Tag Archives: memorial

Tiger Woods tops world rankings after Arnold Palmer Invitational win

Tiger back on top of the world after victory march at Arnold Palmer Invitational

: Returns to top 10 with victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

June 3, 2012: Returns to top five with win in the Memorial Tournament

2013: Closes gap on leader Rory McIlroy with early-season wins at Farmers Insurance Open and WGC-Cadillac Championship.

March 25, 2013: Returns to number one spot by winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Woods has also won the Farmers Insurance Open and the Cadillac Championship this year as he prepares for next month's Masters.

The 37-year-old, who announced he was in a relationship with skier Lindsey Vonn last week, is the bookies' favourite for Augusta as he bids to win the Green Jacket for a fifth time.

Rickie Fowler was Tiger's playing partner for the final round but his challenge hit the buffers when he put two in the water at the 16th.

More to follow…

The one to watch: The 14-time major champion Woods had plenty of support in Orlando

The one to watch: The 14-time major champion Woods had plenty of support in Orlando

Taste for success: Tiger, with caddie Joe LaCava, has a quick bite to eat as he walks up the sixth fairway

Taste for success: Tiger, with caddie Joe LaCava, has a quick bite to eat as he walks up the sixth fairway

Keeping it interesting: Woods had the odd wobble on the tee but he was able to recover

Keeping it interesting: Woods had the odd wobble on the tee but he was able to recover

Gave it a go: Rickie Fowler was Woods' playing partner for the final round at Bay Hill

Gave it a go: Rickie Fowler was Woods' playing partner for the final round at Bay Hill

THE WORLD No 1s SINCE WOODS

Tiger Woods was world No 1 for 281 weeks in a row between June 12, 2005 and October 30, 2010.

Since then four different players have held top spot:

LEE WESTWOOD (17 weeks)
October 31, 2010 to February 26, 2011

MARTIN KAYMER (Eight weeks)
February 27 to April 23, 2011

WESTWOOD (Five weeks)
April 24, 2011 to May 28, 2011

LUKE DONALD (40 weeks)
May 29, 2011 to March 3, 2012

RORY McILROY (Two weeks)
March 4 to 17, 2012

DONALD (Four weeks)
March 18 to April 14, 2012

McILROY (Two weeks)
April 15 to 28, 2012

DONALD (One week)
April 29 to May 5, 2012

McILROY (Three weeks)
May 6 to 26, 2012

DONALD (11 weeks)
May 27 to August 11, 2012

McILROY (32 weeks)
Aug 12, 2012 to Mar 25 2013

Liverpool opponents Anzhi to lay Hillsborough wreath

Liverpool's Europa League rivals Anzhi to lay wreath at Hillsborough memorial

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UPDATED:

15:38 GMT, 23 October 2012

Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala will pay tribute to victims of the Hillsborough disaster after they train at Anfield on Wednesday.

The club are on Merseyside for Thursday's Europa League clash with Brendan Rodgers' side, but will use the stadium for a final practice session on the eve of the Group A match.

Coming to town: Ex-Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink is manager of Anzhi Makhachkala

Coming to town: Ex-Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink is manager of Anzhi Makhachkala

Anzhi, managed by former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, will lay wreaths at the memorial to the 96 who lost their lives in 1989.

Russian media report Hiddink, as well as Roberto Carlos, star player Samuel Eto'o and others, will make the heart-felt gesture at 6pm.

With attention on the game, goalkeeper Pepe Reina will miss the match through injury, but expects to be back in time for the weekend clash with Mersey rivals Everton.

The Spaniard said: 'I'm getting better, little by little. It wasn't worth taking any risks because you risk it getting worse. I'll be patient and get really good.

'Brad was excellent. He was composed, he was really good in the air, when he was called on he was fast off his line, and he played well with his feet. He had a complete game.

Remember the 96: The Hillsborough memorial stands proud outside Anfield

Remember the 96: The Hillsborough memorial stands proud outside Anfield

'He's a good fighter and a good keeper for Liverpool, not just an understudy. He's another 'keeper for the club and he'll do his best to play as many games as possible.'

Liverpool have three points from their first two Europa games, while Anzhi top the group with Udinese on four points. Young Boys of Bern are yet to register.

Gary Neville: I relish Liverpool v Manchester United, but we must be civilised

I relish our rivalry, but it's never an excuse to go beyond bounds of decency

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UPDATED:

09:45 GMT, 23 September 2012

When I grew up watching Manchester
United in the Eighties, sitting with my dad in the ‘K-stand’, where
some of the most passionate fans would be, there were times when we left
the ground and it was a battle zone outside.

I vividly remember my dad having to
shield me past fighting fans to get me away safely. But once we were in
the car, it was never mentioned: it was all about the game. That was how
football was and we accepted it. It existed in a ghetto, where
behaviour that would seem totally out of place in normal society was
tolerated.

Respect: The Hillsborough Memorial is adorned with many tributes

Respect: The Hillsborough Memorial is adorned with many tributes

A Liverpool badge

Touching: Manchester United fans left this

It felt as though anything went, not
just in terms of hooliganism but also in insults and chanting. That was
the culture I grew up in as a supporter. And as a player it was the
same. It was as though we lived in a vacuum, where you could trade vile
insults with other players and receive any amount of abuse on any topic
from the terraces.

In the early Nineties, as football
became more popular with the advent of the Premier League, some elements
of crowd behaviour became unacceptable. It is only 25 years ago that
bananas were still being thrown on the pitch at black players but racist
chanting slowly became a thing of the past.

Passion: Howard Webb separates Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher in 2010

Passion: Howard Webb separates Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher in 2010

Hooliganism, too, was reduced with
better policing and running battles outside grounds became a rarity. And
in recent months, even the insults that players exchange have come
under scrutiny, with the John Terry and Luis Suarez cases.

But the authorities went only part of
the way and in the grounds there were instances where football
continued to act as though it was divorced from social norms. Scream and
shout violently in Manchester city centre on a Saturday night and
you’ll likely be arrested: do it in a football ground and you’ll
probably be ignored. Football can still have the feel of going to a
gladiatorial contest from 2,000 years ago, where civilised behaviour
goes out the window. And let’s not forget this has always been part of
its appeal.

More from Gary Neville…

Gary Neville: Scholes is simply the best English player of his generation
15/09/12

Gary Neville: Will Rodgers really be able to curb his enthusiasm
25/08/12

Gary Neville: Like the Olympics, football has to show its humanity
18/08/12

Gary Neville: Italy are not very Italian, they play with rhythm and flair
23/06/12

Gary Neville: I know it's a cliche, but Chelsea's name was always on the cup
20/05/12

Gary Neville: I couldn't say no to England, so the hard work starts now
19/05/12

Gary Neville: Bayern Munich v Chelsea – the key issues of Champions League final
12/05/12

Gary Neville: Manchester City's biggest challenge will be how to keep on winning
12/05/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

This week, though, it seems we have
reached a turning point. The publication of the Hillsborough
Independent Panel’s findings, regarding the cover-up after the death of
those 96 Liverpool fans, brought such shock to the whole country that
the game and fans have had to reflect on what has been tolerated in the
past. In particular, it has thrown the spotlight on the fixture
between Liverpool and Manchester United and how both clubs respond to
their respective tragedies of Hillsborough and Munich, where 23 people
died as a result of the 1958 air crash, including eight United players
and three club officials.

Over the years, I could hardly be
said to have been a peacemaker when it came to the rivalry between
United and Liverpool. My story is well known, how I grew up a Manchester
United fan resenting the fact that Liverpool were winning all their
league titles.

The dreadful feeling I had as I watched Liverpool winning all those titles is a strong childhood memory. I couldn’t bear to hear You’ll Never Walk Alone when I played against them. Liverpool have always been United’s greatest rivals and it has always been the game I wanted to win more than any other. So I don’t mean to get on my moral high horse now.

However, the thought that I or any United fan could take pleasure in the young men and women of Liverpool being crushed to death, or that any Liverpool fan could sing about those young players dying in a plane crash, is something I can’t get my head round.

I relish this rivalry more than anyone but I’m also a sane human being with feelings and a family. As a husband and a father, that level of hatred is beyond my comprehension.

When I read the Hillsborough findings about police editing their evidence and about their attempts to smear the dead, I was disgusted. That’s an issue that goes beyond football. And I don’t really believe those fans who sing those songs truly want their rivals to die and would celebrate that. There may be a very twisted few who feel that way but I think most of those fans think it is just a way of baiting their rivals to get a reaction.

Remember: Before Sheffield Wednesday's match with Bolton more offerings were left

Remember: Before Sheffield Wednesday's match with Bolton more offerings were left

But, as Sir Alex Ferguson wrote so eloquently this week: ‘What happened to them [the Hillsborough victims] should wake the conscience of everyone connected with the game. Our great club stands with our great neighbours, Liverpool, today to remember that loss and pay tribute to their campaign for justice.’

No one will put it better than that. I know there are United fans who are unhappy that there is so much talk about their chanting because they have had to put up with decades of songs about the Munich disaster. And nothing hurts a United fan more than being called a ‘Munich’. But it’s time to let go. It can’t be a case of always having the last punch. This is the moment to recognise the boundaries of rivalry.

Liverpool and Manchester are two great northern cities, born out of the Industrial Revolution. The two clubs have strong working-class roots and have been an inspiration to their fans more than 100 years and especially in times of economic hardships, which both communities have experienced. The cities and the football clubs have so much in common, as do the fans.

This should be an enjoyable rivalry. I don’t want to lose the excitement or the hostility. This fixture should be about Steven Gerrard clattering into Paul Scholes, just as in the past it was about Bryan Robson smashing into Graeme Souness, or Norman Whiteside going in hard on Alan Hansen.

Respect: Everton paid tribute to the 96 at Goodison Park on Monday

Respect: Everton paid tribute to the 96 at Goodison Park on Monday

It should be about wild celebrations and fans being up for every corner and every hard challenge and about goading each other with the number of titles you’ve won or the number of European Cups.

I don’t want this to become like an exhibition match. But don’t allow that to be an excuse for behaviour that crosses acceptable lines. Know the boundaries of support.

I don’t believe we will see a repeat of those chants. The majority of United fans will be motivated to represent their club well. And Liverpool fans are too raw with grief to resurrect Munich chants.

But the challenge isn’t for now, when everyone will be on their best behaviour. It’s how football reacts over the next few years. Let’s use this as a springboard to take away vile chanting of all kinds — the songs about a great football man like Arsene Wenger, or fine players such as Sol Campbell or John Terry — that can be as offensive as chanting about tragedies.

We have to make sure our rivalries are within the bounds of civilised behaviour. Football’s challenge is to emerge completely from the ghetto, to consign that era to the past without losing the passion and intensity of the English game. We’ve done it before, with hooliganism and racist chanting. There’s no reason why we can’t do this now.

Patrick Collins: Football must raise its sights above the gutter

Football must raise its sights above the gutter

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UPDATED:

21:16 GMT, 22 September 2012

When the fans come bustling down Anfield Road on Sunday lunchtime, they will carry a conventional cargo of emotions.

Liverpool against Manchester United
always provokes acute anticipation, extravagant optimism and a
lip-biting dread of defeat. But this contest holds a sharper, more
worrying significance.

It asks questions which invite disturbing answers.

Remember them: Tributes left at the Hillsborough Memorial outside the football ground at Anfield

Remember them: Tributes left at the Hillsborough Memorial outside the football ground at Anfield

And the most important questions concern the fans themselves.

Over the past week, the various
parties have behaved impeccably. The players at large, and the captains
in particular, have demonstrated intelligent responsibility.

The two managers, Brendan Rodgers and Sir Alex Ferguson, have preached sensitive restraint.

The executives of both clubs have
worked to lower the temperature. In short, all that could be done has
been done. Now they are at the mercy of their followers.

More from Patrick Collins…

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15/09/12

Patrick Collins: Glorious summer of 2012 will live with us forever
08/09/12

Patrick Collins: A silver smile shows Simmonds will always be a true champion
08/09/12

Patrick Collins: Big-spending elite must heed Wenger's demand for sanity
01/09/12

Patrick Collins: Strauss is in no mood to toast the Absent Friend
18/08/12

Patrick Collins: Venomous and vacuous footballers are their own worst enemies
18/08/12

Trust the politicians to try to grab a share of Olympic glory
11/08/12

Patrick Collins: Trust the politicians to try to grab a share of Olympic glory
11/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

For passions have been running high on Merseyside since the publication of the independent Hillsborough report.

Disgraceful revelations have made an entire community newly aware of how viciously their dead were defamed.

For their part, United's followers
retain the folk memory of Munich '58, of the icy runway and the February
dusk and of how glorious promise was erased in a catastrophic
convulsion.

So the questions come crowding in.

What if a handful of fools from either camp should seek to sabotage today's encounter

What if their chants, songs and poisonous jeers should reduce the contest to a squalid exchange of tribal invective

Suddenly, what was once dismissed as discourtesy would become a matter of genuine depravity.

And, given the scrutiny this match will receive, how could the game at large show its face in the wake of such shame

Of course, this is not a new dilemma. It is depressingly simplistic to suggest that English football is at the crossroads, for the reality is that the game lives at those crossroads, eternally evading the onrushing traffic.

Its crises arrive like municipal buses; erratically, unpredictably. But it can call upon deep resources of genuine affection, of gratitude for decades of delight and enchantment.

Yet from time to time, it needs to take two or three steps back and consider how it appears to the millions who are not besotted by its charms.

Sunday is such an occasion.

On Sunday, the national sport is praying that one of its showpiece events will not be defaced by the spectacle of a group of fans celebrating the death of 96 innocent people, or another group jeering at the memory of a devastating air disaster.

Call for clam: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Call for clam: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

It is as banal and as wicked as that.

And those uncommitted millions can neither accept nor understand it.

In fairness to football, it is trying to offset the witless malice of its tribal fringe.

Those captains I mentioned, Steven Gerrard, of Liverpool and Nemanja Vidic, of United, have spoken out strongly for sanity and today they will release 96 balloons in a pleasing tribute to the dead of Hillsborough.

Others would go further.

Robbie Fowler, the former Liverpool striker, suggests that a Liverpool and a United player should each lay a floral tribute at the opposing end of the ground.

He nominates Luis Suarez, at the United end, and Patrice Evra, in front of the Kop.

He may be risibly deluded but I'm sure he means well.

The fact is that if Suarez and Evra can somehow be persuaded to shake hands before the match, then the afternoon will be off to a heartening start.

In the event, United's respect will be conveyed by Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, and there could be no more appropriate choices.

But the fear remains that the unspeakable will find its voice, that a few outbursts of ugliness will reinforce a host of hostile perceptions.

With the exhilaration of the Olympic summer still fresh in the mind of the nation, the contrast with football would be more damning than ever.

So Sunday's game has acquired an importance which far exceeds its result.

At a time when old certainties are wavering and doubts loom large, football must hope that its coarsest followers somehow discover a measure of decent respect.

It must also pray that its clubs will enforce those standards by naming and banning the culprits.

A few months ago, Liverpool could not have been entrusted with such a task.

We don't need this: Luis Suarez refused to shake hands with Patrice Evra in February

We don't need this: Luis Suarez refused to shake hands with Patrice Evra in February

Their behaviour during the Suarez race hearing – the same Suarez, by the way, whom Fowler would entrust with appeasing flowers – smacked of arrogant intransigence.

But the direction at Anfield has changed, and saner, more enlightened attitudes prevail. No longer can spurious loyalty expect to stifle vigorous reform.

So we cross our fingers and hope against hope; for a fine match, certainly, but much more for a sane, well-ordered occasion of the kind which will do justice to two of our greatest clubs.

We do not demand anything exceptional, we simply ask that football should lift its sights above the gutter and observe the kind of standards which in the outside world are mundane and unexceptional.

The immediate onus lies with those lunchtime fans on Anfield Road. We must pray that they are equal to the challenge.

Keen for change: Blackburn fans protest against their manager Steve Kean

Keen for change: Blackburn fans protest against their manager Steve Kean

It's time for a change of tune at Blackburn

At Newcastle they sing Blaydon Races, at West Ham it's Bubbles and at Anfield, well, need I tell you

But at Blackburn, for the past 21 months, they favour something more pointed.

'Kean Out!' they bawl, while the bald guy in the dugout frowns at the pitch and pretends not to hear. It is a saga from which nobody emerges with much credit.

The fans have occasionally appeared shrill and bullying, the manager has seemed out of his depth and, as for the owners, there are no words.

Venky's stewardship of Rovers has been an extended comedy of errors.

One of the principal mistakes was the appointment as 'global adviser' of one Shebby Singh, described as a 'onetime Malaysian defender and television pundit'.

The game's up: Steve Kean doesn't need the aggro

The game's up: Steve Kean doesn't need the aggro

Singh has consistently undermined the manager and is thought to be responsible for the ludicrous target of 16 points from the first seven games.

Kean fell two points short but still led the Championship pack at that point and must now await his fate.

No doubt Venky's would like him to jump, while he, presumably, has expectations of compensation.

No matter, it is time to end the humiliation, time for Steve Kean to heed the singers and high time that Blackburn found another song.

Moyes makes a difference

Football managers are a fascinating bunch; many are gifted, a few are chancers and one or two defy description.

But the best of them are exceptional individuals, and David Moyes is among that distinguished group.

Impressive: David Moyes

Impressive: David Moyes

His achievements at Everton are well known, producing a team who are both successful and attractive on a budget which richer clubs would scorn.

But more important than results is what the man represents. He seems to stand for important standards.

Of all the words inspired by the Hillsborough report this past week, Moyes's statement was perhaps the most impressive.

He reached across the city of Liverpool and spoke from the heart, as 'a football manager, a football supporter and a father'.

They were the moving words of a decent man.

PS

Kevin Pietersen insulted his captain, abandoned international one-day cricket and threw a series of charmless strops.

Then, when England dropped him, he promptly recanted. He had been misunderstood.

England were dear to his heart.

Which is why, as he goes about his lavishly-rewarded television punditry in Colombo, he wears a pair of Union Flag cufflinks.

Honestly, I am not making this up.

It is Pietersen being fiendishly subtle. I don't know who's advising him but I do hope they keep those Big Ideas coming.

Arsenal lift Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup at Southampton

Look Robin, Arsenal can win trophies! Gunners lift cup at Southampton

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UPDATED:

09:09 GMT, 15 July 2012

The
feeling of not having a summer has been hammered home by the return of
football, with newly-promoted Southampton and Barclays Premier League
veterans Arsenal both in action on Saturday.

Saints' new 6million signing Jay
Rodriguez powered home a super header against the Gunners, while Gervinho
also got back to business with the equaliser.

Delight: Arsenal celebrate winning the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup

Delight: Arsenal celebrate winning the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup

The sides were participating in the
Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup, along with Belgian side Anderlecht, which took
place at St Mary's Stadium.

Liebherr passed away in August 2010 and this was the second time the cup had been run in his memory, Spanish outfit Atletico Bilbao winning the inaugural event.

Each team faced each other in three 45 minute matches, with Arsenal running out eventual winners, after beating Anderlecht 1-0 and drawing 1-1 with Saints.

Southampton Manager Nigel Adkins

Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger

Cheer up, it's only a friendly: Southampton Manager Nigel Adkins (left) and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger

The latter result produced the most needless penalty shoot-out in the history of penalty shoot-outs – the Gunners' name was already on the cup but competition rules dictate drawn matches will be settled thus.

Rodriguez cooly dispatched his spot kick as his side won 5-4, with Kyle Ebicilio the guilty party for Arsenal.

Even though the ground was far from full, Saints fans made a reasonable racket – particularly the traditionally rowdy Northam stand.

Up for it: Arsenal's Thomas Elsfield tangles with Lucas Biglia of Anderlecht

Up for it: Arsenal's Thomas Elsfield tangles with Lucas Biglia of Anderlecht

They took on Anderlecht first, a team already having played six pre-season games, and thus looked sharper than a Saints side taking to the field for the first time ahead of the 2012-13 season.

The Belgians opened the scoring – with what proved to be the winner – through Tom de Sutter after superb work by midfield giant Kanu, and the south coast side were forced into action.

Saints rattled the woodwork before an interesting free-kick routine almost saw them forge a great chance. However it was scuppered by a small miscommunication – but this could be something for opposition defences to watch out for from Nigel Adkins' side.

Jernade Meade

Craig Eastmond

Young Gunners: Jernade Meade (left) and Craig Eastmond (right)

The sides Arsene Wenger will put out in league games will be nothing like the starting 11 which lined up against Southampton in their fourth match of pre-season.

Kieran Gibbs and Marouane Chamakh were the biggest names on the teamsheet against Anderlecht, with the latter, perhaps unsurprisingly given his performances last season, failing to impress.

He led the line in the least effective way imaginable, only once forcing a save out of Silvio Proto.

The sluggish Moroccan these days is, in truth, no more than the rest of Wenger's reserves, even with Robin van Persie on the way out.

/07/14/article-2173710-14101EDC000005DC-497_634x392.jpg” width=”634″ height=”392″ alt=”Golden moment: A runner carries the Olympic Flame at St Mary's Stadium” class=”blkBorder” />

Golden moment: A runner carries the Olympic Flame at St Mary's Stadium

In the final match Saints fans got a first look at new boy Rodriguez,
and also 25-year-old reserve keeper Tommy Forecast, who was making his debut for the club despite
joining from Tottenham in 2008.

Arsenal started first-teamers Gervinho and Andre Santos but it was Lansbury who came close to bagging his second of the day, but saw his effort scrambled away.

Ivory Coast forward Gervinho bought both energy and directness to the Gunners' attack, but blazed over when well placed, in what proved to be a fast and furious affair.

Meanwhile, tall Chuks Aneke showed great composure bringing the ball forward from the back, as well as a delicate touch when required.

Rodriguez put Southampton ahead with an angled header from Danny Fox's cross, but Gervinho put the ball through the luckless Forecast's legs to equalise.

The goalkeeper seems somewhat of a laughing stock around St Mary's, with fans cheering ironically whenever he made simple saves or even kicked the ball.

Ironic cheers were the order of the day for Arsenal fans as they celebrated victory – and, at long last, a trophy.

Euro 2012: Sergio Busquets in shock after death of Miki Roque

Barcelona star Busquets in shock following death of 'great friend' Roque

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UPDATED:

12:42 GMT, 26 June 2012

Barcelona star Sergio Busquets has paid tribute to former team-mate Miki Roque after the Real Betis defender died on Sunday.

Roque lost his year-long battle with pelvic cancer at the age of 23.

And Busquets, who played alongside the former Liverpool defender at their local Catalan club Lleida, says he'll dedicate any success at Euro 2012 to Roque.

Tribute: The Spain team held a one-minute silence in memory of Roque

Tribute: The Spain team held a one-minute silence in memory of Roque

Paying their respects: Real Betis supporters gather at a makeshift memorial at the club's ground

Paying their respects: Real Betis supporters gather at a makeshift memorial at the club's ground

'After hearing the tragic news, I want to give all my support to friends and family of Miki Roque,' Busquets said in an open letter.

'A great person, sportsman, an example for all, but above all a great friend has left. I will never forget the moments we shared.

'I'm in shock, life is unjust, but I now only have one thought: to do all I can to dedicate a win here to him. RIP Miki.'

Tragedy: Roque died on Sunday after losing his year-long battle against pelvic cancer

Tragedy: Roque died on Sunday after losing his year-long battle against pelvic cancer

Roque spent four years at Liverpool between 2005 and 2009 and helped the club win the 2006 FA Youth Cup.

He made one substitute appearance for the first team, against Galatasaray in a Champions League match in December 2006.

Spain will face Portugal in Wednesday's Euro 2012 semi-final at they bid to win a third successive major tournament.

London 2012 Olympics: Dwain Chambers fails to make Olympic qualifying time again

Chambers running out of time after failing to hit Olympic mark again

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UPDATED:

19:20 GMT, 8 June 2012

Dwain Chambers again failed to make
the Olympic qualifying time, despite winning the 100 meters event at the
Memorial Primo Nebiolo in Turin.

Chambers was more than a tenth of a second off the required time of 10.18 seconds, winning in 10.29.

Race against time: Dwain Chambers

Race against time: Dwain Chambers

Suwaibou Sanneh was second, 0.1 seconds behind the British sprinter, with Gerard Kobeane third in 10.57.

Chambers has struggled to get back to his best after serving a two-year doping ban. He was a bronze medalist at the 1999 world championships with a time of 9.97.

Tiger Woods world ranking up to fourth

Woods back in world's top four after matching Nicklaus with Memorial Tournament win

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

10:14 GMT, 4 June 2012

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UPDATED:

10:14 GMT, 4 June 2012

Tiger Woods is up to fourth in the world after producing one of the shots of his life en route to winning the Memorial Tournament.

A spectacular chip-in birdie from the rough over the 16th green helped the 36-year-old to match the 73 PGA Tour wins of tournament host Jack Nicklaus. Only Sam Snead with 82 is ahead of him now.

The former world No 1 climbs from ninth to fourth a week before he heads to San Francisco for his attempt to win a 15th major. He is currently four behind Nicklaus' record – and has been since the 2008 US Open.

Main man: Tiger Woods won the Memorial Tourmanent in Ohio

Main man: Tiger Woods won the Memorial Tourmanent in Ohio

Woods' fist-pumping roar of delight rolled back the years, and was soon followed by a calm raise of the club after a birdie putt on 18 which he knew had taken him out of reach of the chasing Rory Sabbatini, who finished two shots back.

Starting the day four off the lead, Woods birdied the second hole after a fine approach to eight feet but it was the fifth where his round sparked into life.

With two par-fives in the space of three holes, Woods took full advantage by birdying both as well as the intervening sixth.

He gave one shot back at the eighth
when a 40-foot putt broke too far, and after losing another at 10 it
looked as though his charge would not materialise.

But
he had other ideas, with three birdies in the last four holes including
the shot which Nicklaus himself, watching at greenside, said was the
best he had seen at the Muirfield Village course.

Legends of the game: Woods is congratulated by Jack Nicklaus after his victory

Legends of the game: Woods is congratulated by Jack Nicklaus after his victory

And Woods told reporters: 'I knew if I hit it short it would have been down and left, if I hit it long it was in the water. The lie wasn't all that great, I had to take a cut at it and it came out just perfect.'

And Woods –
10 years younger than
Nicklaus when he recorded his last win – said: 'It's been pretty nice
and to do it at age 36, it's not too shabby. I've been very proud what
I've done so far in my career and I feel I've still got a lot of good
years ahead of me.'

On Sunday's round as a whole, he
said: 'Boy, I hit it good today. I never really missed a shot, I had the
pace of the greens really nice and made a few putts.'

Overnight leader Spencer Levin opened
up with an 11-foot putt for birdie and was solid for the remainder of
his front nine, but bogeyed the 10th and gradually unravelled on the way
home.

Sabbatini was one over for his front nine but hit his approach at the par-five 11th to three feet and holed out for birdie.

He repeated the feat at the tricky
short 12th – and also saw Levin dump his tee shot in the back left
bunker, which seemed to derail the erstwhile leader's challenge.

Holed it: Woods on his way to victory in the Memorial Tournament

Holed it: Woods on his way to victory in the Memorial Tournament

It led to a bogey and worse was to follow at the next as a six-foot bogey putt dived dramatically right, the resulting six dropping him three shots off the lead at five under.

Sabbatini was fortunate to see his tee shot at the next pull up just short of the water and he capitalised with a perfectly measured approach which followed the contours of the green round towards the hole – but his birdie putt stopped inches short.

He was two clear at that stage but Woods was not finished and birdied 15 before producing the big moment of the day at the next.

Levin
held his breath as a par putt at 16 horseshoed round the back of the
hole before succumbing to gravity, but he could not hole out at 17.

Done it! Woods raises his putter to salute the crowd after making sure of his victory

Done it! Woods raises his putter to salute the crowd after making sure of his victory

WORLD RANKINGS

1 Luke Donald, 2 Rory McIlroy, 3 Lee Westwood, 4 Tiger Woods 6.79, 5 Bubba Watson, 6 Matt Kuchar, 7 Justin Rose, 8 Hunter Mahan, 9 Jason Dufner, 10 Martin Kaymer, 11 Steve Stricker, 12 Phil Mickelson, 13 Webb Simpson, 14 Charl Schwartzel, 15 Louis Oosthuizen, 16 Zach Johnson, 17 Adam Scott, 18 Rickie Fowler, 19 Jason Day, 20 Dustin Johnson.

Other leading Europeans: 21 Graeme McDowell, 22 Sergio Garcia, 25 Peter Hanson, 27 Ian Poulter, 29 Paul Lawrie, 32 Martin Laird, 33 Francesco Molinari, 34 Thomas Bjorn, 35 Nicolas Colsaerts, 38 Carl Pettersson, 42 Alvaro Quiros, 46 Simon Dyson, 47 Fredrik Jacobson, 48 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 49 Robert Karlsson, 53 Anders Hansen, 55 Rafael Cabrera Bello, 58 Paul Casey, 59 Robert Rock, 62 Miguel Angel Jimenez, 63 Matteo Manassero, 76 Darren Clarke, 79 Joost Luiten, 81 Pablo Larrazabal, 84 Alexander Noren, 87 Michael Hoey, 88 Brian Davis, 93 Richie Ramsay, 96 Padraig Harrington, 98 Stephen Gallacher, 99 Bernd Wiesberger, 100 David Lynn

Woods' nerveless putt for a closing
birdie meant he would have been out of the hunt in any case, and left
Sabbatini needing an improbable eagle at the par-four 18th to force a
play-off.

That was never on the cards, and Woods' coronation was confirmed moments later.

Andres Romero came from off the pace
to share second place with Sabbatini, eagling the long 15th before
finishing with a birdie three.

Levin shared fourth with Daniel
Summerhays on five under, the latter carding 69 including three birdies
and an eagle in his last five holes.

Two more Americans, Matt Every and
Jonathan Byrd, were four under, with Justin Rose three under and a
closing 67 leaving fellow Englishman Greg Owen a further shot back
alongside Ryo Ishikawa and Aaron Baddeley. Luke Donald was one under.

Woods' playing partner Rickie Fowler's anticipated challenge crumbled spectacularly.

The
young American wore his trademark all-orange for the final day but
would have wanted to disappear from view after squandering an opening
birdie by dropping four shots over the next three holes.

He
birdied the fifth but two more bogeys followed as he recorded only one
par in his first eight holes, and his woes continued on the back nine.

He ended up 12 over for his round, with three double-bogeys along the way, and seven over for the week.

Spencer Levin holds one shot lead at Memorial Tournament in Ohio

Levin holds one shot lead in Ohio as Tiger struggles to stay in contention

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

07:18 GMT, 3 June 2012

|

UPDATED:

07:18 GMT, 3 June 2012

Spencer Levin shot a three-under-par 69 to lead by one at the end of the third round of the Memorial Tournament as Tiger Woods battled to stay in contention.

LEADERBOARD

Keep up to date with the latest scores from the Memorial Tournament here

On a day when low scores were few and far between at Muirfield Village, with only 14 of the 71 remaining players going under par, Levin carded four birdies and an eagle against three bogeys to sit eight under overall, one stroke ahead of overnight leader Rory Sabbatini.

But it could have been even better for Levin, who turned in 32 and was five under for his round after 10, before bogeying the 12th and 16th.

Narrow lead: Spencer Levin leads by one shot

Narrow lead: Spencer Levin leads by one shot

'I had some really good breaks, so I'll take it,' Levin said. 'I played pretty solid, but it's nice to have a couple good breaks.

'But if you're going to shoot the low round of the day out here on the Tour, or any day, you're going to have a couple good breaks or make long putts or chip in generally.'

Sabbatini was one under today to lie seven under overall, two strokes ahead of Rickie Fowler and three ahead of Woods.

In contention: Tiger Woods reacts after missing a birdie putt but is just four shots off the lead

In contention: Tiger Woods reacts after missing a birdie putt but is just four shots off the lead

While Fowler equalled Levin's best-of-the-day 69 with four birdies and a bogey, Woods carded four bogeys on the back nine to more than cancel out his three birdies in a one-over 73.

'I certainly probably shot the highest score I could have shot today considering the way I hit it,” Woods said.

'But I'm only four back, and out here with the conditions, supposed to be like this tomorrow again, anything can happen.'

Sweden's Henrik Stenson was leading the European challenge as a 71 left him three under, alongside Japan's Ryo Ishikawa and American Jonathan Byrd.

First-round leader Scott Stallings was in a group seven on two under after a 75, while England's Justin Rose was level par and a trio of his compatriots – Brian Davis, Greg Owen and world number one Luke Donald – were three over.

Rory McIlroy out to arrest alarming slump in form at St Jude Classic as final US Open warm-up

McIlroy out to arrest alarming slump in form at St Jude Classic as US Open defence looms large

|

UPDATED:

12:47 GMT, 2 June 2012

In 15 years as a professional Tiger Woods has never missed back-to-back cuts. Rory McIlroy has now missed three in a row.

And if three becomes four next week then the 23-year-old really does have a problem.

After crashing out of the Memorial Tournament following a second round 79 world number two McIlroy has one more chance to build some confidence heading into his defence of the US Open title.

He is the only player in the world's top 16 entered for the St Jude Classic in Memphis, an event he decided to play in only after his early exit from the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Bridge over troubled water: Rory McIlroy's form is far from ideal with the US Open fast approaching

Bridge over troubled water: Rory McIlroy's form is far from ideal with the US Open fast approaching

Nobody was that shocked when the run started with scores of 72 and 76 in the Players Championship at Sawgrass. McIlroy has yet to make a cut there, he has no great liking for the course and he was coming off a play-off at Quail Hollow.

But when he had rounds of 74 and 79 in the European Tour's flagship tournament to crash out by eight shots eyebrows were raised – even more so afterwards when he admitted: 'I might have taken eye off the ball a little bit'.

A trip the following day to see girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki in Paris before she began the French Open came only after he had put in some hard work in the gym and on the range.

That hard work has continued, but it is not bearing fruit yet.

'I don't feel like the scores are actually reflecting how I'm hitting the ball,' he said at Muirfield Village.

'I hit some good shots. It just seems like every time I go out there I make one or two big numbers and that sort of throws me.'

Thrown off guard: McIlroy was not on the money at the Memorial Tournament

Thrown off guard: McIlroy was not on the money at the Memorial Tournament

McIlroy battled back for an opening 71 after running up a quadruple bogey seven on his third hole of the day, then in his second round he came to grief with another seven on the long 11th and another double bogey shortly afterwards.

'I just need to keep working on it and try and string 18 good holes together, then two days, three days and ultimately four.

'I'm definitely hitting the ball better than I did last week, so I can see an improvement there, but I've still got a long way to go.'

It is generally agreed that a US Open is not the place to try to find your game, so Memphis takes on crucial importance. From there it will be straight onto the demanding Olympic Club in San Francisco.

The last time McIlroy missed three successive cuts was in August 2008 when he was 19.

He bounced back from that in his very next tournament, starting the European Masters in Switzerland with a 63 and leading by four with a round to play.

wise words: Luke Donald had some encouragement for McIlroy

wise words: Luke Donald had some encouragement for McIlroy

That week actually ended with him messing it up in a play-off, missing a putt of barely 18 inches, but the way things are at the moment he will certainly take being in a play-off again next Sunday.

Luke Donald, who took the number one spot back off McIlroy by retaining his title at Wentworth, played the opening two rounds with McIlroy in Ohio.

'He's obviously frustrated – this game does that to you,' he said. 'He's not far away. He made a couple of careless errors, but I'm sure once he posts one solid run of maybe a couple of rounds or a tournament this will be a blur and he'll forget about it quickly.'