Tag Archives: thunderstorms

Kiradech Aphibarnrat wins Malaysian Open

Smokin! Aphibarnrat holds nerve to win Malaysian Open after thunderstorm delay

By
Phil Casey, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

08:28 GMT, 24 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:01 GMT, 24 March 2013

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat today held his nerve after an untimely weather delay to claim his first European Tour title with a wire-to-wire victory in the Maybank Malaysian Open.

The tournament had been reduced to 54 holes following thunderstorms on each of the first three days, and another arrived just after the final group had teed off on the 16th hole today.

That meant a two-hour delay with Aphibarnrat one shot ahead of Italy's Edoardo Molinari, who had completed his 67 just before the delay and was safely in the clubhouse.

Smokin: Kiradech Aphibarnrat takes a puff on a cigarette on his way to victory

Smokin: Kiradech Aphibarnrat takes a puff on a cigarette on his way to victory

Hands on: Kiradech Aphibarnrat poses with the trophy after winning the Malaysian Open

Hands on: Kiradech Aphibarnrat poses with the trophy after winning the Malaysian Open

Kiradech Aphibarnrat

Kiradech Aphibarnrat

But Aphibarnrat made light of the disruption, hitting his approach to the 16th to three feet for birdie and then saving par on the next after almost finding water over the back of the green.

The 23-year-old former junior world champion therefore had the luxury of taking six on the 634-yard par-five 18th to complete a closing 70, sealing a a one-shot win over Molinari and claiming the first prize of 303,000.

Denmark's Anders Hansen (66) was third on 11 under, with France's Victor Dubuisson (70) and South African Charl Schwartzel (71) joint fourth a shot further back.

'This means a lot to me,' Aphibarnrat said. 'I had been struggling a lot after getting sick with my thyroid, but I fought and worked hard with my dad and my coach to have today.

'I have to thank my family, my mum and dad have always supported me and I am sure they are in front of the TV watching.'

Realisation: Aphibarnrat won his first European Tour title in Malaysia

Realisation: Aphibarnrat won his first European Tour title in Malaysia

Kiradech Aphibarnrat celebrates

The leaders started the day on the third hole and Aphibarnrat pitched to three feet for a birdie before holing from 15ft for an eagle on the par-five fifth.

At that stage his nearest challenger was Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who had eagled the same hole and also picked up three birdies, but the three-time major winner carded three bogeys in succession on the back nine to fade to sixth.

Bogeys at the seventh and 12th then saw Aphibarnrat joined at the top of the leaderboard by China's Wu Ashun, but as Wu also faded – shanking a pitch on the 16th into the crowd – Aphibarnrat birdied the 14th to edge ahead of Molinari, who was by now in the clubhouse.

The thunderstorm which arrived soon after looked to have come at a bad time for Aphibarnrat, but he added: 'I think it was good for me, I have time to rest and there were a lot of things going through my head. After I birdied the 16th I thought I had a good chance to win.

'The 18th hole I've played 10 times before, but today it was the toughest hole I have ever played, even though I could make six to win.'

Missing out: Edoardo Molinari had to settle for second place

Missing out: Edoardo Molinari had to settle for second place

Molinari was left to rue a number of missed chances, despite having previously missed the cut in all five of his appearances this season.

'It's mixed emotions because I'm very happy to have a good week for the first time in a long time,' said the former Ryder Cup player, who changed coach in December after missing three months following wrist surgery.

'The swing changes (under Sean Foley, who also coaches Tiger Woods and Justin Rose) are starting to pay off which is surprising because I thought it would take a lot longer, but I'm disappointed because I had a lot of chances on the back nine. The 18th is only the second fairway I missed all day which is very disappointing.

'I felt if I birdied the last I might have won outright because it puts a lot of pressure on the guy coming up behind, but unfortunately I think I'll be one or two short.'

Arsene Wenger should stay at Arsenal: Gary Neville

Yes, Arsenal are struggling but sensible people should be defending Wenger now

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UPDATED:

00:00 GMT, 16 December 2012

When I started out as a pundit I was
given a piece of advice from someone in whom I place an awful lot of
trust. ‘The key to being good in the media is to ensure you don’t get
embroiled in every single little piece of comment and opinion,’ he said.
‘Don’t spend the day listening to the talkshows. Don’t read every
single paper. Keep your opinions fresh.’

Of course, I have to be across news
stories like never before but you can get distracted by the noise of
football and it can start to warp your thinking.

It has been an enormous change for me
to be inserted into that fast-moving, frantic media world when, at the
club where I played, I was working in a dressing room that was like a
sanctuary, protected from the whirlwinds and thunderstorms of the
outside world.

Why always him Mario Balotelli storms off at the Etihad after being hauled off by Roberto Mancini

Why always him Mario Balotelli was one of the talking points this week, storming off at the Etihad after being hauled off by Roberto Mancini

And the past week has been full of
those types of storms. On Sunday we were talking about diving yet again
after Santi Cazorla against West Brom. On Monday the headlines were all
about Mario Balotelli and his performance the day before against
Manchester United, when other players were much worse than him.

It was that or the issue of netting at
games because Rio Ferdinand had been struck with a coin in that
Manchester derby. Then we moved on to Bradford beating Arsenal and the
fact that Arsene Wenger has to go … again. On Thursday, racism reared
its ugly head again, with the verdict on the Serbian FA.

And then on Friday I was looking down
my Twitter timeline and there was a question from an Arsenal fan: ‘What
do you think of George Graham’s comments that Arsenal will never win
the title again’ And I’m thinking: ‘That can’t be right’ So I went
online to check and it’s there in the newspaper as clear as day — George
Graham is quoted as saying: ‘Will they [Arsenal] win the league again I
can’t see it.’

The dark side of the moon: Arsene Wenger watches as his side crash out of the Capital One Cup at Bradford

The dark side of the moon: Arsene Wenger watches as his side crash out of the Capital One Cup at Bradford

The speed at which the football media operate today is like a blender that is constantly having food chucked
into it and chopped into a thousand pieces but never has any end
product. There’s never any substance at the end of the process. Or it’s
like a sausage machine that just churns out more mincemeat rather than
sausages.

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Being partly in football as an
assistant coach with England and partly in the media, I can see it from
both sides. And I think football and the media should work more closely
together. I want footballers to be more open.

But the reality inside the changing
room is often totally different to the furore on the outside. I’m not
sure which the public want: the frenzy of the media or a reflection of
the serenity of the dressing room; or a bit of both. But it has got to
the point where we almost need two distinct media: one that deal with
the actual match and one that deal with the issues surrounding it.

Football has become a soap opera,
which, of course, is partly why the Premier League has become so
extraordinarily popular and is one reason why it is beamed around the
world. But the actual football can get lost in the drama. For some
people the main act can become the sideshow.

And so incredible statements come out
like: ‘Arsenal will never win the league again.’ Now I’m not going to
sit here and say: ‘All’s good and well at Arsenal and they shouldn’t
worry about going out to Bradford.’ That’s not the case. They’ve lost a
lot of quality in the past three years and they haven’t replaced it,
like for like. There seem to be some management failures in the number
of players who end up with just one year on their contract but I doubt
that’s Arsene Wenger’s fault. And they definitely need a bit of the
attitude of the 2005 FA Cup final team, the last trophy they won.
Without Thierry Henry that day they struggled but there was such a
resilience about those players that they were prepared to win ugly and
beat Manchester United on penalties.

Halcyon days: A jubilant Wenger holds the Premier League trophy aloft eight years ago

Halcyon days: A jubilant Wenger holds the Premier League trophy aloft eight years ago

But for George Graham, someone who has a greater knowledge of Arsenal than I will ever have, to be quoted as saying they will never win the league again leaves me stunned. I’ll be amazed if Arsenal Football Club never win another title. Honestly, I’d be just as surprised if tomorrow wasn’t Monday. It’s like saying Liverpool will never win another title. Of course they will. It’s a fact. Fifteen years ago who would have said that Chelsea or Manchester City would win a title Things change. They move on.

When I look back at the history of Arsenal, the club went 45 years before they won their first league title. And after dominating in the Thirties and then after the war, they went 18 years between 1953 and 1971 without a league title. And then another 18 years before the next title, which came under George Graham, in 1989. Arsenal are not a club like Real Madrid, Benfica or Celtic who should expect to win the title every year. They never have been.

When Roberto Di Matteo was sacked three weeks ago, the same people who were saying they despised the madness of Chelsea are now saying that we need a change at Arsenal. What do we want We just want a news story. We want more food in the blender.

Nadir: Arsenal's midweek defeat is a low point, but the club will get back to fighting for titles under Wenger

Nadir: Arsenal's midweek defeat is a low point, but the club will get back to fighting for titles under Wenger

There’s nothing to say that if you
change Arsene Wenger you’re going to be more successful. There’s nothing
to say that if you spend 100million, like Liverpool did, you’re going
to win the league.

Manchester
City and Chelsea have done superbly in recent years and between them
have won four out of the last eight Premier League titles. But it has
cost the best part of 2billion between them to do it. Are we saying
Arsenal should do that

Arsenal
are on the right track. They run the club in a sensible way. When I go
there, I watch good players, good football and you sense the history of
the place. There is a drop in quality, especially in forward positions.
They were the best attacking team I played against and, at the moment,
they don’t have that ruthlessness and devastation.

Lack of quality: Gervinho misses a crucial chance in the first half against Bradford

Lack of quality: Gervinho misses a crucial chance in the first half against Bradford

But we should be applauding the fact a club have had a manager for 16 years in a world in which divorce rates get ever higher, in which loyalty isn’t valued and in which everyone demands everything instantly.

Sensible football people should be defending Arsene Wenger and fighting for him to build another great Arsenal team. And we certainly shouldn’t be sat here saying: ‘Arsenal will never win another title.’ To me, that seems absurdly reactive.

Luke Donald feels inspired by Olympic success as world No 1 targets USPGA glory

Donald feels inspired by Olympic success as world No 1 targets USPGA glory

PUBLISHED:

20:05 GMT, 7 August 2012

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UPDATED:

20:05 GMT, 7 August 2012

Luke Donald will again try to win his
first major this week, but this time will do so having been inspired and
motivated by Britain's success at the Olympics.

The Englishman spoke while dodging
thunderstorms at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, where the USPGA
Championship – starting on Thursday – will be his 38th attempt to land
one of golf's four biggest titles.

Upbeat: Luke Donald

Upbeat: World No 1 Luke Donald

'It's good to know hard work pays off – I've always tried to think in those terms,' the world No 1 said today.

Donald watched Andy Murray beat Roger Federer during a rain delay in Akron on Sunday and has tried to capture as much of the London action as possible, although much of it is been shown delayed on American television.

'That takes the edge off when you know who's going to win, but I think Mo Farah's last lap was pretty special and obviously Jessica Ennis, living up to the expectation that was put on her shoulders,' said Donald.

'She was kind of the poster child for the Olympic Games.

'They're all inspiring in their own way. The fact that you have one event every four years to really work hard, to see some of the guys who don't perform and to see some of the guys that perform and win gold, I mean, there's a lot of raw emotions there.

'And watching certainly has inspired me a lot in terms of having that wish to be there in four years, to have an opportunity to also win a gold medal.'

Golf will be back as part of the Games in Rio after a gap of more than 100 years, and to be there Donald will either have to be in the world's top 15 still or one of Britain's top-two players.

Ready: Donald hits a shot during a practice round

Ready: Donald hits a shot during a practice round

The final major of the season inevitably flies under the radar this week as the Olympics continue, but that will not make victory taste any less sweet for the 34-year-old, who saw his fifth-placed finish in The Open three weeks ago as something of a breakthrough.

It was not where he came, but more how he felt that Donald takes heart from – especially after the bitter disappointment of missing the halfway cut at the US Open in June.

'Coming off the US Open I was very disappointed how I kind of handled the situation mentally,' Donald said.

'I didn't come in hitting the ball that great and maybe that added to some of the anxiety.

'But certainly I think there was a little bit of a breakthrough, just realising at the Open Championship that no matter how I'm hitting it physically there's always a way to mentally be on top.

'I did that very well and as a result I also played pretty well.'

Major target: Tiger Woods

Major target: Tiger Woods

The last 16 majors have been won by 16 different players – Ernie Els was the latest to joint the list at Royal Lytham – and Donald hopes he can be the one to take it to 17.

'I guess the longer the streak goes, the more encouragement it gives to those guys who haven't yet won a major, like myself. But I'm not sure if it changes anything for me.

'I continue to focus on what I can do and hopefully give myself a chance on Sunday.'

Tiger Woods, who has now gone over four years since the last of his 14 majors, can also become the 17th.

Woods had chances at both the US Open and Open, but fell back to 21st in San Francisco and had to settle for third in Lancashire.

With three tournament wins he describes it as “a pretty good year”, but knows this is his last opportunity of 2012 to turn it into a great one.

'I'm pleased at the way I was able to play at certain times and obviously disappointed that I did not win,' Woods said.

'I've played in three major championships this year (he was only 40th at The Masters), and I didn't win any of them – that's the goal.

'Things have progressed, but not winning a major championship doesn't feel very good.'

Woods also hopes to become an Olympian in four years' time at the age of 40.

'Since we haven't done it in a very long time, it'll be something else to be able to represent our country like that in the Olympic Games,' he said.