Wilson leads the way in Scotland

first_imgFormer Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson outshone the four members of last week’s winning team in the field on the opening day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Thursday. “That was a little boost on the first tee box. That sort of thing is a good reminder. The spectators, that sort of thing, does remind you of good days back in 2007. “Every week is a new week on Tour. I certainly enjoyed last week and I particularly enjoyed Sunday night. M aybe my preparation wasn’t ideal coming in here on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but I know the golf courses well so I didn’t have to play a lot before I got into the tournament to play here. I’m comfortable on them.” McIlroy was an approximate eight under par in beating Rickie Fowler 5&4 in the singles at Gleneagles, but managed just one birdie in his round on Thursday. “A little bit flat, if I’m honest,” McIlroy told Sky Sports 4 when asked about his round. “Obviously with the crowds and everything we were playing in front of last week, to come here it seems a little quiet out there, but it was fun to get to play with my dad. “I wish I had played a bit better and made a few more birdies but hopefully that will happen over the next couple of days. “I want to win every week and I want to play well this week and at least give myself a chance. It was not the best score out there for me but we got the hardest course out of the way.” Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher was the best-placed of the Gleneagles quartet after a 68, with fellow rookie Victor Dubuisson returning a 71, world number one Rory McIlroy a 73 and Martin Kaymer a 74. European captain Paul McGinley shot 72 in just his second European Tour event since July. Wilson has finished runner-up nine times on the European Tour, including in this event in 2009, but lost his card in 2012 and is currently trying to regain it via the Challenge Tour. “Looking at the forecast, getting Carnoustie out of the way is theoretically the best thing, but you’ve still got to go and play and shoot a good score to take advantage of it, and I’m delighted that I have,” he said. The 34-year-old won one point from two matches on his Ryder Cup debut six years ago – partnering Henrik Stenson to victory over Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim after being four down – but added: “I t’s been a while since I played like that, though. “I want to be back there, definitely, and it’s inspiring to watch. The boys played awesome last week. You look at the team, they are so strong now, got so many big, big names, big players in there. “It will be tough to get back in there but for me, you watch it and then you come and play a tournament like this, which is fantastic. Dunhill Links is always one of the best tournaments of the year.” Harrington was on course to match Wilson’s score until he bogeyed the final two holes at Carnoustie, the course where he won the first of his back-to-back Open titles in 2007. ” You go out, your head is down and you’re working away and you get on the first tee and the scorer reminds you that you won the Open Championship here, that’s kind of nice,” said Harrington, who has slipped to 324th in the world rankings after six years without a win on a major worldwide tour. Press Association Wilson, who played in Europe’s only defeat this century at Valhalla in 2008, carded a superb eight-under-par 64 at Carnoustie, one of the three courses used for the pro-am event. That gave the world number 792 a one-shot lead over France’s Raphael Jacquelin, with Ryder Cup vice-captain Padraig Harrington a shot further back alongside fellow Irishman Shane Lowry, whose 66 was the best score of the day at Kingsbarns. last_img read more

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Trojans tame Tigers to sweep homestand

first_imgThe USC men’s basketball team had a well-rounded performance to keep first-year head coach Andy Enfield undefeated at the Galen Center, as the Trojans beat West Alabama 73-57 on Thursday.Junior guard Byron Wesley led the Trojans (4-1) with 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting, eight rebounds, and four assists. Freshman forward Nikola Jovanovic had the best performance of his young career, finishing with 14 points and six rebounds. Senior center Omar Oraby controlled the paint with 13 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks, while senior guard Pe’Shon Howard chipped in eight points, six assists and five rebounds.Despite the well-rounded performance, players felt that there was room for improvement.“We have to work on protecting our homecourt,” Oraby said. “We can’t let a team come and beat us on our home floor.”Desmond Raymond led the Tigers (1-3) with 18 points and four rebounds, while Sandy Underwood finished with 16 points and six rebounds.Before the game, coach Andy Enfield announced that senior guard J.T. Terrell would be ineligible for the first semester due to academic reasons. Terrell could be eligible to return to the team when fall semester finals end on Dec. 18. Terrell was averaging 10 points per game in three games for USC this season, leading the team with 20 in their opener against Utah State.Oraby towered at least five inches over each West Alabama player, a height advantage that the Trojans exploited, using him to either get an easy shot in the paint or draw defenders to get an open shot outside. His presence helped USC get on an 11-2 run to start the game.The Trojans would go up by as many as 13, but UWA responded with a 12-3 run to cut the deficit to 22-18. USC opened the game up from there, building up a 45-25 lead at halftime behind nine points each from Wesley, Jovanovic and Oraby.“The first half, like the other night, we came out with a defensive fire,” Enfield said. “We were in the passing lanes, we were really active with our hands, and we got out to a 20-point lead just like the other night. It was a very successful first half.”USC shot 48 percent in the first half compared to UWA’s 31 percent. The Trojans were dangerous from downtown, hitting five of their 10 three-point attempts in the half. They also outrebounded the Tigers 27-19, with Wesley leading the team with 5.The Trojans held their advantage in the second half, constantly rotating their players in and out. West Alabama cut the halftime deficit to as low as eight thanks to a barrage of 3s, but the early hole was too deep to get out of. USC went on an 11-1 run toward the end of the game, ending any chance of a Tigers comeback.“I was a little disappointed in the second half,” Enfield said. “We lost our focus at times and gave too many transition baskets away by fumbling the ball or missing easy shots.”USC finished shooting 43 percent for the game, compared to 34 percent for the Tigers. They ran into trouble with turnovers, committing 13 to UWA’s nine, but held their rebounding edge 42-30.The Trojans will travel to the Bahamas next week for the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. They will face Villanova in Paradise Valley on Nov. 28 at 10 a.m., followed by a match against either Kansas or Wake Forest on Nov. 29 in Nassau.USC’s next home game will be against Boston College on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 4 p.m.last_img read more

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will start Opening Day

first_imgKershaw will make his Cactus League debut Thursday against the Chicago White Sox. He threw a normal bullpen session Monday.Also appearingThe Dodgers announced their scheduled list of pitchers for their first two Cactus League games Wednesday and Thursday against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch.Erik Bedard, Carlos Frias, Juan Nicasio, Sergio Santos, Adam Liberatore and Josh Ravin will pitch Wednesday. Kershaw, Joe Wieland, Brandon League, Chris Hatcher, Daniel Coulombe and Ryan Buchter throw Thursday. Both starters are expected to throw two innings.The Dodgers have split-squad games Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers and Seattle Mariners. Mattingly said Zach Lee and non-roster invitee David Huff will start those games. Julio Urias will pitch out of the bullpen in the home game against the Mariners.On the mendDodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who had been battling tightness in his back, threw a regular bullpen session. So did right-hander Joel Peralta, who had pain in his shoulder. Both pitchers emerged unscathed. “Overall my back, arm feels great. I threw all my pitches today. I feel good,” Ryu said through his interpreter. Ryu threw 32 pitches and figured he’ll need another bullpen session or live batting practice before he pitches in a Cactus League game. Peralta threw 22 pitches, all fastballs and “a couple splits.” “I think we’ve got to build strength,” Peralta said. “I need a couple more bullpens before I can pitch in the games.” Non-roster invitee Ben Rowen, who is recovering from off-season thoracic outlet surgery, threw his third bullpen session of the spring and is still a ways away from appearing in a game.NotableBench coach Tim Wallach will manage the Dodgers’ exhibition games in San Antonio against the Texas Rangers on March 20-21. … The Angels announced that flagship radio station KLAA (830-AM) will air all 162 regular-season games in 2015, 70 of which will also air on 710-AM. … The Angels have not announced who will start, or relieve, in their first Cactus League game Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error GLENDALE, Ariz. — Clayton Kershaw is not just the best starting pitcher on the Dodgers’ staff, or even the most valuable player of the team. He is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner and Most Valuable Player, with the hardware at home to prove it.So it came as no surprise Monday when manager Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Kershaw will start Opening Day on April 6 against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.“That’s our plan,” Mattingly said.Kershaw started the second game of the 2010 season against the Pittsburgh Pirates (and got knocked around a bit, walking six batters in 4 2/3 innings.) He has started Opening Day of every season since.center_img “Did it count last year, in Australia?” Kershaw asked a group of reporters Monday. “The streak is still intact.”Only Don Sutton, Don Drysdale, Fernando Valenzuela and Ramon Martinez have started as many as five Opening Days for the Dodgers. Kershaw has a 0.35 earned-run average in his four Opening Day starts, with three wins and a no-decision. The no-decision came two years ago when he fell ill and had to leave a game in San Diego early.The honor is largely ceremonial and not always predictable. Orel Hershiser won the 1988 Cy Young Award and was healthy when the 1989 season began, but Tommy Lasorda gave Tim Belcher the ball on Opening Day.On a practical level, the Dodgers would certainly like Kershaw to pitch as often as possible — every day, if biomechanics allowed it. So it makes sense to give him the ball first.The Padres haven’t announced their Opening Day starter. last_img read more

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