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Golf world in frenzy as Tiger returns

Los Angeles— Tiger Woods, 14 months removed from his last competitive outing, nearing his 41st birthday and in recovery from multiple back surgeries, still ignites interest like no other golfer. The 14-time major champion will tee it up on Thursday at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California, in his first competitive start since a 10th-place finish at the Wyndham Championship on August 23 of 2015. The normally low-key Safeway Open, start of the USPGA Tour's 2016-17 season in California's Wine Country north of San Francisco, is suddenly the center of the golfing world. ''I'm sort of glad I'm not there that week,'' Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy said when Woods announced the projected timetable for his return in September. ''It's going to be a bit of a circus.'' Compared to 45 media outlets credentialed in …

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Injury forces Day to cancel PH exhibition

World No. 1 Jason Day of Australia expressed deep regrets over the cancellation of a charity exhibition match with Rory McIlroy originally scheduled for Nov. 29 at the Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in Lubao, Pampanga. “I’m quite saddened about missing our trip to the Philippines,” said Day, whose mother is Filipino, in a statement released by Dolphin Fire, the company that is putting up the event. Day was forced to skip two major events – the Australian Open in Sydney and the World Cup in Melbourne – owing to a back injury on the advice of his doctor. Day was looking forward to some sort of a homecoming as he was planning to bring along his mother during the trip “to visit where we lost members of our family in the …

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Southwoods is PAL champ

Baguio City — The weather was unkind – rain, fog and chill – and it wiped out the final round of the PAL Ladies Interclub Friday putting an anticlimactic end to the tournament. Manila Southwoods formally clinched the championship, its sixth straight, but it could not have gone any other way as the defending champion with its star-studded lineup was up by 35 points. Even if the weather cooperated, Southwoods would still have won the championship as its chief rival, Cebu Country Club, was unlikely to mount a serious challenge. “Yes, it's quite disappointing,” said Pauline del Rosario, the 17-year-old star of Manila Southwoods who was able to play just one round. “We wanted to play, but it is what it is.” Southwoods team captain  Mary Claire Ong said she felt bad about the …

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Southwoods poised for PAL romp

Baguio City — Manila Southwoods expected Cebu Country Club to mount a comeback and decided to field its strongest lineup in the third round of the 11th PAL Ladies Interclub yesterday. It turned out the worries were unfounded. Southwoods twisted the knife just a bit deeper, firing a combined output of 155 points for the day from its three players and pulled away by 35 points at the Camp John Hay golf course. That effectively took away any drama in today's final round and all but assured that Southwoods will march unchallenged to its sixth straight championship. "We thought Cebu would field a strong team so we decided to bring in our best too," said Mary Claire Ong, Southwoods's playing captain. Indeed it was the best as the trio of Mikhaela Denise Fortuna, Bernice …

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Southwoods pads PAL golf lead

Baguio City – If Manila Southwoods’s first round score gave hope that its PAL Ladies Interclub reign may be in jeopardy, that hope vanished yesterday. Southwoods led Cebu Country Club by four points after the first 18 holes of the 72-hole competition Tuesday. But at the end of the second round Wednesday, the lead had ballooned to 23 points and there is nothing in the horizon that would suggest this gap will diminish as Cebu appeared to have already fielded its best guns and the shots fell short. Another player from Southwoods’s teen ranks, Pauline del Rosario, 17, took off from where her fellow teens left and led the assault with her two-under-par 66, good for 56 points under the PAL scoring system. There was nothing surprising about Del Rosario’s output, though, after …

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Southwoods takes 4-shot PAL lead

Baguio City — Manila Southwoods opened defense of its PAL Ladies Interclub title yesterday with a chilling message that even if it is undermanned it will take  a lot of effort for chief rival Cebu Country Club to wrestle the crown from its head. Southwoods posted a four-point lead in chilly conditions at the Camp John Hay course despite having to play with one player less than the usual four-woman ensemble. The team had no back up player but the three that were fielded responded to the occasion with two teenagers leading the way. Rookie Bernice Ilas, 14, and Sophia Chabon, 15, delivered for the five-time champions, with 54 and 52 points, respectively, finishing their round under the midday rains that usually blanket this mountain course at this time of the year. But bad …

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Palmer ‘watching over’ US Ryder Cup victory

Chaska – Arnold Palmer did not live to see the 41st Ryder Cup, but US captain Davis Love said he was still looking out for the Americans in Sunday's 17-11 victory over Europe. “Arnold was watching over us this week,” Love said. The golf icon, who played on six triumphant US Ryder Cup teams and twice captained Cup winners, died last Sunday at age 87 as players prepared to gather at Hazeltine. US players won seven of 12 singles matches Sunday to complete the victory and snap a three-Cup losing streak. “This week has been played under the shadow of Mr. Palmer's passing,” Europe captain Darren Clarke said in the closing ceremony. “But I'm sure he is up there looking down on us all with a smile on his face.” Palmer was far from forgotten …

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Americans win back Ryder Cup

Chaska, Minn. — Patrick Reed shook his fists with fury for every big putt he made. Phil Mickelson leaped higher than when he won his first Masters. Ryan Moore delivered the final point in this American masterpiece Sunday at the Ryder Cup. The 17-11 victory over Europe was their biggest rout in 35 years at the Ryder Cup. Only this was more than just three days of exquisite golf at Hazeltine. This victory began two years ago in Scotland, when Phil Mickelson publicly criticized U.S. captain Tom Watson and a process that he felt put the Americans in position to fail far too often. "When put in the right environment, the U.S. team brought out some amazing golf," Mickelson said. "And we're bringing back the Ryder Cup because of it." Sure enough, that 17-inch …

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US bets lead European by 3

Chaska, Minnesota — The Americans are making all the right moves in this Ryder Cup. Even Tiger Woods. Europe was riding the momentum as it inched within one point Saturday at Hazeltine. US captain Davis Love III heard conflicting ideas on the radio and by text message from his assistant captains, all of them weighing in with the best lineup for the final session of team matches. The question was Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth, the only Americans who had yet to sit out. “I finally just said to Tiger, ‘Are we playing them or are we sitting them?’ He said, ‘No, you have to send them back out there,’” Love said. Reed delivered another moment sure to burnish his growing Ryder Cup reputation. He was at his bullish best in the anchor match with …

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Europe sends Rio Games medalists against US pair

Chaska, Minnesota — Europe is sending out some heavy metal to start the Ryder Cup – Justin Rose and his Olympic gold with Henrik Stenson and his silver claret jug. Captain Darren Clarke put his strongest partnership in the opening foursomes match Friday morning at Hazeltine. Rose and Stenson won all three of their matches together at Gleneagles two years ago. They go up against Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, who were unbeaten in their three matches at Gleneagles, though their half-point came in the alternate-shot format. “They were always going to be my choice for leading Europe off in this match,'' Clarke said. “That was never, never in doubt.” Rose and Stenson finished 1-2 at the Olympics last month. Europe, going for its seventh victory in the last eight Ryder Cups, has six …

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