By Peter Rutherford INCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) - Jason Day would relish the chance to go head-to-head with world No. 1 Jordan Spieth in the Presidents Cup but the Australian hotshot knows the showdown may not materialize as team tactics take precedence over individual glory. Day and Spieth electrified the Tour this year with their budding rivalry played out on the grandest of stages. American Spieth claimed two majors among his five wins, ending his 2015 campaign in triumphant style at the season-ending Tour Championship, while Day won the year's final major and his win at last month's BMW Championship was his fourth win in six starts.
By Peter Rutherford INCHEON, South Korea Oct 6 (Reuters) - Jason Day would relish the chance to go head-to-head with world No. 1 Jordan Spieth in the Presidents Cup but the Australian hotshot knows the showdown may not materialise as team tactics take precedence over individual glory. Day and Spieth electrified the Tour this year with their budding rivalry played out on the grandest of stages. American Spieth claimed two majors among his five wins, ending his 2015 campaign in triumphant style at the season-ending Tour Championship, while Day won the year's final major and his win at last month's BMW Championship was his fourth win in six starts.
Jay Haas Tuesday backed his decision to give a Presidents Cup captain's pick to veteran Phil Mickelson, saying the five-time Major winner offered something "intangible" to his US team. As the players headed out for their first full day of practice at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in the South Korean city of Incheon, Haas strongly defended his decision to choose Mickelson as one of two picks in his 12-man team after finishing only 30th in the US qualifying list. "I don't think there were any negatives to any of the players that we passed over," said Haas in a news conference.
By Peter Rutherford INCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) - It has been a sub-par year by Phil Mickelson's own lofty standards, and some eyebrows were raised when he was selected for the Presidents Cup, but for U.S. skipper Jay Haas, the 45-year-old's experience and "intangibles" were hard to overlook. Haas sprang something of a surprise by using a captain's pick on Mickelson last month, who was 30th in the Presidents Cup standings and had been viewed by many as a long shot after struggling for form for much of the past two years. A captain's pick in the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994, world number 23 Mickelson had played his way onto every U.S. team since, compiling a record of 20 wins, 16 losses and 11 matches halved.
Captain Nick Price paid tribute Tuesday to Anirban Lahiri -- the first Indian to play in the Presidents Cup and the joker in the pack of his International team. "He brings a great sense of humour to the team," Price told a news conference at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, venue for the 11th Presidents Cup which is being hosted for the first time in Asia and begins Thursday.
By Peter Rutherford INCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) - International captain Nick Price predicted a wonderful week of entertaining golf for fans at the Presidents Cup on Tuesday, but after a decade of demoralizing defeats he would surely settle for winning ugly against another powerful United States team. Such has been the United States' dominance in the biennial team event critics have begun to label it an "exhibition" rather than a true competitive encounter.
Seattle's Kam Chancellor forced a Detroit fumble with less than two minutes to play as the Seahawks held on for a 13-10 victory that kept the Lions winless in this NFL season. Chancellor punched the ball out of the hands of Calvin Johnson as the Lions wide receiver was lunging for the end zone. With Detroit trailing 13-10, quarterback Matthew Stafford had driven the Lions from their own nine yard line to Seattle's 11 yard line and on third down and one, with 1:51 remaining, he hit Johnson with a short pass.
By Peter Rutherford INCHEON, South Korea, Oct 6 (Reuters) - International captain Nick Price predicted a wonderful week of entertaining golf for fans at the Presidents Cup on Tuesday, but after a decade of demoralising defeats he would surely settle for winning ugly against another powerful United States team. Such has been the United States' dominance in the biennial team event critics have begun to label it an "exhibition" rather than a true competitive encounter.
(Reuters) - A controversial non-call may have cost the Detroit Lions their first win of the season following a wild finish to their 13-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday. With the Lions trailing by three in the final two minutes, Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson fumbled the ball one yard from a touchdown and Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright appeared to intentionally bat the ball out of the back of the end zone for a touchback. "It is a questionable play because it was a batted ball, but that goes upstairs (for review) so there's nothing you can do about it," Lions coach Jim Caldwell told reporters.
(Reuters) - Kam Chancellor's game-saving effort on Monday against the Detroit Lions rescued the Seattle Seahawks' season and proved his ultimate value to the franchise. The Seahawks were a yard away from defeat in the final minutes as Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson lunged toward the end zone for a go-ahead touchdown, when Chancellor swooped in from behind and knocked the ball loose for a touchback. Chancellor's superb effort secured the 13-10 victory for Seattle (2-2) and restored their campaign back to level ground.
Kenney Bui, a senior at Technology, Engineering and Communications (TEC) high school in Seattle, was playing defensive back when he was hurt in the fourth quarter of a game on Friday. "It is with great sadness that School Board President Bernie Dorsey and I share with you that TEC High School senior Kenney Bui, who was critically injured in Friday night’s Evergreen v. Highline football game, died Monday morning at the hospital," superintendent Susan Enfield said.
(Reuters) - The two major U.S. sports fantasy companies defended their businesses' integrity on Monday after an employee used insider information to place bets in the unregulated multi-billion-dollar industry. The statement from the online companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, came after a DraftKings manager admitted last week he inadvertently released data on National Football League fantasy teams and won $350,000 on FanDuel the same week, the New York Times reported. DraftKings and FanDuel said they had policies in place to guarantee that employees do not misuse information at their disposal.
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean FIFA presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon said on Tuesday he is facing suspension from FIFA's Ethics Committee, but denies any wrongdoing. Chung said he was being investigated over his "support" for South Korea's 2022 World Cup bid when he proposed the launch of a Global Football Fund. The scion of Korea's Hyundai industrial conglomerate formally, Chung said he had not broken any rules and would fight the charges, adding "ultimately, I will prevail and will be vindicated." (Writing by Julian Linden in Singapore; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)
The Dallas Cowboys were braced for more bad news on the injury front Monday, with running back Lance Dunbar thought to have torn a ligament in his left knee in Sunday's loss to New Orleans. "It doesn't look good," coach Jason Garrett said even before the team had Dunbar's MRI exam results back. "We anticipate him having a torn (Anterior Cruciate Ligament).
Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is likely to be sidelined for some time after an MRI revealed he has a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The NBA team announced the diagnosis on Monday, two days after Kidd-Gilchrist was hurt in an NBA pre-season game against the Orlando Magic. Team officials did not say whether Kidd-Gilchrist would require surgery, nor did they offer a timeline for his return.
The New York Yankees will try to hit the reset button Tuesday when they send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound against the Houston Astros in the American League wild card game. The winner of the do-or-die Major League Baseball playoff opener advances to the AL Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, while in the National League on Wednesday the Pittsburgh Pirates host the Chicago Cubs in the wild card duel for a chance to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Division Series.
(Reuters) - Schedule of one-game Wild Card playoff and best-of-five Division Series games in the 2015 Major League Baseball postseason. Wild Card Oct. 6 (American League) Houston Astros at New York Yankees Oct. 7 (National League) Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates - - American League Division Series Kansas City Royals v AL Wild Card winner Oct. 8 - at Kansas City Oct. 9 - at Kansas City Oct. 11 - at AL Wild Card winner Oct. 12 * at AL Wild Card winner Oct. 14 * at Kansas City - - Toronto Blue Jays v Texas Rangers Oct. 8 - at Toronto Oct. 9 - at Toronto Oct. 11 - at Texas Oct. ...
Leading 10 teams into the October spotlight are top seeds St. Louis Cardinals (100-62) and Kansas City Royals (95-67), Midwest neighbors on the east and west edges of Missouri, who bring well balanced teams to their pursuit of the World Series. Headliners poised to perform the include NL West champion Dodgers' one-two pitching punch of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and big-hitting Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion of an AL East champion Toronto team in the playoffs for the first time since winning a second consecutive World Series title in 1993.
The Washington Nationals, who failed to make the Major League Baseball playoffs after being tipped as World Series contenders, fired manager Matt Williams on Monday. Williams, who took the helm two seasons ago in his first managerial job, had one year left on his contract. Williams won 96 games in 2014 in his first season as manager and was named National League Manager of the Year.
As the New York Yankees prepare for the Major League Baseball playoffs, pitcher CC Sabathia is going into rehab, he said on Monday. "Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease," Sabathia said in a statement. Sabathia's decision means Yankees manager Joe Girardi will have to revamp his pitching rotation should the Yankees beat the Astros on Tuesday in the American League wild card game.
By Steve Ginsburg WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Washington Nationals, a club that struggled all season and barely finished .500 despite a roster loaded with marquee names and assembled through a team-record $164 million payroll, fired manager Matt Williams on Monday. Under-performing players, defensive lapses, and a slew of injuries to key players were just a few of the reasons the Nationals staggered to an 83-79 record and failed to make the postseason. "It wasn't Matt's best year," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters on a conference call.
The Miami Dolphins sacked head coach Joe Philbin on Monday, a day after a 27-14 NFL loss to the New York Jets in London. Dan Campbell, the assistant coach in charge of tight ends, will take over head coaching duties for the remainder of the season, the club said. Sunday's defeat at Wembley dropped the Dolphins to 1-3 for the season.
(Reuters) - Rookie slugger Kris Bryant, who led the Chicago Cubs into the playoffs for the first time since 2008, had Major League Baseball's best-selling jersey in 2015, according to sales posted on the league's website on Monday. The 23-year-old third baseman, who is the first rookie and youngest player ever to top the list, led all first-year MLB players in home runs (26), runs batted in (99), runs (87) and doubles (31).
By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by a Native American nation and legendary athlete Jim Thorpe's surviving sons to have his remains moved from Pennsylvania to tribal lands in his home state of Oklahoma. Richard and William Thorpe, along with the Sac and Fox Nation, claimed the remains were stolen from an ancestral grave during a burial ceremony and taken illegally to Pennsylvania by Thorpe's wife at the time, who was seeking to profit from the move. The Supreme Court did not elaborate on its decision.
Canada's Rogers Communications Inc said on Monday that it would broadcast live television in a high-definition standard known as "4K" by April next year, a move it hopes will woo viewers to an upgraded set-top box and faster Internet. The country's No. 1 cable and wireless phone company, which also owns the Toronto Blue Jays, is hoping to leverage sports assets like the Major League Baseball team and long-term NHL hockey broadcast rights to move viewers to the new standard. Rogers Chief Executive Guy Laurence made the announcement from the baseball team's home plate, days ahead of its first postseason appearance since 1993, when it won its second successive World Series.
New York Yankees veteran starting pitcher CC Sabathia is checking himself into alcohol rehabilitation and will miss the upcoming Major League Baseball postseason, the left-hander said on Monday. "Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease," the 35-year-old Sabathia said. The Yankees will host the Houston Astros in a one-game Wild Card showdown on Tuesday with the winner moving on to play the Kansas City Royals in the best-of-five American League Division Series starting on Thursday.
(Reuters) - Joe Philbin became the first coaching casualty of the National Football League's 2015 season after leading the Miami Dolphins to a 1-3 start to the campaign, the team said on Monday. Philbin was fired a day after his team failed to convert any of their 12 third down opportunities or four fourth down chances during a 27-14 loss to the AFC East division rival New York Jets at London's Wembley Stadium. "This was a tough decision for me to make knowing how tirelessly Joe worked in his four years here to make this a winning team," Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement.
Former world number one Lee Westwood will look to end an eight-year wait for a victory on home soil when he competes in the $4.55 million British Masters at Woburn this week. The European Ryder Cup stalwart last won in England when the British Masters was played at The Belfry, just outside Birmingham, in 2007. Westwood, who missed the third-round cut at last week's Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, is pleased the tournament is returning to the European Tour schedule after a seven-year hiatus.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to Major League Baseball’s long-standing exemption from U.S. antitrust laws brought by San Jose as part of the California's city's effort to become the new home of the Oakland Athletics. The court's decision not to take the case means a January appeals court ruling that said San Jose cannot seek a court order allowing the Athletics to move to the city in Silicon Valley remains intact. The high court decided in 1922 that Major League Baseball was not subject to federal antitrust laws, ruling against a challenge brought by a team from a defunct rival league.
(The Sports Exchange) - According to local lore, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is built over an old voodoo pit, and for the first 60 minutes against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, it looked as though the New Orleans Saints were sticking pins all over their bodies. When Saints kicker Zach Hocker clanged what would have been a game-winning 30-yard field goal off the left upright with 12 seconds left in regulation -- a glorified extra point -- the Saints and Cowboys headed to overtime tied at 20. On the second play of overtime, Brees calmly connected with running back C.J. Spiller on a wheel route down the right sideline, and Spiller used his power to shake off a diving tackle attempt by safety Barry Church and his speed to race 80 yards for the game-winning touchdown and a 26-20 overtime victory.
(Reuters) - The task of a kicker in the National Football League (NFL) has become considerably more challenging this season, and the floundering early results have affected game outcomes and job security. When the NFL implemented a rule change in advance of this season that added 13 additional yards to an extra point attempt, it vowed to add excitement to a routine act. What the league may not have anticipated is that kickers would so routinely crack under the added pressure of a 33-yard boot.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 224 yards and one touchdown as the Green Bay Packers got off to their first 4-0 start in four years with a 17-3 win over San Francisco. "It was a grind out there," said Rodgers. The Packers are now one of five teams who have opened the season with 4-0 records, joining Atlanta, Carolina, Cincinatti and Denver.
Cole Hamels pitched a complete game three-hitter as the Texas Rangers clinched the AL West title on the final day of the regular season with a 9-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Left-hander Hamels' pitching gem on Sunday came one day after Texas used nine pitchers in a dramatic 11-10 loss to the Angels. The loss eliminated the Angels, who came into the game with a wild-card shot and it set up an American League Division series matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays.
(Reuters) - Ichiro Suzuki got a chance to experience life atop the mound on Sunday when the Miami Marlins let the veteran outfielder pitch the eighth inning of their season finale against Philadelphia. Ichiro, who has more than 4,000 combined hits in Japan and the major leagues, surrendered two hits and one run during his one inning on the mound. "I used to pitch in high school and did pitch in an All Star Game in Japan," Ichiro told reporters following Miami's 7-2 defeat.
(The Sports Xchange) - Houston lost to Arizona 5-3 on Sunday when Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning, but the Astros still managed to clinch their first playoffs berth since 2005. Houston (86-76) qualified when the Texas Rangers beat the Angels to claim the AL West title and eliminate Los Angeles from playoff contention. "Nobody else outside this clubhouse thought we had a chance," Houston manager AJ Hinch told his players in a champagne-soaked dressing room.
(Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw became only the third pitcher since 2000 to post a 300-strikeout season in their 6-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday. On a pitch count to prepare for the playoffs, the left-hander entered the game needing six strikeouts to achieve the milestone.
(The Sports Xchange) - The Texas Rangers put their personal victory cigar on the mound in the biggest game of the season Sunday at Globe Life Park. Cole Hamels did not disappoint. The veteran left-hander pitched a complete-game three-hitter, and Texas clinched the American League West title with a 9-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.