China’s Shanshan Feng win 2014 Sime Darby LPGA with a 63


October 12, 2014

China’ Shanshan Feng win 2014 Sime Darby LPGA with a 63

Shanshan Feng wins Sime Darby LPGA 2015Winner of Sime Darby LPGA 2014 with a Final Round Score of 63

China’ Shanshan Feng posted a flawless eight-under 63 to bag her maiden title of the season and career’s fourth at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) today.

The 25-year-old world No.9 fired an eagle and six birdies en-route to a four-day total of 18-under 266, earning a three-stroke victory over second-placed Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand, who shot a 71. It was a superb display of gutsy golf by Feng. It was a major disappointment to the Thai golf who came to Round 4 with a comfortable lead.

Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg, who also carded a 63, and second day leader Ryo So-yeon of South Korea (67) are one shot adrift, sharing third spot on 14-under.

http://www.thestar.com.my

Europe retains the Ryder Cup with an impressive win over the Americans


September 29, 2014

Ryder Cup 2014: Jamie Donaldson seals win with ‘wedge shot of my life’

at Gleneagles, The Guardian, Sunday 28 September 2014 18.57 BST

Jamie DonaldsonJamie Donaldson of Wales delivered the Winning Point

 It was a shot worthy of winning any game of golf, let alone a Ryder Cup in front of 45,000 rabid supporters and millions more on television who had been whipped into a state of high anticipation. The debutant Jamie Donaldson called the stroke that brought victory over Keegan Bradley, securing his third victory of the week and delivering the Ryder Cup for Europe, “the wedge shot of my life”. “He’s been sensational, incredible. It’s been a hell of a week,” said his captain, Paul McGinley, as he kissed the man who delivered the winning shot.

Donaldson broke off from his own TV interviews to embrace his parents as the emotions that the Europeans have kept in check beneath talk of plans and templates began to bubble to the surface. “It’s amazing. The lads have got on so well all week. It’s been great craic in there. It’s just an incredible week,” said the Welshman. “It’s hard to describe how good it is. It’s just … there’s nothing else like it in golf. It’s just a total one-off. It’s just a huge, huge thing, and it’s just been amazing to be a part of it.”

Europe-lineup_3048924bThe European Ryder Cup Team-2104 won impressively over Tom Watson’s American Team

Lofted downhill from 146 yards to the 15th green, his approach shot landed within inches of the pin to a huge roar and sparked a wild, backslapping celebration from his hitherto reserved captain. “It was a perfect yardage and I played the wedge shot of my life to close the game out. I can’t really put words to it – it’s unbelievable,” said Donaldson. “I knew it was all getting tight there at the end. I was just trying to not spend too much time looking at the scoreboard and just concentrate on my match.”

As Donaldson, right, was submerged beneath a mob of congratulation from team-mates, his caddie Michael Donaghy, vice-captains and other assorted members of his entourage, two pivotal moments may have sprung to mind. First, when he ignored a doctor’s instructions to quit the game altogether in 2004 when struggling with a chronic back complaint (“The first doctor I went to see said, ‘don’t play’ – so I went to see someone else,” the 38-year-old has said. “That wasn’t what I wanted to hear. As soon as someone says that, you just go and see someone else!”).

Then, having sprung to prominence by winning the 2012 Irish Open and the 2013 Abu Dhabi Championship following years of toil on a European tour he joined in 2002, he almost missed out on the Ryder Cup. Ranked 25th in the world, Donaldson has only ever once finished in the top 10 in a major but since his breakthrough has consistently challenged in other tournaments. Donaldson, who lives in Macclesfield with his partner and two young children, had been in line to qualify for the team all year until a missed putt at the US PGA Championship left him out of the running for an automatic berth.

“I had a chat with him in the caddie room in the cart barn underneath Valhalla,” said McGinley before the first day. “He had just come off the 18th green. If he had got up-and-down, he would have been a Ryder Cup player. He didn’t. He knew he had to make twenty-odd-thousand euros in the next two events. He was pretty distraught. I had a good chat with him. We talked about it. We came up with a strategy of what he had to do to make the team. I didn’t want him to miss the team.”

Paul McGinleyMcGinley (left) told him straight that it would be difficult to pick him as a wildcard and that it was down to him to make the €20,000 he needed to secure his spot. “We came up with a plan that he was going to play Czechoslovakia [at the Czech Masters]. He went out there, and he played very aggressively and ended up winning the tournament,” said McGinley. “I know that was a huge psychological boost for him, to be able to make the team and to be able to burst through the line the way he did.”

As a beaming Donaldson marched up the 18th green behind Victor Dubuisson with a Welsh flag around his shoulders, he in many ways epitomised the teamwork and bond that underpinned their success. “It’s a great sense of pride, as I say, this ugly face,” laughed McGinley in the post victory melee, grabbing Donaldson’s cheeks. “How happy it is, and the pride that we give to everybody, and the happiness of people in the stands, that’s what you did.”

McGinley said that Lee Westwood had acted as almost an extra vice-captain in mentoring Donaldson. “I love it,” said Westwood. “I have as much fun playing for myself as seeing somebody else take to it like a duck to water.”

The pair overcame Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk during one of the crucial foursomes sessions that formed the backbone of Europe’s victory. For Donaldson, it was the man who meticulously planned Europe’s victory under cloudless skies who had set the tone for a week he will never forget. “Paul captained one of the Seve Trophies I played in and I told everybody that he was going to be unbelievable here. He’s certainly done a lot more than that. He’s been incredible.”

 

 

 

Rory McIlroy wins 2014 PGA Championship


August 11, 2014

BREAKING NEWS

Rory McIlroy wins 2014 PGA Championship edging Phil Mickelson by one Stroke

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/11/sports/golf/rory-mcilroy-wins-2014-pga-championship.html?_r=0

McilroyRory McIlroy of Northern Ireland won the P.G.A. Championship on Sunday, shooting a 68 in the rain-delayed final round to defeat Phil Mickelson by one stroke at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., claiming his second straight major title and solidifying his status as golf’s top-ranked player.

The 25-year-old McIlroy, who won the British Open last month, joins Tom Morris Jr., Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only golfers with four major victories at age 25 or younger. McIlroy also won the 2011 United States Open and the 2012 P.G.A. Championship and needs to win the Masters to complete a career Grand Slam, a feat accomplished by only five others.

McIlroy, who led Bernd Wiesberger by one shot after three rounds, finished 72 holes at 16 under par, making him 48 under in winning his last three starts.–The NEW YORK TIMES

Gaming Israel and Palestine


August 3, 2014

Gaming Israel and Palestine

G.FriedmanBy George Friedman

We have long argued that the Arab-Israeli conflict is inherently insoluble. Now, for the third time in recent years, a war is being fought in Gaza. The Palestinians are firing rockets into Israel with minimal effect. The Israelis are carrying out a broader operation to seal tunnels along the Gaza-Israel boundary. Like the previous wars, the current one will settle nothing. The Israelis want to destroy Hamas’ rockets. They can do so only if they occupy Gaza and remain there for an extended period while engineers search for tunnels and bunkers throughout the territory. This would generate Israeli casualties from Hamas guerrillas fighting on their own turf with no room for retreat. So Hamas will continue to launch rockets, but between the extreme inaccuracy of the rockets and Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, the group will inflict little damage to the Israelis.

War Without a Military Outcome

The most interesting aspect of this war is that both sides apparently found it necessary, despite knowing it would have no definitive military outcome. The kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers followed by the incineration of a Palestinian boy triggered this conflict. An argument of infinite regression always rages as to the original sin: Who committed the first crime?

For the Palestinians, the original crime was the migration into the Palestinian mandate by Jews, the creation of the State of Israel and the expulsion of Arabs from that state. For Israel, the original sin came after the 1967 war, during which Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. At that moment, the Israelis were prepared to discuss a deal, but the Arabs announced their famous “three nos” at a meeting in Khartoum: no negotiation, no recognition, no peace. That locked the Israelis into an increasingly rigid stance. Attempts at negotiations have followed the Khartoum declaration, all of which failed, and the “no recognition” and “no peace” agreement is largely intact. Cease-fires are the best that anyone can hope for.

For Hamas, at least — and I suspect for many Palestinians in the West Bank — the only solution is Israel’s elimination. For many Israelis, the only solution is to continue to occupy all captured territories until the Palestinians commit to peace and recognition. Since the same Israelis do not believe that day will ever come, the occupation would become permanent.

Under these circumstances, the Gaza war is in some sense a matter of housekeeping. For Hamas, the point of the operation is demonstrating it can fire rockets at Israel. These rockets are inaccurate, but the important thing is that they were smuggled into Gaza at all, since this suggests more dangerous weapons eventually will be smuggled in to the Palestinian territory. At the same time, Hamas is demonstrating that it remains able to incur casualties while continuing to fight.

For the Israelis, the point of the operation is that they are willing to carry it out at all. The Israelis undoubtedly intend to punish Gaza, but they do not believe they can impose their will on Gaza and compel the Palestinians to reach a political accommodation with Israel. War’s purpose is to impose your political will on your enemy. But unless the Israelis surprise us immensely, nothing decisive will come out of this conflict. Even if Israel somehow destroyed Hamas, another organization would emerge to fill its space in the Palestinian ecosystem. Israel can’t go far enough to break the Palestinian will to resist; it is dependent on a major third-party state to help meet Israeli security needs. This creates an inherent contradiction whereby Israel receives enough American support to guarantee its existence but because of humanitarian concerns is not allowed to take the kind of decisive action that might solve its security problem.

We thus see periodic violence of various types, none of which will be intended or expected to achieve any significant political outcome. Wars here have become a series of bloodstained gestures. There are some limited ends to achieve, such as closing Palestinian tunnels and demonstrating Palestinian capabilities that force Israel into an expensive defensive posture. But Hamas will not be defeated, and Israel will make no concessions.

Sovereignty and Viability Problems

The question therefore is not what the point of all this is — although that is a fascinating subject — but where all this ends. All things human end. Previous longstanding conflicts, such as those between France and England, ended or at least changed shape. Israel and Palestine accordingly will resolve their conflict in due course.

Many believe the creation of a Palestinian state will be the solution, and those who believe this often have trouble understanding why this self-evidently sensible solution has not been implemented. The reason is the proposed solution is not nearly as sensible as it might appear to some.

Issues of viability and sovereignty surround any discussion of a Palestinian state. Geography raises questions about the viability of any Palestinian polity. Palestine has two population centers, Gaza and the West Bank, which are detached from one another. One population center, Gaza, is an enormously crowded, narrow salient. Its ability to develop a sustainable economy is limited. The West Bank has more possibilities, but even it would be subordinate to a dynamic Israel. If the Palestinian workforce is drawn into the Israeli economy, both territories will become adjuncts to Israel. Within its current borders, a viable Palestine is impossible to imagine.

From the Israeli point of view, creating a Palestine along something resembling the 1967 lines (leaving aside the question of Jerusalem) would give the Palestinians superb targets, namely, Tel Aviv and Haifa. Given its history, Israel is unlikely to take that risk unless it had the right to oversee security in the West Bank in some way. That in turn would undermine Palestinian sovereignty.

As you play out the possibilities in any two-state solution, you run into the problem that any solution one side demanded would be unbearable to the other. Geography simply won’t permit two sovereign states. In this sense, the extremists on both sides are more realistic than the moderates. But that reality encounters other problems.

Israel’s High-Water Mark

Currently, Israel is as secure as it is ever likely to be unless Hamas disappears, never to be replaced, and the West Bank becomes even more accommodating to Israel. Neither of these prospects is likely. Israel’s economy towers over its neighbors. The Palestinians are weak and divided. None of Israel’s neighbors pose any threat of invasion, a situation in place since the 1977 neutralization of Egypt. Jordan is locked into a close relation with Israel, Egypt has its peace treaty and Hezbollah is bogged down in Syria. Apart from Gaza, which is a relatively minor threat, Israel’s position is difficult to improve.

Israel can’t radically shift its demography. But several evolutions in the region could move against Israel. Egypt could change governments, renounce its treaty, rearm and re-enter the Sinai Peninsula. Hezbollah could use its experience in Syria to open a front in Lebanon. Syria could get an Islamic State-led government and threaten the Golan Heights. Islamists could overthrow Jordan’s Hashemite monarchy and pose a threat to the east. Turkey could evolve into a radical Islamic government and send forces to challenge Israel. A cultural revolution could take place in the Arab world that would challenge Israel’s economic superiority, and therefore its ability to wage war. Iran could smuggle missiles into Gaza, and so on.

There is accordingly an asymmetry of possibilities. It is difficult to imagine any evolution, technical, political or economic, that would materially improve Israel’s already dominant position, but there are many things that could weaken Israel — some substantially. Each may appear far-fetched at the moment, but everything in the future seems far-fetched. None is inconceivable.

It is a rule of politics and business to bargain from strength. Israel is now as strong as it is going to be. But Israel does not think that it can reach accommodation with the Palestinians that would guarantee Israeli national security, a view based on a realistic reading of geography. Therefore, Israel sees little purpose in making concessions to the Palestinians despite its relative position of strength.

In these circumstances, the Israeli strategy is to maintain its power at a maximum level and use what influence it has to prevent the emergence of new threats. From this perspective, the Israeli strategy on settlements makes sense. If there will be no talks, and Israel must maintain its overwhelming advantage, creating strategic depth in the West Bank is sensible; it would be less sensible if there were a possibility of a peace treaty. Israel must also inflict a temporary defeat on any actively hostile Palestinian force from time to time to set them back several years and to demonstrate Israeli capabilities for psychological purposes.

The Palestinian position meanwhile must be to maintain its political cohesion and wait, using its position to try to drive wedges between Israel and its foreign patrons, particularly the United States, but understanding that the only change in the status quo will come from changes outside the Israeli-Palestinian complex. The primary Palestinian problem will be to maintain itself as a distinct entity with sufficient power to resist an Israeli assault for some time. Any peace treaty would weaken the Palestinians by pulling them into the Israeli orbit and splitting them up. By refusing a peace treaty, they remain distinct, if divided. That guarantees they will be there when circumstances change.

Fifty Years Out

Israel’s major problem is that circumstances always change. Predicting the military capabilities of the Arab and Islamic worlds in 50 years is difficult. Most likely, they will not be weaker than they are today, and a strong argument can be made that at least several of their constituents will be stronger. If in 50 years some or all assume a hostile posture against Israel, Israel will be in trouble.

Time is not on Israel’s side. At some point, something will likely happen to weaken its position, while it is unlikely that anything will happen to strengthen its position. That normally would be an argument for entering negotiations, but the Palestinians will not negotiate a deal that would leave them weak and divided, and any deal that Israel could live with would do just that.

What we are seeing in Gaza is merely housekeeping, that is, each side trying to maintain its position. The Palestinians need to maintain solidarity for the long haul. The Israelis need to hold their strategic superiority as long as they can. But nothing lasts forever, and over time, the relative strength of Israel will decline. Meanwhile, the relative strength of the Palestinians may increase, though this isn’t certain.

Looking at the relative risks, making a high-risk deal with the Palestinians would seem prudent in the long run. But nations do not make decisions on such abstract calculations. Israel will bet on its ability to stay strong. From a political standpoint, it has no choice. The Palestinians will bet on the long game. They have no choice. And in the meantime, blood will periodically flow.

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/gaming-israel-and-palestine#ixzz39GnidByO

GOLF: Germany’s Bernhard Langer wins 2014 Senior British Open


July 28, 2014

http://www.sbnation.com/golf/2014/7/27/5942297/2014-senior-open-championship-results-scores-bernhard-langer

GOLF: Bernhard Langer wins 2014 Senior British Open

By on Jul 27 2014, 3:04p

Berhard+Langer+Senior+Open+Championship+Round+Psak-spWjlolThe 2014 British Senior Open Winner by 13 shots

If Rory McIlroy’s multi-shot win last Sunday felt like a cruise to the Open Championship, what should we call Bernhard Langer’s dominance one week later at the Senior Open? This was Tiger Woods at Pebble Beach in 2000 dominant, where a player overwhelms a field and course and is simply playing a different tournament than everyone else. It seemed Langer would have challenged and beaten anyone, Champions Tour or not, this week at Royal Porthcawl in Wales.

A total of five players finished under-par. Colin Montgomerie, who had just won the U.S. Senior Open and Senior PGA, made another impressive run this week to finish 5-under. He was 13 shots worse than Langer, the German machine grinding everything down in much the same way Martin Kaymer did at the U.S. Open. Kaymer’s eight-shot win at Pinehurst, however, had to feel tense compared to this laugher, which was the largest margin at any Champions Tour event ever, major or not

 

GOLF: Rory McIlroy wins The 143rd Open at Hoylake


July 21, 2014

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/20/sport/golf/golf-british-open-mcilroy-wins/

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.