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The Open 2019: Watch McIlroy’s nightmare start as he quadruple bogeys the first
The 148th Open Championship, Royal PortrushDates: 18-21 JulyCoverage: Live text updates and in-play clips on BBC Sport website, with live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and daily highlights on BBC Two.Open leaderboardRory McIlroy made a quadruple bogey on the first hole and triple bogey at the last as his bid for a home Open victory at Royal Portrush was left in tatters.The 2014 winner, playing in his home country of Northern Ireland, sent his first tee shot out of bounds and ended his round ingloriously.McIlroy finished with a round of eight-over-par 79 – 12 strokes behind clubhouse leader Shane Lowry.I would like to punch myselfWorld number one Brooks Koepka made a promising start to his opening round.The 29-year-old American, seeking his fifth major since 2017, made birdies on holes two and five in a group that includes 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen. His compatriot and 2017 champion, Jordan Spieth, also looked in good form, having moved to three under after six holes.Three-time winner Tiger Woods is playing alongside fellow American and 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed and England’s Matt Wallace, while world number four Justin Rose, tied second in 2018, is with American Tony Finau and Dane Lucas Bjerregaard.Live text commentary of the opening roundThursday and Friday tee-timesMcIlroy suffers while Lowry flourishes
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The Open 2019: I undid all the great work on last few holes – Mcllroy
Much of focus in the build-up to the championship was whether, come Sunday, Northern Ireland would be celebrating their greatest hope lifting the Claret Jug on the country’s premier course.But the chances of that happening have all but disappeared as the 30-year-old evoked memories of his final-round collapse at the 2011 Masters, with an inward nine that included a double bogey on the 16th and a triple bogey on the 18th. The quadruple was his first in a major since the 2013 US Open.”I would like to punch myself,” the four-time major winner told BBC Radio 5 Live.”I made a couple of stupid mistakes. I was pretty nervous on the first tee and hit a bad shot. I showed some resilience in the middle of the round and was trying to fight back into the championship but then I finished off poorly as well.”If I look back, I undid all my good work to recover on the last three holes.”At the end of the day, I play golf to fulfil my ambitions, not anyone else’s, but I wish I could have given the crowd something to cheer about.”I let myself down more than anyone else and need to pick myself back up.”Irishman Lowry set the early standard with five birdies, and one dropped shot, for a 67, while 22-year-old Scot Robert MacIntyre, playing in his first Open, produced an eagle at the fifth and finished his opening round a shot behind.Spanish two-time runner-up Sergio Garcia and 2012 US Open winner Webb Simpson also had strong days to join a group on three under.A delighted MacIntyre, second at the British Masters, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I hung in there all day, particularly when the weather got tough late on.”Lowry, 32, added: “I gave myself lots of chances and then didn’t hole anything but then had a couple of good pars saves late on.”
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The Open 2019: Watch Emiliano Grillo’s 200-yard hole in one on the 13th
Another Northern Irishman, Darren Clarke, was greeted by a large crowd at 06:35 BST as he hit the first tee shot at the County Antrim course, which is hosting the tournament for the first time in 68 years.Clarke on his ‘wow’ moment on first tee at PortrushRoyal Portrush is expecting 237,750 spectators over the four days – a record attendance for an Open outside of St Andrews – eclipsing the 235,000 who attended Royal Birkdale in 2017.Those watching experienced a variety of conditions including wind and bright sunshine, then swirling showers before the sun returned for the final groups.Unlucky 13 for Duval
It was a day to forget in the career of former Open champion David DuvalThere was disappointment for defending champion Italian Francesco Molinari, who produced three bogeys and a double bogey over the first 13 holes as he finished on three over for the round.Graeme McDowell, who was born a stone’s throw from the course, was two under after a birdie on the 14th but the 2010 US Open winner’s round fell apart following a triple-bogey finish.One of the biggest cheers of the day came on the 200-yard par three 13th when Argentine Emiliano Grillo sunk the first ace of the championship, but there were groans aplenty on the par-five seventh as 2001 winner David Duval suffered the ignominy of a 13. The 47-year-old also recorded a triple bogey on the 17th and is bottom of the pack on 19 over.
When Diego Maradona played in Saudi Arabia – Arab world mourns passing of a legend
DOHA: Andres Iniesta scored his first goal in the Asian Champions League as Vissel Kobe powered their way to the last-16 with a dominant 3-1 win over Fabio Cannavaro’s Guangzhou Evergrande in their Group G clash on Wednesday. The Spain and Barcelona legend fired a right-footed shot from the center of the box in the 84th…
DOHA: Andres Iniesta scored his first goal in the Asian Champions League as Vissel Kobe powered their way to the last-16 with a dominant 3-1 win over Fabio Cannavaro’s Guangzhou Evergrande in their Group G clash on Wednesday.
The Spain and Barcelona legend fired a right-footed shot from the center of the box in the 84th minute to help the Japanese side consolidate their position at the top of their group with two wins from as many matches.
They are now five points ahead of Guangzhou and Suwon Samsung Bluewings and assured of a spot in the knockout phase after the group was reduced to three teams following Malaysian side Johor Darul Ta’zim’s withdrawal from the tournament.
In another match on Wednesday, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors pipped Sydney FC 1-0 in Group H with Na Sung-eun scoring in the 44th minute.
It was the Australian side’s third defeat in four matches while Jeonbuk revived their hopes with their first victory.
Iniesta, who was declared MVP of the match, had been an influential presence for Vissel Kobe throughout the encounter with his quick thinking and crisp passing, and that reflected in their first goal in the 44th minute at the Khalifa International Stadium.
The Spanish veteran dashed his way up on the left flank to control a long diagonal pass and after advancing further turned around near the goalline to tap the ball onto the path of the advancing Kyogo Furuhashi who struck with a clean, low shot from close range.
Furuhashi’s personal joy at scoring lasted only 10 minutes as the forward first conceded a corner and then watched in horror as his attempted clearance from the resultant kick found his own net to give Guangzhou the equalizer.
Cannavaro made three substitutions in a desperate bid for victory after having drawn their opening game against Suwon Samsung Bluewings. But although the two-time champions enjoyed a couple of brief purple patches during which they had the Kobe defence under pressure, the goal they were looking for never materialized.
Vissel Kobe regained the lead in the 74th minute when Douglas, who had just come in five minutes prior, took advantage of a great back-heel from Daigo Nishi and blasted the ball home.
Brazil-born Elekson, now known as Ai Kesen, had a goal disallowed for off-side on eight minutes and when Iniesta struck two minutes later, it extended Cannavaro’s misery in Doha.
“The result is bad. We tried but I know that something in my team is not clear. I don’t know if they are afraid to play or they are not confident anymore,” the Italian complained after the match.
“I need to try and do my best to give them the confidence to play. This is my job. I know they are very good players, and we can do much, much, much better.”
Vissel Kobe had landed in Doha after a string of disappointing results back home, conceding a whopping 58 goals in 33 league matches and losing five games in a row.
But their coach Atsuhiro Miura was basking in joy on Wednesday, saying he was ready with a game plan against a side packed with several Brazilians.
“Guangzhou is a very strong side, they have several good Brazilian players but we analysed how they play and how to prevent them from playing to their strengths,” said Miura.
“We did everything well and everything went how we wanted it to. That’s why we got this result.”
Going for goal: Saudi Arabia kicks off first women’s football league
RIYADH: First they opened the grandstands to women, now Saudi Arabia is encouraging them to cross the touchline and compete in the Kingdom’s first Women’s Football League tournament. The historic competition kicks off on Tuesday morning, with 24 teams across Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam competing for a championship cup, and a $133,000 cash prize. The…
RIYADH: First they opened the grandstands to women, now Saudi Arabia is encouraging them to cross the touchline and compete in the Kingdom’s first Women’s Football League tournament.
The historic competition kicks off on Tuesday morning, with 24 teams across Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam competing for a championship cup, and a $133,000 cash prize.
The Kingdom opened its stadiums to women football supporters in January, 2018, but this is the first time they will have been allowed to compete in a tournament.
The competition has been lauded as an important step for the Saudi sports world, with many in the game throwing their support behind the event.
Calling the competition a “positive step,” Abdullah Alyami, Saudi football coach and sports reporter, said he expects many more women to participate in future tournaments.
“This is a very happy day for all athletes, be they male or female. And based on what we’ve seen, and how beloved the sport of football is all over the Kingdom, I believe we will see many more of our sisters getting involved in professional sports,” he said.
عبدالله اليامي: انطلاق #الدوري_النسائي في #السعودية خطوة إيجابية.. وأتوقع إقبالا كبيرا على المشاركة في فرق كرة القدم النسائية#تواصل #قناة_الرسالة@m3sss3 pic.twitter.com/UxRa8pZSWo
— قناة الرسالة (@alresalahnet) November 17, 2020
Saudi sports reporter Riyan Al-Jidani tweeted his support.
“To all my dear sisters participating the Women’s Football League, your success in the tournament is a step in the right direction towards our dream of universality and representing our homeland to the outside world. Raising the flag on the field is a glory and pride,” he said.
The tournament was due to start in March – but the coronavirus pandemic stopped play.
But for some that just presented the opportunity to up their game.
“We started preparations early, and the delay due to the pandemic actually worked in our favor. We were able to take more than two months to prepare for the tournament,” Maram Al-Butairi, general manager and head coach at Dammam-based Eastern Flames FC.
Amal Gimie, 26, an Eritrean midfielder for Jeddah’s Kings United, previously told Arab News that she had been playing the beautiful game since she was eight.
“There was a match every weekend. The boys made us play as goalkeepers in the beginning, and in 2002, when I first saw the Women’s World Cup, it sparked my passion to learn more about this sport,” said Gimie, who is also a management information systems graduate. She joined her first female football team, Challenge, in Riyadh in 2014.
She said: “It was the first time I joined something organized. I was happy to be playing but at the same time I felt as though it was an unreachable goal (to become a professional athlete or join an official league), I felt like I was growing older without achieving anything.”
The matches won’t be broadcast, but Saudi’s army of football fans remain excited by the tournament.
Wejdan Al-Shammary, who grew up playing sports in school, said she would have tried for a team “in a heartbeat” if she had been just a few years younger.
“I played both basketball and football on my high school teams. I was a complete sports nut, but it makes me happy to know that even if it’s too late for me to achieve those dreams, there’s a chance now for young Saudi girls that I never had,” she said.
Najla Ahmed, a 16-year-old from Riyadh who plays on her school’s football team, said she would try for a local team in 2021.
“I’ll be 17, and therefore eligible, and I would love to see anyone try and stop me,” she said.
Both women said they hoped this was just the start and that more sports would be opened up to women.
“Football is just the beginning. I would love to see more focus on other sports, as well. Basketball, tennis, maybe even competitive swimming,” said Al-Shammary. “I’m sure we have so many potential Olympians among us who just need their talents nurtured.”
NFL game postponed over Covid-19 cases
Tennessee Titans’ long snapper Beau Brinkley (left) and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (right) have been put on the reserve/Covid-19 listThe NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday has been postponed because of Covid-19 cases.The game will be rescheduled for Monday or Tuesday after the outbreak among Titans players and staff.On Tuesday,…
Tennessee Titans’ long snapper Beau Brinkley (left) and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (right) have been put on the reserve/Covid-19 listThe NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday has been postponed because of Covid-19 cases.The game will be rescheduled for Monday or Tuesday after the outbreak among Titans players and staff.On Tuesday, defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson were put on the reserve/Covid-19 list.The NFL has since shut down the team facility.According to the NFL network, a fourth player also returned a positive test on Wednesday.The Titans played the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis last Sunday.The Vikings’ facility was also closed on Tuesday and Wednesday and it is unclear whether their scheduled game with the Houston Texans will take place on Sunday.