Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 10th 2014 Contents A57
August 10, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
LOUISVILLE---Rory McIlroy had plen-
ty of challengers yesterday in the third
round of the PGA Championship in
After overnight rain softened the
course, there were low scores all over
the place at Valhalla Golf Club. Hunter
Mahan surged into contention with a
6-under 65, matching the best round
of the week.
McIlroy went into the day with a
one-stroke lead and wasn t able to pull
away like he did at the 2011 US Open
and the 2012 PGA Championship.
He was tied with Rickie Fowler at
the turn, and there was briefly a three-
way tie for the top spot when Ryan
Palmer made a 35-foot putt from just
off the green at No 11.
Just seconds later, McIlroy made a
birdie of his own at the 10th, reclaiming
the top spot all to himself.
Jason Day and Jim Furyk also had at
least a share of the lead on what was
shaping up to be a wide-open day. Even
after McIlroy s birdie at the 10th pushed
his score to 11 under, there were still
14 players separated by only four shots,
a group that included Mahan, Phil
Mickelson and Adam Scott, who was
among seven players shooting 66.
Sergio Garcia also posted a 66,
climbing into the mix again in pursuit
of his first major title.
Day made a brilliant par at the sec-
ond hole after yanking his tee shot into
the tall grass, so far left of the fairway
that he was on the other side of a creek.
His caddie took off his socks and
shoes, wading into the water in search
of the ball.
Finally, after climbing up the opposite
bank, he spotted it before the five-
minute limit that would have forced
Day to take a penalty for a lost ball.
Day then stripped off his socks and
shoes, rolled up his pants, and crossed
the water. After getting a look at his
lie, he asked his caddie for a pitching
He flipped it across the water and
Day, playing barefooted, punched his
ball back across the fairway, the ball
scooting through into the rough on the
Day got his third shot on the green
and made a 12-footer to save par, walk-
ing off the green with a huge smile.
McIlroy had to do a bit of scrambling
as well at the fourth, where the tee was
moved way up to create a 292-yard par
4. Going for the green, he yanked it
into the trees left of the green and had
to take a penalty. After the drop, he
chipped to 12 feet out of the rough and
rolled in the putt to save par.
Fowler was playing well at another
major championship, making an 18-
foot birdie at the 10th that temporarily
pulled him into a tie for the top spot.
The American was runner-up at both
the US Open and the British Open,
after a fifth-place finish at the Mas-
But McIlroy is still the man to beat.
The world s top-ranked player came
in with two straight victories, having
won wire-to-wire at the British Open
before rallying to beat Garcia at Fire-
stone last weekend.
One player who s not in the mix: 14-
time major champion Tiger Woods.
Still bothered by a sore back and
rusty from a lack of playing time this
year, Woods shot consecutive 74s and
missed the cut at a major for only the
fourth time in his professional career.
Looks like he ll be missing plenty of
McIlroy faces lots of
challengers at PGA
Rory McIlroy, of
Northern Ireland, hits
his tee shot on the
fifth hole during the
third round of the PGA
tournament at Valhalla
Golf Club yesterday in
TORONTO---France s Jo-Wil-
fried Tsonga advanced to the
Rogers Cup final yesterday, fol-
lowing his string of upsets with
a 6-4, 6-3 victory over seventh-
seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bul-
Tsonga, seeded 13th, beat top-
ranked Novak Djokovic on Thurs-
day and eighth-seeded Andy
Murray 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 on Fri-
day to reach the semifinals in the
Tsonga said after his win over
Murray, he did not have much
confidence entering the tourna-
ment, but wins over Djokovic and
Murray had him primed for the
US Open later this month.
"I try to be consistent in my
work, and I m sure it will give me
some rewards," Tsonga said. "This
week is kind of rewards for me,
to play like this, to beat two guys
in the top 10. It s good, and I hope
it will continue."
In the second semifinal, sec-
ond-seeded Roger Federer faced
Spain s Feliciano Lopez.
The second-seeded Federer
beat fifth-seeded Ferrer 6-3, 4-
6, 6-3 in the late match on Friday
to set up a semifinal against
Lopez, who upset local favourite
Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3.
MONTREAL---Venus beat Serena
in an all-Williams semifinal in
the Rogers Cup.
Venus topped Serena 6-7 (2),
6-2, 6-3 yesterday in the hard-
court event for her first victory
over her sister since 2009 in Dubai.
"I think for both of us, what s
so unique about the situation is
that we re both very good players,"
Venus said. "I think typically you
may have some siblings, one is
quite good, one is not as good so
you kind of know what the result
is. I think we both know when we
walk out there, it s not like you re
guaranteed a win. I think that s
what makes it challenging for both
The 32-year-old Serena, ranked
No 1 in the world for the 200th
career week, leads the series 14-
11 and had won the last five match-
es. The 34-year-old Venus, ranked
26th, ended her sister s 14-match
Rogers Cup winning streak that
dated to wins at the 2011 and 2013
tournaments in Toronto. Serena
skipped the 2012 event in Mon-
"I don t think I played a great
game today," Serena said. "Let s
just face it, I served well in the
first set, but that was that. So, I
definitely need to go back and ana-
lyze it, figure out how to be more
In the second semifinal, third-
seeded Agnieszka Radwanska faced
"I definitely don t want to have
a letdown and get out there and
not play at least half as well," Venus
said about the final. "I don t want
to put any pressure on myself, but
I want to go out there and perform
just as well. It would mean a lot
to me because I ve been dreaming
of winning a tournament at this
level since I got back on tour. You
try and you try. There are disap-
pointments. One day you get a lit-
tle closer. So this is my little closer
right now." Venus won the last of
her 45 titles in Dubai in February.
She uses medication, a vegan diet
and rest to control Sjogren s Syn-
drome, an auto-immune disease
she was diagnosed with in 2011.
Unseeded Venus started the
match strong on her serve and
took a 3-1 lead, but Serena rallied
the set in a tiebreaker. Venus dom-
inated the second set, breaking
Serena s serve twice and taking
advantage of unforced errors.
Serena made two errors and
dropped serve to fall behind 4-2
in the third set. Venus, who
dropped serve only once in the
match, served for the win at 5-3.
Venus hit a rocket serve on her
third match point that Serena
returned into the net. Serena had
19 aces and nine double faults, and
Venus had six aces and two dou-
Serena was coming off a victory
last week in Stanford, California,
in her first tournament since with-
drawing from a doubles match at
Wimbledon because of equilibrium
Serena, who has 17 Grand Slam
titles, has struggled in the majors
this year. She was beaten in the
fourth round at the Australian
Open, second round at the French
Open and third round at Wim-
"I haven t even been able to get
to the quarterfinals of a Grand
Slam this year," Serena said. "At
this point, I m really just looking
forward to next year, to be honest."
She was quick to point out that
didn t mean she s giving up on the
US Open, where she is the two-
time defending champion.
"I m just saying I ve had a really
disappointing year, for me, espe-
cially in the Grand Slams," she
said. "So I m not going to put any
pressure on myself.
"I almost feel like the pressure
is lifted because I haven t per-
formed the way I ve wanted to. In
a way, I don t feel a ton of pressure
going into the Open. I almost feel
like it s lifted. I look forward to
next year because I don t have any
points to defend at any of the
Tsonga advances to Rogers Cup final
Venus Williams tops Serena
...reaches Montreal final
Venus Williams of the United
States salutes the crowd
after beating her sister
Serena 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 during
semifinal play at the Rogers
Cup tennis tournament
yesterday in Montreal.
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