Make Chiangmai Mail | your Homepage | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV


Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Update March 2018

Thailand News
World News
World Sports
Arts - Entertainment - Lifestyles
Book Review
Health & Wellbeing
Odds & Ends
Science & Nature
Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern

Update March 22, 2018

McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Mickelson lose early in Match Play

Defending champion Dustin Johnson walks on the 16th hole during round-robin play at the Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament Wednesday, March 21, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Doug Ferguson

Austin, Texas (AP) — Rory McIlroy put together another flawless back nine, running off five straight birdies.

This time, it wasn't enough.

Former U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein built a 5-up lead against McIlroy and held off his late charge with enough key shots of his own in a 2-and-1 victory, one of several surprises Wednesday in the opening session of the Dell Technologies Match Play.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson hit two shots out-of-bounds on the same hole, another tee shot in the hazard and couldn't make the putts that he couldn't afford to miss on the back nine. He wound up losing on the 17th hole to Bernd Wiesberger.

Justin Thomas also got a scare, mainly because his opponent had to putt with a sand wedge over the last 12 holes.

McIlroy was coming off a victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational just three days ago, when he birdied five of his last six holes to win by three shots.

"I felt it was going to go two different ways," Uihlein said. "When a guy comes off a win, next week out they're either a little flat or still as hot as can be and they're just going to blitz it."

McIlroy was a little of both. He had a bogey, a double bogey and no birdies as Uihlein raced out to a 5-up lead through 10 holes. McIlroy began his run of five straight birdies on No. 12, and it might have been enough had Uihlein not matched him with a birdie at the 12th and another one on the 13th, when he laid up into the wind on the short par 4 over water and stuffed a wedge into 5 feet.

"I made him earn it at least," McIlroy said. "I just came away a little fat. I didn't really necessarily play badly. He didn't make a bogey all day, so it was hard to sort of claw my way back."

McIlroy, along with Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Tommy Fleetwood, now have to do some serious clawing to win their groups. All of them lost the opening match in their four-man groups and will need some help to advance to the weekend.

In the two years this round-robin format has been used, only four players have lost on Wednesday and won their group.

One of them was Johnson two years ago.

The world's No. 1 player lost his first lead by driving into the hazard, another 1-up lead with he drove out-of-bounds twice on the par-5 sixth hole, and he was in serious trouble when his tee shot on the par-3 11th hit off the rocks guarding the green and into the lake, falling 2 down.

"I thought it was the easiest game I could have," Wiesberger said. "I'm the underdog playing the defending championship. Just go out there and see what happens."

Plenty happened on the first day as the 18-hole matches lived up to their fickle reputation.

Thomas, who had his wisdom teeth pulled two weeks ago and now is recovering from strep throat, built a 3-up lead that looked even larger when Luke List, whom Thomas beat in a playoff to win the Honda Classic, swung his putter into the hedges after losing the hole at No. 7.

Except those weren't hedges.

"Turned out to be a wall," List said.

It bent the grip of his putter enough that he could no longer use the damaged club in the round. List putted with the leading edge of his sand wedge, and he fought back to take Thomas to the 18th hole.

"When he started putted with the wedge, I knew that it would hopefully make it easier on me," Thomas said. "But it didn't."

Jordan Spieth won his opening match over Charl Schwartzel by winning three straight holes to build a 3-up lead through 14 and holding on for a 2-and-1 victory. Spieth again missed a few short putts early in the round when he could have seized control.

The match ended with a peculiar twist. Schwartzel missed his birdie putt on No. 17, meaning Spieth had two putts from 5 feet to win the match. Schwartzel made him hit both putts, the second one from just over 2 feet.

"I missed some shorties to start the round. I don't hold that against Charl," Spieth said. "I didn't enjoy hitting that second putt, and that's the point."

Charles Howell III birdied the 12th and 13th holes to go 3 up on Mickelson, who made only one birdie in 16 holes. Mickelson lost his opening match for the first time since John Cook beat him in 2002 at La Costa.

Mickelson, McIlroy and Johnson can't afford another loss, and even that might not be enough to reach the knockout stage on the weekend.

Six of the matches were halved, and three of them felt like victories.

— Zach Johnson was 4 down after 14 holes against Matt Kuchar when the two-time major champion birdied the final four holes for a draw.

— Adam Hadwin was 1 down on the 17th green and could only watch as Kisner stood over a 10-foot putt for the win. Kisner missed, then missed the 4-foot par putt to lose the hole, and they each made par on the 18th for the halve.

— Keegan Bradley was 2 up with three to play against 2017 finalist Jon Rahm when he bogeyed two of the last three holes in a match that ended in a tie.

— Pat Perez rallied from 3 down with seven holes remaining to halve with Si Woo Kim.

LeBron scores 35, carries Cavaliers past Raptors 132-129

Toronto Raptors' Jakob Poeltl, left, and Pascal Siakam defend against Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 21, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Tom Withers

Cleveland (AP) — LeBron James scored 35 points and added 17 assists, his last setting up a late a 3-pointer by Kevin Love, and the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers ended Toronto's nine-game road winning streak with a 132-129 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors on Wednesday night.

The Cavs were missing five rotational players and coach Tyronn Lue, who missed his second straight game because of health reasons.

But they had James, who earlier in the day said, "I'll be available, so we got a chance."

James didn't have a turnover in 40 minutes and he made three free throws in the final 7.8 seconds. He missed one with 3.9 seconds left, giving Toronto a final shot, but DeMar DeRozan's 3-pointer — contested by James — was wide left. DeRozan and Toronto coaches complained the All-Star was fouled to no avail.

Love, playing his second game after missing 21 games with a broken left hand, finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds and George Hill had 22 on 10-of-11 shooting for the Cavs, who were blown out by 34 points against Toronto in January. But that was before Cleveland shook up its roster with four trades designed to get back to the NBA Finals. The Cavs are third in the East and would need a collapse by second-place Boston to improve on that position with 11 games remaining.

Kyle Lowry scored 24 and DeRozan had 21 for the Raptors, who scored 79 points in the first half and were in control in the third quarter before James brought Cleveland back.

With the Cavs up 125-124, James drove the lane and whipped the ball into the corner to Love, who knocked down his 1,000th career 3-pointer.

The Raptors have lost to the Cavs in each of the past two postseasons, getting swept last year in the conference finals. But this is a different Toronto team, deeper, more experienced and maybe poised to dethrone Cleveland.

Not if James has anything to say about it.


Raptors: Tied a franchise record by scoring 79 points in the first half. They also did it in 1997 against the Nets. ... Coach Dwane Casey said the team's confidence has never been higher and has given Toronto an aura it didn't have before. "It doesn't mean you're going to go out and beat a team," he said. "But I think we go into the game with a different mindset, more of a hunted mindset than we did last year." ... G C.J. Miles sat out with a flu bug. ... The Raptors have made at least 10 3-pointers in team-record 14 straight games.

Cavaliers: F/C Tristan Thompson (ankle) and Rodney Hood (back) were listed as questionable but sat out. ... F Larry Nance Jr. (hamstring) is aiming to return this weekend. He has missed four games. ... Acting coach Larry Drew spoke with Lue on Tuesday and said the Cavs coach reported feeling better. "He's on the right trail of recovering and I'm really happy to hear that from him," Drew said. When he announced he was stepping away, Lue said he has been dealing with chest pains and insomnia for several months. Drew said he doesn't talk "basketball" with his boss. ... Nick Gilbert, owner Dan Gilbert's son, sat in the front row next to his dad. The younger Gilbert recently spent 38 days in the hospital following brain surgery. He received an ovation from the crowd. ... Drew has been keeping close tabs on Nevada's NCAA Tournament run. His son, Lindsey, plays guard for the Wolf Pack but has been sidelined in March after rupturing his Achilles tendon at a game his dad attended.


Raptors: Host Brooklyn on Friday.

Cavaliers: Host Phoenix on Friday.

Serena Williams loses in 1st round at Miami Open to Osaka

Serena Williams returns to Naomi Osaka, of Japan, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, March 21, in Key Biscayne, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Steven Wine

Key Biscayne, Fla. (AP) — The match ended with Serena Williams grinning at the net. She saved her worst shot for last, and after a rare first-round defeat she had to laugh.

Still rusty in her return from pregnancy, Williams was unable to overcome a tough opening draw at the Miami Open and lost Wednesday to Naomi Osaka, 6-3, 6-2.

On the final point, Williams thundered forward to attack an easy shot at eye level, whacked the ball six feet past the baseline and responded with a sheepish smile.

Not that motherhood has mellowed Williams. She left without talking to the media.

The 20-year-old Osaka, who earned her first career title Sunday at Indian Wells, said she was nervous at the start playing her idol for the first time. Osaka said her goal was to avoid Williams winning 6-0, 6-0.

"She's the main reason I started playing tennis," Osaka said. "I just wanted her after the match to know who I am."

Mission accomplished. What did Williams say when they shook hands after the match?

"She said 'good job' and stuff," Osaka said. "I kind of blanked out, but I'm pretty good she said 'good job.'"

Osaka, who has both American and Japanese citizenship and lives in Fort Lauderdale, raised her profile with last week's title run and showed no signs of letup and overpowered the erratic Williams. Osaka had the stronger serve and wore down Williams in rallies working her from side to side.

The matchup worthy of a final came about because both players were unseeded. Osaka is ranked a career-best 22nd, while Williams' ranking is 491st after a layoff of more than a year.

Another new mother and former No. 1, three-time champion Victoria Azarenka, defeated Catherine Bellis 6-3, 6-0. Seeded players are in action beginning Thursday.

Williams has been eliminated in the first round only four other times, most recently at the 2012 French Open. The latest defeat came at a tournament she has won a record eight times and considers her hometown event.

The match was the last for Williams at Key Biscayne, 90 miles south of her home in Palm Beach Gardens. The tournament is moving next year to the Miami Dolphins' stadium, where Williams helped with the ceremonial groundbreaking Monday.

Because of Williams' ranking, she entered the draw as a wild card, and looked the part. She needed only eight shots to win the match's first five points, but things became much more difficult after that.

Playing her fourth match since returning to the tour, Williams was a step slow to balls in the corners and often late with her swing, while she put barely half her first serves in play. Early in the second set she resorted to her patented scream of "Come on!", but the outburst failed to turn things around.

Osaka was heartened that she provoked Williams to shout at herself.

"Sometimes she plays matches where she doesn't say 'Come on!' at all," Osaka said. "That's a little bit sad, because it's like, 'Do you think she's trying?' So I just wanted her say 'Come on!' once. I knew then maybe she would be trying a little bit."

Williams tried, but typical of her struggle was an exchange midway through the last set. She scrambled forward to scoop a ball back, retreated to hit an awkward, lunging overhead, and then stood and watched helplessly as a crosscourt forehand from Osaka whizzed past for a winner.

Osaka's serve reached 116 mph, and she was never broken. When Williams pushed her to deuce three times in one game, Osaka closed it out with consecutive aces, and said she drew inspiration from her hero.

"Sometimes when I'm in a really hard position when I'm serving, I'm like, 'What would Serena do?'" Osaka said.

That approach has served Osaka well. She's 14-4 this year and will next face No. 4-seeded Elina Svitolina as the tournament's new player to beat.

West Indies qualify for World Cup as rain sinks Scotland

West Indies players celebrate the wicket of Scotland Batsman Mathew Cross, foreground, during their cricket world cup qualifier match at Harare Sports Club, Wednesday, March, 21. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Enock Muchinjo

Harare, Zimbabwe (AP) — West Indies qualified for next year's Cricket World Cup on Wednesday, sneaking through by beating Scotland in a match where rain stopped play with the Scots only just short of the run rate they needed to make it.

Chasing 199 to win, and take the World Cup place, Scotland were 125-5 in the 36th over when the rain came. Scotland needed to be 131-5 or better to win.

It gave West Indies a five-run victory on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

"Definitely, we are relieved," West Indies captain Jason Holder said.

The West Indians also qualified for the final of the ICC's qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe with the win over Scotland. Host nation Zimbabwe can secure the last World Cup place available with victory over United Arab Emirates on Thursday. If UAE beat Zimbabwe, then Ireland and Afghanistan play for the place.

Scotland had extra reason to be aggrieved in the loss to West Indies when Richie Berrington was given out lbw four overs before rain stopped play. Replays showed the ball missing the stumps and an umpire error, but the decision review system is not being used at the qualifying tournament.

If Berrington was still in and Scotland had lost just four wickets, they would have won on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

"We feel pretty rough about that," said Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer. "We are feeling a little bit emotional right now. The guys are gutted upstairs. Clearly that lbw decision didn't go down well and it's not for the first time in this tournament. It's a big tournament, and a big game, and it come down to that. It's hard to comprehend after all the hard work we've done."

West Indies won the first two editions of the Cricket World Cup in 1975 and 1979 during their former glory years, but the team tumbled down the one-day international rankings recently, forcing them to play in the qualifiers.

West Indies began the decisive game against Scotland by losing Chris Gayle with the first ball of the match and Shai Hope in the third over to be 2-2. Evin Lewis and Marlon Samuels made half-centuries to take West Indies to 198 all out, a respectable and ultimately winning total.

Scotland also struggled at the start of their chase but Berrington (33) played an important role in partnerships of 42 with Calum MacLeod and 38 with George Munsey before the weather decided it.

WADA offer to help investigate doping ignored by Russia

Craig Reedie, world anti-doping agency (WADA) President, delivers his speech during the opening day of the 2018 WADA annual symposium, at the Swiss Tech Convention Center, in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Wednesday March 21. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)

Graham Dunbar

Lausanne, Switzerland (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency has been frustrated with trying to work with a Russian law enforcement agency investigating cheating.

Four letters sent to Russia by WADA in recent weeks have gone unanswered, and "it seems our offer has fallen on deaf ears," WADA president Craig Reedie said Wednesday.

WADA officials want to join the Russian Investigative Committee visiting the Moscow testing laboratory that was at the heart of a state-backed doping program. Giving WADA access to samples sealed in storage by Russia is a key point to re-accrediting the national anti-doping agency.

The agency, known as RUSADA, has been suspended since November 2015 when WADA investigators first detailed doping in Russian track and field. Drug testing in Russia has since been overseen by officials sent in by WADA.

A subsequent WADA-appointed probe by Richard McLaren detailed orchestrated doping and cover-ups at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Reedie told a conference of anti-doping and sports officials that WADA wants to bring Russia "back in from the cold."

"It is just a pity it is taking so long for Russian authorities to make it happen," the WADA president said.

The WADA roadmap to restoring RUSADA's right to work also requires Russia's sports ministry and national Olympic leaders agreeing that McLaren's findings were accurate. That has proved unacceptable to Russia.

"It is time for this situation to change in the interests of clean athletes, in Russia and beyond," said Reedie, adding that "every Russian sporting victory will be questioned" until the country does what is needed to fully return to international sport.

Update March 21, 2018

Rabada's ban overturned, available for 3rd test

In this March 9, 2018 file photo South African bowler Kagiso Rabada, second right, celebrates a wicket with team mates during the second test match between South Africa and Australia at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (AP Photo/Michael Sheehan, File)

Cape Town, South Africa (AP) — South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada had his two-test ban overturned on appeal on Tuesday, meaning he will be available for the remainder of the series against Australia.

Rabada was banned by the International Cricket Council for the third and fourth tests after being found guilty of two charges of misconduct for aggressive wicket celebrations in South Africa's series-leveling victory in the second test in Port Elizabeth.

The first charge, of deliberately bumping into Australia captain Steve Smith after getting him out in the first innings in Port Elizabeth, earned Rabada three disciplinary demerit points, took him over a threshold, and resulted in the two-test ban.

Rabada and Cricket South Africa appealed that finding on the basis that he didn't deliberately bump into Smith. The appeal was upheld after an independent judicial hearing in Cape Town on Monday.

"The key issue is whether Mr. Rabada made 'inappropriate and deliberate physical contact' with Mr. Smith," said judicial officer Mike Heron, who heard the appeal. "I am not 'comfortably satisfied' that Mr. Rabada intended to make contact and I therefore find him not guilty."

Heron released his ruling on Tuesday.

For the Smith incident, Rabada was found guilty on a lesser charge but the punishment did not constitute a ban. He had already pleaded guilty to a second charge in Port Elizabeth, of shouting in Australia batsman David Warner's face when he got him out. That also didn't constitute enough demerit points for a ban.

The decision to drop the two-test ban is a major boost for South Africa ahead of the third test in Cape Town starting on Thursday. Rabada won the man-of-the-match award in the second test with 11 wickets and is the spearhead of the home team's bowling attack. He is ranked the No. 1 bowler in test cricket.

The series is level at 1-1 with tests in Cape Town and Johannesburg to come, with South Africa seeking a first home series win over Australia since the end of apartheid.

Having cleared him of deliberately bumping into Smith, Heron instead found the 22-year-old Rabada guilty of the lower-level offense of "non-deliberate and minor contact" and issued him with a one demerit point penalty and a fine of 25 percent of his match fee.

While celebrating Smith's wicket in the second test, Rabada went down the pitch toward his teammates, bumping shoulders with Smith on the way. The contact was light, but the ICC recently brought in rules to stop any kind of physical contact between bowlers and batsmen in an effort to remove flashpoints in games.

"I consider the conduct was inappropriate, lacked respect for his fellow player and involved non-deliberate and minor contact," Heron said in a statement Tuesday. "The actions contravened the principle that a dismissed batsman should be left alone."

The ICC said it accepted the decision of the independent judicial hearing presided over by Heron.

Gennady Golovkin thinks Canelo, De La Hoya are doping cheats

Gennady Golovkin is shown in this Sept. 13, 2017, file photo.
(AP Photo/John Locher)

Greg Beacham

Big Bear Lake, Calif. (AP) — Gennady Golovkin plans to go ahead with his rematch against Canelo Alvarez on May 5, even after Alvarez failed a doping test last month.

But Golovkin also believes Alvarez is a cheater whose attempt to blame the test on bad meat is a joke and a symptom of more extensive corruption in boxing.

"Again with Mexican meat? Come on," Golovkin said on Tuesday, referencing Alvarez's attribution of his failed test to his consumption of tainted meat in his native country.

"I told you, it's not Mexican meat," Golovkin added. "This is Canelo. This is his team. This is his promotion. ... Canelo is cheating. They're using these drugs, and everybody is just trying to pretend it's not happening."

Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) spoke pointedly about Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) before a workout at his high-altitude training camp in Southern California. For the first time, the unbeaten Kazakh middleweight champion repeatedly said he believes Alvarez has used banned substances for previous fights, including their first bout last September.

"It was pretty obvious when (Alvarez's) muscles were all (enlarged) ... and with the traces of injections, which were visible," Golovkin said through a translator. "I can talk about Oscar De La Hoya, too. He is also not clean. He's dirty."

De La Hoya is Alvarez's longtime promoter and a former six-division champion. He retired from boxing in 2008.

Alvarez tested positive for clenbuterol in mid-February in the fighters' voluntary anti-doping program, and the results were revealed two weeks ago.

Eric Gomez, the president of De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, responded sharply to Golovkin's comments.

"He doesn't sound like a confident fighter," Gomez told The Associated Press in an email. "GGG is trying to find a way out. If he doesn't want the fight, he should just say so. Just last week he said the exact opposite. His remarks about needle marks, Oscar and every other lie are outrageous, false and defamatory, and we will deal with them appropriately.

"As for Canelo, he is focused on his training," Gomez added. "He didn't need any more motivation, but now he has it."

The Nevada Athletic Commission still hasn't announced whether it will level any disciplinary action against Alvarez, or even when it might hold a public hearing about its decision. The fight is just over six weeks away at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Golovkin expects to be in the ring on Cinco de Mayo until he hears otherwise from Nevada or Alvarez, who has scarcely commented on the positive test since Golden Boy issued a statement blaming the mistake on meat contamination that is common in some parts of Mexico. Canelo also moved his camp to the U.S. after his failed test, but is training behind closed doors.

Golovkin also is still upset about the verdict in his first bout with Alvarez. Golovkin and his camp felt they comfortably won the bout, which was ruled a draw.

"He's always been the favorite, always had benefits," Golovkin said. "I don't think I would have the same amount of benefits as he has. That's why I never use any drugs, because I know there won't be any preferences to me."

If the Nevada commission postpones the rematch, promoter Tom Loeffler echoed Golovkin's interest in booking a middleweight title unification bout with Britain's Billy Joe Saunders, who holds one of the four major belts.

But Golovkin and Alvarez both realize their biggest paydays will come in bouts against each other. That's why Golovkin is determined to keep training to face Canelo, even while accusing his opponent of artificial enhancement of his physique.

"You should take a look at the photos and ask a doctor," Golovkin said. "Ask any doctor. Let him explain what those (muscles) are. It's better even to use the lie detector. Then there wouldn't be any silly questions about meat or fruits or chocolate."

Spieth, Reed drawn in same group at Match Play

Jordan Spieth. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

Doug Ferguson

Austin, Texas (AP) — Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed go from being partners to opponents in match play.

Spieth and Reed, who have a 7-2-2 record as partners in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, were drawn in the same four-man group Monday night for the Dell Technologies Match Play.

The World Golf Championship begins Wednesday at Austin Country Club, where Spieth played when he was at the University of Texas.

Spieth has a 9-9-1 record in match play as a pro, going 0-5 in his singles matches at the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. He is 9-4-1 in the Match Play. Reed has an 8-6-2 record, and is best known for taking down Rory McIlroy in the last Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.

Spieth and Reed won't play each other until Friday. Also in their group are former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Li Haotong of China.

Round-robin play starts Wednesday, with the winners of 16 groups advancing to a weekend of single elimination.

Dustin Johnson, the defending champion, is the No. 1 seed for the second straight year. He has longtime friend Kevin Kisner, Adam Hadwin of Canada and Bernd Wiesberger of Austria in his group.

The opening session Wednesday has some compelling matches.

Phil Mickelson, who hasn't played since winning the Mexico Championship, opens against Charles Howell III in the first round. Howell has two PGA Tour victories, one of them in a playoff over Mickelson at Riviera.

Tommy Fleetwood faces Ian Poulter in an all-England match. Poulter has to advance out of his group to have any chance of moving into the top 50 and qualifying for the Masters. This is the final week for players to earn a Masters invitation through top 50 in the world ranking.

Poulter carried Europe to a stunning comeback in the Ryder Cup at Medinah in 2012 when he made five straight birdies to win a fourballs match, which ultimately swung momentum to Europe going into singles.

Poulter's lone victory in America was the 2010 Match Play in Arizona when it was single elimination. He was referred to as a "ninja" in match play during the draw.

"I've never gone up against a ninja in my life," Fleetwood said, who wondered if he could find a book called "Karate for Dummies."

He was driving to St. Andrews for the Dunhill Cup in 2012 and remembers well Poulter's heroics at Medinah.

"Hopefully, it's just a memory," he said.

Rory McIlroy, coming of a victory Sunday at Bay Hill, gets Peter Uihlein in the opening match. Also in McIlroy's group are Brian Harman and Jhonattan Vegas.

Matt Kuchar will face Zach Johnson in the opening round. They were partners one time, losing a foursomes match in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014.

Since going to group play in 2015 at Harding Park in San Francisco, two No. 1 seeds (McIlroy and Johnson) and a No. 2 seed (Jason Day) have won. Anything goes with 18-hole matches, though having at least three matches allows a player to recover from a bad day.

Not that it makes it any easier to pick a favorite.

"This is as hard to win as trying to pick the Kentucky Derby winner," Pat Perez said. "I always pick the wrong horse."

Among those skipping the event are Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott, mainly for scheduling reasons. Also missing is U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka as he recovers from a wrist injury.

Joost Luiten withdrew with an injury. He was replaced by Julian Suri, the No. 64 seed, who plays Marc Leishman in the opening round.

The groups were determined by the top 16 seeds, and then players from the next three segments of the world ranking were added by lottery — one from Nos. 17-32, one from Nos. 33 to 48, and one from No. 49 to 64.

Milan, Turin discussing possible 2026 Olympic bid with CONI

A view of Turin, Italy, with the main city landmark, the Mole Antonelliana, at right, and the Alps in background. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)

Rome (AP) — Milan and Turin are both in discussions with the Italian Olympic Committee about possibly bidding for the 2026 Winter Games.

Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino sent a letter of interest to CONI on Sunday despite divisions in her own party, the populist 5-Star Movement, on a candidacy. Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala met with CONI president Giovanni Malago on Monday about his city's interest.

"I think Milan has everything required but we won't do anything without a government and its approval," Sala said Tuesday.

Italy awaits a new government in the next few weeks following a national election this month that yielded no clear majority.

The Veneto region that includes Venice, Verona and 1956 host Cortina d'Ampezzo is also interested in 2026, with region president Luca Zaia announcing Tuesday that interest will be formalized by next week.

Malago discussed the possible bids during a visit with IOC president Thomas Bach in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday.

"The IOC appreciates the growing interest within Italy for sport and the Olympic games," Malago said, while also expressing apprehension considering the state of the government.

CONI is still recovering from its dropped Rome bid for the 2024 Summer Games, which ended following staunch opposition from Mayor Virginia Raggi, who also represents the 5-Star Movement.

Among the other cities which have shown preliminary interest for 2026: Stockholm, Sweden; Calgary, Canada; Sion, Switzerland; and Sapporo, Japan.

Turin hosted the Winter Games in 2006. The 2026 host will be decided by the International Olympic Committee in Milan in September 2019.

Update March 20, 2018

World Rugby looking into controversial referee appointment

Spain players, in yellow, clash with Romania referee Vlad Iordachescu, after the Rugby Europe Championship match between Belgium and Spain at the Little Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Sunday, March 18. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

Dublin (AP) — World Rugby is looking into the appointment of a Romanian referee for a crucial match between Spain and Belgium that determined whether Romania qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Spain's surprising 18-10 loss in Brussels on Sunday meant Romania advanced to the World Cup through a second-place finish in the Rugby Europe Championship. Spain would have qualified with a win.

The referee for the match, Vlad Iordaschescu, had to be escorted from the field by security after Spain players angrily confronted him. The two assistant referees were also Romanian.

World Rugby, which does not appoint match officials for Rugby Europe Championship qualifiers, said Monday it has contacted Rugby Europe "to understand the context of events relating to the Belgium v Spain match in Brussels on Sunday."

All of Belgium's points came from penalty kicks.

The Spanish Rugby Federation has said it will file a complaint to tournament organizer Rugby Europe about the refereeing, and request video of the match be analyzed to check if decisions were "deliberately partial to favor the interests of Romania."

The Spanish federation had asked Rugby Europe to change the officials for the Belgium match because all three were Romanian. The federation said Patrick Roben, president of Rugby Europe's referees' commission, denied the request because the match appointments were done weeks in advance.

The head of Rugby Europe is a Romanian, Octavian Morariu.

Rugby Europe said in a statement Monday that it is waiting for an assessment report by the supervisor of the match officials for the Belgium-Spain game, and will devote a "large portion" of a tournament committee meeting on Friday to the "analysis of every stage of the Belgium v Spain game."

Oladipo helps Pacers rally past Lakers 110-100


Los Angeles Lakers' Isaiah Thomas (3) has the basketball stripped away by Indiana Pacers' Al Jefferson during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 19, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Michael Marot

Indianapolis (AP) — Victor Oladipo sparked a decisive run and finished with 20 points, Myles Turner had 21 points and the Indiana Pacers recovered from a poor start for a 110-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

The victory snapped Indiana's two-game losing streak.

Los Angeles was led by Kyle Kuzma with 27 points and Brook Lopez with 23, but the Lakers still lost their third straight.

Oladipo and Darren Collison got Indiana going with back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the third quarter for a 77-70 lead. After a layup from Julius Randle, Collison made a 20-footer and Lance Stephenson hit a 10-footer. When the 14-4 flurry ended, Indiana led 85-74 with 3:04 left in the third.

The Lakers never seriously challenged after that.

It was a stark contrast to the Lakers' fast start. Efficient shooting helped them take a 28-19 lead in the first quarter, but when the shooters cooled off, the Pacers charged back and used a 15-6 second-quarter run to make it 51-50 late in the period.

The Pacers still trailed 59-57 at the half — before Oladipo helped flip things in the second half.


Lakers: Have lost five straight at Indiana but wound up with a split in the season series. ... Kuzma was 3 of 10 on 3s, extending the franchise record for a rookie to 135. He also had eight rebounds. ... The Lakers lead the league with 52.7 points in the paint per game but only managed to match the Pacers 46-46 in that category. ... Randle finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. ... Lonzo Ball had eight assists.

Pacers: After giving up 37 points in the first quarter, Indiana allowed only 63 the rest of the game. ... Collison made his first start since having foot surgery. ... Backup center Domantas Sabonis missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle and will miss the Pacers next game as well, coach Nate McMillan said before the game. ... Oladipo extended his streak of consecutive games with a steal to 54, breaking a tie with Ron Harper for No. 8 in league history. ... Thaddeus Young had 18 points, nine rebounds and four assists while Stephenson had 16 points and five rebounds.


Lakers: Visit New Orleans on Thursday night, the second stop on a five-game road trip.

Pacers: Will try to earn a series split at New Orleans on Wednesday night.

Navratilova 'angry' at pay gap to McEnroe for BBC work

This Saturday, April 4, 2015, file photo shows former tennis star Martina Navratilova, right, with Serena Williams. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

London (AP) — Martina Navratilova is "angry" and feels let down by the BBC after learning that John McEnroe gets paid at least 10 times more than her for their broadcasting roles at Wimbledon.

In a list of the BBC's highest-paid workers published last year, it was revealed that McEnroe earned between 150,000-199,999 pounds ($210,000-280,000) for working at Wimbledon.

Navratilova said she gets paid 15,000 pounds ($21,000).

Navratilova, a nine-time singles champion at the All England Club, said she was told by the BBC that she earns a "comparable amount, so ... we were not told the truth."

"It's extremely unfair and it makes me angry for the other women that I think go through this," Navratilova told "Panorama: Britain's Equal Pay Scandal," a program aired on the BBC on Monday.

The BBC responded to Navratilova's comments by saying that, as an "occasional contributor," she appears on fewer broadcasts and is on a different type of contract than McEnroe.

"John and Martina perform different roles in the team, and John's role is of a different scale, scope and time commitment," the BBC said in a statement. "They are simply not comparable."

The corporation said that while Navratilova is paid per appearance, has a fixed volume of work and has no contractual commitment, McEnroe is on call for the entire 13 days of the tournament, has a larger breadth of work — including radio and publicity — and has a contract that means he cannot work for another British broadcaster without the BBC's permission.

"He is a defining voice within the BBC's coverage," the BBC said. "He is widely considered to be the best expert/commentator in the sport, highly valued by our audiences ... His pay reflects all of this; gender isn't a factor."

Navratilova said her agent will ask for more money in future to work for the BBC.

The gender pay gap at the BBC has been a talking point since the salaries of top BBC talent were revealed last year. A review commissioned by the BBC found a 6.8 percent gender pay gap, but "no evidence of gender bias in pay decision-making."

Lyon risk season ban by UEFA for fan racism, disorder

Lyon's Myziane Maolida reacts after he missed a goal during the Europa League, round of 16 second leg match against CSKA Moscow in Decines, near Lyon, central France, Thursday March 15. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Nyon, Switzerland (AP) — Europa League final hosts Lyon are at risk of a one-season ban from UEFA competitions after more fan disorder.

UEFA charged Lyon on Monday for incidents including "racist behavior" and "crowd disturbances" at a Europa League home game against CSKA Moscow last week.

The case will be judged on May 31 by UEFA's disciplinary panel which will weigh incidents that happened within the perimeter of the stadium on Thursday.

Several police officers were injured after clashes with Lyon fans before the last-16, second-leg game which the French club lost 3-2. Lyon were eliminated from the competition at the stage and lost the chance to reach the May 16 final at home.

Lyon are set to be barred from European club competitions for one season when UEFA makes its verdict.

Last April, UEFA put the club on two-year probation after fan disorder delayed a Europa League quarterfinal against Besiktas.

UEFA fined Lyon 100,000 euros ($124,000) after that game and a further 49,000 euros ($61,000) when fans disrupted the home leg of last season's semifinal against Ajax.

Lyon are fourth in the French league, and are competing with third-place Marseille to advance to play in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League or the group stage of the Europa League.

Update March 19, 2018

The last roars are for Rory McIlroy at Bay Hill

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, celebrates after making a birdie on the 18th green during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Sunday, March 18, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Doug Ferguson

Orlando, Fla. (AP) — The connection Rory McIlroy had with Arnold Palmer was strong even before he delivered a Sunday charge that would have made the King proud.

McIlroy first played the Arnold Palmer Invitational three years ago, and Palmer teared up at dinner when he asked McIlroy if there was anything he needed and received this reply: "Mr. Palmer, thanks to you, I have everything I could ever need in my life."

McIlroy's last victory was at the Tour Championship on Sept. 25, 2016, the day Palmer died.

Sunday was special for so many reasons.

Tiger Woods brought Bay Hill to life when he pulled within one shot of the lead, only for McIlroy to respond to the endless cheers and chants for Woods by running off five birdies over the last six holes to pull away. McIlroy closed with a 64, just like the last time he won. And he ended his longest drought in eight years by winning on the course and tournament that Palmer built.

The only thing missing was having the King around to celebrate.

"I wish he would have been at the top of the hill to shake my hand when I came off the 18th green there," McIlroy said. "But hopefully, he's proud of me with the way I played that back nine. I tried to be as aggressive as I could and tried to take on shots when I needed to, just like he would have. So yeah, it's come full circle since that day in September in 2016, and just proud to be sitting up here and have my name on that trophy."

It really was the perfect ending.

Bay Hill was rocking all afternoon, mostly for that red shirt. Woods, who started the final round five shot behind, made three birdies in a four-hole stretch to start the back nine and was within a shot of the lead as everyone behind him on the course appeared to stall.

One shot changed everything.

Woods couldn't commit to a swing with his driver on the par-5 16th hole and sent it far and left — way left — over a fence and out-of-bounds, sending him to a bogey when he couldn't afford anything less than birdie.

He finished bogey-bogey-par for a 3-under 69 and tumbled down the leaderboard into a tie for fifth.

That's about when McIlroy pulled away.

The charge was vintage Palmer — birdie putts on the 13th and 14th, a chip-in from 40 feet on the 15th, a 375-yard drive on the 16th that left him a sand wedge into the par 5 for a two-putt birdie.

The final putt was vintage Woods.

McIlroy faced one last challenge from Bryson DeChambeau, who had closed to within one shot with an eagle on the 16th hole. McIlroy saw the score posted on the leaderboard to the right of the 18th fairway, and he answered with a 7-iron over the water on the 18th to about 25 feet above the hole.

It was the type of putt the gallery has seen Woods make to win in 2001, 2008 and 2009.

McIlroy buried it, raised both arms in the air and turned to slam his fist as the grandstands erupted with cheers.

"I've seen Tiger make that enough times to know what it does," McIlroy said. "So I just wanted to try and emulate that. ... Just to be able to create my own little bit of history on the 18th green here is pretty special."

That gave him a two-shot lead, and he was a winner for the 22nd time worldwide when DeChambeau failed to hole out from the fairway for eagle. DeChambeau made bogey from the bunker on the 18th for a 68 and finished alone in second.

Justin Rose lingered all day but was never a threat over the final hour, instead watching McIlroy put on a stunning charge.

"Rory played incredible golf and it was fun — great to see world class players do that," Rose said after a 67. "It's not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me. But when he is making putts, he's incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play."

Stenson lost a third chance in four years to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He led by as many as two shots on the front nine before the putts stopped falling. Two shots behind playing the 16th, Stenson three-putted for par and bogeyed the final hole for a 71. He finished fourth.

Woods tied for fifth with Ryan Moore (71), and now heads to the Masters with plenty of momentum — just not a victory.

He finished one shot behind last week at Innisbrook. He was one-shot behind with three holes to play at Bay Hill, though it would have needed more than just a few birdies the way McIlroy played.

His next stop is the Masters, where Woods will be a favorite to win his fifth green jacket. And to think that just over six months ago, Woods hadn't been cleared by his doctors to hit balls after fusion surgery on his lower back, his fourth back surgery dating to the spring of 2014.

"If you would have asked me at the beginning of the year that I would have had a chance to win two golf tournaments, I would have taken that in a heartbeat," he said.

McIlroy was relieved for other reasons. He went through an injury-plagued 2017 and failed to win anywhere in the world. He was coming off a missed cut a week ago in the Valspar Championship. And now he's a winner again, with the Masters looming.

McIlroy needs only a green jacket to complete the career Grand Slam.

"I kept saying I didn't need a win going into Augusta to feel like I had a chance," McIlroy said. "I just wanted to see signs of good golf. And thankfully, I've been able to get both today."

He ended the night wearing the red sweater that goes to the winner, and raised a glass of Ketel One vodka — Palmer's favorite — to toast the King.

McIlroy took a swig and said, "Wooo! Strong."

Just like his finish.

Del Potro edges Federer in 3 sets to win Indian Wells title

Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina, returns a shot to Roger Federer, of Switzerland, during the men's final at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Sunday, March 18, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Beth Harris

Indian Wells, Calif. (AP) — Juan Martin del Potro keeps surprising himself.

Close to quitting tennis after four wrist surgeries in recent years, the Argentine fought to get back to the ATP Tour even as he was reduced to hitting his backhand with one hand instead of his usual two.

The struggle paid off Sunday, when Del Potro staved off three match points in the third set to beat top-ranked Roger Federer 6-4,7-6 (8), 7-6 (2) for the BNP Paribas Open title.

The win ranks up there with Del Potro's 2009 U.S. Open title, in which he beat Federer, and helping Argentina win the Davis Cup in 2016.

"I cannot believe I won this tournament, beating Roger in a great final and level of tennis," Del Potro said.

Naomi Osaka of Japan won the women's title 6-3, 6-2 over Russian Daria Kasatkina in a match-up of 20-year-old rising stars.

Del Potro and Osaka each earned $1.3 million.

Del Potro became the first Argentine champion in the 42-year history of the desert tournament. He handed Federer his first loss of the year, snapping the Swiss superstar's 17-match winning streak that was the best of his career.

"I feel frustrated that I let an opportunity like this go by," Federer said.

Del Potro held a match point at 8-7 in the second-set tiebreaker, but he lost the final three points on his own errors that allowed Federer to force a third set.

"It was a lot of frustration after that match point, but then I play well," Del Potro said.

They were on serve in the third until Federer broke for a 5-4 lead with a backhand winner off del Potro's serve.

Federer had a chance to serve out the match, holding two match points. But del Potro staved both off to force deuce.

Federer's forehand went long, giving del Potro a break point. Federer answered with a backhand that hit del Potro at the net and then gained his third match point on del Potro's forehand error.

Del Potro recovered to deuce with a forehand winner. Federer mis-hit a forehand high into the air beyond the baseline, giving del Potro another break point. The Argentine cashed in with a well-placed forehand in the corner to tie the set, 5-all.

In the tiebreaker, Del Potro raced to a 6-1 lead, helped by two of Federer's double faults. He closed out the win on his third match point when Federer's forehand failed.

"I would like to play that tiebreaker again because I don't know what the hell happened," Federer said.

Del Potro lost just six points on his serve in the first set.

In the second-set tiebreaker, Del Potro and Federer took turns arguing with chair umpire Fergus Murphy. Del Potro was annoyed the crowd was making noise on his serve and told the umpire he wasn't warning them enough to be quiet.

"It had no effect on the outcome of the match," Federer said. "I was just also just trying to pump myself up more, to get energy for me."

Del Potro survived three-setters against countryman Leonardo Mayer in the fourth round and Philipp Kohlschreiber in the quarterfinals. It was his first win against Federer since last year's U.S. Open quarters. Del Potro trails in their series 18-7, but owns a 4-2 advantage in finals.

Del Potro arrived at Indian Wells having won a title in Acapulco and back in the top 10.

"I'm really enjoying playing tennis again," he said. "I'm still surprising myself, and I want to keep surprising the tennis tour."

Man United-Spurs, Chelsea-Southampton in FA Cup semifinals

Chelsea's Alvaro Morata scores his side's opening goal during the English FA Cup quarterfinal match between Leicester City and Chelsea, at the King Power stadium in Leicester, Sunday, March 18. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

London (AP) — Manchester United will play Tottenham in the FA Cup semifinals at Spurs' temporary Wembley Stadium home.

The draw Sunday saw last year's finalists Chelsea face Southampton in the other semifinal.

Both matches will be played at Wembley over the weekend of April 21-22.

Wembley is the designated neutral ground for the semifinals — and final — but Tottenham are well accustomed to it after taking up temporary residence at the national stadium this season while their home at White Hart Lane is being redeveloped.

The draw followed Sunday's quarterfinals where Chelsea beat Leicester 2-1 thanks to Pedro's extra time winner, and Southampton beat third-tier Wigan 2-0 in Mark Hughes' first game in charge of the Saints.

Twelve-time FA Cup champions Manchester United and Tottenham secured their passages to the semifinals on Saturday. United beat Brighton 2-0, and Tottenham defeated Swansea 3-0.

Morocco bid: $16bn for 2026 World Cup venues, infrastructure

In this Friday Dec. 1, 2017 file photo, the World Cup trophy is placed on display during the 2018 soccer World Cup draw in the Kremlin in Moscow. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Rob Harris

London (AP) - Morocco would need to spend almost $16 billion to prepare to host the 2026 World Cup, with every proposed stadium and training ground built from scratch or renovated, the bid said Saturday.

With less than three months to go until the FIFA vote, the north African nation presented the first significant details of its proposal to take on the joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The North American bid plans to rely on existing infrastructure, including large NFL stadiums already hosting events.

For the first time, a high-risk bid that does not meet FIFA's expectations on facilities and profit can be disqualified before the governing body's congress votes on June 13.

When FIFA officials score the bids, infrastructure —   of which half relates to stadiums — will account for 70 percent of the panel's mark. The remaining 30 percent is based on projected costs and revenues.

For $3 billion, Morocco said it can build nine stadiums, refurbish five others and build or renovate 130 training grounds. That is part of the $12.6 billion in public investment that also requires hospital services being upgraded in 20 cities and transport networks improved for the World Cup after the jump from 32 to 48 participating nations.

The bid said another $3.2 billion of private investment is required to build hotels containing around 30,000 rooms.

Morocco's bid team told The Associated Press the projections had been "carefully costed" but could not provide a breakdown on how the figures were reached.

Nine new stadiums are planned, including a 93,000-capacity home for the national team in Casablanca that would stage the opening game and final in 2026.

Stadiums would also be built in Oujda (45,600) and Tetouan (45,600), organizers said. New arenas to fit around 46,000 fans are planned in Casablanca, Marrakech, El Jadida, Meknes, Nador and Ouarzazate with the intention of downsizing them to unspecified capacities after the World Cup.

The five existing stadiums that need upgrading are in Marrakech (95,565), Agadir (46,048), Fez (46,092), Rabat (46,500) and Tangier (65,000).

Morocco has mounted four unsuccessful World Cup bids, most recently for the 2010 tournament, while the United States was host in 1994 and was beaten in the vote for the 2022 event.

The North American bid included 23 cities , including 17 in the United States, in documents submitted to FIFA on Friday.

Sixty games would be played in the U.S. under the bid plan, including all from the quarterfinals on. Three cities were included from Mexico and Canada, who would stage 10 games each.

Although the U.S. has a substantial stock of existing stadiums, the bid's plans were rocked last week by three cities dropping out citing burdensome financial demands by FIFA.

Vancouver was rejected as a Canadian option because it refused to comply with FIFA's requirements that include tax waivers and putting agreements under Swiss law.

Update March 17-18, 2018

Del Potro, Raonic advance to semifinals at Indian Wells

Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina, returns a shot against Philipp Kohlschreiber, of Germany, during the quarterfinals at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Friday, March 16, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Beth Harris

Indian Wells, Calif. (AP) — Wrist, hip, foot and leg injuries. Juan Martin del Potro and Milos Raonic have endured all of them in recent years. Now the surgically repaired veterans are into the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open.

Del Potro defeated No. 31 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and Raonic beat 18th-seeded American Sam Querrey 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 on Friday to reach the semis for the third straight year.

In the women's semis on Friday night, Venus Williams was to meet Daria Kasatkina of Russia and top-ranked Simona Halep of Romania faced Naomi Osaka of Japan.

Del Potro has twice won the ATP Tour's comeback player of the year award, having fought back from left wrist surgeries in 2014 and 2015 (twice) and another one on his right wrist in 2010. He was likely on a first-name basis at the Mayo Clinic, where he was operated on.

The sixth-seeded Argentine came close to quitting the sport.

"I couldn't fix the problem. I got depressed at home for a long while, and I wasn't happy doing the effort to (rehab) my wrist," he said. "But thanks God I'm here and healthy, and I'm playing tennis again. I'm in the top 10 again. I have too much love from the crowd, for my fans, and I'm doing this because I love it."

Raonic had right hip surgery in 2011, right foot surgery in 2015 and left wrist surgery last year. He also struggled with a right leg injury for much of last year, missing a stretch of tournaments including the U.S. Open. He's plunged from a career-high No. 3 to No. 38 in the rankings.

"It's been a catastrophe," he said, adding in a knee injury that kept him from playing for six weeks last November.

Raonic didn't resume training until just before the Australian Open in January, and then lost in the first round.

He's regained his form in his seventh appearance in Indian Wells, where he has a 19-6 career record.

"I just have a personal calm at this event maybe compared to others," he said. "It's a little bit quieter here. It's easier to be around the tennis. You don't have to fight through traffic to get here. You get here with ease."

Raonic survived an up-and-down match against Querrey, who controlled the first nine games. The American was up a break and serving for the first set at 5-4, but he missed a backhand volley and Raonic won three straight games to close out the set.

Querrey rallied to take the second set, but he fell behind in the third. Raonic had 17 aces in the match.

Del Potro and 32nd-seeded Raonic play each other on Saturday. The other semifinal is between top-ranked Roger Federer and Borna Coric of Croatia.

Stenson, DeChambeau tied for Bay Hill lead with Woods 7 back

Henrik Stenson, of Sweden, watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Friday, March 16, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Doug Ferguson

Orlando, Fla. (AP) — Henrik Stenson gave himself another chance to win at Bay Hill, and he made it a little bit tougher on Tiger Woods.

Stenson made three big par saves at the turn to keep the round from getting away from him, ran off three straight birdies on his back nine and posted a 3-under 69 that gave him a share of the 36-hole lead Friday with Bryson DeChambeau in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The chilly weather warmed in the afternoon, just not enough for Woods to do the same. He didn't make a birdie until the 12th hole, never had a birdie putt inside 12 feet except for the par 5s on the back nine, and did well to scrap it around for a 72 to go into the weekend seven shots behind.

"I didn't hit the ball close, I didn't hit the ball well," Woods said. "But I was just hanging in there ... just try not to shoot myself out of the tournament."

DeChambeau finished strong with an 8-iron into 7 feet for eagle on the par-5 16th and an approach to 4 feet for birdie on the 18th, giving him a 66 and his third time with a share of the 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

"I think every week I'm good enough to win or play my best," he said. "It's just sometimes a kick here, a break here and that's just what happens."

Stenson and DeChambeau were at 11-under 133, two shots clear of PGA Tour rookie Talor Gooch (70).

Stenson had a two-shot lead going into the final round in 2015 at Bay Hill and stumbled at the end after getting put on the clock. Two years ago, he was tied for the lead with five holes to play until two bogeys over the next three holes.

His putting carried him to a 64 in the opening round, and it saved him again on Friday.

"I made some great par putts and a bunker up-and-down, so that was really key today to keep the round going," Stenson said. "I didn't drop a shot, where I could have easily dropped three shots on those holes. So that was crucial."

Temperatures were around 50 when he teed off, and it was clear Stenson has been gone from Sweden too long, living in Dubai and more recently in Orlando. If not for the tournament, he described this as a day to sit in the clubhouse with hot chocolate and wait for it to get warm.

"I might be Swedish, but I've gone soft ," he said. "I lived in a nice climate for too many years."

He was strong when it mattered. Stenson shanked a fairway bunker shot short and right of the green on the 16th and pitched some 70 feet long, from where he had to make an 8-footer to escape with par. He found the front bunker on the par-3 17th, hit out to 15 feet and made that one, and then saved par from the bunker left of the 18th green down the slope toward the green, holing a 5-foot putt.

Stenson settled down from there and ran off three straight birdies, two from close range, the last one from 20 feet on the fringe.

Ten players were separated by five shots going into the weekend, a group that includes Rickie Fowler (71) and Patrick Reed (70). Rory McIlroy was slowed again, this time with a pair of bogeys to start his back nine, though he could accept a 70. McIlroy was six shots back, which felt like a little bit more considering the way Stenson is playing.

Stenson is renowned for his ball striking, and 12 birdies over 36 holes would suggest he's dialed in this week.

"Henrik has played great," McIlroy said. "I'm going to have to play very, very good golf on the weekend to catch him, but I'm in a better position this Friday than I was last Friday, so I'll take anything I can get."

Woods walked off the course early Thursday afternoon just one shot out of the lead, and the margin keeps getting wider — four shots back by the end of the opening round, now seven shots back going into the weekend.

It was clear early that this would be a struggle, especially when he ran a putt off the green and onto the fringe at No. 9 for this second bogey. He at least managed to birdie the par 5s on the back, and had a tough par save on the 15th. With his ball plugged near the side of the slip, he swung a little harder to make sure the shaft didn't get stuck banging into the side of the turf and holed a 20-foot par putt.

The disappointment was his wedge play. He never got anything particularly close.

"Today was just a bad day," he said.

Woods, coming off a runner-up finish last week at Innisbrook, is an eight-time winner at Bay Hill, most recently in 2013 when he last played the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He trailed after 36 holes in four of those victories, including a seven-shot deficit to Vijay Singh in 2008.

"There's a lot of guys between myself and the lead," said Woods, who was tied for 17th. "And if it gets warm like it's supposed to get on the weekend, then we're going to make some birdies."

Real Madrid face Juventus in Champions League quarterfinals

The UEFA Champions League trophy is pictured during the quarterfinal draw of the tournament at the UEFA Headquarters, in Nyon, Switzerland, Friday, March 16. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)

Graham Dunbar

Nyon, Switzerland (AP) — In a rematch of last season's Champions League final, title holders Real Madrid were paired with Juventus in the quarterfinals draw on Friday.

Madrid will travel to Turin for the first leg on April 3 against the Italian champions they beat 4-1 in the 2017 final at Cardiff.

Liverpool were drawn to host Manchester City first on April 4 in an all-English clash. After all five English clubs advanced from the group stage to the round of 16, only one will now be in the semifinals.

"It's always common in a draw that you'll get your neighbor, more or less, but to be honest I don't mind," Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp said in comments to the club's website.

Also Friday, five-time champions Barcelona and Bayern Munich were paired with teams who have never won the tournament.

Barcelona are at home first against Roma on April 4, and Bayern face Sevilla in the first leg in Spain on April 3. All return games are played the following week.

Madrid will likely start favorites against Juventus in pursuit of a record-extending 13th European title and a first hat trick since Bayern won their third title in a row in 1976.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 12 goals in the competition this season is more than the entire Juventus team, which has scored just 11 times in eight games.

Still, Juventus did in the round of 16 what Madrid could not do in the group stage — beat Tottenham. They advanced with an impressive 2-1 second-leg win at Wembley Stadium.

"It says a lot about the winning mentality (of Juventus), and their personality and experience to play these kind of matches," Madrid director Emilio Butragueno said.

The draw set up both English clubs for an intense week, with city derbies in the Premier League sandwiched between the quarterfinal games.

On the Saturday between the two legs against five-time champions Liverpool, City host rivals Manchester United and could seal the league title that day.

On the Sunday, Liverpool play at Everton barely 48 hours before the second-leg game in Manchester.

Man City travel for the first leg to Anfield where they have won only once in their last 30 visits. Pep Guardiola's team lost 4-3 at Liverpool two months ago for their only league loss this season, though they won 5-0 at home in September.

Barcelona will be expected to advance from their 11th straight appearance in the quarterfinals, with Lionel Messi in attack and the competition's best defensive record of just two goals conceded.

The final is on May 26 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine.

Native River gets wire-to-wire win in Cheltenham Gold Cup

Jockey Richard Johnson and horse Native River celebrate winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup, during the 2018 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, in Cheltenham, England, Friday March 16. (Tim Goode/PA via AP)

Cheltenham, England (AP) — Native River delivered an exhibition in front-running to outlast favorite Might Bite in a thrilling duel to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Britain's most prestigious jumps race, on Friday.

Ridden by champion jockey Richard Johnson, 5-1 shot Native River took the lead right from the start and was never passed in the race over 3 miles and 2 1/2 furlongs in front of a crowd of 70,000.

After they jumped the last fence, Native River and Might Bite were neck and neck, but Johnson got a kick out of the Colin Tizzard-trained horse on the uphill finish and Native River won by 4 1/2 lengths — a year after finishing third in the race.

For Johnson, it was a second victory in the Gold Cup — 18 years after his first on Looks Like Trouble.

"It's been a long 18 years," Johnson said. "To be honest, I was a passenger.

"The more I asked from him, the better he jumped."

Might Bite's handler, Nicky Henderson, was looking to become the first trainer to capture the Cheltenham Festival's three signature races in the same year — the Champion Hurdle, the Champion Chase, and the Gold Cup.

It was Might Bite's first defeat over fences, and Henderson said the heavy going didn't do the horse any favors — especially against a rival who is a past winner of the Welsh National and the Hennessy Gold Cup

"It was the right thing to track Native River because no other horse got into the race, he had to be in the right place," Henderson said of the 4-1 favorite.

"On better ground, stamina wouldn't have been an issue. But in that ground you have to work so much harder. The winner is a Welsh National winner and the reason I've never won that race is because I can't find horses that go in that ground."

Native River won his owners 369,822 pounds ($515,000).

Anibale Fly, a 33-1 shot, was third.

Update March 16, 2018

Stenson bounces back and leads Bay Hill

Henrik Stenson, of Sweden, lines up a putt on the 17th green during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Thursday, March 15, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Doug Ferguson

Orlando, Fla. (AP) — Henrik Stenson had a hot putter, a much quieter crowd and a one-shot lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

One week after Stenson returned from his winter break and spent two days with Tiger Woods and his raucous crowds, he made birdie on half of the holes at Bay Hill for an 8-under 64, his lowest round ever on the course the King built.

PGA Tour rookies Aaron Wise and Talor Gooch each had 65. Wise missed a 6-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

Woods again brought out big crowds in the unseasonable chill Thursday morning and gave them quite a show. He hit a tee shot that was out-of-bounds by inches. He atoned for that with a 70-foot birdie putt. And he wound up with a 68, his best opening round since he returned this year from a fourth back surgery.

"I feel like I'm not really thinking as much around the golf course," Woods said. "I can just see and feel it and go."

Each week is a little better for Woods, and Stenson saw the progress last week. The 41-year-old Swede typically takes a month off between the Middle East swing and the Florida swing, and he returned last week to a grouping of Woods and Jordan Spieth. That didn't bother him as much as his poor putting.

Bay Hill provided a change in both areas.

"It's great to see him back competing, but it was a little loud out there last week," Stenson said. "But that comes with the excitement of having him back and seeing him play well, so I thought it was great. ... I guess it's nice to get a little bit of a breather at times, though."

It really helps to be putting well, especially on pure greens at Bay Hill that already had a yellow hue to them. He spent the weekend at home in Orlando working with Phil Kenyon, his putting coach, and it seemed to help. Stenson took only 20 putts, tying his personal best for fewest putts in a round on the PGA Tour.

He ran off five straight birdies around the turn, and he followed his lone bogey at the par-3 14th with two birdies and a 10-foot par save.

Woods had no complaints, and about the only thing that went wrong — except for the tee shot on No. 3 that went OB — was his prediction before he left Bay Hill. He was happy with anything in the 60s and said, "There won't be a lot of rounds out there that will be in the 60s. The golf course is playing difficult."

There were 13 more rounds in the 60s in the afternoon, including Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy at 69.

Only one of them was pleased with it. Els, who has gone more than a year since his last finish in the top 30, dropped only one shot, on the opening hole. McIlroy had five birdies through 10 holes and then hit out-of-bounds on the 18th hole for a double bogey.

Coming off a runner-up finish at the Valspar Championship that raised expectations of a victory being closer than ever, Woods started and finished strong, with one mishap in the middle.

His drive on No. 3, his 12th hole of the round, sailed to the right and went off a cart path and toward the houses. Only when he reached the ball did Woods find it had rolled into the bottom of a mesh fence. It looked like it was in play, except the poles on the waist-high fence were the boundaries, and his ball was inches outside of them.

He went back to the tee, sprayed the next tee shot under a tree and made double bogey.

And then came the big finish — two birdies on the par 5s, including a bold flop shot from a tight lie over a bunker at No. 6, and the 70-foot putt he was hoping would be close. Woods immediately pressed his hand down, asking for the ball to slow down, and then watched it drop for a most unlikely birdie.

"I was trying to lag it down there and just make my par and get out of here," he said. "It had to crash at the hole — which I'm not complaining — and it went in."

He closed with a 12-foot putt to save par from the bunker.

Former PGA champion Jimmy Walker, Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau were at 67.

Walker was on the other side of the golf course finishing up at the same time as Woods. He holed a wedge from 132 yards on the 18th for an eagle, matching his best score at Bay Hill. It was especially gratifying because he wasn't even planning to play this week.

He had a trip to Augusta National planned with some friends and club members and thought it was this weekend. Instead, it was meant to be Monday and Tuesday. Walker's wife, Erin, has a horse-jumping show in West Palm Beach. The kids are with their grandparents skiing in Utah.

"I figured I might as well play," Walker said.

He had two days at Augusta National, didn't have a practice round at Bay Hill and felt right at home.

"It's just golf," he shrugged. "Just hit the shots. I've done so many Monday qualifiers earlier in my career where you never see the golf course. Sometimes it helps because you're not overdoing it."

Hamilton "super relaxed" amid contract talks with Mercedes

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton.
(AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Daniella Matar

Turin, Italy (AP) — Lewis Hamilton is "super relaxed" amid ongoing contract negotiations with Mercedes and the four-time world champion hinted it could be his last deal as a Formula One driver.

Hamilton is entering the final season of his three-year contract but talks are underway about a new deal with Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff.

The British driver had said last month he hoped to get it done before the new season gets underway but he acknowledged Wednesday that it's now unlikely to happen before the first race in Melbourne on March 25.

"We started talking about it over the winter and I was like I'll come back to it and then we picked it up again and I was like I'll come back to it. It's not really my priority at the moment," Hamilton told The Associated Press in an interview.

"I'm really super relaxed, I don't feel pressure from the team, I don't feel pressure within myself. I want to continue racing so I'll have to do a contract at some stage but I'm definitely not going to do it when people want me to do it. I'll do it when it's ready."

If he does sign a new deal with Mercedes, it's expected to be for another three-year span. But while he feels he could stay at the top of his game for seven more years, the 33-year-old is not sure he'll stay that long in the sport.

"I don't want to stop early, I don't want to stop premature that's for sure but I really don't know what my time is," Hamilton said. "I could probably stay until I'm 40 if I wanted to but I don't think I'm going to do that.

"I could stay one or two more years but in two years' time will I still have the excitement that I have now of going into another season? I really can't tell you."

Relaxed is exactly how Hamilton appeared as he basked in the sunshine at an event for Mercedes' sponsors in Turin.

A jovial Hamilton laughed and cracked jokes as he responded to questions on the balcony of Petronas' new $60 million research and technology center.

But while he was calm and collected, he was also visibly excited to get back to racing.

"I don't really like practice," he said. "I'm super competitive and that's never ever going to change. Even when I'm 80 years old I'll be competitive and hopefully I'll have grandchildren or something by then, still going to be wanting to beat them if I'm walking with my blooming zimmer (walking) frame. It's just how I'm built."

It's that drive and motivation which could see Hamilton become only the third driver to win more than four world championships — after seven-time winner Michael Schumacher and five-time champion Juan Manuel Fangio.

Hamilton said he's hasn't even contemplated that happening and doesn't know how it would feel to be in such illustrious company.

"People always asked me what would it mean if you got the third, the fourth. You just have no idea," he said before adding with a laugh: "It's like saying 'how would it feel if you won the lottery?' I'm sure you'd feel good but you don't really know how you're going to feel. It would probably feel good for a second and then you'd be overwhelmed with people trying to steal your money."

Dominant Daria: Kasatkina routs Kerber at Indian Wells

Borna Coric, of Croatia, celebrates after winning a game against Kevin Anderson, of South Africa, during the quarterfinals at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 15, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Beth Harris

Indian Wells, Calif. (AP) — Daria Kasatkina kept her focus for all of 58 minutes.

That's how long it took to dispatch former No. 1 Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Russian hasn't dropped a set in four matches at Indian Wells, knocking out U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens and No. 2-ranked Caroline Wozniacki along the way.

"Maybe, yeah, from the side or with the score it looks like it was simple, but of course it's not," Kasatkina said. "I knew that in one moment if I will lose focus just for a second, they will come back and then the big battle, five hours again, will start."

No chance against Kerber.

The German never managed a break point against Kasatkina's serve. The Russian connected on 82 percent of her first serves, winning 22 of 32 first-serve points.

"This one I will try to forget as fast as possible," Kerber said.

In the men's quarterfinals, Borna Coric of Croatia upset No. 7 seed Kevin Anderson 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) for his first win in four tries against the South African.

Coric next faces either No. 1 Roger Federer or Chung Hyeon of South Korea, who were to meet Thursday night.

Besides Stephens and Australian Open winner Wozniacki, Kasatkina has beaten the other current Grand Slam titleholders in the past year: French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza.

That's part of the reason for her impressive rise in the rankings over the last three years, and she's guaranteed to make her highest move yet as a result of her deep run in the desert. She came into the tournament at No. 19, two spots lower than her career-best. She could move to 15th or 16th, and has a shot at the top 10 if she would win the title.

But that's more than she cared to consider, especially against Kerber.

"Actually, my head was quite empty," she said, smiling.

Whenever she can get away, Kasatkina can be found in Barcelona. Her favorite soccer team is there, and she loves the architecture, the seaside location, and the food, with paella and tapas her top choices. And a little bit of wine, too, even though she's not 21.

"In Europe it doesn't matter," she said. "With good company, of course, you can have a glass or two."

Kasatkina will play either No. 8 seed Venus Williams or 27th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain in the semis.

Regardless of the opponent, she wants to play at night.

"I just want to be on the central court, prime time," she said, smiling. "In the evening, something special is coming from here, from the heart."

The other women's semifinal is already set: No. 1 Simona Halep against Japan's Naomi Osaka, another 20-year-old making a huge run through the draw. Osaka's victims have included Maria Sharapova, No. 31 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 5 Karolina Pliskova.

Southgate says England should go to World Cup in Russia


Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May stands outside The Mill pub, as she views the area where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found critically ill, in Salisbury, England, Thursday, March 15. (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP)

London (AP) — England coach Gareth Southgate says his team should go to the World Cup despite Russia being blamed for poisoning a former spy in Britain.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered politicians and royals not to attend the World Cup after former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious after being exposed to a nerve agent.

But the government has not ordered the national soccer team to boycott the June 14-July 15 soccer tournament.

Southgate says it's a "serious matter" and "developing very quickly." But based on the briefings he has received, he says "we are preparing to go to the World Cup. There is no doubt in my mind that is what we should be doing."

England's World Cup campaign opens against Tunisia on June 18 in Volgograd.

Update March 15, 2018

Messi reaches 100 CL goals, Barcelona beat Chelsea 3-0

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the Champions League round of sixteen second leg match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, March 14. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Joseph Wilson

Barcelona, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi joined Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League's 100-goal club after scoring twice to lead Barcelona past Chelsea and into the Champions League quarterfinals for an 11th straight season on Wednesday.

Messi also set up Ousmane Dembele in a 3-0 win at Camp Nou after he had scored Barcelona's goal in the opening-leg 1-1 draw in London.

Messi beat Thibaut Courtois with two strikes between the Chelsea goalkeeper's legs from very tight angles on the side of the box. He struck the opener three minutes into the match and took Barcelona's third goal in the 63rd.

Ronaldo, with 117 goals, is the only other player to reach the century-mark in Europe's elite club competition. Messi reached his 100th goal in 123 matches, while Real Madrid's star needed 144 games.

But the most dazzling moment from the Argentina forward, who returned from missing one match for the birth of his third son on Saturday, came when he helped Dembele score his first goal for Barcelona after he stole the ball from former Barcelona teammate Cesc Fabregas and darted past two would-be tacklers in the 20th.

While Chelsea coach Antonio Conte lamented his players' near misses — they hit the woodwork four times over the two legs — he lavished praise on Messi, whom he congratulated on the pitch following the final whistle.

"I think when you have the opportunity to make a great compliment to Messi, it is right to recognize a super, super, super top player," Conte said. "We are talking about an extraordinary player. The best in the world. This type of player is born once in 50 years."

Barcelona remained unbeaten in 25 straight Champions League matches at Camp Nou, a run that dates back to 2013. The hosts also stayed in contention for a rare treble of titles. They lead the Spanish league and have reached the final of the Copa del Rey.

Chelsea will now have to focus on finishing in the top four in the Premier League to return to the tournament. They are currently in fifth place.

Conte looked to repeat the team's relative success at frustrating Barcelona's attack from the first leg with a back line of five defenders.

But Messi needed very little to poke a hole in Chelsea's wall.

Barcelona's all-time leading scorer started an attack with a pass meant for Dembele that was twice deflected before Luis Suarez deftly flicked it back to Messi.

The Argentine forward targeted the only gap available: the slot in-between the legs of Courtois.

"We know that we can always count on him," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. "It goes with his character and the responsibility he feels for the team."

That ability to know exactly what his teammates need was clear when Messi swooped in to steal the ball from Fabregas in midfield and charged toward the box. Instead of passing to Suarez, he let the striker draw the remaining defenders to him, and then passed across for the unmarked Dembele to drive a rising shot over Courtois.

It was Dembele's first goal for Barcelona in his 12th appearance for the club and could represent a breakthrough for the 20-year-old France winger, who had been hesitant and error-prone in his previous games after recovering from two injuries since his move from Borussia Dortmund that could reach 147 million euros (about $173 million).

Despite getting nothing from striker Olivier Giroud, Chelsea continued to press for a goal and came closest near the end of the first half.

Willian and Eden Hazard both drew saves from goalie Marc-Andre ter Stegen before Marcos Alonso then sent a free kick off the post in injury time.

Dembele also contributed in defense when he hustled back to make a clean tackle on Alonso when he was preparing to shoot from close early in the second half.

Messi made sure of the victory when he received a pass from Suarez and sped around a group of three defenders before humbling Courtois with a second strike between the legs.

Antonio Rudiger came closest to a consolation goal for Chelsea, but his header hit the crossbar in the 90th minute, adding more near misses to Willian's two shots off the woodwork from the first leg.

Bayern beat Besiktas 3-1 to reach Champions League quarters

Bayern's Rafinha, left, and Besiktas' Jeremain Lens challenge for the ball during their Champions League, round of 16, second leg, match at Vodafone Arena stadium in Istanbul, Wednesday, March 14. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Istanbul (AP) — Bayern Munich easily advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals for the seventh straight year with a 3-1 win at Besiktas on Wednesday.

Thiago Alcantara, Gokhan Gonul's own goal and Sandro Wagner gave Bayern an 8-1 win on aggregate following the side's 5-0 victory in the first leg of the last-16 tie.

That result left Besiktas in need of the biggest comeback in the competition's history, and coach Senol Gunes reacted with seven changes to the side that lost in Munich. Only Caner Erkin, Gary Medel, Ricardo Quaresma and Vagner Love kept their places.

Despite the huge advantage, Bayern's Jupp Heynckes sent arguably his strongest side out as the 72-year-old became the first coach to claim 11 consecutive wins in the Champions League.

The team selection paid off as Thomas Mueller crossed for Thiago to kill off any Besiktas hopes of a huge upset in the 18th minute.

Bayern's away goal meant Besiktas needed seven in response to progress. The visitors' level consequently dropped and Besiktas improved toward the end of the half.

Gonul started the second half with an own goal, minutes before a cat on the sideline caused referee Michael Oliver to halt the game briefly. It resumed after the cat jumped back over the advertising hoarding.

Love got the fans cheering again when Gonul pounced on a mistake from David Alaba to set the Brazilian up for Besiktas' consolation goal before the hour-mark.

Alaba atoned by setting up Wagner for Bayern's third in the final minutes.

"We completed the job and now we'll look ahead to the next round," Mueller said.

The only concern for Bayern was an apparent foot injury for Thiago, who was visibly frustrated as he went off in the 35th for James Rodriguez.

"I don't think it's too serious," Heynckes said.

The home fans spent the last 15 minutes celebrating their side, singing and waving their flags in recognition of the team's campaign. Besiktas were playing in the knockout stages for the first time after topping its group ahead of Porto, Monaco and Leipzig.

Bayern fans are hoping for a repeat of Heynckes' treble from his previous stint in 2013. Their side can wrap up the league title this weekend, while a cup semifinal against Schalke also awaits.

Federer wins at Indian Wells, sets up rematch with Chung

Roger Federer, of Switzerland, returns a shot to Jeremy Chardy, of France, during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Wednesday, March 14, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Beth Harris

Indian Wells, Calif. (AP) — Roger Federer defeated Jeremy Chardy of France 7-5, 6-4 in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday, and at 15-0 the world's top-ranked men's player is off to his best start since 2006.

The 36-year-old Swiss superstar can equal his season-best start of 16-0 with a win in the quarterfinals, where he will meet Chung Hyeon of South Korea in a rematch of their Australian Open semifinal.

Federer advanced to the final in Melbourne when Chung retired in the second set trailing 6-1, 5-2, and went on to win a five-set final against Marin Cilic.

Chung, seeded 23rd at Indian Wells, beat 30th-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-1, 6-3.

Since his Grand Slam breakthrough Down Under, Chung has been on a roll. He's reached the quarterfinals or better in four of five tournaments and improved to 15-5 this year.

Federer is chasing a record sixth title in the desert.

"Just playing really fast and good serve, good baseline," Chung said of Federer. "He play everything good, so I'm just trying to enjoy on the court."

Against Federer, Chardy played a tough first set in windy conditions that persisted throughout the day. Federer earned the only break in the 11th game and then served a love game to take the set.

Federer again took the only break in the second set to go up 5-4. His forehand pulled Chardy completely off the court and Federer hit a crosscourt backhand winner off Chardy's return. Federer served his fifth love game of the match to close it out.

Chardy committed 46 unforced errors to 29 for Federer, who won 90 percent of his total service points.

Against Cuevas, Chung dominated in racing to a 6-1, 5-0 lead before Cuevas fought off seven match points to break back in the sixth game. Cuevas then broke Chung again to close to 5-3, but the Korean closed out the win.

"It was a really tough match against Pablo," Chung said. "I have few match points but start (getting) windy and he playing good. Not easy to play with the wind, but I'm just trying to focus all the time."

Simona Halep also fought the wind and a pesky opponent to reach the semifinals.

The world's top-ranked woman outlasted Petra Martic of Croatia 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-3 and improved to 18-1 in matches this year.

Winds gusting to 15 mph made shots tricky. Trailing 4-2 in the first set, Martic closed to 5-4 before Halep served it out.

Martic controlled the second set, taking a 5-2 lead before Halep forced the tiebreaker. The Romanian tied it 5-all before Martic won the final two points to force a third set. Halep rallied from a 2-1 deficit to tie it 3-all before winning the last three games.

"I was a little bit frustrated about the game today because the wind didn't give us the rhythm," Halep said in an on-court interview. "That's maybe why I'm here because I refuse to lose."

Halep next plays the winner of a quarterfinal between No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic and Naomi Osaka of Japan.

In other fourth-round men's matches, Borna Coric of Croatia outlasted American Taylor Fritz 6-2, 6-7 (8), 6-4 and No. 31 Phillipp Kohlschreiber of Germany beat Pierre-Hughes Herbert of France 6-4, 7-6 (7).

Coric next plays No. 7 Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who beat No. 11 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8).

Fritz had a chance to serve out the second set at 5-4 and couldn't do it, but he saved a match point down 6-5 in the tiebreaker before trying it up and letting out a yell.

Fritz broke in the first game of the third set, but Coric tied it in the fourth game. He then saved a break point in the ninth game before breaking Fritz to clinch the match in the next game on his fourth match point overall.

"I stayed calm. It was very, very tough second set," Coric said. "It was ups and downs and set points, the tiebreak. I could already be in my room watching Netflix and I was out there playing on that wind and that sun."

America's Cup skipper Spithill joins Italy's Luna Rossa

In this June 16, 2017, file photo, Oracle Team USA skipper and helmsman Jimmy Spithill stands alongside the America's Cup trophy before a news conference in Hamilton, Bermuda. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Bernie Wilson

San Diego (AP) — America's Cup star Jimmy Spithill is headed to the Italian syndicate Luna Rossa, leaving the future of Oracle Team USA in doubt.

Luna Rossa, backed by the Prada fashion house, announced this week that Spithill, an Australian, has rejoined the syndicate after 11 years away. He was helmsman in the 2007 challenger trials, when Luna Rossa reached the finals before losing to Emirates Team New Zealand.

Spithill's signing with Luna Rossa, which is the Challenger of Record for the 2021 America's Cup, raises questions about whether Oracle Team USA's owner, tech billionaire Larry Ellison, is finished with the America's Cup.

Spithill skippered Oracle Team USA to consecutive landmark America's Cup victories.

As a 30-year-old in 2010, Spithill became the youngest skipper to win the America's Cup when he steered Oracle Team USA to victory over a Swiss crew in a one-off showdown that was the result of a bitter court fight.

In 2013, he led Oracle Team USA to one of the biggest comebacks in sports. After Oracle fell behind 8-1, he steered the American-based boat to eight straight victories against Emirates Team New Zealand on San Francisco Bay to retain the Auld Mug.  His third go-round with Oracle ended with a lopsided loss to the Kiwis in June in Bermuda.

Ellison reportedly is interested in putting together a series that will be contested in the 50-foot catamarans used in the 2017 America's Cup. The 2021 America's Cup will be sailed in radical foiling monohulls.

Update March 14, 2018

Sevilla oust Man United from Champions League with 2-1 win

Manchester United's Nemanja Matic reacts after Sevilla scored their second goal of the game during the Champions League round of 16 second leg match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Tuesday, March 13. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)

Steve Douglas

Manchester, England (AP) — Frustrated and feeling increasingly uneasy, Manchester United fans unleashed a loud cry of "attack, attack, attack" with their team's Champions League fate hanging in the balance against Sevilla.

It was the Spanish side who answered the call.

Within eight minutes, Sevilla had scored two goals and were heading into the quarterfinals of Europe's top competition for the first time in 60 years.

In the biggest surprise of the last 16, Sevilla eliminated United by winning the second leg 2-1 at Old Trafford on Tuesday, thanks to two goals in the space of four minutes by substitute Wissam Ben Yedder. In the night's other match, Roma advanced after Edin Dzeko scored early in the second half to secure a 1-0 home win over Shakhtar Donetsk, overturning a 2-1 first-leg defeat to advance on away goals.

It was a historic night for Sevilla and an embarrassing one for United, who managed only four shots on target in 180 minutes against one of the weakest defenses left in the competition.

"I don't want to make a drama out of it," United manager Jose Mourinho said, struggling for an explanation for his team's feeble performance. "That's football. It's not the end of the world."

United were lucky to escape from the first leg with a 0-0 draw and it always felt a dangerous score line for United.

The longer it went scoreless, the more nervy it got inside Old Trafford. The "attack, attack, attack" chant — made famous during the glory years under Alex Ferguson — came after 70 minutes, and Sevilla's response was to throw on Ben Yedder two minutes later.

The French striker, a former international futsal player, gave the visitors a cutting edge the man he replaced — Luis Muriel — didn't offer. Another two minutes later, he ran onto Pablo Sarabia's precise through-ball, got half a meter on marker Eric Bailly and drove a low shot inside the post.

De Gea had no chance with that goal, but could have done more about the second. A Sevilla corner was flicked onto the back post where Ben Yedder stooped to send in a header that De Gea tried to palm over the bar but only succeeded in diverting it into his own net.

Ben Yedder moved onto eight goals in this season's competition and he missed a chance for a hat trick as United's defense fell apart in the latter stages. Only Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo — with 12 goals — has more.

Romelu Lukaku pulled one back for United from close range in the 84th but a late rally couldn't prevent United slipping out of the competition in meek fashion.

"I sat in this chair twice in the Champions League," Mourinho told reporters after the match. "I knock out Manchester United at home at Old Trafford. I sit in this chair with Porto (in 2004), Man United out. I sit in this chair with Real Madrid, Man United out. I don't think it's something new for the club."

But unlike in those victories, Mourinho might have got his tactics wrong this time.

By starting Marouane Fellaini for the first time since Nov. 22, United manager Jose Mourinho ceded some of the midfield control that was a standout feature of his team's 2-1 win over Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.

There was space in front of United's back four, with holding midfielder Nemanja Matic isolated as Fellaini roamed, and a team with more incisiveness than Sevilla would have capitalized earlier than it did.

As it was, Sevilla couldn't find the target with a slew of efforts from distance in the first half but, with Steven Nzonzi and Evert Banega controlling the midfield, United were not finding it easy.

After halftime, United looked more threatening — Jesse Lingard's low shot brought a good save from goalkeeper Sergio Rico — but were thankful for a last-gasp tackle by Bailly to deny Joaquin Correa just as the Sevilla forward was about to shoot.

Mourinho chose to bring Paul Pogba on for Fellaini on the hour mark to bring some variety to the team's attacking moves. But it was the introduction of Ben Yedder that had the bigger impact.

Woods, Els named captains of Presidents Cup in Australia

Tiger Woods is shown in this Feb. 16, 2018, file photo.
(AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

Doug Ferguson

Orlando, Fla. (AP) — Ernie Els was always the logical choice to be the International team's next captain in the Presidents Cup.

Tiger Woods at first thought it might be soon for him.

That changed a couple of months ago when Woods asked PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan about the U.S. captain for next year's matches in Australia, and the usual suspects were mentioned. Monahan asked if anyone had been left out, and Woods added another name to the short list.


Woods and Els, who both played eight times in the Presidents Cup and were involved in a high-stakes playoff that ended in a tie, were introduced as captains on Tuesday. The 2019 matches will be Dec. 12-15 at Royal Melbourne, the latest the event has been held.

Woods was an assistant captain when the American won for the seventh straight time, 19-11, last year at Liberty National. In early discussions about the next one, Woods said he was more comfortable serving as an assistant.

"But then after a little bit of thought I said, 'You know what? That sounds like something I really want to do,'" Woods said. "I called Jay up and said, 'Might you be interested in me possibly being the captain in 2019?' Silence. And he said, 'Yeah, we might be able to work that out.' So here I am."

Still to be determined is whether Woods plays.

Coming off his fourth back surgery, Woods took a big step in his comeback last week when he finished one shot behind at the Valspar Championship.

"I would like to get to a point where I would have to make that decision, get to where I'm playing well enough where I could make the team on points," Woods said. "But I wouldn't want to have the conversation and go, 'Self.' And so let's just see how it progresses."

Hale Irwin was the only player-captain in the Presidents Cup in 1994, the first event, and he had Paul Azinger handle the captaincy when Irwin was playing.

Woods and Els are forever linked in the Presidents Cup. The matches ended 17-all in 2003 in South Africa, and the rules then required captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player to put one name in an envelope for a sudden-death playoff in case of a tie.

Both made par on the 18th hole in the playoff. Els had to make a 12-footer to stay alive on the second hole. As darkness fell, Woods had to make a double-breaking putt from 15 feet for par. Els followed with a 6-foot par putt. Nicklaus and Player agreed the cup should end in a tie.

"We couldn't believe the amount of pressure we felt, and we both had won major championships," Woods said. "But nothing felt like that."

The International team has won only one time, in 1998 at Royal Melbourne, when the matches were played Dec. 10-13. The American team had most of their fun in the casinos or Christmas shopping online. The second time at Royal Melbourne was Nov. 17-20 in 2011, and Woods holed the clinching putt in a 19-15 victory.

Next year's matches will present a few changes in qualifying and format.

Both teams will get four captain's picks instead of two, and qualifying will end after the Tour Championship, which is expected to be early September. The picks will be closer to the matches. Also, teams must use players at least once (previously it was twice) before the singles matches.

Woods also was an assistant captain at the Ryder Cup in 2016, and he will be an assistant for this year's Ryder Cup in France.

"It was just a natural progression to one day become a captain," Woods said.

He will be 43 when the matches are played, making him the youngest captain in Presidents Cup history.

Greek prosecutor to probe armed PAOK soccer club owner

PAOK owner, businessman Ivan Savvidis, second from left, approaches AEK Athens' Manager Operation Department Vassilis Dimitriadis, center, as his bodyguard and PAOK's players Fernando Varela, second from right, and Djalma Campos, right, try to stop him during a Greek League soccer match between PAOK and AEK Athens in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, March 11. (InTime Sports via AP)

Thessaloniki, Greece (AP) — A prosecutor ordered a judicial investigation Tuesday after the gun-toting owner of PAOK Thessaloniki marched onto the field following a disputed goal in a Greek league match.

The incident prompted condemnation from FIFA and an indefinite suspension of league play.

The probe by prosecutors in Thessaloniki will also investigate why police allegedly ignored instructions to arrest Ivan Savvidis on the spot, issued by a prosecutor on duty at Sunday's game against AEK Athens.

Savvidis entered the field accompanied by bodyguards, apparently carrying a pistol in a waist holster. He made no visible move to use the weapon, for which he has a license.

Fernando Varela had just scored in the 90th minute, putting PAOK ahead 1-0. The referee signaled a goal but then seemed to disallow it for offside. The match was abandoned.

Savvidis apologized Tuesday for what he called an "emotional reaction" to the referee's decision and "the general negative condition in Greek soccer."

In a statement on the club's website, Savvidis said his only intention had been "to protect tens of thousands of PAOK fans from provocations and clashes (with) victims."

Savvidis' behavior provoked PAOK's suspension Tuesday from the 230-member group of Europe's most influential clubs. The European Club Association said its board voted unanimously to suspend PAOK until a March 27 members' assembly in Rome.

2 horses die on opening day of Cheltenham Festival

Race winner Buveur D'Air ridden by Barry Geraghty, foreground, clears the last hurdle alongside Melon, ridden by Paul Townend, as they race to finish-line in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham England Tuesday March 13. (David Davies/PA via AP)

Cheltenham, England (AP) — The opening day of the prestigious Cheltenham Festival was marred by the death of a horse in each of the final two races on Tuesday.

Mossback had to be put down after suffering a shoulder injury in a fall during the National Hunt Chase. Report To Base was put down after falling in the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase.

Four horses died in last year's festival. Seven died in 2016.

Buveur D'Air became the first horse since 2005 to retain the Champion Hurdle title by winning by a head in the feature race on Day 1.

The 4-6 favorite gave trainer Nicky Henderson a record seventh victory in the race, but only after battling back after being passed by 7-1 shot Melon on the uphill finish.

Buveur D'Air is the sixth horse to win the Champion Hurdle more than once. The last to win two straight was Hardy Eustace in 2005.

Willie Mullins, Melon's trainer, was denied in that race but finished the opening day with three winners, including Rathvinden — ridden by his son, Patrick — in the National Hunt Chase.

The four-day festival is the highlight of the jumps season in British horse racing, culminating in the Gold Cup on Friday.

Update March 13, 2018

USGA, R&A announce new set of modern rules for golf

In this June 19, 2016, file photo, Dustin Johnson, right, talks to a rules official on the fifth green during the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Doug Ferguson

St. Andrews, Scotland (AP) - Golf now has a modern set of rules for the Royal & Ancient game, an extensive overhaul that took six years and is aimed at making the rules easier to understand.

The R&A and USGA announced the final version of modernized rules on Monday. They take effect in 2019.

"This was out of recognition that in trying to make the rules more fair, they became too complicated," said Thomas Pagel, the USGA's senior director of rules and amateur status. "With 30-plus years of tinkering, they got complicated, and that wasn't good for the game."

Among the changes will be how to take penalty drops — from knee-high length starting next year, instead of from shoulder height. There no longer will be penalties if a golf ball accidentally moves on the green, if a club touches the ground in a hazard or if the ball hits a flagstick that is not being tended on the green.

Also, caddies can no longer line up their players while they are setting up over a shot.

This is the most comprehensive change to the rules since the first set was published in 1744, only in this case, the book got smaller. There now are 24 rules instead of 34, and "The Official Guide to the Rules of Golf" replaces about 1,300 examples in the Decisions book.

"With revised rules being easier to understand, we think committees will be able to reach the right conclusion without having 1,300 fact sets," Pagel said.

The modernization project began with a meeting at St. Andrews in April 2012 among the R&A, USGA, PGA Tour and European Tour. They introduced a proposed draft a year ago and during six months of public feedback received some 30,000 comments from 102 countries through surveys, social media and phone calls.

The original proposal was for players to drop the ball 2 inches from the ground. Pagel said there were concerns that it was too close to the ground. The idea was to get the ball back in play, and knee-high length was determined to keep the ball from bouncing away from the right area and keep some randomness to how it lies.

One rule is only for recreational golf. Starting next year, a local rule will let golfers simply drop a ball that goes out-of-bounds in the vicinity of where it went out — even if that means the fairway — with an additional two-shot penalty.

That was done for pace of play and will not be applied in professional golf and other elite competitions.

Other changes include:

— Eliminating penalties for accidentally moving a ball in the green or while searching for a lost ball.

— Players will have only three minutes to search for a lost ball instead of five minutes.

— Players now can repair spike marks or shoe prints on the putting green. Some players expressed concern that this might slow the pace if players spent too much time grooming the putting surface. Pagel said pace-of-play policies would keep that from happening, and it was a rule change that was needed for competition. No one wants to see a tournament decided by a spike mark in the line of a putt.

"It's the skill we're testing," he said. "We're not testing whether you can navigate around a shoe print. Really it allows for great equity across the field."

— Eliminating the penalty for removing loose impediments in a bunker and the general touching of sand with the hand or club (without grounding the club next to the ball). Also, players can declare a ball to be unplayable in a bunker, take a two-shot penalty and play from outside the bunker.

The modern rules are available at or at .

The tours are likely to provide training packages or seminars to get players up to speed before the new rules go into effect next year.

Star bowler Rabada banned for rest of SA-Australia series

In this photo taken Friday March 9, South Africa's Kagiso Rabada celebrates taking a wicket on the first day of the second cricket test between South Africa and Australia at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (AP Photo/Michael Sheehan)

Gerald Imray

Port Elizabeth, South Africa (AP) — Star South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was banned for the rest of the series against Australia on Monday after being found guilty of two charges of misconduct for aggressive wicket celebrations in the second test in Port Elizabeth.

Rabada's first offense, of intentionally bumping into Australia captain Steve Smith after dismissing him in the first innings, earned the young quick three demerit points and took him over a disciplinary threshold. That led to an automatic two-test ban.

Because of that, Rabada will miss the decisive tests in Cape Town and Johannesburg having won the man-of-the-match award for his 11 wickets in South Africa's series-leveling win in the second match in Port Elizabeth.

The decision by the International Cricket Council was announced just hours after Rabada was the star of the show in the second test at St. George's Park.

"I've let myself down and let the team down," Rabada said. "I have to see it as a learning curve. I'm not happy about it, (but) time moves on."

Rabada contested the first charge, claiming the contact with Smith, who he brushed past as he celebrated the wicket, was unintentional. ICC rules brought in recently are aimed at stopping any physical contact at all between bowlers and batsmen, though, in an attempt to crack down on incidents that might cause flashpoints in games.

Rabada pleaded guilty to the second charge of provoking Australia batsman David Warner when he screamed in Warner's face after dismissing him in the second innings.

The South African team said it was considering whether to appeal Rabada's ban. It has 48 hours to decide on a possible appeal, the team said, although captain Faf du Plessis admitted he was not confident an appeal would be successful.

The punishment for Rabada, one of the most exciting young bowlers in cricket and recently ranked No. 1 in tests, is the latest in a series of disciplinary problems for him over the last 12 months.

The 22-year-old Rabada was banned for one test in England last year, and also received disciplinary demerit points for over-the-top celebrations in games against Sri Lanka and India. Those demerit points added to the points he received for the Smith incident in Port Elizabeth, meaning he reached a threshold and was banned.

"I take no pleasure in seeing a player suspended, particularly a young player of Kagiso's talent, but he has now breached the ICC code of conduct on a number of occasions," match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand said.

The decision robs South Africa of their best bowler in a series they have just fought their way back into.

Rabada is one of the most popular cricketers in South Africa, mainly for his major talent but also because he is a young black player in a sport focusing on bringing black players through to the national team to erase the legacy of apartheid.

Rabada does not come from hardship, though. His father is a doctor and his mother a lawyer and he went to a well-known private school in Johannesburg, one of the most expensive in the country.

He represented South Africa at schoolboy level and at under-19, and won the under-19 World Cup in 2014. He was picked for stardom while still a teenager.

Before his punishment was confirmed on Monday, Rabada himself appeared to concede that he was likely out of the rest of the series.

"I would love to be playing," Rabada said, but "it doesn't look good."

Australia allrounder Mitchell Marsh was also found guilty of swearing at Rabada during the fourth day's play on Monday and received a demerit point.

Marsh was the fifth player after South Africa's Rabada and Quinton de Kock and Australia's Warner and Nathan Lyon to be found guilty of misconduct in an ill-tempered series that is only halfway through.

South Africa clinched the series leveling win on Monday by chasing down the meager target of 101 before tea on the fourth day. It wasn't straightforward, with Australia removing Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers in quick succession to have the South Africans 81-4.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis took control to see his team home with Theunis de Bruyn.

Federer moves on, Stephens loses again at Indian Wells

Roger Federer returns a shot to Filip Krajinovic during the third round of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif., Monday, March 12. (AP Photo/Crystal Chatham)

Beth Harris

Indian Wells, Calif. (AP) — Roger Federer rolled past No. 25 seed Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 6-1 in pursuit of a record sixth BNP Paribas Open title on Monday, while Sloane Stephens remained mired in her post-U.S. Open slump.

Federer improved to 65-5 since returning from a left knee injury last year with his third-round victory in a rare day match. The Swiss star's young son, Lenny, watched from a box wearing a Superman cap.

What he saw was his 36-year-old father overcome a shaky first set in which there were four breaks of serve. Federer hit a running forehand passing shot to break at love and take the set 6-2. Federer cruised to a 3-0 lead in the second and closed out the win in 58 minutes.

"I was playing aggressive and feeling like he was not loving my slice," said Federer, who owns the No. 1 ranking. "I was able to mix up my game nicely, make it difficult for him."

Serena and Venus Williams were to resume their rivalry in a third-round night match, the sisters' earliest meeting since Venus won in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open. Serena owns a 17-11 advantage overall and has won eight of their last nine matches.

Stephens lost to Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-4, 6-3, and fell to 2-4 in matches this year.

"I mean, not going to be too down about it," Stephens said. "There's always next week and the week after."

Kasatkina has beaten all four of the current Grand Slam champions in the last year: French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko, Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki, Wimbledon winner Garbine Muguruza and now Stephens.

Stephens, who won her first major at Flushing Meadows last fall, lost in the first rounds at the Australian Open and in Sydney before reaching the quarterfinals at Acapulco.

Wozniacki outlasted Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 for her 31st career match win at Indian Wells, where she has played 12 straight years. She won in the desert in 2011 and has been runner-up twice.

In other third-round matches, No. 7 Carolina Garcia of France beat 26th-seeded Daria Gavrilova of Australia 7-5, 6-4; No. 10 Angelique Kerber of Germany defeated No. 24 Elena Vesnina of Russia 7-5, 6-2; and American Danielle Collins continued her run with a 6-4, 6-4 win over fellow wild card Sofya Zhuk of Russia.

"It definitely feels like a big deal because I have never gone this far in a tournament," Collins said.

On the men's side, Borna Coric of Croatia upset No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-1, 6-3; Jeremy Chardy beat No. 20 Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in an all-French matchup; and No. 11 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain defeated Daniil Medvedev of Russia 6-1, 7-5.

Alex Ovechkin joins NHL's exclusive 600-goal club

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin celebrates his goal in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Monday, March 12, in Washington. It was Ovechkin's 600th career goal. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Stephen Whyno

Washington (AP) — Alex Ovechkin put back a rebound and skated into the spotlight as the latest member of the NHL's 600-goal club.

The captain of the Washington Capitals scored twice Monday night against the Winnipeg Jets to reach the milestone in his 990th regular-season game. Ovechkin became the fourth-fastest player in NHL history to 600 behind only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Brett Hull.

"Pretty amazing feeling, pretty cool feeling," Ovechkin said after the second period. "My wife is here. She just got back from Moscow. She said, 'I have a feeling you're gonna score 600 tonight.'"

Ovechkin's rebound goal past Connor Hellebuyck 3:53 into the second period was his 42nd of the season as he tries to hit 50 for the eighth time. His first goal 4:35 into the first period came on a 5-on-3 power play as the Russian winger looked determined to reach 600 after several games on the doorstep.

Capitals fans who have watched Ovechkin shine as the most productive goal scorer of the past decade-plus gave him a standing ovation for almost a minute after he reached the mark. Chants of "Ovi! Ovi!" continued as he waved from the bench in the moments after and during a video montage at the next timeout.

After scoring 33 goals in 2016-17, his second-lowest total in a non-lockout-shortened season, the 32-year-old Ovechkin's resurgence made his climb to 600 all the more impressive. No player 32 or older has led the NHL in goals since Phil Esposito in 1974-75.

"He probably is the best goal scorer of our generation," said Tom Wilson, who had the primary assist on Ovechkin's 600th. "It's pretty fun when every time you get him the puck there's a good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net."

Ovechkin recaptured sole possession of the NHL lead against Jets winger Patrik Laine, who had tied him after idolizing the star forward growing up. Even while hoping Ovechkin wouldn't score No. 600 against Winnipeg, Laine can't help but appreciate the scoring pace.

"That's pretty amazing to reach that," Laine said Monday morning. "Six-hundred goals in under 1,000 games, it's pretty unreal."

Two former Capitals teammates, Matt Hendricks and Mathieu Perreault, were watching from the Jets' side when Ovechkin reached his latest round number in a career full of accomplishments.

"When I played here, it's funny, you always want to get the puck on his stick," said Hendricks, who was in the penalty box for Ovechkin's first goal. "He has that ability to change games just like that. ... Ovi's a terrific talent."

Perreault, who played with 684-goal scorer Teemu Selanne in Anaheim, said Ovechkin reaching 600 so quickly was indescribable.

"The way he can shoot the puck and score goals is beyond what you can even think about," Perreault said. "I can tell my grandkids, my kids, I played with Ovechkin. He's going to be a legend of the game."

Ovechkin has been an impressive scorer for a long time, but had to adapt his game several years ago when opponents figured out how to stop some of his usual moves. Barry Trotz taking over as Capitals coach helped Ovechkin round out his overall game and avoid the kind of lull that goal-scorers typically hit when they turn 30.

The growth in Ovechkin's game isn't lost on players and coaches around the league who have watched his career.

"When he came in (he was) a hitter almost — a shooter and a hitter," Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. "He was a very physical player, covered an awful lot of ice during the games. And he's matured into kind of picking his spots, he's still a hard guy to play against, physically very, very strong.

"But he uses the people around him better, maybe. And that's true of all players. But his game has really changed. He's really grown and matured."

Sky suspends former Liverpool player Carragher for spitting

TV soccer pundit Jamie Carragher is shown in this Feb. 24, 2009 file photo. (AP Photo/Arturo Rodriguez)

Rob Harris

London (AP) — Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was suspended as a soccer analyst by the Sky television network on Monday after being filmed spitting in the direction of a 14-year-old girl through his car window.

Carragher said that while his future at the broadcaster "remains to be seen," he had not offered his resignation. Britain's sports minister called Carragher's behavior "disgusting."

The incident happened on Saturday after Carragher left Old Trafford, where the former England international was working for Sky Sports at Manchester United's game against Liverpool.

In a video of the incident, the teenager's father repeatedly mentioned Saturday's score — Liverpool lost 2-1 — before Carragher spat.

"Sky takes this matter extremely seriously and strongly condemns Jamie's actions," Sky said in a statement. "We have made that clear to him in person today and suspended him from his duties. It falls well below the standards we expect of our people."

During an appearance on Sky News, after the spitting footage was aired on a big screen, Carragher called the incident a "moment of madness."

"My biggest regret is for the 14-year-old girl to be caught in the middle of it," Carragher said. "That devastates me more than anything. I've got a daughter exactly the same age and I can't say how I'd react if someone did that to her."

Carragher joined Sky after retiring from playing in 2013 and has won plaudits for his tactical analysis on the flagship "Monday Night Football" show and other Premier League broadcasts.

"I have brought shame on the name of football," Carragher said. "I was a role model, people looked up to me."

A lively on-air partnership has been formed with former Manchester United rival Gary Neville, who backed Carragher to keep his job.

"No excuses he's made a big mistake," Neville wrote on Twitter. "He's massively passionate about football and he's overstepped the mark and shouldn't have reacted. I've been on TV for 3 years with him and imo (in my opinion) this isolated incident shouldn't stop us working together."

The government welcomed Sky's decision to suspend Carragher.

"He's right to apologize," sports minister Tracey Crouch said. "It was absolutely disgusting."

The swift decision by Sky to suspend Carragher comes with the European pay TV broadcaster targeted for a takeover and under scrutiny from British regulators.

Comcast, the owner of NBC and Universal Pictures, launched a bid last month to rival an offer by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. It comes as The Walt Disney Co. tries to buy Fox for $52.4 billion on the assumption that Fox would buy out the rest of Sky.

Update March 12, 2018

Tottenham keep EPL top-4 hopes on track despite Kane injury

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-Min scores his side's second goal of the game against AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, Sunday March 11. (John Walton/PA via AP)

Sam Johnston

London (AP) — A goal down and Harry Kane injured, Tottenham's campaign for a third consecutive Premier League top-four finish looked to be taking a serious hit.

But Mauricio Pochettino's team had other ideas, delivering a stirring comeback to defeat Bournemouth 4-1 on Sunday.

Dele Alli equalized, before Son Heung-min struck twice and Serge Aurier nodded in to show Tottenham are far more than the "Harry Kane team," as they were described by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola earlier this season.

"Sometimes it looks that in football only the 11 players that play every week are important," Pochettino said. "But for me it's so important the squad, because with a greater squad, with everyone fighting for the same objective, you can achieve all that you want."

Spurs moved into third, a point above Liverpool, and five points clear of fifth-place Chelsea. Eight rounds remain in the race for the four Champions League spots.

Earlier Sunday, Arsenal defeated Watford 3-0 as Petr Cech became the first goalkeeper to reach 200 Premier League clean sheets.

The former Chelsea 'keeper saved Troy Deeney's penalty as goals from Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan ensured the Gunners ended a run of three straight league defeats.

Despite the victory, Arsenal are 12 points adrift of fourth place and Arsene Wenger's team selection suggested his attention is now firmly focused on the Gunners's Europa League campaign.

While Tottenham's win keeps them in a strong position for now, they will desperately hope that Kane is fit to return for their next league game, against Chelsea in three weeks' time.

"I am concerned, until he has a scan tomorrow we cannot say nothing more," Pochettino said. "We hope it's not a massive issue for him and for the team and as soon as possible he can recover again and be available."

The anxiety over Kane's condition, after an apparent injury to his right ankle, won't be limited to Tottenham. The Premier League's joint top scorer — tied with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah on 24 goals this season — is expected to lead the attack for England at this summer's World Cup in Russia.

England's opening game is against Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18th.

Casey wins at Innisbrook as Woods come up short by a putt

Paul Casey holds up the champion's trophy after winning the Valspar Championship golf tournament, Sunday, March 11, in Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

Doug Ferguson

Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP) — Right when Paul Casey felt he was a winner in the Valspar Championship, he looked up at the TV and saw a scene that was all too familiar.

Tiger Woods, red shirt blazing on Sunday, holed a 45-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole at Innisbrook that pulled him to within one shot of Casey's lead. Moments later, Woods settled over a birdie putt from just inside 40 feet that would have forced a playoff.

"I loved his putt on 17. That was amazing," Casey said. "I thought he was going to hole the one on 18."

Not this time.

Not yet.

A long victory drought on the PGA Tour ended Sunday, just not the one most people — Casey included — were expecting.

Casey rallied from five shots behind. He ran off three straight birdies early on the back nine, closed with a 6-under 65 and won by one shot when Patrick Reed had a 45-foot putt roll back to his feet on the 18th hole, and Woods came up a few feet short of a birdie putt on the final hole.

After Woods signed for a 1-under 70 — his first time since August 2013 that he tied for second with all four rounds under par — he worked his way toward Casey to congratulate him on his first PGA Tour title since the Houston Open in 2009, a span of 132 starts.

"It's the only time he's congratulated me immediately after a victory," Casey said. "Normally, it's the other way around. That's something special. Just really cool. I'm sure he was disappointed he didn't get the victory. I actually thought he was going to win today before the round started. I thought it was just teed up beautifully for him. I said a couple times, 'If I don't win this thing, I actually want Tiger to win it.'

"I'm glad it's this way."

Woods opened with a two-putt birdie to briefly tie for the lead. That was his last birdie until he revved up the raucous crowd with his long birdie on the 17th, giving him his best chance to win since his back problems began not long after his most recent victory, the Bridgestone Invitational in August 2013.

This was his fourth PGA Tour event since returning from his fourth back surgery. He is getting better with each tournament, though he didn't feel sharp with his irons on Sunday and played too often to the fat of the greens.

"I had a good shot at winning this golf tournament," Woods said. "A couple putts here and there, it could have been a different story."

Two shots behind going to the back nine, with Casey running out of birdie chances, Woods failed to birdie both par 5s. He pulled a wedge into the left rough on No. 11 and three-putted from 80 feet on No. 14. He failed to make a pair of birdie putts from the 15-foot range.

And then he showed up with one big putt, looking very much like the Woods of old who lingers long enough to make his opponents worry.

Casey, who finished at 10-under 274, goes up to No. 12 in the world with what he called one of the most rewarding of his 16 victories worldwide.

"Probably more satisfying, the fact that it was on a week where Tiger played some good golf and got to see some amazing stuff and hear the roars and it just was a great week — the buzz, everything about it," Casey said.

Reed, who closed with a 68, had a better chance at winning than Woods, and the disappointment was clear.

He tied for the lead with a birdie on the par-5 14th, and he hammered a tee shot on the uphill 18th that left him a wedge to the green. He thought he flushed it. He twirled his club. But the ball came down the slope, leaving him about 45 feet away up the ridge.

The first putt, which had to travel across a section of the fringe, was so short that it rolled all the way back to his feet. Reed used a wedge for the next one and came close, though it was never on line.

"It happened to be unfortunate it got around the corner of the green where I was on the green, had to go over the fringe, through about 7 feet of fringe and back on the green, and I thought I could putt it," Reed said. "I gave it extra because I knew it was going to either pop or come out slow. I just didn't hit it hard enough."

Woods played conservatively with an iron off the 442-yard, uphill closing hole on the Copperhead course. From 185 yards, his 7-iron came up some 40 feet short, and his birdie putt to force a playoff was 2 feet short.

Next up for Woods is the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill next week, which he hasn't played since winning five years ago. He is an eight-time winner at Bay Hill, and the euphoria over his return is sure to reach even higher decibels.

"I felt very comfortable. My game was quite solid this entire week," Woods said. "As a whole I felt very good about what I did this week."

Corey Conners, the Canadian rookie who started the final round with a one-shot lead, fell back quickly after opening with a bogey on the easiest hole at Innisbrook. He shot 77 and tied for 16th. Justin Rose, among six players who had a share of the lead at some point in the final round, had back-to-back bogeys on the back nine and never atoned for his mistakes. He closed with a 72 and finished three shots behind.

That left Casey the winner, finally.

Woods has to wait at least another week, with the next stop at a golf course Arnold Palmer built and Woods used to own.

Rabada gets in Warner's face as SAfrica control 2nd test

Australia's David Warner ducks under a bouncer on the third day of the second test between South Africa and Australia at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Sunday, March 11. (AP Photo/Michael Sheehan)

Gerald Imray

Port Elizabeth, South Africa (AP) — David Warner was in the midst of the action once again, this time on the receiving end of another over-the-top celebration from fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, as Australia fought to stay in the second test in South Africa on Sunday.

Speedster Rabada bowled Warner for 13 for the first breakthrough, then let loose a scream right in the face of the high-profile Australia batsman, as South Africa started to take a stranglehold on the match on Day 3 in Port Elizabeth.

Rabada took two more wickets, including a crucial late breakthrough to get Usman Khawaja out for 75 seven minutes before the end of the day. That left Australia 180-5 at stumps and with a small lead of 41 runs with just five wickets left.

Fellow pacer Lungi Ngidi and spinner Keshav Maharaj chipped in with a wicket each.

The four-test series is at a key point, with Australia 1-0 up but facing a South African fightback at St. George's Park.

Khawaja led Australia's resistance and nearly saw out the day, while Mitchell Marsh also fought bravely to make 39 not out while still recovering from a stomach bug he had on the first day of the game.

Sunday began with AB de Villiers making a 22nd test century, with his 126 not out helping South Africa to 382 all out and a 139-run first-innings lead. De Villiers' century, set up on Day 2 and completed on Day 3, took South Africa to a position of control.

He was the anchor in late partnerships of 44 with Quinton de Kock, 84 with Vernon Philander (36) and 58 off just 43 balls with Maharaj (30) to keep South Africa going.

Rabada followed up South Africa's success with the bat to take 3-38 and improve his match haul to eight wickets.

But his excessive send-off of Warner was another contentious moment in an ill-tempered series so far, and the second time this test that the 22-year-old fast bowler has come under scrutiny for the way he celebrates his wickets.

Warner was at the center of an aggressive fielding display by the Australians in the first test in Durban, where his on-field verbal battle with South Africa's Quinton de Kock boiled over with an ugly confrontation between the players on a staircase near the dressing rooms.

Three players — Warner, teammate Nathan Lyon and de Kock — were charged with misconduct and sanctioned for their misbehavior in the first game.

Rabada, crucial to South Africa's cause, could be suspended for the rest of the series.

He is already facing a disciplinary hearing at this game for bumping into Australia captain Smith after dismissing him in the first innings. Rabada faces a two-test ban if he is found guilty on making contact with Smith intentionally. He says it wasn't intentional.

Rabada, recently ranked the No. 1 bowler in test cricket, has also previously been disciplined three times for his actions after dismissing batsmen and served a one-test ban in England last year.

South Africa's best batsman set up the winning position.

The 34-year-old de Villiers, one of the best players of his generation, is nearing the end of his test career and there's speculation that this might even be his last series.

He hit 20 fours and a six in his century, going to 100 with a boundary down to third man. He reached 100 off just 117 balls, a free-flowing innings that made batting look much easier than it really was, especially with the ball reverse swinging on Day 2.

De Villiers also passed 8,500 test runs during the innings, the fourth South African after Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla to do that. This was de Villiers' first test century since January 2015 having taken nearly two years out of test cricket in an effort to prolong his career. He returned to tests late last year.

Dean Elgar and Amla made half-centuries on the second day to contribute to South Africa's total. Pat Cummins was Australia's best bowler with 3-79.

Wales beat Italy 38-14 to go 2nd in Six Nations

Wales' Hadleigh Parkes goes over the line to score a try during the Six Nations rugby union match against Italy at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Sunday, March 11. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Cardiff, Wales (AP) — Wales rose to second in the Six Nations after a mixture of new faces and returning veterans combined to give the hosts a convincing 38-14 victory over Italy on Sunday.

Warren Gatland was rewarded for his decision to freshen up a Welsh side that had experienced successive narrow defeats to England and Ireland.

Despite 10 changes to the starting lineup, a cohesive Wales had two tries in the opening six minutes to take control against Italy, who have now lost 16 consecutive Six Nations matches.

George North scored two tries, while Hadleigh Parkes, Cory Hill and Justin Tipuric also went over at the Principality Stadium. Matteo Minozzi and Mattia Bellini got Italy's two tries.

A yellow card for Wales either side of halftime perhaps prevented an even greater margin of victory, but Gatland now has tough choices to make ahead of next week's tournament finale against France, which could decide second place.

"It's job done," Gatland said. "It's what we wanted. To make that many changes and win comfortably was pleasing. Some elements were frustrating and we'll work on that. But we achieved what we wanted to do and we have our destiny in our own hands next week."

Ireland beat Scotland 28-8 and were crowned champion on Saturday after title rivals England were beaten by France, 22-16.

Wales made a flying start as Parkes took advantage of some dismal Italian tackling to touch down under the posts after just four minutes.

A second try came just two minutes later as center Owen Watkin, making his first Six Nations start, intercepted a pass in the midfield before finding returning wing North outside of him. Gareth Anscombe, in a new starting position at fly half, took care of both conversions to give the Welsh a 14-0 lead.

Italy refused to be disheartened and were back in the game in the 10th minute when Minozzi produced a moment of individual brilliance. The full back received the ball on the wing before evading three Welsh defenders with some silky footwork to go over in the corner.

Tommaso Allan converted a tough kick to bring Italy within seven points, but failed to further dent the Welsh lead when he missed a straight forward penalty opportunity in the 30th.

Anscombe made no such mistake minutes later as he made it 17-7, but halftime was made less comfortable for the home team when Liam Williams was shown a yellow card just before the break for a high tackle on Minnozi.

"The yellow card was fair. We had no problems with a yellow card," said Gatland. "I was disappointed. Whether he had to make the tackle, did he need to go that high?"

However, Wales quickly made light of the man-disadvantage as they extended the lead just three minutes into the second half.

Second row Hill went over from close range to get his first international try, before Anscombe maintained his perfect kicking display to make it 24-7.

Wales were momentarily reduced to 13 men as Gareth Davies joined Williams in the sin bin after an intentional knock-on, but defended stoutly to maintain their lead and took advantage once they were back to full strength.

North grabbed his second try in the 66th after replacement Rhys Patchell's smart offload and the young fly half was involved once more as Tipuric went over in the corner shortly after. With Anscombe having gone off, Leigh Halfpenny stepped in to convert on both occasions, stretching the lead 31 points.

Italy did have the final say, as a turnover led to winger Bellini finishing off a slick move.

Greek game abandoned after 'armed' owner protests decision

PAOK owner, businessman Ivan Savvidis, second right, approaches AEK Athens' Manager Operation Department Vassilis Dimitriadis, second left, as his bodyguard and PAOK's player Fernando Varela from Portugal, center, try to stop him during a Greek League soccer match in Thessaloniki, Sunday, March 11. (AP Photo)

Demetris Nellas

Athens, Greece (AP) — A disputed goal at the end of a Greek league match on Sunday between leaders AEK and title rivals PAOK led to a pitch invasion by one of the team owners, who appeared to be carrying a gun.

Fernando Varela scored in the 90th minute, putting hosts PAOK ahead 1-0 in the northern city of Thessaloniki. The referee signaled a goal but then seemed to disallow it for offside.

PAOK's owner, businessman Ivan Savvidis, came on the field twice and was accompanied by bodyguards. On the second occasion, without the overcoat he was wearing before, Savvidis appeared to be carrying a pistol which was in its holder. Savvidis made no move to use the weapon at any time.

AEK officials claimed Savvidis threatened the referee during his first foray onto the pitch, before being pulled away. They claim he also threatened AEK's operations manager, Vassilis Dimitriadis. AEK said they will file a complaint with FIFA and UEFA, the world and European soccer governing bodies.

PAOK said in a statement: "After what happened today, PAOK chairman Ivan Savvidis is preparing all necessary procedures to protect the team and all his collaborators from the threats and attacks they have been subjected to. There will be relevant announcements on the issue soon."

The game was finally abandoned after more than two hours and the stadium emptied of fans. Adding to the widespread confusion, there were claims that the referee, Giorgos Kominis, had actually allowed the goal. The score at the time of abandonment remains uncertain — 0-0 or 1-0 to PAOK — with the referee's report still to come.

AEK claimed that the atmosphere had become too threatening for the game to resume, while the referee was reportedly in favor of resuming.

Earlier, AEK coach Manolo Jimenez had been sent to the stands, in the 83rd minute, for constantly complaining.

PAOK's previous home game — against another title rival, Olympiakos — never started after Olympiakos coach Oscar Garcia was hit in the face by a cash register paper roll.

The latest incident has thrown the outcome of the season into further disarray.

"Images of team owners invading the pitch armed are setting back soccer for years," Deputy Culture Minister for Sports Giorgos Vasileiadis said in a statement after the game. After claiming that the current season was the "cleanest and most exciting" because of the government's attempt to clean up the game, Vasileiadis said "we will not allow anyone to divert us from our task, even if we have to, in consultation with UEFA, to take difficult decisions." That has been widely interpreted as a threat to suspend the entire league.

After the non-starter against Olympiakos, PAOK were fined and deducted three points, the game was declared a 3-0 victory for Olympiakos and PAOK were due to have played their next two home games in front of empty stands. But an appeals panel decided early Sunday morning to void the points deduction and to allow PAOK to play inside a full stadium, although the result remained in Olympiakos' favor.

PAOK say they will appeal again, demanding that the game with Olympiakos takes place.



Back to Main Page

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Mickelson lose early in Match Play

LeBron scores 35, carries Cavaliers past Raptors 132-129

Serena Williams loses in 1st round at Miami Open to Osaka

West Indies qualify for World Cup as rain sinks Scotland

WADA offer to help investigate doping ignored by Russia

Rabada's ban overturned, available for 3rd test

Gennady Golovkin thinks Canelo, De La Hoya are doping cheats

Spieth, Reed drawn in same group at Match Play

Milan, Turin discussing possible 2026 Olympic bid with CONI

World Rugby looking into controversial referee appointment

Oladipo helps Pacers rally past Lakers 110-100

Navratilova 'angry' at pay gap to McEnroe for BBC work

Lyon risk season ban by UEFA for fan racism, disorder

The last roars are for Rory McIlroy at Bay Hill

Del Potro edges Federer in 3 sets to win Indian Wells title

Man United-Spurs, Chelsea-Southampton in FA Cup semifinals

Morocco bid: $16bn for 2026 World Cup venues, infrastructure

Del Potro, Raonic advance to semifinals at Indian Wells

Stenson, DeChambeau tied for Bay Hill lead with Woods 7 back

Real Madrid face Juventus in Champions League quarterfinals

Native River gets wire-to-wire win in Cheltenham Gold Cup

Stenson bounces back and leads Bay Hill

Hamilton "super relaxed" amid contract talks with Mercedes

Dominant Daria: Kasatkina routs Kerber at Indian Wells

Southgate says England should go to World Cup in Russia

Messi reaches 100 CL goals, Barcelona beat Chelsea 3-0

Bayern beat Besiktas 3-1 to reach Champions League quarters

Federer wins at Indian Wells, sets up rematch with Chung

America's Cup skipper Spithill joins Italy's Luna Rossa

Sevilla oust Man United from Champions League with 2-1 win

Woods, Els named captains of Presidents Cup in Australia

Greek prosecutor to probe armed PAOK soccer club owner

2 horses die on opening day of Cheltenham Festival

USGA, R&A announce new set of modern rules for golf

Star bowler Rabada banned for rest of SA-Australia series

Federer moves on, Stephens loses again at Indian Wells

Alex Ovechkin joins NHL's exclusive 600-goal club

Sky suspends former Liverpool player Carragher for spitting

Tottenham keep EPL top-4 hopes on track despite Kane injury

Casey wins at Innisbrook as Woods come up short by a putt

Rabada gets in Warner's face as SAfrica control 2nd test

Wales beat Italy 38-14 to go 2nd in Six Nations

Greek game abandoned after 'armed' owner protests decision


Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.