This week’s Masters always had the makings for being something extra special and it lived up to expectations on Thursday as reigning champion Jordan Spieth seized a two-shot lead after the opening round.The American’s love affair with the challenging Augusta National layout continued in flawless style as he fired a six-under-par 66 to storm to the top of a high-quality leaderboard in the first of the year’s four major championships.Bidding to become only the fourth player to claim back-to-back Masters victories, world number two Spieth took advantage of relatively calm morning conditions before coping superbly with tricky gusting winds as he kept his card bogey-free.“I would have signed for two-under today and not even played the round, knowing the conditions that were coming up,” said the 22-year-old Spieth, who is aiming to emulate Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods with consecutive Green Jackets.“Got a lot out of the round with what I felt like was kind of average-ish ball striking. Just scored the ball extremely well, something I’ve been struggling with this season. I put it up there with one of the best rounds I’ve played.”Spieth ended the day two shots ahead of New Zealander Danny Lee and Irishman Shane Lowry, with Englishmen Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter, Dane Soren Kjeldsen and Spaniard Sergio Garcia a further stroke back after opening with 69s.Rory McIlroy bogeyed the final hole for a 70 while world number one Jason Day, the hottest player in the game after winning six times in his last 13 starts, got to five-under before dropping five shots in his last four holes for a 72.Shaking off a run of inconsistent form in recent weeks on the PGA Tour, Spieth sank a six-footer at the third, a 13-footer at the sixth and a four-footer at the eighth to reach the turn in three-under 33.FINISHED IN STYLEHe picked up further shots at the 10th and 13th, sank a clutch 15-footer to save par at the 16th and finished in style by rolling in a six-footer at the last before pumping his fist in celebration.Spieth became the first defending Masters champion to hold the outright lead after the first round since Jack Nicklaus in 1966.Casey, who played in Spieth’s company, was hugely impressed by the American’s 66.“That was a flawless round of golf,” said Casey, who shot a 69 on an increasingly blustery day. “One of the toughest days I’ve ever seen around Augusta National … it was great to have a front row seat to watch that.”Spieth won the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January, but struggled to string together four good rounds in his next five strokeplay starts before returning this week to the welcome surroundings of Augusta National.He tied for second on his Masters debut in 2014, then last year stunned the golf world as he completed a wire-to-wire victory by four shots, matching Woods’ tournament record low of 18-under 270 for 72 holes.While Spieth flourished on Thursday, former world number one Ernie Els made a nightmare start as he six-putted from three feet at the par-four first to run up a mind-boggling nine.It was the highest ever Masters score on that hole and left South African Els, who has struggled badly with his short putting for more than a year, shaking his head in disbelief. He went on to shoot 80, tying his worst round at Augusta.“It’s unexplainable,” said Els, a four-time major winner. “I couldn’t get the putter back. I’ve made thousands of three-footers and I just couldn’t take it back.”Australian Day, seeking a second consecutive major victory after winning his first at the PGA Championship in August, was just one stroke off the pace until he bogeyed the 15th.He then triple-bogeyed the par-three 16th after hitting his tee shot into water, reloading and three-putting before he dropped another shot at the 17th.“It’s not the way I planned it out but I felt like I played some really good golf up until then,” said Day, who had won on his last two PGA Tour starts before this week.“Obviously if you get yourself out of position here at this course, it’s very difficult to salvage par and unfortunately starting at 15 I got myself out of position pretty good.”Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson opened with a 72 while fellow left-hander Bubba Watson, a double winner at Augusta National, faded on the back nine to card a 75.
With that, the Association is also looking forward with the introduction of the new-look competition, there is possibility of Port Moresby hosting the 2017 Inaugural Pacific Nations Cup.Preparations for the international debut in Australia for the Queensland Open Championships is also going well with the train-on squad currently in training which will soon be named and trimmed into the final 15 squad for each division by the end of this month.President of the PNG Mixed and Men’s Netball Association Adam Parker said, the 2017 and 2018 are shaping up to be very exciting with PNG’s first international representative teams touring Australia with plans to grow to four teams in 2018.“Currently we are preparing two teams, one Men’s, One mixed team and we have developed a new and exciting competition that will allow greater participation across more grades of competition and without giving to much away, later in 2017, a Men’s and Mixed Internationally will be coming to PNG,” Parker said.The association is also seeking executives and committees to be part of the team in occupying positions in: President-Junior President,Vice President-Junior Vice President,Secretary- Assistant Secretary,Treasurer- Assistant Treasurer,Competition Coordinator- Assistant Competition Coordinator,Touring Coordinator- Assistant Touring Coordinator,Development Coordinator- Assistant Development Coordinator,
European football has lost a “huge player” in Zlatan Ibrahimovic but the striker will raise the level of the game in the U.S following his move to LA Galaxy, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday.Ibrahimovic last week ended a short but successful stint at United – where he won the League Cup and the Europa League – to become the latest high-profile player to move to the MLS, following the likes of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Thierry Henry and Frank Lampard.Mourinho used his news conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against Swansea City to pay tribute to the talismanic Swedish forward who he previously coached at Inter Milan.“For me it’s always sad when the big players move towards the end,” Mourinho told reporters.“I remember Luis Figo’s last match with me and Inter, it was one of my saddest moments. The Zlatan goodbye was more in that direction, he’s a huge player that European Football has lost.“But this period with LA Galaxy will be very good for him, he will be good for American football, because of what he can do; his personality, his passion and his professionalism.”Ibrahimovic sustained a bad knee injury in United’s Europa League quarter-final against Belgian side Anderlecht last April but returned to make seven appearances for the Old Trafford side this season.“His recovery was an example of what a professional should be,” Mourinho added. “For him the move to U.S. will just be a way to enjoy the last couple of years of football.”United will be without back-up goalkeeper Sergio Romero for the weekend’s game, after the Argentine international picked up a knock in his country’s 6-1 friendly defeat by Spain.Ashley Young was also injured on international duty with England but could play against Carlos Carvalhal’s 14th-placed side.United are second in the table on 65 points from 30 games as they bid to finish as runners-up to champions-elect Manchester City.
Unknown entity Sunshine Girls head coach Jermaine Allison-McCracken has blamed a short preparation time for Jamaica’s below par performance in the just- concluded three-Test netball series against Barbados. The series ended level at 1-1 as the local girls were beaten 43-41 in the final Test on Monday at the National Arena. The first match ended in 44-44 tie while the Sunshine Girls won the second game 40-34. Allison-McCracken, who has come in for much criticism in recent weeks after she sent home three senior players, has been in charge of the Sunshine Girls team since March. The British-born Allison-McCracken said she needed more time to prepare the Sunshine Girls for the series. “I didn’t know much about the Barbados team at all, and there is very little footage around and, so you can’t even see them. The only thing that I could do was to prepare the team that I had as well I could in the little time we had,” said Allison-McCracken. “I like to have two to three months (preparation time) leading up to a competition. You can phase it, you can make sure that you have nothing else in the way and you can focus on your netball, so that you can peak as a cohesive team at the right moment,” she said. Shanice Beckford, Khadijah Williams and Nicole Dixon were the three senior players twho were suspended by Allison-McCracken for what was deemed as inappropriate behaviour. Allison-McCracken added that the suspensions, along with other off-the-court matters, affected the team’s performance during the series. “There were all sort of things going around … some of them had exams today (Monday). It was just not the right time (for the series).” The Sunshine Girls, ranked fourth in the world, were without a number of other senior players for the series, including the likes of Romelda Aiken, Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, Malysha Kelly, Vangelee Williams, Nicole Aiken-Pinnock, Kadie-Ann Duhaney, and Paula Thompson. Allison-McCracken noted that if these players were available for the series, then the results would have been completely different. “I didn’t have the team that I needed at this time because a lot of the Jamaica’s first team are out or off the island, but there are maybe some things that I could have done differently,” she said. “It is tough at the top here, and so I am going to have to take the pressure, and I am going to have to go back to the drawing board.
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next With the rise of e-commerce, is it also the end for our beloved CD-R King? MOST READ PSL: Cignal HD secures semis berth, overcomes Generika-Ayala View comments LATEST STORIES OSG petition a ‘clear sign’ of gov’t bid to block ABS-CBN franchise renewal — solon Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite PLAY LIST 02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption02:48ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto — Gatchalian Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher after US-China deal Two of them, Dmitry Lapikov and Nadezhda Evstyukina, were previously stripped of medals they won at the 2008 Olympics after samples they gave tested positive.WADA has been analyzing a vast archive of data obtained in January from the anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, where cases were routinely covered up for years. WADA has started handing over its results to sports federations, causing a wave of new charges.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists TECO donates $100,000 to typhoon-stricken Sorsogon Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? ‘Game of Thrones’ spin-off on Targaryens may premiere in 2022 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FILE – Russian Dmitry Lapikov lifts weights during men’s +105kg weightlifting finals at the 90th Men’s and 24th Women’s European Senior Weightlifting Championships in Kazan on April 17, 2011. Lapikov won gold medal. AFP PHOTO / DMITRY KOSTYUKOV (Photo by DMITRY KOSTYUKOV / AFP)BUDAPEST, Hungary — Seven more top Russian weightlifters have been charged with doping offenses, taking the total charged this week to 12.The International Weightlifting Federation says the seven, including five world and European championship medalists, face allegations stemming from World Anti-Doping Agency investigations into widespread drug use and cover-ups in Russia over the last decade.ADVERTISEMENT
From news services Seconds after Clay Buchholz finished his no-hitter Saturday, the rookie’s teammates pounced on him in front of the plate. Josh Beckett flashed a big smile, rubbed Buchholz’s head and hugged him. “A lot better than Curt Schilling did,” Beckett shouted. Schilling came within one out of a no-hitter June 8. And right now, Buchholz stands alone. None of the multi-millionaires in the Boston Red Sox’s rotation has thrown a major league no-hitter. Not Schilling, who is making $13 million this season. Not Beckett ($6 million). Not Tim Wakefield ($4 million). Daisuke Matsuzaka ($6 million) is in his first year in the majors, but never threw a no-hitter in eight seasons in Japan. “You have to have great stuff on a certain night,” Boston manager Terry Francona said Sunday, “but you have to have breaks, too.” Buchholz hurled his masterpiece – a 10-0 win Saturday over the Baltimore Orioles – in just his second major league appearance. Another outstanding rookie, second baseman Dustin Pedroia, saved it for him with a diving stop behind the base. He got up and threw out Miguel Tejada leading off the seventh. Center fielder Coco Crisp also made several good running catches. “It was a great day for me and, hopefully, more to come,” a groggy Buchholz said Sunday morning. Soon after the game, he found about 80 text messages on his phone. He finally called his father, “Skip,” back home in Texas about 90 minutes after the crowd stopped cheering. He tried to go to sleep at 4 a.m. and couldn’t, so he got to Fenway Park at 8 a.m. “I’m still living sort of a blur,” he said before Sunday’s game at his locker, where he had Saturday night’s lineup card. “It’s probably going to sink in as the day goes on.” Encarnacion update The damage a foul ball did to Juan Encarnacion’s left eye was the worst the St. Louis Cardinals medical director has ever seen to a baseball player. Dr. George Paletta was not optimistic that the outfielder will regain full vision after his frightening injury and resume his career. “It’s the worst trauma I’ve seen. Absolutely,” Paletta said, adding that the future holds no guarantees. “You hope the best for Juan, but he suffered a severe injury with a very guarded prognosis. It’s way too early to say whether he will or he won’t, and if he doesn’t what percentage of vision loss he may have.” Bat flap is history Bat-gate is over, as least as far as the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are concerned. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura and his Yankees counterpart, Alex Rodriguez, both had their bats confiscated during New York’s 9-6 win Saturday in one of the more bizarre sequences in the Bronx since George Brett stormed the field in the “pine tar” game on July 24, 1983. “For me, it’s over,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “We got it out of our systems yesterday. They did what they did and we did what we had to do.” First, Yankees manager Joe Torre asked if Iwamura’s unusual model, featuring a flat end rather than a rounded one, was legal. Not to be outdone, Maddon asked the umps to examine Rodriguez’s bat an inning later. A message was left Sunday seeking comment from the commissioner’s office, where both confiscated bats were sent for inspection. Around the leagues Blue Jays: Purchased the contract of left-handed pitcher Joe Kennedy from triple-A Syracuse. Kennedy fills the final spot on Toronto’s 40-man roster. Cardinals: Left-hander Mark Mulder will rejoin the rotation for the first time in more than a year on Wednesday, just in time for the stretch drive. Mulder had rotator cuff surgery in September 2006. In his fourth rehab start, Mulder allowed two runs in five innings Friday for triple-A Memphis. Tigers: Kenny Rogers is scheduled to start Wednesday’s home game against the Chicago White Sox, which will be the first outing for the left-hander in more than a month. Rogers went on the 15-day disabled list for the second time this season July 26 with inflammation in his left elbow. Twins: Kevin Slowey will be recalled from triple-A Rochester in time for tonight’s game against the Cleveland Indians. The team said it would also purchase the contract of Nick Blackburn from Rochester. Yankees: First baseman Andy Phillips left New York’s game against Tampa Bay because of a right wrist contusion. Phillips was hit by a pitch from Devil Rays starter Jason Hammel with one out in the fifth inning. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
10 10 WINNER: Mike Ashley – Tottenham tried to play hardball with Ashley’s Newcastle over Moussa Sissoko’s fee, offering £15m, but the introduction of Everton to the bidding process conveniently helped bump up the final price to £30m. 10 WINNERS: Stoke City – Wilfried Bony and Bruno Martins Indi were two tidy pieces of business for the Potters, as they look to cement their status as a Premier League club. 10 10 WINNERS: Chelsea fans – find out who else was a deadline day winner, and who’s a loser, by clicking the arrow above! – The most surprising transfer of deadline day was David Luiz’s return to Stamford Bridge from Paris. Rival fans may mock the Brazilian’s tendency to go walkabout at the back, but most Chelsea fans love him and were delighted to welcome back a Bridge cult hero. Not many players can score a winner against their old club, then celebrate wildly, as Luiz did in the Champions League, and retain such warmth of feeling. 10 LOSERS: Hull – Wanted to bring in Jeff Hendrick from Derby, but he opted for Burnley instead. LOSERS: Palace. WINNERS: Bournemouth – Right now, you have to say Eddie Howe won the day by signing Jack Wilshere on loan, after the Arsenal star snubbed Pardew. This view might change over the course of the season, if Wilshere fails to shake off his injury problems, though. 10 LOSERS: Man City fans (and Joe Hart) – City supporters had to say at least a temporary farewell to their hero, while the England goalkeeper can’t kid anyone into thinking he really wanted to end up at Torino this summer. LOSERS: Everton – The Toffees had a good window overall, but lost out on Sissoko to Tottenham on deadline day. Ronald Koeman’s club also missed out on signing Porto forward Yacine Brahimi for a club record fee. It’s over for another year.Summer deadline day is always filled with drama and 2016’s edition was no different.But who emerged with credit and who will be feeling disappointment today?Take a look at our rundown of the winners and losers in the slideshow above.What do you think? We want you to share your view – just leave a comment below. 10 WINNERS AND LOSERS: Liverpool – Winners? Well, they finally got rid of Mario Balotelli for good. Losers? No sign of that elusive left-back signing. 10 10 LOSER: Daniel Levy – He got Ashley’d. WINNERS: Man United – A laughing stock in the transfer market in recent times, this summer United got their business done early and properly, leaving them to sit back and relax as deadline day unfolded.
This Thursday morning on Sportsday we bring you your essential round-up of the morning’s top sports stories.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NORTH HOLLYWOOD – A single gunshot was fired through a window at the North Hollywood Community Police Station late Monday, but no one was injured, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said. A number of police officers were in the community relations office at the station at 11640 Burbank Blvd. when a bullet pierced the window just before 8 p.m., LAPD spokesman Mike Lopez said. Police officers took cover inside the station and called for backup. A police helicopter hovered above the station and surrounding neighborhood searching for the assailant and a number of patrolmen blocked off Burbank Boulevard between Colfax Avenue and Lankershim Boulevard. “It’s unknown who the suspect is. We are searching the area around the station,” Lopez said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Firing on a police station is extremely rare in Los Angeles and Lopez said he had not heard of another shooting of its kind during his 13 years on the force.
Neymar’s problems were not just confined to club football, however, as he was ruled out the summer’s Copa America with an ankle ligament injury, picked up in a 2-0 friendly win over Qatar.Neymar then spent much of the summer trying to quit the French champions, but failed to secure a move back to former club Barcelona and was jeered mercilessly by PSG fans when he returned to action in September.Virgil van Dijk, the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or, is joined by several of his Liverpool team-mates on the shortlist.Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum and forwards Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, are all included among the 30 players in the running for the famous award, Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ on target Liverpool transfer news live: Mbappe latest, Lille star wants to join Reds in future Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS 1 statement stalemate Neymar has been omitted from the Ballon d’Or shortlist with France Football providing eight reasons as to why they left him out.The Paris Saint-Germain superstar has been shortlisted for the past eight years, finishing third in 2015 and again in 2017. Chelsea fan arrested for allegedly racially abusing Heung-min Son However, he is the most high-profile player to miss out on this year’s list, along with last year’s winner Luka Modric.And France Football have detailed the list of events which occurred throughout Neymar’s troubled year to see him omitted.The incidents date back to January, when he left the pitch in tears during PSG’s 2-0 win over Strasbourg in the French Cup after injuring his metatarsal.In March, the Brazil international criticised the officials for awarding Manchester United a winning penalty in their Champions League round of 16 tie, while during the following month he was filmed lashing out at a supporter after PSG’s cup final loss to Rennes, landing him a three-match ban. update Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff targets Neymar has endured a troubled year on and off the field appointed January 23 – Metatarsal injuryMarch 6 – Abusing match official after Man Utd matchApril 27 – Pushing a supporterJune 6 – Ankle injury ahead of Copa AmericaAugust 9 – Cleared of rape allegationTransfer window – Failed move to BarcelonaSeptember 14 – Jeered by PSG fansOctober 13 – Another injury on international duty rookie error Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti latest Neymar’s troubled year Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman Getty Images – Getty