Update September 19, 2017
Giro d'Italia: 2018 race route to feature 5 Israeli cities
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
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
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
"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
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,"
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)
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
"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
"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
Points have been thrown away,
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
"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
Las Vegas (AP) — Canelo
Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin argued afterward about who won their
No one could argue it wasn't a
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
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
"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
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)
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
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
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
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
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)
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
UNITED GOAL FLURRY
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
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.
RED MIST FOR BLUES
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
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.
PATRIOTS 36, SAINTS 20
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
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.
SEAHAWKS 12, 49ERS 9
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.
RAIDERS 45, JETS 20
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.
REDSKINS 27, RAMS 20
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
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
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.
CHIEFS 27, EAGLES 20
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
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
Alex Smith had 251 yards
passing for the Chiefs (2-0). Cairo Santos was 2 for 2 on field
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
CARDINALS 16, COLTS 13, OT
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
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
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.
STEELERS 26, VIKINGS 9
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
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.
BUCCANEERS 29, BEARS 7
Tampa, Florida — Jameis
Winston threw for 204 yards and one touchdown, helping the
Buccaneers return from an unscheduled bye week forced by Hurricane
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
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.
RAVENS 24, BROWNS 10
Baltimore — Baltimore
relentlessly harassed two Cleveland quarterbacks, Joe Flacco ramped
up his production with a pair of touchdown passes and the Ravens
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.
TITANS 37, JAGUARS 16
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
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
PANTHERS 9, BILLS 3
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.
BRONCOS 42, COWBOYS 17
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
Leishman gets redemption in Chicago, wins BMW Championship
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)
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
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
As usual, the only drama at
Conway Farms was who made it to East Lake, and a pair of PGA Tour
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
"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
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
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)
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
"We looked very strong,"
Verstappen said. "We all know that Daniel is always very quick
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
By JEROME PUGMIRE, AP
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
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
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
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
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
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
Leishman watches his second shot on the 16th hole.(AP Photo/Nam Y.
By Doug Ferguson, AP Golf
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
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
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
"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,"
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
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
"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
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 START FAST
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
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
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)
Paris (AP) — The
100-year wait made victory extra-sweet for Paris. Only the weather
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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."
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
"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
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
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
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
batsman Hashim Amla acknowledges his fifty during the second Twenty20 match
at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 13. (AP
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
Pakistan, who were restricted to 174-6,
looked on top in the 14th over when they dismissed captain Faf du Plessis at
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 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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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)
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
"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
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
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.
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
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
"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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
She said she has found happiness
regularly riding up to 40 kilometers on horseback in the countryside
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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)
San Diego (AP) — Fast,
foiling catamarans are out of the America's Cup and monohulls are back
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
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
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
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
The last time monohulls were used
in the America's Cup was 2007. They were plodding compared to the
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)
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
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
"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
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
"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
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)
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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."