Tag Archives: classic

No Tiger Woods but alligators disrupt Zurich Classic

VIDEO: No Tiger but the alligators on the fairways are a hazard for Rose and Bubba

PUBLISHED:

00:48 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:16 GMT, 26 April 2013

Ricky Barnes made the early running with an eight-under-par 64 in New Orleans despite the local alligators briefly holding up play in the opening round.

Boo Weekley came close, carding three birdies on his last five holes to open with a bogey-free 65. He was matched late in the afternoon by Lucas Glover, who had six birdies on the front nine (his second nine) en route to a 65 of his own. D.A. Points and rookie Morgan Hoffmann were another shot back after matching 66s.

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What a hazard: An alligator as it crosses the course during the first round

What a hazard: An alligator on the course during the first round at the Zurich classic

What a hazard: An alligator as it crosses the course during the first round

No fear: An alligator crosses through a sand trap on the 14th hole as golfers and caddies walk by

Sand trap: An alligator crosses the 14th hole as golfers and caddies walk by

Zurich Classic

Uninvited guest: The alligator crosses the 14th fairway during the first round of the PGA Tour Zurich Classic golf tournament

Capturing the moment: A caddie takes a photo as an alligator rests while crossing the 14th fairway

Capturing the moment: A caddie takes a photo as an alligator rests while crossing the 14th fairway

Minding his own business: A worker grooms away tracks after an alligator crossed through a sand trap

Minding his own business: A worker grooms away tracks after an alligator crossed through a sand trap

VIDEO: Alligator crosses fairway at the Zurich Classic

Gator on the green! Three-legged alligator gatecrashes PGA Tour…

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Another 10 golfers checked in at 5
under including Ernie Els, Rickie Fowler and 2006 Players champion
Stephen Ames, who needs a win this week to qualify for the 2013 event at
TPC Sawgrass.

A total of 84 players completed the
first round in red numbers. Not among them was 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang, whose three birdies were offset by three bogeys in an opening-round 72.

Guan Tianlang, 14, hits out of the tree line on the first hole

Bright start: Guan Tianlang, 14, carded an opening-round 72

Bubba Watson surveys the course with his caddie Ted Scott

Focused: Bubba Watson surveys the course with his caddie Ted Scott

 Justin Rose of England hits his tee shot on the 8th hole

Colourful: Justin Rose of England hits his tee shot on the 8th hole

MASTERS 2013 PREVIEW: Tiger Woods must wake up and smell the azaleas: he"ll need his driver to win

MASTERS PREVIEW: Tiger must wake up and smell the azaleas: he'll need his driver to win a fifth Green Jacket this week

-Picture-archive-Seve-Ballesteros-Jack-NIcklaus-Ben-Hogan-Tiger-Woods-Sandy-Lyle.html#ixzz2Q3O0jnsU” target=”_blank”>The Masters picture archive: Sandy dances a jig, Seve is a genius at work, Hogan eyes his prey, and more from the Augusta vaults…

Despite blowing away the opposition during his three wins this season, Woods has generally kept his driver in the bag where possible, and with good reason. Tiger ranks way down in 147th spot on the PGA Tour for driving accuracy this year, and has had to rely on his near-peerless shotmaking powers to recover from all sorts of bother – witness his stunning par save from water at the Honda Classic in March.

Whoever wins this week will need to shape his driver from right to left round Augusta's famous doglegs, and that opens the door for the world's best with the long stick – the likes of Westwood, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley, Louis Oosthuizen and Dustin Johnson.

It also favours the left-handers, who are able to hit less risky fades off the tee – and explains why Mike Weir, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson have won in the last 10 years since the course was lengthened in the wake of Tiger's mauling in 1997. Expect three-time winner Mickelson and defending champion Watson to be in the mix down the stretch on Sunday once again.

It is often said that short-game expertise is the key to taming Augusta's notoriously tricky greens. But, while the winner will be no slouch with the wedge or putter, it is a power game that tames Bobby Jones' design these days.

Painful memories: Rory McIlroy has had two meltdowns in the last two years at Augusta

Painful memories: Rory McIlroy has had two meltdowns in the last two years at Augusta

Rory McIlroy

And there's one other chap who's pretty handy with a driver too. Rory McIlroy often looks like a kid in a candy shop at Augusta – make that a kid in a pro shop with his visit for souveneirs on Tuesday – and with good reason. On form, there's no better driver in all of golf than the world No 2. This course is made for him. He is destined to win here one day.

Masters masters…

Augusta's champions since Tiger's last triumph:

2012 Bubba Watson
2011 Charl Schwartzel
2010 Phil Mickelson
2009 ngel Cabrera
2008 Trevor Immelman
2007 Zach Johnson
2006 Phil Mickelson

But will this be his year Not if he plays like he has for most of the time since his controversial switch to Nike clubs. He'll have to stay on the course for the entire four days for starters, which he spectacularly failed to do at the Honda Classic, where he stormed off the course blaming his state of mind and then toothache.

The words 'McIlroy' and 'meltdown' sit together uncomfortably easily at Augusta too, after his final-round implosion in 2011 (remember that tee shot on 10 Not many golfers are synonymous with a cabin off a fairway, but he is), and again last year, when the Ulsterman and Sergio Garcia embraced on the 12th green after a third-round horror show.

But McIlroy's 11th hour decision to play in Texas last week led to a much-needed second-place finish and a huge boost to his confidence. Rory has a habit of turning his fortunes round quickly and on the grandest of stages – his two major wins have come immediately after periods of poor form and/or traumatic on-course experiences. So why not again here this week

England awaits: Justin Rose (left), Ian Poulter (right) and Lee Westwood (below) all have a good chance

England awaits: Justin Rose (left), Ian Poulter (right) and Lee Westwood (below) all have a good chance

England awaits: Justin Rose (left), Ian Poulter (right) and Lee Westwood (below) all have a good chance

McIlroy or anyone hailing from these shores will be battling history. 2013 marks 25 years since Sandy Lyle became the first UK golfer to win at Augusta but there has been no winner from these isles since Nick Faldo's comeback of all comebacks over Greg Norman in 1996.

Northern Irish players have taken the title at four of the last 11 majors, and McIlroy again looks most likely to triumph from the home nations.

No Tiger, no great champions

The list of Major winners since Woods won his 14th and last major at the 2008 US Open divides opinion.

Some have heralded a great and unpredictable period full of brilliant golfers, while others have suggested none have the class of Woods.

2012 Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Ernie Els Rory McIlroy

2011 Charl Schwartzel, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Keegan Bradley

2010 Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer

2009 Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, YE Yang

2008 Padraig Harrington (x2)

But Rose is in the form of his life, has a good record at Augusta and proved he can do it on the biggest stage of all when beating Mickelson at the Ryder Cup last year. Westwood is always in the mix here come Sunday, Ian Poulter reserves his best golf for when he can grab the most attention, and Graeme McDowell always seems to contend at majors these days.

So there is more than a little hope that the long wait will finally end this year. Just so long as none of them wins the traditional Par-Three Tournament on Wednesday. No-one has ever triumphed in that and gone on to win a Green Jacket four days later, as Luke Donald found to his cost two years ago.

Arguably though, the par threes are the least important holes at Augusta. The champion will have to take apart the par-fives – Watson went -8 on these holes last year – while the par-fours will separate the men from the boys (and that probably includes 14-year-old Guan Tianlang, the extraordinary Chinese who will become the youngest Masters competitor ever on Thursday, but whose tee shots will probably prove too short at 250 yards to compete.)

The two-shotters at the Cathedral of Pines ranked the second hardest of all courses on the PGA Tour last year, and collectively played at an average score of 0.2 strokes over par.

Dangermen: Keegan Bradley (above) and Phil Mickelson both boast power games that can tame the course

Dangermen: Keegan Bradley (above) and Phil Mickelson both boast power games that can tame the course

Dangermen: Keegan Bradley (above) and Phil Mickelson both boast power games that can tame the course
Shooting a number

3 – Number of players who have successfully defended their Masters title (Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods)

0 – Number of Australians who have won The Masters

63 – The course record for a single round, held by Nick Price and Greg Norman.

270 – Lowest winning score in history, shot by Tiger Woods, aged 21, in 1997.

23 – Number of holes-in-one at the Masters.

If the wind picks up, as is forecast for Thursday and Friday, more than a few of the favourites will be blown off course. But the sun is set to shine over the weekend, which usually means low scoring, roars echoing around the trees, and what is often the most nerve-shredding, adrenaline-rushing Sunday at any golf tournament in the world.

The good weather in Georgia this Spring has also provided a much-needed boost for those of us suffering in the chill winds this side of the pond. After last year's early bloom, August's galaxy of flowers have exploded into colour in perfect time for this year's Masters.

Woods will need to wake up and smell the azaleas: he needs his driver to win here this week.

THE 77TH MASTERS TOURNAMENT

Course: Augusta National Golf Club, par 72, 7435 yards.

Defending champion: Bubba Watson.

TV: All four days on Sky Sports. Par-three contest from 7.00pm on Wednesday.
COverage of rounds one, two and three start at 7pm, round four from 6pm on Sunday.
Day one and two highlights on BBC, plus round three from 8.30pm and round four from 7pm.

Bookies’ favourite: Tiger Woods.

Three to watch

RORY MCILROY – You bet he's the one to watch. This course is made for the Northern Irishman, but has he found his form again after a horrible start to 2013 And, perhaps even more importantly, has he got over his two meltdowns in the last two years at Augusta

ADAM SCOTT – Recent history suggests great drivers do well at Augusta, and there's few to rival the big Aussie with the big dog. Went close in 2011, went even closer at Lytham last summer… it's only a matter of time before he nails a major.

LEE WESTWOOD – His last three visits have yielded finishes of second (2010), 11th (2011) and and third (2012). Has improved on his short game in Florida this year, which could make the difference in his final major before he turns 40.

Bandit

MATT KUCHAR – Boasts a game that rarely breaks down and a Cheshire Cat smile whatever happens on the course. Has also developed a taste for winning big in the last year, as his PLAYERS and WGC-Accenture Match Play title prove. The American revival is gathering momentum after the Ryder Cup – watch out, Europe.

In bloom: Augusta National is looking its best ahead of the 77th edition of The Masters

In bloom: Augusta National is looking its best ahead of the 77th edition of The Masters

MASTERS GROUPINGS AND TEE-TIMES (BST)

1:00pm S Lyle (Sco), J Peterson (USA), N Smith (USA)

1:11pm L Mize (USA), B Gay (USA), R Henley (USA)

1:22pm I Woosnam (Wal), D Lynn (Eng), K Na (USA)

1:33pm D Toms (USA), R Sterne (Rsa), T Potter Jr (USA)

1:44pm T Watson (USA), R Moore (USA), K Streelman (USA)

1:55pm R Garrigus (USA), C Pettersson (Swe), T Clark (Rsa)

2:06pm M Weir (Can), L Westwood (Eng), J Furyk (USA)

2:17pm B Snedeker (USA), R Ishikawa (Jpn), J Rose (Eng)

2:28pm J Olazabal (Esp), M Leishman (Aus), T Vogel (USA)

2:39pm C Schwartzel (Rsa), W Simpson (USA), P Hanson (Swe)

2:50pm Z Johnson (USA), KJ Choi (Kor), G McDowell (NIr)

3:12pm M Thompson (USA), J Huh (USA), J Senden (Aus)

3:23pm S Cink (USA), N Colsaerts (Bel), T Wiratchant (Tha)

3:34pm B Watson (USA), I Poulter (Eng), S Fox (USA)

3:45pm T Woods (USA), L Donald (Eng), S Piercy (USA)

3:56pm J. Day (Aus), R Fowler (USA), P Harrington (Irl)

4:07pm J Merrick (USA), T Olesen (Den), DA Points (USA)

4:18pm C Stadler (USA), B Curtis (USA), M Weaver (USA)

4:29pm M O'Meara (USA), M Laird (Sco), J Donaldson (Wal)

4:40pm P Lawrie (Sco), T Bjorn (Den), G Fernandez-Castano (Esp)

4:51pm T Immelman (Rsa), G Coetzee (Rsa), A Dunbar (NIr)

5:13pm E Els (Rsa), S Stricker (USA), N Watney (USA)

5:24pm B Crenshaw (USA), M Manassero (Ita), T Guan (Chn)

5:35pm B Langer (Ger), L Glover (USA), H Stenson (Swe)

5:46pm V Singh (Fij), B Van Pelt (USA), YE Yang (Kor)

5:57pm A Cabrera (Arg), S Garcia (Esp), A Scott (Aus)

6:08pm F Couples (USA), D Johnson (USA), B Grace (Rsa)

6:19pm H Mahan (USA), H Fujita (Jpn), F Molinari (Ita)

6:30pm P Mickelson (USA), L Oosthuizen (Rsa), M Kaymer (Ger)

6:41pm R McIlroy (Nir), K Bradley (USA), F Jacobson (Swe)

6:52pm J Dufner (USA), M Kuchar (USA), B Haas (USA)

Rory McIlroy admits he was wrong to storm off at Honda Classic

It was the wrong thing to do, admits McIlroy after storming off at Honda Classic

By
Derek Lawrenson

PUBLISHED:

00:48 GMT, 5 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:16 GMT, 5 March 2013

Rory McIlroy had barely made it back to his new home ten miles away on Jupiter Island on that fateful Friday last week when he knew he had done the wrong thing.

As Jack Nicklaus so wisely opined, if only he had thought for five minutes, he wouldn't have done it.

In an interview with American magazine Sports Illustrated last night, McIlroy held up his hand and admitted it was a terrible mistake to walk off the course after eight completed holes of his second round at the Honda Classic.

Backtracking: Rory McIlroy is now saying he was wrong to walk off

Backtracking: Rory McIlroy is now saying he was wrong to walk off

Whatever has been said in the aftermath
during the storm that has become McIl-gate, 'I have probably said to
myself,' he commented.

'It was the wrong thing to do,' added
McIlroy, and with those seven words he did what he's always done on the
few occasions he has made mistakes, and taken full responsibility for
his actions.

World No 1: But the defending champion insisted he wasn't in the right frame of mind to play on

World No 1: But the defending champion insisted he wasn't in the right frame of mind to play on

'It was a reactive decision. What I
should have done is take my drop, chip it on, try to make a five and
play my hardest on the back nine, even if I shot 85,' he said.

'What I
did was not good for the tournament, and not good for the kids and fans
who were watching me.' Mcilroy said at the time he was 'not in a good
place mentally,' and then a statement was issued on his behalf an hour
later blaming a sore wisdom tooth.

Concerning: There had been no signs that McIlroy was about to withdraw

Concerning: There had been no signs that McIlroy was about to withdraw

The latter is an ongoing problem –
his Belfast dentist Mark Conroy has faxed a letter to the PGA Tour
describing the problem – but McIlroy admitted it can be treated with
painkillers and did not constitute the sort of injury that would be a
mitigating reason for walking in.

This, after all, is the man who played
on with a badly strained tendon in his wrist after damaging it while
playing from off a tree root at the 2011 USPGA Championship.

McIlroy will learn from this, like he
always does. He will learn that it is always best to come clean, and not
seek to pull the wool over people's eyes. Here's betting he never walks
off a course again.

Miserable: The Northern Irishman did not appear to be enjoying himself

Miserable: The Northern Irishman did not appear to be enjoying himself

McIlroy breaks four-day Twitter silence

For every complex problem, there is a simple solution. #FTB

Now it's time to work on those damn
swing issues that are far more infuriating than a bad tooth.

McIlroy admitted to suffering teething problems since his switch from Mike. 'The driver and the ball took some time to get used to, but I had weeks at Nike before the start of the year, and I feel comfortable with all the equipment,' he said. 'The problem is, I’m bringing the club too upright on the backswing then dropping it in too much on the downswing.'

The next
time he will be seen in public is tomorrow at Doral and the WGC-Cadillac
Championship.

Caught in the act McIlroy had been pictured eating a sandwich, despite later claiming a tooth ache

Caught in the act McIlroy had been pictured eating a sandwich, despite later claiming a tooth ache

Regret: He has since withdrawn that as an excuse

Regret: He has since withdrawn that as an excuse

North London derby scores highest in Premier League games

Back of the net! North London derby averages most goals per game of ANY Premier League match… and here's some recent classics

By
Gerard Brand

PUBLISHED:

12:24 GMT, 28 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:57 GMT, 28 February 2013

Goals, dismissals, comebacks, bust-ups – the north London derby has had plenty of all of these over the years.

Now Sportsmail can reveal that the battle between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal provides the most goals per game in the Premier League when at least 10 matches have been played.

Of the 41 league games fought between the two sides, 121 goals have been scored, or 2.95 goals per game.

Scroll down for video

And another: Robert Pires scores in Arsenal's 5-4 win at White Hart Lane in November 2004, just one of the classic games between the side's over the years

And another: Robert Pires scores in Arsenal's 5-4 win at White Hart Lane in November 2004, just one a number of classic games between the side's over the years

LAST SIX WHITE HART LANE MEETINGS

October 2011: Spurs 2-1 Arsenal

April 2011: Spurs 3-3 Arsenal

April 2010: Spurs 2-1 Arsenal

Feb 2009: Spurs 0-0 Arsenal

Sep 2007: Spurs 1-3 Arsenal

April 2007: Spurs 2-2 Arsenal

In the last five games alone, a staggering 28 goals have been scored. That's even before you get to belters like Tottenham's comeback in the 4-4 draw at the Emirates in November 2008 and Arsenal's 5-4 win at White Hart Lane in 2004.

With Arsenal going for broke for fourth place and Tottenham playing their best football of the campaign (helped by the scintillating form of Gareth Bale), there could be goals galore on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners may be short on firepower at the moment, but Theo Walcott will be looking to add to his four goals in the last four north London derbies.

On the other side of the divide, Bale has netted four PL goals against Arsenal, the equal-most for a Tottenham player alongside Rafael van der Vaart.

Coming in a close second on average goals per game is Manchester United against Everton, with 121 goals scored in 42 Premier League games, or 2.88 goals per game.

This means that if a single goal is scored on Sunday afternoon, the contest will become the highest-scoring match in the Premier League era.

The argument over which English derby is the fiercest, most entertaining and most important has been running for years, with each and every fan in the country convinced their special rivalry is the one and only.

Fierce: North London derbies aren't just full of goals, with plenty of scuffles over the years, while Spurs have come out on top at White Hart Lane in recent years

Fierce: North London derbies aren't just full of goals, with plenty of scuffles over the years, while Spurs have come out on top at White Hart Lane in recent encounters

Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker and teammates Luka Modricand Gareth Bale celebrate after scoring a goal against Arsenal in 2011
PREMIER LEAGUE DERBIES

Liverpool v Everton: 92 goals in 41 games (2.24 goals per game)

Man City v Man Utd: 88 goals in 31 games (2.83 gpg)

Sunderland v Newcastle: 55 goals in 21 games (2.61 gpg)

But in comparison with the Merseyside, Manchester and Tyne-Wear derbies, North London's finest come out on top.

In the 41 Premier League games between Liverpool and Everton, 92 goals have been scored, equalling 2.24 goals per game.

Meanwhile, the Manchester derby has produced 82 goals in 31 games (2.83 goals per game), while Premier League encounters between Newcastle United and Sunderland have seen 55 goals in 31 games (2.61 goals per game).

VIDEO: North London derby classics from the past decade

Anne Keothavong loses first-round match in Shenzhen

Keothavong crashes out of Shenzhen with straight sets defeat

|

UPDATED:

09:09 GMT, 31 December 2012

Defeat: Keothavong lost her first-round match on Monday

Defeat: Keothavong lost her first-round match on Monday

Anne Keothavong's season got off to the worst possible start as she was knocked out of the WTA tour event in Shenzhen by China's Peng Shuai on Monday.

The British number three, who came through qualifying over the weekend, was beaten 6-4 6-0 by the sixth seed in the first round.

The defeat will be a setback for Keothavong's Australian Open preparations with the first grand slam of the year starting in Melbourne in two weeks.

Laura Robson won her first-round match on Sunday as she triumphed 6-2 6-1 over Romania's Edina Gallovits-Hill.

Second seed Marion Bartoli dropped just one game against Chinese wildcard Wing-Yau Chan.

British number one Heather Watson is playing in the ASB Classic in Auckland this week.

Manchester United v Real Madrid: Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho relationship

From that celebration at Old Trafford to sharing cups of tea… how Mourinho and Ferguson swapped fury for friendship

|

UPDATED:

13:35 GMT, 20 December 2012

It started with flamboyance for one and pure fury for the other when Jose Mourinho danced down the Old Trafford touchline as his Porto side knocked Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United out of the Champions League in 2004.

Mourinho's exuberant reaction to Costinha's last-second winner opened England's eyes to a self-styled Special One – a debonair, sophisticated and astute manager who was surely destined to challenged United's Premier League hegemony.

But from Ferguson's ire that night blossomed an unlikely friendship and mutual admiration between two of the finest tacticians and motivators the game has ever seen.

Taking off: Jose Mourinho celebrates Porto's win over Manchester United at Old Trafford

Taking off: Jose Mourinho celebrates Porto's win over Manchester United at Old Trafford

Jose Mourinho v Sir Alex Ferguson

P 14 W 6 D 6 L 2

Just a fortnight ago, the pair shared tea at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester as Mourinho's Real Madrid passed through town to play City in the Champions League.

And only yesterday, Ferguson admitted for the first time that the Portuguese could be his heir at Old Trafford when he finally steps down.

But that friendship is likely to be tested in the new year as the last 16 of the Champions League again pits them against one another.

The two matches will be wonderful occasions, reigniting a classic rivalry between two famous clubs, with the meeting of Mourinho and Ferguson one of many sub-plots.

It started in 2004, when Mourinho's all-conquering Porto side stole a 2-1 first leg advantage over United in a round of 16, first leg tie.

How times change: Mourinho and Ferguson went on to establish a firm friendship

How times change: Mourinho and Ferguson went on to establish a firm friendship

Ferguson confronted his opposite number after Roy Keane was dismissed for apparently stamping on goalkeeper Vitor Baia late in the game and, according to Mourinho, refused to shake his hand.

Afterwards, Mourinho poured scorn on Ferguson's complaints, saying patronisingly: 'I understand why he is a bit emotional.

'You would be sad if your team gets as clearly dominated by opponents who have been built on 10 per cent of the budget.

In the second leg at Old Trafford, with United leading on away goals through Paul Scholes, Costinha struck late to send United crashing out.

Mourinho, the tension of the occasion bubbling away inside him, sprinted down the Old Trafford touchline to celebrate with his players and the travelling supporters. Ferguson didn't look amused by the young upstart.

Less so when the Portuguese went on to prove that win wasn't a fluke by taking Porto all the way, becoming the most courted manager in Europe.

Embrace: Ferguson and Mourinho were re-united when Inter Milan travelled to Old Trafford

Embrace: Ferguson and Mourinho were re-united when Inter Milan travelled to Old Trafford

And even less so when Mourinho turned up at nouveau riche Chelsea in 2004, proclaiming: 'Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one.'

Ferguson later reflected: ‘I remember his first press conference [at Chelsea] and I thought, “Christ, he’s a cocky b*****, him”. He was telling the players, “Look, I’m the special one, we don’t lose games”.
'Bloody hell, coming to England, he is only a young man and saying he is the special one! But it told all the players to have the belief they were going to win the league.’

As Chelsea changed the landscape of English football, winning successive Premier League titles and recording a number of victories over United to hammer home their superiority, the two managers, oddly, grew closer.

They found a range of shared interests, such as fine wine, but predominantly a mutual passion for winning football matches.

Mourinho wasn't a quiet or placid character during his time in England, picking fights and arguments with the likes of Arsene Wenger, Rafael Benitez and even United's Cristiano Ronaldo (who had 'no education' apparently) – but never with Ferguson.

Still got it: Mourinho was back to his old tricks as Real Madrid beat Manchester City in the Champions League

Still got it: Mourinho was back to his old tricks as Real Madrid beat Manchester City in the Champions League

In fact, his air was almost deferential, regarding Ferguson as 'The Boss' and absorbing Ferguson's managerial nuances while in his company.

When United and Chelsea were neck-and-neck in the title race, Mourinho simply wouldn't engage in Ferguson's mind games.

On the touchline, even on the occasions when Chelsea would outplay United 3-0, there was a warmth in the handshakes and embraces, plus a very cordial relationship behind the scenes.

Things fizzled out in the on-field battle when Mourinho was ushered out of Stamford Bridge in the autumn of 2007, but they remained in touch.

He'd had the final say by beating United in the FA Cup final, but the Premier League trophy was securely back under lock and key in Manchester.

Ferguson was sad to see him go: 'Jose leaving is a disappointment for the game. I think he was terrific for football and, of course, for Chelsea.

Partners: Mourinho will be aided by former Old Trafford favourite Cristiano Ronaldo against United

Partners: Mourinho will be aided by former Old Trafford favourite Cristiano Ronaldo against United

'I enjoyed the competition with him and I think he brought something fresh and new to our game. I just don't know what I'm going to do with my wine now!'

There has been one skirmish since, in 2009, when United comfortably knocked Jose's Inter Milan out of the Champions League en route to the final.

It was like friends reunited, fuelling speculation, that refuses to die down even now, that Mourinho cultivated his friendship with Ferguson with an eye on being his successor.

He makes no secret of wanting to return to the Premier League at some point and Ferguson seems to approve.

'He can manage anywhere, absolutely,' the Scot said recently. 'I'm not going to put any forecasts on what is going to happen at this club. I won't last forever, but Jose can manage anywhere, there is no question about that.'

With 21 trophies in his decade in the dugout, Mourinho certainly looks the right fit to carry on Ferguson's dynasty.

But that can wait. For now, there are more pressing matters to attend to – two great European nights early next year.

Mourinho's complete record against Ferguson

Competition
Round
Date
Team
Opponent
For
Against
Result
Venue
Champions League
Round of 16
25/02/2004
Porto
Man Utd
2
1
W
H
Champions LeagueRound of 16
09/03/2004Porto
Man Utd1
1
D
A
Premier League
1
15/08/2004Chelsea
Man Utd1
0
W
H
League Cup
Semi-final
12/01/2005ChelseaMan Utd0
0
D
H
League Cup
Semi-final
26/01/2005ChelseaMan Utd2
1
W
A
Premier League33
10/05/2005ChelseaMan Utd3
1
W
A
Premier League12
06/11/2005ChelseaMan Utd0
1
L
A
Premier League37
29/04/2006ChelseaMan Utd3
0
W
H
Premier League14
26/11/2006ChelseaMan Utd1
1
D
A
Premier League34
09/05/2007ChelseaMan Utd0
0
D
H
FA Cup
Final
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Sportsmail remembers Superstars as it announces one-off return

Worth the licence fee alone! Sportsmail remembers Superstars as Olympic stars sign-up for one-off revival of TV classic

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UPDATED:

16:36 GMT, 14 November 2012

Never mind Newsnight-gate, who would not willingly pay their licence fee just for the sight of Wayne Rooney doing a Kevin Keegan and falling off his bike while racing against the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Andy Murray, Rory McIlroy, Johnny Wilkinson, Ben Ainslie and the like

Well that’s not going to happen, not in the multi-million football world where players are investments as much as sporting icons.

But BBC’s one-off revival of Superstars this Christmas, featuring a host of British Olympic medallists, could see Mo Farah capsizing his kayak, as you do, or Christine Ohuruogu drowning.

Cult status: Kevin Keegan crashes in original TV show of Superstars

Cult status: Kevin Keegan crashes in original TV show of Superstars

SUPERSTARS RETURN

Britain's Olympic stars are to take part in one-off revival of 1970s cult television show Superstars.

Gold medalists Mo Farah, Katherine Grainger, Jade Jones and Alistair Brownlee will be among 16 competitors who will tackle eight events: track races over 100m and 800m, archery, javelin, a 50m swim, a kayak race, a cycling hill climb and the challenges in the gym tests.

Click here to read more

As severe as the latter may sound, it
was always the fish-out-of-water potential for disaster from one
sportsman trying to master an alien sport that appealed to the
programme’s large following during the 1970s and 1980s.

The defining moment of the show came
in 1976 at, of all places, Bracknell when Keegan, still very much in his
pomp with Liverpool and England, crashed his bicycle during an episode
of European Superstars.

Despite suffering nasty cuts and
abrasions, he insisted on racing again and finishing second on the way
to ultimate victory via a win in the steeplechase.

Viewers loved and admired Keegan for
his courage while laughing at his embarrassment. At least I did and I
think most of the audience felt the same.

The mixture of humour, of great
sportsmen demonstrating frailty and of the participation (at least in
the early days) of some giants of sport proved a potent ratings mixture.

Bobby Moore, no less, Jackie Stewart,
Tony Jacklin and Welsh rugby legend Barry John were included in the
first line up in 1973, though no-one got near David Hemery who became
more famous for the Superstars performances than his victory in the 400
metres hurdles at the Mexico Olympics five years earlier.

Mick Channon, John Conteh, James
Hunt, Gareth Edwards, Daley Thompson and Geoff Hurst – it was very much a
male dominated environment at that time – were others who found
themselves in that place without a puddle having to explain themselves
breathlessly to David Vine.

Stellar cast: Bobby Moore, Joe Bugner and Geoff Capes were among the original Superstars

Stellar cast: Bobby Moore, Joe Bugner and Geoff Capes were among the original Superstars

geoff capes
GOLD STANDARD COMPETITORS

The full list: Alastair and Jonathan
Brownlee, Mo Farah, Robbie Grabarz, Michael Jamieson, Anthony Joshua,
Andrew Triggs Hodge, Peter Wilson, Nicola Adams, Lizzie Armistead, Laura
Bechtolsheimer, Gemma Gibbons, Helen Glover, Katherine Grainger, Jade
Jones and Christine Ohuruogo.

But the real stars of that era were
judo master Brian ‘Squat Thrust’ Jacks and World Superstars champion
Brian Hooper, pool vaulter turned demented kayaker. At least that is how
I remember his thrashing through the water leaving everyone in his
wake.

Part of the attraction was the fierce
competition. While some were prepared to play for laughs, many took it
very seriously indeed. I seem to remember Daley Thompson placing a watch
under his body to monitor his squat thrusts, a move which prompted
Jacks, the King of the Squats, to put an orange in the same place.

Who, like me, remembers Malcolm
MacDonald running the 100 metres in an astonishing 10.9 seconds only to
prove an even more impressive marksman despite having never previously
fired a pistol

Who could forget big scarey boxer Joe Bugner being frightened to attempt the water jump during the steeplechase

Or renowned hellraiser Stan Bowles
literally shooting himself in the foot. Apparently, Bowles and James
Hunt, another notiorious party animal, had been out the night before.

Count me in: Double Olympic champion Mo Farah will be one of those to take part

Count me in: Double Olympic champion Mo Farah will be one of those to take part

Great memories from the days when
live sport was limited almost to the three Rs – racing, rugby and
(w)restling – and Superstars provided some action for the starved sports
nut.

Maybe that diminished sports
portfolio explains part of the reason that why the Beeb have resurrected
this oldie. That and the success of the Olympics, of course.

There are no fewer than 10 gold
medallists taking part in the Christmas special. But most will not
remain household names in the years to come.

Robert Garrigus outshines Tiger Woods at CIMB Classic in Malaysia

Garrigus and Kruger outshine Tiger as big-hitter builds halfway lead in Malaysia

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UPDATED:

11:19 GMT, 26 October 2012

Big-hitting Robert Garrigus fired a second successive 64 to grab the halfway lead in the CIMB Classic at The Mines in Malaysia.

The 34-year-old American, three times a runner-up on the PGA Tour this season, had eight birdies in 11 holes before a closing bogey left him 14 under par and two ahead of South African Jbe Kruger.

Out in front: Robert Garrigus plays out of the rough on the 18th hole at The MINES Golf Club

Out in front: Robert Garrigus plays out of the rough on the 18th hole at The MINES Golf Club

CIMB Classic Leaderboard

Click here to view all the latest scores

Also round in 64, world No 181 Kruger
out-scored playing partner Tiger Woods by three to keep alive his hopes
of the massive 806,000 first prize.

Outplayed: Tiger Woods shakes hand with Jbe Kruger after finishing round two of the CIMB Classic

Outplayed: Tiger Woods shakes hand with Jbe Kruger after finishing round two of the CIMB Classic

Hats off: A hot Woods sports an unfamiliar look while waiting to play on the 10th hole

Hats off: A hot Woods sports an unfamiliar look while waiting to play on the 10th hole in Kuala Lumpur

Woods improved from joint seventh to tied fifth, but is now five strokes behind rather than three.

As for first-round pacesetter Troy
Matteson, he did not have a bogey for the second day running, but his
only birdies came at the third and sixth holes and with a 69 he dropped
into a tie for third with Australian left-hander Greg Chalmers.

Garrigus had to wait until the short
seventh for his first birdie, but then rattled off four in a row and
continued to make forward progress over the back nine until his slip-up
at the last.

Woods added six birdies to the seven he had on the opening day, but once again there were also two bogeys on his card.

Scotland's Martin Laird birdied three of the final five holes for a 67 and joint 11th place on seven under, while Swede Carl Pettersson is one further back after a round that included an eagle, six birdies and four bogeys.

Disappointment for the home fans came with Danny Chia managing only a 75 and crashing from seventh to 41st in the 48-man field.

Frankie Dettori ends association with Godolphin

Dettori: It's over, Dubai! Jockey quits Godolphin after calculated act of defiance on Coolmore horse

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UPDATED:

21:37 GMT, 21 October 2012

Frankie Dettori appears destined for a
freelance career after ending his 18-year association with
Dubai-based Godolphin.

The position of Britain's best known Flat jockey
had looked in serious doubt since he accepted the Prix De L'Arc de
Triomphe ride on Aidan O'Brien's Camelot earlier this month.

Riding a
colt owned by the Coolmore Stud – fierce commercial rivals to Godolphin
and its founder Sheik Mohammed – appeared a calculated act of defiance
which placed the 41-year-old on an inevitable path to Sunday's
conclusion.

Royal Blue: Frankie Dettori will end his association with Godolpin after 18 years

Royal Blue: Frankie Dettori will end his association with Godolpin after 18 years

Dettori had lost his No 1 role at Godolphin and, at times,
looked a humiliated figure as opportunities were handed increasingly to
rising 21-year-old French rider Mickael Barzalona, who rode Godolphin's
2012 Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso and St Leger hero Encke.

There
were rumours Dettori was about to quit before the Derby in June,
and on Sunday he said: 'Godolphin has been a major part of everything I
have achieved in racing and I have loved every minute of it.

'I feel the
time has come for a change. My position in the stable has changed a
little bit and I need a new challenge.'

Godolphin racing manager Simon
Crisford said he hoped Dettori would still ride for the stable, but an
era has ended.

On his way: Dettori feels put out by the favouring of his French-born Godolphin team-mate

On his way: Dettori feels put out by the favouring of his French-born Godolphin team-mate

FRANKIE'S FILE

Rides: 3,422
Wins: 943
Group One victories: 110 (262 victories at Listed level or higher)
Strike rate: 28 per cent
Ridden for Godolphin at 65 courses in 14 different countries, winning at 55 of them.

Rode Godolphin’s first Classic winner in 1994 Oaks on Balanchine.

Landed the Dubai World Cup Three times: Dubai Millennium (2000), Moon Ballad (2003) & Electrocutionist (206)

Won nine British Classics

Other best Horses ridden: Daylami (1998 Eclipse, 1999 Breeders’ Cup Turf & King George), Marienbard (2002 Arc), Singspiel (1997 Coronation Cup & International Stakes), Sakhee (2001 Arc & International Stakes), Swain (1996 Coronation Cup, 1998 King George)

Dettori's last mounts in the Godolphin blue may prove to
be Artigiano at the Breeders' Cup and Cavalryman in the Melbourne Cup
next month.

Suggestions a big job may be in the offing from racing's
growing number of Qatari owners were countered by a strong suggestion
Jamie Spencer is poised to land a major role with Shiek Fahad Al Thani
and his family.

Godolphin’s racing manager, Crisford, added: 'We have had a tremendous association with Frankie over many years.

'However, Frankie is looking for a fresh challenge and we felt that the retainer was not really working so this is the best way forward.

'We have had many great days together and we look forward to working with Frankie in the future and hopefully enjoying more success together.'

Speculation that breaking point had been reached was fired when Dettori accepted the ride on Camelot, the colt owned by Coolmore Stud, in the Prix de L’ Arc de Triomphe on October 7.

The Irish stud and Sheik Mohammed, who pays Dettori a sizeable retainer, are the two giants of the European racing industry and fierce commercial rivals.

Switch: Dettori rode Camelot for Aidan O'Brien in the Arc

Switch: Dettori rode Camelot for Aidan O'Brien in the Arc

Dettori had not ridden for Coolmore
since winning the 2005 St Leger on the O’ Brien-trained Scorpion,
after which he was forced to issue a public apology for his lack of
loyalty to Godolphin.

Barzalona,
on board Encke when the colt provided Godolphin with their one British
Classic winner this season in the St Leger, also rode Godolphin’s most
prestigious winner of the year when partnering Monterosso in the Dubai
World Cup in March.

That
loss of Dettori’s No 1 status, in particular Godolphin’s newest trainer
Mahmood Al Zarooni seeming to favour using Barzalona, was in effect a
public humiliation for Dettori and the Camelot taking ride appeared a
calculated act of defiance.

Both Dettori and Godolphin are expected to say that they will still work together but those situations look likely to be infrequent at best.

The 41-year-old Italian has enjoying massive success with Godolphin.

He was on board their first Classic winner when Balanchine won the 1994 Oaks at Epsom.

In all he has ridden in 3,442 races for them in 14 different countries, won 943 races with 110 at Group One level.

Although he never won the Derby for the Sheik Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai he affectionately calls The Boss, Dettori landed nine British Classics for the stable.

Favoured: Mickael Barzalona will enjoy the pick of Godolphin's runners

Favoured: Mickael Barzalona will enjoy the pick of Godolphin's runners

The best horse he rode for Godolphin
was the ill-fated Dubai Millennium, who became the first of his three
Dubai World Cup winners for the team in 2000.

Other
top Godolphin horses he rode included Arc winners Sakhee (2000) and
Marienbard (2001), King George winners Swain (1998) and Daylami (1999)
plus Breeder’s Cup Turf hero Fantastic Light (1991).

Dettori finished last on Godolphin’s Colour Vision in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Saturday.

That horse provided what might be his last group one winner for Godolphin when landing the Ascot Gold Cup in June.

A
freelance career now looks to be the future for Dettori, who finished
second on Godolphin's Retrieved in the Gran Premio del Jocky Club
Italiano on Sunday.

There
will also be speculation whether Barzalona, who will be first choice,
yet has the experience for such a hot seat in a worldwide racing
operation.

He is not yet
the finished article but Sheik Mohammed has never been afraid of giving
youth its head, just as he did with Dettori.

McGladrey Classic: Live leaderboard

McGladrey Classic leaderboard: Keep up to date with the scores

The PGA Tour is at Sea Island this week for the McGladrey Classic.

Ben Crane took the title last year and you can keep track of all the latest scores right here.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE LEADERBOARD

Classic performance: Ben Crane with the trophy for the McGladrey last year

Classic performance: Ben Crane with the trophy for the McGladrey last year