Tiger will play first PGA Tour event at Memorial since shutdown

Tiger Woods
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Updated 09 July 2020

Tiger will play first PGA Tour event at Memorial since shutdown

MIAMI, Florida: Reigning Masters champion Tiger Woods, a 15-time major winner, said Thursday he will play his first   PGA Tour event since February at next week’s Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial Tournament.

Woods will attempt to capture a record 83rd career US PGA title after having matched Sam Snead’s all-time mark by winning last October’s Zozo Championship in Japan.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the @MemorialGolf next week,” Woods tweeted.

“I’ve missed going out and competing with the guys and can’t wait to get back out there.”

Spectators will not be allowed at the tournament because of tightened COVID-19 restrictions in Ohio. The Memorial was to have been the first PGA event to allow limited numbers of fans back since the coronavirus pandemic shutdown began in March.

Woods has won a record five Memorial titles, lifting the trophy in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2009 and 2012. But he also fired a humbling career-worst 85 in the third round in 2015.

The 44-year-old US legend played and captained the triumphant US team in last December’s Presidents Cup in Australia but has made only two prior starts this year, sharing ninth at Torrey Pines in January and placing 68th at Riviera in February in his first chances to surpass Snead on the all-time win list.

Woods, ranked 14th, dropped out of the WGC Mexico and Players Championship citing back issues before the virus shutdown but looked fit in May in a high-profile return and victory at the Champions for Charity exhibition match also featuring Phil Mickelson and NFL stars Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

With Woods having played a limited schedule in recent seasons, the Memorial start could be his key tuneup for the PGA Championship, set for Harding Park in San Francisco from Aug. 6-9.


Atletico catching all the breaks in Champions League

Updated 12 August 2020

Atletico catching all the breaks in Champions League

  • A victory against Leipzig will put Atletico back in the semifinals for the first time since 2017

LISBON: So far so good for Atletico Madrid in the quest for their first Champions League title.

Diego Simeone’s team have caught all the breaks going into the decisive final-eight tournament in Lisbon.

Old foes Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo are gone. They drew Leipzig instead of a more traditional powerhouse for the quarterfinals. And their rival lost its top player after Timo Werner left for Chelsea. Even when things went wrong and the squad was hit by COVID-19, Atletico avoided the worst as only two players were infected and they could still make the trip to Portugal.

Things have been looking good for Simeone and his players.

A victory against Leipzig on Thursday will put Atletico back in the semifinals for the first time since it was eliminated by Ronaldo’s Madrid in the last four in 2017. Ronaldo and Madrid had defeated Atletico in the final in 2014 and 2016, and also ended the rival’s run in the quarterfinals in 2015.

Ronaldo again was Atletico’s nemesis last season after joining Juventus. Atletico lost to the Italian team in the round of 16 after Ronaldo scored a hat trick in the decisive second leg in Turin.

But this time Ronaldo and Juventus were eliminated by Lyon in the last 16, the same stage in which Madrid were knocked out of the tournament by Manchester City. Only two past champions are still left in the competition — Barcelona and Bayern Munich — and they play against each other in the opposite side of the draw, meaning Atletico could only meet one of them in the final.

Leipzig are a relative newcomer to the Champions League, having reached the group stage only twice. This is the first time they made it to the knockout round. They eliminated Tottenham in the round of 16, but now they won't count on top scorer Werner, who did not extend his contract by a few weeks to finish the season with the German club before moving to Chelsea.

Atletico stunned defending European champion Liverpool in the last 16, advancing after a 3-2 win in England.

“The game against Liverpool will go down in history and was one of the best we’ve had in a long time,” Atletico striker Diego Costa said. “It gave fans high expectations and we will give our best to try to meet those expectations. Hopefully we will play well and luck will stay on our side.”

Costa said Atletico will not take Leipzig lightly despite  the rival’s lack of experience in international competitions.

“They are very strong on the ball and know what they are about,” he said. “They have made it to the quarterfinals and have no pressure.”

There was a scare within Atletico this week when it announced two positive test results for COVID-19 among the group that was traveling to Lisbon. There were concerns that an outbreak within the club could have affected the team’s participation in the tournament in Portugal, but new tests showed that only Ángel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko were infected and the squad could travel to Lisbon.

Vrsaljko was not even going to play because he is nursing an injury, while Correa isn't among Atletico’s top stars even though he led the team in assists this season.

After coming agonizingly close recently, Atletico hope the breaks will keep going their way and that they  will finally get to lift the coveted European trophy.