Saudi-backed LIV Golf signs rising stars Matthew Wolff, Eugenio Chacarra and Carlos Ortiz

Saudi-backed LIV Golf signs rising stars Matthew Wolff, Eugenio Chacarra and Carlos Ortiz
23-year-old Matthew Wolff has quickly established himself among the game’s top competitors. (File/AFP)
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Updated 28 June 2022

Saudi-backed LIV Golf signs rising stars Matthew Wolff, Eugenio Chacarra and Carlos Ortiz

Saudi-backed LIV Golf signs rising stars Matthew Wolff, Eugenio Chacarra and Carlos Ortiz
  • All three make their debut in Portland, the tour’s second event

DUBAI: The Saudi-backed LIV Golf company has announced that rising star Matthew Wolff, world number two amateur Eugenio Chacarra and international standout Carlos Ortiz are officially joining the tour and will tee off in Portland.

The field is now set for the LIV Golf Invitational Portland, the new organization’s second event of the season taking place from June 30 to July 2 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Oregon. LIV Golf is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

 

One of golf’s longest hitters off the tee, the 23-year-old Wolff has quickly established himself among the game’s top competitors. An All-American at Oklahoma State University and winner of the 2019 NCAA Division I individual championship, Wolff turned professional in 2019 and secured his first win less than one month later. He has continued to make an impact within golf’s elite, reaching a career-best number 12 in the world in October 2020 and earning seven top-10 finishes, including runner-up at the US Open and fourth at the PGA Championship.

World ranked number two amateur Eugenio Chacarra will make his first appearance as a professional with LIV Golf. The 22-year-old is a two-time All-American at Oklahoma State University, where he was a finalist for both the Ben Hogan Award and the Haskins Award as the NCAA’s top collegiate golfer. The number one amateur from Spain, Chacarra made 14 collegiate starts in 2021-22, winning three times with six additional top-six finishes.

Ortiz, winner of four professional tournaments worldwide, has been a standout since turning professional in 2014. He has spent 80 weeks of his career ranked in the top 100 and reached 44th in the world in February 2021. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico and a collegiate golfer at the University of North Texas, Ortiz represented his country at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

“Our impressive roster of LIV golfers continues to grow with incredible young talent and international stars. Matthew Wolff and Eugenio Chacarra have both made a name for themselves as two of golf’s most promising talents, exhibiting impressive success at an early age. I’m eager to watch them play alongside Carlos Ortiz, one of Mexico’s most consistent pros who along with many of our other golfers represents LIV Golf’s continued commitment to growing the game on a global scale,” said Greg Norman, CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf. “LIV Golf is providing new opportunities for the best players in the world to compete, and our field in Portland reflects that. We can’t wait to kick off our first US event with these incredible golfers.”

The Portland field will showcase nine of the last 21 major winners, four former world number one players and nearly half of its competitors currently ranked in the top 100. The global field represents 12 different countries and a combined 20 major titles, as well as future stars of the game who earned NCAA National Championships, US Amateur Championships and professional tour wins among their accomplishments. Players will compete in golf’s most exciting new format for $25 million and the chance to become the second individual and team champions for LIV Golf.

The LIV Golf Invitational Portland offer opportunities for golfers from around the world including the Asian Tour, DP World Tour, PGA Tour, Sunshine Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia and Japan Golf Tour, as well as leading players from The International Series, which launched in Thailand in March, and top finishers from the LIV Golf Invitational Series. LIV Golf will continue to reward players that compete and perform well in its events, with a broad spectrum of exemption categories designed to ensure it delivers new opportunities for international golfers, as well as pathways for amateurs and the next generation of leading players, into elite professional golf.

The 48-man field in Portland will play across 12 teams of four players each. Teams for Portland will be announced on Tuesday, June 28.

The LIV Golf Invitational Series launched June 9 to a worldwide audience showcasing its new, innovative format with more action, shotgun starts and no cut.


Marseille beats 10-man Sporting after goalkeeper errors

Marseille beats 10-man Sporting after goalkeeper errors
Updated 6 sec ago

Marseille beats 10-man Sporting after goalkeeper errors

Marseille beats 10-man Sporting after goalkeeper errors
MARSEILLE, France: Marseille recovered from going behind in the first minute to rout Sporting Lisbon 4-1 Tuesday in the Champions League, thanks in part to visiting goalkeeper Antonio Adan making two costly errors before getting sent off.
After not scoring a goal in two opening losses in Group D, Marseille ended Sporting’s perfect record with goals from Alexis Sanchez, Amine Harit, Leonardo Balerdi and Chancel Mbemba.
Adan had a night to forget, as he gifted Sanchez the equalizing goal after dawdling on the ball, made another mistake for the second and then was handed a red card in the 23rd minute after handling the ball outside his area.
The kickoff was delayed by more than 20 minutes after the bus carrying the visiting team’s players was caught in traffic and arrived late at the Velodrome stadium. The delay had been set to 15 minutes by UEFA and as Marseille players waited in the tunnel, coach Igor Tudor looked furious and complained to match officials that their opponents were late to come out of the locker room.
But Sporting wasted no time once the game got started, needing less than 60 seconds to break the deadlock.
With Marseille defenders letting him move forward unopposed, Francisco Trincao went down the right flank and cut inside to fire a left-footed shot into the net.
Marseille needed a blunder from the Sporting goalkeeper to get back in the match in the 13th minute.
Under pressure from Sanchez, Adan kicked the ball straight at the Chile striker as he tried to clear, and it bounced back into the net.
Adan looked destabilized and was again at fault on Marseille’s next goal three minutes later after another poor kick landed at Matteo Guendouzi’s feet. The midfielder was quick to pass the ball to Jonathan Clauss, who crossed it for Harit to finish off the move with a fine header.
Adan then rushed out to clear a ball in the 23rd, only to mistime his run and handle outside the area. Forward Marcus Edwards came off to make way for goalkeeper Franco Israel, who made his Champions League debut.
Israel’s lack of experience was on display on Marseille’s next chance, when he misjudged a free kick from Harit and could not stop Leonardo Balerdi’s powerful header in the 28th.
Sporting could not recover and were repeatedly sanctioned four fouls as Marseille controlled the remainder of the match, with Mbemba adding luster to the win in the 85th minute from close range.
The game was played without fans following the crowd trouble during Eintracht Frankfurt’s 1-0 win at Marseille last month.

Bayern routs Plzeň 5-0 to set CL group-stage unbeaten record

Bayern routs Plzeň 5-0 to set CL group-stage unbeaten record
Updated 36 min 2 sec ago

Bayern routs Plzeň 5-0 to set CL group-stage unbeaten record

Bayern routs Plzeň 5-0 to set CL group-stage unbeaten record
  • Bayern recorded 2-0 victories over Inter Milan and Barcelona already in Group C
  • They had to face Plzeň without Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich due to coronavirus infections

MUNICH, Germany: Leroy Sané scored twice as Bayern Munich set a Champions League record by extending their unbeaten run in group play to 31 matches with a 5-0 win over Czech champion Viktoria Plzeň on Tuesday.
Bayern maintained their perfect start to this season’s campaign to break Real Madrid’s mark of 30 straight group-stage matches without a loss, a streak stretching back to September 2017.
Bayern also haven’t lost at home in Europe’s premier competition since a 3-2 defeat to Manchester City in December 2013. Since then, the Bavarian powerhouse has won 25 games and drawn one in Munich.
Bayern recorded 2-0 victories over Inter Milan and Barcelona already in Group C, but they had to face Plzeň without Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich due to coronavirus infections.
No matter.
Sané opened the scoring in the seventh minute when he coasted past several defenders before unleashing a shot inside the top left corner, and Leon Goretzka pushed the ball through for Serge Gnabry to make it 2-0 in the 13th.
Adam Vlkanova had just tried his luck for Plzeň, but Manuel Neuer safely gathered the shot. It was the visitors’ only real chance in the first half.
Sadio Mané turned on the style to flick the ball over a defender, then breezed past two more before firing in his first Champions League goal for Bayern in the 21st.
Jamal Musiala thought he had added the fourth in the 37th after a well-worked team move, but the goal was ruled out through VAR as Mané was adjudged to be just offside before playing the final pass.
Coach Julian Nagelsmann took off the impressive Musiala for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting at the break, perhaps to rest the 19-year-old Germany international for Saturday’s Bundesliga “Klassiker” at Borussia Dortmund.
Sané displayed a good first touch to control Mané’s cross with the outside of his boot, then wasted no time in sending the ball with his next touch past the helpless Marián Tvrdoň in the Plzeň goal for Bayern’s fourth in the 50th. It was Sané’s 16th goal in his last 12 games in the competition.
The Germany winger had endured a difficult start at Bayern, with injuries hampering his impact amid high expectations since joining from City in 2020.
But the fans that once whistled him showed their appreciation Tuesday as Sané went off to thunderous applause in the 58th with Nagelsmann bringing on the 17-year-old Mathys Tel.
Choupo-Moting got the fifth goal a minute later.
Substitute Fortune Bassey provided a rare highlight for Plzeň by going close late on.


Vardy must pay up to $1.7 million after losing UK ‘WAGatha Christie’ libel case

Vardy must pay up to $1.7 million after losing UK ‘WAGatha Christie’ libel case
Updated 04 October 2022

Vardy must pay up to $1.7 million after losing UK ‘WAGatha Christie’ libel case

Vardy must pay up to $1.7 million after losing UK ‘WAGatha Christie’ libel case
  • Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, had sued Rooney for libel after being publicly accused of leaking stories about her
  • On Tuesday, Vardy was ordered to pay 90% of Rooney's legal costs of about 1.67 million pounds

LONDON: Coleen Rooney, wife of ex-England soccer captain Wayne Rooney, will receive up to 1.5 million pounds ($1.7 million) in legal fees from the spouse of one of her husband’s former teammates after winning her high-profile libel case, a judge has ruled.
Rebekah Vardy, wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, had sued Rooney for libel after being publicly accused of leaking stories about her to the Sun tabloid.
In July, Judge Karen Steyn ruled that Rooney, 36, had proved her allegation was “substantially true” and that Vardy, 40, knew and condoned private details being leaked to the Sun by her agent.
On Tuesday, Vardy, who said the judge had got it wrong, was ordered to pay 90 percent of Rooney’s legal costs of about 1.67 million pounds, with 800,000 to be paid by the middle of November.
The case has drawn in the public and media with its mix of glamor, soccer, and amateur sleuthing with Rooney turning detective to track down the culprit behind the leaks.
She said she had blocked everyone from viewing her Instagram account except one person and then posted a series of false stories to see whether they leaked out, which they did.
“It’s ... Rebekah Vardy’s account,” she posted on social media, which saw Rooney dubbed “WAGatha Christie,” a reference to the “WAG” moniker given to the glamorous group of footballers’ “wives and girlfriends.”
During the trial, the court was shown message exchanges between Vardy and her agent, which included derogatory remarks about Rooney and talk of leaking stories.
Rooney’s lawyer said Vardy deleted other media files and messages, while the agent’s phone ended up at the bottom of the North Sea after she said she accidentally dropped it over the side of a boat.
“In my judgment, what takes this case out of the norm in a way which compels the conclusion that I should make an order for indemnity costs is that in my judgment following the trial I found that the claimant (and also her former agent) had deliberately deleted or destroyed evidence,” Steyn said.


Spain says would support Ukraine joining its 2030 soccer World Cup bid with Portugal

Spain says would support Ukraine joining its 2030 soccer World Cup bid with Portugal
Updated 04 October 2022

Spain says would support Ukraine joining its 2030 soccer World Cup bid with Portugal

Spain says would support Ukraine joining its 2030 soccer World Cup bid with Portugal
  • Ukraine is set to join Spain and Portugal in their bid to host the soccer World Cup in 2030

MADRID: Spain would support Ukraine joining its 2030 soccer World Cup hosting bid with Portugal, government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez said on Tuesday, asked about a report in The Times.
The Times reported on Monday that Ukraine is set to join Spain and Portugal in their bid to host the soccer World Cup in 2030.
The soccer chiefs of both Spain and Portugal will hold a news conference at European governing body UEFA’s headquarters in Switzerland on Wednesday, authorities said.


Sebastien Loeb notches vital stage win to lead in Morocco rally

Sebastien Loeb notches vital stage win to lead in Morocco rally
Updated 04 October 2022

Sebastien Loeb notches vital stage win to lead in Morocco rally

Sebastien Loeb notches vital stage win to lead in Morocco rally
  • Bahrain Raid Xtreme driver grabs advantage in world title race as Qatar’s Al-Attiyah and Saudi’s Al-Rajhi hit trouble
  • Lying second at the end of the first desert stage, Al-Attiyah plunged out of contention after three punctures forced him to wait for assistance

AGADIR: Sebastien Loeb powered his way to a vital stage victory for Bahrain Raid Xtreme to take the lead in the Rallye du Maroc, as the Prodrive Hunters dominated proceedings in the Western Sahara.

The nine-time World Rally champion won the 315 km competitive section from Agadir to Tan-Tan on Monday by 10 minutes 15 seconds from BRX teammate Orly Terranova, with Guerlain Chicherit in another Hunter completing the top three on a dramatic day in Morocco.

The result lifted Loeb from seventh overnight into an outright lead by eight seconds from Terranova, with Chicherit just 4:12 away in third place overall.

Most significantly, the French star finished the day with a massive 33:18 advantage over Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, his fierce rival in the battle to become the first World Rally-Raid (W2RC) champion.

While the trio of Prodrive Hunters had all lost ground through a combination of mechanical, tire and navigational problems on the previous leg, this time it was Al-Attiyah and Saudi Arabia’s overnight leader Yazeed Al-Rajhi who found trouble.

Lying second at the end of the first desert stage, Al-Attiyah plunged out of contention after three punctures forced him to wait for assistance, while the same problem late on the stage dropped Al-Rajhi to fourth overall.

For the second day running, Chicherit impressed on his first competitive drive in the Hunter, setting the pace on the early part of the stage.

It was then Loeb’s turn to increase the power and take the stage lead before the halfway point, with Terranova also making good progress to take the Hunters to the top three positions, before the Argentine moved ahead of Chicherit.

Monday’s leg had begun with a 119-km journey from Tan-Tan to the start of the rally’s second desert stage, which included a variety of terrain up to a large plateau at the midway point, followed by a succession of dunes.

The stage finished at the new Laayoune bivouac, located on an imposing site overlooking a wadi, where the Rallye du Maroc set up camp for two nights. Tuesday's 299-km third desert stage follows, with another two set to take place before the finish in Agadir on Thursday.