Johnson eager to avenge missed opportunity in Atlanta

Dustin Johnson tees off on the 4th hole during the first round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at Conway Farms Golf Club last week. (USA TODAY Sports)
Updated 20 September 2017
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Johnson eager to avenge missed opportunity in Atlanta

ATLANTA: Dustin Johnson enters this week’s Tour Championship hoping to make up for his disappointment at the season-ending event a year ago and said on Tuesday his game is right where it needs to be.
Johnson, who is third in the season-long points race, is one of five golfers who control their fate this week at East Lake in Atlanta where a win would secure the FedExCup title and the $10 million first-prize bonus.
Johnson also controlled his destiny at the same event in 2016 but lost out on the biggest payday in golf after a poor final round.
“Feel like the golf game is in good form,” American world No. 1 Johnson told a news conference in Atlanta. “Had a good practice day today. The golf course is in really good condition and it’s a golf course that I enjoy playing.”
No golfer had been hotter than long-hitting Johnson in the three months leading into last year’s Tour Championship but he started to unravel in the final round with three bogeys over a four-hole stretch beginning on the fifth.
He stumbled to a three-over 73 but sat in the clubhouse with a chance of collecting the FedExCup honors, needing anyone but Rory McIlroy to win the tournament.
McIlroy, three shots behind with three to play, finished eagle-par-birdie to join a three-man playoff which he won on the fourth extra hole to become a most unlikely FedExCup champion while Johnson settled for a share of sixth place.
“Played it pretty well last year for, I don’t know, 63 holes maybe. The last nine I didn’t play so well on it,” said Johnson. “But I’m right where I want to be (now). I feel like the game is in good form and I am looking forward to this week.”
Johnson had three consecutive wins this year until being sidelined with a back injury suffered on the eve of the US Masters in April. He got his swagger back in the first leg of the FedExCup playoffs where he beat Jordan Spieth in a playoff.
Johnson, who will tee off in Thursday’s opening round with Australian Marc Leishman, shrugged off any notion that a shot at a massive payday brought on added pressure during last year’s final round.
“I don’t think I felt any different other than I had a chance to win,” said Johnson. “Obviously that’s a lot of money but it’s not going to change my life or anything.”
“For me it’s more about winning the Tour Championship and becoming the FedExCup champion than it is about the money. That’s just a very nice bonus.”


Joe Root’s century seals England series win over India, maintains No. 1 ODI ranking

Updated 17 July 2018
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Joe Root’s century seals England series win over India, maintains No. 1 ODI ranking

  • This was Root’s second unbeaten century in successive innings
  • Joe Root became England’s leading one-day international century-maker

LEEDS: Joe Root became England’s leading one-day international century-maker as an innings of exactly 100 not out on his Headingley home ground saw the hosts to an eight-wicket victory over India on Tuesday and a 2-1 series win.
This was Root’s second unbeaten century in successive innings after his 113 not out helped England level the three-match contest with an 86-run win at Lord’s on Saturday.
This latest hundred was also Test skipper Root’s 13th in ODIs, taking him past the England record of 12 he had previously shared with Marcus Trescothick.
Tuesday saw Root and one-day captain Eoin Morgan (88 not out) share an unbroken third-wicket stand of 186 as England, first in the ODI rankings to their opponents’ second, ended India’s run of nine straight bilateral series wins in style.
England, who will be bidding to win the World Cup for the first time when they stage next year’s edition, had said they would treat Tuesday’s match as a dress rehearsal for a winner-takes-all game at the showpiece tournament.
And that made the comprehensive manner of their victory all the more satisfying for Morgan’s men.
It was England’s bowlers who set up this win, with Adil Rashid and David Willey, two of the five Yorkshire cricketers in their XI, taking three wickets apiece.
But, after left-arm quick Willey had kept things tight early on, it was leg-spinner Rashid who did significant damage by taking two wickets in an over.
He bowled India captain and star batsman Virat Kohli (71), as well as dismissing Suresh Raina, on his way to three for 49 in a maximum 10 overs.
Willey, who took three for 40 in nine overs, received excellent new-ball support from Durham quick Mark Wood (one for 30).
Root, who was dropped from the final match of England’s preceding 2-1 Twenty20 series loss, told Sky Sports: “It feels fantastic.
“To come into a big series like this and perform how we have as a side is great.”
Morgan added: “I think we were outstanding. I think the tone was set by the bowlers early on, David Willey and Mark Wood were on the money. From that point there was no let up.”
Meanwhile Kohli accepted his side had been outplayed.
“I thought we were never on the mark as far as runs on the board were concerned, we were 25-30 short, and England were really clinical with the bat and in the field as well,” he said.
After Morgan won the toss, Rohit Sharma, who scored a superb century during India’s eight-wicket win in the series-opener at Trent Bridge, struggled to make two off 18 balls, his innings ending when he flicked Willey to Wood at deep square leg.
Opening partner Shikhar Dhawan made a fluent 44 before was run out by Stokes’s direct hit.
Dinesh Karthik, preferred to KL Rahul for this match, then made 21 before he was bowled between bat and pad by Rashid.
Kohli pressed on, however, completing a 55-ball fifty before Rashid struck twice in six balls as India slumped to 158 for five.
He bowled Kohli with a superb leg-break and had Raina caught low at leg-slip by Root.
James Vince, called up in place of the injured Jason Roy cut the first ball of England’s reply, from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, for four.
Vince’s frustrating England career has seen him repeatedly get out on Tuesday he fell for a run-a-ball 27, although it needed a brilliant one-handed take by wicket-keeper Dhoni, from Hardik Pandya’s throw, to run him out.
But by then England were 74 for two inside 10 overs, well above the required run-rate.
Root, stumped off a Yuzvendra Chahal no-ball on 69, went to his century when he pulled Pandya through midwicket for his 10th four in 120 balls as England won with 33 deliveries to spare.
An elated Root celebrated by dropping his bat to the ground — the ‘mic drop’ gesture more associated with rock stars and stand-up comedians than cricketers.