SBO REPORT:Lauren Hill’s high school retires her basketball jersey

SBO REPORT:Lauren Hill’s high school retires her basketball jersey

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Around this time last year  sbobet , Lauren Hill was a senior starting on the Lawrenceburg (Ind.) High School basketball team, committed to continuing her basketball career at a Division III college in Cincinnati.

That dream would be cut short before it even started, as Hill’s doctors diagnosed her with a rare brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma last November. Hill decided to use the diagnosis of the inoperable brain tumor as inspiration, grasping the opportunity to get the word out about DIPG. She also continued playing hoops despite worsening symptoms.

Her story became national news when Mount St. Joseph played its first game of the season on Nov. 2, a few weeks early in order to give Hill the chance  sbobet  to play at least one college game before her symptoms become too severe. Legendary coach Pat Summitt surprised her at halftime, presenting her with the Pat Summitt Most Courageous award.

Hill was the next to surprise everyone, her doctors included, by appearing in a regularly scheduled game last Friday. She’s also raised more than $350,000 through a cancer research funding campaign called Layup4Lauren, appeared on a Wheaties box and earned a personalized NBA Live 2015 cover.

On Saturday night, her alma mater added yet another surprise: The school retired Hill’s No. 22 jersey.

The half-time ceremony even caught Hill off guard, as did the announcement that there will be a Lauren Hill Week in the town. She says she thought she was just attending a regular Saturday night game.

“All this has been amazing and the continued support from everybody, and all the other teams, and the community,” Hill said as she addressed the crowd. “There’s really good people out there, that I’ve  sbobet  learned, and I’m speechless.”

Her courage has had the same effect on people around the country, from professional athletes to children battling DIPG. For Hill, that’s another dream come true.
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SBO REPORT:Ko closes out amazing rookie year with big payday

SBO REPORT:Ko closes out amazing rookie year with big payday

The biggest challenge facing Lydia Ko is how she can top a rookie season like this one.

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The 17-year-old from New Zealand  sbo  sat next to a pair of crystal trophies Sunday evening. At her feet was a glass box that was stuffed with cash to symbolize the $1 million bonus she picked up on an historic end to the LPGA Tour season.

She was an instant millionaire when she closed with a 4-under 68 to get into a three-way playoff in the CME Group Tour Championship. She already had finished high enough to clinch the inaugural “Race to CME Globe” and its $1 million bonus.

Then, she collected another trophy by winning the Tour Championship with a par on the fourth extra hole to pick up an extra $500,000. Only the tournament earnings count toward the money list, and it made Ko the first rookie to surpass $2 million in a year.

The most pressure she felt all week was Thursday night, when she  sbo  had to give an acceptance speech as LPGA rookie of the year.

“It’s been an awesome week, and a week I’ll never forget,” Ko said.

As an amateur, her mother used to give her $10 for every shot she finished under par. Ko won twice on the LPGA Tour as an amateur, and she made her pro debut last year at the Tour Championship by earning $16,063.

So to leave town with $1.5 million in one day was a little difficult to digest.

“It’s huge money, you know?” Ko said. “Even $1,000 is huge money. For us, $100 is huge money. So it’s getting bigger. But the great things about my friends is most of them don’t play golf. When I’m hanging around with them, we don’t talk about golf or the hook I hit on 7 or whatever. So that’s what I really love. I feel like I can get off the course, get my mind free and just be that teenager.”

On the golf course, she looks like a world beater.

Ko already has five  sbo  LPGA Tour victories, and she’s still not old enough to legally drink the champagne that players sprayed on her when she won. She heads back to New Zealand for a two-month offseason before figuring out what she can do next.

“It’s going to be tough,” she said. “I think I played pretty awesome this year. I’ve had 14 top 10s and three wins. It’s a year that I would have never thought I would have. It’s hard year to top. Just playing consistently is my goal for my whole career.”

She was consistent on Sunday, especially in the playoff held on the 425-yard 18th hole, which yielded only four birdies in the final round.

Ko left it to the others to blink first.

Julieta Granada of Paraguay, who closed with a 71, was the first to be eliminated when she three-putted from the collar of the green, missing a 5-foot par putt  sbo  that spun in and out of the cup.

Carlota Ciganda of Spain twice had a chance to pick up her first LPGA Tour victory. She closed with a 70, a score that could have been one shot better if not for missing a 3-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole in regulation that would have given her a one-shot lead.

On the third playoff hole, Ciganda had a 5-foot birdie putt for the win and missed it. On the fifth time playing the 18th hole — and fourth in the playoff — she pulled her approach left of the green and watched it bounce down the slope and into the hazard.

“Just missed one shot, and not the right way,” Ciganda said.

She took a penalty drop and chipped to 3 feet. Ko had two putts for the win, and her birdie putt stopped an inch from going in. No matter. The kid was a winner again, and richer than ever.

The top three players — Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park and Ko — only had to win the tournament to assure themselves the $1 million bonus. Lewis never had much of a chance and tied for ninth  sbo . Park was four shots worse and tied for 24th.

Ko just went about her work, thinking more about birdies than cash.

“She’s a great player,” Lewis said. “She got that innocence about her that she doesn’t even realize what’s going on. She probably has no idea how the scenarios and points work out. Maybe it’s to her advantage.”

Lewis did not leave empty-handed.

She became the first American in 21 years to sweep the three most significant awards on the LPGA Tour — player of the year, the Vare Trophy for the lowest   sbo scoring average and the money title.

“The $1 million would have been nice,” Lewis said. “But those three, that’s what I came here for.”

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SBO REPORT:Lost time, but not a lost year for Michelle Wie

SBO REPORT:Lost time, but not a lost year for Michelle Wie

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Michelle Wie has every reason  sbobet  to look at this year as what might have been.

Right when the 6-foot star from Hawaii was finally hitting her stride, yet another injury kept her out of golf for nearly three months. She could only watch as her name slipped from the top of the LPGA Tour money list. When she finally felt healthy enough to try to return, she lost out on the inside track to a $1 million bonus for the winner of the  sbobet  Race to the CME Globe.

So how does she look back on the season?

With a big smile, for starters.

It helps that she won the U.S. Women’s Open, the biggest event in women’s golf and her first major. Not to be forgotten was how she rallied to win the Lotte Championship in April, her first LPGA Tour win in nearly four years that felt even bigger because she won before a home crowd in Hawaii.

So when she was asked Tuesday for one word to describe her season, the 25-year-old Wie bought some  sbobet  time before saying, ”Rewarding.”

”The season has been so phenomenal for me,” Wie said. ”It boosted my confidence. It kind of showed me what I can do. And obviously, it’s been a tough year for me with injuries, with my knee and my hand and everything. But it’s still rewarding. I can’t complain.”

In one of the best seasons for the LPGA Tour, Wie was a big part of it.

She was runner-up in the Kraft Nabisco Championship to Lexi Thompson, the 19-year-old who hits it a mile. Wie bounced back with a powerful win at Pinehurst No. 2, where she survived a late blunder with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole  sbobet  that all but clinched her U.S. Women’s Open title.

Inbee Park won another major on her rise back to No. 1 in her sport. Mo Martin became a popular major champion at the Women’s British Open by showing grit and perseverance can go a lot longer than some of her tee shots.

And as the season ends this week at the CME Group Tour Championship, Park and Stacy Lewis are locked in a tight battle for all the big awards – money title, player of the year, and the Race to the CME Globe.

The top three in the points race – Lewis, Park and 17-year-old Lydia Ko – only have to win on the Tiburon Course at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort to capture the $1 million bonus. Along with the $500,000 prize  sbobet  from the tournament, it would be the biggest payoff in women’s golf.

Wie is at No. 4 and still has a reasonable shot at the $1 million. But it’s not like her season would be empty without it.

For the first time, Wie felt like she belonged among the top players in golf.

”I think in the past my mentality has always been that I want to play really well. I put a lot of pressure on myself,” she said. ”I was talking to (swing coach David) Leadbetter about this and I told him I wanted to play consistent. Whether I’m consistently mediocre or consistently good, I just want to be consistent every week, to go out there and build on it.”

She was consistently good.

In her first 14 events of the season, Wie finished worse than 16th only  sbobet  one time. She put together five straight top 10s – including a victory in Hawaii and a runner-up finish in the first major of the year. Unlike the past, no one had to scroll very far down the leaderboard to find her name.

She headed into the Women’s British Open as the star she always was expected to be. And then her season took another detour, a route she knows all too well.

Wie isn’t sure how or where she injured her right hand. She remembers it getting sore at Royal Birkdale, perhaps because of the firm turf in a dry English summer. She remembers one shot in Ohio a week later from a really bad lie that had her shaking her hand. Before long, she had trouble holding a toothbrush or lifting a fork.

She tried to return to  sbobet  the final major of the year in France and couldn’t make it beyond 13 holes.

Since her return in Asia, she’s right back to where she left off – a pair of top 5s, and pair of top 20s that long ago would have been considered a big success. Wie is practicing less and working out more, building a game for the long run.

Next year will mark the 10-year anniversary when she turned pro. It already has been a long, twisting road filled with injuries, big endorsement contracts, high expectations, and the discipline to be a part-time player while she earned a degree from Stanford.

She looks at this season-ending event as a final exam.

”You want to put everything you learned over the year and kind of go  sbobet  out with a bang, and hopefully play the best golf you played all year,” she said.

If she doesn’t, that won’t change how she looks at her season. Because a big part of her is eager to see what the next few years will bring.

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SBO REPORT:Harvick finds happiness long before NASCAR title

SBO REPORT:Harvick finds happiness long before NASCAR title

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It was some six hours after Kevin Harvick had  sbo  won his first Sprint Cup championship when he was finally able to peel off his beer-soaked firesuit, take a shower and begin celebrating the biggest moment of his career.

Harvick had changed into shorts and a T-shirt, and wandered through the infield at Homestead-Miami Speedway wearing flip-flops looking for some friends and a cold Budweiser. He munched on a plate of hot dogs, smiled ear-to-ear, but didn’t seem able to process what he’d just accomplished.

”Can you believe this?” NASCAR’s newest champion asked almost every well-wisher.

Sure they could, Happy.

He was a worthy  sbo  winner of NASCAR’s revamped Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, which successfully put the emphasis on victories over the final two races. Harvick had been forced to win at Phoenix just to advance to Sunday’s finale against Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman for the title.

All four teams were on top of their game, and it became apparent as they ran in order at the front of the pack that it would likely take a victory to wrap up the title.

So Harvick used a masterful drive through the field, using restarts and four fresh tires to pick his way from 12th to victory lane over the final 15 hectic laps. The reward was a championship he had chased for 13 years at  sbo  Richard Childress Racing before making the life-changing decision to move to Stewart-Haas Racing this season.

He had been convinced by good friend Tony Stewart that if he switched teams, Stewart could help him win that coveted title. It was a leap of faith, but one he and his wife, DeLana, were willing to take after re-assessing their priorities following the birth of their son.

”Tony was pretty adamant that we could race for wins and championships,” Harvick said, explaining he’d reached a point where he no longer enjoyed his job at RCR. ”Whether I finished third or fourth … I just wasn’t excited about going to work. I needed to be excited about going to work,  sbo  and this just gave me an opportunity to race with one of my good friends.”

Once Harvick was on board, SHR began the process of finding him a crew chief to help build his team.

Harvick and others courted Rodney Childers, who really liked his job but didn’t see many championship chances coming his way at Michael Waltrip Racing. Like Harvick, Childers needed some persuading; He and Harvick joke they spent a year dating as Harvick tried to develop a rapport that would prompt him to leave MWR.

It was Stewart who sealed the deal, flying from his home in Indiana  sbo  to North Carolina to meet with Childers.

”I wasn’t even going to take the job until Tony got in his airplane,” Childers said. ”On my drive home, I said, ‘If anybody is willing to do that for me and spend that kind of money for me, they’re going to look after me.’ He looked me in the eyes that night and said, ‘We’re going to do this.”’

By the time Harvick started at SHR last December, Childers had a fleet of fast Chevrolets waiting for him. The team Childers had built for Harvick turned heads from their very first test session. When they won  sbo  their second race together, it became evident this was a championship-contending team – one that was a stalwart even as SHR was rocked by Stewart’s involvement in a deadly sprint car crash.

”To be a part of building something, it really changed my life,” Harvick said. ”I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in my whole life than I have been this year. From a personal standpoint, from a professional standpoint, you see all the things that you have around you, and you’re lucky. I’m pretty lucky to be able to do what I used to pay to do for a hobby. I have no idea how much money I make. I love showing up to work, I love coming to the race track and love what I do. And it’s been a long, long time since I could sit up here and honestly tell you that I love the experience of everything.”

So it made sense that the post-race celebration was  sbo  emotional. DeLana was crying on the pit box before her husband even took the checkered flag. Childers was moved to tears on the championship stage and Harvick’s voice cracked as he held 2-year-old Keelan.

And then there was Stewart, who retired from the race and watched the finish from his motorhome. He made it to the celebration in street clothes, found Harvick and grabbed him in a long, tight embrace. Stewart had made good on his promise.

”It’s not about me right now; it’s about us as a group,” he said. ”I’m really proud to not only have a teammate, but most of all, one of my best friends be out there taking pictures as champion this year. That’s a great feeling to be up here and be a part of that with both of these guys.”

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SBO REPORT:Winslow leads No. 4 Duke past Fairfield 109-59

SBO REPORT:Winslow leads No. 4 Duke past Fairfield 109-59

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Duke put up another huge  sbobet  point total – and none of the fourth-ranked Blue Devils have had to do too much by themselves.

”One of our main things is sharing the ball,” preseason All-American Jahlil Okafor said. ”Everybody’s eating right now.”

Freshman Justise Winslow scored 18 points in Duke’s 109-59 rout of Fairfield on Saturday night in its second game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

Okafor and Quinn Cook each scored 17 for the Blue Devils (2-0).

Duke shot 64.5 percent – hitting better than 60 percent for the second   sbobet straight game – used a 30-10 run that bridged the halves and kept pulling away.

Amile Jefferson finished with 15 points to help Duke score 100 points in consecutive games for the first time since the Kyrie Irving-led team in November 2010.

In two exhibition games and two in the regular season, Duke has yet to have a scorer reach 20 points.

Marcus Gilbert had 15 points for Fairfield (1-1) before fouling out with 6:22 remaining.

The competition gets much tougher next time out: No. 18 Michigan State awaits Tuesday night in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis.

Playing a little over 24 hours after the third-most lopsided game in program history – a 113-44 rout of  sbobet  Presbyterian – the Blue Devils got a bit more of a test from these Stags.

This was an eight-point game with less than 3 minutes remaining before halftime, before Duke’s decisive run came.

”We let up a couple times and we let their best player (Gilbert) get going,” Cook said, adding that coach Mike Krzyzewski ”got after us and we responded well.”

And not surprisingly, Okafor played a key role in getting it going.

The freshman star scored 19 points in his debut and has missed only three shots during his brief college career.

He assisted on the first bucket of the burst and followed with layups about a minute apart to really get the run going. Winslow then hit an alley-oop layup from  sbobet Cook with about 3 seconds before the break to make it 44-30.

Cook hit two 3s in the first 5 minutes of the second half before Marshall Plumlee capped it with a free throw that made it 66-38 with 13:43 to play, and it was all Duke after that.

LEADERSHIP

Duke trailed for the first time this season – and it lasted for exactly 18 seconds. Amadou Sidibe made Fairfield the first team to lead the Blue Devils with his hook shot over Okafor with 19:37 left. Cook, the only scholarship senior on the Duke roster, erased it with a 3.

HIGHLIGHT

The prettiest sequence came  sbobet  with about 15 1/2 minutes left when Okafor slammed Jerome Segura’s layup hard off the glass. That started a break in which Tyus Jones spun near the free-throw line and flipped it to Cook – who buried a 3 to give Duke its largest lead to that point, 60-36.

TIP-INS
View gallery
Winslow leads No. 4 Duke past Fairfield 109-59
Duke’s Amile Jefferson and Justise Winslow (12) and Fairfield’s Malcolm Gilbert struggle for …

Duke: This was the 37th time in Krzyzewski’s 35 seasons at Duke – and the second straight night – three freshmen started. All but 10 of those instances came in 1982-83 (Johnny Dawkins, Mark Alarie, Bill Jackman).

Fairfield: Coleman Johnson added 11 points for Fairfield, which played 16 players in this one after using only eight in the win over Central Connecticut State.  sbobet Fairfield hasn’t beaten a Top 25 opponent since 1977-78 (No. 14 Holy Cross).

UP NEXT

Duke plays Michigan State in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night in Indianapolis.

Fairfield hosts Wofford on Nov. 21.

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SBO REPORT:Official: Taveras was drunk during fatal crash

SBO REPORT:Official: Taveras was drunk during fatal crash

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St. Louis Cardinals rookie outfielder Oscar Taveras  sbo  was drunk at the time of his fatal car crash last month in his Caribbean homeland, an official in the Dominican Republic said Wednesday.

Tessie Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the Dominican attorney general’s office, told The Associated Press toxicology reports showed Taveras had a blood-alcohol level five times the country’s legal limit when he lost control of his car Oct. 26 on a highway in the tourist region of Puerto Plata.

The 22-year-old Taveras was ”legally intoxicated when he crashed,” Sanchez said.

”Until we have the  sbo  opportunity to review the official report, we cannot confirm details,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement.

”While we are still working to obtain the facts, it won’t change the fact that this is a terrible tragedy. We have an obligation to use this as an opportunity to educate our players that they must take responsibility for themselves both on and off the field,” he said.

Taveras hit .239 with three homers and 22 RBIs in 80 games this year. He homered against the Giants in his major league debut on May 31. He also had a big solo drive in the seventh inning of Game 2 in the NL Championship Series against San Francisco.

Taveras was a teenager when he signed with the Cardinals as an international free agent in 2008. Before this season, he was ranked the No. 3 overall prospect  sbo  by MLB.com and Baseball America.

He was buried late last month in a cemetery near the Dominican Republic’s north coast.

Taveras’ 18-year-old girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, was in his 2014 Chevy Camaro when it ran off the road. She also died.

A month into the 2007 season, St. Louis pitcher Josh Hancock was killed in a car crash and tests showed his blood-alcohol level was nearly twice Missouri’s legal limit.

The Cardinals subsequently banned alcohol from their clubhouse. As of last season, they don’t provide alcohol in their locker room at home or on the road, and don’t permit alcohol on team charter   sbo  flights returning to St. Louis.

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SBO REPORT:Florida State drops while TCU and Oregon move up in CFP rankings

SBO REPORT:Florida State drops while TCU and Oregon move up in CFP rankings6

A year ago, the Seminoles  sbobet  knew that winning out, regardless of its competition, would be enough to make the BCS National Championship Game. But on Tuesday, it learned that a room full of committee members ranking its body of work against the work of several other teams with tougher schedules isn’t nearly as forgiving.

The undefeated Seminoles dropped to No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings after spending two previous weeks seemingly comfortable at No. 2. Oregon took their place while Mississippi State hung tough at No. 1 with a game against No. 5  sbobet  Alabama this weekend. TCU, which was on the outside looking in this time last week, slips into the No. 4 spot after a dominating win against Kansas State.

What might provide Florida State and Alabama some comfort is that College Football Playoff committee chairman Jeff Long said the differences between the Ducks, Seminoles, Horned Frogs and the Crimson Tide are very minimal. With regards to Florida State and Oregon, Long noted that the Ducks had one more win against top-25 competition and that two of three wins against ranked competition came on the road.

“I think the key for us, and again it’s very, very close, it’s very thin, we probably spent more time discussing those two teams plus TCU and Alabama,” Long said. “It’s razor thin, but in this week, based on  sbobet  this week’s body of work, all things considered, we felt like Oregon had a very slight edge on Florida State.”

That’s likely because Oregon beat a highly-respected Utah team while Florida State easily handled Virginia.

Now here’s the catch: Neither Oregon nor Florida State have any ranked opponents on their schedules until their respective conference title games. And when it comes to that, Oregon likely will be playing a higher-ranked opponent. In the grand scheme though, the difference between Nos. 2 and 3 is pretty minimal. But it’s the teams around it — teams that do have ranked opponents remaining — that have to have the Seminoles and Ducks sweating a little bit.

The real change might come after this weekend’s game between Alabama and Mississippi State. As noted last week, Alabama controls its destiny and could end up being the No. 1 seed when all is said and done. The Tide not only have a game against  sbobet  the No. 1 team this weekend, but it still play a ranked Auburn team at the end of the year. Similarly, Mississippi State also has to play a ranked Ole Miss team at the end of the season. Alabama can’t afford to slip because it already has a loss, but it will be interesting to see what the committee does with a one-loss Mississippi State team. Let’s be honest, the Bulldogs looked impressive against its ranked competition this season, but those wins don’t look nearly as impressive as the losses have mounted for those squads. Also, the Bulldogs haven’t looked great in its past two SEC games against Arkansas and Kentucky, two of the weaker teams in the conference.

As for the conundrum of TCU and Baylor and all of the talk regarding the Bears’ head-to-head win against the Horned Frogs, well, Long put it pretty bluntly, the committee doesn’t care. He noted that while head-to-head is a factor, it’s only used if all other things are equal. And according  sbobet  to Long: “The body of work and the strength of schedule is not the same.”

This is definitely a case where Baylor’s super weak nonconference schedule is coming back to bite it. Of the teams in the top six, only Mississippi State didn’t play a Power Five team during its nonconference slate. However, the Bulldogs are also undefeated with three top-25 wins. Baylor has just one top-25 win with Oklahoma slipping out of the rankings this week.  sbobet 

The picture is definitely getting clearer for the top four and will continue to do so here in the final few weeks of the season. But how it will look in the end is anyone’s guess.

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SBO REPORT:McDowell, Poulter angry at slow pace of play at WGC-HSBC Champions

SBO REPORT:McDowell, Poulter angry at slow pace of play at WGC-HSBC Champions

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Graeme McDowell lashed the  sbo  snail-like pace of play Saturday at the WGC-HSBC Champions as “ridiculous” after a third round of one-under-par 71 reduced his lead to a single shot.

McDowell has led for all three days of the $8.5 million Shanghai event known as “Asia’s Major”, but he and playing partner Ian Poulter were angered by having to spend more than five and a half hours on the course in cold and damp conditions.

“Ridiculous,” McDowell told AFP after finishing in near-darkness, having teed off at 10.50am (0250 GMT). Play ended in the gloom at 4.30pm, just a few  sbo  minutes before sunset.

“We got to the fourth tee, the par three, and there was already a group on it,” McDowell lamented.

“We’ve got threeballs, a lot of people out there and a couple of driveable par fours and a couple of two-shot par fives. Just a slow golf course. A long day,” said McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion.

Ryder Cup star Poulter was less diplomatic in his assessment of the day after a level-par 72 left him four behind McDowell.

“There’s no excuses  sbo . We need to be pressing and making sure people are keeping up to pace,” Poulter told AFP.

“Five and a half hours is too long to play golf. End of story.”

American Rickie Fowler, who finished in the top five in all four majors this year, was bewildered as to why the round took an hour longer than the first two days.

“Yeah, it was too long,” Fowler told AFP.

“I’m not sure what it was. The first two days didn’t take as long. We didn’t have as many waits.

“Today was a bit cooler and the rough did play tough with the rain  sbo  and the moisture. I guess it just shows you what a little bit of weather conditions can do.”

The two major tours, the US PGA Tour and the European Tour, do have regulations governing slow play and can impose penalties, but it rarely happens.

The US PGA Tour last handed out a one-stroke penalty for slow play to 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang of China at the 2013 US Masters. It was the first such penalty on the Tour for 18 years.

Bubba Watson was the third member of the threeball with McDowell and Poulter Saturday and he has been a regular critic of the pace of play on the US PGA Tour.

And Watson knows  sbo  what he would do to speed things up.

“You have to penalise people,” he told reporters after the first three rounds at the Phoenix Open earlier this year took well in excess of five hours.

“Give them a stroke (penalty). It could cause you to win or lose. I think strokes is the only way to do it.”

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SBO REPORT:Urban Meyer knows OSU’s clash with Michigan State isn’t just another game

SBO REPORT:Urban Meyer knows OSU’s clash with Michigan State isn’t just another game

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Urban Meyer is a man who believes  sbo  in the power of process but even he couldn’t help himself late Saturday, as Ohio State was waxing Illinois 55-14 in a lopsided, low-key affair. It ran Meyer’s Big Ten regular season record to 20-0 and like most of the others it was really never in doubt, just another ho-hum blowout of an inferior foe.

So, yes, Meyer admits to thinking ahead. The fourth-quarter clock was still running when he summoned his program’s longtime strength coach and right hand man, Mickey Mariotti, to discuss preparation for this week, where an opponent more than  sbo  capable of matching the Buckeyes awaits up in East Lansing.

“The focus has to be at 8 o’clock [Saturday],” Meyer said he told Mariotti, reiterating the program’s commitment to preparation, in this case using the early week for a slow build, via nutrition and physical therapy. “That’s when our job is to have them ready. Not Monday at 2 o’clock. Not Tuesday at 3:30.”

For all the abundance Meyer has brought since taking over Ohio State in 2012, this is something that’s  sbo  been lacking: big-game week.

And across the program nobody is pretending that the anticipation, the excitement, the possibilities at Michigan State aren’t meaningful.

Meyer is 31-3 overall as Ohio State’s coach but one of those defeats, the most painful of those defeats, came at the hands of the Spartans in last year’s Big Ten championship game. It ended OSU’s 24-game win streak and knocked them out of contention for a chance to play for the BCS title.

It still haunts this place.

“I’d lie to you if I said there’s not frustration,” Meyer told Yahoo Sports   sbo on Monday morning. “We’re here to compete for championships … that’s one of our jobs. We didn’t seal the job last year.

“Got close,” he continued. “We were down 17-nothing. Took that darn lead 24-17 and we gave that up.”
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The truth is Meyer isn’t here to just compete for championships. He’s here to win them. Big Ten. National. You name it. He’s just learned to accept losses better he said, after he broke down physically and mentally trying to chase perfection back at Florida. So he uses the term “compete.” It’s a little bit empty.

“Our guys are trying  sbo as hard as they possibly can and I think I’ve learned to live with that better than in the days when that would get me in a bad deal,” he said.

Which doesn’t mean the Buckeyes (7-1, 4-0) haven’t been waiting for another chance at the Spartans (7-1, 4-0).

“To not say it ripped you apart would be not true,” Meyer said. “I don’t want to experience it again.”

Meyer won’t call this a rivalry because he believes Ohio State has but one rival, Michigan, or that Team Up North. Saying anyone else is a rival would be an insult to the history of that series, he figures.

So there’s a countdown clock here to the Wolverine game, but whereas Michigan hasn’t been very good lately, the game of the year has become  sbo  Michigan State – or “The Team Up North State,” as linebacker Joshua Perry dubbed them.

This is a chance at revenge. Perhaps most of all, this is a chance at relevance. Where so much of the conference has collapsed around the 16th-ranked Buckeyes and expansion has thus far only brought in more opponents to hang half a hundred on, No. 7 Michigan State offers a challenge, a spotlight, a reason to make it personal.

“Ohio State is a premier program, we need to win on the big stage and last year we didn’t win on the big stage,” Meyer said.

Unfinished business. So that’s why Meyer started the business early with Mariotti, trying to drill down on maximizing every minute between the end of Illinois and the start of Michigan State.

That, of course, is how they   sbo want it. Ohio State – from the coaches to the players – is too disciplined and too sportsmanlike to rip the rest of the Big Ten, but as much fun as it is rolling teams by 35 week after week, this is a competitive bunch. And everyone knows the lack of opportunities to make a statement to the playoff selection committee isn’t a good thing.

“It does feel a little different and I think that’s good,” offensive coordinator Tom Herman said. “This isn’t just another game. It would be foolish for us with the world these young guys live in for us to say, ‘Hey, this is just another game and everybody cares about this game the way they care when you line up and play Kent State.’

“That’s not true,” Hermon continued. “We all know it’s not true. And we all know that at midnight Saturday night someone is going to have a big-time advantage in the Big Ten East.”

So now here’s the chance and it comes with some extra fun, such  sbo  as looking up in the rankings at MSU, being a 3 1/2-point underdog in Vegas, having so many pundits picking against them, using a game to prove their worth, not just avoid upset.

“We do have a lot of respect for them and I don’t want to discredit them for anything they’ve done, because they do have a great body of work, but I’ll never feel like an underdog here,” Decker said. “This is our biggest game of the season … they are a top-10 team. We want to play them, we want to beat them just to show how good of a team we are.”

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SBO REPORT:S.Africa captain killed protecting girlfriend

SBO REPORT:S.Africa captain killed protecting girlfriend

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South Africa soccer captain Senzo Meyiwa  sbo  was shot dead by intruders when trying to protect his girlfriend during a robbery at her home near Johannesburg, officials said on Monday.

The 27-year-old Orlando Pirates goalkeeper died on Sunday after suffering a single shot through the chest at the home of girlfriend Kelly Khumalo, a local actress and singer, in the township of Vosloorus.

“Two guys entered the house and demanded cellphones, money and other valuables,” provincial Community Safety official Sizakele Nkosi-Malubane told reporters at the scene.

“Senzo tried to protect Kelly because one of the men had a gun pointed towards her.”

Police said two men entered Khumalo’s house about 8 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) where Meyiwa was in  sbo  a party of seven in the house. A third assailant waited outside the house and all three fled immediately after the shooting.
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Meyiwa of South Africa’s Orlando Pirates is beaten …
Goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa of South Africa’s Orlando Pirates is beaten by a goal made by Mohamed Ab …

Meyiwa was declared dead on arrival at hospital, the police added.

South Africa coach Ephraim Mashaba comforted several of Meyiwa’s team mates who had arrived at the hospital not long after the shooting.

“We can assure all South Africans that we will do all we can to bring  sbo  Meyiwa’s killers (to) book,” the South African Police Services said on its Twitter account, offering a reward of 150,000 South African rand ($13,700).

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega announced a special task force team had been formed to investigate the murder. She will brief reporters later on Monday.

FORENSIC INVESTIGATION

“We mourn the death of this young footballer and team leader whose life has been taken away at the prime of his career,” said a statement from South African president Jacob Zuma on Monday.

“The law enforcement authorities must leave no stone unturned in finding his killers and bring them to justice. Words cannot express the nation’s shock at this loss.”

Police cordoned off the  sbo  street leading to house on Monday morning as a forensic team conducted its investigation, keeping interested locals and reporters from the scene.

Meyiwa captained South Africa in their last four matches in the African Nations Cup qualifiers without conceding a goal and played on Saturday when his club advanced to the semi-finals of the South African League Cup.

“This is a sad loss which ever way you look at it — to Senzo’s family, his extended family, Orlando Pirates and to the nation,” Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza said in a statement.

Meyiwa’s death has further highlighted South Africa’s rampant gun violence less than a week after Paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius was given a five-year jail sentence for culpable homicide after shooting dead his girlfriend  sbo  Reeva Steenkamp.

More than 17,000 people were murdered in South Africa between April 2013 and March 2014, an increase of about 800 over the previous year, according to police figures.

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