Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 21st 2014 Contents A73
Monday, July 21, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
HOYLAKE---Rory McIlroy had to work a
little harder and sweat a little more. No
matter. Just like his other two majors, this
British Open was never really in doubt.
With two key birdies around the turn,
and a powerful tee shot at just the right
moment, McIlroy completed a wire-to-wire
victory yesterday at Royal Liverpool and
captured the third leg of the career Grand
The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland
joined some elite company beyond the
names on the silver claret jug.
Jack Nicklaus (23) and Tiger Woods (24)
are the only other players to capture three
different majors by the time they were 25.
McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open at Con-
gressional and the 2012 PGA Championship
at Kiawah Island, both by eight shots.
"It feels incredible," McIlroy said before
heading out to collect the oldest trophy in
golf. "Today wasn t easy. A few guys were
making runs at me. I just needed to stay
focused and stay in the present and really
concentrate on what I was doing out there."
This could have been another romp except
for a shaky stretch early for McIlroy, and
solid efforts from Garcia and Fowler.
Garcia pulled within two shots with four
holes to play until he put his tee shot in a
pot bunker just right of the 15th green. His
first shot failed to get over the 4-foot sodden
wall and rolled back into the sand. He made
bogey, and two birdies over the final three
holes were not enough. Garcia shot 66 and
was runner-up in a major for the fourth
Fowler, playing in the final group for the
second straight major, never got closer than
three shots. He played bogey-free for a 273.
It was the first time ever that two straight
majors were won wire to wire. Martin
Kaymer did it last month at Pinehurst No.
2, winning the U.S. Open by eight shots.
McIlroy, who finished at 17-under 271,
wasn t the only big winner.
Ten years ago, his father three friends
each put up 100 pounds ($170) at 500-1
odds that McIlroy would win the British
Open before he turned 26.
Boy Wonder made good on the bet with
a brand of golf that had him marked early
on as golf s next great player. The victory
moves him to No. 2 in the world, perhaps
on his way to regaining the No. 1 ranking
that two years ago looked as if would be
his for years to come.
McIlroy grabs British
Open for third major
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates playing a
birdie on the 1st green during the final round of the
British Open Golf championship at the Royal
Liverpool golf club, Hoylake, England, yesterday.
NIMES---Alexander Kristoff of Norway cap-
tured his second stage win of this year s Tour
de France by leading home a pack that over-
took two breakaway riders with only about
50 metres to go in a dramatic finish to Stage
Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, having made sure
that his main rivals couldn t claw back any
time, finished smoothly in the trailing pack
to keep the overall leader s yellow jersey.
After two days in the Alps, Yesterday s stage
offered some relief over a flat 222 kilometres
(138 miles) from Tallard, southeast France s
parachuting capital, toward the city of Nimes
--- known for its Roman arena and bullfight-
Kristoff, a Katusha rider who also won Stage
12, lifted a fist after leading the sprinters who
surged ahead of the two breakaways --- Swiss
champion Martin Elmiger and Jack Bauer of
New Zealand --- who had led the stage virtually
since the starter s gun.
"It was a little bit late for comfort. It was
very close," said Kristoff. "I thought I would
be second ... we turned on the gas."
Bauer tapped his head on his helmet, sighed
heavily, leaned over his bike and burst into
tears after failing to win. In the last few hundred
meters, he left IAM Cycling s Elmiger behind
as he headed for the line.
"It s a fantasy for any cyclist to win a stage
at the Tour and especially for a Kiwi cyclist,
not many of us turn professional and not
many of us get a chance to start the Tour de
France," Bauer said.
"I really gave it absolutely everything, and
as you can see from my meltdown at the finish
I was pretty disappointed to come away empty-
The pack, which timed its creep up on the
duo to perfection, was just too strong for the
New Zealander. By the time that Bauer, ped-
aling with his last remaining strength, looked
back a last time, they were already zooming
by. He ended up finishing in 10th place. Elmiger
With about 20 kilometres (12 miles) left in
the stage, the riders briefly got doused with
heavy rain, though the skies brightened by
the end. A series of roundabouts and leg fatigue
among the sprinters after the Alpine stages
gave an advantage to the breakaway pair until
the final seconds.
Nibali kept his main rivals for the Tour title
at bay. He leads Spain s Alejandro Valverde,
in second, by 4:37, and Romain Bardet of
France is third, 4:50 behind. American Tejay
van Garderen trails fifth, 5:49 back.
Nibali, the leader of Kazakh team Astana,
is looking likely to take home the yellow jersey
when the three-week race finishes next Sunday
in Paris. Some of his best-placed rivals have
already said the contest is now more for a
podium spot below him.
The Italian has shown race savvy --- such
as by gaining time on tricky cobblestone patch-
es in Stage 2 --- and nearly insurmountable
dominance on high climbs. He won Stage 13 s
entree into the Alps, and was second a day
later, also in the snow-capped mountains.
More grueling climbs are looming in the
Pyrenees this week before the only individual time trial of this Tour, next Saturday.
Riders take a second rest day today.
Kristoff takes flat but Nibali stays ahead in Tour de France
Norway's Alexander Kristoff crosses the
finish line to win the fifteenth stage of the
Tour de France cycling race over 222
kilometres with start in Tallard and finish in
Nimes, France, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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