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Totti leaves future uncertain before final match with Roma

ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer br /> ROME (AP) — Francesco Totti has finally announced that Sunday's match against Genoa will be his last with Roma after an incredible 25-season career with his hometown club. Whether the 40-year-old Totti will continue playing with another squad remains anyone's guess. The 2006 World Cup winner opened his future to questions by releasing a carefully worded statement on Thursday. 'Roma-Genoa, Sunday 28th May 2017. The last time I can wear Roma's jersey,' Totti said. 'I can't tell you in a few words how much these colors meant, mean and will always mean to me. 'I just feel that my love for football never fades; it's a passion, my passion. It's so deep I can't imagine not fueling it any longer. Ever. From Monday I'm ready to go again. I'm ready for a new challenge,' Totti added. The first part of Totti's statement inferred that it wasn't his decision to end his Roma career but that of the club, by not offering him a contract for next season. Totti has not hidden his difficult relationship with Roma coach Luciano Spalletti, who has used Totti mainly as a last-option substitute. However, Spalletti is widely expected to follow former Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini to Inter Milan; while Sassuolo coach Eusebio Di Francesco, a former teammate of Totti's, could move to Roma. The second part of Totti's statement, when he mentioned a 'new challenge,' inferred that Totti is considering ending his career with another club. Miami FC, which plays in the second-tier NASL and is managed by Totti's former teammate with the national team, Alessandro Nesta, and co-owned by Paolo Maldini — another former Italy teammate — appears to be the most attractive option. James Pallotta, Roma's American owner, has offered Totti an unspecified management position. As for Sunday, Totti is not expected to start. While the match at the Stadio Olimpico was sold out for Totti's goodbye, Roma enters the final match of the season still looking to seal second place in Serie A and a direct berth into the Champions League. Roma is one point ahead of third-place Napoli, which will play at Sampdoria. Totti has appeared in 785 matches in all competitions with Roma, third all-time in Italy for most games with a single club behind only Maldini (902 with AC Milan) and Javier Zanetti (858 with Inter Milan). Totti is also second all-time in goals scored in Serie A with 250, 24 short of the record that Silvio Piola established from 1929-54. No other active player has more than 200. But statistics don't tell the entire story for Totti, a cultural icon perhaps more linked with his club and city than any other player in Italian history. Born in the working-class San Giovanni section of Rome, Totti made his debut for Roma at the age of 16 way back in 1993. In 1998 at the age of 22, Totti became the youngest ever Serie A captain. At the 2000 European Championship, Totti's chipped 'Panenka' penalty against the Netherlands highlighted his talent and audacity. A year later, Totti led Roma to its third Serie A title and was the centerpiece of a celebration inside the Circus Maximus attended by a crowd estimated at 1 million. After a spitting incident with Denmark's Christian Poulsen at Euro 2004 slightly tarnished his image, Totti regained respect within the national team by returning from a broken leg to help Italy win the 2006 World Cup — playing with a metal rod and about 10 support screws inside his left ankle. In 2007, Totti led Serie A with a personal-high 26 goals and earned the Golden Shoe award as the top scorer in Europe. In 2015, Totti scored twice as Roma came back from two goals down to earn a draw with Lazio in the city derby, then took a selfie with Roma's fans in the background. A final highlight came in February, when Totti scored in added time to give Roma a 2-1 win over Cesena and a spot in the Italian Cup semifinals. On Sunday, Totti's career will be honored with an extensive post-match celebration at the Olimpico. Whether or not there will be more highlights next season — somewhere — remains to be seen. ___ Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports10 hr. 1 min. ago Related News

Cavaliers, Warriors set to complete Finals trilogy

em>By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press /em> Here they go again. For the third straight year, it’s Cleveland and Golden State in the NBA Finals. The 2016 champions versus the 2015 champions. The first “threematch” — rematch of a rematch — in league history. It’s the matchup most expected, the matchup most predicted, and probably the matchup the Cavaliers and Warriors wanted as well. Let the hype, and the waiting, begin: game one isn’t until June 1 (June 2, PHL time). “I’ve been very blessed the last few years to be a part of this league and play on the big stage,” said Cleveland star LeBron James, who has now reached the Finals for the eighth time — including each of the last seven years. “But we’re going to enjoy this for a couple more days before we have to lock in on that juggernaut out west.” The Cavaliers and Warriors split their two meetings this season, both winning at home. Cleveland won by one on Christmas Day (Dec. 26, PHL  time), Golden State prevailed by 35 on Jan. 16 (Jan. 17, PHL time). Golden State led the league with 67 wins this season and is a staggering 27-1 in its last 28 games — including a perfect 12-0 in the Western Conference playoffs, the first time a team has gone this deep into an NBA postseason without losing. Cleveland, which seemed sleepy at times in the regular season, went 12-1 in the Eastern Conference playoffs that ended with a win over Boston on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). “Playing in this league, you can’t take anything for granted,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. “Thirty teams suit up every year trying to get to this point, and only two teams do. So you have to appreciate it. ... We need to understand the privilege that we have and the opportunity that we have to play in the Finals again, to have the opportunity to win a championship.” Already, the back-and-forth is underway. Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue was quoted earlier this week saying he thought Boston’s offense was “harder to defend” than Golden State’s. Countered Golden State acting coach Mike Brown, when asked about it Thursday (Friday, PHL time): “That’s his opinion. It’s cute.” And there will be reminders of the Halloween party that James threw for the Cavaliers last fall, with “3-1 Lead” — a nod to what the Warriors lost in last year’s Finals — prominently displayed on the drum set. Much more of that sort of that will likely follow over the next week, filling time before Golden State plays host to game one. But there’s also a clear respect level between the clubs as well. “The best team in our league the last three years,” James said of the Warriors. “And they’ve added an unbelievable player in Kevin Durant this year. So it makes it even more difficult. They’re going to challenge us a lot, offensively, defensively, mentally, physically. We have to be ready for the challenge.” For James, the Finals are an annual rite. For Durant, this trip ends a five-year wait. Durant’s only other time in the Finals was 2012 when he was with Oklahoma City. The Thunder lost to Miami in five games, a series that made James a champion for the first time. At the very moment where the clock ran out in that series, the person James was embracing was Durant — telling the then-Thunder star, his offseason workout partner at the time, how proud of him he was. “Hopefully,” James said that night, “I don’t continue to have to run into him.” They’ll collide again, starting next week. Durant’s decision to leave the Thunder for Golden State as a free agent last summer meant the Warriors went from mere overwhelming favorites to win the West again to super-duper-overwhelming favorites to win the West again. They got a big scare in late February when Durant had a left knee injury, but he’s back and the Warriors have rolled since. “It’s a little different, definitely. I can’t lie,” Durant said, when comparing the 2012 Finals trip to this one. “I went when I was 23 years old, and it felt like the Western Conference Finals was almost like the championship. Just getting to that point, you know how hard it is and how much work you put in to start the season. So it’s a little different now, obviously. We have a bigger goal in mind.” The storylines are many. Can James win his fourth ring? Can Durant win his first? Will the Warriors be haunted by letting last season’s 3-1 lead slip away? Will they become the first team in NBA history to go undefeated in a postseason? How will Golden State guard Kyrie Irving? How will Cleveland try to contain Curry? There’s also the irony that Brown, the first coach who took James to an NBA Finals in 2007 — Cleveland was swept by San Antonio — will now coach against him, likely in the same leading role he’s had for Golden State since head coach Steve Kerr was forced to take a break because of continued problems with his surgically repaired back. “I don’t care who you’re playing, to make it to the NBA Finals, to win your conference finals, it’s a big task,” Brown said. The biggest task awaits. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports15 hr. 16 min. ago Related News

Man United beats Ajax 2-0, wins Europa League

STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer br /> STOCKHOLM (AP) — A guttural roar of 'Manchester, Manchester' thundered around the Friends Arena at the full-time whistle. Purely in soccer terms, Manchester United's 2-0 win over Ajax in the Europa League final on Wednesday was a triumph of huge significance for England's biggest club. On a wider level, it was also a moment to cheer for the team's home city, grieving two thousand kilometers away. Manchester was plunged into tragedy on Monday when 22 people were killed by a bomb attack at an Ariana Grande concert in the city center. United's players were clearly moved by the events and flew to Sweden with heavy hearts, vowing to deliver a display in their biggest match of the season that would serve as a tribute to the victims and their families. That they succeeded in doing so was a testament to their strength of character. It made this victory, in a largely forgettable match, one to remember. 'Yesterday morning, we were devastated,' said United midfielder Ander Herrera, dedicating the win to the victims. 'But the manager told us the only thing we could do was to win this for them. That's what we've done. 'It's just a football game, just a trophy, but if we can support them with this just 1 percent, it's enough for us.' Paul Pogba scored off a deflected shot in the 18th minute — the France midfielder pointed to the sky during his celebrations — and Henrikh Mkhitaryan added a second goal in the 48th by deftly hooking home a close-range effort from a corner. In tough circumstances, United handled the occasion better than an Ajax side featuring six players aged 21 or under and playing in the famous Dutch club's first European final in 21 years. 'I haven't seen the Ajax that I am used to,' Ajax coach Peter Bosz said. 'They are not used to play a final. It was all new for them.' For United coach Jose Mourinho, it was obvious that the victory was a huge weight off his shoulders, because of both the emotions of the last few days and the importance of the match. Mourinho was thrown up in the air by his coaching staff in the post-match celebrations, he rolled around on the ground with his son, and jumped up and down in frenzied fashion just before United captain Wayne Rooney lifted the trophy. United's season was always going to be defined by this game. In Mourinho's first season at Old Trafford, he has guided the team to two trophies — the League Cup in February — and a place in next season's Champions League, the bonus prize for winning the Europa League. 'Obviously there's happiness from our achievement,' Mourinho said. 'But if we could, we'd change the peoples' lives for this cup. We wouldn't think twice. Does this cup make the city of Manchester a little bit happier? Maybe.' The planned pre-match one minute's silence, in honor of the victims of the blast, rapidly turned into 60 seconds of applause, during which United's fans chanted poignantly 'Manchester, Manchester' for the first time. The two teams wore black armbands for the match in another mark of respect and both sets of fans came together in a show of unity, mingling happily outside the stadium and in the city center before the match. It was billed as a clash between the efficiency of Mourinho's United against the swagger and youthful exuberance of Ajax. United was the clear winner, the players imposing themselves as much through their physicality as their superior game management. 'It was the victory for pragmatism,' Mourinho said, 'a victory of the humble people. People who respect their opponents and exploit their weaknesses.' For Mourinho, that meant long balls to Marouane Fellaini, a regular attacking outlet because of his height and physical presence. It meant keeping a strong defensive shape and using the pace of Marcus Rashford on the break. Pogba — the world's most expensive player — stood out, dominating the midfield in the first half. His crucial goal had a huge element of fortune to it, though. Fellaini laid the ball off to Pogba at the edge of the area, and the France midfielder allowed it to run across him before sending in a low left-footed shot that struck Davinson Sanchez's outstretched leg, looped up, and span into the net past wrong-footed goalkeeper Andre Onana. Mkhitaryan's goal was much more easy on the eye. A right-wing corner was headed down by Chris Smalling, and Mkhitaryan reacted quickest with a very smart finish. Pogba and Mkhitaryan were United's big-money signings last offseason and have had inconsistent seasons. They delivered when it mattered most. United had little trouble keeping Ajax at bay in the closing stages and the celebrations were euphoric after the match, with Pogba producing some dance moves in front of United's jubilant fans. It was United's sixth European trophy and the only major piece of silverware missing from its collection. 'It means the last piece in the puzzle,' Mourinho said, 'a club with every trophy in the world of football.' ___ Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80 .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 25th, 2017Related News

Woods feeling no pain, wants to compete again...in time

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods said he had fusion surgery on his back because he could no longer tolerate the pain, and that he wants to get back on the PGA Tour. 'I haven't felt this good in years,' he said Wednesday in an update on his website . Woods had the fusion surgery on April — his fourth surgery on his back dating to the spring of 2014 — and said it provided 'instant nerve relief.' The surgery meant missing all the majors for the second straight year. Woods said he did everything possible to get ready for the Masters and was 'ready to go.' He said it was similar to the 2008 U.S. Open, which he won on a shattered left leg, because the pain was after he made contact. 'I figured, 'Can I handle it?' This time the answer was, 'probably not. That shows the effect nerve pain can have,' Woods wrote. Woods had a second back surgery in September 2014, and a third one in November 2014, and then sat out for 15 months until returning last December at his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, where he made 24 birdies but tied for 15th in an 18-man field. He missed the cut at Torrey Pines in late January, and then flew to Dubai and withdrew after opening with a 77. That was his last round. 'I could no longer live with the pain I had,' Woods wrote. 'We tried every possible non-surgical route and nothing worked. I had good days and bad days, but the pain was usually there, and I couldn't do much. Even lying down hurt. I had nerve pain with anything I did and was at the end of my rope.' Woods said he was encouraged that Davis Love III, Retief Goosen, Lee Trevino, Lanny Wadkins and Dudley Hart are among those who have had fusions or disc replacements and all returned to play. 'But more than anything, it made their lives better,' Woods wrote. 'That's the most important thing ... that I can have a life again with my kids.' Woods said he is not contemplating when he might play again. He said he can't twist for three more months and he is concentrating only on short-term goal. 'There's no hurry,' Woods said. 'But, I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again.' .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 25th, 2017Related News

So long, Wayne?: Cup final may be Rooney's last United game

STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer   MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Wayne Rooney could finish his Manchester United career by hoisting a European trophy, surrounded by jubilant teammates and with fireworks exploding around him. Still, it wouldn't be quite the end he would have envisioned after 13 years at the English club. Rooney is set to be a substitute for United on Wednesday in the Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm, a role which the club's captain and record scorer has become increasingly accustomed to this season. Depending on the situation in the match, he might not even come on. That's how it's been for most of this season, watching from afar at a club where he was once the main man. Talk about United's key players ahead of a final that means so much to the English club, and many would say Marcus Rashford or Paul Pogba or Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Few would say Rooney. That's the reason why this game might be his last for United despite having two years left on his contract, why he has been linked for much of the past few months with a return to former club Everton, a move to MLS in the United States, or a short spell in the Chinese league. United is moving on under Jose Mourinho and Rooney is being left behind. Speculation grows that James Rodriguez will be moving to Old Trafford from Real Madrid, adding to the list of attackers who will be ahead of Rooney in the pecking order next season. There was a symbolic moment Sunday on the final day of the Premier League season. Rooney was one of the few senior players picked for a virtually meaningless match against Crystal Palace — Mourinho rested most of his Europa League starters — and he was replaced in the final minutes by 16-year-old attacking midfielder Angel Gomes, who became the first player born this millennium to play in the Premier League. Rooney applauded all corners of Old Trafford and walked off with his head down. Was he saying goodbye to the stadium he has played at since 2004, when — at 18 — he made a spectacular debut by scoring a hat trick in a Champions League game against Fenerbahce? Since then, he has racked up 253 goals for United to surpass Bobby Charlton's longstanding club record. He is also England's record scorer with 53 goals, again overtaking Charlton. He has won the Premier League title five times, the FA Cup once, the League Cup three times and the Champions League once. That last trophy came in 2008 when he was part of the famous frontline containing Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. Rooney is no longer the force of old, unable to influence matches in the same way or tear around the field harassing opponents. Games can pass him by and there is the fear that, after 15 years in the spotlight of the soccer world, he is simply burnt out. In his last appearance at a news conference, prior to the second leg of the Europa League semifinals against Celta Vigo, Rooney said his priority at this stage of his career was to 'play football.' When asked if that meant at United, he added: 'Of course.' He will end this season likely having started 25 of United's 64 games. Often, he was an unused substitute. Mourinho said he would not sell Rooney against his wishes, so it is for the player to decide if Wednesday is the last time he dons a United jersey. Whether he actually makes it onto the field remains to be seen. ___ Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80 .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 24th, 2017Related News

So long, Wayne?: Cup final may be Rooney's last United game

STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer   MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Wayne Rooney could finish his Manchester United career by hoisting a European trophy, surrounded by jubilant teammates and with fireworks exploding around him. Still, it wouldn't be quite the end he would have envisioned after 13 years at the English club. Rooney is set to be a substitute for United on Wednesday in the Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm, a role which the club's captain and record scorer has become increasingly accustomed to this season. Depending on the situation in the match, he might not even come on. That's how it's been for most of this season, watching from afar at a club where he was once the main man. Talk about United's key players ahead of a final that means so much to the English club, and many would say Marcus Rashford or Paul Pogba or Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Few would say Rooney. That's the reason why this game might be his last for United despite having two years left on his contract, why he has been linked for much of the past few months with a return to former club Everton, a move to MLS in the United States, or a short spell in the Chinese league. United is moving on under Jose Mourinho and Rooney is being left behind. Speculation grows that James Rodriguez will be moving to Old Trafford from Real Madrid, adding to the list of attackers who will be ahead of Rooney in the pecking order next season. There was a symbolic moment Sunday on the final day of the Premier League season. Rooney was one of the few senior players picked for a virtually meaningless match against Crystal Palace — Mourinho rested most of his Europa League starters — and he was replaced in the final minutes by 16-year-old attacking midfielder Angel Gomes, who became the first player born this millennium to play in the Premier League. Rooney applauded all corners of Old Trafford and walked off with his head down. Was he saying goodbye to the stadium he has played at since 2004, when — at 18 — he made a spectacular debut by scoring a hat trick in a Champions League game against Fenerbahce? Since then, he has racked up 253 goals for United to surpass Bobby Charlton's longstanding club record. He is also England's record scorer with 53 goals, again overtaking Charlton. He has won the Premier League title five times, the FA Cup once, the League Cup three times and the Champions League once. That last trophy came in 2008 when he was part of the famous frontline containing Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. Rooney is no longer the force of old, unable to influence matches in the same way or tear around the field harassing opponents. Games can pass him by and there is the fear that, after 15 years in the spotlight of the soccer world, he is simply burnt out. In his last appearance at a news conference, prior to the second leg of the Europa League semifinals against Celta Vigo, Rooney said his priority at this stage of his career was to 'play football.' When asked if that meant at United, he added: 'Of course.' He will end this season likely having started 25 of United's 64 games. Often, he was an unused substitute. Mourinho said he would not sell Rooney against his wishes, so it is for the player to decide if Wednesday is the last time he dons a United jersey. Whether he actually makes it onto the field remains to be seen. ___ Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80 .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 24th, 2017Related News

EU envoy defends grants after Philippines aid rejection

MANILA, Philippines  — The European Union's ambassador to the Philippines says grant money from his grouping is meant to promote development, not system chan.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsMay 23rd, 2017Related News

Barcelona and the Spanish league that got away

JOSEPH WILSON, Associated Press br /> BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — For Barcelona, this season's Spanish league title will go down as the one that got away. A league-high 116 goals scored, four fewer goals conceded than champion Real Madrid, and the competitions' top two scorers in Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez should have been enough to win the title for the third straight year. But the statistics didn't mean much in the end because those great numbers and Messi's continued excellence couldn't compensate for costly losses to underdog sides and the subpar contribution of Barcelona's role players. The Catalan club rallied from two goals down to beat Eibar 4-2 on Sunday at Camp Nou, but Madrid won 2-0 at Malaga to finish three points ahead. Here's a look at Messi's season and how his team let him down: ___ ALL FOR NAUGHT Messi did his part, and then some. At 29 years old, Messi had another superb individual season worthy of the player widely considered to be the best in the world. The club's all-time top scorer broke the 50-goal barrier for the fifth time in his career, scoring a league-high 37 goals to go with 16 in other competitions. Beyond the goals, he was the team's best playmaker, showing his unequaled sense of knowing when to fall back into midfield to pass, and when he needed to take it straight at the defense. Messi added another memorable match to his archive by upstaging Cristiano Ronaldo in a thrilling 3-2 victory at Madrid in April, when he scored a brilliant equalizer to make it 1-1 before snatching the victory with a stoppage-time goal to stun the crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. ___ SLOW START Barcelona only won three of its first seven home matches, digging itself a hole that it could never recover from. But of its four losses this season, the one it will rue the most was a perplexing 2-1 defeat to promoted Alaves back in September at the Camp Nou. That stumble proved to be the only home loss of the season, and those three points ended up making the difference. ___ IRREPLACEABLE INIESTA Barcelona coach Luis Enrique had the plan to not overwork Andres Iniesta, who was entering his 15th season at the age of 32. So last offseason, the club brought in reinforcements Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez to help Sergi Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Rafinha and Arda Turan give Iniesta time off. Those extra options let Iniesta play only the important games, and start in just 13 of 38 matches. But the plan backfired when his substitutes failed to come even close to replicating his passing and playmaking skills. That meant Barcelona lost its signature dominance in midfield, leaving its defense exposed to too many counterattacks while Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar waited too long to get the ball. ___ MISSED OPPORTUNITY If there is one date when Barcelona had the perfect chance to catch Madrid and take control of the title race it was April 8. Madrid stumbled at home against crosstown rival Atletico Madrid, which earned a 1-1 draw on a late goal by Antoine Griezmann. That opened the door for Barcelona to move in front if it could win at Malaga hours later. Instead, Barcelona self-destructed, falling 2-0 after Neymar was sent off for two senseless yellow cards. ___ TIRED COACH A coach who says he is tired of managing is not the ideal candidate to rally the troops. Luis Enrique even admitted he was burned out midway through the season. The former Barcelona midfielder will leave the club following three seasons that can only be judged as very successful despite his team's dip in form during his last year. Under Luis Enrique, Barcelona has won the Champions League, the Club World Cup, two Spanish leagues and a pair of Copa del Rey titles. It will have a chance for a third Copa del Rey when it plays Alaves in the final on Saturday in Luis Enrique's last match. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 22nd, 2017Related News

Pinay gymnasts fall to powerhouse teams in Asian Seniors

BANGKOK – Filipina campaigners bowed to superior opposition on Thursday, failing to advance beyond the women’s team and individual all-around qualifying round at the start of the 7th Asian Seniors Artistic Gymnastics Chamionships at the Nimibutr Gymnasium here. The Nationals were left reeling in the onslaught of powerhouses China, North Korea and Japan, which dominated the day’s events, underscoring their gap with the best in the continent and the work that needs to be done before the Malaysia Southeast Asian Games in August. For a while, their hopes were up when Filipina-American Kaitln de Guzman surprisingly topped the floor exercise with a score of 12.20 points after the first subdivision or bracket in the trip supported by the Philippine Sports Commission. In the end however, De Guzman, the daughter of former SEA Games gold medalist Cintamoni de Guzman, plunged deeper in the rankings and eventually fell by the wayside as the Chinese, North Koreans and Japanese took to the floor. Liu Tingting captured the individual all-around gold medal, anchoring the mighty Chinese to the team gold and a sweep of the tournament’s first two mints up for grabs.    Only the top eight finishers, with a maximum of two gymnasts per country, in the all-around event will advance to the individual apparatus finals scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.    Apparently rattled in her first outing for the Philippines, De Guzman was  uncharacteristically sloppy in her pet event, the uneven bars, garnering 11.45 points, far below the 14.20 points she scored in the Procter and Gamble National Championships in St. Louis, Missouri held in June last year. Her P& G tournament score was even better than Chinese individual all-around champion Liu’s top-scoring 13.45 points in the uneven bars here. The Fil-Am’s tally then was good for No. 11 overall among the 33 entries throughout the US in the competition meant for elite American gymnasts eyeing a spot on Team USA. Although holding dual citizenship, De Guzman has decided to compete for her mother’s home country in international competitions. “Baka nasapian (si Kaitlin),” said the elder De Guzman jokingly after her daughter’s poor performance on the same apparatus that won her a gold medal in the 1995 Southeast Asian Games held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.    “I would rather forget that score. It wasn’t me,” the younger De Guzman said, shrugging her shoulders  when interviewed. Still, the national team rookie had the best score among the PH bets with a total tally of 45.60 points, counting her output in the vault and balance beam events, followed by Singapore SEA Games veteran Cristina Onofre (44.45) and Erin Evangelista (41.20). National coach Jasmin Ortega admitted that her wards still had much to work on in their bid to improve on their bronze-medal  finish in the team in the Singapore SEA Games two years ago. “This is basically a new squad and we really wanted  to measure ourselves against our Southeast Asian rivals,” Ortega said. “We need to make some adjustments but we still have enough time before Malaysia.” The Malaysians sent a warning signal to their regional  rivals that they would be a force to reckon with on their home ground, finishing fourth overall in the team event with 142.750 points. Singapore SEAG double gold medalist Farah Ann Abdul Hadi ranked No. 12 overall while teammate Tan Ing Yueh, who took the uneven bars gold in 2015, ranked even higher at No. 12. The men’s squad of Singapore Games gold medalist Reyland Capellan, Jag Timbang and Adrian saw action in the men’s team and individual competitions on Friday. Still recovering from a sprained left ankle he suffered in practice last Tuesday, Carlos Yulo, on the other hand, will see action in the 14th Asian Junior Gymnastics Championships boys parallel bar finals on Sunday.   .....»»

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

Dirk Kuyt retires after winning Dutch league with Feyenoord

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dirk Kuyt, the veteran Feyenoord captain who led his team to its first Dutch league title in 18 years, is retiring. The 36-year-old Kuyt, who returned to Rotterdam two years ago saying he wanted to win the league, told coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst of his decision early Wednesday. The announcement came just three days after Kuyt, who had not been a regular starter for Feyenoord in the last months of the season, scored a hat trick in his team's 3-1 win over Heracles Almelo to win the title in the final game of the season. After that storybook ending, not even the prospect of Champions League soccer next season was enough to entice Kuyt into trying to add another year to his long playing career. Kuyt's 19 seasons as a professional player started at Utrecht before going to Feyenoord. He then moved to Liverpool, playing six seasons at Anfield before transferring to Fenerbahce and finally back to Feyenoord. Kuyt also played 104 internationals for the Netherlands, including the World Cup final in 2010, when the Netherlands lost to Spain in extra time. 'We are unbelievably grateful to Dirk for what he has meant to Feyenoord for the last two years,' technical director Martin van Geel said. 'With his attitude, professionalism and passion, he has added a huge amount in the changing room, on the field and off it.' The club said Kuyt would remain with Feyenoord in another role. .....»»

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

Vettel still confident despite Hamilton's win at Spanish GP

JOSEPH WILSON, Associated Press   BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Sebastian Vettel lost the battle, not the Formula One title. Despite a great start in individual duels with Mercedes, Ferrari's top driver finished Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix exactly where he started: in second place behind Lewis Hamilton. Vettel can take heart, however, from the fact that the difference between the winner and runner-up came down to a choice of team strategy that went Mercedes' way. Hamilton finished the race on a faster set of tires than Vettel, passing the German on Lap 43 of 66 and conserving his tires as he sped away to victory. 'I think we can be very happy, but today we're not entirely happy because the win was there,' Vettel said. 'The car was quick enough but the way the race happened, it wasn't meant to be. The most important thing is that we were there. Once again fighting, hanging in there, not much missing at the end.' Vettel remained in the series lead, now reduced to six points from 13 over Hamilton, with his third second-place finish to go with two wins in five races. Equally as important, Ferrari showed that the upgrades brought by both title contenders to Spain canceled one another out. Vettel's Ferrari was a mere 0.051 seconds slower than Hamilton in Saturday's qualifying. He finished the race less than four second behind Hamilton, and Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo was nowhere close finishing a distant third. Vettel also won three of the four jousts he had with Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. His excellent jump from the start allowed him to pass Hamilton at the first turn. Next, Vettel engaged Bottas in an exhilarating lap-long chase before finally getting past the Finn on the third try, even though the effort slowed down Vettel and let Hamilton shave off valuable seconds from behind. 'I was really happy, but then I looked down and (saw) I'd lost an awful lot of time, so I wasn't that happy because the real fight was with Lewis,' Vettel said. 'We lost four seconds.' Those seconds meant that when Vettel emerged from a second pit stop he was neck-and-neck with a hard-charging Hamilton. But Vettel defended his inside position on a curve, sending Hamilton off as they came close to touching. Vettel had kept his lead, but Hamilton waited for a straightaway to blow past him on his faster tires and never looked back. Vettel said the race was there for the taking. 'The car is good, the team is in great form,' he said. 'We're very happy when we have the chance to race Mercedes. They have been proving over and over in the last few years that they are the team to beat. We are giving them, so far, a good run for their money.' Vettel's and Hamilton's teammates both abandoned the race. Bottas bumped Kimi Raikkonen on the first turn, sending his Ferrari into Max Verstappen's Red Bull, damaging both cars' front suspension. Bottas was later forced to stop his Mercedes when it started spouting smoke midway through the race. Raikkonen used the extra time to do a good deed, as 'the Iceman' showed some warmth to a despondent young fan. While the race went on without him, Raikkonen met with a young boy decked out in Ferrari's red which televised images had caught crying after he had crashed. Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said the knock by Bottas that cost Raikkonen an early exit was just part of F1. 'Shame for the end result, but we leave Spain knowing that we can count on a car that is solid and very quick,' Arrivabene said. 'The championship is still a long way and we are already focusing on the next race at Monaco.' After spending three years battling retired teammate Nico Rosberg for the title, Hamilton said he was enjoying taking the fight outside Mercedes' garage. 'To have that close battle with him, with a four-time champ, is awesome,' Hamilton, himself a three-time champion, said about Vettel. 'I think it was the rawest fight I can remember having for some real time, which I loved. This is why I race and this is what got me into racing in the beginning.' Hamilton will get another chance to tangle with Vettel in two weeks at the Monaco GP. .....»»

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

Leni says radio program not meant to boost ratings

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said her radio program launched on Sunday is not meant to boost her dipping ratings but to promote her.....»»

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

Spurs beats Man United in stadium finale to secure 2nd spot

ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer   LONDON (AP) — Tottenham signed out of White Hart Lane, and Hull left the Premier League. Sunday's results meant there's only Champions League qualification at stake entering the final week of the season. Tottenham locked down second place by beating Manchester United 2-1 in its final game before leaving its north London home of 118 years. Tottenham's hopes of catching newly crowned champion Chelsea ended a week ago, but it was still able to secure its highest finish in 54 years. Tottenham's triumph ended Jose Mourinho's hopes of United making the top four, leaving three teams chasing the last two Champions League spots: Liverpool, which beat West Ham 4-0 on Sunday, Manchester City and Arsenal. The three relegation spots have also been filled. Hull joined Sunderland and Middlesbrough in dropping into the second tier after losing 4-0 at Crystal Palace. ___ TOTTENHAM 2, MANCHESTER UNITED 1 Tottenham is leaving White Hart Lane after completing its best campaign at the stadium for more than a century. Spurs are due back on the site in a new 61,000-seat stadium in August 2018, after a season at Wembley. This was the perfect send-off. Victor Wanyama's sixth-minute header set the tone for a carnival atmosphere and Harry Kane added his 28th goal of the season at the start of the second half. United captain Wayne Rooney pulled one back but Tottenham held on to win before a ceremony, featuring past and current players, to bid farewell to the stadium. The players are now looking to the future. By the time they are playing in the new home, they'll hope to have delivered Tottenham's first league title since 1961. 'It's been a progression from (third) last season,' Kane said. 'We've just got to keep it going, keep working hard, keep getting better and hopefully next season we'll finish first. 'To finish strong and finish unbeaten here is something special.' It wasn't so memorable for the 'Special One,' with Mourinho's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League with United now resting on beating Ajax in the Europa League final later this month. 'We know that it is a big objective, we know that if we lose the final we don't play Champions League,' said Mourinho, who has already collected the League Cup. 'But we fight for titles and probably other clubs finishing in the top four, probably they would like to be in our position to try to fight for a title.' ___ WEST HAM 0, LIVERPOOL 4 Philippe Coutinho set up Daniel Sturridge before adding a superb double of his own. Divock Origi completed the rout with a tap-in as Liverpool ensured it will qualify for the Champions League, regardless of other results, by beating relegated Middlesbrough in next Sunday's season finale. ___ CRYSTAL PALACE 4, HULL 0 Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce maintained his status as a survival specialist, having never been relegated in management. 'I said to myself this would be the hardest one, given the quality of the teams we had to play on the run-in,' Allardyce said. 'If you've got the label, you accept it (as a firefighter), but building for the future relieves the stress on you. I wouldn't want to keep fighting relegation at the end of every season. It's about building for the future.' Marco Silva couldn't save Hull, though, in his five months in charge. Hull makes an instant return to the League Championship. Hull never recovered after gifting Wilfried Zaha a third-minute goal. It was followed by Christian Benteke's header, Luka Milivojevic's 85th-minute penalty and Patrick van Aanholt's late strike. .....»»

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

Strategy, teamwork help Hamilton win Spanish GP over Vettel

JOSEPH WILSON, Associated Press   MONTMELO, Spain (AP) — Thanks to superior strategy and some help from his teammate, Lewis Hamilton tightened the early title race in Formula One after beating Sebastian Vettel to win the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. Hamilton saw his advantage of a pole position evaporate when Vettel beat him to the first corner, but Mercedes' decision to have Hamilton finish the race on faster tires allowed the British driver to overtake Vettel's Ferrari with more than 20 laps left. Hamilton would have had to leave his challenge until late if not for some assistance from teammate Valtteri Bottas, who held up Vettel before the Finn's Mercedes broke down in a puff of smoke. 'This was the rawest fight I have felt in a long time. This is what the sport is meant to be, this is why I race - to have battles with him for the championship,' Hamilton said. 'I just really have to congratulate and thank my team. They did a wonderful job with the strategy and the pit stops.' Hamilton's second win in five races this season cut Vettel's lead from 13 points to six heading into the Monaco GP. It was the three-time world champion's 55th career victory and his second at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after first winning here in 2014. Daniel Ricciardo brought his Red Bull across in a distant third place to complete the podium, his best result of the season. Vettel had a great surge from second on the grid, going past Hamilton to the first right-hand turn and staying in front just as his Ferrari partner's race ended. Starting from fourth and fifth, Kimi Raikkonen and 2016 race winner Max Verstappen came together when trying to squeeze around the first turn with Bottas alongside them. Bottas nudged Raikkonen into Verstappen, with the contact damaging the front suspensions of the Ferrari and Red Bull. 'It all started when I got hit, my car jumped a bit and you cannot control after that,' Raikkonen said. After Vettel and Hamilton had both pitted, Vettel hunted down Bottas now in the lead and engaged him in a lap-long duel. Vettel eventually got by on a third try, but by then Hamilton had pulled back some valuable seconds. The two title rivals jousted after Vettel came out of his second pit stop just inches ahead of the hard-charging Hamilton. They brushed going through the first of two turns, with Hamilton going off momentarily as Vettel defended his position. The teams' tire strategy then came into play. While Vettel used his two sets of faster tires first before finishing on the more long-lasting but slower ones, Hamilton used his more conservative tires after his first pit stop, allowing him to finish on the faster set. 'If we had had the same tires on, it probably wouldn't have been as exciting' Hamilton said. 'At the end I was able to manage the soft tires.' Moments after Bottas saw his hopes of adding to a maiden win in the previous round go up in smoke, Hamilton closed in on Vettel on his faster tires and never looked back after going by on lap 43. 'I was surprised that when I came out we were so close,' Vettel said. 'I was doing what I could to stay in front, but as soon as I was alone he just flew past.' Force India pair Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished fourth and fifth respectively, the best result for both drivers this year. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault), Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Romain Grosjean (Haas) rounded out the points. Fernando Alonso got his McLaren through to the checkered flag for the first time this season. He added his hopeful 12th-place finish to the leg of Spanish ham that a fan handed him over a barbed-wire fence while he was greeting his home supporters before the race. The scrape between Raikkonen and Verstappen wasn't the only incident. Felipe Massa collided with both McLaren cars. Alonso managed to keep control after they tangled early, but his rookie partner Stoffel Vandoorne abandoned midway through when his suspension was bent after the knock with Massa's Williams. .....»»

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

Chelsea takes wild ride back to summit of English soccer

STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer   WEST BROMWICH, England (AP) — Chelsea is back at the summit of English soccer, completing a wild roller-coaster ride over the past three years. After cruising to the Premier League trophy by eight points in 2015, the London club finished in 10th place the following year in the worst title defense in league history. On Friday, Chelsea regained the title under new coach Antonio Conte, with two matches to spare, by winning at West Bromwich Albion 1-0. Here are the key factors behind the turnaround: CONTE'S IMPACT The first year of the 'super coach' era in the Premier League belongs to Conte. Most of the preseason chatter circled around the arrival of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho at the helm of the Manchester clubs. The power in English soccer was supposed to shift back to the north, but Conte had other ideas. The Italian arrived in July with a reputation as a master tactician, after winning three straight Serie A title with Juventus and then guiding one of the most underwhelming Italy sides in a generation to within a penalty shootout of the 2016 European Championship final. Chelsea was in eighth place after six games following losses to Liverpool and Arsenal, but a switch of formation from 4-2-3-1 to 3-4-3 — the system favored by Conte — returned stunning results. Chelsea won the next 13 matches, laying the foundations for an eventual title triumph. Animated and often uncontrollable in his technical area during matches, Conte is clearly a lucid thinker about the game. He has quickly become a favorite with Chelsea's fans because of his obvious passion. There's also been no sign of the dressing-room discord that sparked the abrupt end of Jose Mourinho's second spell in charge. A title-winner in two countries now, there's an argument for calling him one of the most sought-after coaches in world soccer. RECRUITMENT If recruiting N'Golo Kante from Leicester was a no-brainer, bringing in David Luiz looked fraught with danger. Both have turned out to be inspired signings. Kante has bestrode the midfield, breaking up opposition attacks with his perfect anticipation and positional skills and then starting Chelsea's own with his vision and directness. It came as no surprise that he was voted English soccer's player of the year by both his fellow professionals and the country's soccer writers. Luiz left Chelsea for Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 for 50 million euros (then $57 million), making him the world's most expensive defender even though many pundits said he couldn't really defend. He has returned a completely new player, eliminating the mistakes and lapses in concentration for which he was often ridiculed. Playing as the libero at the heart of Chelsea's three-man defense has suited his game, leaving him free to act more as a sweeper than a touch-tight marker. FORMATION CHANGE Chelsea started the season with its tried-and-trusted back four. But with the team having been outplayed in a home loss to Liverpool and then 3-0 down at halftime at Arsenal, Conte decided to switch things up. He went to a three-man defense — Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill — and played with wing backs for the final 35 minutes, and Chelsea became a different prospect. They stuck with the 3-4-3 for the rest of the season. Wing backs Victor Moses (right) and Marcos Alonso (left) have been revelations, Azpilicueta has made up for his lack of height with his positioning and tenacity as the right-sided center back, and Luiz is the ideal sweeper. Further forward, Eden Hazard has relished his freedom in a three-man strike force, which limits the requirement for him to track back and meant he has returned to the kind of form that saw him become England's player of the year in 2015. Central striker Diego Costa has flourished with pacey forwards Hazard and Pedro Rodriguez flitting around, scoring 20 goals. NO INJURIES No player in Chelsea's first-choice starting XI picked up a long-term injury, allowing Conte to field close to his strongest team each week. Seven of the players have started at least 30 league games. Only minor tactical switches have been necessary, mainly swapping Willian for Pedro in attack on occasions and sometimes giving the more attack-minded Cesc Fabregas a start ahead of Nemanja Matic in midfield. Without the extra demands of playing in European competition and an early elimination from the League Cup, Chelsea has been able to focus solely on the Premier League and FA Cup — giving Conte usually a week to prepare for each game and his players ample time for recovery. They could end up winning the double. SIGNIFICANT WINS There were some key results at key times in Chelsea's title-winning campaign: The 4-0 win in mid-October over a Manchester United side led by former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, three games after Conte's conversion to a 3-4-3; the 5-0 win over Everton on Nov. 5 that was perhaps Chelsea's best all-round display of the season; the 2-1 win over Man City that was ground out on April 5, showing Chelsea can beat a major opponent when not at its best; and the 3-0 win against Everton at fortress Goodison Park in late April, just when second-place Tottenham had closed to within four points, that allowed Conte's side to freewheel to the title. ___ Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80 .....»»

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

Nation: 'Dutertenomics' pitched as PHL defends drug war

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte's economic managers on Thursday defended the government's brutal drug war in a forum meant to muster support for the administration's plan to spur economic growth in the Philippines through ambitious infrastructure plans......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: FinanceMay 11th, 2017Related News

Sergio still buzzing over his Masters title ahead of Players

DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer   PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Sergio Garcia, finally a major champion, already wants to change his equipment. It's a tiny change, and a most appropriate one. Standing on the 15th green Wednesday at The Players Championship, the Masters champion turned to TaylorMade tour manager Keith Sbarbaro and said, 'What's the ETA on the golf ball?' It will be the same ball with the same number — 49, to honor the year his mother was born. Garcia just wants the number to be green, the color of the jacket he won last month at Augusta National, the one he has taken everywhere. The 37-year-old Spaniard had played 71 majors in his professional career without winning one, and to see the emotion burst out of him when he made the final birdie putt to win the Masters in a playoff over Justin Rose made it clear how much it meant to him. The four weeks that followed showed Garcia how much it meant to everyone else. 'I cried,' Rory McIlroy said. 'The first time I saw him was when he got into our wedding on Friday night. I gave him the biggest bear hug. Just to see what he's been through, and his struggles, and for it to be there.' McIlroy paused and started rubbing his right arm. 'I'm getting goosebumps even talking about it,' McIlroy said. The highlight for Garcia was Santiago Bernabeu, the stadium for his beloved Real Madrid where Garcia was invited to do the ceremonial opening kickoff for El Clasico against Barcelona. Garcia has been playing the Ryder Cup since 1999, three of them on European soil. He knows loud. After he won the Masters, he was serenaded with the constant chants of 'Ser-gee-oh!' 'But to walk on what I think is the best stadium in the world ... and to have 90,000 people chanting your name, that was extremely special,' he said. 'And I was nervous. Yeah, and I was only kicking the ball 15 yards. That was very unique and something that — with many things that happened at Augusta — that I will never forget.' Garcia is not sure why his victory was so popular, especially after having so many tough losses in the majors where he made excuses. The texts, the hugs, the comments he has heard were validation to him that he always had their respect for his game and for being honest, even if it got him into trouble at times. One of the fences he mended was with Padraig Harrington, who tripped over his words in referring to Garcia as a sore loser during their battles a decade earlier. Harrington said they ran into each other at McIlroy's wedding and it was important for them to clear the air. 'Sergio made it very easy,' he said. How easy? McIlroy was asked about it and without answering, he reached into his pocket for his phone and began scrolling through the pictures to show one of Harrington with a broad smile as Garcia is leaning into him, chin up and lips puckered as he feigns planting a kiss on Harrington's cheek. 'It was great,' McIlroy said. 'I saw them chatting and I said to Padraig, 'He's a really sore loser.' We all started to laugh. And it was all good.' Life has never been more grand for Garcia. He is assured his best season ever no matter what happens the rest of the year. He is getting married in July — McIlroy will be one of his groomsmen. He is a major champion. 'He's got to walk around with a smile on his face for the next couple years,' Jordan Spieth said. And now it's time to get back to work. Garcia returns to a tournament where he won in 2008 and was runner-up on two other occasions, including a playoff loss two years ago. There are three more majors ahead of them, with plenty more to accomplish. Even though it took him nearly two decades to get his first major, he doesn't intend on that being his last. The first step is Thursday, where players typically are introduced by name and what tournament they have won this year. Masters champion. How does that sound? 'I'm excited about it. I'm not going to lie to you,' Garcia said with a smile. 'I'm sure a lot of things will go through my mind about that week, but it's a great thing to have.' .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 11th, 2017Related News

McIlroy returns with a wedding ring and new clubs in the bag

DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer   PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A ring on his finger. New clubs in his golf bag. If marriage and a new equipment deal were not enough for Rory McIlroy, he also was presented with his own bobblehead for winning the FedEx Cup last year. That's the only thing that made him feel old. 'All these wrinkles around my eyes,' McIlroy said Tuesday as he gazed at the doll. 'It makes me look like I've been tour two decades instead of one.' He is about to complete his 10th full year as a pro, and it's been a reasonable ride. McIlroy, who turned 28 on Thursday, already has 21 victories around the world and four major championships. But he's gone through quite a bit since he tied for seventh at the Masters. 'I needed to address a few issues in between Augusta and here, and I did that with the first 10 days after Augusta,' McIlroy said. That was related to his equipment, and McIlroy wound up with his fourth brand of clubs in the last five years. He left Titleist for Nike to start 2013, and when Nike got out of the club-making business last year, he began using Callaway. He still wasn't entirely comfortable, especially with the golf ball, so McIlroy went back to testing and wound up signing a long-term deal with TaylorMade. 'I came to the conclusion that was the best way forward for me to try and improve, try and win more, try to get back to world No. 1, try to win more majors,' McIlroy said. 'So I'm really excited about that.' He was excited about his wedding, too. McIlroy met his bride, Erica Stoll, nearly five years ago when she worked for the PGA of America in transportation for the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah. Stoll played a big part in sparing him major embarrassment when McIlroy forgot he was in the Central time zone and needed a police escort to the course. He got there with minutes to spare and won his match, and Europe staged a record-tying comeback. They married two weeks ago in Ireland and spent their honeymoon in the Caribbean. 'It was obviously the best weekend of my life, and hopefully, the best weekend of Erica's, as well,' he said. 'It seems like with everything that's went on the last few weeks — with getting married and teaming up with TaylorMade — it seems like everything's very settled. There's not many question marks going on in my life right now. I feel like everything's exactly where it's meant to be, and if you feel like that off the golf course, then I can only imagine that it will help you on it.' And now it's back to work. McIlroy, whose combined 95 weeks atop the world ranking are the most of any player since 2010, is at No. 2. But he's so far behind Dustin Johnson that he could win The Players Championship and the U.S. Open and still not catch up to Johnson. McIlroy has not won anywhere in the world since his playoff victory in the Tour Championship last year to capture the FedEx Cup. This week doesn't figure to be any easier, not so much because it has the strongest and deepest field in golf, but because of the nature of the Stadium Course on the TPC Sawgrass. It doesn't really favor any style of play. 'It is the toughest tournament to win in golf,' Jordan Spieth said. For all his greatness, McIlroy didn't even break par at The Players until his fourth appearance. He missed the cut three straight times, though he has shown steady improvement in recent years. Even so, he has never been closer than four shots of the winner. 'I've always felt that driving is a big advantage for me if I can drive the ball well,' McIlroy said. 'Here, it just doesn't let me do that, and earlier on in my career I had to come to terms with that and come to terms with hitting the ball in the same positions as everyone else off the tee and then trying to beat them in from there.' Johnson arrived Tuesday fresh off a runner-up finish in the Wells Fargo Championship that ended his three-tournament winning streak. The defending champion is Jason Day, who went wire to wire a year ago. That was his last victory. No one has ever won back to back since The Players began in 1974. 'As well as all the great players who have won here, they all have different styles of game,' Adam Scott said. 'So I think that the course is open to so many different guys to have a chance to win that maybe that's why it makes it a little bit harder to have someone go back to back here. There's just more guys in the mix.' .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 11th, 2017Related News

Charo Santos-Concio: Mother, unexpected leader

MANILA, Philippines — Some people are meant to lead.  They stand out from the rest because they are braver, smarter, and more charming......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: MoviesMay 10th, 2017Related News

‘Meant To Be’ welcomes four new heartthrobs

‘Meant To Be’ welcomes four new heartthrobs.....»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: MoviesMay 10th, 2017Related News