Review Category : National Sports

Tiger Woods Reflects on 2016 Comeback, Golfing with Donald Trump

(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)(NEW YORK) — In a blog post meant to look back at his 2016 return and ahead to his 2017 season, Tiger Woods discussed his goals, his future and his golf outing with president-elect Donald Trump.

“I am working hard to sharpen my game for 2017,” Woods says early on. “My goal is simple: to win. Winning takes care of itself.”

He unveiled the first few events he will participate in, selecting the Farmers Insurance Open, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the Genesis Open and The Honda Classic. He talks in particular about the Genesis Open and the Riviera Country Club that will host it, reminiscing about his one and only time competing on the course — the first PGA Tour event he participated in in 1992.

Woods said he felt his four-round performance at the Hero World Challenge late last year, while inconsistent, was “a positive step.”

“I just need to keep building off that and eliminate the simple mistakes I made.”

“I know many people doubted whether I would play competitive golf again, and to be honest, even I wasn’t sure,” he admits candidly. “A year ago…I was asked the question and gave a completely different answer. But after a year of working harder than I’ve ever worked to get back, I knew it was possible.”

“My love for the game never left,” he continued. “It’s just that the body would not allow me to play. Now my body is allowing me to do it again.”

On his much-discussed outing with the next president, Woods said that he was impressed by how far Trump could hit the ball “at 70 years old.” He says the pair discussed a wide range of topics, though he didn’t offer specifics. “We both enjoyed the bantering, bickering and needling,” Woods said, noting that there was no competition between the two, just a round for fun.

“I’ve now had the privilege of playing golf with Mr. Trump, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and I appreciate the opportunity,” he said.

Woods also briefly discussed his other sports fandom — football. He offered “a shout-out to Stanford football for beating North Carolina in the Sun Bowl and finishing at 10-3.” Woods is a Stanford alumnus.

“Finally,” he wrote, “I am heartbroken about the injury to Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who was having an MVP season. Typical football, next man up. You’re one play away from having a devastating injury, and that’s just the way it is. Hopefully, guys will rally and take it as far as they can. I’ll be pulling for them in the playoffs.”

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Cowboys QB Prescott on Bye Week Plans: ‘Hanging Out and Getting Rested’

(Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)(DALLAS) — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott doesn’t have any vacations planned during his team’s playoff bye week.

Prescott grew up a fan of the Cowboys in Louisiana. When a reporter asked Prescott whether he would be staying in town during the week off, Prescott understood, saying “Yes…good try.”

In 2007, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten, and linebacker Bobby Carpenter traveled to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico during their bye week with their significant others. The trip garnered criticism, and the ensuing 21-17 loss to the New York Giants didn’t help.

The question also came just days after New York Giants players, including star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. were photographed on a boat in Miami on an off day. Beckham and fellow receivers Victor Cruz, Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis said that they are focused on their playoff matchup with the Packers, and not the off day trip.

Prescott later said that he would spend the weekend off “hanging out and getting rested.”

“Anytime football’s on, I’m going to watch it,” he added.

The Cowboys will practice on Friday, then take a three-day weekend before returning to work on Monday for their divisional round game.

ESPN says head coach Jason Garrett hasn’t yet spoken to his players about what he expects from them. “We really just try to emphasize to our players to be the best versions of themselves in everything they do,” Garrett said, “and let all their decisions on and off the field follow that approach and let that be your guidepost.”

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Two-Time Olympic Decathlon Winner Ashton Eaton Retiring from Athletics

(Photo by Robby Klein / ESPN Images)(NEW YORK) — One of the most decorated decathletes in Olympic history, American Ashton Eaton is retiring from the decathlon, he announced Wednesday.

In a post to his website, Eaton said that it was his “time to depart from athletics” and to “do something new.” A similar announcement by his wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who took the bronze medal in the heptathlon in last year’s Olympics, was also posted.

Eaton is one of only three decathletes to win multiple gold medals, alongside America’s Bob Mathias and Great Britain’s Daley Thompson.

Eaton tied the Olympic record by tallying 8,893 points in the decathlon this past Olympics. He also holds the world record of 9,045 points, set at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.

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Dolphins’ Tannehill Benched for Pittsburgh Playoff Game

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(MIAMI) — It’s the first playoff game for the Miami Dolphins since 2008, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill won’t be taking the field. The Dolphins have decided to sideline Tannehill for the game at Pittsburgh due to a sprained ACL and MCL in his left knee, ESPN reports.

Backup Matt Moore will start for the fourth week in a row, instead of Tannehill, who was injured in week 14.

“Unless something changes drastically here in the next two days or three days, he’s going into this thing as the starter,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said of Moore, according to ESPN.

Gase added that despite Tannehill’s desire to “try to help” and “do anything he can to be a part of this,” he doesn’t want to put the injured quarterback in a position that could jeopardize his career or next season.

Tannehill has never played in a postseason game.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 1/4/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Charlotte 123, Oklahoma City 112
Atlanta 111, Orlando 92
Milwaukee 105, New York 104
Chicago 106, Cleveland 94
L.-A. Clippers 115, Memphis 106
Golden State 125, Portland 117
Miami 107, Sacramento 102


NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Winnipeg 4, Florida 1
N.-Y. Rangers 5, Philadelphia 2
OT/Montreal 4, Dallas 3
Calgary 4, Colorado 1
Vancouver 3, Arizona 0
Anaheim 2, Detroit 0


TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(18) Butler 66, (1) Villanova 58
(8) Duke 110, Georgetown 57
(2) Baylor 65, Iowa State 63
(10) Creighton 85, St. John’s 72
NC State 104, (21) Virgina Tech 78
(23) Notre Dame 77, (9) Louisville 70
OT/Pittsburgh 88, (11) Virgina 76
(15) Oregon 83, Washington 61

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Connor Cook to Start at QB for Oakland Raiders in First Playoff Game

Connor Cook during the 2016 class at Gruden Camp (Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)(OAKLAND, Calif.) — The Oakland Raiders will play in their first playoff game since 2002 this weekend, and they’ll do so with rookie quarterback Connor Cook leading the offense.

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio called it an “easy option,” for Cook to start over injured signal caller Matt McGloin. He pointed to Cook’s 14-for-21 performance for 150 yards, one touchdown and one interception in relief of McGloin in Week 17.

Cook entered last week’s game after McGloin suffered a shoulder injury.

McGloin himself had been a fill-in for the Raiders after star quarterback Derek Carr suffered a broken leg two weeks before.

“He played pretty well when he went in and Matt’s hurt,” Del Rio said about Cook. “We’re hoping to get Matt healthy enough to be in a backup role. Right now, that remains a question.”

Cook, a fourth-round pick out of Michigan State last year, said he is “embracing the opportunity.”

“Going to go out there and have fun, let it all hang out and, obviously, prepare my butt off, do what I’ve been doing all season long and just go out there and have fun with my teammates.”

Cook will be just the second rookie quarterback to ever start a playoff game for the Raiders, behind Todd Marinovich in 1991. Marinovich threw four interceptions in a 10-6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that year.

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Duke Guard Grayson Allen Returns to Lineup, Suspension Lifted After One Game

(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)(DURHAM, N.C.) — Duke Blue Devils point guard Grayson Allen will return to the team’s starting lineup on Wednesday night against Georgia Tech, ending a suspension that cost him just one game.

Starters vs. Georgia Tech.#HereComesDuke pic.twitter.com/JQnuvX1fq8

— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) January 4, 2017

Allen was suspended “indefinitely” on Dec. 22, one day after he tripped an opponent during a game against Elon. That incident was the third time in less than a year that Allen tripped an opponent.

Allen joins Luke Kennard, Jayson Tatum, Amile Jefferson and Harry Giles in Duke’s starting lineup Wednesday.

Giles, a freshman who was the top recruit in the country according to a multiple recruiting services, has played just 23 minutes this season due to injury.

Duke is coming off a loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday night. That game served as the opener of the team’s Atlantic Coast Conference schedule.

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Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett to Return for Senior Season

(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is coming back to school for at least one more season, he announced Wednesday.

A two-time Big Ten Quarterback of the Year, Barrett led the Buckeyes to eleven wins this season. His campaign ended in a 31-0 loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff, though, after which he admitted it would be hard to leave on such a low note.

In an Instagram post Wednesday, Barrett said that he would be coming back, thanking “Buckeye Nation.”

I’m coming back for my senior year. Much love to Buckeye Nation and thank God for the blessings.

A photo posted by JT Barrett (@jt_theqbiv) on Jan 4, 2017 at 12:32pm PST

2017 will be Barrett’s senior season.

Sports news website The Spun notes that Ohio State will return backup quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins along with Barrett. The team will also be bringing in highly touted recruit Tate Martell.

In his three seasons in Columbus, Barrett has tallied 100 touchdowns, including a single-season Big Ten record of 45 in his 2014 season. Barrett will spend next season working with new quarterbacks coach Ryan Day. Day replaced Tim Beck who took a job at the University of Texas earlier this week.

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Eight New Names Among Finalists for 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class

Former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson is among 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2017 induction class. (Photo by Kirby Lee/NFLPhotoLibrary)(CANTON, Ohio) — Eight newcomers headline the list of 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2017 induction class.

LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor and Brian Dawkins are among the biggest names in their first year on the ballot. Also among the new names are Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Kenny Easley and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Former safety John Lynch, ex-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and longtime coach Don Coryell each made their fourth appearance on the list of finalists. Terrell Davis and Kurt Warner made the cut for the third time each.

The induction class will be elected on February 4, one day before this year’s Super Bowl. The selected players will be inducted on August 5 in Canton.

The list of finalists includes the 2006 MVP and single-season rushing touchdown record holder (Tomlinson), four-time All-Pro safety Brian Dawkins, 2006 Defensive Player of the Year Jason Taylor, and the NFL’s all-time scoring leader kicker Morten Andersen.

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Jim Caldwell to Remain with Detroit Lions Next Season

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(DETROIT) — Questions surrounding head coach Jim Caldwell’s future with the Detroit Lions have been laid to rest.

The team announced Wednesday that Caldwell, 61, will return to coach the Lions next season.

Since assuming the role in 2014, Caldwell has led the team to a 27-21 record. Under his guidance, the Lions have appeared in the playoffs in two of the three seasons he has coached.

Detroit will face off against the Seattle Seahawks Saturday night in an NFC wild card playoff game.

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