Sports Morikawa pulls away in Bahamas, takes big step toward No. 1
No. 1 South Carolina beats second-ranked UConn to win the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament championship
Aliyah Boston had 22 points and 15 rebounds to help No. 1 South Carolina beat No. 2 UConn 73-57 on Monday to win the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.No. 1-ranked South Carolina (6-0) outlasted No. 2 Connecticut (3-1), 73-57, to take the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship Monday afternoon in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Tiger Woods joined the broadcast booth for his Hero World Challenge, and what he saw from Collin Morikawa must have looked familiar.
Morikawa carved up Albany Golf Club to build a five-shot lead Saturday over Brooks Koepka, and too many pursuers faded from contention with a series of mistakes that only made another victory look inevitable for Morikawa.
With an 8-under 64 — the first bogey-free round of the week — Morikawa took a big step toward reaching No. 1 in the world.
“You love being in these spots and you don’t get them every week,” Morikawa said. “You wish you did. But when you do, you want to take advantage of them. So hopefully, we can take advantage tomorrow.”
Hurricanes' Ethan Bear enters COVID protocol
In the second season of a two-year, $4 million deal signed in 2020, Bear will be looking for another raise this offseason when he hits arbitration-eligible restricted free agency. His current back-loaded deal means he’ll be owed a $2.4 million qualifying offer, and strong play could even have him in line for a multi-year extension.With that in mind, any absence from the lineup is a notable one, as the Hurricanes will have to look elsewhere for Bear’s minutes on the back end. Because he is a confirmed positive case, if he experiences any symptoms, he’ll miss a minimum of 10 days.
Morikawa chipped in for eagle on the par-5 third hole. His 10-foot birdie putt on the ninth hole gave him the lead. And then he shifted into another gear with a series of smart shots he executed flawlessly, a few par putts to keep momentum and par save from the bunker on the final hole to keep his distance.
Koepka fell back with a soft chip that didn’t get up the hill on the par-3 eighth and led to double bogey. He was bogey-free the rest of the way for a 69 that at least got him into the final group.
“Just keep doing what I’m doing, play good and hope for the best,” Koepka said.
Morikawa would stay at the top of the ranking with a victory, but only for only a week based on the two-year rolling formula. Even so, only 24 other players have reached No. 1 since the ranking began in 1986.
South Carolina is overwhelming choice for No. 1 in USA TODAY Sports women's basketball poll
An emphatic win against No. 2 Connecticut solidified South Carolina's hold on No. 1 in the women's college basketball coaches poll.The Gamecocks led the preseason in close balloting with Connecticut and Stanford. They’ve validated their lofty projection with top-five wins against North Carolina State and the Huskies and received all but one of the 32 first-place votes in the first regular-season poll. UConn remains No. 2 after falling to South Carolina in the final of the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship Bahamas on Monday.
Morikawa was at 18-under 198 as he tries to win his second straight start. He is coming off a Sunday rally in Dubai to, making him the first American to be the No. 1 player on the European Tour.
“It’s not like I’m playing crazy or I’m playing stupid,” he said. “I’m playing to my strengths and that’s what I have to stick with. I’m going to keep doing what I do and if I don’t feel comfortable on a tee shot, maybe play back, but overall I feel really good about the game so far.”
Not long after Morikawa finished the opening hole in the final group, a dozen or so spectators lingered behind and headed to the back of Albany’s practice range to watch someone who is not part of the 20-man field: Woods.
Gallery: 20 of the greatest female tennis players in history (Espresso)
He spent another day hitting balls, this time with a driver, fueling speculation that 10 months after his car crash that badly damaged his right leg, he might tee it up in two weeks at the PNC Championship with 12-year-old son Charlie.
LPGA Tour seizing on more sponsor interest in women's sports
Ten years ago, the LPGA Tour had eight players earn at least $1 million in the season. One indication of how much has changed is Nasa Hataoka. The 22-year-old from Japan earned more than $1 million from two runner-up finishes this year. They came at events with the two biggest purses on the LPGA Tour, the U.S. Women’s Open and the CME Group Tour Championship. Even so, it was an example of how much stronger the purses are, and now the LPGA Tour heads into a 2022 season where prize money is pushing $90 million. This is what Mollie Marcoux Samaan takes over as she begins her first full year as commissioner.
Tournament organizers are holding a spot in the field for him.
Woods wasn’t quite ready to commit to that, and aas when he spoke to the media earlier in the week.
“I can hit it,” he said in the NBC booth during the tournament. “It just doesn’t go very far.” Leaning on another joke, he said he’s not hitting it so short that “I can hear it land.”
But he said he has a lot of work to do on his health, and playing against the best in golf remained a long way off.
Bryson DeChambeau started the third round with a one-shot lead and that was gone quickly. He hit a spectator at the back of the green, a good break for him when it caromed back and rolled off a slope onto the putting surface about 15 feet. And then he three-putted for bogey.
He shot 73 and now is eight shots behind.
Sam Burns made a big run with an eagle on the par-5 11th followed by four straight birdies to get within two shots of Morikawa. But he took bogey on the par-3 17th and finished his round with a double bogey for a 68 that left him six behind.
Daniel Berger recovered from a lost ball and double bogey on the par-5 third hole by making two eagles, only to drop two shots on the last three holes, including a tee shot in the water hazard on the 18th. He had a 69, also six behind.
They were joined in a tie for third with Viktor Hovland and Patrick Reed, who each had 67, and Tony Finau, who bogeyed two of his last three holes for a 70.
Rory McIlroy, who began the holiday event with a share of the lead, never had a chance to get into contention after taking a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 11th hole. He had a 75.
The only other round over par belonged to Jordan Spieth, playing for the first time since becoming a father. His ball moved on the 18th green and he forgot to replace it, leading to a two-shot penalty and a 75.
More AP golf:and
Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press
Weekend practice sessions for Tiger fuel talk about return .
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Tiger Woods kept everyone guessing at the Hero World Challenge with weekend range sessions that got as much attention as the two eagles Viktor Hovland made in his comeback victory. What's next? Only he knows. It started two weeks ago with a three-second video of one swing from a short iron and the message, “Making progress.” In his first news conference since the February car crash in Los Angeles that damaged his right leg, Woods painted a less optimistic picture. His answer to one query last Tuesday was that his leg and lower back hurt just sitting there.