Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 22nd 2014 Contents HOYLAKE---Rory McIlroy
clutched the treasured piece of
silverware, his reward for win-
ning golf s oldest major cham-
Now he s got his eyes on a
new jacket. Something in green,
With a grind-it-out perform-
ance on the final day of the
British Open, McIlroy checked
off another requirement for join-
ing perhaps the most exclusive
club in the game.
US Open? He s won that. PGA
Championship? Yep, got one of
British Open? Took care of
that on Sunday.
"I m immensely proud of
myself," McIlroy said, clutching
the claret jug after a two-shot
victory over Sergio Garcia and
Rickie Fowler. "To sit here at 25
years of age and win my third
major championship and be
three-quarters of the way to the
career Grand Slam, I never
dreamed of being at this point
in my career so quickly."
All that s left is the Masters.
Get ready, Augusta National.
This guy isn t very patient.
"I really don t have any doubt
that he ll win there," Fowler said.
"It s just a matter of time."
Unlike his first two major
titles---eight-shot runaways at
both the 2011 US Open and the
2012 PGA Championship---
McIlroy had to sweat this one
out a bit. He didn t play his best,
settling for a 1-over 71 that was
his highest score of the week.
He bogeyed two straight holes
on the front side, giving his chal-
lengers a glimmer of hope. But
it was never really in doubt, his
lead never less than two shots.
"I always felt like I had that
little bit of a cushion," McIlroy
All along, he had his eyes on
a bigger prize.
The Grand Slam.
With his victory at Royal Liv-
erpool, McIlroy became the
Jack Nicklaus and Tiger
Woods---to win three of the four
majors. Nicklaus, Woods, Ben
Hogan, Gary Player and Gene
Sarazen are the only players to
capture all four, a feat that elud-
ed such greats as Tom Watson,
Arnold Palmer and Sam Snead.
Indeed, a pretty exclusive club.
"I just want to be the best
golfer that I can be," McIlroy
said. "I know if I can do that,
then trophies like this are within
my capability. I d love to win a
lot more and I m really looking
forward to ... next April and try-
ing to complete the career Grand
Nicklaus has long been
impressed with McIlroy s poten-
The Golden Bear liked what
he saw on Sunday, watching the
finale on television.
"I like his swagger," Nicklaus
said in a message posted on
Facebook page. "I like the way
he handles himself. I like his
desire to be great. I like his desire
to do the things he needs to do.
I like that in a young guy. He s
cocky in a nice way."
After ripping up the course
the first three days, McIlroy
didn t go with the driver as
much and played some shots
safely into the middle of the
green, avoiding unnecessary
risks when he had a lead to work
That strategy looked familiar
to Nicklaus, who has won more
major titles (18) than anyone.
"The other guys put the pres-
sure on him with what they did,"
Nicklaus said. "Rory then did
what he had to do. That is the
measure of what you are doing.
It is not to go out and shoot
another 66. It s shooting what
you have to shoot to win the
Playing in the final group for
the second straight major, Fowler
put up his best round of the
championship, a 5-under 67
with not one bogey on his card.
Garcia, still seeking that elusive
first major title 15 years after he
nearly got one at age 19, fired a
66 but saw his hopes collapse
when he needed two swings to
get out of a bunker at No 15---
the shortest hole on the course.
At the end, all McIlroy has to
ple of inches away to finish off
a 17-under 271.
After some issues off the
course, including him breaking
off the engagement to tennis
player Caroline Wozniacki just
as the marriage invitations went
out, McIlroy seems totally
focused on his game.
That s good for golf, especially
with Woods struggling to recap-
ture anything close to his former
dominance. Playing his first
major of the year after recovering
from back surgery, he finished
23 shots behind the winner and
69th overall---the worst 72-hole
performance of his major cham-
McIlroy is eager to fill the void
left by a wounded Tiger.
"Golf is looking to someone to
put their hand up," McIlroy said.
"I want to be that person." (AP)
CARCASSONNE---The Tour de
France paused for a day in this
medieval fortress town just north
of the Pyrenees mountains to give
the 170 remaining riders a chance
to rest up for the race s final 912
kilometres beginning today.
Riders relaxed, ate, met with
reporters and otherwise found ways
to recover from the 2,752 kilometres
that they ve raced since the start on
July 5 in Leeds, England. The last
six stages include three heavy days
of climbing in the Pyrenees and take
in four lung-busting summits that
are rated "beyond category"---the
hardest they come.
Here are some things to know
about the Tour de France:
Voeckler vents: Tour riders have
had enough with fans along the road
stepping in their way and potentially
causing dangerous accidents as the
athletes whiz by. Europcar team vet-
eran Thomas Voeckler let loose on
one fan during Monday s stage, giv-
ing the bystander a dressing down
he s sure not to soon forget.
In a video of of the scene captured
by a fan and posted on the Web site
of French sports daily L Equipe,
Voeckler is seen braking to a stop
along the roadside, then turning back
and angrily shouting "Hey! Come
A voice off camera repeats
"Sorry!" several times, to which
Voeckler answers "Have you ever
ridden a bike?" Then the popular
French rider, famous for wearing the
yellow jersey for ten stages in both
2004 and 2011, slowly pushes off
and accelerates back up the road.
Voeckler is currently in 53rd place,
almost an hour and 42 minutes
behind leader Vincenzo Nibali of
Earlier in the Tour, several similar
incidents were captured by television
cameras, when fans looking into their
camera phones rather than watching
the race caused a series of crashes
and near misses. American rider
Tejay van Garderen was knocked
down and suffered minor knee
injuries by one such fan on Stage 2.
He later tweeted that selfie-taking
fans demonstrated "a dangerous mix
of vanity and stupidity."
Belkin s luck changing? Dutch
team Belkin currently has two riders
in the Tour s top ten overall and one
stage win---a fairly successful Tour
so far. However, its riders began the
Tour under a cloud, with the knowl-
edge that US consumer electronics
manufacturer Belkin would drop its
sponsorship of the team after this
Now it seems the team s luck has
changed, with reports that the team
management has found sponsors to
Team spokesman Leon Brouwer
confirmed a report in Dutch news-
paper De Telegraaf that Holland s
national lottery is in talks with Brand
Loyalty, a Dutch speedskating team
sponsor, to take over sponsorship of
the team after Belkin leaves.
Belkin announced it was ending
its sponsorship of the team last
The team had been known as
Rabobank for many years until the
Dutch bank dropped its sponsorship
in 2012, citing professional cycling s
dismal history of doping scandals.
Belkin rider Lars Boom won the
epic cobblestone stage between Ypres
and Arenberg Porte du Hainaut on
July 10, while team-mates Bauke
Mollema and Laurens Ten Dam sit
in seventh and ninth place overall.
And then there was one: The
departure from the race of English-
man Simon Yates leaves only one
British rider left in the 2014 Tour ---
a race that began in Britain for only
the second time in its 111-year his-
Yates was pulled after Monday s
222-kilometre stage from Tallard to
Nimes by his Australian Orica
GreenEDGE team. Orica said the 21-
year-old Yates "will return home to
rest and recover, destined for more
great things to come."
Yates exit puts him in impressive
company. The 25-time Tour stage
winner Mark Cavendish crashed out
on Stage 1 and yellow jersey winner
Chris Froome abandoned after a
series of crashes on Stage 5.
Yates was in 83rd place overall
after Monday s stage, more than two
hours behind leader Vincenzo Nibali.
With Yates out, Britain s Geraint
Thomas of Team Sky is the lone
British rider still competing. He sits
18th, more than 20 minutes off
leader Nibali s pace.
Sweet 16: The race resumes today
with Stage 16, the longest stage of
the 2014 Tour: 237.5 kilometres from
Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-
Luchon, deep in the French Pyrenees
near the border with Spain. The
route takes in a succession of small
climbs before making the 11.7 kilo-
metre ascent up the 1,753-metre Port
de Bales, about 20 kilometres from
The climb was last included in the
Tour in 2012, as part of a stage that
was nearly 100 kilometres shorter
than this year s version. Alejandro
Valverde of Spain went over the top
in first place and kept his lead until
the finish for his fourth and most
recent Tour stage win. (AP)
Cyclists keep busy on rest day
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland holds the Claret Jug
trophy after winning the British Open Golf
championship at the Royal Liverpool golf club,
Hoylake, England, Sunday. AP PHOTO
McIlroy now wants green jacket
TOUR DE FRANCE
Overall leader Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, and Estonia's Tanel Kangert, right, talk
during a training on the second rest day of the Tour de France cycling race
in Lignan-sur-Orb, southern France, yesterday. AP PHOTO
...after getting silver cup
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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