Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 1st 2017 Contents sports A53
Saturday, April 1, 2017 guardian.co.tt
AUGUSTA---The drive home from Augus-
ta National was quiet, a rarity when Jordan
Spieth is in the car.
He was wearing a blue shirt, not a green jacket.
It wasn't supposed to be this way. Only three
hours earlier on Sunday at the Masters, he was
coming off four straight birdies and stood on the
10th tee with a five-shot lead. No one who had
won a major was remotely close to Spieth.
Three holes later, his head was spinning. A shot in
the bunker (No 10). A shot in the trees (No 11). Two
in the water (No 12). And just like that, Spieth was
three shots behind and never caught up. He was in
Butler Cabin, just like everyone expected, only he
was there to help Danny Willett into a green jacket.
What could anyone say?
A year later, he still doesn't have the answers,
and it already is weighing on him.
Two weeks before he was due to arrive at Au-
gusta, Spieth said he couldn't wait for this par-
ticular Masters to be over. There is no escaping
the questions about what happened last year. He
didn't have answers during that drive home. He
doesn't have them now.
Spieth already has returned to the scene of his
worst moment in golf.
He was at Augusta National last December with
two members when he stepped on the 12th tee for
the first time since the final round of the Masters.
He hit 8-iron over the bunker to 15 feet. He made
the putt. "I was walking around with my hands
up like, 'Demons gone,'" he said.
If only it were that simple.
He still has to face the media on Tuesday. He goes
to the Tuesday night dinner for Masters champions
that Willett, not Spieth, will be hosting.
"This hopefully will end Thursday when he gets
to the 12th hole," three-time Masters champion
Nick Faldo said. "He'll get up there, know what he
did wrong. He knows how to deal with it. Hopefully,
he stands up there and says, 'Right, nice swing, put
it in the right spot.' And I think that will be big."
Spieth is not the only player to suffer an inex-
plicable collapse in a major.
Adam Scott had a four-shot lead with four holes
to play, made four bogeys and lost the 2012 British
Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes. He won his first
major nine months later at Augusta National. Jason
Dufner had a five-shot lead on the 15th tee of the
2011 PGA Championship and lost in a playoff to
Keegan Bradley. (AP)
Little more than a week af-
ter an acrimonious test series
win over Australia, India cap-
tain Virat Kohli may have to
share the locker room with
some Australians at the Royal
India's cricket schedule
switches quickly from the long-
est format to the shortest, with
the Twenty20 Indian Premier
League starting Wednesday
when RCB takes on the de-
fending champion Sunrisers
Hyderabad in a rematch of the
2016 tournament decider.
Kohli, who missed the se-
ries-clinching test against Aus-
tralia in Dharamsala because of a
shoulder injury, is captain of the
RCB team in the 10th edition of
the IPL and his availability will
be key to the team.
He swept the record books
when he smashed 973 runs in
16 matches with fluent hundreds
and seven half centuries in the
last edition of the IPL, but his
individual success didn't quite
get his team across the last hur-
dle as it was beaten by eight runs
in the final.
His T20 season may be slow-
er getting started this year, with
Kohli hinted that it may take him
few weeks to get fully recover
from the injury after a gruel-
ling test schedule that involved
13 matches across four series.
The Challengers have plenty of
firepower without him, includ-
ing West Indies great Chris Gayle
and South Africa captain AB de
Villiers. The Challengers were
unsuccessful in their bidding
for Ben Stokes, but managed to
contract England fast bowler
None of the Australians in
the Kohli's Challengers squad---
Travis Head, Shane Watson and
Billy Stanlake---were involved in
the test series.
But David Warner is captain
of the Sunrisers, and his team
includes fellow Australians Ben
Cutting and Moises Henriques
and New Zealand captain Kane
Warner had a poor run in the
test series, but when it comes to
shortest format the diminutive
left-handed opener can match
it with the best.
Another left-hander Yurvraj
Singh, who recently played for
India in some one-day inter-
nationals against England, is
another key component in the
Sunriser's armoury along with
fast bowler Bhubaneswar Kumar,
who was the leading wicket-tak-
er last year with 23.
The Sunrisers have expanded
recruitment beyond the tradi-
tional cricket nations, too, by
contracting 18-year-old Af-
ghanistan leg-spinner Rashid
"IPL is the biggest (T20)
league in the world, much bigger
than playing associate cricket,"
Rashid said. "It feels unreal that I
will be sharing the dressing room
with the players I have grown up
watching on television."
The opening matches continue
Friday with Rising Pune against
Mumbai Indians and Saturday
with Gujarat Lions taking on
Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings
XI Punjab in action for the first
time against Rising Pune.
Kolkata Knight Riders, owned
by Bollywood celebrity Shahrukh
Khan, spent around $9 million
in the offseason trying to build
another winning combination
by drafting in New Zealand fast
bowler Trent Boult, England
all-rounder Chris Woakes and
West Indian Darren Bravo.
KKR retained captain Gau-
tam Gambhir, Sunil Narine and
Shakib Al Hasan and is a con-
tender for the title.
Another ex-champion, Mum-
bai Indians, will be banking on
the experience of Lasith Malinga,
Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard
and newly inducted Mitchell
Johnson to have another shot at
the title. They have also bought
young West Indian power hitter
Nicholas Pooran and Sri Lankan
Delhi Daredevils have lost key
player JP Dumminy, the South
Africa allrounder, but have bol-
stered their pace bowling stocks
with the addition of Kagiso Ra-
bada and Pat Cummins.
Steve Smith has replaced MS
Dhoni as Rising Pune Super-
giants captain for this year and
will have two veteran legspinners
in his squad, with Adam Zampa---
who had the best bowling figures
(6-19) and best bowling average
(9.58)---staying and Imran Tahir
missing out at auction but get-
ting a contract when allrounder
Mitchell Marsh was ruled out.
Tahir had 29 wickets in 20
matches for the Daredevils but
played only four IPL matches
The Supergiants signed Ben
Stokes for $2.16 million and have
Dan Christian as their other key
New Zealand's Brendon Mc-
Cullum, England's Jason Roy and
India's versatile left-arm spinner
Ravindra Jadeja will be carrying
hopes of Gujrat Lions.
At $7.77 million Kings XI Pun-
jab is the least expensive team
in the 10th edition. Led by Aus-
tralia's Glen Maxwell, Punjab has
got some exciting T20 players in-
cluding England's Eoin Morgan,
New Zealand's Martin Guptill
and West Indies World Twen-
ty20-winning captain Darren
The tournament will conclude
with a final on May 22.
Australia's captain Steven Smith, left, and India's captain Virat
Kohli shake hands after India won their fourth Test cricket match
against Australia in Dharmsala, India on Tuesday. India won the
Border-Gavaskar trophy and the series. AP PHOTO
Spieth returns to
a green jacket and
a bad memory
...as Kohli moves from the
long to the short of cricket
IPL holds spotlight
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