Saudi International: Ones to watch

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Who will be the first golfer to lift the Saudi International trophy? (AFP)
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Updated 30 January 2019

Saudi International: Ones to watch

  • Strong field at the inaugural Saudi International, with big names such as Dustin Johnson in contention.
  • Four of world's top five to tee it up at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club

LONDON: The Saudi International sees a host of big names tee it up at the untested Royal Greens Golf and Country club. Here we run the rule over the main contenders to lift the trophy come Sunday afternoon.

JUSTIN ROSE, one Major, world No.1

WHAT HE SAID

“We’ve seen in the past players who play well in the Middle East early in the year going on to have very successful seasons. Tommy Fleetwood in Abu Dhabi last year, for example, or Danny Willett three years ago winning in Dubai and then at the Masters. The Saudi International is an opportunity for players to lay down a marker in a strong field.”

ARAB NEWS SAYS

Rose comes into the tournament on the back of a hugely impressive win at Torrey Pines. He will be looking for a good week against a strong field to lay down another marker that he is the man to beat this year.

 

BROOKS KOEPKA, three Majors, world No. 2

WHAT HE SAID

“I always want to play against the world’s best players as it helps to sharpen my game. I enjoy the intensity of coming down the back nine on Sunday with a chance to win and that is even better when you are playing against the likes of my good friend DJ or Justin or Henrik, the list goes on.”

ARAB NEWS SAYS

The big-hitting American lost his world No. 1 ranking to Rose and will be out to show that with his three Majors in the past 18 months he is the true best in the business.

 

DUSTIN JOHNSON, one Major, World No. 3

WHAT HE SAID

“There are so many great players, you’ve got to bring your game every single week. It’s very important to come prepared every wee, no matter where you're playing, what the tournament is and compete. It’s definitely going to be a good year, and I am definitely looking to challenge Rosey for the top spot.”

ARAB NEWS SAYS

There is a sense that having continued to win titles at a greater pace than anyone else over the past few years DJ is impatient for more Majors and returning to top spot. A good showing here will set his stall for the season.


 

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU, Dubai Desert Classic champions, World No. 5

WHAT HE SAID

“I’ve kind of already checked one off the box, winning internationally and winning on The European Tour. The next one is going to be a major. I've got to get that done. I know I can. I know I've got the game for it. It's just about making, again, the proper adjustments and taking control of the pressure when it comes.”

ARAB NEWS SAYS

DeChambeau is golf’s man of the moment. The idiosyncratic golfer won last week in Dubai and the feeling is that he is going to the very top of the game. For a host of reasons the American is one to watch.

 


SERGIO GARCIA, 2017 US Master champion, world No. 27

WHAT HE SAID

“Any win, any win is good. It doesn’t matter where, I’ve always said it, it doesn't matter where or against who. Winning nowadays is tough anywhere in the world. But when you are playing against the quality of this field it means a bit more. It would be nice to win here and that’s what I am going to try to do.”

ARAB NEWS SAYS

The Spaniard ended last year with another win at Valderrama and is looking to start the year on a high has won in Dubai and likes desert style golf so will be expecting a good finish.

 


Boult, Southee rattle Sri Lanka in second Test

Updated 23 August 2019

Boult, Southee rattle Sri Lanka in second Test

  • Weather permitting, extended playing time is planned for the day after only 36.3 overs were possible on Thursday due to rain in the Sri Lankan capital

COLOMBO: Trent Boult and Tim Southee led New Zealand’s charge against Sri Lanka on day two of the rain-hit second Test on Friday, with the host skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s offering resistance with a half-century.
Boult took two early wickets in one over after Sri Lanka resumed the day on 85 for two at Colombo’s P. Sara Oval, where the start was delayed due to a wet outfield.
Sri Lanka were 144 for six at lunch with Dhananjaya de Silva, on 32, and Dilruwan Perera, on five, at the crease.
Southee, like Boult, also delivered a double-wicket maiden as the duo put on a superb display of seam bowling under overcast conditions.
Boult got overnight batsman Angelo Mathews caught behind for two to reach a landmark of 250 Test wickets — only the third Kiwi bowler to achieve the feat.
He trapped Kusal Perera lbw for nought after just three balls as Sri Lanka slipped to 93-4 and would have been in further trouble had Boult held on to a simple catch from de Silva off his own bowling a few overs later.
Karunaratne also got a lifeline on 61 when Kane Williamson could not grab a tough chance at short mid-wicket off Ajaz Patel.
But the left-hander, who completed his 23rd Test fifty after resuming the day on 49, soon fell, caught behind off Southee for 65.
Southee struck again in the same over to send Niroshan Dickwella trudging back to the pavilion for nought.
Perera then played out the rest of the session with de Silva.
Medium-pace bowler Colin de Grandhomme and spinner William Somerville took a wicket each on the opening day after Sri Lanka elected to bat first.
Weather permitting, extended playing time is planned for the day after only 36.3 overs were possible on Thursday due to rain in the Sri Lankan capital.