8-iron into the green. He narrowly missed his eagle putt and settled for a 29. The way he was playing, he expected to go lower, and he did. 'When I was on 18, I thought about 59. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing, but I just knew that I was driving it well,' he said. 'And if you drive it well out there, you can make a lot of birdies.' He followed with three birdies in four holes, and two years at Alabama was enough for him to start doing the math. 'He had full control of his golf swing,' Spieth said. Spieth and Berger were along for the ride. They all graduated high school in 2011 and grew up in junior golf. They were together a few weekends ago at a resort in Maui ahead of the Tournament of Champions. And they put on quite a show, with Spieth and Berger each shooting 65. On only three holes — No. 15, 5 and 8 — did someone in the group not make birdie or better. Their best-ball score was 17 under. Thomas started to think a 59 wasn't in the works when he was fooled on a 10-foot birdie chance on No. 5 and the putt on No. 7 somehow stayed out. He kept his hopes alive with a 10-foot par save on No. 8, knowing he could get home in two on the par-5 ninth hole. And then he hit into a bunker. 'I saw some sand flying and I was ready to punch something,' Thomas said. 'I was pretty upset about that, because I felt like all chances right there gone.' But then he saw Berger hit out of the bunker with a 4-iron, and Thomas took 5-iron and 'absolutely flushed it.' One putt later, he posted the eighth sub-60 score in history, and became the youngest to shoot 59. Thomas planned to go to the North Shore in the afternoon. Even watching from the beach, he can appreciate the feeling of catching a big wave. He's on one right now. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 12th, 2017Related News