Saudi Arabia’s Saleh Alabdelali maintains lead in Hail Nissan Rally

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The rally is being held under the patronage of Hail Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, and Prince Faisal bin Fahd. (Supplied)
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Saleh Al-Abdulali maintains the top position in the Hail Nissan International Rally at the end of the third stage. (SPA)
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Saleh Al-Abdulali maintains the top position in the Hail Nissan International Rally at the end of the third stage. (SPA)
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Mohammed Al-Balooshi of the UAE claimed the stage win for motorbikes to extend his lead from three seconds to 3 min 06sec. (SPA)
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Saleh Al-Abdulali maintains the top position in the Hail Nissan International Rally at the end of the third stage. (SPA)
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Saleh Al-Abdulali maintains the top position in the Hail Nissan International Rally at the end of the third stage. (SPA)
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Saleh Al-Abdulali maintains the top position in the Hail Nissan International Rally at the end of the third stage. (SPA)
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Updated 08 February 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Saleh Alabdelali maintains lead in Hail Nissan Rally

  • Mohammed Al-Balooshi and Sufyan Al-Omar maintain bike and quad leads
  • The final stage takes place on Saturday in the An Nafud Desert

HAIL: Saudi driver Saleh Alabdelali and Norwegian navigator Ole Floene maintained a comfortable overall advantage of 12min 52sec after the third 254km selective section of the 15th Hail Nissan Rally on Friday.

On a stage near Umm Al-Ghalban, where Yazeed Al-Rajhi and co-driver Michael Orr returned to action to claim the fastest stage time after their wheel issues on day two, Alabdelali finished the special with the seventh quickest time to maintain his useful lead over Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal and his Slovakian navigator Marek Sykora.

Orr explained their issues on day two. “We just had a small failure with a part on the rear of the car. We tried to continue but eventually everything was broken and the wheel fell off and it was impossible to continue after that,” he said. “It was nice to drive today and maybe we can still win some points for the championship. We can also make some good tests. We are changing the setup every day. The stage started on fast gravel roads … and the last 170 km was sandy tracks and some tricky navigation.”

Khaled Al-Feraihi and his French co-driver Sebastien Delaunay were second fastest on the day and Mutair Al-Shammeri came home in third to maintain a similar position in the rankings.

Alabdelali said: “I think today was important for the co-driver. I lost 12 minutes but I got back on the route and after that I finished and still have a good lead to take into the final day.”

FASTFACT

 

The rally is being organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal and the supervision of the Hail Regional Development Authority, in cooperation with the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage and the General Authority for Sport.

Al-Mushanna Al-Shammeri managed to overhaul Saleh Al-Saif to snatch fourth place, but Al-Saif had the consolation of the lead in the T3 category. Muneef Al-Salmani sustained a puncture on his Nissan but was feeling better after an illness on day two and reached Hail City in sixth. Abdullah Al-Shegawi also sustained a flat tire but the son of Saudi veteran Ahmed Al-Shegawi held seventh place.

Khaled Al-Hamazani maintained his advantage in the T2 category for series production cross-country vehicles and Khalil Al-Tuwaijri topped the T4 standings from Fahad Al-Naim.


RESULTS OF THE 15TH HAIL NISSAN RALLY AFTER THE THIRD STAGE ON FEB. 7, 2020


The UAE’s Sultan and Mohammed Al-Balooshi continued their duel for motorcycle honors with Mohammed claiming the stage win to extend his lead from three seconds to 3min 06sec. The KTM duo are a class of the field and Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Al-Nasser is a distant third. Anas Al-Ruhyani was badly delayed and lost third place in the overall standings.

Riyadh Al-Oraifan won the stage in the quad section to reduce Sufyan Al-Omar’s advantage to just 13 seconds heading into the final stage on Saturday. Abdul Aziz Al-Shayban and Sultan Al-Masoud are third and fourth overall.

The rally is being organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal and the supervision of the Hail Regional Development Authority, in cooperation with the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage and the General Authority for Sport.

The rally is being held under the patronage of Hail Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and Prince Faisal bin Fahd.

The final stage takes place on Saturday in the An Nafud Desert.

 


Woods, Manning win TV charity match as good as real thing

Updated 26 May 2020

Woods, Manning win TV charity match as good as real thing

  • Donations for COVID-19 relief funds kept piling up, and entertainment didn’t stop

NEW YORK: Tom Brady delivered the shot of the match that made it easy to forget the rest of his swings. Tiger Woods didn’t miss a fairway and earned a small measure of revenge against Phil Mickelson.

The PGA Tour is set to return in just over two weeks, and it has a tough act to follow.

In the second and final charity match that brought live golf to TV, this exhibition was as entertaining as the real thing.

Woods lagged a long birdie putt close enough that his partner, Peyton Manning, didn’t have to putt. That secured a 1-up victory over Mickelson and Brady in “The Match: Champions for Charity.”

The goal was to raise $10 million or more for COVID-19 relief funds, and online donations sent money climbing toward about twice that much.

This made-for-TV exhibition would have  worth pay-per-view, the model Woods and Mickelson used for a $9 million winner-take-all match in Las Vegas over Thanksgiving weekend in 2018 that Mickelson won in a playoff under lights. It felt forced, lacked banter and turned out to free because of technical issues.

Throw in two NFL greats in Brady and Manning, and this allowed viewers to ride along for 18 holes at Medalist Golf Club among four of the biggest stars in sport.

Justin Thomas pitched in as an on-course reporter, bringing a mixture of humor and insight with the right amount of words.

Woods and Manning took the lead on the third hole and never trailed, building a 3-up lead in fourballs on the front nine, with Manning making two birdies (one was a net par).

Brady, whose six Super Bowl titles are more than any NFL quarterback in history, took a beating on social media and in the broadcast booth from Charles Barkley, who twice offered $50,000 of his own money toward charity if Brady just hit the green on a par 3. He missed so far right it would be comparable to a pass that landed three rows into the stands.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton weighed in on Twitter, noting Brady signing as a free agent with Tampa Bay by saying he liked the “Florida” Brady much better.

Brooks Koepka offered $100,000 if Brady could just make a par.

One shot shut everyone up.

Never mind that Brady had to take a penalty drop before getting back to the fairway on the par-5 seventh. With his fourth shot, with Barkley needling him relentlessly, Brady’s shot landed beyond the pin and spun back into the cup.

“Shut your mouth, Chuck,” said Brady, whose microphone piece dangled off the back of his pants.

Woods still thought he won the hole with a 25-foot eagle putt that instead spun hard off the back of the lip. All that, and they ended up halving the hole.

Donations for COVID-19 relief funds kept piling up, and the entertainment didn’t stop even as the rain returned. It caused a 45-minute delay at the start, and as Woods said on the practice range, “I don’t normally play in conditions like this.”

Mickelson brought out his “Tiger Slayer” putter that he used to shoot 64 at Pebble Beach in 2012, the last time they were in the final group on the PGA Tour. Woods shot 75 that day. It didn’t help Lefty with a few critical birdie putts to square the match, though he rolled in a 15-foot par putt to stay 1 down with two to play.

The back nine was modified alternate shot — all players hit tee shots, and it was alternate shot from there. It was key for the quarterbacks to find the fairway for the pros to hit shots into the green, and Brady came through until the 18th.

Woods was playing for the first time since Feb. 16 when he finished last at Riviera in Los Angeles. He chose not to play the next four weeks with his back not feeling just right, and then the pandemic shut down golf and sports worldwide.

Woods looked sharp for the most part, with his game and his words. Mickelson on the fifth hole asked Woods to mark his ball from some 80 yards away.

“You want me to mark with a US Open medal,” said Woods, a three-time champion of the only major Mickelson has not won.

“Do you have one? I have some silver ones,” Mickelson said, referring to his record six runner-up finishes.

Mickelson boasted about taking Woods down on his home course at Medalist, and now their TV matches are tied at 1-1, even with each getting a little help. Mickelson says he was a little nervous on the front nine until he found his groove, driving the green on the par-4 11th with Brady making a 20-footer for eagle that began their rally.

“Phil said he was nervous. I know Tom and I were comparing notes,” Manning said. “To be behind the ropes in these guys’ worlds, to be in the arena with them, it was really a special experience. I was not comfortable the entire time. Knowing $20 million was raised and helping people going through tough times, it was an honor to be invited.

“It’s something I’ll always remember.”