Make Chiangmai Mail | your Homepage | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Update September 2017

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

Update September 21, 2017

Jake LaMotta, boxer who inspired 'Raging Bull,' dies at 95

In this Feb. 23, 1945, file photo, Jake LaMotta, left, and Sugar Ray Robinson fight at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Matty Zimmerman)

Tim Dahlberg

Miami, Fl. (AP) - Jake LaMotta, an iron-fisted battler who brawled his way to a middleweight title and was later memorialized by Robert De Niro in the film "Raging Bull," has died. He was 95.

The former middleweight champion died Tuesday at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia, according to his longtime fiancee, Denise Baker.

LaMotta handed Sugar Ray Robinson his first defeat and reigned for nearly two years as middleweight champion during a time boxing was one of America's biggest sports. He was a fan favorite who fought with fury, though he admitted to once intentionally losing a fight to get in line for a title bout.

LaMotta gained fame with a new generation because of the 1980 film based loosely on his autobiography from a decade earlier. De Niro won an Academy Award playing the troubled boxer - violent both inside and outside the ring - in a Martin Scorsese film that several critics have ranked as among the top 100 movies ever made.

"Rest in Peace, Champ," De Niro said in a statement.

"Jake LaMotta was a champ," said Scorsese. "He was, as they say, larger than life. He lived a tough life, with a lot to over come, but that's exactly what he did. I'm glad to have had the chance to know him."

The Bronx Bull, as he was known in his fighting days, compiled an 83-19-4 record with 30 knockouts, in a career that began in 1941 and ended in 1954. But it was the movie that unflinchingly portrayed him as a violent and abusive husband - he was married six times - that is remembered even more.

"I'm no angel," he said in a 2005 interview with The Associated Press.

LaMotta fought the great Sugar Ray Robinson six times, handing Robinson the first defeat of his career in 1943 and losing the middleweight title to him in a storied match on Feb. 14, 1951, at Chicago Stadium.

Robinson stopped a bloodied LaMotta in the 13th round of their scheduled 15-round bout in a fight that became known as the second St. Valentine's Day Massacre. It was a reference to the infamous 1929 mob killings of the same name.

LaMotta took a beating in the later rounds of the fight, but he refused to go down until the referee stepped in to save him from further punishment. LaMotta finished 1-5 in six fights against Robinson, who many in boxing think was the greatest fighter ever.

"I fought Sugar Ray Robinson so many times it's a wonder I don't have diabetes," LaMotta was fond of saying.

In the fight before he lost the title, LaMotta saved the championship in movie-script fashion against Laurent Dauthuille. Trailing badly on all three scorecards, LaMotta knocked out the challenger with 13 seconds left in the fight.

LaMotta threw a fight against Billy Fox, which he admitted in testimony before the Kefauver Committee, a U.S. Senate committee investigating organized crime in 1960.

"I purposely lost a fight to Billy Fox because they promised me that I would get a shot to fight for the title if I did," LaMotta said in 1970 interview printed in Peter Heller's 1973 book "In This Corner: 40 World Champions Tell Their Stories."

LaMotta was "stopped" by Fox in the fourth round on Nov. 14, 1947, in Madison Square Garden. He didn't get a title shot until 10 fights later.

On June 16, 1949, in Detroit, he became middleweight champion when the Frenchman Marcel Cerdan couldn't continue after the 10th round.

Of the claim that Cerdan had to quit because of a shoulder injury, LaMotta said in 1970: "Something's bound to happen to you in a tough fight, cut eye, broken nose or broken hand or something like that. So you could make excuses out of anything, you know, but you got to keep on going if you're a champ or you're a contender."

Renowned for his strong chin, and the punishment he could take, and dish out, LaMotta was knocked down only once - in a 1952 loss to light-heavyweight Danny Nardico - in his 106 fights.

LaMotta's first defense was supposed to be a rematch with Cerdan, but the Frenchman was killed when a plane en route to the United States crashed in the Azores in 1949.

So in his first defense, LaMotta outpointed Tiberio Mitri on July 12, 1950, in New York, then on Sept. 13, he rallied to knock out Dauthuille at Detroit.

LaMotta's title reign ended when Robinson stopped him in the 13th round in Chicago, and he fought only sparingly before retiring a few years later.

In their second match, on Feb. 5, 1943, in New York, LaMotta won a 10-round decision, giving Robinson his first defeat in the 41st fight of his illustrious career.

LaMotta was born July 10, 1922, on New York City's Lower East Side but was raised in the Bronx. After retiring from boxing in 1954, he owned a nightclub for a time in Miami, then dabbled in show business and commercials. He also made personal appearances and for a while in the 1970s he was a host at a topless nightclub in New York.

The 1980 film "Raging Bull," based on LaMotta's memoir written 10 years earlier, was nominated for eight Academy Awards. Though director Scorsese was passed over, De Niro, who gained 50 pounds to portray the older, heavier LaMotta, won the best actor award.

In 1998, LaMotta, who had four daughters, lost both of his sons. Jake LaMotta Jr., 51, died from cancer in February. Joe LaMotta, 49, was killed in plane crash off Nova Scotia in September.

A funeral in Miami and a memorial service in New York City are being planned, Baker said.

Goals flow for England's top clubs in League Cup

Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal of the game against Burton Albion, during their English League Cup soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, Wednesday Sept. 20. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)

Steve Douglas

London (AP) - England's top clubs showcased their strength in depth in the League Cup on Wednesday, with Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton all advancing to the last 16 despite fielding virtual second-string lineups.

Back-up forwards had a particularly fruitful time on an evening when the yawning gap between the Premier League and the lower leagues was highlighted.

Michy Batshuayi netted a hat trick for Chelsea in a 5-1 win over Nottingham Forest, while Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were paired up front for Manchester United and both scored in a 4-1 win over Burton Albion.

In other Premier League vs. League Championship matchups, Everton beat Sunderland 3-0 thanks to a double from young striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Arsenal overcame Doncaster 1-0 courtesy of a first-half goal from Theo Walcott.

Leroy Sane scored in each half for Manchester City in a 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion, with the result soured for the visitors by the sight of Ilkay Gundogan going off injured in the midfielder's first start in nine months after a cruciate knee ligament injury.

A closer look at the Wednesday's five third-round games:



Batshuayi is facing another season as the reserve striker at Chelsea after Alvaro Morata was signed in the offseason as a replacement for Diego Costa, who doesn't figure in coach Antonio Conte's plans.

The Belgium international took his chance to impress with Morata having the night off, scoring in the 19th, 53rd and 86th minutes at Stamford Bridge. Kenedy and Charly Musonda also scored for the English champions, for whom Ethan Ampadu became the first Chelsea player born this millennium — a week after his 17th birthday.

Eden Hazard impressed on his first start of the season after a broken ankle.



Two goals in the opening 17 minutes by Rashford set Man United on their way to an easy win in the first game of their title defence.

Jesse Lingard and Martial added more goals for Jose Mourinho's side, which has also scored four goals in three of its first five games in the Premier League.

"We look happy playing football in this moment," said Mourinho, who didn't even include top scorer Romelu Lukaku in the squad for the match.



It was a contrasting evening for Man City's two Germany internationals at West Brom.

While Sane was scoring in each half — including the winning goal at the end of a rapid counter-attack in the 77th minute — Gundogan lasted just 59 minutes before being substituted with an apparent knee injury following a heavy tackle from Claudio Yacob.

Yacob went on to equalize for West Brom.

"He has a small issue with his knee, but not like before," City manager Pep Guardiola said of Gundogan, "and I don't think it will be anything serious."



Everton ended a run of four straight losses, when the team didn't score a goal, to provide some relief for manager Ronald Koeman.

Without Romelu Lukaku, who was sold to Man United in the offseason, Everton lack a prolific striker this season but two forwards were on the scoresheet against Sunderland.

The 20-year-old Calvert-Lewin scored in the 38th and 51st minutes, while Senegal international Oumar Niasse grabbed the third — his first goal for Everton in his first appearance for the club since May 2016.


The draw for the last 16:

Tottenham vs. West Ham

Bristol City vs. Crystal Palace

Swansea vs. Manchester United

Arsenal vs. Norwich

Chelsea vs. Everton

Manchester City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers

Leicester vs. Leeds

Bournemouth vs. Middlesbrough

Moustakas breaks Royals' HR record in 15-5 rout of Jays

Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield hits a solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Wednesday, Sept. 20. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

Ian Harrison

Toronto (AP) — Mike Moustakas hit his 37th home run of the season, breaking Steve Balboni's Royals record, Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield also connected and Kansas City routed the Toronto Blue Jays 15-5 on Wednesday night.

Rookie right-hander Jakob Junis (8-2) allowed four runs, two earned, in 6 1/3 innings, improving to 5-0 with a 2.42 ERA over his past eight starts.

Moustakas went 3 for 4 and came within a triple of hitting for the cycle. He eclipsed Balboni's 1985 record with a solo blast to right off Carlos Ramirez in the sixth.

Merrifield also had three hits and drove in a pair of runs as the Royals snapped a three-game losing streak and won for the second time in their past seven.

Kansas City came within a run of matching its season high. The Royals scored 16 against Detroit twice within a seven-day span in late July.

Leading 1-0, the Royals exploded for eight runs and seven hits in the second, chasing Blue Jays left-hander Brett Anderson and sending 12 batters to the plate. Alcides Escobar had a two-run single, Merrifield hit an RBI single, Eric Hosmer ended Anderson's night with a two-run double, and Perez greeted reliever Luis Santos with his 26th home run, a two-run drive to left.

Anderson (3-4) left his previous start at Minnesota in the fifth after being bothered by a blister on his index finger. Against the Royals, he allowed eight runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings. Anderson was caught by TV cameras ripping his cap apart as he sat in the dugout after coming out of the game.

Kansas City added four more against Ramirez in the sixth, snapping the rookie's streak of 47 2/3 scoreless innings in the minors and majors. He had pitched 10 shutout innings to begin his big league career.

Merrifield ended the streak with a leadoff homer, his 18th, Cabrera hit an RBI double, Perez drove in a run with a groundout and Moustakas added a two-out homer.

Raffy Lopez homered in the ninth for the Blue Jays.


Royals: Perez took a foul ball off his left elbow in the bottom of the seventh. Perez finished the inning but was replaced by pinch hitter Drew Butera in the eighth.


Royals: LHP Jason Vargas (16-10, 4.19) pitched five innings to beat the Indians in his previous start as Kansas City snapped Cleveland's 22-game winning streak.

Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (9-10, 3.76) is 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three September starts.

Dumoulin tops Roglic, Froome for cycling time trial title

Tom Dumoulin of The Netherlands competes in the UCI Cycling Road World Championships men’s elite individual time trial in Bergen, Norway, Wednesday Sept. 20. (Cornelius Poppe/NTB Scanpix)

Bergen, Norway (AP) — Giro d' Italia champion Tom Dumoulin won the time trial world title on Wednesday, beating runner-up Primoz Roglic and Tour de France and Vuelta de Espana winner Chris Froome to cap a remarkable season.

Dumoulin covered the 31-kilometer route featuring the grueling climb of Mount Floyen in 44 minutes, 41 seconds. His ride was so dominant that he was the fastest at every checkpoint and nearly caught Froome, who is one of the world's best against the clock and had started 90 seconds ahead of him.

"I can't believe it," said Dumoulin, who also won the overall at the BinckBank Tour. "I thought my power meter was off because it was so high. I felt really, really good."

It started to rain for Dumoulin's ride, but that hardly slowed him down. He finished 58 seconds ahead of Slovenian star Roglic and 1:21 ahead of Froome, who added a bronze medal to a historic summer for the Brit that included back-to-back Grand Tour triumphs.

"A massive congratulations to Tom. I'm just glad I've got no regrets," said Froome, who decided to race the world championships despite coming off the three-week Vuelta.

"I gave it everything I had and I'd much rather be here and get a bronze than be at home wondering, 'What if?'" he said. "The question has been answered and now it's time to put my feet up."

Dumoulin, who earned the bronze medal at the world championships three years ago, was also part of Team Sunweb's gold medal-winning effort in Sunday's team trial.

"Doing the double is amazing. Last Sunday it was a bit of a surprise that we won with the team," he said. "Today is less surprising — I was one of the favorites. But in some ways that makes it harder."

Some riders chose to get off their time trial bikes and mount a traditional road bike for the climb up Mount Floyen. But Dumoulin saved some time by staying on his aerodynamic TT bike, though he was so much stronger on the rest of the course that it hardly mattered.

His victory continued a stellar string of results for the Dutch at the world champions. Annemiek van Vlueten and Anna van der Breggen gave the Netherlands a 1-2 finish in the women's race Tuesday.

Nelson Oliveria of Portugal was fourth and Vasil Kiryieka of Belarus was fifth, while four-time and defending champ Tony Martin of Germany finished ninth on a course that did not suit his strengths.

French contender Alexis Gougeard had a mechanical problem on the final climb that knocked him from podium contention, while Australia's Rohan Dennis — who was within 10 seconds of Dumoulin on the flatter section — crashed hard before remounting and finishing eighth.

Madrid stunned by Betis at home, lose ground to Barcelona

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo gestures after Real Betis score the winning goal during their Spanish La Liga match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Wednesday, Sept. 20. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Tales Azzoni

Madrid (AP) — Real Madrid's faltering start to the Spanish league season continued on Wednesday with a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Real Betis.

A day after league leaders Barcelona routed Eibar 6-1 with four goals by Lionel Messi for their fifth win in a row, Madrid conceded an injury-time goal to remain winless in their three league games so far at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Paraguayan striker Antoino Sanabria scored the winner with a header from close range to give Betis a first win against Madrid at the Bernabeu since 1998.

The result ended Madrid's streak of 73 consecutive games scoring at least one goal, keeping them from surpassing the record scoring run established by Brazilian club Santos starring Pele in 1963.

Madrid, who were coming off home draws against Valencia and Levante, are seven points behind Barcelona after five games. They trail Betis by one point.

"This gap to the lead won't change the way we do things," Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. "We will keep fighting. It's a long championship."

Second-place Sevilla moved within two points of Barcelona by beating Las Palmas 1-0 for their fourth consecutive league victory.

Third-place Atletico won 2-1 at Athletic Bilbao.



Real Betis players celebrated as if they had won a title after the stunning win over Madrid at the Bernabeu.

"We knew we were coming to play in a complicated stadium, but the team put in a great effort and got rewarded with the late goal," Sanabria said.

Betis took advantage of a great performance by goalkeeper Antonio Adan and a bad night by Madrid's forwards, including Cristiano Ronaldo, who was making his league debut after serving a five-game suspension for shoving a referee in the Spanish Super Cup final last month.

"It was bad luck after all the chances that we created," Madrid midfielder Casemiro said.

Ronaldo had played only three other matches with Madrid this season, including against APOEL in the team's Champions League debut, when he scored twice.

"This is not the start we wanted after three games at home," Zidane said. "We didn't expect this."



Atletico Madrid moved closer to the lead by earning a hard-fought 2-1 away victory against Athletic Bilbao.

Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak stopped Aritz Aduriz's penalty kick before halftime and Angel Correa and Yannick Carrasco scored second-half goals to leave the Madrid side within four points of leaders Barcelona.

It was the second consecutive win for Atletico, who remain unbeaten after five rounds.

"To win in this stadium you need to play a great match and I think we did that," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. "We controlled the game and were very effective. It's a very important triumph for us."

Correa opened the scoring from inside the area after a cross by Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion in the 55th minute, and Carrasco added to the lead with a low shot into the far corner after a well-placed pass by Antoine Griezmann in the 73rd. Griezmann had also helped set up the first goal with a pass to Koke.

"It was Griezmann's best match so far this season," Simeone said.

Raul Garcia netted an injury-time goal for Athletic, who have now lost two in a row after an unbeaten start.



Sevilla kept their momentum thanks to Jesus Navas' 83rd-minute winner at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.

He scored from a difficult angle to give the hosts their fourth consecutive win to start the league.

The match marked the return of striker Victor "Vitolo" Machin, who left Sevilla in the offseason to join Atletico Madrid but is playing on a loan with Las Palmas until January. He was constantly jeered by Sevilla fans.



Deportivo La Coruna handed Alaves their fifth straight loss with a 1-0 victory at the Riazor Stadium.

Luisinho scored in first-half injury time to give the hosts their first win after three losses in the first four matches.

Malaga are the only other team to have lost all of their matches so far. They were routed 5-0 at Valencia on Tuesday.



Leganes and Girona failed to take their chances in a goalless first meeting in the top flight.

Both teams created clear scoring opportunities but Leganes, playing in the Liga for the second season, had to settle for a point with promoted Girona.

Leganes stayed in the top half of the standings, in eighth place, while Girona are 14th.

Federer, Nadal happy to play doubles, Borg to decide

Tennis players representing team Europe with their captain Sweden's Bjorn Borg, right, and tennis legend Australia's Rod Laver, 2nd right, smile during a welcome ceremony of the Laver Cup at the Old Town square in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Sept. 20. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Karel Janicek

Prague (AP) — With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup team tennis tournament, expectations are running high about the chance of seeing the two as doubles partners.

The three-day competition at the O2 Arena in Prague starts Friday, pitting a team of the best six European players against the top six from the rest of the world. No ATP rankings points will be awarded.

Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych are also on the European team to face Sam Querrey, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe.

The tournament is to honor Rod Laver, an 11-time major champion who won two calendar-year Grand Slams. It will include three singles and one doubles match every day. Bjorn Bjorg captains Europe while John McEnroe does the same for the opponents.

Federer and Nadal were clear about their choice of a possible partner.

"I've played a lot against Rafa on so many occasions, in big matches," Federer said at Prague's picturesque Old Town Square. "I think in nine Grand Slam finals. Finally, to have him on my side it's a joy. We talked about playing doubles a long, long time ago. It never happened. Of course, I would love to share the side of the net this time around. We have to see how practice goes and then at the end Bjorn will take the ultimate decision."

Nadal concurred.

"Of course, I would love (to play with Federer)," Nadal said. "It will be amazing if that happens. We've talked about that years ago to play in some tournament together. It didn't happen yet. We're looking forward to playing here, hopefully. Let's see if the captain allows us to play."

Borg has yet to decide how to form pairs for doubles, but suggested "there's a very good chance" for Federer and Nadal.

"He's the captain, he's the boss here now," Nadal said. "I am just here to try my best, every time the captain wants me on court, I am just here to try to help the team to win the Laver Cup."

Federer warned a victory was not a given even though the two are currently ranked No. 1 (Nadal) and No. 2 (Federer).

"There's a lot of expectations and everybody thinks we're going to win and play together then we bomb out," Federer said. "So, we better make sure we focus on just playing good doubles and if it works together at the same time, that'd be great.

"I'm sure that the crowd would go absolutely crazy."

Update September 20, 2017

Klopp angry as Liverpool eliminated from League Cup

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, left, races ahead of Leicester City's Marc Albrighton during their English League Cup, third round match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester, Tuesday, Sept. 19. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

Steve Douglas

London (AP) – Liverpool failed to finish off a slew of chances and conceded a sloppy goal in a 2-0 loss at Leicester in the English League Cup, arousing the ire of their frustrated manager Juergen Klopp on Tuesday.

It is becoming a familiar narrative for the Reds in a disappointing month when they haven't won any of their four matches. Questions are now being asked about the team's efficiency at both ends of the field.

Liverpool over-ran Leicester in a dominant first-half display, with Philippe Coutinho orchestrating the attacks from midfield. But the visitors struggled after the Brazil playmaker was substituted at halftime of the third-round match in a pre-planned move from Klopp.

In another game-changing substitution, Shinji Okazaki came on in the 53rd minute for Leicester, scored 12 minutes later with a deflected shot after Liverpool's defence was beaten to two headers, and then laid the ball on for Islam Slimani to drive home a stunning second goal at King Power stadium.

"Second ball from a corner and a goal from a throw-in — I'm sick of goals like this, to be honest. Unbelievable," Klopp said.

Referring to the first goal, Klopp added: "We didn't push up together — I say it one time, I say it a thousand times. It's not nice to concede these goals."

Since beating Arsenal 4-0 in the Premier League before the international break, Liverpool have been thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City and drawn 1-1 at home to Burnley in the league, conceded late to draw 2-2 with Sevilla in the Champions League, and have now been eliminated from the League Cup.

Klopp is easing Coutinho back to full match sharpness after the midfielder missed Liverpool's first six games of the season — officially because of injury and illness — while he was the subject of three transfer bids from Barcelona.

Leicester couldn't handle Coutinho's passing and movement in the first half, and only came into the game when he was off the field.

"They've got a world-class player in Coutinho," Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare said. "I was very relieved when he went off."

Liverpool finished the game having had 21 shots, but only three on target. Against Burnley on Saturday, the Reds only scored once from 35 shots.

Tottenham were among the other Premier League teams to win on a night when top-flight sides mostly fielded fringe players for what is regarded as the inferior cup competition on the English calendar, compared to the FA Cup.



In another unconvincing domestic display at their temporary home of Wembley Stadium, Tottenham beat second-tier Barnsley 1-0 thanks to Dele Alli's close-range goal in the 65th minute.

Tottenham haven't won any of their three Premier League games at Wembley this season, but have beaten Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.



Crystal Palace scored their first goal since Aug. 22 to earn a 1-0 win over Huddersfield and a first victory under new manager Roy Hodgson. Bakary Sako was the scorer from a corner.

Palace have started the Premier League season with five straight losses and no goals, the first time that has happened in the history of England's top flight. Hodgson replaced the fired Frank de Boer last week.

Defender Pape Souare came on as a substitute for Palace for his first appearance since breaking his jaw and thigh, and picking up other injuries, in a car crash a year ago.



Stoke lost 2-0 at Bristol City and Burnley were eliminated on penalties by Leeds after a 2-2 draw, as two second-tier League Championship teams got the better of Premier League sides.

Bristol City also knocked out a Premier League team in Watford in the second round.

Bournemouth, West Ham and Swansea were Premier League teams to advance to Round 4.

A cup winner in soccer, Rio Ferdinand now eyes boxing belts

Ex-footballer Rio Ferdinand poses for the media during a press conference at York Hall in London, Tuesday, Sept. 19. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

Rob Harris

London (AP) — When Rio Ferdinand hung up his boots two years ago, a career competing in sports appeared over.

Coaching jobs weren't considered. Only television punditry kept the former Manchester United and England captain in soccer.

There was still something missing for Ferdinand in retirement. Leaving the field, didn't dim his competitive streak. The former defender was missing an outlet to channel the aggression that helped him win every major honor with United.

Ferdinand has found it. At 38, he is planning an unlikely transition to become a professional boxer.

"It's a chance to really get my competitive juices flowing again," Ferdinand told The Associated Press. "I really do miss that."

There are financial benefits, too. Ferdinand is being bankrolled by a bookmaker whose branding was plastered over the backdrops at Tuesday's announcement.

"I don't look at this as a circus," Ferdinand told the media inside York Hall, a shabby but renowned east London boxing venue. "I'm not trying to disrespect anyone. I'm taking it seriously."

It is no stunt, Ferdinand maintained, despite the links to a betting company renowned for often tasteless stunts.

There is, however, no prospect of Ferdinand entering the ring soon. A professional license is yet to be granted by the British Boxing Board.

"I've got the utmost respect for the boxing fraternity and I'm not saying I'm going to be a world champion," Ferdinand said. "I'm saying there are loads of hurdles to get over and I'm going to meet them head on."

Since his wife Rebecca died of breast cancer in 2015, Ferdinand has three children to bring up.

"They just said, 'Dad, don't get knocked out,'" Ferdinand said in an interview. "I've got to maintain that respect once I walk through the front door. So I'll be doing everything I can to not get knocked out."

That was the concern raised by Curtis Woodhouse, a former Sheffield United midfielder who went on to win the British light-welterweight title.

"My advice to Rio would be show the game the respect it deserves," Woodhouse tweeted, flagging up the dangers of boxing. "This is no joke, you can die 'playing' boxing."

Ferdinand, who is aiming to fight at cruiserweight, realizes that.

"I've accepted the challenge based on many nights thinking about what the potential downfalls are," he said in response to Woodhouse's comments. "But I want to go in there and give it a real good shot."

For now, there is a three-month training regime to get there. Ferdinand will be working on his technique and conditioning with former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall, who has been involved with Britain's Olympic team.

"I wasn't that interested (in being the trainer), when they said it was going to be a retired footballer, in their 30s," Woodhall said. "But then when they said it was Rio, that changed my mind. I've always admired his attitude and his healthy living.

"He'll be a fairly small cruiser, in terms of the weight. He's tall and rangy."

Bairstow 100, England ease to victory over WI in 1st ODI

England's Johnny Bairstow celebrates after reaching a century during the first One Day International match between England and West Indies at Old Trafford in Manchester, Tuesday, Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Manchester, England (AP) — England gave Jonny Bairstow another opportunity at the top of the order and he responded with a maiden one-day international century in a comfortable seven-wicket win over West Indies in the series-opener on Tuesday.

Bairstow was 100 not out, reaching three figures on the penultimate ball of the match. Next delivery, Ben Stokes launched a six over long-on to seal the win.

England finished on 210-3 off 30.5 overs, easily chasing down West Indies' 204-9 off 42 overs in the shortened match.

A two-hour delay for a wet outfield meant the game was reduced to 42 overs per side, but any notion that that would play into the hands of the West Indies, the world 20-over champions, was convincingly dispelled.

Apart from a burst of boundary-hitting from Chris Gayle at the start of the West Indian innings and a fighting 41 not out from Jason Holder at the end, the tourists were outclassed.

Stokes took 3-43 to restrict the West Indians to the below-par total despite the rapid start from Gayle. Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid had two wickets each.

Bairstow and Joe Root (54) put together a 125-run stand for the second wicket and England won with ease to take the lead in the five-match series.

Bairstow was promoted to opener in England's last ODI, the loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy semifinals in June.

He was again preferred there ahead of Jason Roy for the start of this series and seized his opportunity. Bairstow needed just 97 balls for his near faultless century, striking 11 fours and batting through England's innings.

His century came from a drive through extra cover. He and Stokes ran three and he celebrated with a leap and a punch in the air.

Stokes ended it straight after with his second six and was 23 not out as England barely broke a sweat to win.

Kesrick Williams was West Indies' best bowler with 2-50, removing Root and England captain Eoin Morgan for 10.

It began brightly for West Indies in Gayle's first one-day international since the 2015 World Cup. He was dropped by Root on 0, then hit three sixes and two fours in his 37 from 27 balls.

Gayle fell as he was starting to get going, though, this time when Root held onto a second chance with a brilliant running catch at extra cover.

West Indies lost all their momentum in the middle overs, with Stokes leading England's bowlers on his return after being rested for the one-off Twenty20 game on Saturday.

The International Cricket Council said following the match that the West Indies' loss meant that Sri Lanka had qualified for the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.

The ICC said that with Sept. 30 as the cutoff for automatic qualification, West Indies could not move past Sri Lanka regardless of the outcome of their remaining matches in England. West Indies could still qualify for the 2019 event via a qualifying tournament next year.

Sri Lanka became the eighth team to qualify directly, joining defending champions Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.

Messi nets 4 goals to keep Barcelona with perfect record

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores a penalty during the Spanish La Liga soccer match against Eibar at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Tuesday, Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Tales Azzoni

Madrid (AP) — Lionel Messi added to his impressive start to the season by scoring four goals and helping Barcelona rout Eibar 6-1 to extend their perfect record in the Spanish league on Tuesday.

Messi converted a penalty in the first half and scored three more goals in the second to give Barcelona a fifth straight victory in the league.

The Argentina playmaker took his tally to 12 goals in eight matches this season, including nine in the five league games.

Messi had already scored a hat trick in Barcelona's 5-0 rout of Espanyol in the Catalan derby two rounds ago.

The result gave Barcelona a five-point lead over Sevilla, who host Las Palmas on Wednesday. Real Sociedad, six points back, are at Levante on Thursday.

Defending champions Real Madrid, seven points behind Barcelona, host Real Betis on Wednesday.

It has been a rather unexpectedly good start to the season for Barcelona, who began the league amid turmoil after seeing Neymar leave for Paris Saint-Germain and losing the Spanish Super Cup match to Real Madrid.

It is the best start to the league for Messi, who in 2011-12 had scored eight goals after five matches.

He is the league's leading scorer, with four goals more than Simone Zaza of Valencia, who had a hat trick in a 5-0 rout of Malaga earlier Tuesday.

"He is one of the smartest players I've ever seen on a field," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said of Messi. "You don't really know how, but he is always in a good position. He is extraordinary."

It was the fourth time Messi has scored four goals or more with Barcelona.

Brazil midfielder Paulinho and Denis Suarez also scored for the Catalan club, while Sergi Enrich netted Eibar's goal.

Barcelona were without Ousmane Dembele, who injured his left thigh at the weekend and is expected to be sidelined for up to four months. The young France forward, Barcelona's top signing during the transfer window, traveled to Finland to undergo surgery on a ruptured tendon. He made only three appearances after arriving to replace Neymar.

Valverde left Luis Suarez on the bench and started with Gerard Deulofeu, Denis Suarez and Messi as a false "9'' in the attack. Paulinho, the Brazil midfielder who came off the bench to score the winner against Getafe on Saturday, also made it to the starting lineup.

"Today we have been able to rest certain players and give playing time to others who needed to play and it turned out well," Valverde said.

Cubs win 2-1 in Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field

Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez hits an RBI-double off Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 19, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Dick Scanlon

St. Petersburg, Florida (AP) — Mike Montgomery took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, Kyle Schwarber hit his 28th home run and the Chicago Cubs extended their winning streak to a season-high seven by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Tuesday in manager Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field.

Maddon managed the Rays from 2006-14, then left to manage Chicago and last year led the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. Chicago entered with a 3 -game lead over second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

A crowd of 25,046, the largest at the Trop since opening day, gave Maddon a standing ovation in the middle of the first inning.

"I thought it was a quick nine years," he said of his time with the Rays. "I try to stay in the present tense, but that was a fast nine years and I have nothing but warm and fuzzies about it."

Montgomery (7-8) allowed one hit in six innings, a one-out homer in the sixth by Brad Miller. Montgomery struck out six, walked one and hit his first batter, Kevin Kiermaier.

Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis each followed with an inning of perfect relief to complete the one-hitter. Davis struck out the side and remained perfect in 32 save chances.

Schwarber homered in the second and Javier Baez hit an RBI double in the fifth against Chris Archer (9-11), who gave up four hits in six innings. Archer struck out six, riaising his total to 241 — 11 shy of the team record he set two years ago. He is 2-6 in his last 14 starts.

Another year, another distraction with LPGA's 5th major

Sung Hyun Park, of South Korea, plays a shot on the 3rd hole during the final round of the Evian Championship women's golf tournament in Evian, eastern France, Sunday, Sept. 17. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Doug Ferguson

Atlanta (AP) — In the five years since the LPGA Tour decided that the Evian Championship would be a major, the debate over its status has received as much attention as the winners.

The latest edition raised even more questions.

The first round was washed out by rain and raging wind, meaning Sung Hyun Park effectively got a really big mulligan. She was 6 over when the round was scrapped and started over with a 63 the next day. That's not worthy of an asterisk. It has happened before and it was the most equitable decision.

More disturbing was a "major" contested over 54 holes, a decision the LPGA reached with alarming swiftness. The LPGA Tour is off this week before going to New Zealand, so it's not as though another tournament had to be considered.

Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LPGA's communications and operations officer, said rain was in the forecast through Tuesday. Workers had to use squeegees on the 18th green during the playoff on Sunday.

"Monday was never taken off the table," she said from France. "We really anticipated we might need Monday to complete 54 holes. It gave us the best chance for a compelling championship."

Only three majors have been contested over 54 holes dating to 1892 (the first year the British Open went to 72 holes). All of them were on the LPGA Tour.

The first was at the LPGA Championship in 1996 when rain turned already soggy DuPont Country Club into a swamp and they were lucky to get in 54 holes. Tournament organizers wanted a Sunday finish in 1996 because it was on network TV (CBS), and because the hundreds of volunteers needed to stage the tournament might not have been available on Monday.

The other 54-hole major also was at Evian in 2013, its first year as a major, when the soil on a rebuilt course couldn't handle the hard rain.

More of a "major" issue that year was the very idea that the LPGA could declare a regular tournament a Grand Slam event. Evian had been on the schedule since 2000. That became a problem when Inbee Park headed to the Women's British Open at St. Andrews trying to sweep the year's majors. No one ever had won a calendar Grand Slam of professional majors. But would it be a Grand Slam if there were five majors?

Park never contended at St. Andrews, but the Evian issue took away from her bid for a Grand Slam.

At some point, the LPGA Tour has to ask itself if the decision to create a fifth major is worth the trouble.

Update September 19, 2017

Giro d'Italia: 2018 race route to feature 5 Israeli cities

Next year’s Giro d'Italia cycling race will start outside Europe for the first time in the event’s history as it winds its way for three stages from Jerusalem to Red Sea. (Cornelius Poppe/NTB Scanpix via AP)

Aron Heller

Jerusalem (AP) — Winding its way around the walls of Jerusalem's Old City, through modern Tel Aviv then the Negev desert down to the Red Sea, the start of next year's Giro d'Italia will highlight Israel's history, culture and varied topography.

Details of the 2018 race, which will mark the first time a cycling Grand Tour is held outside of Europe, were unveiled by organizers in Jerusalem on Monday.

After a 10.1-kilometer (6.3-mile) opening time trial in Jerusalem, the 167-kilometer (104-mile) second stage will go down the Mediterranean coast from Haifa to Tel Aviv.

Stage 3 will follow a lengthy 226-kilometer (140-mile) route from Beersheba in the Negev desert down to Israel's southern tip of Eilat along the Red Sea.

Flanked by Italian and Israeli ministers and former cycling greats Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso, Giro director Mauro Vegni said that Israel was selected to host the race because of its "history and uniqueness."

"Every year the Giro tells the stories of places of great interest," he said. "The territories crossed by the stages in Israel will show to the world tradition, culture and beautiful landscape."

More than 175 of the world's best cyclists will arrive in Israel to kick off the race on May 4.

The Giro is one of cycling's top three stage races along with the Tour de France and the Spanish Vuelta. It's being labeled as the biggest and most prestigious sporting event ever held in Israel and is expected to draw tens of thousands of tourists and cycling enthusiasts.

In its 101-year history, the Giro has previously opened a dozen times outside Italy but never outside Europe. Its arrival in Israel is the result of the lobbying efforts of Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli cycling enthusiast who conjured the idea to coincide with Israel's marking 70 years of independence.

"While a bicycle race will be taking place, this historic big start of the 101st edition of the Giro is about showcasing our country to hundreds of millions of TV and live spectators, our beautiful outdoor scenery, sharing our history and our culture and most of all, our people," Adams said.

In recent years, Israel has been promoting itself as an elite sporting event destination. It recently hosted one of the opening rounds of the Eurobasket tournament and is set to host the European judo championships and the lacrosse world championships next year.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said this was part of a "revolution in marketing Israel as a destination for leisure and tourism."

Italian Sport Minister Luca Lotti said the "start from Jerusalem is a metaphorical bridge between our two lands, made up of history, culture and traditions."

Contador arrived in Israel after ending his career in front of his home crowd at the Vuelta. Considered one of Spain's greatest riders, the 34-year-old Contador won that event three times, along with the Tour de France twice and the Giro d'Italia twice. He was stripped of a third Tour victory for doping.

Italian racer Ivan Basso, a two-time Giro winner, also attended the announcement.

"Every year the Giro introduces new things, which makes it unique. Next year, starting from the world's most spiritual city will make the Giro even more special," Basso said.

Vettel loses huge ground in title race after Singapore blip

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during qualifying at the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, Saturday, Sept. 16. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Jerome Pugmire

Singapore (AP) — In the space of three races, Sebastian Vettel has dropped twice as far behind Lewis Hamilton as he was ahead of him.

After winning the Hungarian Grand Prix in late July, Vettel led by 14 points, with both drivers on four wins heading into the summer break.

But after crashing out on the first lap in Sunday's Singapore GP, the Ferrari driver trails Hamilton by 28.

"That was very disappointing and it was definitely not the result we were expecting," Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said. "But it doesn't mean that the battle is all over, just that it has become more difficult."

Yet it might seem to Mercedes that, for all of his experience, Vettel is throwing away the Formula One title.

"Clearly we would not feel comfortable in Ferrari's shoes," Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff said. "But this is not the time for cheering."

Hamilton has won all three races relatively comfortably since the championship resumed in August, and with only six GPs remaining Vettel faces a huge task to stop the British driver.

"We guarantee that we will be fighting right to the final corner of the very last Grand Prix of the year," Arrivabene said.

Mercedes is still expecting a challenge.

"This result doesn't change a thing in the big picture," Wolff said. "If anything, it's a stark reminder that there are six more opportunities for the luck to go against us this season, just as it happened to Ferrari."

But it will be abundantly harder now for Vettel because, unlike last season, Hamilton has so far not retired from any races. Although he has failed to finish on the podium four times for Mercedes this season, that is the same number as Vettel's finishes outside the top three.

After winning three of the first six races, Vettel's grip has loosened with only one win in the past eight.

Points have been thrown away, too.

At the British GP in July, Vettel looked at least assured of a podium finish until an unexpected tire problem at the end of the race bumped him down to seventh.

On Sunday, he had a great chance to win starting from pole position on a hard-braking track much more suited to Ferrari than Mercedes.

A few seconds later, he was out of the race.

Vettel made a hasty error of judgment trying to cut off Max Verstappen heading into the first turn and ultimately caused a crash that also took out Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen — who had made a blistering start — Verstappen and Fernando Alonso.

Vettel apologized to his Ferrari team afterward.

With both Ferraris out, Mercedes had a clear path as Hamilton won his 60th career race and teammate Valtteri Bottas took third.

Mercedes faced a similar scenario at the Spanish GP last year, when Hamilton and then-teammate Nico Rosberg collided on lap 1 and both went out. Mercedes was livid with both drivers that day, and came perilously close to imposing team orders on them.

"You kind of feel for Ferrari. I have been in the situation of losing both cars," Wolff said. "I know how bitter this is."

The difference was that Hamilton and Rosberg were fighting each other for the title and, with no main rival from another team, it effectively cost them nothing.

Within Mercedes, Hamilton's title charge is now the priority.

Although team orders are very unlikely to be imposed, it is clear — unofficially at least — that Bottas will be racing to help Hamilton equal Vettel on four world titles.

Wolff confirmed as much when he inadvertently referred to Bottas as "our second driver" in his post-race debriefing on Sunday, before quickly correcting himself to say "ah, other driver."

Bottas has had a fine first season since joining as an emergency late replacement for Rosberg, who retired days after winning the 2016 title. Bottas has even exceeded expectations with 10 podiums in 14 races, including two wins, and sits in third place overall.

With a new contract for next year already signed, the Finnish driver has no need to impress Mercedes management and can play an ideal support role to Hamilton in the closing part of the campaign.

Still, he has a little bit of ambition left.

"There are plenty of races to come and plenty of opportunities," said Bottas, who is 23 points behind Vettel. "Definitely Sebastian is the next target."

With Hamilton ahead and Bottas closing behind, Vettel is under pressure to deliver at the Malaysian GP in two weeks' time.

Kerber ousts local favorite Osaka at Pan-Pacific Open

Angelique Kerber of Germany returns a shot to Naomi Osaka of Japan during their first round match of the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo, Monday, Sept. 18. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Tokyo (AP) — Seventh-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany got a measure of revenge for a U.S. Open loss by beating Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4 on Monday to advance to the second round of the Pan-Pacific Open.

Last month, Kerber was knocked out of the U.S. Open by the Japanese teenager in straight sets.

"It's always tough to play against her," Kerber said. "I was trying to come out here and really focus on every single point and make it better than last time. ... She's a great player and a tough opponent. For sure she will have great success in the future."

Osaka lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the final of last year's tournament

Kerber will play either Madison Brengle or Daria Kasatkina in the next round.

Also, wild card Kurumi Nara of Japan overcame a slow start to oust Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, while China's Wang Qiang beat Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-0, 6-0.

Meanwhile, organizers announced that Agnieszka Radwanska, a two-time tournament champion, has pulled out due to a virus. The 11th-ranked Pole was seeded sixth.

Broncos' 42-17 crushing of Cowboys shows they're back

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) is tackled by Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris during the second half of their teams’ NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 17, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Arnie Stapleton

Denver (AP) — Where so many others saw a Super Bowl favorite in Dallas' swaggering offense with its all-star linemen and pair of backfield superstars, Denver's defense envisioned a chance to show everybody that the Broncos are back.

They did just that in a 42-17 crushing of the Cowboys on Sunday night.

They held Ezekiel Elliott to an NFL career-worst 8 yards on nine carries — 43 yards fewer than his previous low — and forced Dak Prescott to throw a career-high 50 times while also putting a dozen hits on Dallas' second-year QB, a beating that left Jerry Jones complimenting the Broncos (2-0) for being everything he thought his Cowboys (1-1) were.

It included Aqib Talib's 103-yard interception return for a touchdown, an interception by Chris Harris Jr., two sacks plus five more QB hits by Von Miller, two TD catches by Emmanuel Sanders, 154 scrimmage yards and two TDs from C.J. Anderson and a career high-tying four touchdown throws by Trevor Siemian.

Elliott's less-than-a-yard average was the exclamation point.

"He had nine carries for 8 yards? Wow. Damn, that's crazy," linebacker Brandon Marshall said. "We are the best defense in the NFL. I don't know how many times we have to say it. I saw the picks on the NFL Network, everyone picked the Cowboys. Everyone thinks Dak is this and Zeke is that. They are good players, don't get me wrong.

"But I take it as the same thing as when we played in the Super Bowl" two years ago, added Marshall, whose block of Prescott guided Talib into the zone on his pick-6. "Everyone picked the Panthers because of their offense. But neither team had ever faced a defense like this. There is no defense in the NFL like this."

He has no argument from the Cowboys.

"I want to emphasize today, this is not what we're about in my view," Jones said. "I feel strongly about that. On the other hand, this is what Denver is about."

There are several other topics fans are buzzing about after Dallas lost its sixth straight to Denver and failed to become the first NFC team with 100 wins against the AFC:

VAUNTED VON: Miller ended his career-worst five-game sackless streak in a big way with a pair of sacks, five quarterback hits (not counting the two times he was flagged for jumping offside), two tackles for loss and a pass breakup.

"Sacks are good. You just can't be worried about that type of stuff," Miller said. "You can't really put all your focus on that. My focus has always been on being a dominant football player and being a dominant defensive player."

FLAILING FOWLER: Bennie Fowler nearly had his third touchdown catch of the season but when he tumbled out of bounds just shy of the pylon he landed on his neck and head. Then, when he got up and tried to run back to the bench, he stumbled twice and couldn't gain his bearings. He was diagnosed with a concussion and didn't return.

GARETT BOLLES: The Broncos first-round draft pick will go for an MRI on Monday after X-rays were negative on his injured left leg. He walked out of the stadium on crutches and with his left foot in a boot.

SPECTACULAR SIEMIAN: In addition to throwing for six scores with two fluke interceptions (last week the ball ricocheted off a defender and this week his intended receiver tripped), Siemian has shown better mobility in his second year as a starter, running 11 times for 33 yards.

Update September 18, 2017

Golovkin and Alvarez fight to a brutal draw; rematch to come

Gennady Golovkin, left, fights Canelo Alvarez during their middleweight title fight Saturday, Sept. 16, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Tim Dahlberg

Las Vegas (AP) — Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin argued afterward about who won their middleweight showdown.

No one could argue it wasn't a great fight.

Golovkin retained his middleweight titles Saturday night, fighting to a 12-round draw with Alvarez in a brutal battle that ended with both fighters holding their hands aloft in victory. It was a fight neither deserved to lose and, when the scores were tallied, neither did.

The middleweight bout years in the making lived up to its hype as the two fighters traded huge punches and went after each other for 12 rounds. Neither was down or seriously hurt, but both landed big punches to the head that had the crowd screaming in excitement.

Alvarez rallied late to win the last three rounds on each scorecard and pull out the draw, though both fighters claimed victory.

"I won 7-8 rounds easily," Alvarez said. "I was superior inside the ring."

"Today people give me draw. I focus on boxing," Golovkin said. "Look my belts, I'm still champion. I've not lost."

Golovkin was the aggressor throughout and landed punches that had put other fighters to the canvas. But he couldn't knock Alvarez down, and the Mexican boxer more than stood his own in exchanges with Triple G. The two were still brawling as the final seconds ticked down.

Alvarez was leading after the first three rounds, then Golovkin dominated the middle rounds. After a pep talk from his corner, Alvarez came out more aggressive in the 10th round to pull out the draw.

Two scorecards were close, with Golovkin ahead 115-113 on one and a 114-114 draw on the other. But veteran judge Adalaide Byrd inexplicably had Alvarez winning 118-110, giving him all but two rounds.

Golovkin, who has never lost in 38 fights, retained his middleweight titles. But Alvarez showed that he could not only take the punches of the fighter from Kazakhstan but land telling punches of his own.

A frenzied crowd of 22,358 at the T-Mobile Arena roared throughout the fight as the two middleweights put on the kind of show that boxing purists had anticipated. They brawled, used sharp jabs and counter punched at times, with neither one willing to give the other much ground.

"Congratulations all my friends from Mexico," Golovkin said. "I want a true fight. I want a big drama show."

There was plenty of drama toward the end of the fight as Alvarez rallied in the late rounds and rocked Golovkin with uppercuts and big right hands. But just as soon as he landed, he often took one back from the slugger so feared that most other fighters avoided him.

There was even more drama on the scorecards, as Byrd's score was off the other two by a wide margin.

"That's the life of a judge," said Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. "She had a bad night in a big fight."

It was a battle from the opening bell, as Golovkin tried to walk Alvarez down only to get hit by sharp counter punches.

Both fighters raised their hands in triumph at the final bell and jumped into the arms of corner men. Then they waited as the scorecards were added up to see who would leave the ring with the belts.

"It's not my fault," Golovkin said. "I put pressure on every round."

Golovkin predicted before the fight that the late rounds would resemble a street fight, and in a way they did. Both fighters were willing to trade, and both had no problems landing hard shots to the head.

Ringside punching stats credited Golovkin landing 217 of 703 punches while Alvarez landed 169 of 505.

Golovkin had chased Alvarez for nearly two years, trying to get the signature fight that would pay him millions and make him a pay-per-view draw on his own. Alvarez, the redhead known as Canelo, finally agreed to the match after Golovkin looked vulnerable earlier this year against Daniel Jacobs in a decision win that stopped his knockout streak at 23 fights.

But Alvarez said Golovkin didn't have anything he wasn't expecting, and that his power wasn't what it was made out to be.

Golovkin, who moved to Los Angeles from Kazakhstan to pursue stardom in the ring, said he would welcome a second fight

"Of course I want a rematch," he said. "I want a fight. A true fight. I have my belts. I want a championship fight."

Alvarez said he was more than willing to do it again.

"Obviously yes, if the people want it," Alvarez said. "He didn't win, it was a draw. I always said I was going to be a step ahead of him."

After the decision was announced, both fighters hugged and Triple G whispered something in Alvarez's ear. They then exchanged thumbs-up signs and a handshake, knowing they had done their jobs well.

"We knew this was going to be a war," said Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez. "There were no surprises."

The draw was the first mark on Golovkin's record, which now stands at 37-0-1. Alvarez is now 49-1-2, his only loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Golovkin entered the ring first, one of the concessions he had to make to get the fight with Alvarez despite holding all the middleweight belts. Alvarez, who brings millions of Mexican and Mexican-American fans, also got a bigger share of the fight proceeds and top billing.

The fight drew a sellout crowd to the T-Mobile Arena, where Mayweather and Conor McGregor engaged in their spectacle three weeks ago. But while that was more of a reality show than a fight, this was a battle that had fans on their feet screaming almost from the opening bell.

Alvarez was guaranteed $5 million, while Golovkin had a $3 million guarantee. Both were expected to make much more on a share of the pay-per-view revenue.

Vettel's recklessness plays straight into Hamilton's hands

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after winning the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 17. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Jerome Pugmire

Singapore (AP) — Lewis Hamilton had been worried about how many points he would lose to Sebastian Vettel at the Singapore Grand Prix. It was supposed to be a damage limitation exercise for Mercedes after a poor performance in qualifying.

Instead, Hamilton took a significant stride toward the world title after winning Sunday's race from fifth place on the grid.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo prevented a Mercedes 1-2 by finishing ahead of Valtteri Bottas. Fourth place went to Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz Jr. — a career best for the Spanish driver.

Vettel made one of the worst starts of his distinguished career, throwing away pole position as he recklessly caused a crash heading into the first corner. The Ferrari driver took three others out with him — and critically none was a Mercedes.

Instead of moving ahead of Hamilton in their enthralling title battle, Vettel now trails him by 28 points with six races left.

"It couldn't be a more perfect scenario," Hamilton said. "I definitely went in today thinking it was about damage limitation. To come out of it in the other direction is a shock."

Vettel was supposed to score heavily here. With less speed and 23 turns, the hard-braking Marina Bay circuit suited Ferrari much more than Mercedes. This was further reflected in qualifying, with Bottas sixth and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen starting fourth.

Furthermore, Vettel had the Singapore record for wins (four) and podiums (six).

But in a few seconds, he threw it all away.

The German driver gunned across the track, triggering first-turn mayhem and causing a domino effect as Raikkonen, Red Bull's Max Verstappen and McLaren's Fernando Alonso all crashed with him.

On one of the toughest tracks in Formula One for overtaking, Hamilton would have been pleased with a podium finish.

Instead, the field opened up perfectly for the British driver to seal his third straight win, seventh of the season and 60th overall.

"I capitalized on the incident," Hamilton said. "Who could have known that would happen?"

Following a massive downpour several hours beforehand, more heavy showers soaked the circuit just before the race which started 8 p.m. local time.

After a hesitant start, Vettel veered hastily left as he tried to counter Verstappen's strong start. It was a needless move so early on, and squeezed Verstappen and Raikkonen for room, causing them to collide on the inside.

Vettel's recklessness was even more pointless, because Verstappen is not in the title race.

Raikkonen's wobbling car tagged Vettel's before spinning across the track, careering spectacularly into Verstappen and Alonso.

"I watched the chaos unfold in front of me. It was probably good that I had a bad start," said Ricciardo, who has seven podiums in the past 10 races. "It gave me time to see what would happen."

Stewards summoned Vettel, Raikkonen and Verstappen to a meeting after the race, but no further action was taken.

Hamilton stayed left, picking his spot, and avoiding any danger as he moved into the lead.

"I saw this commotion happening," Hamilton said. "Then it was all about managing the tires."

After a few laps behind the safety car, the race resumed for real on lap 7.

Vettel was already in the garage contemplating the heavily damaged front wing and left of his car.

After apologizing to his team, the four-time F1 champion tried to explain himself.

"I saw Max and then next thing I see is Kimi hitting the side of me and Max somewhere there," said Vettel, who remains optimistic about his title hopes. "I'm sure there will be more opportunities."

Verstappen, who had started from second on the grid ahead of Ricciardo, blamed Vettel.

"When you're fighting for a world championship you shouldn't do that," the 19-year-old Dutchman said. "It was not very clever."

Vettel and Verstappen were involved in heated incidents last season, and the ill feeling still seems to linger.

Alonso, meanwhile, bravely continued but retired on lap 9.

"The car was completely destroyed on the left side," the Spaniard said.

The safety car came out again shortly after, as Daniil Kvyat crashed his Toro Rosso.

By the next re-start on lap 15, Ricciardo had changed tires, but Hamilton hadn't.

Hamilton eventually changed them on lap 30 of 61, and timed it right as he was a healthy nine seconds ahead of Ricciardo afterward.

Marcus Ericsson stalled his Sauber on lap 39, bringing the safety car out again — which irritated Hamilton.

This is because safety cars stop the leader's momentum, allowing others to close the gap.

Now Vettel is the one who must do that at the Malaysian GP in two weeks' time.

Lukaku compounds Everton misery in 4-0 rout

Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League match against Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester, Sunday, Sept. 17. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Rob Harris

Manchester (AP) - When Romelu Lukaku slotted the ball into the Everton net, the Manchester United striker had no intention of holding back on the celebrations.

Far from it. Especially after being jeered during Sunday's Premier League game by the Everton fans who revered him before an offseason transfer across northern England. The Belgian, who cost 75 million pounds, cupped his right ear to those supporters.

"The celebration was just a bit of banter," Lukaku said after scoring the third goal in a 4-0 drubbing of Everton. "I missed the free kick and they jeered me but I scored the rebound."

It compounded the miserable run for his former club. It's now four consecutive losses in all competitions, three in the league, with Everton conceding 12 goals without reply in the process.

So early in the season, it's looking bleak for Ronald Koeman's side who demonstrated such ambition in the summer when they spent 140 million pounds on new talent. That doesn't even take into account the free transfer of former United captain Wayne Rooney, who experienced a depressing return to Old Trafford on the pitch.

At least he received a warm reception, perhaps out of sympathy for the predicament he's facing at his new team. The poor run of form started with a 2-0 loss last month to Chelsea, who were held 0-0 by Arsenal in Sunday's other game.



Only alphabetical order is separating Manchester United and neighbors City at the top of the standings. After five games they have identical records. It is 4 wins and a draw each. Both have scored 16 times and only conceded twice.

Yet it was only Antonio Valencia's half-volley in the fourth minute separating United and Everton until the 83rd minute when Henrikh Mkhitaryan slotted in a second. Lukaku struck in the 89th minute and a handball by Morgan Schneiderlin allowed Anthony Martial to slot in a penalty in the second minute of stoppage time.

At the end of a week when fellow Dutchman Frank de Boer lost his job after only four games at Crystal Palace, Koeman is feeling the heat at Everton.

"We need to win, if you don't win then it is better to stop," Koeman said. "Every manager in life has doubts. There is nobody who doesn't have doubts as a manager. And if you don't win you know you have a big number of players in your squad, and you have doubts about what system to play. This is normal. Of course I ask myself the question 'Why?' Why?"

It's time, though to be "realistic," according to the former Southampton manager in his second season at Everton.

"Fans, press, we need time," Koeman said. "But it is difficult in football."

Not so for United, who have won their three home matches and scored 12 goals without conceding.



For the fifth time in eight matches, Chelsea had a player sent off. But David Luiz's dismissal in the 87th minute for a high, sliding challenge on Sead Kolasinac came too late for Arsenal to produce a winner.

Still, a draw against the champions gave Arsenal their first point at Stamford Bridge in six years and provided a psychological reset after losses to Stoke and Liverpool in their last two away games.

"There was a battle all over the pitch and we responded well in domains where we were questioned," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "I like it when the team shows that kind of response. So overall I feel it's a deserved point and with a bit more freedom and less inhibition I feel we could have won this game with one or two goals difference.

"Overall, first it was important at least not to lose today and you could feel that in the team. In the last 20 minutes we played with that in our minds."

Dolphins rally to spoil Chargers' opener

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills, right, makes a touchdown catch in the end zone as Los Angeles Chargers inside linebacker Jatavis Brown tries to get hand on the ball during the second half of their NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 17, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Carson, California (AP) — Cody Parkey hit his fourth field goal from 54 yards with 1:05 to play as the Miami Dolphins rallied in the fourth quarter to spoil the Los Angeles Chargers' home opener with a 19-17 victory in the NFL on Sunday.

The Chargers' South Korea-born placekicker Younghoe Koo missed a 44-yard field goal attempt with 5 seconds left after Philip Rivers maneuvered the Chargers (0-2) into scoring range in the final minute before a crowd of 25,381 in their first home game since relocating to the Los Angeles area after 56 seasons in San Diego.

Jay Cutler passed for 230 yards and Jay Ajayi rushed for 122 in the delayed season opener for the Dolphins, who spent the past nine days in California after leaving South Florida early to avoid Hurricane Irma. Parkey did most of their scoring, connecting from 30, 28 and 35 yards before burying his longest kick in the waning moments.

Rivers passed for 331 yards, and Antonio Gates set an NFL record with his 112th touchdown reception as a tight end.

Rivers and the Chargers moved 54 yards in 52 seconds to set up Koo, whose potential tying field goal was blocked in Denver last week. The undrafted rookie kicker pushed this one barely right.

Gates also made his 900th reception in the first half, becoming the third tight end in NFL history to hit the mark.


New Orleans — Bouncing back with a vengeance from a season-opening loss, New England's Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter for the first time in his career and eclipsed 300 yards passing in the first half for only the second time.

Brady's maiden Super Bowl triumph in the Superdome back in February 2002 is bound to be one of his fondest memories. But the 18-year veteran looked like a superior QB in his latest visit. He finished 30 of 39 for 447 yards without an interception — at least not one that counted. Saints defenders caught Brady's passes twice, but both plays were wiped out by New Orleans penalties.

Brady joined Warren Moon as the only QBs age 40 or older to pass for at least 400 yards and three TDs in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Rob Gronkowski had a 53-yard catch and run to highlight his six-catch, 116-yard performance, but left the game in the second half with a groin injury.


Seattle — Russell Wilson avoided two potential sacks and found Paul Richardson in the front corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown with 7:06 left.

It was an offensive nightmare as both teams had combined for 14 total quarters without a touchdown this season before the Seahawks finally broke the seal on the goal line. Wilson avoided Arik Armstead in the pocket and got his pass away before DeForest Buckner could pull him down. Seattle (1-1) snapped a streak of more than 112 minutes without a touchdown, despite missing on opportunities twice inside the 49ers' 10-yard line earlier in the game.

Wilson was erratic at times and magical at the end. He was 23 of 39 passing for 198 yards. He rushed for another 34 yards, 27 coming on the decisive scoring drive. Wilson was 4 of 5 on the drive and aided by a 20-yard pass interference penalty against Dontae Johnson.

Blair Walsh added field goals of 25 and 27 yards, but missed the extra point after Richardson's TD that could have given the Seahawks a four-point lead. The 49ers (0-2) only needed a field goal to tie but never got into position to have an opportunity.

San Francisco went three-and-out after the touchdown, punted and never got the ball back. Rookie Chris Carson rushed for 93 yards, including 58 yards in the fourth quarter.


Oakland, California — Marshawn Lynch ran for a touchdown in his first home game with Oakland and Derek Carr threw three TD passes to Michael Crabtree.

Cordarrelle Patterson and Jalen Richard added long touchdown runs to help put the game away and give the Raiders (2-0) wins in the opening two games of the season for the first time since their AFC championship season in 2002.

Josh McCown threw a pair of TD passes to Jermaine Kearse, but the Jets (0-2) proved to be no match for the more powerful and talented Raiders.

The Raiders' vaunted offensive line won the matchup against New York's front four , allowing no sacks and helping clear holes for a 180-yard rushing performance.

Oakland wore down the Jets and got a 43-yard touchdown run by Patterson late in the third quarter and a 52-yarder by Richard early in the fourth that made it 35-13.


Los Angeles — Kirk Cousins threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Grant with 1:49 to play to give the Redskins the victory against their former assistant coach, Rams and rookie head coach Sean McVay.

Cousins capped the winning 70-yard drive by finding Grant in the front left corner of the end zone.

The Rams (1-1) had tied the game at 20 on Greg Zuerlein's 40-yard field goal with 7:16 to play. It was set up on a trick play, when punter Johnny Hekker completed a 28-yard pass to Josh Reynolds to the Washington 17. But two penalties stalled the drive and the Rams had to settle for the field goal.

Chris Thompson scored on runs of 61 and 7 yards for the Redskins (1-1).

Mason Foster sealed it with 1:37 to go by intercepting Jared Goff.


Kansas City, Missouri — Chiefs rookie Kareem Hunt reached the end zone twice, Travis Kelce took a shovel pass 15 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and Kansas City held on.

Kelce's touchdown catch with 6:25 left and Hunt's second TD scamper appeared to have put the game away.

But Carson Wentz hit Nelson Agholor for an answering score with 14 seconds left, and Trey Burton jumped on the onside kick a few seconds later to give the Eagles one last throw to the end zone.

Wentz unloaded from just inside the 50-yard line, but his pass fell incomplete as time expired.

Kelce finished with 103 yards through the air, highlighted by his somersaulting score. Hunt had 81 yards on the ground, building on a record-setting debut in which he piled up 246 yards from scrimmage in a season-opening victory in New England.

Alex Smith had 251 yards passing for the Chiefs (2-0). Cairo Santos was 2 for 2 on field goals.

Wentz finished with 333 yards and two touchdowns passing, despite facing relentless pressure all afternoon. The spunky quarterback also led the Eagles (1-1) with 55 yards rushing.


Indianapolis — Carson Palmer's late rally got the Cardinals into overtime and Tyrann Mathieu's interception set up Phil Dawson for a 30-yard field goal to win it.

Dawson made the most of his second chance after pushing a 42-yarder wide right as regulation time expired.

Arizona (1-1) never led until the final play. It hasn't started 0-2 since 2005.

Coach Bruce Arians won his 42nd career game and tied Don Coryell for the second-most wins in Cardinals history on the same field he called home when he won his first NFL Coach of the Year award in 2012 as an interim for the ill Chuck Pagano.

Indy, 0-2 for the fourth consecutive year, thought it may have changed directions after switching quarterbacks. But newcomer Jacoby Brissett was picked off on the first offensive play of overtime.


Pittsburgh — Ben Roethlisberger threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes, Le'Veon Bell ran for 87 yards and the Steelers kept Minnesota in check.

Roethlisberger hit Martavis Bryant for a 27-yard score in the first quarter and flipped a shovel pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster that the rookie turned into a 4-yard score. Roethlisberger finished 23 of 35 for 243 yards and the two scores as the Steelers (2-0) improved to 10-1 in home openers under Mike Tomlin.

Minnesota (1-1) played without quarterback Sam Bradford, who sat out with a left knee injury. Case Keenum struggled to get anything going in Bradford's absence, throwing for 167 yards on 20 of 35 passing.

Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook ran for 64 yards, but Minnesota failed to generate any real momentum against Pittsburgh's rejuvenated defense.


Tampa, Florida — Jameis Winston threw for 204 yards and one touchdown, helping the Buccaneers return from an unscheduled bye week forced by Hurricane Irma.

The defense stymied former teammate Mike Glennon with four takeaways. Robert McClain returned one of the quarterback's two interceptions for a TD, and the Bucs didn't let the Bears into the end zone until Deonte Thompson scored on a 14-yard reception with 1:43 remaining.

The Bucs (1-0) dominated despite having a short week of practice following the massive storm that forced postponement of the team's scheduled season opener at Miami. Winston completed 18 of 30 passes without an interception. He threw a 13-yard TD pass to Mike Evans, who had seven catches for 93 yards.

Glennon, who signed with Chicago as a free agent last winter, was 31 of 45 for 301 yards and two interceptions in his return to Raymond James Stadium. The Bears (0-2) finished with 310 yards total offense, 1 yard less than a Bucs offense that hasn't had much work in the past month.


Baltimore — Baltimore relentlessly harassed two Cleveland quarterbacks, Joe Flacco ramped up his production with a pair of touchdown passes and the Ravens breezed.

Building on their season-opening shutout at Cincinnati, the Ravens picked off four passes and forced a fumble, giving them 10 takeaways in two games.

Most of the defense's damage came against Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who left with a migraine headache in the second quarter after four ineffective series: a three-and-out, a lost fumble, an interception and a punt.

The former Notre Dame starter was replaced by second-year pro Kevin Hogan, but returned in the third quarter with Baltimore up 21-10. On his second series back, Kizer moved the Browns to the Baltimore 7 before being picked off in the end zone by Lardarius Webb.

Brandon Carr's interception with 6:09 remaining all but sealed the victory.


Jacksonville, Florida — Derrick Henry, Delanie Walker and Jalston Fowler each ran for touchdowns as the Titans dominated the Jaguars.

The result was probably more indicative of what to expect from the AFC South rivals than what each showed in their season openers.

Henry finished with a career-high 92 yards on the ground for the Titans (1-1), including 87 in the final two quarters. Starting running back DeMarco Murray spent much of the second half standing on the sideline and wearing a baseball cap backward, seemingly uninjured. There was no need to risk him in this one, the third consecutive lopsided score in the series.

Marcus Mariota, returning to the place where he broke his right leg last December, completed 15 of 27 passes for 215 yards. He had a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jonnu Smith in the final quarter.

Jacksonville's home opener felt eerily similar to most of the team's performances the previous five years: Lackluster offense and mistakes all over the field for the Jaguars (1-1).


Charlotte, North Carolina — Carolina's defense allowed only three points for the second straight week, and Graham Gano converted three field goals.

The Panthers (2-0) held Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy in check all day, limiting the Bills (1-1) to 176 yards and 10 first downs. McCoy had 9 yards on 12 carries and Taylor had 125 yards passing. The Panthers had three sacks, two by Julius Peppers in his first home game since re-signing with them.

The Panthers needed a late stop to seal the win.

Buffalo rookie Zay Jones tried to make a diving catch on fourth-and-11, but couldn't haul in the pass at the Carolina 3 with 9 seconds remaining.

The Panthers have not allowed a touchdown in two games after beating San Francisco 23-3 in Week 1.

But they lost tight end Greg Olsen in the second quarter to a broken right foot. Olsen did not miss a game in his previous 10 pro seasons.


Denver — Trevor Siemian tied a career high with four touchdown passes and the Denver Broncos held Ezekiel Elliott to the worst game of his career — 8 yards on nine carries — in a blowout of the Dallas Cowboys in a game that included an hour-long lightning delay.

Aqib Talib's 103-yard interception return for a touchdown with 53 seconds left was the final indignity for the Cowboys (1-1), who watched Von Miller end a career-long five-game sackless streak by dumping Dak Prescott twice.

Elliott, who's playing while his appeal of a six-game suspension for domestic violence works its way through the courts, came into the game averaging 108 yards rushing per game and more than 5 yards a carry in his career.

The star in the backfield on this day was C.J. Anderson, who rushed for 118 yards and a score and also caught a TD pass for the Broncos, whose only big blemish in their fifth straight 2-0 start was the left leg injury to tackle Garett Bolles, their No. 1 draft pick who got hurt on the opening drive of the second half.

Two plays after Bolles was carted off, Siemian found Virgil Green for a 2-yard TD. Chris Harris Jr.'s interception set up Anderson's 22-yard touchdown run that made it 35-10.

Leishman gets redemption in Chicago, wins BMW Championship

Marc Leishman smiles as he poses with the Wadley Cup, left, and the BMW Championship trophy after winning the BMW Championship golf tournament at Conway Farms Golf Club, Sunday, Sept. 17, in Lake Forest, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Doug Ferguson

Lake Forest, Ill. (AP) — The clutch shots down the stretch in the BMW Championship belonged to everyone except the winner.

Marc Leishman didn't really need them.

Staked to a five-shot lead, and determined to not let another FedEx Cup playoff event get away from him. Leishman never gave anyone much of a chance Sunday at Conway Farms. And when Justin Rose made a late run and closed within two shots, Leishman made back-to-back birdies to put away the final challenge, and then added one more for a 4-under 67 to set the tournament scoring record.

Leishman went wire-to-wire for the first time on the PGA Tour. The Australian moved up to No. 4 in the FedEx Cup, giving him a clear shot at the $10 million bonus next week. He moved into the top 15 in the world.

But this mainly was about redemption for losing a two-shot lead on the back nine at the TPC Boston two weeks ago.

"When the pressure got put on that back nine by Rosie, I reacted with birdies," Leishman said. "Didn't get too worried. Just tried to keep doing my own thing and give myself chances. ... Backing up what happened (in Boston) was probably the most satisfying thing for me. I was just really determined to not let that happen again."

Leishman finished at 23-under 261, breaking the 72-hole tournament record that Tiger Woods set at Cog Hill in 2007.

Rose ran out of hope when he made bogey on the par-3 17th and closed with a 65. Rickie Fowler ran off three straight birdies only after he was too far back and shot 67. They finished five shots behind.

Fowler needed a birdie on the par-5 18th to grab the No. 5 seed for the FedEx Cup finale next week at the Tour Championship. He ripped driver off the fairway and over the stream to the back rough. It was a bold play that preceded a pair of meager efforts — a chip that came up 25 feet short, and a birdie putt that didn't get to the hole.

Jon Rahm birdied four of his last five holes for a 67 and will be the No. 5 seed.

Jordan Spieth shot 65 to tie for seventh and kept the No. 1 seed, followed by Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Leishman and Rahm. The points are reset to give all 30 players at East Lake a mathematical chance, but the top five seeds only have to win the Tour Championship to capture the FedEx Cup.

As usual, the only drama at Conway Farms was who made it to East Lake, and a pair of PGA Tour rookies delivered.

Xander Schauffele, who won The Greenbrier Classic in July, opened with 10 pars and two bogeys and was not even in the picture until the San Diego native played his final six holes in 6-under par, including a 30-foot eagle when he drove the green on the par-4 15th.

"A dream year for me," Schauffele said. "Pretty much every goal I came up with and I've got to start creating some new ones."

Patrick Cantlay fell out of the top 30 when he took bogey on the 16th hole. Needing a birdie to get into the Tour Championship, he hit a hybrid onto the green to 50 feet, left his eagle attempt some 10 feet short and calmly holed the putt to get in.

Cantlay returned to golf after a three-year break from a back injury that nearly ended his career, and the death of his close friend and caddie, Chris Roth, who was hit by car as they walked to dinner. The former UCLA star made it to the Tour Championship despite playing only 11 events this year. Being in the top 30 gets him into the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open next year.

Tony Finau wasn't sure what he needed, but he knew a bogey wasn't going to help and he was nestled in the rough behind the green after his third shot. Finau, No. 39 in the standings, chipped in for birdie and a 64 and moved into the top 30.

"To see it go in was ... man, the feeling that I have is pretty fantastic," Finau said.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia injected more drama than necessary. He figured he needed a par on the final hole to get into the top 30 when a bogey would have worked. His second shot was on the rocks in the stream, and after taking close to 30 minutes on a drop, he smacked it over the green into the grandstand, got more relief, and then got up-and-down for his par.

Phil Mickelson wasn't so fortunate. He made three bogeys on the front nine and tried to get back in the game with an eagle on the reachable par-4 15th. Needing an eagle on the 18th hole to make it to East Lake, Mickelson's 140-foot pitch-and-run hit the hole and popped out. After the 30-minute wait on Garcia.

Leishman won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March at Bay Hill. The third victory of his tour career was by far the biggest, and went far beyond the strong field, the $1,575,000 paycheck or his standing in the FedEx Cup.

Leishman pegged this event as a chance to spread awareness for sepsis and toxic shock syndrome, which nearly killed his wife two years ago. He asked the players to wear ribbons on their caps this week to celebration Sepsis Awareness Month. And then he went wire-to-wire, walking off the 18th green to see his wife, Audrey, and their three young children.

Nordqvist beats Altomare in playoff to win Evian major

Anna Nordqvist, of Sweden, checks the line for her putt before playing on the 18th hole during the final round of the Evian Championship women's golf tournament in Evian, eastern France, Sunday, Sept. 17. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Graham Dunbar

Evian-les-Bains, France (AP) — Defying driving rain and hail in a playoff, Anna Nordqvist beat unheralded American Brittany Altomare at the first extra hole to win the Evian Championship on Sunday.

Nordqvist took the fifth and final major of the season by sinking a 4-foot putt for a bogey 5 on the soaked 18th hole while the 102nd-ranked Altomare had a six.

Course workers removed pools of standing water from the 18th green as the players approached the putting surface after their third shots. The par-4 hole played long all afternoon and was near-treacherous for the playoff.

"I am from Sweden and I'm freezing," said Nordqvist, who was confined to bed for two weeks in July by a bout of mononucleosis. "I feel like I'm pretty used to bad conditions and that was probably some of the worst I've seen."

The 30-year-old Nordqvist earned $547,500 for the win, her first major since the 2009 LPGA Championship.

Altomare got $340,000 for only her second career top-10 finish, three weeks after she secured a third-place tie at the Portland Classic.

"It's really big," the 26-year-old Massachusetts native said. "I had a good week in Portland ... and I felt like I could now start getting some good finishes."

Nordqvist and Altomare both shot 66 for 9-under totals of 204. It was a 54-hole event after weather-affected play on Thursday was scrapped.

Second-round leader Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand and two-time major winner Lydia Ko of New Zealand fell out of the playoff by dropping shots on the 18th.

Jutanugarn (72) and Ko (69) finished in a tie for third with Katherine Kirk of Australia, whose 70 included bogeys at the 16th and 17th as the chilling rain fell.

Nordqvist's victory ensured 10 different major winners in the last two seasons.

Last year, Nordqvist lost a playoff for the U.S. Women's Open after a rules violation on the second extra hole — for touching sand with her club in a fairway bunker — was relayed to her on the next hole. Brittany Lang of the U.S. won that major title.

Victory seemed far away when Nordqvist dropped two shots early in her round to fall seven behind Jutanugarn.

"Winning didn't really come into my mind," the 12th-ranked winner said, until making three birdies and an eagle-3 between the 12th and 16th holes.

Jutanugarn was seeking to follow her younger sister Ariya, the 2016 Women's British Open winner, as the first siblings ever to each win a women's major title. Ariya, who missed the cut, walked with her sister for Sunday's round.

Starting with a one-shot lead, Jutanugarn reached the turn two ahead at 10 under but lost her lead when Nordqvist surged. While the 23-year-old Thai was making bogey-6 at the 13th, Nordqvist made an eagle-3 and birdie to be alone on 10 under.

Nordqvist fell back on the 18th, getting a bogey-5 after pulling her tee shot into the rough. Behind her, Altomare sank a short birdie putt at 17 to advance to 9 under.

It was soon a five-way tie for the lead when Kirk birdied the par-5 15th and Jutanugarn's birdie putt rolled round the rim.

"A lot of lip-outs. Just probably not really my day," Jutanugarn said.

No. 1-ranked So Yeon Ryu (71) finished on 2 over, and No. 2 Lexi Thompson of the U.S. missed her chance to take the top spot. Thompson's 74 left her 3 over.

In her final round as a professional before retiring, two-time Evian winner Ai Miyazato shot 73 to finish 1 over.

A nine-time winner on the LPGA tour, the Japanese star never claimed a major title. Her wins at Evian came before it was upgraded in 2013.

On the 18th green, Miyazato holed a short par putt then was greeted greenside by Gary Player who presented a bouquet of pink roses.

"When I see all my friends behind the 18th green it almost makes me cry, so I tried not to watch them," said the 32-year-old Miyazato.

India beat Australia by 26 runs in rain-hit 1st ODI

Indian cricket player Hardik Pandya bats during the first one-day international against Australia in Chennai, India, Sunday, Sept. 17. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

Chetan Narula

Chennai, India (AP) — Hardik Pandya put in an impressive all-round performance as India beat Australia by 26 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-curtailed first ODI on Sunday.

Pandya scored 83 runs off 66 balls as India won the toss and reached 281-7 in 50 overs. With the ball, Pandya took 2-28 as the tourists were restricted to 137-9 in 21 overs after being set a winning target of 164.

"I don't think anything has changed for me. I am the same Hardik I was a year back," Pandya said. "Perhaps I am a bit calmer than last year. I just wanted to play my game out there."

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal took 3-30 in five overs.

India took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. The second one-day international is in Kolkata on Sept. 21.

The Australian innings was delayed by nearly 2 1/2 hours as persistent rain kept the players inside. On two occasions, the rain stopped long enough for teams to come back on with renewed targets set. But the rain returned again to delay proceedings.

Finally, at 8.30 p.m. local time, the match resumed with Australia reduced to 29-3 in the seventh over.

Jasprit Bumrah (1-20) bowled Hilton Cartwright (1) in the fourth over, and then took a brilliant catch running backward at short fine leg to dismiss captain Steve Smith (1) off Pandya seven balls later.

Smith had survived a leg-before shout via DRS in that over, but couldn't make it count. Two overs later, Pandya made it a double blow as Travis Head (5) was caught behind.

David Warner (25) was undone by some clever variations from left-arm leg spinner Kuldeep Yadav (2-33). The left-handed opener was caught behind in the eighth over, leaving Australia reeling at 35-4.

Glenn Maxwell (39) then threw his bat around as he hit three fours and four sixes during his 18-ball stay. His cameo helped Australia past 50 in the 11th over before Maxwell holed out off Chahal at long on. Australia's lower middle order struggled against the Indian leg-spin duo.

Maxwell was the highest scorer for Australia, with James Faulkner unbeaten on 32 runs at the end, pushing Australia past 100 in the 17th over.

The visitors simply couldn't kick on when faced with a steep target off 21 overs, as all their work in the Indian innings was undone.

India had been reduced to 87-5 but recovered thanks to Pandya who notched up his highest ODI score, surpassing his previous best of 76 against Pakistan in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy in June.

Pandya's stay at the crease included five fours and five sixes, whilst MS Dhoni scored 79 runs.

"The ball was stopping a bit, and skidding on. It was tough to face. We lost too many wickets in the middle overs," Smith said. "Obviously we cannot control the weather, but we were outplayed by India tonight. We had bowled very well with the new ball but we let the Indians off the hook."

Opting to bat, India had made a poor start as they were reduced to 11-3 in the sixth over. Nathan Coulter-Nile took 3-44, striking three times in the space of seven balls.

First, Ajinkya Rahane (5) was caught behind in the fourth over. The big moment came when Maxwell held a stunning one-handed catch off Virat Kohli at backward point. The Indian skipper was out for a four-ball duck. Coulter-Nile struck twice in that sixth over as Manish Pandey (0) edged behind two balls later.

At the other end, Smith dropped Rohit Sharma (28) off Pat Cummins at second slip in the fifth over. The opener, on 4 not out then, made good use of this life and added 53 runs for the fourth wicket with Kedar Jadhav (40).

Marcus Stoinis (2-54) struck twice. First, Sharma was caught in the deep pulling a short delivery from Stoinis in the 16th over. Jadhav then added 23 runs with Dhoni, before he too miscued a pull off the same bowler to midwicket in the 22nd over.

It brought Pandya and Dhoni together at the crease, and they dug India out of this huge hole. They added 118 runs for the sixth wicket.

Pandya hit Adam Zampa (1-66) for three consecutive sixes in the 37th over. He reached his third ODI half-century off 48 balls. The 100 partnership came off 106 balls as India crossed 200 in the 41st over.

The hard-hitting all-rounder was caught off Zampa in the same over. Dhoni took charge of the lower-order as 83 runs came off the last 10 overs, hitting four fours and two sixes in all.

Dhoni brought up his 66th ODI half-century off 75 balls, before he was dismissed in the final over of the innings off Faulkner. Dhoni crossed 4,000 ODI runs on Indian soil, becoming only the second Indian batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to do so.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was 32 not out off 30 balls.

"MS (Dhoni) and Kedar played well, and Hardik's innings was fantastic. And then MS finished off the way he does," Kohli said. "It's a good sign for us that our lower-order batting is firing."

Update September 16-17, 2017

It's on: Triple G and Canelo ready for big middleweight bout

Canelo Alvarez, left, and Gennady Golovkin pose during a weigh-in Friday, Sept. 15, in Las Vegas. The two are scheduled to fight in a middleweight title fight Saturday night in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Tim Dahlberg

Las Vegas (AP) — It's the kind of fight Gennady Golovkin has been chasing from the moment he walked off an airplane six years ago to make his new home in Los Angeles.

It's the fight boxing fans have been waiting for almost as long.

Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez meet Saturday night in a middleweight showdown that has been brewing for years. They do it in their prime, and they both bring the kind of power that could make for a night that will be talked about in boxing for years to come.

Three weeks after Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor met in an odd spectacle, boxing shows off its best side in a scheduled 12-round fight that will pay both men millions and make one of them the undisputed top 160-pounder in the world.

"It's a true fight," Golovkin said. "You can go back home or go to the hospital. It's dangerous. Everyone understands that."

Indeed they do, which is one reason Golovkin has had trouble getting fighters in the ring with him.  The fearsome slugger from Kazakhstan has stopped almost everyone put in the ring with him, winning all 37 of his fights, 33 by knockout.

But Alvarez packs power, too, and the red-headed Mexican is a savage counterpuncher with a style that should match up perfectly against the onrushing Golovkin.

"I don't back down," Alvarez said. "I'm a counter puncher, and I like to fight."

The combination of styles has boxing fans salivating over what will happen in the same ring where Mayweather stopped McGregor three weeks ago. The fight quickly sold out and is expected to do well on HBO pay-per-view, though it will not reach the level of last month's spectacle.

Still, it promises to be a can't miss fight that brings back memories of the great middleweights of the 1980's. Both fighters weighed in Friday at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds.

"It all depends on who lands the punch that defines the fight and I think Gennady is going to do that," said Abel Sanchez, Golovkin's trainer. "They're going to hit each other and give fans the kind of fight they want and expect."

It won't be the first time the two have met, but it will be under far different circumstances. They sparred together at Golovkin's camp in Big Bear, Calif., in 2011 as both were preparing for fights and, though accounts vary, both had their moments with each other.

But this is a real fight, with Golovkin's titles at stake and a lot more. Both will make millions of dollars in a fight that holds risks — and plenty of rewards — for both of their careers.

"These are the fights that define your career," said Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Alvarez. "Both guys are not going to back down."

Alvarez is already an established superstar, arguably the most popular athlete in Mexico. Golovkin, who won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics, is hoping for the kind of performance that will finally win over fans not overly impressed by a 23-fight knockout streak of 18 middleweight title defenses.

Between them they have 86 wins, against only one loss. That was suffered by Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 knockouts) in 2013 against Mayweather in a fight he admitted he was too young to take.

Oddsmakers in this gambling city have made Golovkin a slight 7-5 favorite, but the fighters themselves say anything could happen.

"It's not an easy fight for him or me," Golovkin said. "I think the first couple of rounds will be very close. I think the second half will be much crazier, like a street fight."

For Golovkin, the fight is the culmination of a long battle to establish himself as the top middleweight in the world. Triple G came to the U.S. in 2011 to pursue bigger fights, and has collected the major middleweight titles while trying to get Alvarez into the ring.

It finally happened after Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) was forced to go 12 rounds earlier this year against Danny Jacobs in a fight where he got hit a lot and barely escaped with a decision. Some in boxing thought it showed some vulnerability or suggested that at the age of 35 Triple G is getting a bit old.

Nonsense, he says.

"I am the champion and I bring all my belts," Golovkin said. "This is my game, my fight. I am the boss, not Canelo."

Golovkin, who speaks limited English, backed his comments up with a tweet warning Alvarez what was yet to come.

"If you go in the ocean the shark knows," he wrote. "He's home. It's the same for me in the ring. ... Let's do it."

Ricciardo tops both Singapore GP practices in record times

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia steers his car into the pit lane during the second practice session at the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit Singapore, Friday, Sept. 15. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Jerome Pugmire

Singapore (AP) — Red Bull showed it might have the form to contend for victory at the Singapore Grand Prix, with Daniel Ricciardo beating his lap record again in the second practice on Friday.

Ricciardo had already crushed his lap record from last year by nearly five seconds in the afternoon's first practice, and then went two seconds quicker in the second practice.

The Australian clocked 1 minute, 40.852 seconds under the floodlights, and that was enough to convince him that he can clinch a second win of the season and sixth of his career on Sunday.

"I'm not surprised with our performance," Ricciardo said. "I have a lot of faith we can stay there all weekend."

Teammate Max Verstappen was second, more than half a second behind, championship leader Lewis Hamilton was .70 back in third, and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas fourth.

"We looked very strong," Verstappen said. "We all know that Daniel is always very quick here."

It was a disappointing evening session for Ferrari, which was expected to dominate on the sinewy five-kilometer (three-mile) street circuit. Sebastian Vettel, who is second in the title race, could manage only the 11th best time and teammate Kimi Raikkonen was ninth.

"It was a difficult day and not a lot of things made sense," Raikkonen said. "There is a lot to work on."

Even though Vettel set his time using a slower tire compound in P2, he looked shaky and brushed the wall coming out of a routine turn.

"I was very lucky I could continue," the four-time F1 champion said. "It was a tricky session for us. The balance wasn't quite there."

In P1, he was second to Ricciardo, Verstappen was third and Hamilton fourth.

Singapore is like Monaco and Hungary in that it is a hard-braking track which is tough to overtake on, and more suited to Ferrari and Red Bull than Mercedes.

No driver has more podium finishes in Singapore than Vettel, whose impressive streak at the night race includes three straight wins from 2011-13 during his run of four straight F1 titles with former team Red Bull.

But Ricciardo arrives in Singapore in very consistent form, with six podiums in the last nine races.

He has further reason to be confident, finishing second here in the last two years, with the fastest lap both times.

"I knew we'd come here with a good car," Ricciardo said. "A dominant weekend is what I'm after."

His Red Bull team principal Christian Horner joked, perhaps it was Ricciardo's "aerodynamic" new haircut that helped him shave off chunks of time.

Regardless, Horner was somewhat cautious ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

"It was a very good day for both of our drivers. Daniel had a very strong session," he said. "But we didn't see Ferrari's true hand and Mercedes always hold a little bit up their sleeves."

Leishman backs up good start with a low score at BMW

Marc Leishman watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the second round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at Conway Farms Golf Club, Friday, Sept. 15, in Lake Forest, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Doug Ferguson

Lake Forest, Ill. (AP) — Marc Leishman has a short memory when it comes to golf, which only helped him at the BMW Championship.

He forgot all about that 62 in the opening round.

He was nearly just as good Friday with a 7-under 64 to open a three-shot lead over Jason Day and Rickie Fowler going into the weekend at Conway Farms.

"I really took that as a challenge today, to not take it for granted that you're just going to make birdies," Leishman said. "You still have to earn every birdie. I think when you do get ahead of yourself, that's when bad stuff can happen."

There was plenty of good stuff from the guys chasing him in the third FedEx Cup playoff event.

Day, who has gone 16 months since his last victory, chipped in from behind the 14th green for his second eagle of the week, and then added a third eagle with one swing. He made a hole-in-one on the 17th hole with a 7-iron that turned into a payoff for multiple parties.

It carried day to a 65, putting him in the last group on the weekend with Leishman. BMW awarded $100,000 to the Evans Scholars Foundation, and then Day decided to give the car he won to the Evans Scholars, which will yield another full, four-year scholarship for another student.

Fowler also chipped in for eagle on the reachable par-4 15th hole on his way to a 64.

"The ultimate goal is to win this week," Day said. "That's the thing I've been trying to do this whole season — at least win once, and try to build on that."

Leishman was at 16-under 126, two short of the 36-hole record Day set at Conway Farms two years ago on his way to a wire-to-wire, six-shot victory. Leishman has some experience with that, but it was long ago and the memory is vague, naturally. He recalls opening with a 70 at the Toyota Southern Classic on the Von Nida Tour in Australia and winning big.

He already has 18 birdies in 36 holes at Conway Farms, where the scoring average was a shade under 69 through two rounds.

It hasn't been easy for everyone, particularly defending champion Dustin Johnson. The world's No. 1 player can' seem to buy a putt, and even when he started to make a little progress, he finished bogey-bogey by taking two chips to get on the 17th green and hitting into the water on the 18th.

Patrick Cantlay extended his remarkable run this season with a 65, leaving him alone in fourth place but six shots behind. Cantlay returned after three years away to cope with a severe back injury and the death of his close friend and caddie, Chris Roth, who was hit by a car as they were walking to dinner.

Cantlay is playing his 11th tournament this year, yet he is No. 41 in the FedEx Cup and could get into the Tour Championship if he finishes in the top 30 after this week. Phil Mickelson is trying to work his way into the top 30, and while he sputtered with two birdies, two bogeys and too many pars, he drilled an approach to 5 feet on the par-5 14th for an eagle. He shot 69 and was at 7-under 135, in a tie for 12th.

Jordan Spieth, No. 1 in the FedEx Cup after successive runner-up finishes in the playoff events, only managed a 70 and joined Mickelson in the group at 135.

Leishman is hitting his stride at just the right time. Two weeks ago at the TPC Boston, he took a two-shot lead into the back nine only to get passed by Justin Thomas and Spieth by shooting 40 on the back nine to finish third behind Thomas.

After a week at home in Virginia, with the clubs never leaving the garage, he picked up where he left off.

It's easy to overlook Leishman because the Australian has only two PGA Tour victories, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year. He's OK with that, and laughs at hearing fans whisper as he walks by, "Who's that bloke?" That was his phrase, though apparently he's heard it Down Under, too.

As for that short memory, he does have some specific recall of tournaments long ago.

One of them was eight years ago in the Chicago area. It was his rookie season on the PGA Tour. He made an eagle on the 18th hole at the TPC Boston just to advance to the third round at No. 67. Then, he was paired with Tiger Woods in the final round at Cog Hill.

"I remember being really, really nervous on the first tee, which I'm generally not a nervous person, but that was a new thing for me," he said.

He also remembers having an eagle putt on the ninth hole, with Woods well to the right off the tee and then stuck behind a tree. Woods hit a 9-iron out of trouble and ended up making birdie, and he went on to win by eight shots.

But that was a big day for Leishman. He tied for second and advanced to the Tour Championship for the first time, leading to his first appearance in the Masters. That's no longer an issue. Leishman now is No. 7 in the FedEx Cup and simply trying to win to get into the top five heading to the Tour Championship.

Defoe earns 1st win for Bournemouth in Premier League

Bournemouth's Jermain Defoe reacts after a missed chance during the English Premier League match against Brighton at the Vitality Stadium, in Bournemouth, Friday, Sept. 15. (John Walton/PA via AP)

Bournemouth, England (AP) — Jermain Defoe scored the first goal of his second spell at Bournemouth to clinch a 2-1 win over Brighton in the Premier League on Friday, ending his team's four-match losing run to open the season.

The 34-year-old England striker showcased his enduring prowess in front of goal by finding space in the penalty area from Jordon Ibe's deft pass and lashing a low finish into the corner in the 73rd minute.

Ibe made as significant a contribution as Defoe on a wet evening on the south coast, the winger coming off the bench to also set up Bournemouth's 67th-minute equalizer — scored by midfielder Andrew Surman — with an impudent back-heel.

Ibe has struggled to make an impact at Bournemouth since joining from Liverpool in July 2016 for 15 million pounds, which was then a club-record fee.

"We see it with him every day in training, beating players in tight spaces," Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said of Ibe. "I hope that's the confidence-booster, the kick-start, he needs."

Bournemouth were on course to become only the fourth team to start a Premier League season with five straight losses when winger Solly March headed in the opening goal for Brighton in the 55th minute.

Defoe spent the 2000-01 season on loan at Bournemouth from West Ham, scoring in 10 straight league games in one hot spell. He sealed a return to Bournemouth in the offseason, triggering a clause in his contract at Sunderland allowing him to leave on a free transfer following their relegation from the Premier League.

"5,977 days since my last Bournemouth goal," Defoe tweeted, "and it feels just as good."

This was a first ever top-flight meeting between the two seaside clubs, who were playing each other in the second tier only two years ago.

Park fires 63, uses fresh start to lead Evian major by 2

Sung Hyun Park, of South Korea, follows her ball after teeing off on the 2nd hole during the first round of the Evian Championship women's golf tournament in Evian, eastern France, Friday, Sept. 15. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Graham Dunbar

Evian-les-Bains, France (AP) — A new day, a fresh start to the final women's major of the season, and it seemed like a new Sung Hyun Park showed up Friday.

Seizing a second chance to play the first round at the Evian Championship, Park fired an 8-under 63 to lead by two shots from Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand.

That meant a 14-shot turnaround in fortunes for the No. 3-ranked South Korean. She had been 6 over through just five holes in the rain and wind on Thursday morning before play was abandoned and all scores wiped from the record. A 54-hole event to be completed Sunday.

Park, the U.S. Women's Open champion, regrouped and had seven birdies and an eagle.

"I forgot about yesterday and just focused on my play today," Park said through a translator, acknowledging she was "surprised" that the LPGA scrapped Thursday's play.

Tied for third, three shots back, Australia's Katherine Kirk and Anna Nordqvist of Sweden both carded a 66. Jessica Korda of the United States and Women's British Open winner In-Kyung Kim were a further shot back on 4 under.

Park played in a stellar group with top-ranked So Yeon Ryu (75), her fellow South Korean, and No. 2 Lexi Thompson (70) of the U.S.

Ryu suffered a six-shot swing having been 2 under and sharing the lead with Korda on Thursday when play stopped.

Kirk, playing in the first group on course for a second straight day, said the weather just before the suspension Thursday had been "the worst conditions I have ever seen."

Jutanugarn and Nordqvist were in the late-starting groups and never had to endure the 45 mph (70 kph) gusts and driving rain one day earlier.

Another player to seize their second chance in cool sunshine Friday was Ai Miyazato of Japan, playing her final event before retiring.

Miyazato, the 2009 and 2011 Evian winner before it had major status, was in a cluster of players at 3 under, trailing Park by five, including Sophia Schubert, the U.S. Women's Amateur champion.

"Right now, nothing to lose and no fear, and just feel joy of my game, and that's definitely helping," said the 32-year-old Miyazato, who had made a 3 over start to Thursday.

Lydia Ko, the former No. 1 from New Zealand and 2015 winner here, also shot a 3-under 68 on the scenic course looking across Lake Geneva to Switzerland.

English veteran Laura Davies, who won the last of her four majors 21 years ago, shot a 2-under 69 that included six birdies and four bogeys.

One year ago, Park also shot an opening 63 to lead a tournament that compatriot In Gee Chun went on to win at 21 under and set a men's and women's major record. On Friday, Chun carded a 70, seven shots back.

Wood, Dodgers bats overpower Nationals 7-0

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals in Washington, Friday, Sept. 15. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Benjamin Standig

Washington (AP) — Alex Wood threw six shutout innings, Corey Seager hit a three-run homer during a five-run second and the Los Angeles Dodgers' rebound continued with a 7-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday.

Wood (15-3) allowed three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk for Los Angeles, which has won three in a row after losing 11 consecutive games and 16 of 17.

The teams entered the highly anticipated three-game series having clinched playoff berths and owning the top two records in the National League. The Dodgers lowered their magic number to clinch the NL West to six.

Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig homered in the Dodgers' first Washington appearance since winning Game 5 of the NL Division Series last October.

The NL East champion Nationals fell six games back of Los Angeles in the chase for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Relievers Pedro Baez and Brock Stewart kept the shutout intact against the NL's top-scoring team.

The Dodgers scored all seven runs over the first three innings against Edwin Jackson (5-6).

Turner hit his 20th homer of the season in the first. Los Angeles battered Jackson for four extra-base hits in the second, starting with Puig's solo homer and ending with Seager's 3-run blast to center.

Andre Ethier was credited with a RBI ground-rule double in the second. His fly ball bounced into the stands after right fielder Jayson Werth lost track of its flight. Chase Utley had a run-scoring groundout in the third.

Jackson only lasted 2 1/3 innings, surrendering seven runs and six hits in his third consecutive loss.

Wood also entered with back-to-back losses as his breakout season took a wrong turn during the Dodgers' slide. The All-Star left-hander had allowed nine runs in 11 innings over his previous two starts.

Wood struck out All-Star Daniel Murphy three times, including in the third with two outs and two runners on.


Dodgers: OF Ethier (back) went 2 for 4 with a RBI in his fourth start since being reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on Sept. 1 and 11th appearance on the season.

Nationals: C Jose Lobaton is expected to rest a couple days after getting hit in the ankle by a pitch in the second inning of Thursday's 5-2 win over the Braves, manager Dusty Baker said.


Dodgers: LHP Rich Hill (9-8, 3.67 ERA), who hasn't faced Washington since 2012 when he worked in relief for the Red Sox, has lost four consecutive starts.

Nationals: RHP A.J. Cole (2-4, 4.30) is scheduled for his seventh start of the season and first since Sept. 4.

Pakistan beat World XI in T20 decider to win series 2-1

Pakistan's Ahmed Shahzad hits boundary against the World XI team at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 15. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Rizwan Ali

Lahore, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan coasted to a comfortable 33-run victory against a World XI in their decisive Twenty20 international on Friday to clinch the three-match series 2-1.

The Pakistan Cricket Board had organized the series in collaboration with the ICC in a bid to revive international cricket at home after eight years.

Pakistan's total of 183-4 revolved around a century stand between Ahmed Shehzad (89) and Babar Azam (48) after World XI captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and opted to field first.

The World XI crumbled against Pakistan's superb ground fielding with three batsmen getting run out before they were restricted at 150-8.

"We've been talking to the international players and a few of them even said they'd like to come back again," Shehzad said after winning the man-of-the-match award. "Yes, they came here, we all enjoyed but cricket wins."

Fast bowler Hasan Ali returned after missing the second match with a strained back, and took 2-28.

The World XI chase was off-tracked after the experienced Hashim Amla (21) and Du Plessis (13) were both run out, as they lost wickets with regular intervals.

"This has been a huge success, we wanted to come here and play a small part in cricket coming back to Pakistan," Du Plessis said. "We were joking about it, the blokes were saying we should do this every year."

Earlier, Shehzad and Azam added 102 runs off 57 balls for the second-wicket stand after Fakhar Zaman (27) provided Pakistan a brisk start of 61 in front of a big crowd at the 25,000 capacity Gaddafi Stadium.

Shehzad, who hit eight fours in his 55-ball knock, upped the scoring rate in the last three overs when he smashed three successive sixes off Australian seamer Ben Cutting in the 18th over.

However, Shehzad missed out on his second T20 international century when he tried to steal a needless run in the same over and was run out.

Azam, dropped on 22 by South African Imran Tahir at fine leg, also missed his second half century of the series when he holed out after scoring 48 off 31 balls with five boundaries.

Shoaib Malik (17) provided an ideal finish to the innings with two sixes as Pakistan scored 107 runs in the last 10 overs.

The World XI stumbled in reply to 5-67 by the 10th over. Tamim Iqbal (14) struck three boundaries before he was clean bowled off left-arm seamer Usman Shinwari.

Ben Cutting and Amla both fell in Ali's first over before former Australia captain George Bailey and Du Plessis also departed.

Thisara Perera and David Miller both scored 32 runs each to reduce the margin of defeat.

Perera, whose whirlwind 47 leveled the series on Wednesday, struck three successive sixes off leg-spinner Shadab Khan, before falling to a well-judged catch by Azam.

"Their fielding is electric (and) that's a big change," Du Plessis said. "They're as good as any team. Skills wise, yorkers, slower balls — they're all there."

Update September 15, 2017

Vettel relying on Singapore experience to regain F1 lead

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates his third place after completing the Italian Formula One Grand Prix, at the Monza racetrack, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)


SINGAPORE (AP) — With the Singapore street circuit suited to Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel is hoping to reclaim the Formula One championship lead from Lewis Hamilton this weekend.

Vettel secured six straight podiums on Singapore's floodlit Marina Bay street circuit until his run ended with a fifth place last year.

No driver has had more podium finishes in Singapore than Vettel, whose impressive streak at the night race includes three straight wins from 2011-13 during his run of four straight F1 titles with former team Red Bull.

The 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) circuit resembles the Monaco GP in terms of its sinewy layout: A low-speed, hard-braking track favoring maximum downforce and reducing the outright pace of Hamilton's Mercedes.

Vettel's confidence will be further boosted by the fact he comfortably won Monaco this year, with Ferrari securing a 1-2 finish and Hamilton in seventh place. Ferrari also clinched 1-2 in Hungary, another track which neutralizes the power of Mercedes.

The last two races of this season, in Belgium and Italy, were more suited to Mercedes and played to Hamilton's strengths. And he won them to move three points ahead of Vettel in a thrilling title contest.

There are six races remaining after Singapore, a circuit which has caused problems for Mercedes before.

When Vettel won here in 2015 — in his first season with Ferrari — Mercedes stuttered as Nico Rosberg placed fourth and Hamilton retired with engine failure. Although Hamilton won here in 2014, he finished only fifth the previous year, and retired two further times with his previous team McLaren.

"This is a circuit we have found difficult to master," Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff said. "On the surface, Singapore is the kind of circuit that should favor both Ferrari and Red Bull."

There are few places to overtake in Singapore, but one of those is the blistering run into Turn 7.

Drivers must get the timing just right as they approach at a top speed of 320 kilometers (198 miles) per hour before braking heavily down to 120 kph (74 mph). Such a tough corner invariably puts drivers under strain, and Hamilton sustained a puncture and retired after bumping tires with Red Bull's Mark Webber in 2010.

Drivers must also contend with sweltering humidity, as Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo explains.

"When you stop after the race and the adrenaline decreases you feel it even more," he said. "After the race I will easily sink five litres of water to rehydrate before I go to bed."

His teammate Max Verstappen, meanwhile, prepares for the race by "doing heat training in the sauna and getting ready to sweat."

Ricciardo arrives in Singapore in very consistent form, with six podiums in the last nine races. After a tough start, punctuated by two retirements in four races, he is hitting peak form.

The Australian driver is growing in stature and arguably has credentials of a future champion, particularly in turning difficult situations around.

In recent weeks, he has demonstrated the full repertoire of his driving skills: brilliantly cutting through the field to finish fourth in Monza two weeks ago, and making an astutely opportunist overtaking move in Spa the race before.
His uncanny ability to sense an overtaking move is among the best, and he feels he has a good chance to challenge for a victory.

"I've started second and finished second at this track in the last two years, with fastest lap both times," he said. "So my aim this year is definitely to start on pole and go one better."

Play scrapped at rain-hit women's major, will start Friday

 Ai Miyazato of Japan follows her ball after playing on the 10th hole.(AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

By Graham Dunbar, AP Sports Writer

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) — Rain and strong winds have forced Thursday's play to be scrapped at the final women's golf major of the season, which will start afresh today as a 54-hole event.

LPGA Tour Commissioner Michael Whan said what the little play was achieved Thursday morning at the Evian Championship is wiped from the record.

Whan announced the abandonment at 2:30 p.m. (1230 GMT) almost 4 1/2 hours after players had been called off the wind-swept course overlooking Lake Geneva.

"Nobody even played half a round," Whan said, adding that a 54-hole championship finishing Sunday offered the "cleanest, fairest, most competitive" option.

"We know that if we said 72 holes and we start again tomorrow (Friday), we're probably looking at Monday and Tuesday, and that's not great for anyone," Whan said.

Forecast weather is for "pretty good" playing conditions for the next two days and some more rain Sunday, Whan said, noting that 45 mph (72 kph) gusts were experienced Thursday.

The leaderboard had been headed by top-ranked So Yeon Ryu of South Korea and Jessica Korda of the United States on 2 under. Ryu finished five holes while Korda had gone through eight.

A re-start was good news for Ai Miyazato, the former No. 1 from Japan playing her final event before retiring. The 2009 and 2011 Evian champion was 3 over through six holes.

Leishman opens with a 62 to lead BMW Championship

Marc Leishman watches his second shot on the 16th hole.(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

By Doug Ferguson, AP Golf Writer

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Marc Leishman left his golf clubs in his garage during his week break from the FedEx Cup playoff and it didn't change anything. He made 10 birdies in the opening round of the BMW Championship for a 9-under 62 to build a two-shot lead.

Jason Day made the biggest change of his career and had a 64, his best start in 16 months.

The race to the FedEx Cup finale got off to a blistering start Thursday at Conway Farms, and no one could top Leishman. The Australian finished third at the TPC Boston two weeks ago, did nothing last week except practice putting in the room above his garage, and then ran off seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch in the middle of his round and matched his best score on the PGA Tour.

"When you play golf and all you're thinking about his making birdies, it's a lot easier than trying to not make bogeys," Leishman said.

Day made five birdies on the back nine to atone for a sluggish start in a tournament where his expectations were up in the air. He decided last week that Colin Swatton, the most meaningful figure in his golf career, would no longer caddie for at least the rest of the year. Day instead used an old roommate from his school days in Australia, Luke Reardon. If that wasn't enough, he also changed putters.

That might not have been nearly as significant as the good vibes from a six-shot victory at Conway Farms two years ago. Whatever the case, he had no complaints about his lowest score since a 63 in the AT&T Byron Nelson in May, and his best opening round since a 63 at The Players Championship a year ago, which was the last tournament he won.

"A good step in the right direction, especially with having Luke on the bag," Day said. "Obviously, not having Colin on the bag is something different and I just didn't know how I was going to play. I think Luke did a fantastic job out there. We worked well together and hope we can keep that going."

Charley Hoffman, picked for the Presidents Cup a week ago, birdied his last two holes for a 64. Jamie Lovemark also had a 64 with a little more style, drilling a fairway metal over the creek to 8 feet for eagle on the par-5 18th.

Jordan Spieth, a runner-up in the last two FedEx Cup playoff events to take over the No. 1 spot in the standings, turned a wild tee shot into a birdie on the opening hole, added a 30-foot birdie from off the green at No. 5 and settled down the rest of the way for a bogey-free 65.

"I felt like I really stole a few shots out of this golf course, which is rare to feel like you scored better than you played," Spieth said.

Also at 65 was Rickie Flower, who showed a streaky side. Fowler birdied the first hole. He bogeyed the second hole. He followed with nine straight pars. And then he ran off six straight birdies, capped by a 65-foot pitch from short of the 17th green.

Fowler had a chance to match a career best with seven straight birdies, but he chose not to take on the stream at the par-5 18th and laid up. He hit wedge to 12 feet and missed the birdie putts, with no regrets.

This was only Thursday, and he saw no need in ruining a big finish with a shot he would have had to hit flush.
"Come Sunday, if I'm in good position, that will be a go, and see what happens," he said.

Tony Finau, Keegan Bradley and Rafa Cabrera Bello also were at 65, while Phil Mickelson played bogey-free and opened with a 66.

The top 30 in the FedEx Cup after this week make it to the Tour Championship at East Lake for a mathematical shot at the $10 million bonus, with odds significantly higher depending on the position in the standings. The top five players — Spieth, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson already are assured that position — would only have to win at East Lake to claim golf's richest prize.

Thomas hit a tee shot into the water on the par-3 11th and made double bogey, though he still shot 67. Johnson had a three-hole stretch at 4 over early in his round and recovered for a 71.

For players like Mickelson, Finau and Bradley, they need to play well over the next three days to get into the top 30.

Mickelson found something a few weeks ago, whether it was medication or his diet as it relates to psoriatic arthritis, but it has given him great clarity of the shots he sees and more energy to keep his mind from drifting. He tied for sixth two weeks ago outside Boston and was sharp again at Conway Farms.

Lefty already is assured of competing in his 23rd consecutive team competition as a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup. Now he'd like to make it back to East Lake.

Wenger surprised game played amid Cologne chaos at Arsenal

Police forces block Cologne supporters outside the Emirates stadium prior to the Europa League group H soccer match between Arsenal and FC Cologne at the Emirates stadium in London, England, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 . (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

By Karel Janicek, Associated Press

Crowd disorder marred Cologne's return to European competition after 25 years as the German team's fans caused havoc in London and forced the Europa League game against Arsenal to be delayed on Thursday.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was surprised that the game was eventually played after a one-hour delay, with his team winning 3-1.

The presence of thousands of ticketless Cologne fans, who marched through the streets of the British capital, made it hard for ticketholders to enter the Emirates Stadium.

Police said four people were arrested for public order offenses. About 20,000 Cologne fans came to London, after only 3,000 tickets were allocated to them.

"At some stage I thought they would not play the game, because I can't see the police taking any risk," Wenger said. "We live in a society of 100 percent security and I thought they would never take a gamble to play this game when I saw the images around the stadium. But I must say our supporters as well dealt well with the situation as well and there was no aggravation."

Wenger said Cologne supporters had been "very clever" to enter the stadium undetected.

"I don't know how they managed to infiltrate our fans and get everywhere but they did that very well," he said. "I don't know if they went through Arsenal membership, on the internet ... they did very well."

Cologne coach Peter Stoger declined to be questioned on the actions of the supporters.

"I have no comment about the fans," he said. "I'm the coach. My job is the team. My job is football not the fans."
Cologne sits winless on the bottom of the Bundesliga, but its fans — walled off by security guards in the stadium were celebrating after only nine minutes when Jhon Cordoba lobbed goalkeeper David Ospina from 40 yards out.

It took Arsenal 40 minutes to reply, through substitute Sead Kolasinac. Alexis Sanchez hit the match-winner, and started the move for the last goal, a rebound effort finished by Hector Bellerin as Arsenal won a Group H match that is likely to lead to UEFA charges over the disorder.

Milan started quickly in subduing host Austria Vienna 5-1 as forward Andre Silva scored a hat trick.

Midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring after seven minutes then set up two for Silva in the 10th and 20th.
"We played quickly, particularly in the first 20 minutes, finishing the game off clinically," Milan coach Vincenzo Montella said. "This was a big win for us."

Alexandar Borkovic's header reduced the deficit early in the second half, Silva completed his hat trick, and Suso finished the rout just a minute after coming off the bench.

After three years away, AC Milan returned to European competition as perhaps the favorite — at least until December when eight teams jump in as a result of placing third in a Champions League group.
AEK won at Rijeka 2-1 in the Group D game.
Atalanta struck three times in the first half to beat struggling Everton 3-0 in Group E on a triumphant return to Europe. Lyon drew with Apollon of Cyprus 1-1 in the group's other game.
Hoffenheim's confidence after beating Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Saturday was pricked by Braga, which rallied from a goal down to beat the German host 2-1.

Sandro Wagner headed in a Pavel Kaderabek cross for Hoffenheim to lead in Group C. Joao Carlos equalized, and another Ricardo Esgaio cross set up the match-winner for Dyego Sousa after the break. In the other game in the group, Ludogorets and Istanbul Basaksehir drew 0-0.
Real Sociedad scored twice within a minute early in the first half on the way to a 4-0 victory over Rosenborg in Group L. Diego Llorente netted the opener nine minutes into the game, and the closer in the second half. It extended Sociedad's fine start to the season, with the team opening the Spanish league with three wins.
In another high-scorer, Alassane Plea scored the first two goals to lead Nice over Zulte Waregem 5-1 in Group K.
Another Italian club, Lazio, came from a 2-1 down to win 3-2 at Dutch side Vitesse in its Group K opener. Murgia scored the winner 15 minutes from time after Ciro Immobile equalized eight minutes earlier.

Marseille beat Turkey's Konyaspor 1-0 in Group I courtesy of a header by Adil Rami from Dimitri Payet's corner kick.

Update September 14, 2017

Paris celebrates end of 100-year Olympic wait

With rain drops on the camera lens, the Olympic rings are shown in Trocadero plaza that overlooks the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The 2024 Olympic Games were awarded to the French capital during a ceremony held in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Sept. 13. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Masha Macpherson

Paris (AP) — The 100-year wait made victory extra-sweet for Paris. Only the weather was miserable.

Paris celebrated the award of the 2024 Olympics as best it could in heavy rains on Wednesday.

The Eiffel Tower had its head in the clouds and a small and very wet crowd on the other side of the River Seine huddled under umbrellas in front of a big screen to watch the International Olympic Committee announcement from Lima, Peru, that the French capital will host in 2024 — 100 years after its last Olympics in 1924.

The award wasn't a surprise. Paris and Los Angeles had worked out a deal in advance with the IOC for Paris to get 2024 and LA to get 2028.

Still, the Eiffel Tower glittered with sparkling lights in celebration. Olympic rings were unveiled in the rain and lit up on the Trocadero plaza opposite the world-famous tower. Announcements in French and English in the Metro spread the news.

French President Emmanuel Macron was among the first to offer congratulations. French athletes rejoiced on social media. "Can't wait," tweeted Paris Saint-Germain footballer Kylian Mbappe.

Speaking by television from the Caribbean, where he has been visiting French territories hit by Hurricane Irma, Macron said France will "prepare for these games with all of our energy."

He said the IOC decision was a recognition of France's "image and values" and of French "willingness to spread these values in today's world."

After three previous failed bids — for the games of 1992, 2008 and 2012 — winning felt great.

"It's enormous," said deputy Paris mayor Bruno Julliard. "After three failures we are finally bringing the games home."

French athletes immediately started making plans. Double-Olympic judo champion Teddy Riner said that even though he'll be a 35-year-old veteran by then, he'll fight off Father Time to compete in Paris.

"I'll do everything I can to be on the mats," he said.

Paris plans to use its iconic sites to create a spectacular backdrop for the games, with beach volleyball in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, equestrian events at the Versailles Palace and archery in front of Napoleon's tomb at the Invalides.

It also intends for the games to give an economic and development boost to its tough northern suburb of Saint-Denis that will get a new swimming venue and host the new Olympic Village.

"It's going to do our country some good," said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Polls have shown strong but not universal support for the games.

Before the IOC announcement, about 75 people braved the rain in a protest against the Olympics and the city's development plans. One of their banners read "Non, Olympics." Another complained that Paris' development plans are "chasing us out."

Ronaldo back with brace as Madrid, Man City, Spurs win in CL

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (7) fires in a shot against APOEL Nicosia during their Champions League group H match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Sept. 13. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Ciaran Fahey

London (AP) - After watching rival Lionel Messi score twice the night before, Cristiano Ronaldo did likewise for Real Madrid to open their bid for a third straight Champions League title with a 3-0 win over Cypriot club APOEL on Wednesday.

Messi helped Barcelona beat Juventus by the same score on Tuesday.

Harry Kane also chipped in two goals as Tottenham defeated Borussia Dortmund 3-1 at Wembley Stadium, while central defender John Stones surprised with two goals in Manchester City's 4-0 away rout of Feyenoord.

Leipzig drew 1-1 with Monaco on the German team's debut in Europe's premier competition.

Here is a look at Wednesday's games:



Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp questioned officials after defender Joe Gomez was sent off in stoppage time of his side's 2-2 draw with Sevilla at Anfield. But Klopp's anger could have been directed at his players after they switched off at a throw-in and allowed Joaquin Correa to earn a point for the Spanish team.

Sevilla took an early lead thanks to another defensive error, but Liverpool managed to lead at the break with goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

Firmino missed a chance to make it 3-1 from a penalty before Correa curled home his finish.

Spartak Moscow drew 1-1 at Maribor, where the game was briefly held up after the referee narrowly escaped being hit by a flare.



John Stones was an unlikely hero as Man City equaled their biggest win in the competition and spoiled Feyenoord's return after 15 years.

Stones, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus scored in the first half as the visitors made a mockery of Feyenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst's decision to play a five-man defence with a display of swift-passing, attacking football. Stones doubled his tally in the 63rd for City to win 4-0.

Goals from Taison and Facundo Ferreyra were enough for Shakhtar Donetsk to beat Napoli 2-1.



Only founded in 2009, Leipzig announced their arrival in the Champions League when Emil Forsberg scored the club's first goal in the competition. But Youri Tielemans replied straight away for Monaco to claim a point in a 1-1 draw.

Besiktas lead the group after a 3-1 win at Porto, who hadn't conceded this season until Talisca, Cenk Tosun, and Ryan Babel all scored for the visitors at Estadio do Dragao.



Cristiano Ronaldo took his Champions League tally to 107 goals on his return as Real Madrid beat APOEL 3-0. It was the Portuguese's first game since being suspended for shoving a referee in the Spanish Super Cup final last month.

Sergio Ramos scored the third goal at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, where Madrid haven't lost a group-stage game in almost eight years and won 12 of their last 13 Champions League home games.

Dortmund's return to Wembley, where they lost the 2013 final, was another unhappy one after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's would-be equalizer was ruled out despite TV replays showing the Gabon striker was onside.

Kane's brace gave Tottenham only their third victory in 13 matches in a decade at Wembley, their temporary home for the season while White Hart Lane is being redeveloped.

The only setback for Tottenham in their 3-1 win was finishing with 10 men after Jan Vertonghen was sent off late for catching Mario Goetze in the face with a swinging arm.

21 club: Indians set AL record with 21st straight win

Cleveland Indians fans celebrate a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 13, in Cleveland. The Indians set the American League record with 21 consecutive wins. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Tom Withers

Cleveland (AP) — For more than 100 years, American League teams have gone on winning streaks of varying lengths — short ones, long ones, double-digit ones.

Nothing, though, like the one the Cleveland Indians have pieced together.

A streak for the ages.

Moving past the "Moneyball" Oakland Athletics, the Indians set the AL record with their 21st straight win on Wednesday, 5-3 over the Detroit Tigers, to join only two other teams in the past 101 years to win that many consecutive games.

Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer off Buck Farmer (4-3) and Mike Clevinger (10-5) won his fourth straight start as the Indians, a team with its sights set on ending the majors' longest World Series title drought, matched the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest streak since 1900.

And in doing so, they separated themselves from every AL team since the league was formed in 1901.

"Who would've ever thought that we'd be in this situation?" Bruce said. "I can't even imagine."

Believe it.

Now that they've moved past those 2002 A's immortalized on film, the Indians are within five wins of catching the 1916 New York Giants, who won 26 straight without a loss but whose century-old mark includes a tie.

The Indians haven't lost in 20 days, and they've rarely been challenged during a late-season run in which they've dominated every aspect of the game.

"I think they're enjoying themselves," manager Terry Francona said as clubhouse music boomed in the background. "They should. I think what's kind of cool about our game is when you do things, and you do them the right way, I think it means more. Our guys are playing the game to win, the right way.

"That part's very meaningful. They should enjoy what they're doing. It's pretty special."

After leading 4-1, the Indians had to overcome a costly error and rely on their bullpen to hold off the Tigers, who have lost 11 of 12 to Cleveland and saw manager Brad Ausmus and catcher James McCann ejected from the series finale.

Roberto Perez added a homer in the seventh and four Cleveland relievers finished, with Cody Allen working the ninth for his 27th save.

With the crowd of 29,346 standing and stomping, Allen retired Ian Kinsler on a sinking liner for the final out, giving the Indians the league's longest streak since the AL was founded 116 years ago.

There was no big celebration afterward as the Indians simply congratulated one another and stuck to their routine.

"We're so focused," said Bruce, who arrived via trade last month from the New York Mets. "I thought we were playing the Royals today. ... Everyone comes here and gets ready to play today and I think that's something that speaks volumes."

During their streak, which began with a 13-6 win over Boston ace Chris Sale on Aug. 23, the Indians have rarely been tied, never mind equaled, for nine innings. They have been superior in every way possible.

Cleveland's starters have gone 19-0 with a 1.70 ERA, they've outscored their opponents 139-35 and trailed in only four of 189 innings.

Incredibly, the Indians have hit more home runs (40) than their pitchers have given up in total runs.

And while they've racked up win after win, the defending AL champs have reduced their magic number for winning their second straight AL Central title to four. They've also passed Houston for the league's best record, which will come into play in the postseason as the team with the best overall mark will have home-field advantage.

Now that they're alongside the 1935 Cubs, the Indians have a realistic shot of running down the 1916 Giants.

Cleveland opens four-game series on Thursday against Kansas City, which was outscored 20-0 on its three-day visit last month.

Francona was asked if he thought the Giants' run should be the record since it includes a tie.

"I wasn't there," he said, drawing laughter. "I've given that zero thought. I promise you I've given it no thought."

With a shot at AL history, Clevinger took the mound with Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" blasting through the ballpark's sound system, and Cleveland's crowd came to rock — and witness history — on a mostly sunny day.

Some parents kept their kids home from school and brought them to Progressive Field to see a once-in-a-lifetime event Cleveland residents may remember more than any solar eclipse. They cheered every two-strike count like it was October and there was something much bigger on the line. The Indians have viewed the streak as a perfect postseason warmup as they try to end a Series title drought dating to 1948.

Clevinger, who didn't allow a run in 18 innings over his three previous starts, was down 1-0 in the first after Jeimer Candelario touched him for a two-out RBI double.

But as they have done for the past three weeks, the Indians responded, with Bruce connecting for a three-run shot into the left-field bleachers.

"Expected, I would say by now," Clevinger said of the Indians' 3-run answer. "I don't think there was a second that I doubted we were going to score some runs or string together some hits."


At 14-0, the Indians are off to the best start in September since the 1991 Minnesota Twins went 15-0.


Two batters after Ausms and McCann were ejected, a pitch from Farmer eluded catcher John Hicks, who had just entered the game, and struck plate umpire Quinn Wolcott in the chest.

Farmer disputed that the Tigers would try to intentionally hit Wolcott.

"The fact that's even a question is appalling," Farmer said. "It shouldn't be a question. When you look at the situation it's stupid to even think about. It shouldn't even be a thought from anybody that Hicks and I would do that."


Tigers: OF Mikie Mahtook missed his fifth consecutive game after being scratched from a Sept. 9 game against Toronto with left groin soreness. Ausmus said Mahtook was "getting closer, but he's not ready."

Indians: All-Star reliever Andrew Miller will be activated from the disabled list Thursday following his second stint on the disabled list with knee tendinitis.


The Indians' Josh Tomlin, who is 5-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his last six outings, starts the opener against Royals rookie Jakob Junis.

Amla, Perera power World XI to 7-wicket win vs Pakistan

World XI batsman Hashim Amla acknowledges his fifty during the second Twenty20 match at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 13. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Rizwan Ali

Lahore, Pakistan (AP) — Hashim Amla smashed a half century and Thisara Perera provided an excellent finish with a 19-ball 47 as World XI defeated Pakistan by seven wickets in the second Twenty20 international on Wednesday.

"Hash (Amla) told me to stay till the last moment because we can catch up," man-of-the-match Perera said. "It's a habit for me to be in this situation."

Amla hit five fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 72 off 55 balls, but it was Perera's explosive knock which included four sixes that got the World XI to the target of 175-3 in 19.5 overs.

Pakistan, who were restricted to 174-6, looked on top in the 14th over when they dismissed captain Faf du Plessis at 106-3.

But Perera took charge in the last five overs as he cut loose against Pakistan seamers Sohail Khan and Rumman Raees.

Still needing 33 runs off the last two overs, Perera and Amla took 20 off Sohail's 19th over that saw Shoaib Malik dropping the Sri Lankan left-hander from an easy catch at long off.

Perera ensured the World XI take the series to the decisive game Friday when he reached victory in style by hoisting left-armer Raees over the long-on boundary.

Pakistan won the first match by 20 runs on Tuesday but struggled to contain World XI's strong batting line-up after their frontline fast bowler Hasan Ali was ruled out of Wednesday's game due to back strain.

Earlier, Pakistan's top order batsmen couldn't convert good starts after captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bat first.

Left-hander Fakhar Zaman (21) hit Australian seamer Ben Cutting for three boundaries in the second over of the innings but was trapped leg before wicket by West Indies leg-spinner Samuel Badree (2-31).

Badree was one of two changes made by World XI along with England's Paul Collingwood — playing his first international since retiring in 2011.

Top-scorer Babar Zaman (45), who hit a career-best 86 in the first game on Tuesday, and Ahmed Shehzad (43) added 59 runs off 39 balls before both holed out in the deep while looking to accelerate the run rate.

Perera then accounted for the wickets of Imad Wasim (15) and dismissed captain Sarfraz Ahmed without scoring in the 19th over as Pakistan slipped to 157-5.

Pakistan's experienced batsman Malik (39) lifted the total when he hit Cutting for two sixes in his 23-ball knock.

Malik, playing in his 88th T20 international, became Pakistan's highest scorer in the format and surpassed Umar Akmal's total of 1,690 runs before he holed out off the last ball.

"We were a little sloppy today in the field," Ahmed said. "The score was good enough, but if the execution was better in defending, we would have pulled it off."

World Cup qualifying: Syria to play Australia in Malaysia

Syria's national soccer team celebrates at the conclusion of their Group A World Cup qualifier against Iran at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Sept. 5. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Sydney (AP) — Football Federation Australia says it has received official confirmation that Syria will host the Socceroos in Malaysia in the first leg of the Asian World Cup qualifying playoff next month.

As a result of the continuing civil war in its home country, Syria played all of its third-round Asian World Cup qualifying matches in Malaysia, where the Asian Football Confederation has its headquarters. Officials have stuck with the formula by confirming Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca for its Oct. 5 "home" game, despite speculation the playoff could be staged in the Middle East.

The Socceroos will host the return match on Oct. 10 in Sydney.

The winner of the Asian playoff will face the fourth-place team from CONCACAF qualifying in North and Central America in another home-and-away series for a place in next year's World Cup in Russia.

Four countries from Asia have already qualified directly for the World Cup, leaving a route through the last-ditch qualifies for another two.

Syria, which has never reached the World Cup finals, secured third spot in Group A with a win in Tehran against already qualified Iran. South Korea also qualified from Group A.

Australia placed third in Group B, edged out on goal difference by Saudi Arabia in the very last game of the round when the Saudis edged already qualified Japan at home.

Update September 13, 2017

Champions League kicks off with night of one-sided games

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, center, celebrates his goal during the Champions League group A match against Basel, at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, Tuesday, Sept. 12. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

James Ellingworth

Manchester (AP) - As the Champions League opened with a series of one-sided games, Jose Mourinho was blunt. For the Manchester United manager, it wasn't the Champions League at all.

"For the Real Madrids, Barcelonas and Bayerns, the Champions League starts in February. Now is just the warming up," Mourinho said after a routine win for his Manchester United team over Swiss club Basel. "Let's qualify, let's make the points to qualify for the knockout phase. When we do that, let's enjoy playing against the big guys."

United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich all cruised to easy wins on Tuesday, scoring 17 goals between them and conceding none.

Barcelona's 3-0 win over Juventus was something of an exception, if only because the Italian team — last season's defeated finalists — had been expected to put up more of a fight.

In the event, Lionel Messi started another European campaign in imperious fashion with two goals against an injury-depleted Juventus side.



Manchester United's players didn't have to exert themselves too much to see off Swiss side Basel 3-0, as Romelu Lukaku scored his sixth goal in six United appearances.

Marouane Fellaini and Marcus Rashford's goals completed the win for United.

In a worrying sight for United fans and coach Mourinho, captain Paul Pogba hobbled off with a possible left hamstring injury.

In Lisbon, Benfica let slip a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to CSKA Moscow, with substitute Timur Zhamaletdinov scoring the winning goal four minutes into his Champions League debut.



Two woefully uncompetitive games saw Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich post easy wins.

PSG's expensively assembled forward line of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani ran riot against Celtic in a 5-0 win, scoring four between them. A Celtic own goal ensured a night to forget for the Scottish champions.

Bayern seemed rustier in their 3-0 win over Anderlecht, leading by just one goal at halftime despite Anderlecht having a man sent off in the 11th minute.

The red card allowed Robert Lewandowski to score from the penalty spot, before Bayern wasted a string of opportunities. Thiago Alcantara and Joshua Kimmich added to the scoreline in the second half.



Davide Zappacosta's stunning long-distance goal from the right flank impressed the Stamford Bridge faithful, but Chelsea needed nothing special to thrash Azerbaijan's Qarabag 6-0.

A poor Qarabag defence also conceded goals from Michy Batshuayi, Pedro Rodriguez, Cesar Azpilicueta and Tiemoue Bakayoko. There was also an own goal by Maksim Medvedev.

Atletico Madrid see themselves as contenders to win the Champions League, but poor finishing made them look well short of that standard in a 0-0 draw with Roma.



Lionel Messi started the new European season with yet another game-winning performance for Barcelona, while the Catalan club's record signing Ousmane Dembele made his debut.

Still, Barcelona's three-goal winning margin against a weakened opponent was slight revenge for their loss to Juventus in last year's quarterfinals.

On Tuesday at the Camp Nou, Juventus were missing defender Giorgio Chiellini, forward Mario Mandzukic and midfielder Sami Khedira through injury, while Juan Cuadrado was suspended.

Sporting Lisbon won 3-2 at Greek side Olympiakos, taking the lead after just 69 seconds through forward Seydou Doumbia, on loan from Roma.

Freak show over, the real fight is finally here

Canelo Alvarez, left, and Gennady Golovkin, right, will meet in the ring in Las Vegas Saturday night, Sept. 16, in a highly anticipated middleweight title clash. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, File)

Tim Dahlberg

Las Vegas (AP) — The freak show of a fight is over, and for that everyone in boxing should be glad. That Conor McGregor managed to make it into the 10th round against a retired 40-year-old who can't knock real boxers out isn't much to celebrate, unless you're McGregor's accountant.

Yes, McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. captured the nation's attention with a spectacle that played out pretty much how most boxing experts predicted. It made for a grand time in living rooms across the country, providing some entertainment.

Now comes the real fight — and what a fight it will be.

Canelo Alvarez against Gennady Golovkin is as good as it gets in the Sweet Science, a sport that is in the midst of a renaissance of sorts. They meet Saturday night in a middleweight title clash as highly anticipated by boxing purists as was McGregor's challenge of Mayweather to UFC fans.

Two fighters who both rank high on anyone's pound-for-pound list. One loss between them, with Golovkin's  three middleweight belts on the line.

And unlike Mayweather, they knock people out.

"It is not a fight," Golovkin said. "It is a war."

Whatever you call it, it shapes up as the most anticipated fight of the year in boxing. It's not too much of a stretch to say it might be the best middleweight clash since Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns engaged in their three-round classic more than 30 years ago.

Styles really do make fights, and these are two fighters with explosive styles.

"We're both going to fight a fight where anybody can win by knockout," Alvarez said. "We both have the power to win by knockout. But that's what makes for a great fight."

That the fight comes only three weeks after McGregor and Mayweather persuaded more than 4 million households to buy their pay-per-view is not fault of the fighters or their promoters. The fight was announced in May, before Mayweather-McGregor was finalized.

Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Alvarez, made no secret of his disdain for the Mayweather-McGregor fight, sending out an obscene tweet just before the event, claiming both were disrespecting boxing.

But viewers seemed generally satisfied with the money they spent on Mayweather-McGregor, and boxing fans will open their wallets for this bout. It won't sell as much as the most recent fight, but it still figures to do huge pay-per-view numbers, particularly among Mexican-American fans of Alvarez.

It should be money well spent.

"I'm going to do my part to make it memorable so I can go down in history as one of the best fighters," Alvarez said.

Alvarez is already a superstar in his native Mexico, the most celebrated boxer in a boxing-mad country. He does beer commercials with Sylvester Stallone and has been a steady pay-per-view draw, with his 2013 loss to Mayweather checking in as the fourth most watched pay-per-view of all time.

Now the charismatic redhead is a full-fledged middleweight, after waiting nearly two years to agree to meet Golovkin while he moved up from 154 pounds. He'll need to bring the power that has gotten him 34 knockouts against Golovkin, a former amateur star from Kazakhstan now living in Los Angeles who has knocked out 33 opponents in winning all 37 of his pro fights.

The fight is a rarity in boxing, two stars in their prime meeting in a fight that will likely define both their careers. It's a huge risk for both, but the rewards should be good, too, with purses north of $10 million.

Golovkin is making his 19th title defence, one off the record of 20 in the middleweight division set by Bernard Hopkins. He has done it fighting everywhere but in the boxing capital of the world, where he will make his debut against Alvarez at Las Vegas' new T-Mobile Arena.

The fight is a showcase of all that's good about boxing, a sport that is enjoying a good run in recent months. It's the best against the best in their prime in a fight fans have been clamoring to see.

And there will be no excuses no matter which way it goes.

Azam's 86 leads Pakistan to 20-run win against World XI

Pakistani cricket fans watch a match between World XI and Pakistan at Gaddafi stadium, in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, Sept. 12. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Rizwan Ali

Lahore, Pakistan (AP) — A brisk half-century by Babar Azam helped Pakistan to a 20-run victory over a World XI on Tuesday, the first match of a Twenty20 series which the hosts hope will lead to international cricket returning to their country.

Azam entertained the near-capacity crowd of 25,000 at the Gaddafi Stadium by smashing 86 off 52 balls, hitting 10 fours and two sixes in Pakistan's total of 197-5.

The World XI's star-studded batting lineup was then restricted to 177-7 as Pakistan took the lead in a three-match series.

"I want to dedicate this innings to the people of Pakistan because it's always nice to play in front of home fans," Azam said of his man-of-the-match winning knock.

Eight years after a terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore caused major teams to shun Pakistan, the country's cricket board is hoping the series will help to win back the confidence of test-playing nations.

The second game will be played on Wednesday, followed by the last match on Friday.

"It was a good game, I thought Pakistan played exceptionally well," World XI captain South Africa's Faf du Plessis said. "I thought it was a 180 wicket, so maybe we gave away 20 runs too many. Our bowling was possibly one-dimensional - they had a lot of variety, spinners, left-arm, right-arm.

"It was a great occasion to play here, and as soon as we walked into the field, it was just a normal game."

Morne Morkel, one of five South African players in the World XI, made an early breakthrough when Fakhar Zaman (8) was caught in the lone slip in the first over after Du Plessis won the toss and opted to field.

But Azam, playing his only second international match at home, then blunted the World XI's attack with a 122-run partnership off 81 balls with Ahmed Shehzad (39).

With sharper fielding, though, both batsmen could have been removed earlier. Ben Cutting couldn't hold onto a low one-handed catch off his own bowling which could have dismissed Shehzad on 7. Azam survived on 64 when David Miller misjudged an overhead catch at long-off in Morkel's return spell.

Darren Sammy, the West Indies' world Twenty20 winning captain, broke the stand with a brilliant low catch at fine leg off Cutting in the 15th over.

Azam followed in the next over as he fell to Lahore-born South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir, when Miller didn't miss a second opportunity in the deep.

Shoaib Malik (38 off 20 balls) lifted the total with a little cameo and Imad Wasim (15 not out) hoisted Thisara Perera for two sixes in the last over which went for 21.

Hashim Amla (26) and Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal (18) gave the World XI a promising start to their run-chase with a 43-run stand. But left-arm seamer Rumman Raees dismissed both batsmen in the last over of batting powerplay.

Du Plessis (29) briefly threatened the Pakistan total, hitting four boundaries and a six. But the hosts struck back with leg-spinner Shadab Khan (2-33) removing Du Plessis and Miller (9).

Sammy (29 not out) reduced the margin of defeat by hitting three sixes.

Lynn believes Chargers' last-second loss will not linger

Denver Broncos inside linebacker Corey Nelson (52) tackles Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) during the second half of their NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 11, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Greg Beacham

Costa Mesa, California (AP) — Don't tell Anthony Lynn about the Chargers' voluminous recent history of narrow defeats and heartbreaking fourth-quarter mistakes. He wasn't around for any of them — until Monday night.

The new head coach believes the old reputation doesn't apply to the Los Angeles version of this franchise, even after a loss that felt a bit like so many painful Chargers defeats in recent years.

Even after falling behind by 17 points after three quarters in their season opener, the Chargers were one blocked kick away from taking Lynn's debut into overtime in Denver. If Younghoe Koo's last-second field goal attempt had been allowed to make it over the line untouched, Lynn has no doubt the Chargers would have completed their impressive comeback instead of losing 24-21 to the Broncos.

"Every man in that locker room was hurt," Lynn said Tuesday. "Those guys wanted to win that game so bad. I know they're going to bounce back this week. I'm not concerned about their body language. I know they'll be ready to roll. A lot of character in that locker room."

Lynn and the Chargers returned from Denver with more motivation than disappointment. They have a short week of preparation for the home opener of their relocation season, but they see ample areas in which they can improve against Miami.

Still, Koo's blocked kick was a fresh blow for a franchise that grew familiar with gut-wrenching breaks over the past few seasons. The final San Diego version of this franchise lost eight games by seven points or fewer last year, and the 2015 team lost nine games by eight points or fewer, blowing four fourth-quarter leads.

That was all about to change, according to Lynn.

"We had the momentum," Lynn said. "I feel like we were coming. Koo kicked a nice ball on the first one, and (Broncos coach) Vance (Joseph) did a hell of a job calling that timeout, trying to freeze it. The second kick was just as solid."

Lynn didn't blame rookie offensive lineman Dan Feeney for a mistake that allowed Shelby Harris to deflect Koo's kick. Instead, Lynn put the blame on himself and his staff.

"We just gave up some pressure on the right side," Lynn said. "We had a young player on the right side in Feeney. They went two-on-one and pushed him a little bit. He opened up. It's something we have to put them through more. I take full responsibility for that. They ran a nice little stunt, and we just have to be more prepared for it."

The comeback didn't erase the frustration of a slow offensive debut for the Chargers, who managed just 249 total yards — with 38 of that on a quick-strike TD pass from Philip Rivers to Travis Benjamin immediately after Denver's fourth-quarter fumble. Los Angeles scored on just one of its first seven drives, and receiver Tyrell Williams acknowledged that Sports Authority Field's extreme crowd noise hampered the Chargers' ability to adjust plays.

"I feel like a lot of us are off it already and on to the next one," Williams said. "I think we have a good group like that. It doesn't fester in us or bother us. Players just keep moving."

Crowd noise should benefit the Chargers while they spend the next three weeks at StubHub Center, their compact home for the next three seasons. Los Angeles hosts Miami, Kansas City and Philadelphia on consecutive Sundays, and that continuity should give the Chargers plenty of time to repair any ragged edges in their game from that difficult opener.

Lynn plans to keep his players out of pads to keep them fresh during their short week of preparation.

"We knew this (short week) was going to happen," Lynn said. "Now, I didn't know (Miami) would have the first week off (due to the hurricanes). But a couple of weeks ago, we had a couple of Dolphin days where we started preparing for the Dolphins. We knew on this short week, we (needed to) have a plan on file for the Dolphins. That's going to help tremendously this week."

Olympic skating champion Lipnitskaya opens up about anorexia

Russia’s Yulia Lipnitskaya is shown in this Feb. 8, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

Moscow (AP) — She was Russia's golden girl at the 2014 Winter Olympics, the 15-year-old skater with the "Schindler's List" theme tune who won an Olympic title and a hug from President Vladimir Putin.

But now Yulia Lipnitskaya's career is over, and she's opening up about the cause — chronic anorexia.

Lipnitskaya says the eating disorder dogged her "not just for one year, or two, or three" and it eventually caused her to check into a clinic in Israel in January this year. She's now retired, hasn't skated in almost a year and says she doesn't miss the ice.

"Anorexia is a 21st-century illness and it's fairly common. Unfortunately, not everyone can cope with it," Lipnitskaya said in an interview released Tuesday by the Russian Figure Skating Federation. Lipnitskaya, the youngest Olympic skating gold medalist since 1936, wishes she'd spoken out about her illness earlier.

"My only regret is that I didn't do this before," the 19-year-old Lipnitskaya said. Her honesty is comparatively rare in Russia, where eating disorders usually aren't discussed publicly.

Lipnitskaya's last competition, a Grand Prix event in November, was a far cry from her Olympic triumph. Unable to tackle the big jumps in her free program, she stopped the skate with tears in her eyes. The judges allowed her to resume after a break, but she finished 12th, in last place.

Officials said Lipnitskaya was injured. She entered residential treatment for anorexia in Israel two months later.

"After the Cup of Russia I came home and put my skates in a closet and I haven't seen them since," she said. "I'm no longer drawn to the ice."

Lipnitskaya said that when she entered the clinic in January she assumed she would still continue her skating career. Two things happened to persuade her otherwise. First, sessions with psychologists helped her to realize she wanted to put her health first. Second, her stay in the clinic proved a little more isolated than she had planned.

"After the first week there, on a free day, my phone was stolen and obviously that broke my whole connection to the outside world," she said.

"It's only now that I understand why it happened to me. It was for me to really think about what's happening in my life. It played a very important role," Lipnitskaya said. "I had even more time to work on my health, and to think what I'd do after leaving the clinic."

With a tendency toward curt, clipped speech and sometimes biting self-criticism, Lipnitskaya stood out in the relentlessly upbeat world of figure skating.

In Russia, her young age and a very public hug at the Olympics from President Vladimir Putin made her a household name. She found it hard to cope with fame.

"Ever since childhood I've been a very strong introvert," Lipnitskaya said. "Speaking with an unfamiliar person meant I had to make a real effort."

Lipnitskaya said she has become "chattier" but doesn't think she needs "to get into every newspaper or onto every TV show when they invite me. I don't welcome that and I won't do it."

That approach marks Lipnitskaya as the temperamental opposite of Russia's other skating star from the 2014 Olympics. Adelina Sotnikova, who won the individual gold medal, has embraced the celebrity lifestyle as a regular on TV, including the Russian edition of "Dancing With The Stars."

The announcement of Lipnitskaya's retirement sparked a frenzy in Russian media. Lipnitskaya said she has been forced to deny various unfounded theories about her decision, and that a man who claimed to be her father on Russian state TV was an impostor.

What comes next for Lipnitskaya isn't clear. For now, she's focusing on education and hopes to enter college next year, possibly as a prelude to a career in sports management.

She said she has found happiness regularly riding up to 40 kilometers on horseback in the countryside near Moscow.

Her horse, Dakota, is "tall, with a model appearance and a lovely personality," the former Olympic skating champion said. "It's just like a dream."

Just over 2 years left, intense work at Tokyo stadium site

Laborers work at a construction site of new the national stadium in Tokyo, Tuesday, Sept. 12. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Mari Yamaguchi

Tokyo (AP) — The Olympic stadium in Tokyo is taking shape with 22 cranes on site and the spectator stands being installed after 10 months of underground foundation work.

With its completion deadline just over two years away, work is intense.

Olympic Minister Shunichi Suzuki, during a visit to the New National Stadium on Tuesday, said the construction is proceeding as scheduled, praising the workflow efficiency. He said all possible technology must be mobilized to finish the stadium by the November 2019 deadline. Suzuki, however, cautioned that workers should not stockpile overtime.

"Working conditions must meet legal standards," Suzuki said.

Suzuki cited the suicide this year of a worker linked to overwork, or "karoshi," and addressed the concerns about the working environment at the project. He reminded main construction company Taisei Corp. and the Japan Sport Council, the government-funded stadium operator, to keep close tabs on overwork. The operators have since taken measures and the working environment has improved.

The construction was more than a year behind schedule when it started, as an earlier stadium plan was scrapped because of a spiraling cost and unpopular design. The government approved the 150 billion yen ($1.5 billion) stadium by a joint venture among Taisei, Azusa Sekkei Co. and the office of Kengo Kuma, an architect who designed the replacement.

In order to save time, Taisei and its subcontractors are bringing in precast and semi-assembled components from factories for quick installation.

The site has about 1,000 workers on an average day, said Yukio Komatsu, an on-site planning and management official at JSC. As many as 3,000 people will be needed per day later when the roof, exterior, and interior will be simultaneously worked on. Komatsu said the workforce is expected to be secured until the end of the project.

Japan has faced a shortage of construction workers following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami as the region continues to rebuild. Construction rush for Olympic venues and related facilities add to the crunch and workload, making construction workers increasingly vulnerable to overwork, experts say.

The construction sector is excluded from the government's planned tightening of overtime limits for the time being. Last year, construction was one of most karoshi-prone sectors in Japan, with 16 victims acknowledged by the government.

The death of the 23-year-old worker captured national attention in July when his family sought the government to certify him as a karoshi victim. The body of the man was found in the central Japan mountains in April, weeks after he disappeared, with a suicide note saying he was "physically and mentally pushed to the limit." His lawyer said his overtime exceeded 200 hours a month before he killed himself — more than twice the 80-hour-per-month redline for a death from overwork.

Tokyo's labor standard office is still investigating.

The stadium delay was part of Japan's troubled preparations for the Olympics, underscoring a widespread lack of cost-control. Officials are bracing for a possible delay in the construction of roads linking the main Olympic venues near a new fish market project, which has been hit by a construction scandal and tainted underground water.

Update September 12, 2017

West Ham beat Huddersfield 2-0, gets off mark in EPL

West Ham's Andre Ayew celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League match against Huddersfield Town at London Stadium, Monday, Sept. 11. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

London (AP) — West Ham picked up their first win in the English Premier League at the fourth time of asking, beating Huddersfield 2-0 thanks to goals by Pedro Obiang and Andre Ayew in the final 18 minutes of normal time on Monday.

It was a first loss for Huddersfield — and the first goals they have conceded — after opening with two wins and a draw following promotion from the League Championship.

West Ham needed some luck to break the deadlock at London Stadium in the 72nd minute, Obiang's shot from 25 yards deflecting off the back of Huddersfield defender Mathias Jorgensen and looping in on off the post.

Ayew, on as a second-half substitute, added a second goal in the 77th when he poked home a loose ball from inside the six-yard box from a corner.

West Ham striker Javier Hernandez earlier struck the crossbar with a shot, while Tom Ince smashed a drive against the bar late on for Huddersfield.

The win eases some of the pressure on West Ham manager Slaven Bilic after three straight losses — all coming away from home — while the London Stadium reverted to being a soccer venue after hosting the world athletics championships.

America's Cup to ditch catamarans in favor of monohulls

Sweden’s Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand compete in high-tech catamarans during America's Cup challenger semifinals on the Great Sound in Bermuda on Saturday, June 10, 2017. (Gilles Martin-Raget/America's Cup Event Authority via AP)

Bernie Wilson

San Diego (AP) — Fast, foiling catamarans are out of the America's Cup and monohulls are back in.

America's Cup champion Emirates Team New Zealand confirmed Monday that it is working on designs for a "high-performance" single-hulled boat to be used in the 36th edition of sailing's marquee regatta in Auckland in early 2021.

The Kiwis did not say whether the boats will have foils or canting keels. More details were promised at the end of the month.

Team New Zealand released a statement after Italian billionaire Patrizio Bertelli, boss of the Italian Challenger of Record Luna Rossa and CEO of Prada, told La Stampa that the next regatta will be sailed in monohulls as a condition of his group helping the cash-strapped Kiwis in the 35th America's Cup.

The Kiwis said a team of designers, led by design coordinator Dan Bernasconi, is "working on various exciting monohull concepts which will eventually help shape the AC36 Class Rule."

The Kiwis added that they have been consulting with a number of potential challengers "and there is an overall desire to have a spectacular monohull yacht that will be exciting to match race, but also one that the public and sailors can relate to as a sail boat that really challenges a full crew of professional yachtsmen around the race track."

Foiling is all the rage in sailing. It made its America's Cup debut on San Francisco Bay in 2013, when the Kiwis blew an 8-1 lead to Oracle Team USA in a showdown of 72-foot catamarans. The boats were reduced to 50 feet for the 2017 America's Cup. Team New Zealand hit on a remarkable design package and wrested the oldest trophy in international sports from the American-backed team in June on Bermuda's Great Sound.

When the cats hit a certain speed, they'd rise up on foils on the leeward daggerboard and both rudders, lifting the hulls completely out of the water to reduce drag and increase speed. In Bermuda, they hit speeds approaching 50 mph. In a few races, crews made it all the way around the course without the hulls touching down.

While the catamarans aided Cup organizers' quest to make it a more TV-friendly sport, there was grumbling from traditionalists that the competition was a drag race that eliminated most match-racing tactics. There also were complaints that only a few crewmen actually sailed the boats while the majority of the crew turned the winches that powered the hydraulic systems used to trim the wingsails and raise and lower the daggerboards. Crews were reduced from 11 in 2013 to six this year.

There was the thought that returning to monohulls would be a step backward, especially since the Kiwis have the world's best apparent wind sailor, helmsman Peter Burling, and had hit on innovative design elements that would have given them a strong advantage in the next regatta.

But the return to monohulls could increase the number of challengers. Some had stepped away because of disagreements over the boats and other rules, and because tech billionaire Larry Ellison, owner of Oracle Team USA, had such a strong grip on the event.

With Oracle no longer holding the trophy, it's expected that multiple American syndicates will emerge, as well as former America's Cup mainstays like Australia. It's unclear whether Ellison will continue on. He helped back teams from Japan and France in the 2017 regatta.

Two of Team New Zealand's brightest stars, Burling and wing trimmer Blair Tuke, will sail in the Volvo Ocean Race beginning Oct. 22. The round-the-world classic will be sailed in 65-foot monohulls. The VOR will shift to foil-assisted boats for the 2019-20 race.

The last time monohulls were used in the America's Cup was 2007. They were plodding compared to the catamarans.

In 2010, after a bitter court case between Ellison and Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli led to a one-off showdown, Oracle Team USA sailed a massive trimaran to victory over Alinghi's equally huge catamaran. Ellison and his top sailing lieutenant, Russell Coutts, then forged on with their vision to contest the Cup in catamarans.

Bertelli told La Stampa that the monohulls for 2021 "will be very powerful boats."

He also said there will be some form of a nationality rule.

After an Australian syndicate dropped out as Challenger of Record for the 35th America's Cup, most of the remaining challengers agreed to an unprecedented midcourse downsize in the boats. Luna Rossa angrily withdrew. Team New Zealand also was angry about the change, but stayed in and received manpower and badly needed cash from the Italians.

NFL gets the poor taste award in Week 1

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is introduced to the crowd prior to an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 10, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Arnie Stapleton

New York (AP) - Of all the dubious decisions in the opening week of the 2017 season, none topped the insensitive tweet from the league's official NFL Mexico account with three smiley emojis that likened the Kansas City Chiefs' big victory over the New England Patriots to the deadly earthquake that shook Mexico and took 90 lives.

That was worse than the Atlanta Braves playing "Rock You Like A Hurricane" between innings of their baseball game against the Miami Marlins on Thursday night while Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida.

That Scorpions' rock anthem is on the regular playlist at SunTrust Park and apparently was an oversight in the series opener. Besides, we'll give the Braves props for allowing any Floridians fleeing Irma to attend any of the four games in the weekend series for free.

The NFL apologized for its "unacceptable" tweet after the Chiefs upset the Super Bowl champions 42-27 in the season opener Thursday night. The game ended about a half-hour before the strongest earthquake in Mexico in a half-century struck the country's southern coast.

The tweet from the @nflmx account said in Spanish: "When Mexico City shakes with an #earthquake because it can't believe the @Chiefs won the #Kickoff2017 game."

After the tweet received widespread criticism online, the NFL Mexico account apologized for the "unacceptable tweet ... which doesn't reflect the league's values. We reiterate our solidarity with Mexico."

The NFL is one of the most popular sports in Mexico, where the Oakland Raiders will play a regular-season game in November for a second consecutive season, this time against defending champions New England.

Speaking of the Raiders, they benefited from one of the biggest backfires Sunday when they recovered an onside kick to start their game at Tennessee. Derek Carr hit Amari Cooper for an 8-yard TD pass four plays later, propelling Oakland to a big 26-16 win.

"We could have had the ball at the 50-yard line with a pretty potent offense if we execute the onside kick," said a defiant Titans coach Mike Mularkey.

The Texans did right by recognizing J.J. Watt, who has become the celebrity face of Houston's recovery from Hurricane Harvey after raising a staggering $31 million. Watt addressed fans in a video message played on the big screens before kickoff and Watt emerged from the tunnel waving a Texas flag.

"It's not good when that's the highlight of your day," Watt said after watching the Jaguars set a franchise record with 10 sacks in a 29-7 win fueled by four takeaways. "That was a good moment and it was downhill from there the rest of the day."

Moreover, the Texans find themselves in the middle of yet another quarterback controversy .

Houston coach Bill O'Brien has a short week to decide who his starter will be Thursday night at Cincinnati after replacing Tom Savage with rookie Deshaun Watson at halftime Sunday. When Houston traded up 13 spots to take Watson 12th overall in this year's draft, many assumed he'd be the starter to open the season. O'Brien instead raved about Savage's progress.

Savage didn't reward that faith, however, and O'Brien had seen enough after Houston's offense failed to move the ball for two quarters during which Savage managed 62 yards passing and lost two fumbles. One of them was returned for a touchdown that left the Texans in a 19-0 halftime hole.

After throwing a touchdown toss to DeAndre Hopkins on his first drive, Watson, who led Clemson to a national title last season, threw an interception and lost a fumble on a sack.

"You live and learn," Watson said.

Watt's younger brother, T.J., had an excellent debut in the Steelers' 21-18 win at Cleveland, getting two sacks and an interception — something his superstar brother has never managed to do in a game.

He was whistled for unnecessary roughness that left many observers scratching their heads, including NBC analyst Tony Dungy, who mused, "I don't know what's unnecessary about that" hit.

Watt picked off the next pass.

The Seahawks were held out of the end zone in their 17-9 loss at Green Bay. An interception return for a touchdown by defensive tackle Nazair Jones was nullified when referee John Parry ejected cornerback Jeremy Lane for throwing a punch during a scrum with Packers receiver Devante Adams, who started the scuffle but escaped punishment.

"I have seen it, and I didn't see the punch at all," complained Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. "... I'm anxious to hear how the league tells us how that went."

Aaron Rodgers atoned for his rare interception with a 32-yard pass to Jordy Nelson, who beat a linebacker for the game's only TD catch on a free play in which the Packers caught the Seahawks with a dozen players on the field.

"When they sub out we try to quick-snap them," Nelson said. "Aaron's obviously the best in the world doing it."

De Boer fired by impatient Palace after only 4 games

Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League match against Burnley at Turf Moor, Burnley, Sunday Sept. 10. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)

Steve Douglas

London (AP) - The impatience and short-term thinking in modern-day soccer was highlighted Monday when Frank de Boer was fired by Crystal Palace only four Premier League games into his task of changing the ingrained playing style of the English team.

Hours after Palace chairman Steve Parish called for "some sense" regarding the speculation surrounding De Boer's position, the club's board decided to end the Dutchman's 77-day stint in charge and thanked him for his "dedication and hard work."

Palace have lost all four of their league matches under De Boer, without even scoring a goal. The last team to make such a start in England's top flight was Preston in 1924.

Still, it was undeniable that De Boer needed time to implement a more expansive and entertaining style of play requested by the club's hierarchy, which is a giant leap from the pragmatism, directness and counter-attacking favored by two of Palace's three most recent managers — Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis.

In terms of games played, De Boer's tenure is the shortest of any permanent manager in Premier League history.

Palace lost to Huddersfield, Liverpool and Swansea before the international break, and then 1-0 to Burnley on Sunday despite an improved display at Turf Moor which showed that De Boer's methods might be starting to take effect.

De Boer spoke after the game of having "hope for the future," but he won't be part of it. British media reported that former England coach Roy Hodgson, who is 70, was in line to take over at a club where he was a youth-team player in the 1960s.

While De Boer was gaining plenty of sympathy for his plight, critics of the decision to fire him placed the blame on those who hired him in the first place. Why ask a manager to implement a new playing approach and not give him a decent opportunity to see the change through, especially after only one transfer window when De Boer was unable to bring in the kind of attacking players to suit the new style?

"You try to ask a bit of time for your work," Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said Monday, when asked about Palace's decision. "To finish this experience after only four games, I'm sorry for him."

De Boer was in charge of Inter Milan in his previous job for just 84 days before being fired early last season. He didn't even last that long in his first foray into English soccer.

As a former player and coach at Ajax and also a former Barcelona player, De Boer is wedded to a philosophy of possession and fluidity generally favored by the Dutch. It got results at Ajax — he won four straight league titles — but he has found it difficult to transfer that abroad.

Facing yet another fight to avoid relegation from the world's richest league, Palace seem destined to lurch back to survival mode. That likely means regressing to the style of play that Allardyce and Pulis developed, namely being more obdurate at the back and hitting teams on the break.

The well-travelled Hodgson does not have a definitive preferred playing style, although his time with England from 2012-16 was marred by dull and cautious performances at major tournaments. He hasn't coached since leaving the England job after the country's elimination by Iceland at last year's European Championship, and his last job as a club manager was at West Bromwich Albion from 2011-12.

Arriving on a three-year deal, De Boer had ambitions of making Palace entertaining to watch and integrating more youth-team players. Parish and the club's American owners — David Blitzer and Josh Harris — backed this bold vision.

They have acted decisively, though maybe prematurely, in removing De Boer.

Du Plessis: Security comforts World XI on tour in Pakistan

World XI coach Andy Flower, left, displays a match shirt with skipper Faf du Plessis during a news conference in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 11. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Rizwan Ali

Lahore, Pakistan (AP) — South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was comforted by the security arrangements in agreeing to lead the World XI for its breakthrough cricket tour of Pakistan.

The World XI - made up also of 13 others players from New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies and Australia - is the first major cricket team to tour Pakistan in eight years. Most of the cricket world has shunned visiting Pakistan since 2009, when gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team convoy.

"When this whole thing came about, you do think about that (security) sort of things," du Plessis said on arriving on Monday in Lahore, amid tight security. "But as soon as we spoke to the people who were in control of the security, the planning ... as a player all you want was that peace of mind and they gave it to us.

"They are very confident that this will be smooth sailing. We just wanted to get here and experience what was going to be something that was going to be a huge turnaround in world cricket."

The players were summoned by Andy Flower, the World XI coach and former Zimbabwe captain. Flower took feedback from his younger brother Grant, who has been the Pakistan batting coach for the past three years.

"I spoke with him after Giles Clarke had first approached this idea with me," Andy Flower said, referencing Clarke, the head of the International Cricket Council's Pakistan Task Force.

"I was quite comfortable with the feedback that he was giving me and therefore, I was quite comfortable talking to the international players and encouraging them to take part in this venture."

Clarke said the successful staging of the Pakistan Super League final in March in Lahore helped the Pakistan Cricket Board's cause to organize the World XI series. The final included the West Indies' Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels.

"If the PSL final had not been played here, I don't know how easy this would have been," Clarke said. "Everybody had the courage and the confidence to play here and that was an absolutely essential (factor) for this series."

The ICC has sent security experts to monitor the three Twenty20s between Pakistan and the World XI at Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Also, at least 500 meters of the main road leading to a five-star hotel where the teams are staying is completely cordoned off.

"It's fair to say that this will be the first time when we actually come into play cricket for something which is much bigger than the game itself," du Plessis said. "We look forward to what will be a great week of cricket."

PCB chairman Najam Sethi said he hoped the series' success will pave the way for a T20 against Sri Lanka next month, and a planned three-match T20 series against the West Indies.

"We know this is a small step in many ways but a huge leap for Pakistan," Sethi said. "We now expect more doors to open."

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said he was looking forward to playing in front of the home fans for the first time since winning the Champions Trophy in England in June.

"I am very excited to have cricket back home," Ahmed said. "Nothing is more joyous (than for the team) to be playing cricket in Pakistan. We are hopeful that after this series, international cricket will be regularly played in the country."



Back to Main Page

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Jake LaMotta, boxer who inspired 'Raging Bull,' dies at 95

Goals flow for England's top clubs in League Cup

Moustakas breaks Royals' HR record in 15-5 rout of Jays

Dumoulin tops Roglic, Froome for cycling time trial title

Madrid stunned by Betis at home, lose ground to Barcelona

Federer, Nadal happy to play doubles, Borg to decide

Klopp angry as Liverpool eliminated from League Cup

A cup winner in soccer, Rio Ferdinand now eyes boxing belts

Bairstow 100, England ease to victory over WI in 1st ODI

Messi nets 4 goals to keep Barcelona with perfect record

Cubs win 2-1 in Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field

Another year, another distraction with LPGA's 5th major

Giro d'Italia: 2018 race route to feature 5 Israeli cities

Vettel loses huge ground in title race after Singapore blip

Kerber ousts local favorite Osaka at Pan-Pacific Open

Broncos' 42-17 crushing of Cowboys shows they're back

Golovkin and Alvarez fight to a brutal draw; rematch to come

Vettel's recklessness plays straight into Hamilton's hands

Lukaku compounds Everton misery in 4-0 rout

Dolphins rally to spoil Chargers' opener

Leishman gets redemption in Chicago, wins BMW Championship

Nordqvist beats Altomare in playoff to win Evian major

India beat Australia by 26 runs in rain-hit 1st ODI

It's on: Triple G and Canelo ready for big middleweight bout

Ricciardo tops both Singapore GP practices in record times

Leishman backs up good start with a low score at BMW

Defoe earns 1st win for Bournemouth in Premier League

Park fires 63, uses fresh start to lead Evian major by 2

Wood, Dodgers bats overpower Nationals 7-0

Pakistan beat World XI in T20 decider to win series 2-1

Vettel relying on Singapore experience to regain F1 lead

Play scrapped at rain-hit women's major, will start Friday

Leishman opens with a 62 to lead BMW Championship

Wenger surprised game played amid Cologne chaos at Arsenal

Paris celebrates end of 100-year Olympic wait

Ronaldo back with brace as Madrid, Man City, Spurs win in CL

21 club: Indians set AL record with 21st straight win

Amla, Perera power World XI to 7-wicket win vs Pakistan

World Cup qualifying: Syria to play Australia in Malaysia

Champions League kicks off with night of one-sided games

Freak show over, the real fight is finally here

Azam's 86 leads Pakistan to 20-run win against World XI

Lynn believes Chargers' last-second loss will not linger

Olympic skating champion Lipnitskaya opens up about anorexia

Just over 2 years left, intense work at Tokyo stadium site

West Ham beat Huddersfield 2-0, gets off mark in EPL

America's Cup to ditch catamarans in favor of monohulls

NFL gets the poor taste award in Week 1

De Boer fired by impatient Palace after only 4 games

Du Plessis: Security comforts World XI on tour in Pakistan


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

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