‘Rahmbo’ more lethal than Stallone: 6 things we learned at the 87th Masters

‘Rahmbo’ more lethal than Stallone: 6 things we learned at the 87th Masters
Scottie Scheffler puts the green jacket on Jon Rahm, of Spain, after Rahm won the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 9, 2023, in Augusta, Georgia. (AP Photo)
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Updated 10 April 2023
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‘Rahmbo’ more lethal than Stallone: 6 things we learned at the 87th Masters

‘Rahmbo’ more lethal than Stallone: 6 things we learned at the 87th Masters
  • Mickelson excels, Tiger defies odds, while McIlroy should not give up on his Augusta dreams

AUGUSTA: “No man, no law, no war can stop him.” This was said about Sylvester Stallone’s iconic character Rambo in “First Blood.” It also strangely applies to Spain’s Jon Rahm, lovingly called “Rahmbo” by his fans, who won the 87th Masters on Sunday evening by a massive margin of four shots.

The victory is even more impressive considering he started the tournament with a four-putt double bogey on his very first hole. He later kept pace with Brooks Koepka, the LIV International Jeddah champion and leader going into the final round, despite getting the worst end of the draw as a treacherous cold front moved above Augusta and dumped nearly three inches of rain in two days.

An elite field, a demanding course and filthy weather could not combine to stop Rahm. Quite remarkably, on the birthday anniversary of Spainish legend Seve Ballesteros, the 28-year-old became the fourth man from his country to slip into the Green Jacket, a symbol of supremacy in world golf.

Here are six things we learned from Augusta National Golf Club over the past week.

Believe him: Jon Rahm is the best

Six wins and four top 10s from his last 14 starts: That is insane form for anyone who does not answer to the name of Tiger Woods. Since September, Rahm has been saying he is the best golfer in the world and how poorly the official world rankings reflect his status. Not only has the Masters win validated his claim, it also makes him the official world No. 1

Those LIV Golf players can play

At least one debate is settled now. The LIV Golf stars can hold their own against the PGA Tour players. And those who had questioned their determination, skill, ambitions and motivation to play good golf were forced to eat humble Georgian pie.

Phil Mickelson and Koepka tied for second place and Patrick Reed was a shot further behind in a tie for fourth. A total of 12 players from LIV’s roster of 18 made the cut.

Rory: Don’t give up on yourself

Even if the fans seem to be giving up on Rory McIlroy and his ability and resolve to win the Masters and complete his career grand slam, the Northern Irishman absolutely needs to keep the faith. As he said himself before the start of the tournament, all the ingredients are there, it is just a matter of putting it in the pot and letting it stew. Even the spider in that story about Scottish King Robert Bruce fell 17 times before building his web. Next year will only be McIlroy’s 16th visit to Augusta.

Woods continues to defy the odds

The cold, wet and windy conditions were never going to be good for Tiger Woods and the great man had to withdraw from the tournament on Sunday following a recurrence of his painful plantar fasciitis problem. Walking remains a concern for Woods, but he still managed to make his 23rd straight cut as a professional — tying the record held by Gary Player and Fred Couples. It seems stupid to call Tiger a fair weather player, but it would be prudent for the 15-time major champion to pick and choose events where the chances of rain and cold are minimal for at least the next year or so.

For Phil, this is the country for old men

Mickelson has always believed in swimming against the tide. So, as golf gets younger and younger, he is proof that at 52 he can still be competitive on the tour. It was a thrilling final round by the three-time Masters champion, when everyone was doubting his ability. With all that is going on between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the tied second place finish also brings him back into the conversation in a positive manner.

Theegala and Bennett are the future

A side story at the demanding Augusta National is the battle among the first-timers for the best rookie prize. This year it was American Indian Sahith Reddy Theegala. With a sensational 67 on the final day, which included a chip-in on the 16th hole that reminded everyone of Woods’ effort in 2005, Theegala finished ninth and showcased once again why he was the No. 1 college player in the US. Also worth following in the future is college star Sam Bennett, who was the only amateur to make the cut.


Tottenham snatch point at Manchester City in classic after Liverpool drama

Tottenham snatch point at Manchester City in classic after Liverpool drama
Updated 20 sec ago
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Tottenham snatch point at Manchester City in classic after Liverpool drama

Tottenham snatch point at Manchester City in classic after Liverpool drama
  • Champions City looked set to move to within one point of leaders Arsenal when they led Spurs 3-2 in the dying minutes
  • Liverpool turned the tables in dramatic fashion against Fulham

LONDON: Dejan Kulusevski headed a dramatic late goal as Tottenham held Manchester City in a six-goal thriller on Sunday after Liverpool staged a sensational comeback on a breathless afternoon in the Premier League.
High-flying Aston Villa scored in the 90th minute to draw 2-2 at Bournemouth while 10-man Chelsea shrugged off a red card for captain Conor Gallagher to edge Brighton 3-2 on a day when 24 goals were scored in five matches.
Champions City looked set to move to within one point of leaders Arsenal when they led Spurs 3-2 in the dying minutes at the Etihad.
But Kulusevski headed home from Brennan Johnson’s cross in the 90th minute to leave City ruing dropped points for the third match running.
Son Heung-min put the away side ahead in the sixth minute but three minutes later the South Korean forward turned villain, putting the ball into his own net.
Phil Foden put City in front just after the half hour following a sweeping move but Giovani Lo Celso levelled about 20 minutes from time.
Jack Grealish restored the home side’s lead once more, only for Kulusevski to stun the Etihad late on.
“Of course that’s why we love football,” Tottenham captain Son told Sky Sports. “That’s what I told the lads.
“Obviously Man City are a huge, huge team and one of the best teams in the world but that’s why we love football, it happens sometimes. We kept believing until 90 minutes so I’m very very proud of the team.”
Earlier, Liverpool appeared set for their first home defeat in the Premier League since October 2022 when they went 3-2 down to Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s goal in the 80th minute.
But they turned the tables in dramatic fashion through Wataru Endo and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who struck in the 87th and 88th minutes for a 4-3 win.
It was the latest Liverpool have ever fallen behind in a Premier League match that they went on to win.
“We played an incredible game until we didn’t anymore,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told the BBC.
“All credit to Fulham, they did really well. Today we scored four worldies and were lucky in the end to win the game, and that tells you everything.”
Alexander-Arnold set Liverpool on their way in the 20th minute when his brilliant free-kick clipped the underside of the crossbar and went in off Fulham keeper Bernd Leno for an own goal.
Harry Wilson levelled before Alexis Mac Allister produced a moment of magic to restore the home side’s lead, unleashing a rising drive that found the top corner for his first Liverpool goal.
But Fulham equalized through Kenny Tete before half time and the London side looked set for a sensational victory when substitute De Cordova-Reid nodded home their third with 10 minutes of normal time to go.
However, Liverpool were not finished. Mohamed Salah set up Endo, who found the net from the edge of the box and Alexander-Arnold drove the ball home a minute later, sparking wild scenes at Anfield.
Chelsea recorded just their second Premier League home win of the season against Brighton, despite being reduced to 10 men before half-time.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men were cruising midway through the first half after goals from Enzo Fernandez and Levi Colwill.
Facundo Buonanotte halved the deficit for the visitors shortly before half-time and there was still time for Gallagher to pick up a second yellow card before the break, changing the complexion of the match.
Fernandez restored Chelsea’s two-goal cushion from the penalty spot, but Joao Pedro struck in stoppage time to heap the pressure on the home side but they held on.
Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins headed home a cross from Moussa Diaby in the 90th minute to rescue a point Unai Emery’s team, which kept them in fourth place.
At the London Stadium, Mohammed Kudus put West Ham ahead in the first half, before Odsonne Edouard equalized in the second period to earn a point for Crystal Palace.


Fatima Sana, Shawaal Zulfiqar lead Pakistan women to historic win against New Zealand

Fatima Sana, Shawaal Zulfiqar lead Pakistan women to historic win against New Zealand
Updated 1 min 2 sec ago
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Fatima Sana, Shawaal Zulfiqar lead Pakistan women to historic win against New Zealand

Fatima Sana, Shawaal Zulfiqar lead Pakistan women to historic win against New Zealand
  • Pakistan defeated New Zealand women by seven wickets in the first T20I
  • Player of the match Fatima Sana took three wickets, Shawaal scored 41 runs

DUNEDIN: Pakistan women’s team created history on Sunday as they defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in the first T20I at the University of Otago Oval in Dunedin.  

Chasing 128-run target, Pakistan’s opening pair of Shawaal Zulfiqar and Muneeba Ali provided a decent 40-run start to the innings. Muneeba (23 off 24, four fours) was the first batter to return to the pavilion.  

At that stage, captain Nida Dar promoted herself up in the order and knitted 51 runs for the second wicket with right-handed batter Shawaal. Playing her sixth T20I and first on New Zealand soil, 18-year-old Shawaal scored her highest T20I score of 41 off 42 balls, smashing seven boundaries. 

Following Shawaal’s departure at the end of the 13th over with 91 runs on the board, Nida too was dismissed after a quick-fire 23 off 14 balls, including a four and a six.  

With back-to-back wickets falling, the experienced pair of Bismah Maroof and Aliya Riaz got together and guided the team to a seven-wicket win with 10 balls to spare. Aliya returned unbeaten on 25 off 12 balls. Her innings included two fours and a six, the latter of which she struck on the second ball of the 19th over to finish the match. Bismah was undefeated on 13 off 18 balls, hitting a four. 

"The victory vibes in Dunedin," the Pakistan Cricket Board wrote on X, sharing scenes from Otago Oval. "Grateful for the support we received in the first T20I." 

 

 

 

This marked the first win for Pakistan women’s team over the White Ferns in the T20I format.  

Earlier, after opting to bat first, New Zealand were restricted to 127 for six courtesy of a fine bowling display by the touring side. Right-arm fast Fatima Sana, who missed the Bangladesh tour due to injury, capitalized on the overcast conditions and bowled a spell of four overs, giving away only 18 runs and bagging three wickets. Nida, Diana Baig and Aliya took a wicket each. 

For New Zealand, Maddy Green was the top run-getter, scoring 44 not out off 28 balls, hitting four fours. 

Pakistan will now take on New Zealand in the second T20I on Tuesday at the same venue, while the third and final T20I of the series will be played in Queenstown on December 9. 


Medjedovic upsets Fils to win 5-set Next Gen Finals championship match

Medjedovic upsets Fils to win 5-set Next Gen Finals championship match
Updated 03 December 2023
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Medjedovic upsets Fils to win 5-set Next Gen Finals championship match

Medjedovic upsets Fils to win 5-set Next Gen Finals championship match
  • First five-set final in six editions of the tournament

RIYADH: Hamad Medjedovic squandered two match points before he finally upset the top-seeded Arthur Fils and won the Next Gen Finals championship match on Saturday.
It was the first five-set final in six editions of the tournament.
Medjedovic missed the chance to seal it in four but converted his third match point in the fifth to beat Fils 3-4 (6), 4-1, 4-2, 3-4 (9), 4-1 after two hours, 11 minutes.
The 20-year-old Medjedovic did not lose a match on his way to becoming the first Serbian to win the tournament for the top eight players aged 21 or under.
The tournament was held in Saudi Arabia for the first time after it was played in Milan ever since the inaugural edition in 2017. Besides shorter sets, other changes to the usual tennis rules included shorter changeovers and less time on the shot clock for some points.
“I can’t believe I have won this title, but it’s going to give me a lot of confidence for 2024,” said Medjedovic, the lowest-ranked champion yet at No. 110.
The 36th-ranked Fils became the youngest Frenchman in nearly two decades to win an ATP title when he triumphed at Lyon this year.
Medjedovic, who is coached by Serbia Davis Cup captain Viktor Troicki, reached tour-level semifinals in Gstaad and Astana and won three lower-level Challengers this year.

Past Next Gen champions include Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz.
 


Al-Ahli, Al-Shabab to the fore at Saudi Games

Al-Ahli, Al-Shabab to the fore at Saudi Games
Updated 03 December 2023
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Al-Ahli, Al-Shabab to the fore at Saudi Games

Al-Ahli, Al-Shabab to the fore at Saudi Games
  • Medals also given out following the fencing and robotics events
  • 3x3 basketball and handball competitions got underway on Saturday

RIYADH: Al-Ahli and Al-Shabab dominated the medals at the Saudi Games’ athletics events on Saturday.

In the men’s 800-meters final, Al-Shabab’s Issa Ghazwan took the gold and his teammate Sami Al-Yami the bronze. There was also a gold medal for Al-Shabab in the men’s 400-meters hurdles, which was won by Mohammed Al-Mauwi.

Al-Ahli’s Ali Mas took home the gold medal in the men’s 200-meters final, while Suga Saied finished first for the same club in the women’s long jump final.

Elsewhere, Ryan Al-Khawiter beat last year’s champion Kevin Orlandi to win gold and SR1 million ($266,574) in the triathlon at the Prince Faisal bin Fahad Olympic Complex.

Khaled Al-Mobty also clinched gold on Saturday in the individual show jumping event, with Meshari Al-Harbi taking home silver and Mohammed Al-Askar the bronze.

The jet ski gold medal and SR1 million prize was won by Tariq Bukhari at Durrat Al-Arous in Jeddah.

There were also medals awarded in the under-54 kg, under-65 kg, under-80 kg and under-97 kg categories of the paralympic weightlifting event.

Al-Nassr and Al-Selmeyyah qualified for the beach soccer final, to be held on Sunday evening, while the Riyadh club also secured a place in the men’s futsal final against Al-Ettifaq.

There were medals given out following the fencing and robotics events, while the 3x3 basketball and handball competitions got underway on Saturday.


Kashmiri students arrested for celebrating India's Cricket World Cup defeat get bail

Kashmiri students arrested for celebrating India's Cricket World Cup defeat get bail
Updated 03 December 2023
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Kashmiri students arrested for celebrating India's Cricket World Cup defeat get bail

Kashmiri students arrested for celebrating India's Cricket World Cup defeat get bail
  • Police dropped the charges and an Indian court granted bail to the students on Saturday, according to their lawyer
  • In granting bail, the court imposed a condition the students should be available when needed for the investigation

SRINAGAR: An Indian court has granted bail to seven Kashmiri students who were arrested under anti-terror laws for allegedly celebrating Australia's victory over India in the men's Cricket World Cup final last month, a lawyer said on Sunday. 

The students from an agriculture university were detained in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after one student filed a complaint accusing them of using anti-India slogans and cheering for Pakistan along with Australia after the match. 

Claimed in full but ruled in part by India and Pakistan, Muslim-majority Kashmir has seen a bloody insurrection against New Delhi for decades. Muslims in the region have in the past cheered for the competing side in India cricket matches as a way of protesting Indian rule. 

Local political leaders opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's rule over J&K had said the arrests were a way to intimidate locals using the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The act deals with inciting any unlawful activity and is punishable with seven years' imprisonment. 

Police dropped the UAPA charges and an Indian court granted bail to the students on Saturday, according to the lawyer of students, Shafiq Bhat, and a court order seen by Reuters. 

In granting bail, the local court imposed a condition that the students should be available when needed for the investigation and "shall not indulge in any anti national activity," the order stated. 

The students still face allegations under other Indian laws that related to making statements inducing public mischief. 

Australia had entered the World Cup match as clear underdogs against an all-conquering India side, who had won 10 matches in a row to storm into the final. But India was defeated in the final match on Nov. 19. 

India blames Pakistan for supporting the Muslim insurgents. Pakistan denies this and accuses India of violating the rights of Kashmir's Muslim people, a charge India rejects.