GOLF: Rory McIlroy wins The 143rd Open at Hoylake

July 21, 2014

GOLF: Rory McIlroy wins The 143rd Open at Hoylake

From Chris Murphy, CNN
July 20, 2014 — Updated 2156 GMT (0556 HKT)

Hoylake (CNN) — Rory McIlroy is one step away from golfing immortality, but it didn’t come easily. Perhaps that is the way it should be, given the 25-year-old’s two-shot victory at the British Open has elevated him into exalted company.

Rory-McIlroy win The Claret JugRory McIlroy wins The Claret Jug at The OPEN 2014

Only two players have completed three legs of a grand slam by that age — Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods — a potent pair with 32 majors between them.Victory at Hoylake means it is only the U.S. Masters that eludes him, a tournament which inflicted such a cruel fate back in 2011.

When McIlroy wins majors, he usually wins big. His previous pair — the U.S. Open in 2011, and the U.S PGA Championship in 2013 — had both been secured at a canter, eight shots the margin to second best. But not this time.

Out in front by six shots at the start of the day McIlroy stumbled round the links, scrapping and clawing away at the course to maintain his advantage.His main challenger wasn’t playing partner Rickie Fowler but friend and Ryder Cup comrade Sergio Garcia, of Spain, who charged round the first 10 holes in five-under par.

At one stage, McIlroy’s lead had been whittled to a mere two shots, but while the Spaniard’s nerve wobbled, McIlroy’s held. Just. Garcia took two shots to get out of a green side bunker on the 15th and McIlroy made a birdie on the 16th to stretch his lead to three.He could even afford to find a bunker on the last for a par-five to finish on 17-under for the championship. Garcia and Fowler finished tied for second on 15-under. “There was a better player,” Garcia said after shooting an impressive 66. “It’s as simple as that.”

Perhaps this leg of the hat-trick is the one that will give McIlroy greatest satisfaction, given he had to grind his way to the finish line amid the constant strain of pressure and expectation. His celebration was one that betrayed the relief he felt at getting the job done. Now all that is left is to conquer those demons at Augusta.

After being presented with his prize, McIlroy told reporters: “It feels absolutely incredible.I’m happy I gave myself a cushion because there were a lot of guys coming at me especially Sergio and Rickie Fowler. Just to be sitting here and looking at this thing, (The Claret Jug) and having my name on it, is a great feeling.It hasn’t sunk in yet and I’m going to enjoy it and let it sink in tonight in the company of my friends and family.”

As the 25-year-old himself acknowledged on Saturday, there will be a mountain of hype when he heads to Augusta next April, but for now it is all about McIlroy’s transformation on the links.

Germany wins The World Cup- Brazil 2014

July 14, 2014

Germany wins The World Cup- Brazil 2014

by Daniel Taylor at the Maracanã

The Guardian, Sunday 13 July 2014 23.09 BST

GermanyBrazil 2014–World Cup Champions, Germany

When the goal finally arrived, 112 minutes into a long, wearing night of tension, there were members of the German entourage who seemed intent on re-enacting the infamous end to the Ryder Cup at Brookline. Their victory run, en masse, took them all the way from the dugout to the opposite side of the pitch where André Schürrle had created the game’s decisive moment.

Mario Götze, another of Germany’s substitutes, had taken down Schürrle’s cross on his chest with his first touch. His second was to arrow a left-volley into the net and ensure that Germany will always remember Rio de Janeiro with the same fondness as Bern in 1954, Munich in 1974 and Rome in 1990.

Germany's Mario Götze (left) celebrates with Thomas Muller after scoring the winning goal during extArgentina’s anguish will not be made any easier by the knowledge that Gonzalo Higuaín and Lionel Messi both passed up opportunities to put in place what the people of Brazil have been calling the pesadolo – the nightmare – before extra time. Germany had struggled at times for their most devastatingly effective fluency and there was plenty to encourage the loud, boisterous Argentinian fans who had travelled across the border, turning the Sambadromo and Avenida Atlantica into temporary festival sites and going through those loud songs about Maradona being better than Pelé.

Yet Germany are worthy champions even if they found it difficult to reach their most illuminating heights and it was a wonderful goal with which to win this competition for a fourth occasion. It is the culmination of a story that brings together intelligent forward thinking and a clear strategy and Götze is an apt match-winner as one of the new generation of players to come off the conveyor belt.

Germany’s primary concern beforehand had to be that they had peaked too early on that night in Belo Horizonte when they turned Brazil’s tournament into an ordeal. They settled quickly but, equally, it did not take long before there was hard evidence that they were taking on much sturdier opponents this time. Messi made the Maracanã wait before the first seamless turn of speed and direction. Yet Alejandro Sabella’s players did show why Lothar Matthäus and Franz Beckenbauer, two members of German football royalty, had talked with a strange lack of understanding when they had acclaimed Germany as being the favourites by a country mile. Beckenbauer had been emboldened enough to say it “can be only Germany” when the truth was that Sabella’s side, and a little fella in particular wearing the No 10 shirt, were far too talented to be underestimated that way.

The Albiceleste began the game in a way that suggested they were as unimpressed with the semi-final against Holland as the rest of us. Argentina, with no sense of exaggeration, had more chances in the opening half an hour than they had managed in 120 minutes in São Paulo on Wednesday. They were also entitled to think they really ought to have had the lead bearing in mind the chance Gonzalo Higuaín squandered after 20 minutes. Toni Kroos, of all people, had sold Manuel Neuer short with a back-header and Higuaín was free, bearing down on goal, only to suffer what looked suspiciously like a full-on loss of nerve. His shot was wild, maybe even slightly panicked, and it was tempting to wonder even at that early stage whether that moment might come back to torment him.

Higuaín could also reflect on a disallowed goal in the first half after a wonderful flicked pass from Messi had given Ezequiel Lavezzi the chance to pick him out with a right-wing cross. The offside decision was correct but it was another indication that Argentina were absolutely determined to show they were a superior side than maybe some had imagined.

There was also considerable evidence that they suspected Benedikt Höwedes might be vulnerable in Germany’s left-back position. A lot of Messi’s best work came when he drifted to that side. Lavezzi had been willing to run at the Schalke full-back before being replaced by Sergio Agüero at half-time and it happened too often to be a mere coincidence.

Germany, while clearly leaving something in reserve, still remained dangerous and came close to making the breakthrough just before the break when Höwedes charged through a congested penalty area and headed Thomas Müller’s corner against the post. Müller had been predominantly involved on the right of Germany’s attack but there was a strange lack of creativity from Joachim Löw’s side. Mesut Özil, once again, was on the edges of the game and Kroos was surprisingly ineffective at times. Germany had lost Sami Khedira in the warm-up because of a calf injury and the disruption continued before half-time when his replacement, Christoph Kramer, was given a personal introduction to Ezequiel Garay and groggily had to be removed from the game.

The substitute, André Schürrle, had a chance that Argentina’s goalkeeper, Sergio Romero, turned away but these were largely moments when Germany’s opponents gave the impression of being the more fully functional team. Two minutes after the interval, Higauín’s through ball dissected the German defence and this time it was Messi with the ball at his feet and nothing but Neuer between him and the goal. Maybe Messi was trying to be too precise given the quality of the goalkeeper in his vision. His shot went a yard wide when a player of his quality would ordinarily have been expected to score at ease.

Höwedes had been fortunate not to be punished in the first half for a studs-up challenge on Pablo Zabaleta and Argentina were aggrieved later that Neuer got away with a challenge on Higuaín that had shades of Harald Schumacher in 1982, albeit the goalkeeper did get a clean punch on the ball before a follow-up knee into his opponent’s jaw.

The game was laced with tension at that stage and it was probably inevitable that the two sides would start playing a little more cautiously. It was, nonetheless, nothing like as prosaic as Argentina’s semi-final.

Both sides kept advancing but it was easy to understand why an Argentina side featuring Javier Mascherano and Zabaleta had not conceded a goal in the knockout stages.

Justin Rose returns to form to win the Scottish Open 2014

July 14, 2014

GOLF: Justin Rose returns to form to win the Scottish Open 2014

by Ewan Murray, The Guardian, Sunday 13 July 2014 18.54 BST

Justin Rose at the Scottish 2014 OpenJustin Rose has not laid down an Open Championship marker, he has battered one into the ground with a sledgehammer. Rose’s credentials for this week at Hoylake were already strong, courtesy of his victory at the Quicken Loans National, before he took to the podium again, this time at the Scottish Open. A 65 from Rose at Royal Aberdeen on Sunday was sufficient to win the event by two strokes from Kristoffer Broberg and five from Marc Warren, with whom he was tied at the start of the final round.

At 16 under par, Rose conquered Royal Aberdeen’s stern test, albeit with wet Sunday conditions having a generally positive impact on scoring. He receives €627,000 (£500,000) for his efforts but an even more substantial boost to confidence at a crucial juncture in the season.

Rose heads to the Open having won on each of his previous two starts. To make it three, including a major championship, would represent both a remarkable achievement and as close to a streak as is possible in modern-day professional golf.

“I couldn’t have scripted it better,” said Rose, who dropped just a single stroke in his closing 49 Scottish Open holes. “I’ve never won two in a row and I’ve certainly never won three in a row so I’m in uncharted territory.

“It is unbelievable, really, to be back in the winner’s circle so quickly. I am feeling great. I don’t think these wins have taken a lot out of me. I will enjoy the moment but my mind will be, as of tomorrow, back in the game.”

Those who dispute whether winning the Scottish Open and Open Championship in back-to-back weeks is realistic need only glance back a year, where Phil Mickelson will supply a hefty counterpoint. When you throw into the equation that Rose has shown he has what it takes to win a gruelling major, it is little wonder his Hoylake odds have shortened to as tight as 12-1 in places.

A front nine of 31 on Sunday meant the Scottish Open was Rose’s to lose. Warren, who has tasted heartache in this event before, played the same stretch in 35. Eight pars and a birdie on the closing half were enough to ease Rose towards victory, with Bronberg’s 66 rendering him the 2013 US Open winner’s closest challenger.

“I had a 12ft [putt] for birdie on the 1st and misread there and that was the story of the front nine,” said Warren. “Justin was the opposite. He seemed to be putting from outside me most of the time and holing them. Once he was out in front he was difficult to catch.

“Obviously his confidence is high after winning a couple of weeks ago in America, and you could see that today; there were absolutely no mistakes.I think he made two bad swings all day and even they were a fraction out. He relied on his short game when he needed to. Obviously I don’t like being on the end of it, but it was a pleasure to watch.”

Rory McIlroy had set a course record of 64 on Thursday. That was bettered by Felipe Aguilar and Stephen Gallacher during Day Four; both shot 63. Gallacher’s tie for fourth further endorses his claims for a Ryder Cup spot in September.

McIlroy had the consolation of a third sub-70 round out of four, this time a 67, and a top-15 finish. He finished at seven under par, his position after round one.

“I see enough good signs in my game to give me some confidence heading into next week,” said McIlroy. “I’ve had three good rounds here. If I can just string a fourth in there, it would be great and obviously going into next week, that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

Mickelson had cause to be even more upbeat, after a 65 and tie for 11th. The 44-year-old thereby heads for the defence of his Claret Jug in fine spirits.

“I’m going to savour it and enjoy it,” said Mickelson. “I just feel different now when the Open Championship comes up and I’m able to go there as a past champion, as opposed to a foreign player who has never been able to conquer links golf. I will just go there with a whole different confidence level and feel a lot less pressure to try to win it because I’ve already done it. That win last year is something that I will always cherish.”


Mo Martin wins The Women’s British Open 2014

July 14, 2014

GOLF: Mo Martin wins The Women’s British Open 2014

by Golf Channel Digital (07-13-14)

Mo+Martin+Swinging+Skirts+LPGA+ClassicMo Martin made eagle on the 72nd hole to win the 2014 Women’s British Open and claim her first career major. Here’s how it all ended in the whipping winds of Royal Birkdale:

Leaderboard: Mo Martin (-1), Shanshan Feng (E), Inbee Park (+1), Suzann Pettersen (+2)

What it means: Martin, the 36-hole leader, started the day three back following a Saturday 77. She ended up one of only two players who did not finish her final round over par, with an even 72. Martin was 2 over for the day and 1 over for the championship before her second shot on the par-5 18th ran onto the green and hit the flag stick. Martin made her eagle putt to get into the clubhouse at 1 under, with then-co-leaders Inbee Park and Shanshan Feng still twisting in the wind. Martin, 99th in the Rolex World Rankings, had only one prior top-10 finish in an LPGA event in her last three years on tour and had yet to win. Her lead through two rounds was her first lead of any kind in an LPGA event and her three at the last was her first eagle of the year. Martin’s victory also extends a string of success for American women in major championships this year, following Lexi Thompson’s win at the Kraft Nabisco and Michelle Wie’s breakthrough as the U.S. Open.

Round of the day: Martin looked as if she would struggle again, with bogeys at Nos. 1 and 5. But she rebounded with a birdie at the sixth and proceeded to play her final 11 holes with nine pars, one bogey and, of course, one eagle. Anna Nordqvist of Sweden was the only other player who managed to play Royal Borkdale at even par Sunday with a 72 of her own. Nordqvist was actually 3 over through two holes before closing with three birdies and 13 pars to finish 5 over for the championship, in a tie for 12th place.

Best of the rest: It’s tough to pick anything out, considering everyone else in the field was over par, but 50-year-old Laura Davies and 20-year-old amateur both managed 1-over-par 73s. Three decades apart – that’s golf for you.

Biggest disappointment: Park opened the day with a three-shot lead at 4-under for the championship and gave it all away. She made the turn only 1 over for the round before going double bogey on Nos. 10 and 11. Feng held a three-way share of the lead with Martin and Park at 1 under when Martin eagled the last, but promptly made bogey on 16, ending a string of eight straight pars. Park and Feng entered the last two holes, both par 5s, needing just a birdie to tie Martin and force a playoff. Instead, Feng parred out and Park’s errant drive on the final hole resulted in a bogey. Park finished with a 5-over 77 and Feng a 3-over 75. Park was seeking her fifth career major and her fourth win in the last eight major championships, dating back to the 2013 Kraft Nabisco.

Shot of the day: What else? Martin’s second at the 72nd.

Quote of the day: “The second shot is one I’m going to remember. I actually heard it hit the flag. I said ‘Oh my God.’” – Martin

World Brazil 2014: Argentina Defeats Holland in a Penalty Shootout (4-2)

July 10, 2014


Argentina Defeats Holland in a Penalty Shootout (4-2)


Argentina led by Captain Lionel Messi (extreme left in pic) defeated Holland to earn the right to meet Germany in Sunday’s World Cup 2014 Finals in Rio. It was a tough match. After 120 minutes, it was settled  4-2 in a penalty shootout. Credit must go also  to Holland for this memorable thriller. -Din Merican



Football: Germany into the Finals of World CUP Brazil 2014

July 9, 2014

Germany Defeats Brazil 7-1 to enter the Finals of World CUP Brazil 2014

German Team--Brazil 2014

Congratulations to Germany for their brilliant football and great sportsmanship. The Brazilians were resoundingly defeated 1-7. With this victory, the Germans are obviously the favorites to take the coveted CUP to Berlin if they are not over confident and  are able to maintain their current form when they meet the winner of Holland-Argentina match.–Din Merican

Germany demolishes Brazil on home ground at the Semis of Football World Cup 2014

by Mike Collet-Reuters/Malaysiakini, July 9, 2014

Germany scored five goals in 18 astonishing first-half minutes on their way to a 7-1 semi-final mauling of Brazil yesterday which shattered the host nation’s hopes of winning their sixth World Cup. It was the most shocking result in the tournament’s history, Brazil’s record World Cup defeat and their first at home in 64 competitive matches since 1975.

Germany will meet Argentina or the Netherlands in Sunday’s final in Rio de Janeiro after an unbelievable performance in which striker Miroslav Klose became the tournament’s highest scorer of all time with his 16th World Cup goal.

“We started really super,” Klose said in a televised interview. “We had such a great harmony, you can see that in training. We’re a real unit and we showed that on the pitch today.”

The only consolation on a day of abject misery for Brazil after a match featuring truly abject defending from Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men was a goal from Oscar in the dying minutes.

“I just wanted to make my people happy,” Brazil defender David Luiz said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t. I’m sorry, I’m sorry to all Brazilians, I just wanted to see them smile, everyone know how important it was.

“They were the best, they prepared better, they played better, we let in four goals in six minutes. It is a very sad day and we we’ll learn from it.”

Thomas Mueller started the rout with an 11th-minute volley and although Germany looked to be the better team after an early period of Brazil pressure, there was little indication of the devastation about to be unleashed.

Injured forward

Brazil were playing without injured forward Neymar and suspended captain and defensive linchpin Thiago Silva and it was the latter’s absence that proved far more costly.

The hosts’ defence simply caved in.

They conceded four times between the 23rd minute when Klose made it 2-0 and the 29th when Sami Khedira put Germany 5-0 in front. Andrea Schuerrle, who replaced Klose in the 58th minute added two more, the second an angled shot that flew in off the crossbar.

With Germany 1-0 ahead, Klose scored from a rebound after goalkeeper Julio Cesar saved his initial shot for his 16th goal in his 23rd World Cup appearance.

But worse was to follow for Brazil a minute later when Toni Kroos, lurking with intent but unmarked at the edge of the area, smashed home with the outside of his left foot to make it 3-0.

He scored again just two minutes to make it 4-0 and Brazil’s pain continued when Khedira made it 5-0 after a one-two with Mesut Ozil in the 29th minute.

Any hopes Brazil had of saving the game ended there but to their credit they rallied at the start of the second and forced a series of saves from Germany keeper Manuel Neuer before Schuerrle struck after 69 and 79 minutes.

Oscar’s late goal was greeted by an ironic cheer from the shocked, stunned home fans who were in tears at the end of the most incredible World Cup game ever played.

- Reuters

Datuk Dr de Vries–A Pioneer in Physical Education

June 29, 2014

Datuk Dr de Vries–A Pioneer in Physical Education

by Terence

It’s just as well Datuk Dr Leonard Andrew de Vries does not know when he’s beaten. From the time of the Japanese Occupation when his father died in prison, Lenny, as he is fondly referred to by friends and even detractors alike, has had to make the best of circumstances which he faced.

LennyDr.De Vries holding a photograph of fellow STTI graduates from the class of 1962 taken  in 2002.

It’s rather like the opening batsman’s role he played in his cricketing days of youth. You have to face any ball that’s pitched to you, on any wicket your captain elects to play, even if the weather conditions happen to be unfavourable. You ask no quarter, and though your convictions prompt you — away from the field of play — to render others more than a few, you are unfazed when these go unrequited.

To be sure, circumstances have not always been adverse in Lenny’s life as it played out over the past 76 years. True, the death of his father, Roy, in wartime must have been traumatic to him, his mother and siblings. But with Uncle Cyril and Aunty Gladys deputising, Lenny did not lack for filial succour.

Just as war clouds were gathering over East Asia as the 1940s dawned, Lenny’s dad, Roy de Vries, was made a captain in the Volunteer Corps, a uniformed unit composed of locals and trained by British colonials to help in the defence of the country against a threatened Japanese invasion. After the Japanese had arrived and subjugated the country, an informer let the new overlords know of Roy’s prewar affiliations which resulted in Lenny’s father being imprisoned. Death followed soon after. His mother, too, sickened and died a short time thereafter.

Perhaps that was Lenny’s initial lesson in making the best of what life offers at any one time. When the daily journey from where he stayed with his guardians in Alor Gajah to school at the St. Francis Institution in Malacca became too dangerous in the early 1950s because of intermittent attacks by communist terrorists in the ongoing Emergency, Lenny was packed off to Perth for his secondary schooling.

After that, he was off to Brinsford Lodge in Britain for teacher training, followed by postings to schools in Negri Sembilan before arriving at Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur in 1965, when that school was in what came to be regarded as the height of its fame as a spawning ground for students out to excel in academics and in sport.

Under redoubtable headmaster V. Murugesu, the school set standards rivals sought to emulate. Lenny was in charge of the students’ hostel and of physical education. Murugesu demanded and got the best, with Lenny, already primed from attending a seminal PE course at the Specialist Teacher Training Institute (STTI) in Cheras in 1962 under the tutelage of the legendary Datuk Teoh Teik Lee, to give as if it were off the meat of his cricket bat.

“That course virtually began the era of awareness of how physical education and fitness could play its vital role in the preparation of not only our top performers in sport but also ordinary citizens that they may keep minimum standards of fitness,” recalled Lenny in Penang, where he resides.

As an index of its importance, the ceremonial opening of the course was officiated by then Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein. Course participants would go on to become a who’s who of renowned coaches in their respective fields — Mohamed Noh Che Noh, Peter Lee Guan Chye, C. Ramanathan, M.P. Haridas, and Lionel Rajamoney.

“In those days, the best coaches were all from the teaching profession,” Lenny need hardly have emphasised, considering the professions of the abovementioned quintet.

Lenny made special mention of Teoh Teck Lee, who was in charge of physical education in the ministry of education. “It was he who gave impetus to physical education in this country. He set up an association devoted to it in 1962,” said Lenny.

Lenny became president of the association in the early 1980s, by which time the concept of physical education became more holistic so that the national body’s name had to reflect the idea’s expansiveness. It is was now called the Malaysian Association of Physical Education, Sports Science and Fitness.

The wider ambit was partly a reflection of what has transpired in Lenny’s career. Friendship with Sam Edwards, an American Peace Corps volunteer teaching chemistry in Victoria Institution in the mid-1960s, saw Lenny apply for tertiary qualifications in America, culminating in his gaining a doctorate — the first by a Malaysian — in physical education at Columbia University in New York in 1975.

The fledgling Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang financed the final year of his studies for a doctorate at Columbia so that they could get him to join their faculty of education which Lenny did upon completion of his studies.

North America would prove to be a happy hunting ground for Lenny for while on sabbatical at the University of Ottawa in 1980, he witnessed the success of a programme called ‘Participation’. This programme grew out of an initiative mooted by then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who was embarrassed by an observation made by England’s Prince Phillip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II. While on a visit to Canada in the late 1970s, Philip, infamous for verbal indiscretions, observed that Canadians were “fat” and flabby. Using television and other media, Trudeau launched a programme to get Canadians to trim the fat.

Lenny was impressed by the success of the Canadian programme. When then Sports Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tapped him in 1988 to formulate a plan to counter secessionist tendencies in Sarawak and Sabah, Lenny came up with a scheme modelled on the ‘Participation’ venture in Canada. The programme was called ‘Malaysia Bergerak Bersama’. According to Lenny, the programme succeeded to abating the secessionist tendencies which was then welling up in the Borneo states.

“I think this was where Datuk Seri Najib Razak got his 1Malaysia idea when he took office as PM,” suggested Lenny, now an indomitable septuagenarian who five years ago overcame pancreatic cancer. Fortune favours the ever striving such that de Vries, at a weather beaten 76 years, is ready for another innings in a life where even half chances are taken like they are the full thing.

GOLF: Michelle Wie wins 69th United States Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2

June 23, 2014

Michelle Wie wins 69th United States Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2

GOLF: At Pinehurst No.2 Martin Kaymer wins

June 16, 2014

GOLF: At Pinehurst No.2

29 Year 0ld Martin Kaymer from becomes the First German to win US Open (2014)

By on June 15 2014, 7:41p

In one of the more impressive and dominating four-day stretches at the “toughest test in golf,” Martin Kaymer ran away from the field to win the U.S. Open, his second major at just 29-years-old.

Martin KaymerMartin Kaymer of Germany wins 2014 Open Championship at Pinehurst No.2

The USGA could have packed things up for the men’s national championship on Friday night in the Sandhills of North Carolina. Martin Kaymer, built on the back of his record-setting 130 strokes through 36 holes, strolled around Pinehurst No. 2 on Sunday and walked away with an eight-shot U.S. Open win. His final mark of 271 is the second-lowest total in U.S. Open history.

With the course toughened up on the weekend, there was no way Kaymer could approach those first two rounds of 65. But he didn’t need to after matching the largest midpoint margin in the 114-year history of this event. The USGA made conditions particularly brutal on Saturday, but Kaymer did not relent and only dropped two shots and reduced the advantage to still five shots. If an implosion or meltdown was coming, it was likely happening in Saturday’s third round but Kaymer just kept on churning, grinding out one of the great bogey “saves” after finding an unplayable washout lie at the 4th and then rolling in an eagle on the very next hole.

The weekend unraveling would have happened with that lie on Saturday, but Kaymer mitigated the damage to just a bogey and then totally deflated the field’s hopes with that eagle on the very next hole.

There was some spottiness on Sunday, but it was rare and none of the chasers, who included Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton, ever put a scare in him. The closest it ever got was four shots, and that was only for a matter of minutes. It was over when he went out in 1-under 34, with Fowler making a mess of the front side and Compton unable to put any kind of birdie run together on a typically tough U.S. Open setup that inhibits that kind of charge. By the time Kaymer got to the 17th tee, he’d pushed the margin back to eight shots and was on track to match that McIlroy masterpiece at Congressional.

Kaymer is just the 8th player to win the U.S. Open wire-to-wire with no ties, and just the third in the last 40 years. The other two to accomplish such a dominating start-to-finish feat are Tiger Woods (2000) and Rory McIroy (2011). That’s the kind of company this showing deserves, even if Kaymer is not the same marketable or accomplished star.

Kaymer is now a full-time resident in the Phoenix area, but he becomes the first German and first continental European to win the season’s second major. He said he’d been texting with German legend Bernhard Langer during his week at Pinehurst, and he’s elevated himself into that kind of historic company at just 29-years-old. In the states, his first three official PGA Tour wins are a PGA Championship, a Players Championship, and now a U.S. Open — three of the five biggest tournaments in the world and best fields of the year.

Four or five years ago, this kind of performance would not have been so surprising but Kaymer went wandering in search of a new swing in the intervening years from his first major, the 2010 PGA, to this title. He rose to No. 1 in the world, but for just several weeks and then started working on hitting a better draw (right-to-left shot), largely to compete at Augusta National. Kaymer hits one of the best high fades (left-to-right) in the world, and was already a major winner and had risen to No. 1 in the world. But the experimentation with the swing did not go well, and he completely fell off the map, rarely showing up on the first page of leaderboards and not contending on the Tour. The Ryder Cup clinching putt in 2012 added to his already impressive resume, but it came at a time when he was searching and not the all-world player that won the PGA in 2010.

Kaymer said he heard and listened to all the criticisms as he struggled with the swing changes. Now, he’s back in total control, winning the two biggest events in the world in the last two months to rocket back up the world rankings. Everyone else was in a “B group” playing a different tournament on a different course this week. He’s still only 29 years old, and perhaps those struggles in between the last major and this one were worth it in the end. Because right now, he’s a fine German machine who’s going to be heard from again.

McIlroy wins BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth

May 26, 2014

McIlroy wins BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth

May 25, 2014 — Updated 1846 GMT (0246 HKT)

rory-mcilroyCongratulations on Winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, UK, May 25

(CNN) — Rory McIlroy put a very public week from hell behind him to win the PGA Championship at Wentworth, his first European Tour title in almost 18 months.

The 25-year old had been seven shots behind tournament leader Thomas Bjorn going into the final round, after the Dane had earlier hit a course record ten under par 62.

But a dramatic collapse by Bjorn and a stunning final round of 66 by McIlroy saw him finish top of the leader board at 14 under par, one shot ahead of close friend, Irishman Shane Lowry.

“I played well, I played solid but I struggled Friday,” McIlroy admitted afterwards. “I was fortunate today a few people made mistakes ahead of me, and I took advantage of that,” he added, referencing Bjorn’s collapse from taking a five shot lead into the final round to finishing joint third.

Yet the tournament had been overshadowed by the media storm that followed McIlroy’s announcement he was to split from his fiance, tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.

The on-off relationship had been followed as keenly in gossip columns as it had on the sports pages, but the announcement, coming shortly after the wedding invites had been sent out, had created a cloud of publicity that stubbornly followed McIlroy around Wentworth.

“The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realize that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails,” McIlroy said in a statement released to the press.

“There is no right way to end a relationship that has been so important to two people … I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we’ve had. I will not be saying anything more about our relationship in any setting.”

Putting the heartbreak of the past week behind him, McIlroy had enjoyed a solid few days at Wentworth.But it took Bjorn’s spectacular implosion to open the door before McIlroy completed the back nine in 32, beating Lowry and Luke Donald, who had also been in contention, to the title.

The Players Championship 2014: Germany’s Martin Kaymer in dramatic win

May 12, 2014

The Players Championship 2014: Germany’s  Martin Kaymer in dramatic win

By , Golf Correspondent, Ponte Vedra–May 12, 2014

Martin KaymerGermany’s Martin Kaymer wins The Players 2014

Mother Nature threw her best at Martin Kaymer, as did Jim Furyk, but the German somehow survived to win a dramatic Players Championship here on Sunday night.

When Kaymer tapped in for a 71 and a one-shot victory on 13-under, his smile shone through the gloom of the Stadium Course. A 90-minute storm delay had so almost derailed what had appeared to be an unstoppable charge from Kaymer.

There was barely any daylight left and Kaymer’s nerves were clearly frayed after seeming so composed before the siren had sounded. Before the interruption he made 10 pars and three birdies to take himself three clear; after the resumption, he double-bogeyed the 15th.

Then, in excruciating scenes, only the rough halted Kaymer’s ball from visiting the water on the par-three 17th. In the clubhouse Furyk was watching after his 66 and must have believed that, at the very least, he would be returning in the morning for a three-hole play-off.

Kaymer was left with a 30-footer for par on the notorious island green, but with a big, swinging right-to-left putt, he outrageously holed it to keep his advantage. It was not over. Kaymer needed to make an up and down for his first title in 19 months.

No, it was not pretty but it was a thing of absolute beauty for the former world No 1 who re-establishes himself in the top 50, as well as hurtle himself into tantalising contention for the Ryder Cup. Only 29, Kaymer, who radically changed his swing two years ago, is on the rise again.

In third, on 11-under came Sergio García after 70, while in a tie for fourth came Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose. It was a harsh learning experience for Spieth, who shared the overnight lead. The American 20-year-old finally made a bogey on the 59th hole (the fifth) and in the next 10 holes, four more appeared.

Rose’s tale was bizarre. Before he teed off in a final round in which he shot a 69, the Englishman was handed back two shots taken off him by rules officials the previous evening. Rose would have every right to be furious with the officials, who should never penalised him in the first place.

Decision 18-4 came into effect this year and it basically states that players will not be penalised if slow-motion, HD replays show that their ball has moved but that the “movement was not reasonably discernible to the naked eye at the time”. That is exactly what happened to Rose.

In a tie for sixth, Rory McIlroy finished with a 66 for nine-under, so ensuring his seventh top-10 in eight stroke play events. The Northern Irishman will rue the front nine, on which he was eight-over the week. In complete and ridiculous contrast, McIlroy was 17-under for the back nine, shooting 31 on both weekend rounds. Lee Westwood finished on the same mark, after a 70.

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods remains world No 1, as Adam Scott failed to achieve the top 16 he required, the Australian finishing outside the top 30 on one-over. However, the vagaries of the rankings system mean Scott will move above Woods next Monday, despite not playing this week.

Lee Westwood wins 2014 Maybank Malaysian Open

April 20, 2014

England’s Lee Westwood wins 2014 Maybank Malaysian Open

The Guardian, Sunday 20 April 2014 13.05 BST

Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood’s Malaysian Open victory was his 13th win in Asia. Photograph: Azhar Rahim/EPA

Lee Westwood bounced back from a third-round blip to win the Maybank Malaysian Open by seven strokes after a storm delay. Play was held up for nearly four hours on Sunday owing to the threat of lightning in Kuala Lumpur but the Englishman, who had seen a four-shot lead cut to one by Andy Sullivan in Saturday’s third round, responded with a closing 68 to finish on 18 under par.

His nearest challengers trailed in on 11-under as Sullivan, the former Walker Cup player seeking a first European Tour win, plummeted down the field with a six-over-par 78. Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger shot 67, the South African Louis Oosthuizen 68 and Westwood’s Ryder Cup colleague Nicolas Colsaerts 70 to move to the head of the chasing pack.

Westwood’s fellow Englishman Danny Willett double-bogeyed the last to drop to 10 under alongside Rikard Karlberg and Julien Quesne. Spain’s Pablo Larrazábal, who made headlines earlier in the week when he jumped into a lake to avoid a swarm of hornets, shot 67 and finished in a share of ninth place with Thomas Pieters on nine-under.

Westwood, who claimed his 13th win in Asia with this victory, said: “I started working with a new coach a few weeks ago, Mike Walker, and Billy Foster came back on the bag at the end of last year, so I was going back to what I had done before because it had worked.

“It’s started to work already – the last couple of weeks I’ve played well in Houston and at the Masters and this week I’ve obviously played very well. It’s a golf course that suits my game; it’s very tight in certain areas. I played well, I putted well and the short game is good.”

When asked if he is approaching his best form, the 40-year-old added: “It’s got the potential, although now I feel like I’ve got a short game and starting to roll a few putts in. It makes a hell of a difference if you can get up-and-down if you miss a few greens and keeps the momentum going.”



The 2014 Masters at Augusta: Bubba Watson wins in a Spectacular Fashion

April 14, 2014

The 2014 Masters at Augusta: Bubba Watson wins in a Spectacular Fashion to don a 2nd Green Jacket

Bubba Watson-2014 Masters ChampionThe 2014 Masters Champion

Nobody can claim Gerry Lester “Bubba” Watson won his second Masters in three years the easy way. Not with a straight face, at least.

Watson let a three-shot lead fritter away on Saturday. As Jordan Spieth brilliantly holed out from the bunker at the front of the 4th green during round four, Watson trailed the 20-year-old by the same margin. Watson matched Spieth’s birdie two, moments later; the battle between eccentric major winner and fresh-faced pretender had commenced.

Jordan at thr 2014 MastersThis slugging match continued until the crucial period of this, the 78th Masters. Spieth (left) stumbled from eight to five under from the 8th tee to the 12th green. As Spieth left his tee shot at the 12th short and in Rae’s Creek, Watson had claimed a level of initiative that he didn’t look of a mind to throw away.

Watson sat at seven under by the end of the same stretch, with his score and advantage improved further with a birdie on a 13th hole which a combination of power and technology allows the left-hander to butcher.

At nine minutes to seven local time, Watson confirmed his aggregate total of 280, Jonas Blixteight under par and three better than both Spieth and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt (right). A three-stroke lead on the 72nd tee was comfortable enough, even for this jittery and emotional character. Watson still took three-wood, just to be safe.

He has been re-acquainted with the Green Jacket. Augusta National has been witness once again to Watson’s victory tears. Starting with Mike Weir, there have now been six left-handed winners of the Masters since 2003.

So Watson joins an illustrious list. The stellar names who have won this famous tournament more than once include Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Seve Ballesteros. Just like Horton Smith, the very first Masters victor, Watson’s three-year run here reads: win, loss, win. And all this, for a man who has never had a single golf lesson, let alone a coach.

For all the intensity and drama of day four, and there was plenty, a glance back to Friday is necessary in the context of Watson’s success. Then, he embarked on a run of five back-nine birdies in a row which kick-started not only the champion in waiting but the event itself. At the time, Watson’s spell looked ominous for the remainder of the field; it ultimately proved precisely that.

Even in defeat, Spieth emerges with immense credit. He was seeking to become the youngest ever winner of the Masters. Only three players in history had claimed the first major of the year on their debut.

Instead, the Texan fell narrowly short but displayed a spirit and maturity in defeat which many of his professional elders should take note of. He simply refused to give up, as a superb chip from the right of the 17th green which almost dropped into the cup illustrated.

Spieth won the hearts of the golfing public in Georgia and identified himself as this sport’s brightest young star. More importantly, he proved both to himself and others that he can go toe-to-toe with the best without feeling in any way inadequate. “It still stings, as any close call in a major would do,” Spieth admitted.

JimenezGiven Spieth’s showing, there would be an argument for experience being overrated, but for the exploits of Miguel Ángel Jiménez (right). The 50-year-old pot-bellied, chain smoking Spaniard recorded his best ever Masters finish of fourth. Never mind thoughts of a vice-captaincy role at the Ryder Cup in September, Jiménez has every chance of playing in it.

“Yes, technology helps me,” Jiménez said. “Of course. But if you don’t know how to hit the ball then technology doesn’t do anything.”

Blixt, too, is worthy of immense praise. The 29-year-old Swede carded four sub-par rounds on his maiden Augusta appearance. He’ll be a force, here and elsewhere, in the near future.

rory mcllroyAs ever on the Sunday of a major championship, there were early charges. Rory McIlroy (left) made one, with the Northern Irishman clawing back to level par from a starting point of plus three by the time he reached the 13th tee. However, McIlroy’s second shot to that hole, a generous par five, fell agonisingly into the water hazard and that was that. McIlroy can file this tournament firmly in the category of what might have been. Still, there was a first ever place inside the top 10 as a consolation.

“I played the par fives in even par this week, which you just can’t do out here,” McIlroy admitted. “I’m even par for the tournament and even par for the par fives. You are looking to play the par fives somewhere around 10 to 12 under par. Obviously if I had done that it would have been a different story.”

KucharMatt Kuchar (right) held more legitimate aspirations of glory. Kuchar chipped in for a dramatic birdie from the back of the 3rd green and tied for the lead but then four-putted the next hole and was never a threat thereafter.

Lee Westwood, who finished seventh, used the putter three times from 10ft on the 4th to trigger a double bogey. He was only ever going to make up the numbers after that. “I had a chance and didn’t put any pressure on,” admitted the Englishman. It is an all-too familiar major story, as Westwood knows all too well.

Watson’s narrative, specifically in relation to Augusta National, is one of stunning success. If you are going to be a horse for a particular course, where better to choose?

Malaysia gets top prize for football match fixing

April 14, 2014

Bolehland (Malaysia) gets top prize for football match fixing

 by Nicolas Anil

PETALING JAYA: “If there was a gold medal for football match fixing, Malaysia would win it.”

Declan Hill's bookThis is the damning verdict of Declan Hill, the Canadian journalist and academic who has been called the world’s foremost expert on match fixing and whose book, The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime, is an international bestseller.

Hill has testified on the issue before the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the British and European Parliaments as well as the integrity units of the European Union of Football Associations. He has hard facts to back his claims.

Indeed Malaysian football has become synonymous with match fixing since 1994, when 21 players and coaches were sacked, 58 players suspended and 126 players questioned over corruption.

Two decades on, little has changed. In 2012, the Malaysian Football Association (FAM) suspended 18 President Cup players and banned a former Negeri Sembilan coach for life after they were found guilty of fixing matches.

Last year, five Kuala Lumpur players and three officials were slapped with life bans FBL-GERMANY-CANADA-CORRUPTION-HILLand 17 others were fined after FAM found them guilty on match fixing charges. A few months before that scandal, the Perak FA suspended its entire team for two weeks on suspicion of match fixing after they lost heavily in several matches.

In fact, according to Hill (right), match fixing has been spreading like cancer since the 1994 disgrace.“Malaysian match-fixers were not stopped in 1994,” he said recently. “They decided to keep local fixing under the radar and spread their activities throughout the world [instead], where the profit was much more lucrative.

“In 1994, we barely had the Internet. There was hardly any live coverage of European football and this was a massive change in Malaysian and Singaporean society. And so, gradually, Malaysians identified something that the rest of the world was just waking up to, which was globalisation.

“These people were really intelligent businessmen. They started to send their people around the world, proposing deals to dubious players, coaches and team owners to fix the games in their leagues.

Irresistible deals

“These Malaysians would propose the following to local fixers: ‘You fix the local game, and we’ll fix it on the Asian gambling market.’

“These deals were simply irresistible. They could make 10 times the profit because there was demand for it on the Asian gambling market. Now, suddenly, you have a second division game in Italy that could generate around a hundred thousand Euros.

“With this kind of money, more people could be bought and so it became a pattern. Malaysians have certainly become a household name on the match fixing market, having traces in Greece, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Italy and Germany.”

Hill has a suggestion on how to stifle Malaysian match fixers.“A special, independent unit needs to be formed to crack and clean this phenomenon,” he said.

Kj“Pressure must be put on the Malaysian officials, and pressure has to come from men like me.There is an expectation of corruption in Malaysian football amongst the fans, players, coaches and officials, because there is a bigger fish involved in this.So that is why an elite task force has to be formed, and they must have the guts to go after these fixers.”

Hill said that if Malaysia did not act soon, there would be ramifications that could damage the nation’s prestige.

“As I have testified before various Parliaments, we have to tell the IOC that if Malaysia doesn’t clean up this problem, they will be banned from international sports. Not being able to participate in the Olympics, for instance, would be a damaging blow to the country’s pride. So it may be just be the tonic for them to get down to the root of this problem.”

It is certainly hard to argue with Hill when Malaysian football keeps making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps it is time for the Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to sit down and brainstorm a way to kill this cancer.

Nicolas Anil is a sub-editor with Sports247.

EurAsia Golf, 2014: Asia and Europe share Honours

March 29,2014

EurAsia Golf, 2014

Congrats to Thongchai Jaidee and his Men for for a strong comeback to share the Inaugural EurAsia Cup

Asia's Team for 2014 EurAsia Cup, 2014EurAsia Cup, 2014: Captain Thongchai Jaidee and his Magnificent ASIA Team

Asia rallied from a 5-0 whitewash on the opening day to share the inaugural EurAsia Cup with Europe with a strong performance in Saturday’s singles matches in Kuala Lumpur.

Thongchai JaideeAsia Captain Thongchai Jaidee in Action

Trailing 7-3 after Friday’s foursomes, the Thongchai Jaidee-captained Asian team won six and halved two of the 10 singles matches to tie the scores at 10-10 for a share of the spoils.

Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Hideto Tanihara of Japan were the last men on the course and both had a chance to wrap up the tie on the final hole but after missing tricky birdie putts, their match and the teams finished all-square.

Thai duo Thongchai and Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Indians Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, South Korea’s Kim Hyung-sung and Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh all won their singles matches for Asia.

“Every part of my team was unbelievable to come back, fantastic,” an elated Thongchai told reporters. “Everyone played really well. I think the match is unbelievable, it was a good finish.To end on the last, and on the 18th hole, it’s fantastic. I have never seen a match like this. It’s very close and amazing.We had a good draw and good pairings, I think that’s the key point.”

Europe’s Spanish captain Miguel Angel Jimenez and Dutchman Joost Luiten were the only two winners for their team.Jimenez needed to dig deep to beat local favourite 23-year-old Nicholas Fung with a birdie on the 18th hole.

“It’s an amazing day of golf,” the 50-year-old said. “It’s been very tough. At the end of the week, the European team did not win the tournament but the Asian team, they played very well. As I said in the prize giving presentation, Asia, Europe, they both win, nobody loses.”

Welshman Jamie Donaldson, who partnered Graeme McDowell to victory in the fourballs and foursomes, gave up a four-hole lead over Prayad Marksaeng and had to be satisfied with a half point.

“I played so well at the start,” said the unbeaten Donaldson, whose tally of two-and-a-half points in the tournament was matched only by Jimenez.

“I flushed it for nine holes and then I don’t know if the heat got to me a little bit, but I hit some shocking shots and gave him a few holes.It was good to get a half in the end. It was important to hole that putt for the team and for my match, but I made it very difficult.”

The tournament will return to Malaysia in 2016 but the course for the second running of the event has yet to be finalised.–Reuters

Stand Up for Democracy And Stand By Anwar Against Kelptocracy

March 7, 2014

Stand Up for Democracy,Freedom, Justice And Stand By Anwar Against Kleptocracy 

Stand Up for each other, Pakatan Rakyat.  Fight for freedom, democracy and justice. We have no option. Today’s Court of A Appeal decision makes Anwar the driving force for change in our country.  Let us not feel dejected. Our fight goes on against the dark forces of repression, arrogance, oppression; and like Badwawi’s supression, Najib will fall on the count of three.–Din Merican

by Josh

TDMBaruFor nearly 16 years now, Malaysian politics has been stuck in skullduggery just because one influential and popular individual by the name of Anwar Ibrahim was – and is – determined to challenge UMNO’s hegemony embodied by Mahathir Mohamad’s autocracy.

The sodomy issue is like a sword of Damocles that hangs forever over Anwar’s head. When he was acquitted for the first time over Sodomy II back in January 2012, some were quick to attribute the verdict to a restoration of judicial integrity. How premature the conclusion was, I would say.

Although there have been cases where justice was seen to be done, including a series of decisions against UMNO mouthpieces such as Utusan Malaysia and TV3, it would seem that the Judiciary remains very much beholden to the powers-that-be whenever the latter’s ultimate authority is severely challenged.

In other words, as long as the opposition adhered to the rules of the game laid down by UMNO and played its role within the permitted boundaries, it was allowed to survive but not to thrive.

Until, of course, the power of reformasi was unleashed by Anwar and turned the UMNO game upside down. Since then, the party that claims to represent the Malays has been fighting tooth and nail to stay relevant.

Still, neither Mahathir nor Najib Abdul Razak ever doubts the sodomy trump card that they have, alongside the advantages that UMNO holds as the ruling party. While Najib grudgingly accepted the not-so-splendid outcome of the 13th general election, he was privately relieved that more than sufficient time had been secured for him to say in power.

But Najib’s fortunes started to dwindle in no time as the costs of living were rising as a result of his hastily implemented economic measures.

At the same time, Mahathir and his cohorts cashed in on the increasingly discontents at the grassroots level by attacking Najib’s lacklustre performance, although the ex-dictator is never under the illusion that every act of defiance on his part is meant to soothe his immense grievances over his son’s failure to make it to UMNO’s top leadership.

So Najib was on the verge of repeating what Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had gone through – an ignominious exit that was.

Anwar-KajangAt this juncture, Anwar pre-empted Najib with the Kajang Offensive, seeking to regain the momentum that was clearly lost post-GE13.

All at a sudden, the public’s zeal for a regime change was aroused, posing a serious threat to UMNO’s legitimacy once again.

Should Anwar win big in Kajang, it would deal further blow to Najib’s diminishing authority within the party and nationwide.

Talk of reconciliation

Prior to this, there had been talk of reconciliation, with both sides of the political divides seemingly warming up to the idea.

I had chastised Anwar in no uncertain terms over the overtures that he had been making towards UMNO for the simple reason that the party that has ruined each and every public institution over the last 30 years and trampled on our national dignity time and again can never be trusted as a partner.

Then Anwar appeared to have changed his mind and decided to go on the offensive. But his Kajang strategy was interpreted by Najib as a betrayal on the consensus between them, which explains the rush to move the Sodomy II appeal forward to stop Anwar from getting closer to assuming a greater role in politics.

A calculative politician, Najib most probably decided to finish Anwar off by sending him to jail so that he gets to keep Putrajaya, while simultaneously appeasing Mahathir.

Yes, the Kajang Move has clearly backfired and one can go on arguing whether it was ethnical or justifiable from the very beginning. However, the very cruel reality remains that Umno is so arrogant and powerful that judges must disregard all the evidence and convict its opponents on the shakiest grounds.

Mahathir is the happiest man for now, but the country and the people will eventually pay for his and Umno’s perfidy unless a new generation of Malaysians are prepared to rise up against all the injustices.