Tringale holds steady against wind, leads Scottish Open by 3

Tringale holds steady against wind, leads Scottish Open by 3
Cameron Tringale of the US lines up his putt on the 18th green during the second round Friday in the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick, Scotland. (Reuters)
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Updated 09 July 2022

Tringale holds steady against wind, leads Scottish Open by 3

Tringale holds steady against wind, leads Scottish Open by 3
  • The Scottish Open is the first time the PGA Tour is co-sanctioning a European tour event, and it led to the strongest field in tournament history, featuring 14 of the top 15 players in the world ranking

NORTH BERWICK, Scotland: Cameron Tringale finally saw The Renaissance Club in windy weather and held his own Friday to stay three shots ahead in the Scottish Open as he tries to win for the first time in his 13th year on the PGA Tour.

Tringale stayed on track after making four straight bogeys around the turn and finished with three pars for a 2-over 72. He had a three-shot lead over Gary Woodland (72) and Doug Ghim, whose 69 raised hopes he could earn one of three spots available for the British Open.

The Scottish Open is the first time the PGA Tour is co-sanctioning a European tour event, and it led to the strongest field in tournament history, featuring 14 of the top 15 players in the world ranking. Tringale won’t have to contend with half of them.

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 player, was among seven of those players who can get an early start on the Old Course at St. Andrews. They all missed the cut.

Most of them got caught on the bad end of the draw. There was only a wee breeze Thursday morning when Tringale opened with a 61 and Woodland shot 64. By the afternoon, the wind was gusting to 30 mph, and the difference was just over three shots.

Friday gave a steady dose of strong wind, typical for these parts and still playable considering the design of the links-like course that allows for the ball to be played along the ground.

Scheffler (72) was on the good side of the draw and got a taste of quirky bounces, finding pot bunkers and other trouble that kept him from making up ground. PGA champion Justin Thomas had a 77 and missed the cut by seven shots. He got the bad end of the draw.

Xander Schauffele and US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick also got the bad end but made it through just fine. Schauffele started his day with a big wind at his back, 225 yards to the pin and an 8-iron in his hand. He was trying to figure out how short to land it, and he judged it well. It rolled out to 15 feet for an eagle, and while the round wasn’t flawless, his 65 was the best of the day.

Coming off a win at the Travelers Championship, the Olympic golf medalist was in a tie for fourth, three shots behind.

Fitzpatrick was even stronger. He was 6 under for the day without a bogey on his card until dropping shots on each of the last two holes. His 66 also left him three back.

The difference in rounds?

“Massive,” Fitzpatrick said, knowing full well the scoring average for the Thursday afternoon wave was 3.2 strokes higher. “That’s obviously a large amount and to be honest, I feel like the wind sort of got calm as we started this morning. I think it’s safe to say we got the worst half of the draw.”

Also three shots behind were Kurt Kitayama (71) and Jordan Smith, whose 69 featured an ace that made him and his caddie happy. Smith hit 6-iron from 186 yards that rolled into the cup on the par-3 17th. Title sponsor Genesis awarded him an electrified GV70 SUV, while caddie Sam Matton received an all-electric GV60.

The only problem is figuring how to get them home because both have cars this week. That was the least of their worries. Still to come is a weekend of more wind and a dozen players separated by five shots.

Tringale took advantage of downwind holes for birdies, and then started giving them back starting on the par-5 16th through the first hole. He had to make a 5-foot par putt on No. 2 to end the nasty streak and held on from there. The wind’s effect was just as difficult on the greens as from the tees or fairways.

“It’s so tough to judge how much the wind is going to hurt, and then you get a putt that’s where the wind is going sideways,” Tringale said. “It might be a ball, two, a cup, even as close as 7, 8 feet. It’s really tricky.”

Woodland referred to it as a mental grind, especially as the temperatures dropped late in the day. Even so, he is excited to be within range of the lead and playing well, which he attributes to putting swing coach Butch Harmon back on the payroll.

Harmon is retired from full-time work, which involves traveling, and Woodland was bouncing around to various instructors. He finally had enough and went out to Las Vegas after the Memorial. He saw differences in his swing now from when he won the US Open at Pebble Beach three years ago, and the words from Harmon were both valuable and unprintable.

“I needed it,” Woodland said. “He gets me in the right frame of mind.”


France’s Kamara to miss World Cup due to knee injury

Updated 16 sec ago

France’s Kamara to miss World Cup due to knee injury

France’s Kamara to miss World Cup due to knee injury
BIRMINGHAM, England: France midfielder Boubacar Kamara has been ruled out of the World Cup after sustaining knee ligament damage.
Kamara was injured while playing for Aston Villa in a 1-0 win against Southampton this month.
The 22-year-old Kamara was picked in France’s Nations League games this month but had to withdraw.
Villa manager Steven Gerrard confirmed the extent of Kamara’s injury on Friday ahead of an English Premier League game against Leeds on Sunday.
“Bouba will be missing until after the World Cup unfortunately, so that’s a huge blow,” Gerrard said.
Kamara joined Villa from Marseille on a free transfer in July and has started every game.
He forced his way into Didier Deschamps’ plans to successfully defend the World Cup.

IOC’s Bach eyes return to sports for anti-war Russians

IOC’s Bach eyes return to sports for anti-war Russians
Updated 38 min 53 sec ago

IOC’s Bach eyes return to sports for anti-war Russians

IOC’s Bach eyes return to sports for anti-war Russians
  • “It’s about having athletes with a Russian passport who do not support the war back in competition,” said Bach
  • Most sports followed International Olympic Committee advice in February and banned Russian team and athletes from their events

GENEVA: Russian athletes who do not endorse their country’s war in Ukraine could be accepted back into international sports, IOC president Thomas Bach said in an interview published Friday.
“It’s about having athletes with a Russian passport who do not support the war back in competition,” Bach told Italian daily Corriere della Sera, adding, “We have to think about the future.”
Most sports followed International Olympic Committee advice in February and banned Russian team and athletes from their events within days of the country’s military invasion of Ukraine.
With Russians starting to miss events that feed into qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics, an exile extending into next year could effectively become a wider ban from those Games.
In an interview in Rome, Bach hinted at IOC thinking after recent rounds of calls with Olympic stakeholders asked for views on Russia’s pathway back from pariah status.
“To be clear, it is not about necessarily having Russia back,” he said. “On the other hand — and here comes our dilemma — this war has not been started by the Russian athletes.”
Bach did not suggest how athletes could express opposition to the war when dissent and criticism of the Russian military risks jail sentences of several years.
Some Russian athletes publicly supported the war in March and are serving bans imposed by their sport’s governing body.
Olympic gold medalist swimmer Evgeny Rylov appeared at a pro-war rally attended by Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Gymnast Ivan Kuliak displayed a pro-military “Z” symbol on his uniform at an international event.
Russian former international athletes are being called up for military service in the current mobilization, according to media reports. They include former heavyweight boxing champion Nikolai Valuev and soccer player Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.
Russians have continued to compete during the war as individuals in tennis and cycling, without national symbols such as flags and anthems, even when teams have been banned.
In athletics, Russians have competed since 2015 only as neutrals approved by the sport’s governing body because of the state-backed doping scandal which tainted the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
Bach and the IOC faced criticism in fallout from the scandal for not being strict enough with Russian athletes who competed at each Olympics since 2016 with extra vetting of their drug testing or as neutrals without their national team name, flag and anthem.
Bach told Corriere della Sera it was the IOC’s mission to be politically neutral and “to have the Olympic Games, and to have sport in general, as something that still unifies people and humanity.”
“For all these reasons, we are in a real dilemma at this moment with regard to the Russian invasion in Ukraine,” he suggested.
“We also have to see, and to study, to monitor, how and when we can come back to accomplish our mission to have everybody back again, under which format whatsoever.”
Bach was in Rome also for a sports forum hosted by the Vatican, where Pope Francis praised sports as “an educational and social good and it must remain so.”
“We should be committed to giving everyone the opportunity to play sports,” the pope said, “to cultivate — one could say to be ‘trained’ in — the values of sport and transform them into virtues.”
Vatican officials previously have said they would like to one day field a team recognized by the IOC in the Olympics.


Ten Hag committed to helping Maguire return to finest form

Ten Hag committed to helping Maguire return to finest form
Updated 30 September 2022

Ten Hag committed to helping Maguire return to finest form

Ten Hag committed to helping Maguire return to finest form
  • England international Maguire has been dropped at club level and is fighting for his place at the World Cup
  • Ten Hag is adamant protections are in place for all players and committed himself to returning Maguire to his finest form

MANCHESTER, England: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed measures are in place to protect players’ mental health at a time when club captain Harry Maguire has been the subject of intense criticism.
England international Maguire has been dropped at club level and is fighting for his place at the World Cup following an alarming dip in form.
It has seen him suffer growing abuse on social media and raised questions about his future at United.
But Ten Hag is adamant protections are in place for all players and committed himself to returning Maguire to his finest form.
Addressing concerns over the 29-year-old defender’s mental health, the United manager said: “But it’s an aspect of top football. It’s an aspect of our work. We set conditions for that, to manage it.
“We also have experts around to help, to coach the players, the team in the right direction.
“I think he is doing quite well, but every player has room for improvement and if he believes in his skills he will quickly be back on the level and even more than he did. I am convinced of that because I see his capabilities and it’s really high.”
Maguire has endured a miserable start to the season – losing his place to Raphael Varane at United, before making high-profile mistakes in England’s 3-3 draw with Germany on Monday.
It prompted the center back to publicly apologize on Instagram, adding: “The tough times will make us stronger.”
Fellow defender Luke Shaw aired his own concerns for his club and international teammate.
“He’s taken a lot of stick — probably more than I’ve ever seen before in football,” Shaw told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“Everybody knows he’s an unbelievable player. At the moment the confidence might not be there because it could feel like the whole world is against him.”
United legend Rio Ferdinand tweeted: “Feel for Harry . . . every mistake being punished and scrutinized — comes with the territory though.
“Needs to be strong mentally to get through this!”
Maguire is out of Sunday’s derby against Manchester City with a thigh injury – but is unlikely to have started even if fit after being dropped following the 4-0 defeat to Brentford last month.
Ten Hag had initially shown faith in him when retaining him as captain after taking over the club at the end of last season.
And he insists he still has belief in the player.
“First of all, of course I have to coach him,” he said. “I have to back him. But I back him because I believe in him.
“In the period I worked with him in pre-season was good. Really good, training and games. So then he fell out — but it’s also to do with the good performance of the center backs who are playing now. But I can see even after he wasn’t in the team he trained really well, but more important, the quality was there.
“You see his career, almost 50 caps for England. For Leicester and Man United he’s performing really well. What you see is he has a high potential. Then it is about him.
“The players in the dressing room, the coaches, the manager, we all believe in him. Now it is about him. That’s what I told him. I’m sure he can do it. He will turn around this. I am really convinced of that.”


Everton fined for field invasions last season

Everton fined for field invasions last season
Updated 30 September 2022

Everton fined for field invasions last season

Everton fined for field invasions last season
  • The club were fined $334,000 for on-field invasions during and after a 3-2 win against Crystal Palace on May 19
  • The dramatic victory secured top-flight safety for Frank Lampard’s team

LIVERPOOL, England: Everton are counting the cost of the jubilant but raucous scenes sparked after they avoided relegation from the English Premier League last season.
The club were fined 300,000 pounds ($334,000) for on-field invasions during and after a 3-2 win against Crystal Palace on May 19.
The dramatic victory secured top-flight safety for Frank Lampard’s team – and prompted wild celebrations at their Goodison Park home.
Fans ran onto the field when Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck a late winner. Everton had been trailing 2-0 at halftime and was closer to relegation from the league for the first time in their history.
Supporters ran on again after the final whistle, with one involved in an ugly altercation with Palace manager Patrick Vieira.
Everton were charged with misconduct in July, and on Friday the English Football Association confirmed sanctions imposed by an independent regulatory commission.
“Everton FC admitted failing to ensure that their spectators – and all persons purporting to be their supporters or followers – conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refrained from using threatening and violent behavior whilst encroaching onto the pitch area,” the FA said in a statement.


Newcastle United score injury boost ahead of return to Premier League

Newcastle United score injury boost ahead of return to Premier League
Updated 30 September 2022

Newcastle United score injury boost ahead of return to Premier League

Newcastle United score injury boost ahead of return to Premier League
  • Four players rated as doubts likely to return to the field

 

NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe has revealed Newcastle United have received a quadruple injury boost ahead of their return to Premier League action against Fulham this weekend.

The Magpies travel to Craven Cottage on Saturday looking to record only their second top-flight win of the campaign — and will likely do so with four players who were rated as doubts within their ranks.

It is fair to say the international break has been one of worries and concerns on the injury front for head coach Howe, with strikers Alexander Isak and Chris Wood as well as Bruno Guimaraes all sent home early from national duty due to knocks.

However, where the situation once seemed grim, according to Howe, the outlook is now brightening with Callum Wilson, Elliot Anderson and Guimaraes all fit to start against the Cottagers. In a further boost, Allan Saint-Maximin, missing since August, is also understood to be close to a return to the squad, while Isak’s injury, picked up while with Sweden, is not thought to be serious.

“When the doctor was calling me, I didn’t want to take his calls anymore,” joked Howe from United’s Benton training base on Friday.

“It was a stressful period for three or four days, but thankfully it’s maybe not as bad as it first appeared.”

On Wilson, Howe said: “He’s trained for around 10 days with us now. He’s in a good place. Every time he comes back from an injury I’d say he does the work and doesn’t cut corners. He’s had a really long body of work with the sports science team and then trained with us. He looked good.

“It’ll be a huge boost for the players to have Callum in the group with his positive energy and laughter that he brings. He’s a big player for us. And with Alex picking up his injury as well, it was perfect timing for us.”

Guimaraes, too, who has missed two Brazil friendlies in France in the past seven days as a result of a thigh problem, is understood to be fit to play from the off in southwest London.

“Bruno has trained with us. I had a couple of difficult calls during the international break to say players had various things happen to various players,” Howe said.

“We were concerned for Bruno but he’s come back and the scan was good. He’s trained, and trained well. Obviously slightly disrupted for him because these two weeks were really important in terms of his training and getting his match sharpness back, but he’s physically fine. He’s in the squad.”

Fellow United talisman Saint-Maximin has been unavailable for selection due to a hamstring injury since the 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers in August.

And while he is yet to return to full training with the squad, Howe says that Saint-Maximin has a chance.

“Yeah, he’s doing well,” he said when asked about the player.

“He’s had a period away and come back. He’s close, very close. It’s how we view things.

“There are a lot of moving parts with us at the moment. I’m being vague because there are a lot of player situations that are slightly unclear as we go into the game. Allan will be one of them.”

While Anderson has also managed to shake off a slight knock and will likely make the bench, two players who are unlikely to do so are Isak and Wood. But their problems are not likely to keep them out for too long, according to Howe.

On record signing Isak, Howe said: “He picked up an injury training for Sweden, so he’s come back. The scan doesn’t look too bad so we’re not overly concerned it’s a long injury, but with any muscle injury there’s always a slight period where you have to be careful.

“He’s out running on grass so he’s looking good at the moment.

“Chris Wood came off with a rib problem. He took a knock in the game. Again, that’s another player we’ll make a very late decision on.”

Meanwhile, the Magpies have completed their first signing of the January window, with highly rated Australian forward Garang Kuol putting pen to paper.

And Howe admits he is delighted to win the race for the player who was courted by the likes of Barcelona.

United are understood to have paid Central Coast Mariners about $400,000 for the Southern hemisphere star.

“I’m very excited,” said Howe about the deal.

“He’s a young player with huge potential. It’s a show from myself and the club on where we want to go in terms of signing young players and trying to develop them in our system for them to be Premier League players in the future. He’s had a dramatic rise and he’s in a position that excites everybody. There needs to be some patience shown.

“Touch wood we’ll look after him, go out on loan and develop behind the scenes. Hopefully when he comes here, he can play a part in our future.”

The Egyptian-born teenager made his senior debut at 17 in 2021 and rose to worldwide prominence when he played a starring role as the 2022 A-League All Stars team that took on Barcelona in front of more than 70,000 spectators in Sydney earlier this year.

Kuol made his Australia debut against New Zealand during the most recent international break.

After making the move, Kuol said: “It’s unreal. As a young boy in Australia, the Premier League is the main thing that everyone watches but nobody actually thinks they’ll reach those heights. To be one of those people, to be in the position I am, it’s amazing.

“Now that I’ve signed for Newcastle, I want to train hard, play hard, hopefully go to the World Cup and come back here.”

The United executive who was instrumental in securing the transfer, sporting director Dan Ashworth, explained the signing and the club’s new philosophy.

Ashworth said: “Garang is a very promising young talent and we are excited that he’ll be continuing his development as a Newcastle United player.

“Our philosophy is to invest in our academy and in exciting young players for the future, as well as in players required to make an immediate impact in the first team.

“We wish Garang the best of luck in his remaining games with Central Coast Mariners and we hope to see him on the international stage again very soon.”