Update August 25-26, 2018
Raikkonen and Vettel top practice sessions for Ferrari
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany gets a pit service during
the second practice session ahead of the Belgian Formula One Grand
Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, Aug. 24. (AP Photo/Geert
(AP) — Kimi Raikkonen posted the fastest time in second practice
for the Belgian Grand Prix, offering Ferrari further encouragement
after teammate Sebastian Vettel was quickest earlier Friday.
There is a third and final
practice on Saturday ahead of qualifying, where Vettel needs a
strong performance to put pressure on Formula One championship
leader Lewis Hamilton.
Raikkonen was .168 ahead of
Hamilton and nearly a half second clear of the British driver's
Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen was
fourth quickest ahead of Vettel in mild but overcast afternoon
conditions. Hamilton leads the overall standings by 24 points from
Vettel, but the 7-kilometer (4.3-mile) Spa circuit nestled in the
Ardennes forest is well suited to Ferrari and gives the German
driver a chance to hit back.
"It's really close between us
and Ferrari," Hamilton said. "The challenge is to find the right
Spa is also good for
overtaking, negating the usual overly-dominant position of the
driver who takes pole position. Hamilton is F1's all-time record
holder with 77 poles — nine more than Michael Schumacher and 22
ahead of Vettel.
Hamilton also leads Vettel in
GP wins: 5-4 this season and 67-51 overall.
Raikkonen last won at the
season-opening Australian GP in 2013, but four of his 20 victories
have been at Spa.
Only Ayrton Senna, with five
wins, and Schumacher, with six, have had more success at Spa.
Another victory for the 38-year-old Raikkonen could be timely in his
bid to get a new Ferrari contract for next year.
Ferrari's last win here was in
2009, with Raikkonen behind the wheel during his first spell with
the Italian manufacturer. Mercedes has won the past three races
In first practice at lunchtime,
Vettel was .151 seconds quicker than Verstappen and .318 clear of
Raikkonen was fourth ahead of
Bottas, who was penalized for too many engine changes and will start
Sunday's race from the back of the grid.
Drivers are allowed to change
each of the six engine parts twice in a season before incurring
penalties. Multiple alterations were made to all six parts of
Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg
joins Bottas at the back of the grid after similar changes were made
to his engine.
However, on a long and wide
track good for overtaking, Bottas and Hulkenberg can fight their way
back into a good position.
"It is possible to come up
through the field here in Spa," Bottas said.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo,
hampered by an engine problem in P1, finished both sessions in sixth
place. Red Bull has less power than Mercedes and Ferrari and,
according to Verstappen, neither driver can realistically expect to
finish higher than fifth and sixth.
Also in P1, British teen Lando
Norris replaced Fernando Alonso for McLaren and was quicker than
teammate Stoffel Vandoorne.
The 18-year-old Norris has
impressed in F2 and is vying for an F1 seat at McLaren next year,
while Vandoorne is fighting to keep his place.
In front of his home fans in
Belgium, Vandoorne was last in both practice runs.
Too bad for India as Iran wins Asian Games kabaddi gold
Iran's Kabaddi team react after defeating India during the women's
gold medal match at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia,
Friday, Aug. 24. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) —
In what would have been unthinkable in India before the Asian Games,
there'll be no kabaddi gold medals for the spiritual home of the
A day after Iran stunned the
seven-time champion Indian men in the semifinals, the Iranians won
the women's title with a 27-24 thriller over India on Friday.
Too bad for India, which has
long dominated a sport that blends tag and tackle with wrestling
The Indian women took an early
7-3 lead but Iran rallied to take a 17-13 margin and eventually held
on in a tense finish for victory.
The Iranian men were playing
for gold against South Korea later Friday. The Koreans in the group
stage became the first team ever to beat India's men's team at the
Asian Games. This is the first time since the sport was introduced
in 1990 that India won't win a gold.
India's woes continued when
former No. 1-ranked Kidambi Srikanth was upset 23-21, 21-19 in the
second round of men's singles in the badminton by Vincent Wong of
The sixth day of competition
was expected to be headlined by Japanese teenager Rikako Ikee and
her bid for a sixth gold medal, and a record-equaling eighth medal
at a single Asian Games.
Ikee led qualifiers in the
heats of the women's 50-meter freestyle.
China's three-time Olympic
champion Sun Yang was aiming for his fourth freestyle gold medal of
the games, hoping to add the 1,500 title to his victories in the
200, 400 and 800.
Until Friday, no cyclist had
won both the road race and the individual time trial at the same
Asian Games. Now two cyclists have done it.
Two days after her road race
victory, South Korea's Na Ah-reum won the women's time trial at
Subang in West Java from Eri Yonamine of Japan and Leung Wing Yee
of Hong Kong.
Kazakstan's Alexey Lutsenko
made it back-to-back golds on back-to-back days by winning the men's
time trial from Muradjan Khalmuratov of Uzbekistan and Japan's
Fumiyuki Beppu, whom he edged in a sprint finish to the road race 24
Japan won its fifth consecutive
Asian Games softball gold medal with a 7-0 shutout against Taiwan.
The first Asian Games gold
medal ever awarded the Asian Games, and Cambodia's first medal for
the 2018 games, went to Jessa Khan, who beat Mahra Alhinaai of the
United Arab Emirates in the women's 49-kilogram class.
Kim Hyo Sim won North Korea's
fifth gold medal in weightlifting with victory in the women's
Kim collected gold with a total
of 250 kilograms, well clear of fellow North Korean Choe Hyo Sim,
who was a silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics and the 2015 world
With China barred from the
weightlifting competition for doping violations, the North Koreans
are atop the standings in the sport.
The first doping case of the
Jakarta-Palembang games was registered against a wrestler from
Turkmenistan. The Olympic Council of Asia said Rustem Nazarov, who
lost in the quarterfinals of the 57-kilogram division, was
disqualified from the games after testing positive for the banned
diuretic furosemide in a test on the eve of the opening ceremony.
There were six doping cases at
the last Asian Games held at Incheon, South Korea, in 2014.
Koepka powers into a share of the lead at Northern Trust
Brooks Koepka, left, shakes hands with Dustin Johnson after they
completed the second round of the Northern Trust PGA golf tournament
at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J., Friday, Aug. 24. (Chris
Pedota/The Record via AP)
Paramus, N.J. (AP) —
Brooks Koepka showed some muscle and unleashed a monstrous finish
Friday to share the lead in The Northern Trust.
Tiger Woods missed yet another
putt and was relieved to still be playing.
Koepka spent most of the second
round trading birdies and bogeys, going nowhere. One swing changed
everything on the 631-yard 13th hole at Ridgewood Country Club. From
just under 310 yards, he swung 3-wood as hard as he could and saw
the tight draw that had been missing all day. It stopped 20 feet
from the hole, Koepka made it for eagle and then closed with three
straight birdies for a 6-under 65.
He tied Jamie Lovemark, who
shot a 66.
"I wasn't happy the first 11
holes the way I hit it," Koepka said. "When I hit that 3-wood, it
all clicked. I felt like I was finally able to release the golf
club. Just tried to hit as hard as I could, big draw. Aimed at the
tree on the right and tried to draw it back to the flag. When I did
that, everything started to click."
The U.S. Open and PGA champion
took it from there.
Lovemark, winless in 135 starts
as a pro, made five birdies in a six-hole stretch around the turn
and was the first to reach 10-under 132.
Before long, a list of
contenders lined up behind them in an entertaining start to the
FedEx Cup playoffs.
Adam Scott, building on his
confidence from playing in the final group at the PGA Championship,
had a 64 for the low round of the tournament and was one shot
behind. Another shot back was Dustin Johnson, the world No. 1, who
had another 67 that for the second straight day featured a triple
bogey on his card. At least he got this one out of the way early,
taking five shots from a mangled lie in deep rough behind the first
"That was not a fun start,"
Johnson said. "There was nothing to do but laugh at that point."
Bryson DeChambeau had a 66 and
joined Johnson at 134. The group at 7-under 135 included Sean
O'Hair, who is No. 112 in the FedEx Cup and needs to get to No. 70
by the third playoff event at the BMW Championship being played this
year at Aronimink, his home club outside Philadelphia. He already is
planning to play the member-guest a few weeks later, but O'Hair
would love to play Aronimink for a $9 million purse.
Woods was not part of the
action, even though he hit the ball beautifully. Woods had a birdie
putt on every hole until the par-3 15th, when his tee shot rolled
just off the green against the collar. All he had to show for it was
two birdies, giving him four birdies in 36 holes.
He finished with a three-putt
bogey from just inside 30 feet, giving him another 71. He made the
cut on the number, leaving him 10 shots behind.
"The name of the game is you've
got to make putts, and you've got to roll it," Woods said. "No
matter how good your drive, you've still got to roll them and still
got to make putts, and I didn't putt very well today. I had a hard
time seeing my lines, and consequently didn't make anything."
Jordan Spieth made putts to get
off to a good start, only to give it all back with a triple bogey on
his 10th hole of the round at No. 18. Worse than pulling his tee
shots into the trees, worse than the penalty shot, was Spieth
sweeping in a 10-inch putt for double bogey only to stub the putter
and move the ball only a few inches.
Scott continues to keep two
putters in the bag, long and short. The idea is to use the short
putter for the medium-length putts that have been a struggle for
him. At the PGA Championship and at Ridgewood, however, he has found
a good stroke with the long putter and felt no need to change.
The biggest difference is
confidence. He is starting to recognize the player who reached No. 1
in the world a few years ago, and only a month ago was getting
closer to falling out of the top 100. The third-place finish at
Bellerive at least put him back in the top 50, but did a world of
good between the ears.
"It's just been very hard to
find that consistency for me this year, and I've been chipping away
at it the last couple months and it all came good at the PGA," Scott
said. "And teeing off this week, I felt the most confident of any
tournament this year. I just couldn't wait to get up here, really."
Koepka knows all about
confidence with two major trophies sitting at home in Florida. The
knock has been that he hasn't won enough regular PGA Tour events, so
he wanted to treat the FedEx Cup playoffs like majors in how he
prepared, even down to renting a house and bringing his own chef,
trainer and regular crew.
Five shots out of the lead, he
tugged a tee shot into the left bunker on the reachable par-4 12th,
and hit a clean sand shot to 3 feet for birdie. Then came a big
drive on the 13th, and a 3-wood that carried him to his big finish.
Kevin Tway was the only other
play to reach the 13th green in two. He shot 69 and was part of the
group at 7-under 135.
"Sometimes it doesn't always go
as perfectly planned as you'd like, and then you make one good golf
swing, and all of a sudden you've got that feeling, you've got that
rhythm and then you can build off that," Koepka said. "And that's
kind of what happened today."
Yang leads CP Women's Open; Henderson shot back
Yang, of South Korea, tees off of the 18th hole during the women's
Canadian Open golf tournament in Regina, Saskatchewan, Friday, Aug.
24. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
Regina, Saskatchewan (AP) —
Sung Hyun Park emerged from the scorer's tent to a swarm of fans
after shooting an 8-under 64 on Friday in the second round of the CP
Few seemed to notice the
defending champion and world's top-ranked female player as she
strolled undisturbed down a path at Wascana Country Club.
These fans had only one person
on their minds. Brooke Henderson is the star of this show,
especially after a second straight 66 left her a stroke behind
leader Amy Yang.
"Brooke is almost like Canada's
Tiger Woods," Park said after her second straight round with
Henderson and Sweden's Anna Nordqvist. "I was really surprised at
how many fans came out to support Brooke today. To witness that was
Dozens of fans — many clad in
red and white and waving small Canadian flags — let out a roar when
Henderson chipped in on her opening hole and they were just as vocal
when the 20-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ontario, capped her round
with another birdie. She took advantage of her length Thursday and
short game Friday when the wind picked up Friday.
"I hit the ball in good spots
and made birdie putts when I had them," Henderson said. "I feel like
I made the most of today's round, which is always a great feeling.
To be close to the top of the leaderboard heading into the weekend
is awesome, especially when you're here in Canada."
Jocelyne Bourassa is the only
Canadian to win the national championship, accomplishing the feat in
the inaugural 1973 La Canadienne at Montreal Municipal. Henderson
won the LOTTE Championship in April in Hawaii for her sixth tour
Yang followed her opening 66
with a 65 to reach 13 under. The three-time LPGA Tour winner from
South Korea birdied four of the first five holes and finished with
nine birdies and two bogeys.
"I was hitting it pretty solid
out there," Yang said. "But I gave myself a lot of good chances and
I think I made most of them out there."
Long-hitting Angel Yin shot a
67 to match Henderson at 12 under. Yin eagled the par-5 12th and
closed with three straight birdies on Nos. 7-9.
Park's 64 left her tied for
fourth at 10 under. The South Korean star won last week in
Indianapolis to match U.S. Women's Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn
for the tour victory lead with three. She eagled the par-5 14th,
playing her opening nine in 6-under 31.
Jutanugarn, tied for the
first-round lead with Nasa Hataoka and Mariajo Uribe after a 64, had
a 70 to join Park, Hataoka (70) and Maria Torres (66) at 10 under.
Jutanugarn won the event two years ago in Calgary.
Nordqvist was 8 under after a
Uribe had a 73 to fall to 7
Three-time champion Lydia Ko
was 6 under after a 72. Ko won in 2012 at Vancouver Golf Club at age
15 to become the LPGA Tour's youngest winner and fifth amateur
champion. The New Zealander successfully defended her title as an
amateur in 2013, winning by five strokes in Edmonton. In 2015, back
at Vancouver as a pro, she beat Stacy Lewis in a playoff.
Lexi Thompson missed the cut,
shooting 72-78 playing alongside Ko and Women's British Open
champion Georgia Hall. Winless in more than a year, Thompson tied
for 12th last week in Indianapolis after taking three weeks off for
emotional and mental fatigue.
Hall was 6 under after a 70.
Japanese teenager Ikee wins 5th gold medal at Asian Games
Japan's women's 4x100m medley relay team celebrate winning the gold
medal during the swimming competition at the 18th Asian Games in
Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Aug. 23. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) —
Rikako Ikee is turning Jakarta's Asian Games pool into her own
golden pond. Every time she dives into the water, she comes out with
The 18-year-old Ikee did it
again Thursday, swimming the butterfly leg for the Japanese team
that won the women's 4x100-meter medley relay.
The victory gave her a fifth
gold and her seventh medal overall in Jakarta, leaving her in a tie
for second in two of the most significant medal categories in the
67-year history of the region's biggest multi-sports event.
Only North Korean shooter So
Gin Man has tallied more at one edition, winning a total of eight
medals, including seven gold, at the 1982 Asian Games.
Ikee still has one more race to
come on the sixth and final day of swimming.
"I feel a bit broken and my
body aches," Ikee said. "I'm proud to be an Asian champion, but I
want to achieve more."
Ikee may get her chance. She
also won four medals at last week's Pan Pacs against m opposition
from the United States, Canada and Australia and is surfacing as
Japan's great hope for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Hong Kong and Singapore also
won medals in the relay but only after China and South Korea, which
initially finished second and third, were disqualified for leaving
the blocks too early.
The relay victory was
significant because it gave Japan the slimmest of leads over China
in the sport's medal standings, which are important for both nations
with the next Olympics taking place in Asia.
With six events remaining on
the last night of swimming, Japan has 17 golds to China's 16. Only
the tiny city-state of Singapore has broken the domination of those
two countries in the pool this week, courtesy of Joseph Schooling's
The 100 butterfly Olympic
champion wasn't at his best in the 50 fly but he found a way to get
his hands on the wall first in 23.61 seconds, edging China's Wang
Peng by 0.04.
"I think it's more like a
controlled rage, all I was thinking about was trying to get my hips
up and down as quick as I could, try not to spin, try not to slip
too much. The rest, you can only hope for the best," he said.
Chinese backstroker Xu Jiayu
was more animated than usual after he captured his fourth gold of
the Games, winning the 200 in 1 minute, 53.99 seconds, then
straddling the lane rope and raising his arms in the air in triumph
before slamming his fists into the water.
Already a world champion for
the 100 backstroke, he is shaping as one Asia's best Olympic hopes
for Tokyo 2020. He has three backstroke titles in the meet, scooped
up a bonus gold in the mixed relay and has a shot at one more in the
men's medley relay.
China's Wang Jianjiahe beat the
Asian Games record to win the women's 800 freestyle in 8:18.55, but
Japan won the two other events decided Thursday.
Shinri Shioura beat his
Japanese teammate Katsumi Nakamura by a fingernail to win the men's
100m freestyle gold in 48.71, with Nakumura clocked at 48.72, while
Satomi Suzuki won the women's 50 breaststroke in 30.03 to collect
her third gold in the Indonesian capital.
Serena, Venus Williams could meet in US Open 3rd round
Defending champions Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stevens pose with the
tournament's trophies during the reveal of the 2018 U.S. Open draw
in New York, Thursday, Aug. 23. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
New York (AP) — Serena
and Venus Williams could be headed toward their earliest Grand Slam
meeting in 20 years, facing a potential third-round matchup at the
If the sisters do play each
other, the winner might face No. 1-ranked Simona Halep in the fourth
That section of the women's
bracket, and a possible Roger Federer-Novak Djokovic quarterfinal
showdown in the men's, provided the most intrigue when the brackets
were revealed at Thursday's draw for the last major of the year.
This marks Serena's return to
Flushing Meadows after missing the hard-court tournament in 2017 —
she gave birth to her daughter last Sept. 1.
The 36-year-old American has
won six of her 23 Grand Slam titles at the U.S. Open and was given
the No. 17 seed by the U.S. Tennis Association — nine places above
her current ranking.
Venus, who won five of her
seven Grand Slam singles trophies in New York, is ranked and seeded
16th. She faces a tricky first-round match against Svetlana
Kuznetsova, whose two major championships include the 2004 U.S.
Kuznetsova was given a
wild-card entry for the tournament, where main-draw play begins
Serena's opener comes against
60th-ranked Magda Linette of Poland. Should the Williams siblings
both make it to the third round, they would play each other at a
Grand Slam tournament sooner than they have since Venus beat Serena
in the second round at the 1998 Australian Open — their very first
head-to-head match on tour.
They've gone on to play a total
of 29 times — Serena leads 17-12 — and that includes nine
all-in-the-family Grand Slam finals, most recently at the 2017
In the men's field, No.
1-ranked and defending champion Rafael Nadal opens against David
Ferrer in an all-Spanish rematch of their 2013 French Open final.
No. 2 Federer plays Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round.
Federer lost in the
quarterfinals last year and this time in that round could face No. 6
seed Djokovic, the Wimbledon champion who beat him two weeks ago in
a tuneup and is considered a tournament favorite after having to
miss it last year because of injury.
Nadal, however, isn't sure
there is one.
"Of course Novak and Roger,
they are doing very well and especially they like the hard courts,"
he said during the draw ceremony by the Hudson River in Lower
Manhattan. "Let's see. Let's see what's going on."
No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev and
seventh-seeded Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, are also in
Federer's half of the draw along with No. 30 seed Nick Kyrgios, the
Australian whom Federer could meet in the third round.
Stan Wawrinka, the 2016 U.S.
Open champion who missed last year's tournament because of injury
and was given a wild card into this year's field, faces No. 8 seed
Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in one of the headline matches of the
first round. Wawrinka, a three-time major titlist, eliminated
Dimitrov in the first round at Wimbledon in June.
Nadal's half of the draw
includes No. 3 seed and 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del
Potro — who could face another former U.S. Open champion in Andy
Murray in the third round — and fifth-seeded Kevin Anderson, the
Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up.
Besides Federer-Djokovic, the
other possible men's quarterfinals are Nadal-Anderson, Del
Potro-Dimitrov and Zverev-Cilic.
Women's No. 2 seed Caroline
Wozniacki faces 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in the first
round. Sloane Stephens, the defending champion, is the No. 3 seed
and could face former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the third round.
Potential women's quarterfinals
include Halep vs. No. 8 Karolina Pliskova, Wozniacki vs. No. 5 Petra
Kvitova, Stephens vs. No. 7 Elina Svitolina, and No. 4 Angelique
Kerber vs. No. 6 Carolina Garcia.
Ricciardo had 'sleepless nights' about leaving Red Bull
Rosso driver Pierre Gasly of France, left, and Red Bull driver
Daniel Ricciardo of Australia smile during a media conference ahead
of the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium,
Thursday, Aug. 23. The Belgian Formula One Grand Prix will take
place on Sunday, Aug. 26. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
(AP) — Although weighing up the decision to leave Red Bull gave
Daniel Ricciardo "a few sleepless nights," he felt his unexpected
move to join Renault was inevitable.
The Australian driver stunned
F1 when, instead of signing a new deal with Red Bull on July 31 as
widely anticipated, he announced days later he was joining Renault
Not, he said, because of an
uneasy relationship with Dutch driver and teammate Max Verstappen.
Ricciardo insists there was "no falling out or bad blood" with
Verstappen, team principal Christian Horner or any of the
His decision to leave was
because he needed "fresh motivation" after feeling "frustrated and a
bit numb" following so many years within Red Bull's set up.
Ricciardo started in F1 with Toro Rosso — Red Bull's feeder team —
in 2012 and joined Red Bull in 2014.
"I was really torn with what to
do and that process took time," Ricciardo said Thursday. "It wasn't
easy. There were a lot of factors and variables in my mind. When I
weighed it up the change of setting, a new challenge, are probably
the answers I needed."
Ricciardo began this season
well, winning two of the first six races.
Then, the team's reliability
problems resurfaced as did his sometimes difficult relationship with
Verstappen. At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in April, they crashed into
each other. Neither accepted the blame.
Ricciardo was faster than
Verstappen in Baku but couldn't get past him. As a frustrated
Ricciardo tried to force his way past, Verstappen closed the door on
him and Ricciardo, with no time to react, slammed into the back of
It wasn't the first time they
Last year, Ricciardo was livid
with Verstappen after being bumped off the track by him on the first
lap of the Hungarian GP. Ricciardo described Verstappen's driving as
"amateur" for the way he swerved into him when going wide on the
exit from a turn.
Although the 29-year-old
Ricciardo has won seven races for Red Bull, Verstappen is just 20
and considered the future star of F1.
By the age of 18, Verstappen
became the youngest driver to win an F1 race and qualify in the top
two positions. He has already won four F1 races, secured multiple
podiums, and is one of the quickest and best at overtaking.
While Red Bull has always
insisted the drivers were on equal footing, Verstappen was given a
lucrative multi-year deal — before Ricciardo was offered his new
contract — which appeared to suggest the team's focus was more on
Ricciardo was asked if his move
to Renault was to get away from Verstappen.
"No is the short answer,"
Ricciardo replied, adding that perceptions that Verstappen was the
team's designated No. 1 were inaccurate, albeit understandable.
"From the outside people
thought that, but hand on heart there was never any concern or sign
of that," Ricciardo said.
He was also happy with the new
contract offered to him by Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko
but it was not enough to change his mind about leaving.
"(Marko's) known me for 10
years and I think he'd sensed at times some frustration or maybe
some things changing in me," Ricciardo said. "He was a little bit
disappointed I was moving on."
Ricciardo's sudden refusal of a
new deal left Red Bull scrambling for a new driver for next season.
The seat has gone to
22-year-old Frenchman Pierre Gasly, fast-tracked from Toro Rosso
after largely exceeding expectations this season.
"He owes me a drink," said a
smiling Ricciardo, who sat next to Gasly at Thursday's news
conference. "Two drinks."
Gasly and Verstappen are
friends since their karting days but that friendship might be more
difficult to maintain on the F1 track.
Woods-Mickelson set for pay-per-view Thanksgiving weekend
this May 10, 2018, file photo, Phil Mickelson, left, and Tiger Woods
shake hands after the first round of the Players Championship golf
tournament, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
New York (AP) — The
winner-take-all match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is on.
WarnerMedia says it has secured
the rights for a pay-per-view event it is promoting as "The Match."
It will be 18 holes between Woods and Mickelson held Thanksgiving
weekend at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. The winner will receive $9
The pay-per-view cost is to be
Woods announced that the match
was on in a tweet, setting off Twitter banter with Mickelson, who
only signed up for a Twitter account Wednesday.
WarnerMedia says pay-per-view
coverage will be distributed through Turner's B/R Live, AT&T DirecTV
and U-verse, and other on-demand platforms. HBO Sports and Bleacher
Report will take part in the promotion.
Woods and Mickelson will make
side bets during the match on such things as longest drive or
closest to the pin.
Singapore's Schooling ends golden streak for China and Japan
Singapore's Joseph Schooling holds up his gold medal for
photographers after winning the men's 100m butterfly final at the
18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Aug. 22. (AP
Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) —
It took a swimmer from one of the smallest countries in the region
to finally end the streak of gold medals going to either China or
Japan in the Asian Games pool.
Singapore's Olympic champion
Joseph Schooling had an emphatic victory in the men's 100-meter
butterfly final on Wednesday.
By his own standards, the
23-year-old Schooling was a touch slow to get off the blocks and
resurface because he dived a little too deep, but once he was in
motion he was unstoppable.
He covered the first lap in
23.79 seconds then powered home on the last length to win in 51.04
seconds, beating the Asian Games record of 51.76 he set when winning
in Incheon four years ago.
It wasn't his best time or even
close to his biggest win. They happened simultaneously when he beat
Michael Phelps to win the Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro two years
ago, but he's savvy enough to know it was still another big triumph
for his southeast Asian nation.
"It's all about standing up for
your country and yourself and trying to get your hand on the wall
first," Schooling said. "I had some jitters before, but that's good,
it shows I'm taking nothing for granted. Every gold is special, it
has its own story."
Once the Singapore anthem was
played out over the stadium speakers, normal service resumed with
Japan and China splitting the other seven gold medals decided on
After four of the six days of
swimming events, the regional rivals are locked on 14 golds apiece.
After losing the 4x200-meter
freestyle relay on Monday, China officials figured they couldn't
match Japan's sprinters in the 4x100 freestyle relay so they gambled
on bringing in Sun Yang, hoping he could produce something special.
He was on a scheduled day off
after winning the 200, 400 and 800 on the first three days and with
the 1,500 still to go when he got the call around midday.
He obliged, but it didn't make
any difference as Japan pulled away to win.
"I swam great and we did
everything we could but the Japanese sprinters are simply faster at
the moment," Sun said, "that's a fact."
China did win the mixed relay
by little more than a fingernail, giving backstroker Xu Jiayu his
third gold medal in Jakarta and butterflyer Zhang Yuefi her second
in a little over an hour.
The Japan squad is starting to
notch some big some numbers, too. Teenager Rikako Ikee won a silver
in the mixed relay to take her tally to six medals for the
championships and with two events to go she's on course for a record
Japan's Yasuhiro Koseki, racing
in the outside lane, broke the Asian Games record to win the men's
100 breaststroke in 58.86 to collect his second gold, and Daiya Seto
also picked up his second when he beat the Rio Olympic gold medalist
Kosuke Hagino in the 400 individual medley in 4:08.79.
"That's the first time for a
while I've put it all together like that," Seto said. "That's a big
boost for me looking ahead to the Tokyo Olympics."
India wrap up 203-win over England in 3rd test
Indian cricketers shake hands with England's James Anderson at the
end of the third cricket test match at Trent Bridge in Nottingham,
Wednesday, Aug. 22. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Nottingham, England (AP) —
Ten minutes and 17 balls. That's all it took for India to wrap up a
big win over England on Wednesday and keep the test series alive.
In front of a smattering of
spectators at Trent Bridge, India quickly took the one wicket they
needed on the final day of the third test to clinch a 203-run
England lead the series 2-1
with two tests left, the next match starting in Southampton on Aug.
Indian captain Virat Kohli
dedicated the win — just the country's seventh in tests on English
soil — to those affected by the floods in the Indian state of Kerala
that have left more than 200 people dead and sent more than 800,000
fleeing for dry land.
"It's a tough time there.
People are going through a lot," Kohli said. "This is our bit we can
do as the Indian cricket team."
Resuming on 311-9, England
needed 210 more runs to complete what would have been a world-record
chase. The paltry attendance at the start of play was a sign that
the match was unlikely to last much longer and on the final ball of
the day's third over, Jimmy Anderson (11) gloved a delivery from
offspiner Ravichandran Ashwin toward the slips and Ajinkya Rahane
backtracked to take the catch.
England were all out for 317.
"It's obviously disappointing
after two very good performances," England captain Joe Root said. "I
don't think we were at our best. India played very well and when you
are playing against the best side in the world, you can't afford a
That's what happened on the
second day at Trent Bridge, when England collapsed to 161 all out in
their first innings — losing all 10 wickets in one session.
"We obviously lost that game on
day two with the way we batted," England coach Trevor Bayliss said.
Root said Jonny Bairstow would
be monitored ahead of the fourth test after the wicket-keeper broke
a bone in the middle finger of his left hand on Monday. Bairstow
batted in the second innings — he was bowled first ball — with heavy
strapping around the finger.
The England captain also said
he expects Alastair Cook to play at Southampton. The opener's wife
is heavily pregnant.
It was a dominant display in
all aspects from the Indians after their humiliating loss in the
second test at Lord's by an innings and 159 runs. They scored more
than 300 runs in both innings, having posted only 107 and 130 at
Lord's, and there was the added bonus of a strong bowling
performance from paceman Jasprit Bumrah, who took 5-85 in England's
second innings on his return to the team.
"The victory was much needed
and to have a performance that was so clinical is pleasing for me as
captain and the management," Kohli said. "All in all, it was the
complete test match for us.
"We dominated this game because
we got runs on the board. The bowling group was eager to take those
20 wickets again. It was about the batsmen, and what we could do to
give them that cushion."
Nottinghamshire County Cricket
Club, which staged the match, went back on its decision to charge
spectators 10 pounds for entry for a day that potentially could have
lasted only one ball. Instead, there was free admission.
"Frankly," the club said, "we
got it wrong."
Playing bridge at the Asian Games: 'Athletics of the mind'
this Aug. 21, 2018, photo, India's bridge player Finton Lewis
watches a bridge match competition on a screen at the 18th Asian
Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) —
What's left of Finton Lewis' thinning hair is spiked and dyed an
The 64-year-old Lewis says the
haircut keeps him feeling younger on the outside, and playing the
card game of bridge keeps his brain nimble on the inside.
"I know I'm not as physically
fit as most sports people are," said Lewis, who is playing for India
in the bridge competition at the Asian Games.
Being fit doesn't matter much
in bridge, which is being included for the first time in the Asian
Games. Fans like to talk it up as a "mind game" in the same realm as
Yang Kong Te of the Philippines
is playing in the Asian Games at 85. Lee Hung Fong of Malaysia is
81. Indonesian billionaire Michael Bambang Hartono is a mere 78, and
the big reason why bridge is on the schedule. His reported net worth
in about $17 billion, a fortune made in tobacco, banking, and
To be fair, the median age of
the field is about 50, which is still generations away from
9-year-old Indonesian skateboarder Aliqqa Novvery — the youngest of
the more than 11,000 competitors in the Asian Games.
The Olympic Council of Asia,
which governs the games, reportedly balked at including bridge,
which in the eyes of some is linked with card games such as poker,
black jack — and hence, gambling.
To be fair, bridge would be as
out of place in a casino as bullfighting in Bhutan.
The auditoriums set up for
bridge are hushed, dotted with dozens of card tables with four
players at each. At one session, curious photographers were given
access for just five minutes, and then ushered away. Fans can watch
the hands that are dealt — and how they are played — on large
television screens filled with the red and black symbols for spades,
hearts, diamonds and clubs.
"The photographers really
wouldn't matter because the top players zone out these
distractions," Aaida Abu-Jaber, a player from Jordan told The
Associated Press. "They are in their zone and focused and they don't
know what's happening around them. They are just looking at their
cards and thinking."
Abu-Jaber called it "athletics
of the mind, rather than the body."
There's no age limit, and no
language barrier. Abu-Jaber said she's played against dozens of
nationalities — on-line and in-person. The game has a universal
language everyone understands, driven by English-rooted words like
"no trump, slam, pass"and so forth.
"You can play with anybody,
even if you can't understand their language and they can't
understand yours," she said.
Though age is no problem,
attracting a younger generation is.
Asadullah Khan, who is playing
for Pakistan, joked that many of the players have "no hair and
protruding bellies. Most of us are smokers and losing our cognitive
For the record, 54-year-old
Khan has all his hair — gray hair and a gray mustache.
"It's going to be an extinct
game if the younger generation doesn't take it up," he said. "The
younger people are not enthusiastic about bridge, not excited about
it unless it runs in the family."
Khan said attracting younger
players might be easy since bridge offers sedentary thrills, perhaps
like computer games.
He argued that "defending a
(card) hand well or making a special play" was just as exciting as
serving an ace in tennis.
He even pushed for inclusion in
the Olympics, which seems unlikely.
"It surely should be in the
Olympics," Khan said. "Getting exposure like this helps."
New helmet rules have Brady, at 41, planning for next season
England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady calls signals at the line of
scrimmage during the first half of a preseason NFL football game
against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in
Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Foxborough, Mass. (AP) —
Tom Brady is breaking in a new helmet this exhibition season, yet
another sign the 41-year-old quarterback is planning to play in
Brady's old helmet is among the
models being phased out by the NFL because tests showed it is not as
effective at protecting against concussions. The new rules take
effect next season, but Brady used a compliant helmet in last week's
preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles instead of the one he
has had through most of his NFL career.
Brady says he's still tweaking
the new model to make sure the mask allows for the same comfort and
peripheral vision as the one he's used to. The most visible
difference for fans is that it has a panel in front instead of solid
The quarterback says he asked
his teammates if he looked younger or faster in it. "They said yes,
so I might keep it," Brady says.
Liu breaks 50-meter backstroke world record at Asian Games
China's Liu Xiang celebrates after winning the women's 50m
backstroke final during the swimming competition at the 18th Asian
Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Aug. 21. (AP Photo/Lee
Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) —
Liu Xiang of China swam a world-record time of 26.98 seconds to win
the women's 50-meter backstroke gold medal on Tuesday night at the
Liu has become the first woman
to swim under 27 seconds in the event, breaking the mark of 27.06
set by fellow Chinese swimmer Zhao Jing at the 2009 world
championships in Rome.
The 21-year-old Liu is entered
in the 50 backstroke and 50 freestyle at the Asian Games. She was a
bronze medalist in the backstroke at the 2015 world championships
and had a previous best time of 27.40.
Fu Yuanhui took silver in 27.68
in a 1-2 finish for China and Japan's Natsumi Sakai, the 2017 world
junior champion, took bronze in 27.91.
Fu won the 50 and 100
backstroke titles at the 2014 Asian Games, was world champion in the
50 backstroke in 2015 and picked an Olympic bronze in the 100
backstroke at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
India need 1 wicket to wrap up victory over England
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, right, Rishabh Pant, second
right, and Cheteshwar Pujara celebrate the dismissal of England's
Alastair Cook, front, during the fourth day of the third cricket
test match between England and India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham,
England, Tuesday, Aug. 21. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Nottingham, England (AP) —
A first test century from Jos Buttler and late resistance from Adil
Rashid helped England take the third test against India into a final
day despite having little chance of victory at Trent Bridge.
India took an extra half-hour
at the end of the day's play in a bid to wrap up victory, but
England survived and will return Wednesday on 311-9 — still needing
210 more runs for what would be a world-record chase.
England had two mini-collapses
either side of a partnership of 169 between Buttler (106) and Ben
Stokes (62), who both demonstrated the kind of discipline and
patience the top order failed to produce in slumping from 27-0 to
Buttler was one of three
batsmen dismissed by Indian paceman Jasprit Bumrah in eight
deliveries as England lost four wickets in 21 balls.
Rashid (30 not out) and Jimmy
Anderson (8 not out) got through the final overs to frustrate the
Indians, who are looking for a win to keep the series alive. Bumrah
had figures of 5-85.
England lead 2-0 after wins in
Edgbaston and Lord's but are highly likely to be 2-1 up heading to
Southampton for the fourth test next week.
England resumed on their
overnight score of 23-0 and, within an hour, it had turned into a
India paceman Ishant Sharma
removed Keaton Jennings (13) with the fifth ball of the day and
fellow opener Alastair Cook (17) in his next over, both to catches
behind the wicket.
England captain Joe Root chased
a wide delivery from Bumrah and edged to Lokesh Rahul at second slip
for 13, one of his seven catches so far in the match. Indian captain
Virat Kohli, a century-maker on Monday, then produced a brilliant
diving catch at third slip to remove Ollie Pope for 16 four balls
later and England were 84-4 at lunch.
Stokes and Buttler scored 89
runs in a second session, showing patience despite being naturally
aggressive batsmen. Soon after tea, Stokes reached his slowest test
half-century — off 147 balls — before Buttler hit successive fours
to register three figures for the first time in his 23 tests.
It was a timely innings from
the limited-overs specialist, who had a top score of 39 in his four
previous innings this series.
Buttler departed when he left a
delivery from Bumrah that jagged back and trapped him lbw. England
wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow, who broke a bone in the middle finger
of his left hand on Monday, came out to bat with the finger heavily
strapped but he was bowled first ball by Bumrah.
The paceman than made it three
wickets in eight balls as Chris Woakes gloved him behind for 4. And
when Stokes edged Hardik Pandya to Rahul in the slips, it seemed the
English wouldn't survive to stumps.
Rashid just about ensured they
Pogba's future at Man United mired in uncertainty
Manchester United's Paul Pogba runs with the ball during the English
Premier League soccer match between Brighton and Hove Albion and
Manchester United at the Amex stadium in Brighton, Sunday, Aug.19.
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Manchester (AP) - By
placing the captain's armband on Paul Pogba, Manchester United
manager Jose Mourinho might have thought he would quell growing
speculation about the World Cup-winning midfielder's future at the
Comments by Pogba himself, and
the player's outspoken agent, over the last two days have only added
to the uncertainty.
After what he acknowledged was
a poor individual performance in United's 3-2 loss at Brighton in
the Premier League on Sunday, Pogba said he "should have done much
better" and that his "attitude wasn't right."
United's sloppy display — and
Pogba's central role in it — invariably attracted plenty of
criticism, as with anything involving Britain's biggest soccer club.
One of its greatest players of recent years, Paul Scholes, lamented
the "lack of leaders in the team," a not-so-subtle condemnation of
That prompted back-to-back
tweets on Tuesday from Mino Raiola, Pogba's larger-than-life
representative, who said Scholes "wouldn't recognize a leader if he
was in front of Sir Winston Churchill."
Raiola followed that up with a
post that was as scathing as it was intriguing.
"Paul Scholes should become
sports director and advise Woodward to sell Pogba," he wrote,
referring to United vice chairman Ed Woodward, the most powerful
figure at the club besides members of the Glazer family. "Would be
sleepless nights to find Pogba a new club."
The fact that Raiola veered
toward the topic of Pogba's future is significant. The midfielder
could still be sold to a leading European club this month — the
transfer window remains open in Spain, for example — and Barcelona
have been linked with a move for Pogba.
Raiola knows his tweets will be
widely picked up and only serve to fuel talk of Pogba's reported
unrest at United. "Mino Raiola" was trending in Britain throughout
The relationship between Pogba,
signed for a then-world record fee of $116 million from Juventus in
2016, and Mourinho appeared strained last season. The midfielder was
dropped for crucial matches, notably home and away against Sevilla
in the last 16 of the Champions League when United exited in meek
In discussing Pogba's
impressive displays for France at the World Cup, Mourinho tempered
praise of the player by saying: "I don't think it's about us getting
the best out of him, it's about him giving the best he has to give."
Mourinho's decision to give
Pogba the captaincy for the start of the season, while regular
captain Antonio Valencia is injured, was notable. Pogba responded by
scoring in United's opening-day 2-1 win over Leicester in the
Premier League on Aug. 10, but muddied the waters when responding to
reporters' questions after the game about his current situation.
"There are things and there are
things that I cannot say," he said, somewhat cryptically, "otherwise
I will get fined."
Mourinho insisted last week
that he "couldn't be happier" with Pogba, but the midfielder's
explanation for his performance against Brighton didn't shine a
positive light on his manager. It has come at a time when Mourinho
is back under scrutiny after being at odds with United's board over
the club's transfer strategy in the offseason, having failed to get
the center back he craved.
Throughout his managerial
career, Mourinho's third season at a team is usually when problems
begin to surface. It happened in both of his spells at Chelsea, and
also at Real Madrid.
It is also Pogba's third season
back at United. The debate is on: Who will survive longer?
Usain Bolt trains for 1st time with Central Coast Mariners
Usain Bolt speaks at a press
conference with the Central Coast Mariners soccer team in
Newcastle, Australia, Tuesday, Aug. 21. (AP Photo/Steve Christo)
Gosford, Australia (AP) — Star sprinter Usain Bolt says
he passed up the chance to trial with clubs in Europe before
accepting an offer to trial for a professional contract with the
Central Coast Mariners in Australian football's A-League.
Bolt trained with the Mariners
for the first time on his 32nd birthday Tuesday, taking part in
light passing drills and agility tests in front of a gallery of
almost 100 reporters and photographers.
He has pledged to stay with the
club for an "indefinite" trial period in the hope of achieving his
long-held ambition to play professional football, a year after his
retirement from the track.
The eight-time Olympic champion
has trialed unsuccessfully with clubs in Germany, South Africa and
Norway but is optimistic of breaking through with the Mariners, who
finished last in the most-recent A-League season.
Mariners head coach Mike Mulvey
said he is happy for Bolt stay with the team for a year if that is
what he needs to fulfill his ambition.
Bolt said he had specifically
targeted the A-League.
"We got offers from teams in
Spain, France and stuff like that," Bolt told reporters. "But for me
it'd be harder because you have to learn a new language. It wasn't
in the top division.
"Australia is somewhere I enjoy
coming. This is a start and I'm really appreciative of everything
the Mariners have done."
Asked in what position he hoped
to play, Bolt said he is "good at center forward but open to playing
anywhere on the park."
"I look forward to scoring as
many goals as possible and bringing home the trophy," he said. "But
I'm just trying to get over the first hurdle now, that's to get a
Salah sets up 2 goals as Liverpool beat Palace in EPL
Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt, left, duels for the ball with
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the English Premier League soccer
match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park stadium
in London, Monday, Aug. 20. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
London (AP) — Mohamed
Salah won a first-half penalty converted by James Milner and also
played in Sadio Mane for a late goal as Liverpool beat 10-man
Crystal Palace 2-0 on Monday for their second straight win to open
the Premier League season.
In a typical all-action display
by Salah, the Egyptian forward was also the player fouled by Aaron
Wan-Bissaka that earned the Palace right back a straight red card in
the 75th minute because he was the last man.
The score was 1-0 at the time,
Milner having slotted in the penalty on the stroke of halftime after
Salah tumbled under a challenge from Mamadou Sakho.
Mane secured victory in the
third minute of stoppage time when he ran onto a pass from his own
half by Salah, advanced half the length of the field, and rounded
the goalkeeper to shoot into an empty net at Selhurst Park.
"It was a very tough game. We
knew before the game it would be," Liverpool defender Virgil van
Dijk said. "I don't think the big teams ever win here comfortably. I
think a well-deserved three points."
Liverpool started the season
with a 4-0 thrashing of West Ham and are living up to their billing
as a potential threat to title favorites Manchester City, the
"I'm not interested in sending
a statement to Manchester City or anyone else," manager Juergen
Klopp said. "I want to win football games and that's what we did
Liverpool have yet to concede a
goal and carry a constant threat with their front three of Salah —
last season's top scorer in the Premier League — Mane and Roberto
Firmino. Mane already has three goals this season.
The closest Palace came to
scoring was when Andros Townsend curled a long-rage shot against the
crossbar in the first half.
"I thought we pushed them very
hard. We should have come in at 0-0 at halftime and the second half
would have been even tougher," Palace manager Roy Hodgson said. "We
gave them enough problems and we can consider ourselves unlucky to
Liverpool and City are two of
six teams with the maximum six points.
Kohli century leaves England facing big task to win 3rd test
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli bats
during the third day of the third cricket test match between England
and India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, Monday, Aug. 20.
(AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Nottingham (AP) —
India captain Virat Kohli kept up his brilliant summer form by
hitting 103 before setting England a world-record target of 521 to
win the third test and clinch the series with two matches to spare.
Nine overs into their run
chase, England reached 23-0 at stumps and still need 498 runs to
complete what would be a highly improbable victory at Trent Bridge.
The highest successful run
chase in test history is 418, by West Indies against Australia in
England lead the five-match
Kohli has scored twice as many
runs as any other player this series, with his 23rd test century
adding to the 97 from the first innings to take his series average
to 73.33. He made 149 in the first test at Edgbaston, and is in line
to return to the top of the test batting rankings above Australia's
A day after taking 5-28, Hardik
Pandya smashed an unbeaten 52 off 52 balls before India declared on
352-7 late on day three. Cheteshwar Pujara, resuming overnight
alongside Kohli with India on 124-2, earlier made 72 after being
dropped on 40 by Alastair Cook in the slips.
Cook (9) and Keaton Jennings
(13) survived a testing spell before the close to take the target
below 500. The pitch still looks good for batting, but India remain
the heavy favorites.
"The pitch has quickened up a
bit," Pujara said. "It is a lot quicker and there is a lot of
deviation. On day four, it won't be easy for them to bat."
England's faint chances of
avoiding defeat in Nottingham were hit during the first session of
the day when wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow broke a bone in the
middle finger of his left hand attempting to take a catch.
Bairstow didn't return to the
field — Jos Buttler took over wicketkeeping duties — and England
didn't give an indication of whether Bairstow will be asked to bat
in the team's second innings.
"Although we are a long way
behind," England assistant coach Paul Farbrace said, "we showed real
effort and it was important not to lose any wickets this evening."
Sun, Ikee compete for attention in Asian Games swimming pool
Japan's Rikako Ikee celebrates with
teammate Tomomi Aoki, left, after winning the women's 100m freestyle
final during swimming competition at the 18th Asian Games in
Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Aug. 20. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Indonesia (AP) — Sun Yang will have to compete for attention at
the Asian Games after all.
His bid to win five gold medals
has already been sunk after China was beaten in Monday's 4x200-meter
freestyle relay, though it was no fault of his.
He'd won the 200 freestyle on
Day 1 and the 800 gold on Day 2 less than two hours before the
relay. China was well behind Japan when Sun dived in for the anchor
leg, only to come up inches short in the lunge to the wall.
Sun has another rival, though
not in any of his races.
Japanese teenager Rikako Ikee
has surpassed Sun by winning three gold medals already in Jakarta,
including a relay on the first night, and appears to be in the mood
to win plenty more.
While Sun came up short in his
attempt to win two golds in two hours, Ikee managed two inside of 45
minutes and made it look easy.
The 18-year-old Ikee, who has
surfaced as one of Japan's great hopes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,
won the women's 50-metres butterfly final then returned to the pool
to win the 100 freestyle.
She also had a medal ceremony
in between and had to go straight from the podium to the starting
blocks for her second race.
She won the butterfly in 25.55
seconds and the 100 freestyle in 53.27 and set Asian Games records
in both events.
"I achieved what I came to do
tonight so I'm delighted," Ikee said. "The plan was to conserve
energy in the first half of the race and finish strong — that's
exactly what happened."
Sun cruised to victory in the
800 freestyle, which was added to the Asian Games program for the
first time since 1951, finishing 4.65 seconds ahead of his closest
pursuer. He still has the 400 and 1,500 to race but his drive for
five is over.
"To train like this at my age
is not easy, so I can feel satisfied with myself," Sun said. "Today
we lost (the relay) to Japan, firstly because Japan performed really
well — they are always excellent and we need to learn from each
other. It should encourage us to do better.
"Secondly, we have two young
swimmers in the relay team, we're trying to train our young swimmers
and give them some experience. For myself today, one night, two
finals is OK."
China's Xu Jiayu joined Sun by
collecting his second gold of the Games when he won the men's 50
backstroke final after taking out the 100 on day one.
Kanako Watanbe, the 2015 world
champion, retained her 200 breaststroke title but Kosuke Hagino —
the outstanding swimmer of the last Asian Games when he won seven
medals at Incheon — was beaten by China's Shun Wang in the 200
Hagino did avenge that defeat
shortly after and pick up a gold in the relay with Shun taking
silver as Japan drew level with China at the top of the swimming
medals table with seven golds each.
No other country has won a gold
in the pool on the first two days of competition. South Korea has
won two silvers and Singapore, Hong Kong and Vietnam each have a
Japan opens Rugby World Cup stadium on 2011 tsunami site
Rugby players of Kamaishi Seawaves and Yamaha Jubilo play during an
opening match at new Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium in Kamaishi,
northern Japan, Sunday, Aug. 19. (Yusuke Ogata/Kyodo News via AP)
Kamaishi, Japan (AP) — Japan
opened a new stadium Sunday for the 2019 Rugby World Cup on the site of
a school that was destroyed by a devastating tsunami in 2011.
Two Japanese teams faced off in a
memorial match in the small coastal city of Kamaishi to honor victims of
the deadliest disaster in Japan's recent history.
The Kamaishi Recovery Memorial
Stadium will host two matches in next year's World Cup, which will be
played at 12 venues around Japan.
Rugby is popular in Kamaishi, and
the decision to build a stadium and hold World Cup matches here has been
a boost to the fishing community of about 35,000 people.
"People in Kamaishi were able to
regain their hope through rugby," said junior high school principal
Kenji Sasaki. "I personally feel like I'm dreaming."
The 2011 tsunami killed more than
18,000 people along Japan's northeast coast, including more than 1,000
The 6,000-seat stadium, the only
new one built for the World Cup, stands on the former grounds of an
elementary school and a junior high school. Another 10,000 temporary
seats will be added for the two World Cup matches in September and
October of 2019.
About 6,500 people turned out for
Sunday's match between the Kamaishi Seawaves and Yamaha Jubilo, which
Yamaha won 29-24.
"I'm very grateful that I'm able to
be involved in the reconstruction of the town," Yamaha's star fullback
Ayumu Goromaru said.
Man City highlight gulf to fierce rivals United in EPL
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring his side's third goal
of the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and
Huddersfield Town at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Sunday, Aug. 19.
(AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
Manchester (AP) - Manchester
City delivered yet another reminder that they are the team to beat in
the Premier League this season.
On Sunday's evidence, winning the
league title looks beyond Manchester United.
A few hours after City thrashed
Huddersfield 6-1 — mainly thanks to a hat trick by Sergio Aguero —
United slumped to a 3-2 loss at Brighton after conceding three goals in
a 20-minute span in the first half.
City have already racked up eight
goals in the first two games of their title defence. Aguero looks in
peak form, fit-again Benjamin Mendy is in rampaging mood down the left,
while coach Pep Guardiola had the luxury of starting Raheem Sterling,
Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez on the bench against Huddersfield.
It looks a lot less rosy at the
champions' fierce rivals.
United's difficult offseason,
notable for the grumpiness of coach Jose Mourinho and the club's
struggles in the transfer market, was briefly forgotten about thanks to
an opening-day 2-1 win over Leicester last week.
But the loss to Brighton exposed
weaknesses in United's team, particularly their fragile defence in which
center backs Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof — Mourinho signings — were
Mourinho failed to get a new
central defender he craved, with his employers not prepared to spend any
more money on that position. It might prove to be a big mistake.
After two games, City are one of
five teams with a maximum of six points.
SEALED WITH A KISS
For Aguero, it was a performance
sealed with a kiss.
Aguero had just scored his third
goal in a brilliant individual display when he was substituted by
Guardiola, who kissed the Argentina striker on the cheek as he walked
Aguero began the rout with a goal
that started with a pinpoint 70-yard ball forward from Ederson right to
the feet of Aguero, who cut inside and chipped the opposition
City's other scorers were Gabriel
Jesus, who started up front alongside Aguero in a 3-5-2 formation, and
long-serving playmaker David Silva, who curled in a free kick early in
the second half. A miserable afternoon at Etihad Stadium for
Huddersfield was wrapped up by Terence Kongolo's 84th-minute own-goal.
City began their title defence by
beating Arsenal 2-0 away last weekend, having earlier beaten Chelsea 2-0
in the season-opening Community Shield at Wembley Stadium
City's clinic against Huddersfield
was a tough act to follow for United and the sloppy display at Brighton
highlighted the gulf between the rivals.
Slow in possession, United fell
apart in a woeful spell at the end of the first half when Brighton
scored through Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy — from a corner — and Pascal
Gross, who converted a penalty after being fouled by Bailly.
Romelu Lukaku had made it 2-1 with
a glancing header following Luke Shaw's bouncing shot from the edge of
the area but United never looked like pulling it back in the second half
as Brighton defended stoutly.
Paul Pogba converted a penalty with
virtually the last kick of the game.
WATFORD'S FAST START
For the second straight year,
Watford have made a fast start to the season.
A 3-1 win at Burnley gave Watford a
second straight win to open the season, moving the team to six points
along with City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Bournemouth.
Watford were in the league's top
four three months into last season before fading away.
Andre Gray, Troy Deeney and Will
Hughes scored the goals at Turf Moor, with James Tarkowski replying for
Sun celebrates Asian Games gold medal before flags fall
Yang celebrates after winning the men's 200m freestyle final during the
swimming competition at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday,
Aug. 19. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue )
Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) — After
waiting so long to win this title, Sun Yang really wanted to see his flag
flying at the Asian Games.
China's greatest swimmer finally won
the 200-meter freestyle gold after placing second at the 2010 and '14
editions of the continental games.
Sun, a three-time Olympic gold medalist
and nine-time world champion, had straddled the lane rope and held both arms
up in triumph after touching the wall in 1 minute 45.43 seconds Sunday on
the first night of finals.
He later climbed a tiered platform full
of photographers to shake hands with his supporters in the stands, and
choked back tears as he returned to the pool deck.
Everything was going to plan until he
was standing atop the podium and a technical malfunction resulted in the
flags of the three medalists crashing to the ground. The 6-foot-7 (2-meter)
Sun got off the podium, walked to some officials and demanded they do it
The flags were re-attached to the
broken hoist but couldn't be raised as the anthems were replayed. Sun later
played down the incident, saying he was just relieved to win the event.
"I've waited eight years for this
title," Sun said. "People worried more for me over the 200 — (they) don't
worry as much for the longer distances.
"I think my experience and
aggressiveness were the keys. It is a good start for the Chinese men's
Sun is targeting victories in every
freestyle event from the 200- to the 1,500-meters and kicked it off with a
comfortable win, finishing more than a second clear of Katsuhiro Matsumoto
China won four of the first seven
swimming golds, edging archrival Japan by one with five days remaining in
Rikako Ikee led the Japanese women's
4x100-meter relay team off to a games record after Daiya Seto's win in the
men's 200-meter butterfly and Satomi Suzuki's win in the women's 100
China claimed the first gold medal of
the games in the morning session with Sun Peiyuan's acrobatic victory in
wushu's changquan discipline. Sun scored 9.75 to claim a gold medal in the
same city where he won the world title in 2015, holding off local hope Edgar
Marvelo and Tsai Tse-min of Taiwan.
There were 21 finals on the program for
the day across the host cities of Jakarta and Palembang.
Taiwan won the first of the gold medals
in Palembang — on the island of Sumatra and more than 400 kilometers
northwest of the capital — with Lin Ying-shin and Lu Shao-chuan combining
for a games record 494.1 points in the 10-meter air rifle mixed team final.
Also in Palembang, a joint Koreas
rowing team finished last in the first heat of the lightweight men's four
competition behind Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Hong Kong.
South Koreans Kim Su-min and Park
Tae-hyun and North Koreans Yun Chol Jin and Kim Chol Jin only started
training together last month after their countries agreed to enter joint
teams for three rowing events, a dragon boat crew and women's basketball.
The South Koreans were more successful
in their traditional form of martial arts, securing two of the first
taekwondo poomsae gold medals ever awarded at the Asian Games.
Defia Ronsmaniar won Indonesia's first
gold after beating Marjan Salahshouri of Iran in the women's individual
poomsae final. Thailand upset South Korea for the women's team title.
Mongolia opened its gold medal account
when Bekhbayer Erdenebat beat North Korea's Kang Kum Song in the men's
57-kilogram freestyle wrestling final.
India made up for two-time Olympic
wrestling medalist Kumar Sushil's shocking first-round loss when Barjang
Bajrang won the 65-kilogram class.
In one of the biggest shockers of the
day, Vietnam edged Japan 1-0 on Quang Hai Nguyen's left-foot shot from the
edge of the area after a defensive blunder in the third minute to top Group
D. Both teams will advance to the knockout round.
India in control of 3rd test, lead England by 292 runs
India's Hardik Pandya, without cap, stands with teammates and looks
towards the dressing room after he dismissed Adil Rashid during the
second day of the third cricket test match between England and India at
Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, Sunday, Aug. 19. (AP Photo/Rui
Nottingham, England (AP) —
India tightened their grip on the third test Sunday by taking 10
England wickets in one session before reaching 124-2 by the close to
hold a formidable lead of 292 runs after two days.
After losing four first-innings
wickets for six runs to be dismissed for 329 just one hour into Day 2,
India then bowled out England for 161. All the wickets fell in the
second session, with England collapsing from 54-0 to 128-9 as Hardik
Pandya took 5-28.
Shikhar Dhawan (44) and Lokesh
Rahul (36) put on 60 for the first wicket of India's second innings
before both departed.
Cheteshwar Pujara (33) and captain
Virat Kohli (8) were in the middle at stumps, with India the heavy
favorites to win and reduce the deficit to 2-1 in the five-match series.
A total of 16 wickets fell in the
England teams went almost 80 years
without losing all their wickets in a single session — between 1938 and
October 2016 — but they have now done so three times in 22 months.
"It's very disappointing, after a
really good start to the day as well, picking up those early wickets and
being 50 for none," England batsman Jos Buttler said.
"We let that slip. It's important
we can recognize why it's happened, and improve ... We know that as a
side to get to where we want to go, we need to eradicate these
Pandya, who recorded only the
second five-wicket haul of his first-class career, has had his critics
in the early stages of his test career.
"I don't play for them. I don't
even want to know or care what they say," Pandya said. "I play for my
country ... that's my job, and I am doing the right thing. My team is
happy with me. Nothing else matters."
Djokovic beats Federer for 1st Cincinnati title
Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, reacts after defeating Roger Federer, of
Switzerland, during the finals at the Western & Southern Open tennis
tournament, Sunday, Aug. 19, in Mason, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mason, Ohio (AP) — Novak
Djokovic gave his racket to a fan and tossed his sweatbands into the
stands. No need for mementos from this victory. The long-awaited
Rookwood pottery trophy would be plenty.
Djokovic finally mastered the one
tournament that's eluded him, beating nemesis Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 on
Sunday for his first Western & Southern Open championship.
He got the better of a nostalgic
rematch — they hadn't played in two years because of injuries — and
broke through in a tournament that Federer has won seven times, never
losing a title match.
"Thank you for letting me win once
in Cincinnati," he told Federer as they stood on court for the trophy
After reaching the final five times
and losing every time — three to Federer — Djokovic jumped and punched
the air in celebration of his breakthrough. He's the first to claim all
nine ATP Masters 1000 events since the series started in 1990, something
that had become his quest after so many close calls.
"That's what the headline should be
about — this is such an amazing accomplishment," Federer said. "He's the
first to do it. I think it's very difficult to win Masters 1000s. These
performances don't come easy."
Djokovic leads their all-time
series 24-22, doing better in the biggest matches. He's 3-1 against
Federer in Grand Slam finals and 12-6 overall in championship matches,
including wins at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2015.
Djokovic completed a long comeback
from elbow problems by winning his fourth Wimbledon title last month,
then set out to get his hard-court game in order for the U.S. Open. He
got better as the rainy week went on in Cincinnati, playing his best at
"This seems to be a bit unreal, to
be honest, to be back at this level," he said.
Federer's serve had been
untouchable all week — held for 46 consecutive games. Djokovic broke
that streak to go up 4-3 in the opening set, prompting Federer to mutter
angrily. Djokovic served out the set, and then traded breaks with
Federer early in the second set.
Federer's game was off — 28
unforced errors — and Djokovic took full advantage. He broke him again
to go up 4-3 and served it out.
In the women's bracket, top-ranked
Simona Halep let a match point slip away during the second-set
tiebreaker, and Kiki Bertens rallied for a 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2 victory in
her first hard-court final.
Bertens served a 109 mph ace ,
flipped her racket away, fell to her knees and raised both arms. Moments
later, she covered her face for a joyous cry, wiping the tears away with
her sweat-soaked blue wristband.
One point away from another loss,
she had pulled off her biggest win, one that left her as stunned as
"I cannot find words for this
moment," she said.
The Dutch clay-court specialist
ended Halep's streak of nine straight wins, including the title at
Montreal a week earlier. She'd never beaten a top-ranked player, but
wore down Halep at the end of her two draining weeks.
During the week in Cincinnati,
Halep had one match suspended overnight by rain and wound up playing
twice in one day to reach the semifinals. She controlled the first set
on Sunday and had a chance to close it out, leading 6-5 in the
When that slipped away, she never
recovered, playing her worst in the final set — 13 unforced errors that
gave Bertens a chance to pull away.
"I had a match (point), so I was
there," Halep said. "I didn't take my chance. In the third set , I was
empty and I couldn't fight anymore."
Halep will be ranked No. 1 through
the U.S. Open. She fell to 0-3 in Cincinnati finals, finishing as the
runner-up in 2015 and each of the last two years.
"I need a little bit of rest
because I'm exhausted," Halep said. "But I also take the positive from
these two weeks. It's a great confidence (boost)."
Bertens has worked on her
hard-court game and her confidence on the surface. In three previous
appearances in Cincinnati, she won a total of one match. She became the
first unseeded player to win in Cincinnati since Vera Zvonareva in 2006.
Brandt Snedeker wins Wyndham Championship by 3 strokes
Snedeker watches his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of
the Wyndham Championship golf tournament at Sedgefield Country Club in
Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 19. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Greensboro, N.C. (AP) — Brandt
Snedeker began the Wyndham Championship with history — and ended it with a
Snedeker earned his ninth PGA Tour
title Sunday, three days after opening with an 11-under 59.
He closed with a 65 for a three-stroke
victory in the regular-season finale, breaking a tie with C.T. Pan on the
final hole with a birdie and Pan's double bogey in the group ahead.
Snedeker finished at 21-under 259 for
his first win since 2016 and his second at the tournament, but first at
Sedgefield Country Club, to close what he called "the most stressful week
I've ever had in professional golf."
"Shooting 59 on Thursday, your
expectations go through the roof," Snedeker said, also expressing pride that
he could "cap it off the way we did today, to play pretty much a flawless
round of golf."
Pan shot a 66 to tie for second with
Webb Simpson. Simpson matched his career-best with a 62.
"I feel like it was a round I needed to
make a push to the leaderboard," Simpson said. "Brandt's obviously had a
great week ... so I knew it was going to take something super low."
Snedeker opened the tournament with the
59 that made him the first tour player this year and just the 10th ever to
break 60, then on the final day played 29 holes at 5 under to seal it. He's
the fifth tour player to shoot in the 50s and then win the tournament.
He was never in danger of missing the
playoffs for the first time in his career, but the victory gave him a huge
jump on the points list. He climbed 50 spots to No. 30 on the list, after
arriving at 80th — which would have been his lowest finish.
"To be perfectly frank, I didn't have
any chance at all" to win the FedEx Cup before this week, the 2012 playoff
champion said. "After this week, I feel like I have a chance."
For a while, it looked like it might
come down to a playoff between Pan and Snedeker, who were even at 20 under
entering Pan's final hole.
But the 26-year-old from Taiwan ran
into big trouble: Pan shanked his tee shot out of bounds off a cart path
down the right side of the fairway and needed four shots, including the
penalty stroke, to reach the green on the par 4.
Pan said he heard "a couple noises in
my head which caused me to hit a bad shot.
"It's my fault. I can learn something
from it," he said. "I only played one bad hole, which is fine. You know,
I've still got a lot of golf left."
With the victory seemingly inevitable
at that point, Snedeker sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th to end it,
making him the 10th player to win in Greensboro multiple times. His victory
here in 2007 was the first of his career, and this time he finished one
stroke shy of Henrik Stenson's year-old tournament record.
"Wanting so desperately to win this
tournament, it was just a lot of emotion this week," he said.
Severe weather led organizers to
suspend the third round with 30 players still on the course and bring
everybody back to Sedgefield on Sunday morning, leaving Snedeker with 29
holes to play on the final day.
He wrapped up that round with a
one-stroke lead at 16 under before heading back onto the course. Since the
tournament moved here in 2008, every third-round leader who was that far
under par has gone on to win.
The other subplot at Sedgefield is the
last-minute push for the playoffs, which begin next week at The Northern
Trust in New Jersey with the top 125 players qualifying. With every player
who was between Nos. 122-127 missing the cut, there figured to be plenty of
movement near the bubble.
Sergio Garcia will miss the playoffs
for the first time in his career after winding up 131st on the points list.
Harris English and Nick Taylor played their way in, with Taylor saying he
would "kind of soak it in and realize that we've finally done it.
"It's really satisfying to finish it
off," he said.
Update August 18-19, 2018
Asian Games: Something for everybody - even contract bridge
Combined Koreas Ro Suk Yong, left, and Taiwan's Hsile Bao jump for ball
possession during their women's basketball match at the 18th Asian Games
in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday, Aug. 17. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) —
For size, the Asian Games are enormous. They feature about 11,500
athletes, which is about 1,000 more than a typical Summer Olympics.
For diversity, they offer many
sports that are unseen at the Olympics but native to Asia. How about the
Indian sport of kabaddi, or kurash, a traditional martial art from
Uzbekistan, or pencak silat, an Indonesian martial art?
Esports will also get a look as a
demonstration sport, and jet ski is on the schedule
The games, which open Saturday and
run through Sept. 2, also showcase sports climbing and skateboarding,
two events being added to the schedule for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
And — get ready for this — there's
competition in contract bridge, which should attract a slightly older
demographic than gymnastics or swimming. The oldest card player is
reported to be 81.
"We have really worked hard to
prepare this," Eris Herryanto, the secretary general of the local
organizing committee, told The Associated Press. "I think we are ready."
Jakarta has had less than the
normal amount of time to prepare. It was selected four years ago after
Vietnam, the original host, pulled out because of financial problems.
There are sure to be problems as Indonesia tries to show it could hold
even larger events. But there's also gratitude from the Olympic Council
of Asia — which oversees sports in the region — for stepping in.
Jakarta is famous for some of the
world's worst traffic jams, with a river of swerving motorbikes trying
to beat the congestion. Getting athletes to venues on time is sure to be
challenging. Some schools along transportation routes have been closed,
and the city is also using an odd-even license plate scheme to reduce
But no one is being asked to stay
home. Just the opposite.
"We are asking that people come to
see the Asian Games, but please come to see them using public
transportation," Herryanto said, calling this a chance to change habits
and a possible "legacy" of the quadrennial event.
Security will be heavy. Organizers
say 100,000 police and military will be on guard with another 100,000 in
Indonesia is certainly large enough
to think of itself as an Olympic country. With 260 million people, it's
the world's fourth-most populous nation after China, India and the
United States. It's comprised of about 13,500 islands — the government
says 922 are permanently occupied — that stretch about 5,100 kilometers
(3,200 miles), which is greater than the distance from east to west in
the continental United States.
Despite its quirky qualities, the
Asian Games are also a serious proving ground for powerful teams from
China, Japan and South Korea, and a chance for smaller nations to win
medals that are out of reach at the Olympics.
Forty-five nations are entered from
Afghanistan, Bahrain and Bangladesh to Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen.
Singapore, one of the smallest
nations, has one of the biggest names in swimmer Joseph Schooling, an
Olympic gold medalist who defeated Michael Phelps in the 100 butterfly
two years ago in Rio de Janeiro.
China has the largest delegation
with 845 athletes. But it's a young team. It includes only 214 who have
been in previous Olympics or Asian Games, and only 19 Olympic gold
medalists. The most famous is three-time Olympic gold-medal swimmer Sun
South Korea and Japan are not far
South Korea has 807 athletes, a
number that includes 38 North Korean athletes. The Koreas are entering
several combined teams, following up on a combined team in women's
hockey at this year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Japan has traveled with 768
athletes, which is more than double the size of the team it sent to the
2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. That reflects the size of the Asian Games,
and Japan's push to win 30 gold medals in two years in Tokyo.
Snedeker follows 59 with 67, takes 2-shot lead at Wyndham
Brandt Snedeker lines up his putt on the 15th hole during the second
round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament at Sedgefield Country
Club in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, Aug. 17. (Khadejeh Nikouyeh/News &
Record via AP)
Greensboro, N.C. (AP) —
Brandt Snedeker couldn't block out the buzz that surrounded his
first-round 11-under 59 at the Wyndham Championship. He refocused just
in time to reclaim the lead.
Snedeker followed his historic
opening score with a 67 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead into the
weekend at the Wyndham Championship.
A day after becoming the 10th
player in PGA Tour history to break 60, Snedeker moved to 14-under 126
halfway through the final PGA Tour event before the playoffs.
"You hear people telling you every
two seconds, 'Mr. 59,' or saying how cool it was to watch it," Snedeker
said. "So, yes, totally on your mind."
D.A. Points shot a 64 to reach 12
under — one stroke ahead of C.T. Pan, who also had a 64. David Hearn,
Peter Malnati, Keith Mitchell, Harris English, Brett Stegmaier and
Sergio Garcia were 9 under.
Snedeker, the 2012 FedEx Cup
champion, won this tournament in 2007 before it moved across town to the
par-70 Sedgefield Country Club. He had the tour's first 59 of the year
during the first round.
But it wasn't easy to follow a
score like that. Of the nine previous players who have broken 60 on the
tour, six had to play the next day and only one has shot better than 65
in that round: Justin Thomas, who had a 64 in the second round of last
year's Sony Open.
"You can't ignore it, you can't try
to forget about it," Snedeker said. "Hardest thing is trying to get back
into a rhythm. ... Now I'm better equipped for the next time I shoot 59
and play the next day."
By the time Snedeker teed off
Friday afternoon, that low score had held up for a one-stroke lead. It
temporarily slipped away when he had three bogeys on the front nine.
He reclaimed the lead late in his
round with some nifty putting. He sank two putts longer than 30 feet,
one for eagle on the par-5 15th and another for birdie on the par-4
16th, and wrapped up with the best two-round score at this tournament
since Carl Pettersson's 125 a decade ago.
"When I finally convinced myself to
hit a few putts, they started going in," Snedeker said. "Over 72 holes,
you're going to have stretches where balls don't go in the hole, you've
got to be able to kind of overcome, be patient, wait for the long ones
to fall, and luckily I made a couple coming down the stretch."
Points, who has made only one cut
since January and failed to reach the weekend in 19 of his 24
tournaments this season, had a strong front nine with three birdies and
an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole, where he sank a 40-foot putt. He has
finished in the top 20 at this tournament twice since 2014, and after
starting far off the bubble at No. 214 on the points list, could play
his way into the playoffs this weekend.
"Basically, I know this is possibly
my last event of the year, so I haven't been grinding really hard,"
Points said. "It seems to be paying off."
Pan, a 26-year-old from Taiwan, had
birdies on three of his final four holes to climb the leaderboard. He
sank a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 17 and an 8-footer on the 18th to
match the best round of his young career. He also shot 64s last year at
the Travelers Championship and the RSM Classic.
"I love this course," Pan said,
adding that his "trajectory tends to be lower than compared to other
guys, so I think I have an advantage here."
Among the other highlights: Brian
Gay had the day's best round, a 63 tarnished only by a bogey on his
final hole on which he missed a 4-foot par putt. And Mitchell opened
with five consecutive birdies to briefly raise the possibility of a
second sub-60 score in two days, before slipping back later in his
"It's definitely a different
feeling," Mitchell said. "But it's a feeling you try to get comfortable
with because you want to be in that zone."
A key subplot at Sedgefield every
year is the push by bubble players to earn postseason spots. The top 125
players on the points list make the field for the Northern Trust in New
Jersey, and everyone from No. 122 to No. 132 is playing this weekend.
Bill Haas, who at No. 150 is in
danger of missing the playoffs for the first time, made the cut at 3
under. Garcia, at No. 131, also is trying to make it for the 12th
straight year. Johnathan Byrd — who at No. 183 probably needs to win or
finish alone in second place to earn enough points to qualify — remains
in the mix at 8 under.
"It's kind of an easy mentality in
a sense," Byrd said. "Just got to play amazing or go home, or go to the
(Web.com Tour) finals."
Park, Salas share LPGA Tour lead in rainy Indy
Hyun Park, of South Korea, watches her tee shot on the seventh hole
during the second round of the Indy Women in Tech Championship golf
tournament, Friday, Aug. 17, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indianapolis (AP) — Sung
Hyun Park relied on the same, steady style that has helped make her one
of the LPGA Tour's top players. When her putts kept rolling in Friday,
she was virtually unbeatable.
Park shot a 9-under 63 for a share
of the lead with Lizette Salas during the suspended second round of the
Indy Women in Tech Championship.
"The best round of the year," the
South Korean player said through an interpreter. "My putting overall was
what really helped."
Salas, the first-round leader after
a 62, had a 69 to match Park at 13 under at Brickyard Crossing. Danielle
Kang and Nasa Hataoka were two shots back.
"It was going to be hard to top
that 62 yesterday but I stayed patient," Salas said. "This was a
completely different golf course, so I had to change my mentality a
little bit and I had to forget about the 62 in a way and just go back to
what I was doing."
Park has two majors and four
overall LPGA Tour victories the last two years, winning the U.S. Women's
Open and CP Women's Open last year and the Volunteers of America LPGA
Texas Classic and KPMG Women's PGA Championship this season.
Nothing rattled Park on a sticky,
"I worked on my short game the
most, especially measuring the distances," Park said. "It paid off."
After more rain drenched the
already saturated layout around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Park
completed the round by putting out in a downpour that forced the
afternoon groups to contend with a delay of nearly four hours.
In between the showers, the world's
fourth-ranked player performed like a two-time major champion.
She birdied three of the first five
holes to reach 7 under, started the back nine with three straight
birdies then took the lead with her ninth and final birdie of the day on
the par-4 17th.
Salas took a different tack one day
after tying Mike McCullough's course-record 62.
Rather than take advantage of the
course's soft greens, the 29-year-old American needed patience Friday.
She opened with 12 consecutive pars then made three straight birdies on
Nos. 4-6. After her first bogey of the tournament, on the par-4 eighth,
Salas closed out the round with another birdie to tie Park.
Salas hasn't won since the 2014
Kingsmill Championship, but she's developed a real affinity for the Indy
course where she's had five consecutive sub-par rounds dating to last
year's fifth-place finish.
Kang, who kept Salas composed
during a 77-minute rain delay Thursday, had a 68 to get to 11 under.
"I've been giving myself a lot of
birdie chances," Kang said. "That was my goal this week. I just have
been feeling like I was in a little bit of a funk, so I told my caddie
we were just going to pick a number, play my game, forget all the swing
thoughts, forget everything and just kind of play it by feel."
Kang hasn't recorded a bogey over
the first 36 holes and is in contention for her first tour victory last
year's KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
Hataoka shot 69.
Angel Yin, the 19-year-old
Californian who was tied for second with Hataoka after the first round,
was 10 under with eight holes left. Yin was tied for fifth with Thidapa
Suwannapura of Thailand and Amy Yang of South Korea, who also had eight
holes to go.
Defending champion Lexi Thompson
started on the back nine and birdied the par-3 12th and the par-4 16th.
She was 6 under with 10 holes remaining in the second round.
And the course could change
dramatically as it dries out.
Saturday's forecast calls for
partly cloudy conditions with highs in the low 80s and Sunday is
supposed to be mostly sunny with highs in the mid-80s.
Park promises to be ready for
whatever weather arrives.
"I'm going to do really well," she
said. "I feel really good about my game, especially my short game. And
it's just about the weather now, so hopefully the weather is good."
Racket-smashing Djokovic reaches Cincinnati semifinals
Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns to Milos Raonic, of Canada, at
the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament, Friday, Aug. 17, in
Mason, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mason, Ohio (AP) — Novak
Djokovic destroyed a racket to get on track and took another step toward
the title that has eluded him.
Enraged by his poor play in the
opening set, Djokovic slammed his racket on the court and rallied for a
7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Milos Raonic on Friday night to reach the
semifinals of the Western & Southern Open, the only ATP Masters event he
has yet to win.
After his passing shot finished the
2-hour, 30-minute match, Djokovic led the crowd in cheers and pumped his
fist, ending a long day with an impromptu celebration. He beat defending
champion Grigor Dimitrov a few hours earlier, completing a match
suspended overnight because of rain and returned a few hours later to
play a rested opponent.
"Quite a roller coaster, to be
honest," he said.
Djokovic has reached the finals in
Cincinnati five times and lost every time. He's trying to become the
first to win all nine ATP Masters 1000 championships.
"That's why I'm here," he said. "I
have plenty of motivation. I've put myself in a good position in the
He'll face Marin Cilic, who won
twice Friday to reach the semifinals. He beat Karen Khachanov in three
sets, completing a suspended match, and got a 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over
Pablo Carreno Busta, who was playing his only match of the day.
Several days of rain turned the
quarterfinals into an endurance test. Six men's and three women's
singles matches were held over from Thursday because of rain.
Roger Federer and Simona Halep made
quick work of their rain-delayed matches Friday afternoon and advanced
to the quarterfinals, facing the daunting challenge of playing a few
hours later in humid conditions.
Federer — the top player left in
the men's bracket after No. 1 Rafael Nadal withdrew to get some rest —
needed only 72 minutes to beat Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 7-6 (6), leaving him
on course for yet another Cincinnati title. He's won a record seven
despite missing the tournament the last two years because of injury.
Then, it was off for a little rest
before an evening match against fellow Swiss player Stan Wawrinka, who
advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Marton Fucsovics.
"Waiting around all day and hardly
seeing any tennis obviously is never fun for the tournament and the
fans," Federer said. "So we're happy that the tournament is back
underway. Today I tried to really focus on just the one match, not
thinking that there is possibly going to be two."
On the women's side, the top-ranked
Halep beat Ashleigh Barty 7-5, 6-4 early Friday afternoon to reach the
quarterfinals, then returned and knocked off Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-1,
raising both arms in triumph at the end of her long day featuring two
Halep has faced the most challenges
from the rain, with one match suspended overnight Wednesday and then her
third-round match held over for a day as well.
"I hope it's not going to happen
again," Halep said. "I will not complain, but it was a tough day."
Barty, who lost to Halep in last
week's Rogers Cup semifinals in Montreal, committed 32 unforced errors
to Halep's 17. Halep is seeking her first Cincinnati championship after
losing in the finals last year and 2015.
In a match between rested players,
Petra Kvitova beat Elise Mertens 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 to reach the semifinals.
'Really cool feeling': Brandt Snedeker shoots 59 at Wyndham
Brandt Snedeker reacts after making a birdie putt on the ninth
hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament
in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 16. Sneaker shot a 59 in the first
round. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
(AP) — Brandt Snedeker predicted low scores at the Wyndham
Championship — but not this low.
Snedeker shot an 11-under 59 on
Thursday, falling one shot shy of matching the PGA Tour record.
He made a 20-foot putt on his final
hole to become the 10th player in tour history to break 60. Jim Furyk
set the record with a 58 in the final round of the Travelers
Championship in 2016.
"I better be smiling," Snedeker
said. "I don't do this every day."
This is the third consecutive year
the PGA Tour has had a sub-60 round. Snedeker is the first to shoot 59
since Adam Hadwin in the third round of the 2017 Careerbuilder
It gave him a four-stroke lead
after one round. Ryan Moore and John Oda shot 63s, and Martin Flores,
D.A. Points, Brett Stegmaier, David Hearn, Abraham Ancer, Ollie
Schniederjans and Jonathan Byrd had 64s.
Snedeker — who said a day earlier
that the tournament would turn into a "birdie-fest" — began the round at
par-70 Sedgefield Country Club with a bogey at No. 10, and took off from
there. He played the front nine in 27, including an eagle 2 on the par-4
sixth hole when he holed out from 176 yards.
After that shot, Snedeker said a 59
felt like a real possibility. He remembered a non-tour event he played
in China in which he was one putt from that score, but those thoughts
"got in the way."
"To know what you're trying to do
and step up and have a 20-footer (on the final hole) and know what it
means, I was very aware of what was going on, and to knock that putt in
was really special," Snedeker said. "To know I'm a part of a small club
on tour and not very many people have done this, really cool feeling
Snedeker, the 2012 FedEx Cup
champion, won the Wyndham in 2007. He broke Si Woo Kim's 2-year-old
Wyndham record of 60 and had the best opening round in this event's
history. Arjun Atwal had a 61 in 2010.
"The trick for him is, he's playing
great. Now he's just got to rest, relax and start over tomorrow from
scratch and go play three more good rounds," said Furyk, who also shot a
59 at the BMW Championship in 2013. "It's awesome to see."
It's been a somewhat frustrating,
turbulent year for Snedeker. He has three top-10 finishes and two missed
cuts in his last seven events and has not won on tour since 2016. During
his first 16 tournaments of the season, he finished in the top 10 just
"Nobody could see this coming —
trust me," Snedeker said. "As much as I tried to positive self-talk
myself into playing good, I didn't see 59 coming today, to be honest
with you. ... Luckily, it kind of clicked all day today, and hopefully
it will keep clicking for the next three days."
At No. 80 on the points list
entering the final event of the tour's regular season, he's nowhere near
the playoff bubble and his spot at The Northern Trust next week in New
Jersey seems safe. But that ranking is his lowest since the tour's
postseason format debuted in 2007.
During his tie for 42nd at the PGA
Championship last week in St. Louis, Snedeker says he "kind of found
something" when he simplified some swing fundamentals and began to feel
better about that part of his game.
Then, he spent the first round
showing it off.
Snedeker, who began his round on
the back nine, reeled off four consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-16. He
then got even hotter on his final nine holes, with six birdies in
addition to the shot of the day on No. 6. But he missed a 3-foot birdie
putt on No. 8 that would have made a 58 possible.
"Could have been even more
special," he said, "but happy with the way everything turned out."
Moore, who won here in 2009, made a
move up the leaderboard in the afternoon with five birdies in a six-hole
span on the front nine. Oda, a second-year pro coming off a tie for
third earlier this month in the Barracuda Championship, had three
consecutive birdies on the back nine to pull even with Moore.
"You see a round like (Snedeker's)
and maybe kind of encourage you there's birdies out there, that the
course is playing scorable and there's rounds to be had," Moore said. "I
kind of took that mindset of, well, better get out there and make some
birdies if you don't want to be 10, 11 shots behind by the end of this
day. Like, let's try and close that gap a little bit."
Clarkson, Yao Ming keen observers at Asian Games basketball
Filipino-American NBA player Jordan
Clarkson, right, watches with Philippines' Pauliasi Taulava on the bench
as the Philippines take on Kazakhstan in the men's basketball tournament
at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia on Thursday, Aug. 16. (AP
(AP) — Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson watched from the
bench, not quite able to make it to the Asian Games in time to play in
the opening game for the Philippines.
Yao Ming was there, too, also
keeping a close eye on the Philippines' opening 96-59 win over
After getting a special exemption
from the NBA to play for the Philippines in Jakarta, the US-born
Clarkson should be ready to suit up for the next game against China. And
that has the attention of ex-Houston Rockets and Chinese all-star center
Clarkson, one of three NBA players
given an exemption by the league to play in Jakarta, said he had a
frustrating time while his status for the tournament was being
considered. The NBA also granted exemptions to Houston Rockets 7-foot-1
(2.17-meter) center Zhou Qi and Dallas Mavericks forward Ding Yanyuhang
to play for China.
"We went back and forth so many
times, saying I was going to play, then I wasn't going to play," the 6-5
(1.96-meter) Clarkson told Philippines' reporters after Thursday's game.
"Now, being able to participate is awesome.
"I'm very excited to know that I'm
finally getting to do this, being able to play ... for the country. It's
definitely something that I've been looking forward to."
Clarkson, who qualifies to play for
the Philippines through his maternal grandmother, has four days to get
familiar with "fun style of play."
"I feel the support, the love all
the time," he said. "My grandma is real proud I'm able to do this now."
The Philippines is playing a
tournament for the first time since 10 players and two coaches were
suspended following a wild brawl in a World Cup qualifier against
Australia on July 2. Three Australian players were also suspended.
Video of the brawl was widely
played around the world, with punches thrown, chairs tossed at players,
and security needed to restore order.
Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr. to replace Alonso at McLaren
In this Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 file photo,
Renault driver Carlos Sainz Jr. of Spain steers his car during the first
free practice at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
(AP) — Carlos Sainz Jr. will leave Renault to drive for McLaren in
Formula One next year as a replacement for Fernando Alonso.
McLaren said it signed the
23-year-old Spaniard to a "multi-year" deal without giving further
"I've been a McLaren fan for as
long as I can remember. It's a great name in the sport with an
incredible heritage," Sainz Jr. said. "The list of drivers that have
raced for McLaren over the years are among the heroes of Formula 1.
Fernando is of course one of them, so it's particularly special that
I'll be taking his seat."
Alonso — a two-time F1 champion —
said Tuesday he was leaving F1 at the end of the season after 32 wins,
22 pole positions and finishing F1 runner-up three times.
There is speculation that McLaren
will enter IndyCar with Alonso as one of its drivers. Alonso ran the
Indianapolis 500 last year and was in position to win the race until his
engine failed. Alonso also ran the Rolex 24 at Daytona as a warm-up for
the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, in which Alonso was part of the winning
Sainz Jr. is the son of two-time
world rally champion Carlos Sainz. He will likely race alongside Belgian
driver Stoffel Vandoorne, although McLaren has yet to confirm its driver
McLaren chief executive officer Zak
Brown has high hopes for Sainz Jr.
"We've been assessing him for some
time now and rate him very highly among the next generation of young
talent," Brown said.
There has been a flurry of recent
activity in F1, with Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo leaving Red Bull
to join Renault next year.
Ricciardo was widely expected to
sign a new contract with Red Bull and his move to Renault — where he
will drive alongside Nico Hulkenberg — effectively pushed Sainz Jr. out
of the French team.
It also led to speculation Sainz
Jr., who came through the ranks with Toro Rosso, Red Bull's feeder team,
could swap in for Ricciardo.
Instead, the vacant Red Bull seat
could be taken by promising French driver Pierre Gasly, who has
impressed for Toro Rosso this season.
Madison Keys advances, Sloane Stephens upset in Cincinnati
Madison Keys, of the United States, hits a return to Angelique Kerber,
of Germany, at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Thursday,
Aug. 16, in Mason, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mason, Ohio (AP) — Madison
Keys used her forehand to beat Angelique Kerber — one of her toughest
matchups — and advance to the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern
Open on Thursday night between bursts of rain that resulted in
hours-long delays to start times.
Keys had lost five straight matches
against No. 4 Kerber, but turned to her forehand to rally for a 2-6, 7-6
(3), 6-4 victory. She hit 35 forehand winners , including the
match-ending shot for her first Cincinnati quarterfinals.
She's expecting a lot of attention
at the U.S. Open, where she reached the final last year and lost to
Sloane Stephens — her best showing in a Grand Slam event.
"I think it's the first time I'm
going to have to be someone defending, getting to the finals of a Slam,"
she said. "I have never done it. That's going to be a new experience for
Stephens didn't fare so well
Thursday, getting upset by Elise Mertens 7-6 (8), 6-2. The third-ranked
Stephens couldn't overcome 37 unforced errors that helped Mertens get
only her second career win over a Top 5 player.
First, three matches held over from
the previous night had to be completed. Top-ranked Simona Halep faced
the most unusual challenge in the group.
Fresh off her second Rogers Cup
title, Halep arrived in Cincinnati looking to extend her momentum toward
the U.S. Open. She appeared to aggravate her lower back on a 105 mph
serve during the second set against qualifier Ajla Tomljanovic on
Wednesday night. After losing the first three games of the final set,
she took a medical timeout for treatment.
Halep returned to the court and
took control, running off four straight games for a 4-3 lead when rain
arrived, stopping her momentum.
Seventeen hours later, she was back
on court and needed only 5 minutes and eight points to complete the 4-6,
6-3, 6-3 win on Thursday afternoon.
"I have learned that I don't have
to give up, because anything can happen," she said.
Halep was scheduled to face
Ashleigh Barty in the last match Thursday night, with the winner
advancing to the quarterfinals.
Two other second-round matches had
to be completed.
Amanda Anisimova beat qualifier
Petra Martic 6-4, 6-3 in a match suspended overnight. Fourth-seeded Juan
Martin del Potro beat Hyeon Chung 6-2, 6-3, finally completing the
second round in late afternoon. The winners faced the challenge of
playing essentially two full matches in one day.
Novak Djokovic and defending
champion Grigor Dimitrov were tied at a set apiece when more storms
halted play Thursday night. Djokovic has never won a Western & Southern
title, the only ATP Masters 1000 championship to elude him.
Djokovic has reached the finals
five times and lost every time. Djokovic is trying once again to become
the first to win all nine ATP Masters events.
Barrett at 10 for All Blacks, Hodge in for Australia
In this June 24, 2017 file photo All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett kicks
a conversion during the first test between the British and Irish Lions and
the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Sydney (AP) —
Beauden Barrett has held off the challenge of rising star Richie Mo'unga and
will wear the No. 10 jersey for the All Blacks in Saturday's first Bledisloe
Cup and Rugby Championship test against Australia.
Barrett, who was World Rugby Player of
the Year in each of the last two seasons, has been out of form and his grip
on the flyhalf role had come under threat from Mo'unga, who steered the
Crusaders to the Super Rugby title this month for the second straight year.
The All Blacks selectors had been under
pressure to select the form player but instead decided to stick with Barrett
and with Damian McKenzie as cover on the bench, leaving Mo'unga out of the
23-man squad. McKenzie is favored as the replacement because of his ability
to cover other backline positions.
The selectors also sprang a surprise in
naming Jack Goodhue to play his second test at outside center ahead of the
more experienced Anton Lienert-Brown. The decision allows the All Blacks to
take advantage of the established and successful midfield combination
between Goodhue and his Crusaders teammate Ryan Crotty, who starts at inside
Australia also made a notable selection
at outside center, with the versatile Reece Hodge starting in the position
for the first time in his test career.
Coach Michael Cheika picked Tom
Robertson to make only his third test start at loosehead prop after veteran
Scott Sio was ruled out with a shoulder injury. Allan Alaatoa comes onto the
bench as a prop replacement along with the giant youngster Taniela Tupou.
Tatafu Polota-Nau will play his 83rd
test at hooker after returning to Australia from England and flyhalf Matt
Toomua has been included on the bench after signing with the Melbourne
Rebels after three years with English club Leicester. Center Jack Maddocks
is in line for a test debut after edging Tom Banks for the last spot on the
Australia and New Zealand have captains
returning from injury. All Blacks skipper Kieran Read will play his first
test this season after recovering from back surgery, while Michael Hooper
will lead Australia after overcoming a hamstring strain.
In other notable All Blacks selections,
Waisake Naholo will start on the right wing, allowing his Highlanders
teammate Ben Smith to shift into his specialist role at fullback.
Brodie Retallick will play his first
test since September, reuniting in the second row with Sam Whitelock, who
will become the first All Blacks lock to play 100 tests.
Coach Steve Hansen said Whitelock has
been "an outstanding contributor to this team for a long time, both on and
off the field.
"To play one test for the All Blacks is
an achievement in itself but to be good enough to be selected and play 100
tests is a remarkable feat," he said. "In doing so he will join what is a
small group of very special All Blacks."
The Crusaders provide five of the All
Blacks pack, including the entire front row of Owen Franks, Codie Taylor and
Australia: Israel Folau, Dane
Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Kurtley Beale, Marika Koroibete, Bernard Foley,
Will Genia; David Pocock, Michael Hooper (captain), Lukhan Tui, Adam
Coleman, Izack Rodda, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson.
Reserves: Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Pete Samu,
Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Jack Maddocks.
New Zealand: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo,
Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Kieran
Read (captain), Sam Cane, Liam Squire, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen
Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody. Reserves: Nathan Harris, Kar Tu'inukuafe,
Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barett, Ardie Savea, T.J. Perenara, Damian McKenzie,