Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 25th 2016 Contents A49
Monday, January 25, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
ABU DHABI---Rickie Fowler
puffed his cheeks and shook his
head. What looked like being a
procession to the Abu Dhabi
Championship title ended up
being a squeeze for the American
It needed two moments of
inspiration in the final round to
seal a one-shot victory---and spark
more talk about Fowler s place in
golf s current elite.
Dressed in his trademark Sun-
day orange, Fowler rebounded
from a double-bogey at No. 7,
which helped trim his lead over a
congested pack of challengers from
four strokes to one, by chipping
in from 30 yards for eagle from a
bunker at No 8.
Then, at No. 17, Fowler holed a
chip from just off the green for a
birdie that shook off playing part-
ner Thomas Pieters, the Belgian
who emerged from the bunch to
chase Fowler all the way down the
"It was not how it was planned,"
a smiling Fowler said of the tight
finish, "but came out on top."
Fowler, who held a two-stroke
lead after a third-round 65, shot
a 3-under 69 for 16-under 272
overall. Pieters (67) was runner-
up, with fast-finishing Rory McIl-
roy (68) and Henrik Stenson (67)
tied for third.
CLEVELAND---Tyronn Lue didn t
make much of a difference in his
coaching debut for Cleveland as Pau
Gasol scored 25 points, leading the
Chicago Bulls to a 96-83 win over the
Cavaliers on Saturday.
Lue was promoted Friday, when the
Cavaliers fired David Blatt despite him
taking the team to the NBA Finals last
season and currently leading the Eastern
Conference. The coaching swap didn t
have any immediate impact on the
Bulls, who outhustled the Cavs to loose
balls and won for just the third time
in nine games.
Jimmy Butler scored 20 points, Niko-
la Mirotic added 17 and Taj Gibson 15
for Chicago, which opened a 17-point
lead in the third quarter and never let
the Cavs get closer than eight in the
LeBron James just missed his first
triple-double this season, finishing with
26 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.
JR Smith added 18 points for the Cavs,
who shot 37 percent from the field and
were only 9 for 22 from the three-throw
When the final horn sounded, the
Cavs were booed by their own fans.
Bothered by a lack of cohesion and
chemistry in the Cavs, general manager
David Griffin fired Blatt, a surprising
move that came just days after Cleve-
land suffered a humiliating 34-point
home loss to the defending champion
Golden State Warriors. But Griffin
detected deeper issues and felt he had
no choice but to remove Blatt and pro-
mote Lue, a top assistant and former
point guard who won two NBA titles
as a player.
Lue said his early focus would be on
his team s "spirit." He believes the Cavs
aren t having as much fun as they
should be and is intent on improving
"You can t be mad when you win
and you can t be mad when you lose,"
ADELAIDE---Australia s Caleb Ewan
won the first and last stages of the
Tour Down Under but Simon Gerrans
defended his overall lead in the final
stage on yesterday to win an unprece-
dented fourth tour title.
Ewan, Gerrans compatriot and
teammate, won the criterium prelude
to the tour and the 130 kilometre open-
ing stage from Prospect to Lyndoch to
wear the tour leader s jersey for more
than 24 hours.
He surrendered the lead to another
Australian, Jay McCarthy, who won
the second stage, then Gerrans won
the third and fourth stages to establish
an overall lead that survived Saturday s
demanding queen stage up Old Willun-
The 35-year-old Gerrans took a nine
second lead into yesterday s 91 kilo-
metre final last stage over 20 laps of
a street circuit in downtown Adelaide
and held off his rivals to claim a fourth
Ewan won the stage from fellow Aus-
tralian Mark Renshaw and Italy s Gia-
como Nizzolo and, while Gerrans lead-
ing margin shrank, he held on to win
by three seconds from Australia s Richie
Porte --- winner of Saturday s fifth stage
--- and Colombia s Sergio Henao with
Gerrans already held the record for
tour wins with three, after his overall
victories in 2006, 2012 and 2014. His
last season was wrecked by crashes
and injuries, one of which caused him
to miss the 2015 tour, but he extended
his record with his fourth win on Sun-
day in the opening event of the 2016
There was satisfaction for Fowler
with claiming his fourth win worldwide
in nine months, after victories at The
Players Championship, the Scottish
Open, and the Deutsche Bank Cham-
pionship in 2015. This win will move
ings, for a first-ever spot in the world s
The so-called "Big Three" of Jordan
Spieth, Jason Day and McIlroy may
need to be enlarged.
"I want to be part of the crew. It
would be a pretty good foursome,"
Fowler said. "I think I mentioned
through the summer at some point, I
said I was a sneaky fourth. We ve got
to take care of a major and then maybe
I can join the crew."
The win was extra special for Fowler,
considering Spieth (No. 1), McIlroy
(No. 3) and Stenson (No. 5) were in the
field---arguably the strongest the Euro-
pean Tour will have this year.
Spieth tied for fifth---five shots
behind Fowler---after a 68 and
acknowledged after his final round that
he was "beat up, mentally and phys-
ically," having played in South Korea,
China, Australia, Bahamas, Hawaii and
now Abu Dhabi since October.
The championship went down to
the wire. Fowler took a two-shot lead
over Pieters down the par-5 18th and
found a greenside bunker with his
approach. Pieters gave himself a putt
for eagle, which he missed left by an
Fowler had two putts to win and he
needed them both, with his winning
effort from 2 feet.
This is the first time Fowler has won
during the first four months of a year.
He has made a fashion statement this
week by wearing high-top golf shoes
and ankle-tight jogger pants, but he s
sent out a golfing message, too.
It was another near miss for McIlroy,
who adds a third place to his four run-
ner-up finishes in Abu Dhabi at what
is always his first event of each year.
McIlroy started the final round three
shots behind Fowler and only came
on strong late on, chipping in for birdie
on No. 16 and rolling in a 35-foot eagle
putt on No. 18.
Rickie Fowler of the Unites States tees off at the third hole during the
final round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United
Arab Emirates, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Fowler tops tough field in Abu Dhabi
Bulls spoil Lue's coaching debut
Gerrans makes it four
titles Down Under
Links Archive January 24th 2015 January 26th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page