Tag Archives: contenders

D.A. Points wins the Shell Houston Open

DA Points wins Shell Houston Open to book his place at the Masters

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

01:00 GMT, 1 April 2013

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UPDATED:

02:12 GMT, 1 April 2013

DA Points found form out of nowhere to claim victory at the Shell Houston Open by a shot and book his place at the Masters.

Points had missed three cuts in a row and seven of his last nine heading into the Texas event, but hit his stride straight away, claiming the lead after the first round.

And he stayed in contention throughout the week, carding a six-under-par 66 today, inclduing a pressure putt on the 18th, to hold off Henrik Stenson and Billy Horschel and win by one stroke on 16 under.

All smiles: points celebrates with his hard-earned trophy

All smiles: points celebrates with his hard-earned trophy

'It's been a realy tough year, a tough
start,' he said. 'To have a putt to win – you want that starting out
every week. I would have liked it to be a little closer, but I've been
putting really well.'

Points came out on top after a
dramatic day, which saw a host of players move in and out of contention
and was extended because of a rain delay late on.

Stewart Cink and Bill Haas went into the day as joint leaders, but neither in the end was a serious contender.

Haas dropped two shots on the front
nine and in the end finished level par for his final round, while Cink
could muster only three birdies. An eagle on the last would have seen
him into a play-off with Points, but he found sand and ended up with a
bogey to sit in a share of sixth on 13 under.

Among the other contenders, Stenson
and Horschel hit contrasting 66s and were left to see if Points would
slip up on the final hole.

Weather delay: Bad weather delayed play on the final day

Weather delay: Bad weather delayed play on the final day

Weather delay: Bad weather delayed play on the final day

Stenson needed four birdies in his
last five holes to hit the mark, while Horschel could not find the shot
he needed at the back end of the course, parring each of the last five
holes.

The good news for Stenson was that his
performance was enough to earn him a place in the world's top 50 and an
invitation to the Masters.

Adding to the drama was a near
three-hour delay in play, with only a handful of players still out on
course and Stenson the clubhouse leader, caused by a downpour in
Houston.

Points held his nerve, though, saving
par on each of his last two holes using a putter he revealed earlier in
the week was one he had taken from his mother when he was younger and
had refurbished this week in an attempt to improve his play on the
greens.

Happy days: D.A. Points celebrates winning the Shell Houston Open

Happy days: D.A. Points celebrates winning the Shell Houston Open

Get in the hole: D.A. Points celebrates his par putt on the 18th green

Get in the hole: D.A. Points celebrates his par putt on the 18th green

'I was firing on all cycliners,' he said. 'I'm proud of myself that the rain delay didn't put a stop to that.'

Dustin Johnson produced the round of
the day, a seven-under 65, to finish in a share of fourth on 14 under,
alongside Ben Crane, while a 67 saw Brian Davis finish as the leading
Briton on 13 under, two strokes aherad of compatriot Lee Westwood.

Rory McIlroy managed a third straight under-par round to finish four under overall.

He told www.pgatour.com: '[There are]
lot of positives to take from it. I've learned a few things as well that
I can bring into next week and obviously looking ahead to Augusta, too.

'It's been a productive week.'

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had a winning horse at Doncaster

Ferguson's nous extends from the pitch to the racecourse with win in Doncaster

PUBLISHED:

18:39 GMT, 1 March 2013

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UPDATED:

18:39 GMT, 1 March 2013

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was in the winner's enclosure at Doncaster after Empire Levant made a winning start to his career over fences in the 32Red Novices' Chase.

The Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old was a 4-5 favourite on his first
appearance since failing to complete a hurdle race at Aintree in late October and was sent straight to the lead by Daryl Jacob.

Winners enclosure: Sir Alex Ferguson (left) with Empire Lavant and jockey Daryl Jacob after their victory at Doncaster

Winners enclosure: Sir Alex Ferguson (left) with Empire Lavant and jockey Daryl Jacob after their victory at Doncaster

Largely jumping quickly and accurately, all appeared to be going well for
favourite-backers until the grey made a real mess of the fifth fence from home, bringing him right back to the rest of the field.

However, he was good and neat at the remaining four fences in the home straight and found enough for pressure to hold off the determined Speed Steed by two and a quarter lengths.

Empire Levant is owned by Ferguson and Ged Mason and carries the colours of Grand National contenders What A Friend and Harry The Viking.

Sharing a joke: Ferguson and Jacob chat after the win

Sharing a joke: Ferguson and Jacob chat after the win

Dereck Chisora to return to the ring on March 16 – as long as he is granted license

Chisora hopes for ring return in March – as long as he receives licence from British board

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

12:50 GMT, 14 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:52 GMT, 14 January 2013

Heavyweight bad boy Dereck Chisora will return to the ring at Wembley Arena on March 16 – if he is cleared to fight by the British Boxing Board of Control.

The Londoner was stripped of his licence last year after a shameful brawl with David Haye at a post-fight press conference in Munich in February following his defeat by WBC world champion Vitali Klitschko.

The two protagonists settled their differences in the ring at Upton Park in July under the auspices of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation when Haye stopped the 29-year-old in the fifth round.

Back in the ring: Dereck Chisora hopes to be fighting again in March

Back in the ring: Dereck Chisora hopes to be fighting again in March

Chisora, who has taken anger management classes in a bid to convince the Board he is fit to hold a licence, expects to hear shortly whether he will be cleared to fight on the same card as world champions Ricky Burns and Nathan Cleverly and Commonwealth champion George Groves.

'I've been keeping quite busy,' he said. 'I've been in the gym and I've been running.'

Chisora will hope that victory over 10 rounds in March – against an opponent yet to be named – will propel him back among the contenders for a world title or set him up to challenge David Price for his British and Commonwealth belts.

The undefeated Liverpudlian is open to the idea of fighting Chisora but must first face American Tony Thompson on home soil on February 23 at the Echo Arena.

Sir Clive Woodward: Funding is the oxygen for British success in sports like basketball… dont cut the pipeline

Sir Clive Woodward: Funding is the oxygen for British success in sports like basketball… don’t cut the pipeline

. Several sports – including basketball – have seen their funds slashed.

There is a growing furore over the Olympic sports which have missed out on funding from UK Sport’s 347m pot of gold for the so-called 'Road to Rio'.

Those sports which are deemed not to be ‘podium contenders’ have been left at the starting blocks and pondering their very future and even their existence.

Understandably, administrators, players and fans are angry and frustrated given the very noisy and public commitment to fulfil an Olympic and Paralympic legacy, which was at the core of our successful Bid in 2005 and to Inspire a Generation.

As someone who has worked at the very
heart of elite sport and performance, I have sympathy and support for
these sports, which include basketball, handball and volleyball, which
all attracted massive crowds last summer.

Struggles: Britain's basketball stars will find it difficult to compete on the world stage

Struggles: Britain's basketball stars will find it difficult to compete on the world stage

In terms of potential medal winners at Rio in 2016, those who hold the purse strings probably got it right as judged by their own very strict criteria but we must not develop tunnel vision focused only on the podium.

We must adopt a broader and longer-term vision and aspiration rather than leave ourselves accused of developing an unhealthy lust for medals at all costs, and invest and develop other sports, especially team sports on the back of our Olympic and Paralympic triumph.

It is much more difficult to win medals in team sports compared to individual sports and, traditionally, they do not add many medals to the final medal table because they are not multi-discipline events like rowing, cycling boxing, swimming and athletics. In team sports like basketball you usually only have the men’s team and women’s team.

Road to Rio: The countdown is already on for Britain's trip to Brazil in 2016

Road to Rio: The countdown is already on for Britain's trip to Brazil in 2016

Yet, if you analyse the low cost and highly accessible aspect of most team sports, compared to other sports and those which sit comfortably in our inner communities, it is completely baffling to me, why funding has been completely stopped in this area.

In the wake of London 2012 I had hope our cities would be crammed with courts for kids to play team sports, emulating their heroes and nurturing a love for team sport and the camaraderie and spirit, such sports inspire.

My solution to this currently unacceptable situation is to make a special case for these sports with a completely separate pool of funds made available through a new specially set up division of UK Sport called the 'Olympic Development Sports' providing specific support for sports where existing funds cannot be justified.

Heady times: London 2012 captivated the nation last summer

Heady times: London 2012 captivated the nation last summer

These sports should sign up to a long term business plan, say over 12 years with the aim of qualifying for and winning medals not, just for the next Olympics in 2016 but in 2020 and 2024.

This is investing and building for the future and totally fulfils the Legacy aspiration albeit over a much longer period. These sports should be supported and helped to reach a level where funding can be justified in their own right, and at which stage they will be promoted from the 'Olympic Development Sports' category.

After such a momentous year for sport in Britain, it would be scandalous if these sports did not receive the extra funding they need to continue their exciting journeys and help realise the dreams of thousands of youngsters who simply want to throw a ball into a hoop or push a ball over a net on the sand.

Funding is their oxygen for success. Don’t cut the pipeline.

Nick Barmby and Paul Cox favourites to take over at Barnsley

Barmby and Cox front runners for vacant Barnsley job

PUBLISHED:

16:29 GMT, 10 January 2013

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UPDATED:

16:44 GMT, 10 January 2013

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox has emerged as one of the contenders to take over at Barnsley, with former Hull City boss Nick Barmby also in the frame.

The South Yorkshire club are seeking a replacement for Keith Hill, who was sacked on December 29 following a 3-1 home defeat by Blackburn Rovers which left them bottom of the Championship.

In the running: Mansfield manager Paul Cox is a contender for the Barnsley job

In the running: Mansfield manager Paul Cox is a contender for the Barnsley job

Contender: Former Hull boss Nick Barmby is also in the running

Contender: Former Hull boss Nick Barmby is also in the running

Inverness manager Terry Butcher was also linked with the vacant position but has said he will be remaining in Scotland, while recently fired Nottingham Forest boss Sean O'Driscoll also turned it down.

Cox, 41, is contracted at Mansfield until 2014 having joined the club in 2011. He guided the Stags to the third round of the FA Cup, where they were unfortunate to lose 2-1 to Liverpool last weekend.

Sacked! Barnsley manager Keith Hill was fired after the defeat by Blackburn

Sacked! Barnsley manager Keith Hill was fired after the defeat by Blackburn

Former England midfielder Barmby, 38, was last at the helm of Hull City last season but was sacked in May last year after making comments about the owners and his transfer budget.

Neil Redfearn could replace Keith Hill at Barnsley

Redfearn could return to old club Barnsley to replace sacked Hill as manager

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UPDATED:

22:37 GMT, 30 December 2012

Former Barnsley winger Neil Redfearn is among contenders to replace Keith Hill as the Championship club's manager.

Redfearn, 47, is currently coaching at Leeds.

Former assistant David Flitcroft, 38, has been put in caretaker charge following Hill's dismissal on Saturday.

Wanted man: Neil Redfearn could return to Barnsley to replace Keith Hill

Wanted man: Neil Redfearn could return to Barnsley to replace Keith Hill

Hill left the club after recording a home defeat against Blackburn.

Josh King, Ruben Rochina and Jordan Rhodes secure the win to cancel out Stephen Dawson's 76th-minute goal.

Caretaker: David Flitcroft (left) has taken the reins at Barnsley after Hill was dismissed on Saturday

Caretaker: David Flitcroft (left) has taken the reins at Barnsley after Hill was dismissed on Saturday

Nani cannot go to Arsenal says Sir Alex Ferguson

We won't let him go! Fergie tells Arsenal their pursuit of Nani is doomed

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UPDATED:

00:49 GMT, 30 December 2012

Alex Ferguson has dismissed Arsenal’s
hopes of signing Nani when the transfer window reopens next month.

The Portuguese winger has been
sidelined by a hamstring injury since November but the United boss
revealed talks are in place to extend his current deal at Old Trafford
beyond 2014.

Nani has found himself on the fringes of United's first-team and had appeared out of favour after a falling out with Ferguson and an impasse over a contract extension.

No way: Sir Alex Ferguson said Nani is needed at Old Trafford

No way: Sir Alex Ferguson said Nani is needed at Old Trafford

He also had a bust-up with promising
United midfielder Davide Petrucci earlier this season and has not played
since he was hauled off during the Champions League match at Braga in
early November.

But Ferguson said: ‘We won’t be letting him go. His contract isn’t up for a year and a half. We need a Nani, he’s got incredible talent,' report the Sunday Times.

Arsenal were using Manchester United’s swoop for Robin van Persie as leverage in their chase for misfit Nani.

On the fringes: Nani has struggled to hold down a place in the United starting XI this season

On the fringes: Nani has struggled to hold down a place in the United starting XI

The Holland striker’s 24m move to Old Trafford was largely smooth and pain-free. And the north London club tried to use
the fact they did not turn Van Persie’s switch into a drawn-out saga as
a bargaining tool in their discussions for Nani.

Sportsmail revealed Arsene Wenger’s interest in the 26-year-old winger earlier this month. Chelsea are also contenders to sign Nani, should he ever leave Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are having better luck in the chase for 5million left-back Luke Shaw, a Premier League regular for Southampton at 17.

Target: Luke Shaw in action for Southampton against Stoke on Saturday

Target: Luke Shaw in action for Southampton against Stoke on Saturday

Arsene Wenger has signed Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from the club and will use that relationship to move for Shaw as Chelsea are also interested.

Wenger is looking to add to his options at left-back with Brazilian flop Andre Santos nearing the exit door and Kieran Gibbs' niggling injury problems continuing to interrupt his progress.

Arsenal keen to sign Nani from Manchester United

EXCLUSIVE: We let you have RVP, now sell Nani to us on the cheap: Arsenal set to swoop for United winger

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UPDATED:

22:57 GMT, 28 December 2012

Arsenal are using Manchester United’s swoop for Robin van Persie as leverage in their chase for misfit Nani.

The Gunners have opened talks with United over a January move for the Portugal winger.

The Old Trafford club want in the region of 20million for Nani, who has fallen out of favour with manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Top target: Nani is wanted by Arsenal

Top target: Nani is wanted by Arsenal

But Arsenal want a cheaper fee and are highlighting Van Persie’s summer move north in their attempts to secure a lower price.

The Holland striker’s 24m move to Old Trafford was largely smooth and pain-free. And the north London club are using the fact they did not turn Van Persie’s switch into a drawn-out saga as a bargaining tool in their discussions for Nani.

Sportsmail revealed Arsene Wenger’s interest in the 26-year-old winger earlier this month. Chelsea are also emerging as contenders to sign Nani.

Meanwhile, Everton’s Nikica Jelavic is the latest striker Arsenal have looked at in their search for a new centre forward next month.

On the fringes: Nani has struggled to hold down a place in the United starting XI this season due to injury and poor form

On the fringes: Nani has struggled to hold down a place in the United starting XI this season due to injury and poor form

A senior scout ran the rule over the Croatia star in Everton’s 2-1 win over West Ham on December 22.

Arsenal also have a strong interest in Southampton’s 17-year-old left back Luke Shaw.

Wenger will continue to play Theo Walcott at centre forward as he attempts to repeat the conversion trick he performed with Thierry Henry.

Walcott has responded superbly upon getting his chance to play up front during the last two Arsenal games — key wins at Reading and Wigan which steadied the team after their shock Capital One Cup loss at Bradford.

On the radar: Arsenal are also considering a move for Everton's Nikica Jelavic

On the radar: Arsenal are also considering a move for Everton's Nikica Jelavic

‘I like the signs I have seen,’ said Wenger. ‘It is an interesting challenge. I think he can take it on. I always said that one day he would play through the middle and it grew in his brain.

‘He is now 23. I decided to play Thierry Henry at 23 through the middle because you have to learn a lot before.

‘The fact that you play in other positions as well helps your technique. On the wing you need a shorter technique against the line, once you play in the middle you can go on both sides. From the age of 19 to 23, Theo has learnt a lot. Now we will sometimes play him on the flanks, sometimes through the middle.

‘Let’s not put him under too much pressure. He has played two games and you have to be open-minded in our job and give people a chance. If they take it, it’s good. If they don’t, he will still be a fantastic winger.

Back again: Arsene Wenger (right) is considering a loan move for Henry, who trained at Arsenal on Friday

Back again: Arsene Wenger (right) is considering a loan move for Henry, who trained at Arsenal on Friday

‘I am confident he will do well. It’s a bit early to compare him to Thierry Henry but Thierry gives him advice. It’s always important. Theo’s a very intelligent boy. He understands very quickly when you tell him something. That’s why I think he can do very well in this position.’

Arsenal’s contract talks with Walcott have reopened but there is no agreement imminent. His deal expires in the summer, but he has rejected the offer on the table and from Tuesday will be eligible under the Bosman rules to agree a deal to join an overseas club on a free transfer at the end of the season.

‘I want him to stay and I have always been consistent on that,’ said Wenger.

Down the middle: Wenger is considering playing Walcott in a central role more often

Down the middle: Wenger is considering playing Walcott in a central role more often

In addition to Nani, Wenger is in pursuit of Barcelona’s David Villa, but he has not ruled out another short-term loan deal to bring Henry back to the club for a third time.

The 35-year-old New York Red Bulls striker, who scored twice in seven games on loan at the Emirates last year, trained with Arsenal yesterday as part of his programme to stay in shape during the MLS close season.

‘I’ve not lost interest in him,’ said Wenger. ‘He’s coming to practise with us. He’s in better physical shape than he was last time he was here. Our relationship is very close. I have not completely ruled it out but I have not spoken about it with him at all.

‘He has had a second spell at the club that was very successful. You have to be cautious that it’s not one time too many.’

Demba Ba wants to join boyhood club PSG – despite QPR, Liverpool and Arsenal interest

QPR lead Liverpool and Arsenal in race to activate Ba's 7m clause… but Newcastle hitman eyes up PSG deal

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UPDATED:

10:30 GMT, 26 December 2012

Demba Ba has reinforced his desire to move to Paris Saint-Germain despite QPR's interest in his signature

The Newcastle hitman has a 7million release clause that several Barclays Premier League clubs are tempted to activate next month.

Along with Arsenal and Liverpool, QPR boss Harry Redknapp has targeted Ba in the hope he can provide the goals to secure top-flight survival, but all three could be beaten to the striker by mega-rich PSG.

In demand: Several clubs are interested in taking Ba from Newcastle

In demand: Several clubs are interested in taking Ba from Newcastle

‘I look at PSG as a fan, as a supporter,’ Ba said.

‘I have never concealed my attraction to the club as a fan, which I have been since I was little.’

As Arsenal stall, the 27-year old has most recently been linked with both Spurs, while Newcastle’s interest in Marseille’s Loic Remy still remains.

Dangerous: Ba is a proven Premier League goalscorer

Dangerous: Ba is a proven Premier League goalscorer

What has changed since Ba’s childhood days, however, is PSG’s capacity to challenge and to become true contenders in Europe.

They topped Group A in the Champions League and will face Valencia in the last 16 on February 12, 2013.

‘Now they are doing big and important things, and have big plans for the future. Of course I’d like to play in the colours of a team I support.

Thin: Rodgers has few striking options

Thin: Rodgers has few striking options

Survival: Redknapp's looking to spend

Survival: Redknapp's looking to spend

Needs goals: Wenger's Arsenal are struggling

Needs goals: Wenger's Arsenal are struggling

‘As I’ve said where Arsenal are concerned, now isn’t the time to leave the Magpies.’

Gary Hooper snubs new Celtic deal as Juventus join Premier League giants in race for striker

Hooper snubs new deal with Celtic as Juve join Premier League giants in race for striker

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UPDATED:

17:08 GMT, 19 December 2012

Juventus are emerging as shock contenders for Celtic hotshot Gary Hooper.

The former Scunthorpe striker has turned down a new contract with the Bhoys, putting a host of Premier League clubs on red-alert.

Liverpool, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers have all registered an interest in the 24-year-old.

Growing reputation: Celtic striker Gary Hooper has made his mark in Europe

Growing reputation: Celtic striker Gary Hooper has made his mark in Europe

Hotshot Hooper

Season:

Games: 25 Goals: 13

Celtic:

Games: 110 Goals: 64

Scunthorpe:

Games: 92 Goals: 50

But Italian giants Juve are the latest side to sit up and take notice of Hooper's prolific goalscoring exploits with the Scottish giants.

Hooper has scored 13 goals for Neil Lennon's side this season – three of which have come in the Champions League.

He also has a better than one goal in every two games ratio for Celtic, scoring 64 times in 102 starts for the Scottish side.

In demand: Hooper has attracted interest from a host of Premier League clubs

In demand: Hooper has attracted interest from a host of Premier League clubs

And it is his performances in Europe's elite club competition that has triggered the interest from Juve.

Hooper still has 18 months left to run on his current deal and Celtic are continuing with their attempts to sign him to fresh terms.