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Li at his best and builds early lead at PGA Championship

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Still young, often inconsistent, forever fearless, Li Haotong is capable of just about anything on a big stage in golf. He was at his best Friday in the PGA Championship. Three years after his 63 in the final round of the British Open, Li hit only four fairways at Harding Park and still managed a 5-under 65 that gave him the early lead and set the target for Jason Day, Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods to chase. The 25-year-old from China capped a bogey-free round with his eighth straight par and was at 8-under 132, two shots ahead of Tommy Fleetwood of England among the early starters. Surprised? Depends on the day. “The last couple days, I've been pretty much all hit in the right spot,” Li said. Getting as much attention was the logo on his hat — WeChat, the Chinese social media company and one of his biggest sponsors. Li was in the spotlight at Harding Park one day after President Donald Trump signed executive orders on a vague ban of WeChat and TikTok in 45 days. Just as unclear was whether Li was aware of the development. “I don't know,” he said. “Who knows?” Li is a two-time winner on the European Tour, most recently in 2018 at the Dubai Desert Classic when he rallied down the stretch to beat Rory McIlroy by one shot. He was sensational at Royal Birkdale in 2017 — only five other players have 63 in the final round of a major. But he had a terrible week in his Presidents Cup debut at Royal Melbourne in December. When he first came to America, he made fast friends on the developmental tours with his constant laughter, engaging personality and aggressive play. “He's got the arsenal to take it low,” said Adam Scott, his teammate at Royal Melbourne. “But we don’t see that kind of consistency out of him, and that probably matches his personality a little bit. He’s young, though, and that’s the kind of golf he plays. He plays pretty much all guns blazing, and when it comes off, it’s really good.” And when it doesn't? He beat Koepka in the Match Play last year and reached the round of 16. But that was his last top 10 in America. And then there was the Presidents Cup. Li brought his trainer to be his caddie, and the caddie got lost on the course during a practice round, gave up and headed for the clubhouse. Instead of finding him, Li played the rest of the round out of another player's bag. International captain Ernie Els wound up benching him for two days, playing Li only when he had to. Li lost both matches he played. “It's been very tough on me, the Presidents Cup, because I didn't play until Saturday,” Li said. “So not quite in the Presidents that way, actually. But anyways, good experience.” Fleetwood had one of those final-round 63s in the majors two years ago at Shinnecock Hills in the U.S. Open. He had a 64 on Friday and was two shots behind at 134. Much like Li — maybe the only thing they have in common — it's been a slow start back. Fleetwood stayed in England during the pandemic, not returning to competition until Minnesota two weeks ago (he missed the cut). He also played a World Golf Championship last week with middling results, but he found his form in San Francisco. “It’s funny really, like when you’ve played poorly, you feel a long way off, and then you have a day like today and you obviously feel a lot better about it,” Fleetwood said. “I feel like I’ve prepared well last week and this week and felt way more in the groove of tournament golf.” Cameron Champ, who grew up in Sacramento, had a 64. He was three shots behind Li, along with Paul Casey (67). Brendon Todd, who shared the 18-hole lead with Day, settled for a 70 and joined them at 135. Li, who primarily plays the European Tour, went back to China in March when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down golf. He returned at the Memorial and missed the cut, and then tied for 75th in a 78-man field last week in Tennessee. “I didn't even (think) I could play like this ... got no confidence,” Li said. “Probably it helped me clear my mind a little bit.” He's wise enough to realize the tournament is not even at the halfway point. If the lead holds, Li would be the first player from China to hold the lead after any round of a major......»»

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NBA LIVE UPDATES - Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics

The action inside the NBA Bubble continue to heat up as teams from both conferences continue to compete for playoff positioning!  The reigning and defending champion Toronto Raptors look to stay hot and keep their hold on the second seed in the Eastern Conference when they face off against the third-seeded Boston Celtics.  The Raptors are undefeated in the NBA restart so far with impressive wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat, and the Orlando Magic.  It's been up and down for the Celtics so far, with two wins and two losses. They're coming off a huge blowout victory over the Brooklyn Nets.  Tip off is on Saturday, August 9th at 9:00 am! Join us for LIVE UPDATES! .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports17 hr. 48 min. ago Related News

Jalalon, Thompson steer ship for coach Jamike s NCAA First 5

Jamike Jarin called the shots for National University from 2017 to 2019. Before this, the fiery mentor was at the helm of San Beda University from 2015 to 2016. Through all of that, he has had a hand in the discovery and the development of young talent for his teams as well as the game planning for the opposing rising stars. Among all of those, who are the best of the best for him? Here is Jamike Jarin's NCAA First 5, as he told ABS-CBN Sports: JIOVANI JALALON Jalalon was the biggest obstacle in San Beda's championship run in Season 92. Called by Coach Jamike himself as the best point guard in college, "The Bus Driver" was both the engine and the fuel that drove Arellano to a Finals duel against the Red Lions. There, however, he was met by Robert "The Bus Stop" Bolick and the red and white reclaimed its throne. SCOTTIE THOMPSON Coach Jamike only caught Thompson at the tail end of his collegiate career, but Season 91 still saw the latter total seven triple-doubles. "Scottie was just an extraordinary athlete," the former could only say. It's pretty much a cliché now that University of Perpetual Help's proud product could do it all, but that's just plain truth. Without a doubt, Thompson was the first and foremost problem coach Jamike had to solve as San Beda had to split its two meetings with the Altas in that tournament. KEVIN RACAL Racal was a one-man wrecking crew at either end in Colegio de San Juan de Letran's Cinderella championship in Season 91. Even sweeter for them, they did all that at the expense of archrival San Beda. Still, Red Lions mentor Jarin could only acknowledge all the small things the versatile forward did that all added up into a big-time contribution that put the Knights over the top. JAVEE MOCON The Season 91 version of Racal turned out to be the template for what Mocon could be. And the all-around forward began blossoming under the watchful eye of coach Jamike - first as a sparkplug in the Season 91 Finals and then as a breakout star for all of Season 92. Mocon does it all, and that's all thanks to his fire and desire to always being better. "Javee just kept improving every year," Jarin said. ALLWELL ORAEME For his man in the middle, coach Jamike had to go with the Season MVP in the two years he was calling the shots for San Beda. "Oraeme was just the best when he played in the NCAA. Dominant," he said. Indeed, the Nigerian tower posted per game counts of 16.3 points, 20.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks in Season 91 and then 15.8 markers, 19.8 boards, and 2.3 rejections in Season 92 all while putting Mapua University on his back all the way to a return to relevance. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

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Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 7th, 2020Related News

Past champions Clijsters, Murray get US Open wild cards

NEW YORK (AP) — Past U.S. Open champions Kim Clijsters and Andy Murray received wild-card invitations for the Grand Slam tournament Thursday. The U.S. Tennis Association gave all of its other wild cards for singles play to Americans. Clijsters is a four-time major champion and former No. 1 who came out of retirement this year after already being elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The U.S. Open — which she won in 2005, 2009 and 2010 — would mark the 37-year-old Belgian’s first Grand Slam appearance since a second-round loss at Flushing Meadows in 2012. Murray, a 33-year-old from Britain who also has been ranked No. 1, won the first of his three Grand Slam titles at the 2012 U.S. Open. He is working his way back from two hip operations and has not played in an official event since the Davis Cup last November. The WTA and ATP tours were suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The women’s tour resumed this week in Palermo, Italy; the first men’s tournament is later this month. The U.S. Open is scheduled to start Aug. 31 without spectators. Other women’s wild-card recipients: Usue Arconada, CiCi Bellis, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Caroline Dolehide, Ann Li, Robin Montgomery and Whitney Osuigwe. The other men’s wild cards went to: Ulises Blanch, Maxime Cressy, Sebastian Korda, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Michael Mmoh, Brandon Nakashima and JJ Wolf. ___ More AP tennis: apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 7th, 2020Related News

Jason Day continues recent improvement with early PGA lead

By JIMMY GOLEN AP Sports Writer Jason Day is on a pretty good run for a guy who hasn’t won a tournament in two years. The 32-year-old Australian has finished in the top 10 in three straight tournaments heading into this week’s PGA Championship in San Francisco. Day, who won the PGA in 2015 for his only major victory, was the leader in the clubhouse midway through Thursday’s opening round after shooting a 5-under-par 65 at the 7,251-yard TPC Harding Park. “I feel like the momentum that I’ve had over the last three starts has kind of seeped into this week,” Day said. ”The funny thing is that every day I’m excited to go back to the golf course and play. Whereas before I was struggling to get up, and going, ’Oh, do I want to kind of put myself through this again?' “To be honest, I’m excited to get out and play every week now.” Day won the 2015 PGA at Whistling Straits and was runner up the next year at Baltusrol during a two-year period in which he claimed eight tour victories and spent 51 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world. But he hasn't seriously contended in a major since and has won just two tour events — the last in 2018. Struggling with a back injury that forced him to skip the Presidents Cup in Australia in December, Day fell out of the top 50 for the first time in 10 years after missing the cut at the Colonial in June, the first tournament back after the coronavirus shutdown. To shake things up, he parted ways last month with longtime coach Colin Swatton, who had been guiding his game — and his life — since taking Day in as a rambunctious 12-year-old whose father had died. Something clicked for Day in Ohio last month, when he finished tied for seventh and fourth in back-to-back weekends at Muirfield Village. Next was a six-place finish in Memphis. “I finally had enough of feeling sorry for myself, and it’s easy to do that in this game because it is so mentally tough. You can start blaming everything else but yourself,” Day said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to pull your pants up and just move on, you know.” A handful of golfers flirted with 5 under on Thursday, but Day was the only one who made it stick. He played bogey-free golf, and moved into the lead with a 6-foot birdie putt on his last hole, the 515-yard, par-4 ninth, which had been the second-hardest hole on the course over the morning round. “I feel like the game is slowly coming around,” he said. “The confidence is coming around because I’m starting to see the results.” ___ More AP golf: apnews.com/tag/apf-Golf.....»»

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Market rallies, ignores economic plunge in Q2

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Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: LifestyleAug 6th, 2020Related News

Filinvest Land earns P952m

Filinvest Land Inc., the real estate arm of the Gotianun family, said second-quarter net income declined 23 percent to P952 million from P1.24 billion in the same period last year as the disruptions brought about by the pandemic weighed on the company’s earnings......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: LifestyleAug 6th, 2020Related News