Tom Kim the Presidents Cup ‘secret weapon’ for Internationals

Tom Kim the Presidents Cup ‘secret weapon’ for Internationals
International Team golfer Tom Kim hits his tee shot on the 15th hole during a practice round for the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. (USA TODAY Sports)
Short Url
Updated 22 September 2022

Tom Kim the Presidents Cup ‘secret weapon’ for Internationals

Tom Kim the Presidents Cup ‘secret weapon’ for Internationals
  • Internationals assistant captain K.J. Choi said Kim “has quality and a strong mind. He’s very personable, very fun. He has good English, better than mine.”
  • Kim’s excitement is infectious, teammates said

CHARLOTTE: On the 12th hole at Quail Hollow on Wednesday during his final practice round for the Presidents Cup, 20-year-old South Korean star Kim Joo-hyung botched a math calculation.

“Is that college math?” teased Internationals assistant captain Geoff Ogilvy.

“Dude, I didn’t even graduate from high school,” Kim said.

The world No. 22 and youngest player on the global squad has been a joker to keep the locker room lighthearted as the Internationals prepare to face the US, who lead the rivalry 11-1-1 after eight consecutive triumphs.

Kim, nicknamed Tom for his youthful love of Thomas the Tank Engine, is the Seoul-born son of a teaching professional who grew up in Australia, the Philippines and Thailand and turned pro in May 2018 at age 15.

He finished third in last year’s Scottish Open, earned PGA playing rights for this past season and won his first PGA title last month in nearby Greensboro.

“Tom could be our little secret weapon,” said teammate Adam Scott. “He’s a confident young kid. He has won on the PGA Tour and this is the next challenge in his career. He’s obviously good enough to do it on the big stage. This is his first real opportunity.”

Kim, one of a record four South Koreans on the squad, accepts his role as a motivator with aplomb.

“I’m the youngest guy on the team and I’m a big jokester, so playing that role, I feel like I can bring good energy and enlightenment to the team,” he said. “When things get tough, I feel I can bring people up. That’s going to be my role.”

Compatriot Im Sung-jae, who delivered 3.5 points for the Internationals in 2019, is fine with the “baby” antics.

“He has got a great sense of humor, brings a lot of positive energy and obviously he’s the youngest player, so he’s kind of the baby,” Im said. “Brings a lot of humor to keep the energy very lighthearted.”

Kim has found a new audience for his humor.

“I just like to joke around a lot. I’m lucky enough that they don’t give me (abuse) for it,” he said. “It’s a great vibe, definitely enjoyable in the team room.”

That could carry over to the course if he is matched against US pal Scottie Scheffler, the top-ranked Masters champion.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to trash talk to Jordan Spieth. I’m not that close enough,” Kim said. “But I think Scottie, he gives me a really hard time. It would be fun if I could play with him. We’d probably give each other a hard time.”

Internationals assistant captain K.J. Choi said Kim “has quality and a strong mind. He’s very personable, very fun. He has good English, better than mine.”

That, Scott said, could be a key link in uniting players from all over the world.

“He’s going to help bring our team together even more,” Scott said. “It really helps integrate our team.”

“He’s obviously speaking perfect English,” 2021 Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama said. “He’s mixing with the team really well. A great player. I feel like he’s got a great tee shot and short game.”

Kim’s excitement is infectious, teammates said.

“To just come in here with an energy like this is the biggest moment of his life, it kind of brings everyone else into that frame of mind,” said Australian Cam Davis.

“He’s super fluent and super funny so he really helps the whole team mesh,” said Colombia’s Sebastian Munoz. “That’s only going to help us.”


Portuguese coach suspended after harassment accusations

Updated 6 sec ago

Portuguese coach suspended after harassment accusations

Portuguese coach suspended after harassment accusations
LISBON, Portugal: Portuguese soccer club Famalicão suspended the coach of its women’s team on Friday after a leading newspaper in Portugal published accusations of verbal sexual harassment by him of his players at a previous club.
Famalicão said that “in view” of the report published by Público newspaper that they were suspending coach Miguel Afonso “until the truth of the facts is ascertained.”
The club said they were putting themself at the “total disposition of all parties involved and the competent authorities to assist in obtaining the truth.”
The alleged verbal harassment of players, some of which were 19 years old at the time, reportedly took place while Afonso coached fellow Portuguese club Rio Ave during the 2020-21 season.
Público said that it had contacted Afonso but he declined to comment on the accusations.
In a statement, Rio Ave acknowledged that they had been “aware of some circumstantial comments reported by athletes regarding alleged inappropriate approaches by the coach.”
But, Rio Ave said they took no action because “the coach denied such situations and, at the request of the athletes, the matter was not followed up.”
Famalicão, in a separate statement preceding the suspension of Afonso, said that when they hired Afonso they were not aware of the accusations.

Newcastle sign teenage Australia striker Garang Kuol

Newcastle sign teenage Australia striker Garang Kuol
Updated 51 min 51 sec ago

Newcastle sign teenage Australia striker Garang Kuol

Newcastle sign teenage Australia striker Garang Kuol
  • Born in Egypt, Garang Kuol moved to Australia with his family as a refugee and joined the Mariners’ youth system in January 2021

LONDON: Newcastle have reached an agreement to sign teenage striker Garang Kuol from Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners in January, the Premier League club announced on Friday.
Kuol, 18, made his international debut for Australia against New Zealand last week, becoming the youngest Socceroo since Harry Kewell in 1996.
Born in Egypt, Kuol moved to Australia with his family as a refugee and joined the Mariners’ youth system in January 2021.
He only made his A-League debut for the Mariners in April but made an immediate impression, scoring four goals in his first seven appearances as a substitute.
Kuol told Newcastle’s official website: “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.”
Newcastle United sporting director Dan 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.”


Yazeed Al-Rajhi eyes glory at Rallye du Maroc

Yazeed Al-Rajhi eyes glory at Rallye du Maroc
Updated 30 September 2022

Yazeed Al-Rajhi eyes glory at Rallye du Maroc

Yazeed Al-Rajhi eyes glory at Rallye du Maroc
  • Saudi driver will be joined by German navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz in third round of World Rally Raid Championship

AGADIR: Saudi world champion Yazeed Al-Rajhi has completed last-minute preparations ahead of the 22nd edition of the Rallye du Maroc, the third round of the World Rally Raid Championship.

Al-Rajhi, will be accompanied by German navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz, the replacement for Michael Orr, who was injured in an accident at Baja Poland three weeks ago.

Crossing the desert from Agadir, in the southwest of Morocco, to Tan Tan and Al-Ayoun on the Atlantic coast will represent a new challenge for Al-Rajhi.

Day one of the rally will be a qualifying stage, while the race will last six days in five stages from Oct. 1-6. Competitors will cover a total of 2,319 km, including 1,583 km of special stages on the sand, gravel tracks and golden dunes.

The Yazeed Racing team faces a busy period until the end of the year, with Al-Rajhi  competing in three championships, including the Saudi Toyota Desert Rally Championship.

The international events are the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Baja and the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship, in which Al-Rajhi currently ranked third.

Al-Rajhi and von Zitzewitz tested the new Toyota Hilux over two days around the Moroccan city of Erfoud, which is known for its high sand dunes and varying terrain.

The Belgian team Overdrive prepared a new car similar to the vehicle that crashed in Baja Poland. The car is equipped with a V6 engine and twin turbocharger, unlike the one used in Aseer Rally few days ago.

“I’m looking forward to the Morocco rally a lot,” Al-Rajhi said.

“I thank my team for doing an amazing job as usual. We are looking forward to winning this rally and there is nothing stopping us from doing so. We need to focus and develop appropriate strategies to advance and collect points.

“Our challenge in the Morocco rally requires endurance and effort from man and machine. We have a long race ahead of us in the Moroccan deserts, and we hope that God will guide us on our way.”

Von Zitzewitz is looking forward to the challenge.

“Yazeed and I, along with the Overdrive team, believe we have what it takes to win the rally,” he said. “We have all the factors to win, and I pray that God will be on our side. The world of motorsport is unpredictable.”


Coca-Cola giving football fans in Saudi Arabia chance to win 2022 World Cup tickets

Coca-Cola giving football fans in Saudi Arabia chance to win 2022 World Cup tickets
Updated 30 September 2022

Coca-Cola giving football fans in Saudi Arabia chance to win 2022 World Cup tickets

Coca-Cola giving football fans in Saudi Arabia chance to win 2022 World Cup tickets
  • The giveaway will take place on the official FIFA partner’s Twitter account

RIYADH: Coca-Cola is giving fans in Saudi Arabia a chance to see their favorite teams on football’s biggest stage with the opportunity to win thousands of 2022 FIFA World Cup match tickets.

With Saudi Arabia’s participation at Qatar 2022 less than two months away, Coca-Cola, an official sponsor of the tournament since 1978, will provide the opportunity to claim the tickets on its official Twitter account in the coming weeks.

In addition, Coca-Cola will bring the original FIFA World Cup trophy to the Kingdom in November where thousands of fans will have the opportunity to see football’s most prized possession.

The FIFA sponsors also revealed they have plans to invest in development programs for local Saudi talent and will soon be making an announcement on this.


New chapter for women’s football in Saudi Arabia as national team conclude first ever matches at home

New chapter for women’s football in Saudi Arabia as national team conclude first ever matches at home
Updated 30 September 2022

New chapter for women’s football in Saudi Arabia as national team conclude first ever matches at home

New chapter for women’s football in Saudi Arabia as national team conclude first ever matches at home
  • Two fixtures against Bhutan saw a total of 12 goals and showcased the hosts development in only their third and fourth international matches
  • Players to return to clubs ahead of Premier League kick-off next month, as 50,000 girls register for inaugural nation-wide schools league

RIYADH: Following their launch last year, Saudi Arabia’s Women’s National Team has completed a historic week after taking on Asian counterparts Bhutan in their debut matches on home soil.

Taking place across four days at the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Stadium in Abha, both friendly fixtures witnessed six-goal thrillers.

The first match on Saturday saw the hosts bounce back from a 3-1 deficit at half-time to claim an 3-3 draw thanks to Al-Bandari Mubarak and Nora Ibrahim’s strikes in the closing 15 minutes. Both teams met again on Wednesday night with the visitors claiming an action-packed 4-2 victory.

Reflecting on the past week, SAFF Women’s Football Department Supervisor and board member, Lamia Bahaian, said: “We have been working very hard toward the moment we finally see our women’s national team compete at home.”

“We are extremely proud of how they’ve already inspired a nation and are helping pave the way for a career in the sport with over 50,000 young girls signing up for the first-ever schools league,” she said. “Since the launch of the team just last year, we’ve been grateful for the unconditional support shown to us by the Kingdom’s leadership. The players will now continue their development and progress in the Premier League’s inaugural season, in what is a hugely exciting moment in their careers.”

The matches represented the latest chapter in women’s football rapid journey in Saudi Arabia over the past few years. Since the establishment of a dedicated women’s football department at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation in 2019, it currently hosts 450 registered players, 49 qualified referees and more than 900 D, C and B licensed coaches.

The national team’s German head coach Monika Staab. (SAFF)

This progress is a result of a long-term strategy launched last year by the federation to grow interest and participation at all levels of the women’s game, with unprecedented investments in areas such as grassroots, player development, coaching, facilities, competitions and governance.

The national team’s players’ attention now turns toward their respective clubs ahead of the launch of the SAFF Women’s Premier League and return of the First Division League. Featuring eight clubs from across Saudi Arabia, most notably Saudi Pro League sides Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal and Al-Ittihad for the first time, the newly formed Premier League takes place on a home-and-away basis with a total of 56 matches.

The First Division League, formerly known as the SAFF Regional Football League, will see a further 17 teams compete across three cities.

The national team’s German head coach, Monika Staab, said that she could not be prouder of the team’s performances and progress over the 180 minutes, in what were only the national team’s third and fourth matches following the encounters against the Seychelles and Maldives in February.

She believes playing the first meetings at home marks another historic milestone in the national team’s journey and the women’s game as a whole.

“This week will undoubtedly go down in the history of Saudi Arabian football. Playing our first matches at home was a massive source of pride for everyone involved in the women’s game across the country,” she said.

“I am extremely pleased with the experience gained by our girls and their performances against a tough opponent. They showcased their true fighting spirit and strong willingness to fight till the final whistle. We look forward to getting more international minutes under our belt, both at home and away, as we continue toward journey to achieve the ambitious goals set for women’s football.”