Rampant Rangers move 11 points clear

Rampant Rangers move 11 points clear
Rangers' Connor Goldson heads at goal during their match against Aberdeen on November 22, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 23 November 2020

Rampant Rangers move 11 points clear

Rampant Rangers move 11 points clear
  • Celtic have two games in hand but Rangers are off to their best league start in 53 years

GLASGOW: Rangers moved 11 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 4-0 demolition of under-strength Aberdeen on Sunday.

Steven Gerrard’s men remain unbeaten in 21 games this season and took full advantage of Celtic’s latest slip up in dropping two points against Hibernian on Saturday.

First-half goals from Ryan Kent and Kemar Roofe put the hosts in command at Ibrox before Scott Arfield’s deflected third and James Tavernier converted his ninth penalty of the season.

Celtic have two games in hand but Rangers are off to their best league start in 53 years and are in pole position to stop their Glasgow rivals achieving a record 10th consecutive Scottish title.

Aberdeen had only lost once in the league since going down to Rangers in a disappointing opening-day performance, but Derek McInnes’s squad was decimated without eight first-team players.

Niall McGinn, Marley Watkins, Dylan McGeouch, Scott Wright and Jonny Hayes were injured before on-loan Rangers midfielder Ross McCrorie’s positive coronavirus test forced Scotland Under-21 team-mates Connor McLennan and Lewis Ferguson into self-isolation.

Kent opened the floodgates on 15 minutes when the former Liverpool winger nutmegged Funso Ojo and fired a 30-yard shot which spun off Tommie Hoban’s face and the post before hitting the net.

Roofe doubled the lead in the 29th minute when he latched on to Connor Goldson’s delicate ball over the top of Andy Considine and ran through Greg Leigh’s challenge before hitting a shot in off Lewis.

Arfield scored from his second chance in the opening four minutes of the second-half when his shot hit off Shay Logan and deceived Lewis after the midfielder had been set up by Kent.

Tavernier netted his 13th goal of the season after Considine had been penalized for a pull on Leon Balogun at a corner.

At the other end, Rangers registered a 13th clean sheet in 15 league games this season as Gerrard’s side already boast a plus 38 goal difference.


DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International

DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International
Updated 19 January 2021

DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International

DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International
  • Physically transformed 2020 US Open champion relishing head-to-head with World No. 1 Dustin Johnson

JEDDAH: Big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau believes the length of Royal Greens Golf & Country Club’s tee-to-green puts him in prime position to pip world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and claim victory at next month’s Saudi International.

The 2020 US Open champion, famed worldwide for his colossal tee shots, the longest in Tour history, is King Abdullah Economic City-bound for his second crack at taking the Saudi crown that alluded him in 2019.

He was pipped to the title by Johnson, who returns alongside the biggest names in golf for the third annual hosting of the European Tour event next month.

However, 27-year-old DeChambeau heads to the Kingdom a different golfer this year, having not only transformed his physique and game to out-drive all other professional players, but as a Major champion, after clinching the US Open back in September.

He believes these two factors could prove critical in his quest for first place in two weeks’ time.

He said: “I feel like I have an even better advantage on the golf course because it is a bit of a bomber’s paradise, and I love that opportunity.

“When I played there, I finished sixth. I have a lot of great memories about the golf course and the character of the holes and being on the Red Sea, it was pretty unique and something that I want to experience again.

“I will tell you, though, that hitting it far there will be an advantage with some of the par 5s and I think it will fit me well, a lot better than the other golf courses.”

Much of the build-up around November’s delayed hosting of the Masters was focused on DeChambeau and how the Augusta course suited his big-hitting style of play.

However, it was to be his 2018 Ryder Cup teammate Johnson who eventually came out on top, further cementing his position as the world’s best. The fact that he will be teeing off against “DJ” next month is something that only adds to the excitement for DeChambeau, as he continues on his own mission to one day achieve top spot in World Golf rankings.

“Having a world No. 1 playing puts a little fire in my belly,” said DeChambeau. “I want to go over there and play and beat him. I was fortunate enough to clip him by one or two in Kapalua and if I keep doing that, if I keep beating him in every event, eventually the tables will turn.”

In his quest to be the world’s best, DeChambeau has famously reworked his entire game — and physique. In 2020 alone he gained 40 pounds to build his strength, and as a result extended his length off the tee by anywhere from 30 to 70 yards.

Although the tournament will be held without fans due to coronavirus disease restrictions, it will be shown live on KSA Sports, and DeChambeau is gearing up to show the Kingdom exactly what he has been working towards.