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NFL Draft 2013: Manchester"s Menelik Watson drafted by Oakland Raiders

Manchester's Watson lands dream NFL job after being drafted by the Oakland Raiders

PUBLISHED:

23:56 GMT, 26 April 2013

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UPDATED:

23:58 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Manchester-born Menelik Watson was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Watson, who overcame an impoverished
childhood in Longsight before heading stateside via the Canary Islands,
was expected by many to be taken in the first round at New York's Radio
City Music Hall.

Second chance: Manchester-born Menelik Watson (right), seen here with Texas A&M prospect Luke Joeckel at a youth football clinic, is expected to find a club in the second round of the NFL draft tomorrow

Second chance: Manchester-born Menelik Watson (right), seen here with Texas A&M prospect Luke Joeckel at a youth football clinic, is expected to find a club in the second round of the NFL draft tomorrow

Block: Watson (left) in action for Florida State Seminoles back in November

Block: Watson (left) in action for Florida State Seminoles back in November

That did not happen, although the offensive tackle did not have to wait long to hear his name called on Friday evening; he was chosen with the 42nd overall pick.

Watson, from Florida State University, joins a team that finished with a 4-12 record last season and are widely tipped to struggle again this year.

For many, not being grabbed on day one when predicted is a disappointment, but that will not be the case with Watson.

Selective: Defensive End Dion Jordan from Oregon was selected third overall by the Miami Dolphins

Selective: Defensive End Dion Jordan from Oregon was selected third overall by the Miami Dolphins

Dion Jordan, from Oregon, speaks during a news conference after being selected third overall by the Miami Dolphins during the first round of the NFL football draft

Speaking prior to learning his fate, he said: 'I am not interested (in where I am drafted).

'Wherever I end up, I'll be happy.
Being talked about as a first-rounder is not a concern of mine. It's all
about going to the team and doing a job.

'The NFL is a totally new animal and a totally different level. Once I get somewhere, I have still got to do a job.'

While it took longer than expected
for Watson's name to come off the board, an early second-round berth is
still a considerable achievement for someone who did not know the
sport's rules two years ago.

Watson will now set his sights on impressing when training camp starts this summer, with a view to earning a starting place.

First pick: Central Michigan's Eric Fisher with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round

First pick: Central Michigan's Eric Fisher with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round

Lauren Davis stung on the backside by wasp at Sony Open

Sting in the tail: Tennis teen Davis suffers wasp attack on the backside at Sony Open… and accidentally recreates iconic poster

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

10:54 GMT, 25 March 2013

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UPDATED:

16:04 GMT, 25 March 2013

This is not a recreation of Martin Elliott’s iconic tennis poster from 1976 but something altogether more painful.

When 19-year-old Lauren Davis lost her third-round match at the Sony Open, it was not just the defeat that stung.

During the gruelling defeat by world No 36 Alize Cornet under the Florida sun, the American was stung by a wasp on her backside.

Lauren Davis of the USA reacts after being stung by a wasp

Lauren Davis of the USA reacts after being stung by a wasp

Wasp attack: Lauren Davis was stung on the backside while playing Alize Cornet (or should that be hornet)

Lauren Davis of the USA reacts after being stung by a wasp

Lauren Davis of the USA reacts after being stung by a wasp

She was in obvious pain and battled on to lose 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 but she refused to blame her defeat on the wasp's sting.

The pictures of Davis resembled the iconic poster taken by photographer Elliott of a female tennis player, his girlfriend at the time, that sold more than two million copies.

Heat stroke: Cornet collapses in the Florida heat during the match

Heat stroke: Cornet collapses in the Florida heat during the match

Escape route: Cornet is escorted from the court in a wheelchair, as was her stung rival

Escape route: Cornet is escorted from the court in a wheelchair, as was her stung rival

Temperatures on court soared to well over
32C and both Davis and Cornet were left so physically exhausted by such
a long match in the humidity that both players left the court in
wheelchairs.

Martin Elliot's original image

Sharapova

Iconic: The image shot by Martin Elliot (left) has been recreated before – unintentionally by Maria Sharapova

Other posers…

Kylie Minogue (see below)

Keith Lemon

Courtney Stoddon

Laura Robson passed up the chance to become British No 1 on Friday night, beaten in three sets in the second round defeat by Cornet.

The 19-year-old started well but, in a match which lasted two hours 36 minutes but was stretched over seven hours due to rain delays and power cuts in Miami, the 32nd-seeded Frenchwoman emerged a 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 winner.

Old times: Fiona Walker, at 53, poses with a picture of herself as the 18-year-old 'Athena tennis poster girl'

Old times: Fiona Walker, at 53, poses with a picture of herself as the 18-year-old 'Athena tennis poster girl'

And who could forget…

Another version: Pop star Kylie Minogue posed for magazine GQ back in 2000

George Groves beats Glen Johnson on points

No KO but Groves shows class as he overcomes veteran Johnson to defend title

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UPDATED:

02:30 GMT, 16 December 2012

George Groves came through the toughest test of his career to retain his Commonwealth super-middleweight title with a unanimous points win over veteran Glen Johnson.

Groves, 24, was stepping up to world class level for the first time as a professional and showed his class from the opening bell.

Florida-based Jamaican Johnson, 43, displayed his renowned toughness but was comprehensively beaten on the scorecards by margins of 120-107 twice and 119-109.

Champion: George Groves celebrates his victory over Glen Johnson with David Haye (left)

Champion: George Groves celebrates his victory over Glen Johnson with David Haye (left)

Groves has endured a frustrating year, fighting just once before tonight due to a succession of injuries.

The Londoner twice saw a rematch with Scot Kenny Anderson cancelled while a world title challenge against then WBO champion Robert Stieglitz was also called off.

Groves' inactivity saw him stripped of his British belt which was belatedly won by Anderson when he stopped Robin Reid in October.

His only previous fight this year was a sixth-round stoppage of Francisco Sierra in California in July but a cut suffered in the third session kept him out of action until tonight.

Johnson on the other hand announced his retirement after losing a unanimous 10-round decision to Andrzej Fonfara in July, only to reverse his decision and travel to England for the fifth time in his 71-fight career.

A former world champion at light heavyweight, Johnson is best known on these shores for his trilogy with Clinton Woods but more recently he showed his stubborn resistance against Carl Froch and Lucian Bute in unsuccessfully challenging for their respective world titles.

After winning his first 32 contests as
a professional, Johnson was beaten for the first time, and stopped for
the only time, by Bernard Hopkins in 1997.

Resilient: Johnson (left) withstood the pressure and lost on a points decision

Resilient: Johnson (left) withstood the pressure and lost on a points decision

The defeat took its toll as Johnson lost eight of his subsequent 14 bouts before winning the IBF title from Woods.

Sensational wins over Roy Jones Jnr and Antonio Tarver followed although the latter would go on to exact revenge six months later.

Since then, Johnson has been unable to win another world title but along with his battles with Froch and Bute, he has also pushed Chad Dawson and Tavoris Cloud to the final bell.

And despite losing for the 18th time, he did the same to Groves.

After a tentative opening to the first round, Groves rocked Johnson with a powerful right hand and the visitor spent the remainder of the round tucked up on the ropes as the champion launched assault after assault.

Groves had said in the build-up that he intended to make a statement by stopping Johnson and he drew his adversary into a war in the second session.

But any suggestion that the challenger
would slink off quietly into the night were quickly rubbished as he
began to turn the tide with some punishing body shots.

It
was more of the same in the third round but Groves gradually began to
pick his punches more effectively thanks to his superior footwork. He
did so again in the next session and looked to have Johnson in trouble
with a right hook downstairs.

Punishing: Johnson scored some body shots which were tricky for Groves to deal with

Punishing: Johnson scored some body shots which were tricky for Groves to deal with

The frenetic pace relented in the fifth stanza, although caution was again thrown to the wind in the final thirty seconds as the pair planted their feet and traded.

It was Johnson who served up a reminder of his power as the fight reached the halfway point, momentarily stopping Groves in his tracks.

But the favourite responded brilliantly, rocking the veteran with a left to the body and a right to the head before laying siege until the bell sounded.

Groves sensed blood at the start of
the seventh but Johnson never stopped coming forward, removing any
lingering doubt over his motivation for extending his long career.

Rounds
eight and nine were tight affairs but Groves landed the more eye
catching blows as his right hand induced a slight swelling under his
opponent's left eye.

As the
fight entered the final quarter, the inevitability of it going the
distance grew. Groves was ahead by an unassailable margin and knowing
Johnson needed a knockout to win, he worked efficiently in the
penultimate round, refusing to be drawn in as he had been earlier.

Onwards and upwards: Groves expects to be back in action in February in London

Onwards and upwards: Groves expects to be back in action in February in London

But it was Groves who finished with a flourish, rocking Johnson with a left hook before a right hand sent him to the canvas after a sustained barrage on the ropes.

Johnson was up quickly and the bell sounded immediately after the restart.

Groves, who will be back in action in London in February, admitted he had thrown everything at the durable Johnson in what was his finest performance to date.

'I'm delighted with that performance. Glen Johnson is without doubt the toughest opponent I've faced,' he said.

'I've never hit someone so hard, so often and so clean yet seen them keep coming. I learnt a lot from that fight.

'I made a few mistakes but I believe I showed composure and class to correct them and change the fight.

'I shot my bolt a few times and emptied the tank. I landed flush shots and it looked like he was completely gone, but he survived.

'The bell saved him on one or two occasions. It was about recovering and picking my openings.'

Laura Robson looks back on stunning year

Teen sensation Robson heads to sunshine of Florida after stunning year on court

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 15 November 2012

Everyone will have their own special memory of 2012 and for Laura Robson it will be sitting down at the changeover during her Olympics match against Maria Sharapova, a contest in which she ran the Russian desperately close.

'The roof had been closed and the crowd were all chanting my name, it was emotional and I got goosebumps,' recalled Robson, who will soon be swapping the English winter for Florida sunshine.

So enamoured was she by the Olympic experience that Rio is already on her mind, and aside from winning Wimbledon, getting a gold medal to add to her London 2012 silver has usurped any other ambition.

Highlight: Laura Robson ran Maria Sharapova close at the Olympics

Highlight: Laura Robson ran Maria Sharapova close at the Olympics

Right now no conversation with Robson, who was reclining at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, can be complete without reference to her rival Heather Watson, which is likely provide British tennis with its most intriguing and long running narrative in years.

At the same Olympics that so thrilled her, there was also a test to their friendship when Andy Murray was forced to choose between the two for his mixed doubles partner and plumped for Robson, a decision that reduced Watson to tears.

The eventual silver medal suggested he made the correct call, but Robson sympathises with her peer, and also conceded that it may not be the last time their relationship comes under strain due to the pressures of such an intensely competitive individual sport.

'It was totally understandable for Heather to want to play, I would have felt the same,' said Robson. 'She was the No 1 ranked singles and doubles player. I wasn't involved in the process of making the decision but I'm obviously very happy to have been picked.

'We are both competitive people but we want each other to do well. If we both push on next year then it will be really good. I'm not looking at her training thinking “I should be doing that”. So far it has been easy (staying friends). I don't know if it will be harder as we get older but I hope it stays the same.'

Silver lining: Robson partnered Andy Murray in the doubles in London

Silver lining: Robson partnered Andy Murray in the doubles in London

For the next month the pair will be on opposite sides of Florida doing their winter training with Watson, who has finished the year four places higher at 49, practising at the IMG Academy near Tampa while Robson will be at the Evert headquarters in Boca Raton. Murray will be further south in Miami.

Robson earned just shy of 189,000 in official prize money alone this season, and now she will be preparing with the full accompaniment of back-up befitting a top player, meaning an all-Croatian team of a hitting partner, physical trainer and her coach Zeljko Krajan.

The latter is a notoriously hard taskmaster, whose intensity at times proved too much for former charges such as Dinara Safina and Dominika Cibulkova. However, his arrival in August coincided with the best form of her life, although another factor was unquestionably the luxury of having her first sustained injury-free period on the tour.

'So far he has been pretty relaxed with me, I don't know if that's on purpose,' says Robson. 'Hopefully I haven't been stressing him out too much.'

Her regular encounters with the treatment table are why she is reluctant to set too many goals for a 2013 that is so rich in promise following her fourth round showing at the US Open when she upset both Kim Clijsters and Li Na.

Making progress: Laura Robson

Making progress: Laura Robson

'I haven't had any niggles since Wimbledon which is a record for me, so I haven't set goals yet. Getting seeded in the Grand Slams would be a good thing but if I say I'll get seeded by Roland Garros then I might get injured again.'

To prevent any recurrence and to further improve her key area of movement she is in the midst of a punishing training regime which sees her flopping into bed at nine o'clock every night, with the occasional treat of attending a film or fashion show.

Robson could still have been playing in the juniors this year, but instead is the highest ranked 18 year-old in the world, so far pulling off the trick of remaining perfectly well-adjusted while managing that.

During last month's Beijing tournament she used her free time making a pop video of fellow players, including Sharapova, Watson and Fernando Verdasco doing the Gangnam-style dance that she edited on her I-pad and has proved a hit on YouTube

'There isn't a load of stuff to do in China so you've got to make your own entertainment,' she explained.

Despite the frequent injuries, Robson has broadly halved her ranking each year since 2008. It is not committing the old British sin of getting too carried away to think the same will happen next season.

Heather Watson reaping benefits of Nick Bollettieri Academy move

Leaving home at 12 to go to USA for tennis took guts, but that's… Plucky Heather!

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 15 October 2012

Michelle Watson, Heather's mum, used to curse the fact that the 80 or so miles that lie between Guernsey and the British mainland make it one of the most expensive stretches of water to cross in the world.

It is a major reason why, when her daughter started to show enough promise as a youngster to start taking tennis seriously, the family quickly realised they needed to start looking further afield if she was to properly progress.

With the kind of determination that marked her performance in saving four match points to win the Japan Open on Sunday — ending a 24-year wait for a British winner on the Women’s Tour — they started scouting for a base.

Always smiling: Heather Watson

Bags of potential: A smiling Heather Watson was a smash hit at junior Wimbledon

Bags of potential: The ever-smiling Heather Watson as a child (left) and a smash hit at junior Wimbledon (right)

Spain was considered, as was the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, the LTA’s gated community about which opinion in the sport is heavily divided.

In the end, taking a deep breath to absorb the large fees charged to non-scholarship students, and the travel involved, the Watson family plumped for the tried and tested Nick Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

It turned out to be a successful move and raises the question whether Watson would have come close to achieving her potential if she had not gone through the character-building upheavals involved.

As the man who founded the eponymous training centre pointed out, the results of both the men’s and women’s Japan Opens have been cause for a double celebration in Bradenton.

While Watson triumphed, the men’s event saw a historic win for Bollettieri old boy Kei Nishikori, who came from even further away to learn the game in Florida and is now his country’s first winner of its home championship.

Making history: Watson ended Britain's 24-year wait for a women's singles title in Japan on Sunday

Making history: Watson ended Britain's 24-year wait for a women's singles title in Japan on Sunday

Time and again in tennis you see that displacement at a relatively young age has been the precursor to a stellar career. The octogenarian super coach can highlight the likes of his star ex-pupils such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Maria Sharapova, but there are European examples too.

Novak Djokovic left Belgrade aged twelve to attend a tennis school in Munich while Andy Murray honed his game at the Casal-Sanchez Academy in Barcelona.

‘If you look at where the champions have come out of, from the Eighties onwards it’s clear the benefits of the academy,’ Bollettieri, a man with the enthusiasm of half his 81 years, told Sportsmail. ‘It’s not just that you have got opponents from different places that you practise with and have to beat. You see an extra determination and mental strength from those who have been away from home.’

Proud: Heather with her mum Michelle

Proud: Heather with her mum Michelle

Being far removed from your roots is not something unfamiliar in the Watson family. Michelle comes from a village in Papua New Guinea and met Heather’s father Ian, a Mancunian, when he was working in the capital Port Moresby. They moved to the Channel Islands, where Ian worked for the Guernsey Electricity Board, and got into tennis at the Kings Club.

It is a world removed from the Bradenton Academy that Heather, accompanied for long periods by her mother, moved to at the age of 12 while enrolling at the local school.

‘Heather was always a character, always smiling, and began to show ability around the age of 16,’ said Bollettieri. ‘She used to pray for her opponents to miss, but gradually she learned to go after the ball and make things happen herself.’

Up until she won the US Open juniors in 2009 Bollettieri believed she might be best served by going to an American university but that success changed his thinking.

‘She takes the ball early and has developed a good volley. It should not be under-estimated how much playing doubles has helped her (she is Britain’s top-ranked doubles player). She is not a big girl at 5ft 7in but makes up for it with her movement so there is plenty of potential.

'Remember she could not have done it without supportive parents, and your Fed Cup captain Judy Murray has also been a very positive influence.’

Of course, perspective is needed and as a grounded individual Watson will know that. She has only beaten four top-50 players since March, compared with the nine that have fallen to Laura Robson in the same period. Robson remains the more likely to win a Grand Slam down the line.

On the up: Watson has broken into the world's top 50 following her triumph in Osaka

On the up: Watson has broken into the world's top 50 following her triumph in Osaka

As for Judy Murray, she looks to have a decent Fed Cup team in the making with Jo Konta another top-100 player in the making.

Wimbledon champions Jonny Marray and Danish partner Frederik Nielsen have qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 next month. Depth may be lacking but these are heady times at the top of the British game.

The Open 2012: Luke Donald fires 68 at Royal Lytham

Donald on a charge despite losing expectant-father caddie at 11th hour

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UPDATED:

15:29 GMT, 20 July 2012

World No 1 Luke Donald made light of losing his expectant-father caddie for the day to shoot a round of 68 and move to two under at The Open.

Early on the morning of the second day regular bagman John McLaren received a call from his wife telling him she had gone into labour with his first child.

Donald immediately sent McLaren on his way to London but had a ready-made replacement already in the house they are sharing as Gareth Lord had remained in Lytham after Robert Karlsson withdrew from the tournament on Wednesday.

On the bag: Donald lines up his putt with replacement caddie Gareth Lord

On the bag: Donald lines up his putt with replacement caddie Gareth Lord

Golf blog

The pair have worked together before, when the Englishman won the 2011 Children's Miracle Network Classic at Disney World in Florida, and they seamlessly re-established their partnership.

'Hopefully all is going well. About 6.30am he came in and I saw he was up a little early so thought it might be time,' said Donald.

'She was due on Wednesday so she was trying to hold on as long as possible.

In trouble: Donald thinned his chip into the long rough on 13

In trouble: Donald thinned his chip into the long rough on 13

'I've actually been sharing a house with John and Gareth, and when Robert pulled out he was available so it worked out well and obviously I've got some history with Lordy, having caddied for me at Disney, so it was an easy transition.

'We'll see how long (McLean is absent). We don't know how long these babies take but I told John to not rush.

'For me that was an important thing in my life to be around for that, especially your first one, and enjoy that experience.

'But I know what he's like. He's very passionate about his job, as well, and he'll get back here when he's ready.'

Home favourite: Donald is searching for his first major

Home favourite: Donald is searching for his first major

And Donald joked: 'I won't pay him for today, obviously, but, you know, he should be around for the birth.'

Despite being dominant in the rankings and on both the European and United States money lists Donald is still searching for his first major.

Having bogeyed the third to drop to one over the 34-year-old then carded four birdies in the next five holes as he turned in 31.

Further shots were dropped on 10 and 13, the latter when he thinned a wedge through the green into thick rough and had to take a penalty drop, but a birdie at the 15th took him back to two under.

Having missed the cut in his first five Opens Donald has now made six of the last seven and believes he is well positioned to make a move over the weekend.

'I'm certainly feeling more and more comfortable,' he said.

'It's nice to string a couple of solid rounds together in a major.

'Obviously where I am in my career I need to be contending and this was a good solid two rounds and I'm looking forward to the weekend.'

Andre Villas-Boas holds more talks with Tottenham

AVB holds more talks with Spurs… but Levy wants to speak with Blanc, too

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 19 June 2012

Andre Villas-Boas held a second successive day of discussions with Tottenham on Tuesday over the vacant managerial role.

Following on from Monday's negotiations, the Portuguese's representatives continued talks with Spurs officials as the ex-Chelsea chief stakes his claim to replace Harry Redknapp.

Talks: Villas-Boas held discussions with Tottenham officials on Tuesday

Talks: Villas-Boas held discussions with Tottenham officials on Tuesday

Chairman Daniel Levy wants to speak to France manager Laurent Blanc before deciding on who will be the club's next manager.

Levy, who is making regular trips to
Florida this summer due to family reasons, is still mulling over his
options, including Roberto Martinez and Ralf Rangick.

But Villas-Boas does appear to be a front-runner for the role given the extensive discussions with Tottenham.

French fancy: Spurs chairman Levy wants to speak with Laurent Blanc

French fancy: Spurs chairman Levy wants to speak with Laurent Blanc

As well as appointing a new manager, Levy is also working to ensure prized-assets Luka Modric and Gareth Bale remain at Spurs.

Modric is a target for Real Madrid,
Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain, while Bale has long been
linked with a move away from White Hart Lane.

But with the appointment of a new manager on the horizon, Levy is determined as ever to keep the current squad in tact.

USA 5 Scotland 1: Hapless Scots handed a footballing lesson by Donovan and Co

USA 5 Scotland 1: Hapless Scots handed a footballing lesson by Donovan and Co

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UPDATED:

02:19 GMT, 27 May 2012

Craig Levein suffered his heaviest defeat as Scotland manager as the United States cruised to a 5-1 win in a friendly in Jacksonville.

Landon Donovan helped himself to a hat-trick and Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones grabbed a goal apiece, with an own goal from Geoff Cameron doing little to ease what was a humiliating night for the Scots.

The hosts sit 19 places above Scotland in the FIFA World Rankings but the gulf between the two nations appeared far greater.

The result proved to be ample reward for the 44,438 fans who contributed to a record-breaking crowd for a friendly in the state of Florida.

Star man: Landon Donovan hit three in a superb display

Star man: Landon Donovan hit three in a superb display

Match facts

USA: Howard, Cherundolo, Cameron, Bocanegra, Johnson, Edu, Bradley, Jones, Donovan, Boyd, Torres. Subs not used: Guzan, Onyewu, Beckerman, Corona, Gomez, Wondolowski.

Scorers: Donovan, Bradley, Jones.

Scotland: McGregor, Bardsley, Caldwell, Webster, Mulgrew, Brown, McArthur, Bannan, Phillips, Maloney, Miller. Subs not used: Gordon, Gilks, Russell, Martin, Berra, Whittaker, Wallace, Bryson, Mackail-Smith, Cowie, Goodwillie.

Scorer: Cameron (og).

Referee: E Bonilla (El Salvador).

Levein had named an attack-minded side for the clash in the EverBank Field, led by striker Kenny Miller.

Blackpool winger Matt Phillips made his international debut and Wigan's Shaun Maloney earned his first cap since November 2010.

In defence, Andy Webster made his first appearance since victory over the Czech Republic in Levein's first game in charge in March 2010.

Kick-off was delayed by more than 20 minutes but, once under way, the host nation needed just three minutes to open the scoring.

Donovan – making his 139th appearance – took advantage of sloppy defending by Phil Bardsley to lash high into the net just inside the six-yard box after seeing an initial effort blocked by Allan McGregor.

The Americans continued to pile on the pressure and they were celebrating again with 11 minutes on the clock when Jones found Bradley in plenty of space and he unleashed an unstoppable shot from 30 yards that left the goalkeeper with no chance.

However, the Scots hauled themselves back into the match when they pulled a goal back four minutes later.

Hair-raiser: Michael Bradley made it 2-0 with a sweetly struck volley

Hair-raiser: Michael Bradley made it 2-0 with a sweetly struck volley

Phillips found Bardsley and he picked out Miller with a long cross to the back post and the Cardiff forward's header was bundled into his own net by Cameron.

The United States still looked dangerous and Jose Torres clipped the crossbar with a free-kick from just outside the box.

The first booking of the match came after 29 minutes when United States skipper and Rangers defender Carlos Bocanegra was cautioned for a challenge on Old Firm rival Scott Brown.

The Celtic midfielder was then the victim of a crunching challenge by Jones, who escaped a booking from the referee.

The USA were hungry for more goals and were denied by the woodwork four minutes after the restart when Donovan's effort crashed off the post.

Terrence Boyd pounced on the rebound but dragged his shot wide of target.

Scotland made their first change after 50 minutes when Barry Bannan was withdrawn to make way for Don Cowie.

Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker were then both thrown into the action but hopes of salvaging the match were dealt a blow when the home side claimed their third on the hour mark.

Jones was the provider again, this time supplying the pass from the right for Donovan to coolly slot past McGregor from 10 yards.

There was worse to come for Scotland when Donovan grabbed his hat-trick five minutes later with an effort that came off the inside of the post and into the back of the net, beyond the grasp of McGregor.

Donovan then turned provider with a lovely cross for Jones to bullet a header past the Scotland goalkeeper and make it 5-1 with 20 minutes to go.

With no way back for Scotland, the home side withdrew goalkeeper Tim Howard from the action, with the gloves going to Brad Guzan for the remainder of the match.

Scotland players are not on holiday – Peter Houston

This is no holiday! Houston warns Scots to be on their game against the States

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UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 20 May 2012

Scotland assistant boss Peter Houston says the build-up to the World Cup qualifying campaign begins now and this week's trip to Florida is not an excuse for an end-of-season holiday.

Scotland play the United States in Jacksonville on Saturday before the road to Brazil begins in September against Serbia.

'We are looking forward to the trip because we see this game as being the first in the build-up towards the qualifiers for the World Cup, so it's a very important game in many ways,' said Houston, who reported no call-offs from the 22-man squad.

Out to impress: Craig Gordon is without a club but in the Scotland squad

Out to impress: Craig Gordon is without a club but in the Scotland squad

'It's one that we're looking forward to but we're not there for a holiday. We're here to try to win a match against the United States so the preparation will be as thorough as ever.'

Joining manager Craig Levein and Houston in leaving from Glasgow were Celtic captain Scott Brown and his team-mate Charlie Mulgrew, goalkeeper Allan McGregor and his Rangers colleagues Lee Wallace and Steven Whittaker and another keeper in Craig Gordon, who was last week released by Sunderland.

Dundee United striker Johnny Russell was also on the flight after receiving his first senior Scotland squad call-up.

Following Saturday's match, Russell will join up with the Scotland Under-21 squad for their European Championship qualifier against Bulgaria on May 31.

Hurt: Matt Phillips (right) suffered disappointment in the Championship play-off

Hurt: Matt Phillips (right) suffered disappointment in the Championship play-off

Defender Andy Webster was set to take part in Hearts' William Hill Scottish Cup victory celebrations in Edinburgh today and be among a group of players departing later, with the majority of the English-based contingent set to leave from Manchester on Monday.

Among them will be midfielder Matt Phillips, who suffered npower Championship play-off final defeat with Blackpool but will hope to end the season with a first Scotland cap.

'It's great the amount of players who have turned up,' Houston added.

'Some are flying out tomorrow and the Scottish-based lads are already here.'

Bubba Watson will keep going for "miracle shots"

Masters champion Bubba promises to keep going for 'miracle shots'

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UPDATED:

17:36 GMT, 25 April 2012

Bubba Watson has promised to keep on going for the 'miracle shot' like the one that won him the Masters.

'When it comes to creativity on the golf course, that's just who I am,' said Watson, who is back in action this week defending the Zurich Classic title in New Orleans.

The 33-year-old American was in the trees on the second extra hole against Louis Oosthuizen in the play-off at Augusta, but hooked the ball some 40 yards off pine straw and onto the green for a winning par.

Back in action: Bubba Watson will defend his Zurich Classic title this week

Back in action: Bubba Watson will defend his Zurich Classic title this week

'That's just what I've done, so that doesn't scare me,' he said. 'It thrills me because then I can pull off some shots. That's more exciting.

'I don't care if the fans were there or what. If I was just playing with my buddies I'd want to pull that shot off.

Celebrity: Bubba with Tim Tebow

Celebrity: Bubba with Tim Tebow

'I'm just Bubba from Bagdad, Florida. I play golf because I love the game of golf, because it's fun.

'Every day is different. Some days it's windy, some days it's not. Some days the ground is firm, some days it's wet.

'You always challenge yourself and set goals for yourself. I think it resonates with everybody because I'm from a small town, I played public golf courses growing up and I think that everybody can see that my swing is homegrown.

'That means everybody has a chance to do it. Hard work, dedication, practice and the drive to do it – and not worry about what other people say.

'Where I grew up with plastic golf balls I just learned to hit in the trees, through the trees, over the trees, under the trees.'

On the shot for which he is now most famous, Watson added: 'As a child I was used to seeing shots like that. To get that close was very special – when I saw it I go “Phew, I'm pretty good”.

How did he do it Watson hits his 'miracle' shot that led to a Masters win

How did he do it Watson hits his 'miracle' shot that led to a Masters win

'But I try to pull off the amazing shot, just like we've seen [Phil] Mickelson and Tiger [Woods] pull off shots – everybody that's won you've seen pull off shots like that.'

Watson suddenly finds himself the top attraction in a field that also includes England's Luke Donald and Justin Rose and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell.

With Rory McIlroy not having played since the Masters concluded on April 8 – he is back at next week's Wells Fargo Championship – Donald will go back to world No 1 with a top-seven finish.