Tiger Woods makes Open admission about St Andrews ahead of visit to Carnoustie

Woods arrived at the Scottish course to the north of Dundee near 3pm Sunday local time accompanied by his caddy, Joe LaCarva and after a 30-minute session on the range he took to the very dry Carnoustie course. Woods played just eight holes, the first to fourth inclusive and then crossed to the 15th to play the closing four holes. It is the first time Woods will have contested an Open Championship since missing the halfway cut in the 2015 Open at St Andrews while it will be the fourth occasion he has teed-up in a Carnoustie Open. Woods had

Au revoir and spasibo for an unforgettable World Cup

MOSCOW — ​All I can say after this World Cup is spasibo, which is Russian for “thank you.” Or should it be merci? France hoisted the World Cup trophy in front of 78,011 spectators at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, igniting mayhem in the streets of Paris and beyond with their 4-2 victory over Croatia, a country of four million plus people and less than a third the size of Ontario. Analysis France’s win restores order to chaotic World Cup Recap France defeats Croatia in World Cup final La Marseillaise was heard around Moscow, with jubilant supporters bellowing marchons, marchons with unbridled enthusiasm. In Paris,

France’s win restores order to chaotic World Cup

MOSCOW —​ Ultimately, normalcy returned. The team that was supposed to win the World Cup, won. In a tournament populated by bizarre narratives, favourites France emerged victorious, offering their players and coach soccer immortality. Recap France defeats Croatia in World Cup final Yet even the championship match contained unusual subplots. We witnessed the first own goal in a World Cup final, the first VAR penalty and the first teenage goal-scorer since the legendary Pelé himself 60 years ago. France won not because the team dominated possession, nor because it had more attempts at goal. Les Bleus are world champions because they were composed

Blue Jays hurt again by Bogaerts’ bat, drop series at Boston

Xander Bogaerts homered in his first at-bat a day after hitting a walk-off grand slam and drove in two runs, leading the Boston Red Sox past the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Sunday to enter the all-star break with their best record since 1949. Brock Holt also drove in two runs for the American League East-leading Red Sox (68-30), who own the major league’s best record and have won 12 of their last 13 games. Boston all-star Mookie Betts went 0-for-3, lowering his major league-leading batting average to .359, and fellow all-star J.D. Martinez enters the break with 29 homers

Djokovic ‘can dominate Federer & Nadal again’

Watch highlights as Novak Djokovic wins fourth Wimbledon title In the end, it was a straightforward Wimbledon men’s singles final victory for Novak Djokovic, but it followed a lengthy battle back to the top. The 31-year-old’s three-set victory over Kevin Anderson on Centre Court on Sunday earned him his fourth Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam singles crown. The Serb is now one behind American great Pete Sampras in terms of Slam titles, with contemporary rivals Rafael Nadal (17) and Roger Federer (20) out in front and still in the form to win more. After two years of injuries and

Champion Djokovic doubted another Grand Slam win

Watch highlights as Novak Djokovic wins fourth Wimbledon title Novak Djokovic says he doubted he would ever win another Grand Slam before ending a two-year drought by claiming his fourth Wimbledon title. Djokovic, 31, won his 13th major by beating South African eighth seed Kevin Anderson in straight sets on Sunday. The Serb struggled for form and fitness after his 2016 French Open win, falling out of the top 20 earlier this year. “There were several moments where I was frustrated and questioning if I’d get back to the desired level,” he said. “But that makes this whole journey even

Murray & Azarenka lose mixed doubles final

Highlights: Murray & Azarenka lose mixed doubles final Britain’s Jamie Murray fell short in his bid to retain the Wimbledon mixed doubles title as he and Belarusian partner Victoria Azarenka were beaten by Alexander Peya and Nicole Melichar. Austrian Peya and American Melichar, the 11th seeds, won 7-6 (7-1) 6-3. Murray, who won last year with now retired Swiss Martina Hingis, paired up at the last minute with former singles number one Azarenka. They saved match point at 5-2 in the second set but lost in the next game. “I didn’t really return well enough, didn’t feel I served that

Wimbledon 2018: Djokovic Jnr, roaring lions & a Wimbledon final masterclass

Watch some of the quirkier moments and best action from the Wimbledon final as Novak Djokovic wins in straight sets and makes an emotional tribute to his son. WATCH MORE: Djokovic wins fourth Wimbledon title WATCH MORE: Djokovic’s son steals the show during ’emotional’ victory speech Available to UK users only. BBC Sport

Cardinals turf manager Matheny, hitting coaches amid reported clubhouse tension

The St. Louis Cardinals aren’t accustomed to stretches of mediocrity, and certainly not to reports of clubhouse unrest. The prospect of a third straight year without a post-season berth has spelled the end for manager Mike Matheny. Matheny was stunningly fired Saturday night following an 8-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, a defeat that dropped St. Louis to 47-46 and 7 1/2 games back of the National League Central-leading Chicago Cubs. Bench coach Mike Shildt was named the team’s interim manager. Hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller were also fired. The Cardinals haven’t missed three straight

France defeats Croatia in World Cup final

Sliding across the rain-soaked turf holding the World Cup trophy tight, teenager Kylian Mbappe and the rest of France’s players acted like the youthful bunch they are. Nothing, not a Pussy Riot protest nor a postgame downpour that soaked Russian President Vladimir Putin, was going to stop the party. The 19-year-old Mbappé became only the second teen after Pele to score in a World Cup final, helping France beat Croatia 4-2 on Sunday. “I don’t really realize yet what it is. The World Cup, it’s a lot,” forward Antoine Griezmann said. “I’m very proud of this team.” Mbappé had just

Wuss Happening: Today’s game has gone soft in many ways

This article originally appeared in the July issue of GOLF Magazine.

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but golf is going soft. Quite literally, as my plush FootJoy socks now come emblazoned with an L and an R, lest I can’t figure it out on my own. The evidence is elsewhere in my golfing life: hybrids instead of long-irons; a laser to gauge yardages so I no longer have to schlep to a sprinkler head; balls that fly forever but refuse to be scuffed, no matter how thin I catch my 9-iron; performance fabrics to spare me my own sweat. An 18-hole slog from the tips was the old standard, carrying my bag every step of the way. Now even the ruling bodies are encouraging me to tee it forward and just play nine.

As with many things in golf, the pro game sets the tone. It has even infected the caddies, who now get valet parking at some tournaments, for Pete’s sake! Green reading was once a dark art, but every answer can now be found in those infernal yardage books, which have as many pages as a Tolstoy novel and are read at a similar pace. Having a good head of hair used to be a job requirement, but these days Tour caddies are paid to wear logoed caps. Even so, the most famous looper of recent times, Jim “Bones” Mackay, put down the bag in favor of an even cushier TV gig. Maybe he got tired of the pronoun “we”; Tour players now reflexively use it to talk about their “team.” It sounds inclusive but really it’s a shirking of the rugged individualism that made golf great. We didn’t slice a drive off a hospitality tent on the 72nd hole to lose the U.S. Open…you did, pal.

A kinder, gentler USGA has led to the wussification of our national championship. The rough used to be 
so long you could lose Corey Pavin in it; now it’s “graduated” so wayward drives don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. The 18-hole Monday playoff was the last bastion of an old-school, macho ethos, but this year it was castrated to a mere two holes so no one is overly inconvenienced. Likewise, the win-or-go-home format of the WGC-Match Play was too Darwinian for modern times, so it has devolved into a round-robin where losing a match is okay and no one gets their pride bruised. Are they going to start handing out 
participation trophies, too?

Given how soft players have become, it’s surprising that Charmin isn’t the official sponsor of the PGA Tour. At this year’s Wells Fargo Championship, Bob Estes withdrew due to allergies. I like Estes and don’t want to minimize his suffering, but Ray Floyd would’ve cut off his nose with a 1-iron before W/D’ing due to the sniffles. Similarly, do you think Ben F’ing Hogan would’ve worn shorts during practice rounds? Hubert Green won the 1977 U.S. Open playing through a death threat, and Jack Nicklaus spent years being heckled as Fat Jack by Arnie’s Army, but now every noisy fan is in danger of getting tossed by a touchy-feely Tour pro. They are even bigger snowflakes on Twitter: Billy Horschel and Ian Poulter each has more blocks than Patrick Ewing.

Warriors from the days of yore were masters of gamesmanship who often played in stony silence. Now, the players vacation together and post cutesy photos about it on social media. Nick Faldo won the Claret Jug three times but refused to take so much as one drink out of it, so deep was his reverence. There isn’t an important trophy Rickie Fowler hasn’t imbibed from, even if none of them are his. The chumminess plays out between the ropes: there is currently an epidemic on Tour of “backstopping,” whereby players don’t mark their ball on the green if it’s in a spot that might help slow down a competitor’s ensuing, misplayed shot. I’m stymied by the very thought of it.

With the Open Championship returning to Carnoustie, I’ve found myself pining for the return of John Philp, the man David Duval called an “out-of-control groundskeeper” because of his tough setup at the ’99 Open. Okay, the fairways were a little too narrow and the rough a wee bit too tall, but I’ve come to respect Philp’s messianic vision. “Many of the players are simply not geared for it,” Philp, now retired, said in 1999 in defense of his course. “One bad bounce and they moan…. The trouble is they have an ego problem. There is so much money in the game I think they’re losing touch with reality. A lot of them have made no preparation for the world’s greatest event. Who the hell do they think they are? This is serious.”

Indeed, it is. The battle for the soul of the game has only intensified since. Think very, very carefully before you add that 9-hybrid.

SOURCE: GoogleNews

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