No roars as Tiger makes return to sounds of silence

first_imgBy Steve Keating(REUTERS) – Tiger Woods makes his long-awaited return to competitive golf at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio this week and no golfer will feel the impact of the strange new spectator-less world created by COVID-19 than the 15-time major winner.For his whole career Woods, one of sport’s most recognisable personalities, has been the focus of the golfing world. He is followed by massive galleries and battalions of reporters, photographers and television cameras wherever he plays.But when he steps onto the first tee at Muirfield Village Golf Club tomorrow for his first competitive round in five months the only sound is likely to be chirping birds, with the PGA Tour having banned spectators for all events this season.“I’ve had cameras on me since I turned pro, so it’s been over 20-some-odd years that virtually almost every one of my shots that I’ve hit on the Tour has been documented,” Woods told reporters. “That is something that I’ve been accustomed to. That’s something I’ve known for decades. “But this is a different world and one we’re going to have to get used to. It’s just a silent and different world.”Woods last competed on the PGA Tour in mid-February when he laboured through a final-round 77 at the Genesis Invitational where he finished last among players who made the cut.The 44-year-old reigning Masters champion then skipped a number of events with back issues prior to the PGA Tour’s three-month COVID-19 hiatus that began in mid-March and opted to sit out the circuit’s first five events since the break. Woods, who is one win shy of a record 83 PGA Tour victories, did play a May 24 charity match with Phil Mickelson and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.Saying he was unwilling to risk a return to the Tour until he saw how safety protocols would work, Woods made his decision to play only when he felt comfortable enough to do so.“I just felt it was better to stay at home and be safe,” said Woods. “I’m used to playing with lots of people around me and that puts not only myself in danger but my friends and family. “That’s something that I looked at and said, ‘Well, I’m really not quite comfortable with that, that whole idea. Let’s see how it plays out first’.”Woods has watched the PGA Tour restart on his computer and said he was immediately struck by what he saw.“It was more watching golf to see how it is now, see what our near future, our reality is and our foreseeable future is going to be,” said Woods, who has won the Memorial a record five times. “To have no one yelling, no one screaming, no energy, the social distancing, no handshakes.“There’s nothing to feed off of energy-wise. There’s no one there. “I think this is going to set up for not just in the short-term but for the foreseeable future for sure.”last_img read more

Men’s basketball: Wisconsin handles Penn State, prepares for Minnesota Saturday

first_imgDespite a second-half comeback attempt by Penn State, the No. 5 Wisconsin men’s basketball team outlasted the Nittany Lions in State College, Pennsylvania Wednesday night 55-47 to capture its ninth straight victory.Wisconsin (24-2, 12-1 Big Ten) was led by junior forward Sam Dekker, who had a team-best and season-best 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting (3-for-6 from three) Wednesday along with five rebounds. Senior forward Frank Kaminsky was the only other UW player in double figures with 16 points and nine rebounds.The Badgers took a 31-24 lead into halftime over Penn State (15-12, 3-11 Big Ten) and extended that lead to 16, 46-30, with eight minutes and 52 seconds left in the second half. Earlier in the half, the Nittany Lions went on a more than six-minute scoring drought, staying at 26 points and helping Wisconsin extend its lead.But from there Penn State responded with a 13-3 run that pulled them within six at 49-43 with a little over three minutes left in the game.However, Wisconsin made its free throws from that point on to leave State College with a win and a program-best 24-2 overall record.Penn State guard D.J. Newbill, who entered the game as the Big Ten’s leading scorer, had a game-high 29 points and was the only Nittany Lion to score over seven points.Wisconsin sophomore forward Nigel Hayes hauled in a game-high 13 rebounds along with nine points.Neither team shot particularly well, as Wisconsin was just 20-for-51 (39.2 percent) while Penn State went 21-for-54 (38.9 percent) from the floor. Both teams struggled from beyond the arc, as well, with Wisconsin shooting just 22.7 percent (5-for-22) and Penn State shooting only 15.4 percent (2-for-13) from three.The Badgers will now turn their attention to their next game on Saturday against Minnesota (16-11, 5-9 Big Ten) at the Kohl Center.With the regular season coming to a close — Wisconsin has just six games left until the Big Ten tournament and postseason play begins — the Badgers can finally start to look toward clinching their first regular season conference championship since 2008. As of Wednesday night, the Badgers have a three game lead over three teams (No. 16 Maryland, Michigan State and Purdue) in the Big Ten conference standings.It is possible for the Badgers to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular season Saturday. If Wisconsin can defeat the Gophers at the Kohl Center and either Maryland, Michigan State or Purdue loses, the Badgers will clinch a share of the conference title.But first they’ll have to take care of their border rival Saturday. Minnesota fell to Northwestern 72-66 Wednesday night to give them back-to-back losses after falling to Indiana Sunday night. Gopher senior guard Andre Hollins led Minnesota with 12 points, six assists and four rebounds Wednesday.Hollins leads the Minnesota scoring threat, averaging a team-high 15 points to go with 4.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. The 6-foot-2 guard is deadly from deep, making 43.8 percent of his shots from three, which is good for third best in the Big Ten.Wisconsin and Minnesota will square off at 11 a.m. Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center. The game will be televised on ESPN.Game VitalsNo. 5 Wisconsin (24-2, 12-1 Big Ten)Big Ten: 12-1, 1st place by three games over Maryland, Michigan State and PurdueLast Game: Defeated Penn State on the road, 55-47Probable Starters: G – Bronson Koenig (6-4, 7.5 ppg), G – Josh Gasser (6-4, 7.3 ppg), F – Nigel Hayes (6-8, 12.4 ppg), F – Sam Dekker (6-9, 13.0 ppg), F – Frank Kaminsky (7-0, 17.6 ppg)Key Reserves: G – Zak Showalter, F – Duje Dukan, F – Vitto BrownMinnesota (16-11, 5-9 Big Ten)Big Ten: 5-9, 11th placeLast Game: Lost to Northwestern at home, 72-66Probable Starters: G – DeAndre Mathieu (5-9, 8.3 ppg), G – Andre Hollins (6-2, 15.0 ppg), F – Joey King (6-9, 9.0), F – Charles Buggs (6-9, 3.8), F – Maurice Walker (6-10, 11.7)Key Reserves: G – Nate Mason, G – Carols Morris, C – Elliott EliasonWho – No. 5 Wisconsin vs. MinnesotaWhen – Saturday, Feb. 21, 11 a.m.Where – Kohl Center (17,230); Madison, WisconsinTV – ESPNlast_img read more

Nyantakyi set to be re-elected as GFA President

first_imgThe Ghana Football Association Congress will re-elect incumbent president Kwesi Nyantakyi to continue for another four-year term at the UDS Hall in Tamale today. This year’s Congress had been threatened by legal action but a court ruling last Friday paved the way for all members of the Association to gather in Tamale for the process.Nyantakyi ran unopposed after all the earlier announced contenders failed to complete the standard nomination procedure.This is the second time in a row  the lawyer will have no challenger at the polls after three candidates were disqualified from the race in 2011 for failing to meet election requirements. According to  Article 28.7 of the Ghana FA Statutes, Congress will duly return the 47-year-old as president.  –Follow Benedict on Twitter: @KwesiBenedict. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtaglast_img read more