Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 11th 2014 Contents A67
Thursday, September 11, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
ATLANTA---Rory McIlroy always
thought his big year deserved a
big finish. The Tour Champi-
onship is his last chance.
McIlroy already has won a pair
of majors---the British Open and
US PGA Championship---sand-
wiched around a World Golf
Championship. He is back to No
1 in the world and is assured of
being there for at least the next
two months. He already has
wrapped up another US PGA Tour
About the only item McIlroy
doesn t have is the FedEx Cup.
"After I finished the PGA, all
my focus was on the FedEx Cup
and trying to win this," McIlroy
The trophy---not to mention the
$10 million bonus---is up for grabs
this week at East Lake. McIlroy
didn t come close to winning the
previous three FedEx Cup playoff
events, though that never mattered.
He is the No 4 seed going into the
Tour Championship, and the top
five seeds only have to win the
tournament to claim the FedEx
"Anything other than a win
there would be a disappointment,"
McIlroy could win the FedEx
Cup without winning the tourna-
ment, though recent history would
not be on his side. Five of the seven
FedEx Cup champions---including
the last four---have all won the
The good news for McIlroy? It
might be the easiest tournament
for him to win all year.
"I only have to beat 28 other
guys," he said.
The 29-man field at East Lake
is the smallest for the Tour Cham-
pionship since the FedEx Cup
began in 2007. Dustin Johnson is
at No 30, even though he has taken
a "voluntary leave" to seek help
for "personal challenges" and has
not played since the Canadian
Open six weeks ago.
There are no alternates in the
FedEx Cup playoffs.
Also missing are Tiger Woods
and Phil Mickelson. This is the
first time since 2006 that neither
has been at East Lake, and the first
time since 1992 that golf s two
biggest stars didn t qualify for the
Tour Championship. Mickelson
had been a pro for only four
months. Woods was still in high
Mickelson failed to win on the
tour for the first time since 2003,
and did not qualify for the top 30.
Woods missed three months with
back surgery and endured more
back problems when he returned
and didn t qualify for any playoff
McIlroy was not ready to call
that a generational shift just yet.
He had two close encounters
with Mickelson this year---they
shared second place in Abu Dhabi
and McIlroy beat him by one shot
at the US PGA Championship.
"Phil has played well in parts
this year," he said. "I feel like he s
gotten a little better as the year
has went on. ... Tiger is not here
just because he s been injured, or
he is injured. He hasn t had the
opportunity to play. But if he gets
back, and when he gets back to
full fitness, you ll see him back
here again. They re just getting
older. They re getting into the last
few holes of their career. And that s
What happens at East Lake
could amount to a free-for-all.
The points have been reset to
give everyone a mathematical
chance, though the odds are
increasingly longer for players fur-
ther down the list. (AP)
MADRID---Serbia blew away
Brazil 84-56 to advance to the
Basketball World Cup semifinals
yesterday and avenge an eight-
point loss in group play a week
Spain or France will await in
"We achieved something big
today," said Serbia coach Sasha
Djordjevic, who added that he pre-
ferred to play Spain next. Serbia
was beaten by Spain and France
in the group phase.
"It s not revenge. You have to
play against the best team. We
want to play and leave our mark."
The United States will play
Lithuania today in the other semi-
final in Barcelona.
Brazil and its trio of NBA centres
in Varejao, Tiago Splitter and Nene
beat Serbia 81-73 last week but
Serbia bettered the bigger Brazilians
inside and out, and turned a five-
point halftime advantage into a
blowout by outscoring Brazil 29-
10 in the third period.
Brazil didn t help its cause when
Splitter and Vieira earned consec-
utive technical fouls for protesting
during that span.
Serbia was led by guard Milos
Teodosic, who scored 23 points,
hit three three-pointers, and made
four assists. Shooting guard Bogdan
Bogdanovic scored 12 points, and
centres Miroslav Raduljica and
Nenad Krstic added ten each.
Varejao and Vieira had 12 points
each for Brazil.
Teodosic had 16 points in the
first 20 minutes to help keep Serbia
in front through most of the first
half, while Brazil s starting back-
court of Marcelinho Huertas and
Barbosa went scoreless.
Nene came off the bench for
Brazil to score two dunks and fuel
a 9-0 burst to grab a brief one-
point lead in the second period.
But Teodosic made three free
throws after Alex Garcia fouled
him behind the arc, Nemanja Bjel-
ica hit a 3, and Krstic scored over
Nene to send Serbia into halftime
With Serbia on another run,
Brazil s nerves frayed with 7:19 to
play in the third when Varejao
picked up his third personal foul.
Splitter s and Vieira s protests
earned them both technicals.
Raduljica made one of two free
throws for Varejao s foul. Teodosic
made all four technicals before he
assisted Stefan Markovic for a
layup to complete the seven-point
Teodosic then connected on a
deep 3 before Krstic scored twice
against Nene and made a long
jumper as Serbia led 66-42 late in
Brazil effectively collapsed after
The fourth quarter was played
between bench players while Serbia
celebrated and Brazil s starters
looked on glumly from the bench.
Serbia routs Brazil 84-56 to reach WCup semis
for a big
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