Schwartzel extends Thailand Golf Championship lead

Updated 08 December 2012
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Schwartzel extends Thailand Golf Championship lead

CHON BURI, Thailand: Overnight leader Charl Schwartzel of South Africa carded a third-round 68 to extend his lead over Daniel Chopra of Sweden to five shots at the Thailand Golf Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club on Saturday.
Schwartzel, last year’s runner up, shot three birdies and an eagle to go along with a bogey for an overall 18 under 198, staying on track to end a victory drought that stretches back to his Masters win in 2011.
“I felt like today was pretty solid,” Schwartzel said. “I feel comfortable playing this golf course. That’s the biggest key is just feel comfortable whatever you do. If that means being aggressive, then that’s being aggressive.
Chopra, who started the round four strokes back, bounced back from a double bogey on the fifth to fire a 69.
“I played fairly well. I had a couple of loose shots but nothing was really too bad,” Chopra, a two-time PGA Tour winner, said. “I’m five behind. Obviously my goal is to go out there and try to make it uncomfortable for Charl. Nobody wants to see him run away with it. I want to do my best to make it close down the stretch.” Twenty five players, including local Thitiphun Chuayprakong, finished their second rounds Saturday after bad light cut short play on Friday.
Chuayprakong fired a birdie on the last to finish his postponed second round with a 67 but an uneven round of 71 knocked him back to 204 and third place.
“Despite the lowest score in three days, I felt most satisfied today based on how I could control my nerves under a situation like this,” Chuayprakong said. “I was handling it quite well playing alongside a star player like Schwartzel in the leading squad ... I thought I would be under pressure but I felt comfortable.” Sergio Garcia of Spain was fourth, eight shots back, after a third-round 68. Australian Scott Hend (69) is another shot back in fifth, followed by Japan’s Masanori Kobayashi (73) on 208.
Masters champion Bubba Watson (71) and defending champion Lee Westwood (70) are joint seventh another shot back.


Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

Updated 20 April 2018
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Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

  • The Frenchman revolutionised the game in England across all leagues, not just the Premier League.
  • After initial success he found the going tough in the second half of his reign, but will still go down as an all-time great.

Over the past few seasons it has been fashionable to view Arsene Wenger as some sort of figure of fun — a man living in the past, left behind by the modern game, but too stubborn to realize it.
In time, though, even the most ardent, frothing-at-the-mouth #Wenger Out believer would have to agree that the Frenchman will go down not just as one of the best managers Arsenal have had, but also among the greatest in English club football.
As with any caricature, there is a hint of truth in the picture created, crude as it sometimes is. Yes, Wenger’s past few years at the Emirates have been painful to watch. Yes, he was stubborn when it came to both activity in the transfer market and belief in his methods and tactics. Yes, it is fair to say he leaves the club, on the pitch at least, in a bit of a mess. And, yes, he should have left two or three years ago.
But if there is one thing that any sane fan should remember about Wenger’s 22 years as Arsenal boss, it is this: He was a game-changer, a manager who oversaw not only a revolution of the Gunners, but also of the English game.
As soon as Wenger landed in England in 1996, he banished Arsenal’s Tuesday drinking club and munching of Mars bars — in their place came stretching sessions and broccoli. Hardly profound or radical in today’s game, but this was the era when change in English football invariably meant no pies and pints on a Friday night.
The technical, passing, possession football that is now the norm for any side with ambitions to remain in the Premier League, let alone win it, and the idea that eating vegetables rather than a tub of lard would help player performance, were brought in by Wenger alone.
He won the double in his first full season in charge, signed unheralded foreign talent such as Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Viera — who went on to become world-class players — and created teams that were a joy to watch, culminating with “The Invincibles” of 2003-04, who won the Premier League without losing a match.
The irony is that the one-time revolutionary ended up being viewed as a throwback, a stuck-in-the-mud anachronism; a manager who harked back to a time when playing with the owner’s chequebook was not seen as the only path to success and when paragraphs were favored over 140 characters.
And that perhaps explains why so many Arsenal fans seemingly wanted him gone: Wenger is not of the Twitter generation, of instant opinions for the 24-hour news agenda and of hype over humility. The man who was once seen as the future stuck to principles that were deemed as belonging to the past.
It is clear there is a lot of bad blood at the club — a ridiculous Facebook post by an Arsenal fan claimed Wenger’s announcement he was leaving made it the “greatest day in Arsenal’s history.”
But for all the bluster and nonsense, Wenger’s legacy will be that of “The Invincibles” — one of the greatest club sides of modern times; of beautiful football played at pace and with artistry; of being a decent, yet flawed, man who was never anything but articulate and courteous.
Having been in charge of Arsenal for 22 years, he is undoubtedly the last of a kind, and in the era of trigger-happy owners, short-term fixes and sensationalism over stability, that is something everyone, even the #WengerOut brigade, should lament.