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The Masters: Rich Beem on criticism of Rory McIlroy and an emotional comeback for Tiger Woods | Golf News

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Former Masters winner Rich Beem believes that Rory McIlroy now understands how to play Augusta after his final round of 64.

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Former Masters winner Rich Beem believes that Rory McIlroy now understands how to play Augusta after his final round of 64.

Former Masters winner Rich Beem believes that Rory McIlroy now understands how to play Augusta after his final round of 64.

Rory McIlroy should not be criticised for his performance at The Masters and has learnt key lessons that can help him win at Augusta National in future, according to Rich Beem.

It’s funny because I was reading some of the comments on social media on Sunday night, which is probably the dumbest thing I could have ever done, but I did anyway, and they were taking shots at him for not being in contention until that final round 64.

If you flip the numbers round and he shoots 64 the first round and then shoots 73 the last round and loses it, do we look at Rory McIlroy’s performance any differently?

McIlroy produced a majestic round of 64, one short of the course record at Augusta.

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McIlroy produced a majestic round of 64, one short of the course record at Augusta.

McIlroy produced a majestic round of 64, one short of the course record at Augusta.

He clearly did not have a swing on Thursday and Friday, there’s no doubt about it. If you watched some of the shots he hit, he was struggling, he was trying to figure out exactly what his swing was doing.

He put it all together on Sunday, he was absolutely brilliant.

Everybody in the field had the same opportunity yesterday as Rory McIlroy to go out and shoot 64, and yet he’s the only one that did that, he’s the only one that tied the Sunday Masters record by shooting that 64 and finishing out with a brilliant bunker shot at the 72nd hole.

This guy is just an unbelievable golfer, he’s going to go out and win more majors, there’s no doubt in my mind about that.

Rory can win at Augusta after learning crucial lessons

I just think that what he learned about his game on Sunday, he will take forward and I think that he will be in contention a lot more in the majors this year.

Yes, he has to get off to a better start in the majors going forward – 73s don’t cut it, there’s no doubt about that. He knows it, we know it, it’s just him going out and doing it.

McIlroy says after 14 years of playing at The Masters, he produced his best round and will keep trying to win that green jacket.

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McIlroy says after 14 years of playing at The Masters, he produced his best round and will keep trying to win that green jacket.

McIlroy says after 14 years of playing at The Masters, he produced his best round and will keep trying to win that green jacket.

But I thought what he did on Sunday was absolutely electrifying. I was at the edge of my seat all afternoon watching him, I thought it was brilliant.

I think everything he learned this week, not just yesterday, not having his A-game and understanding that he needs to miss in the right spots, because he didn’t miss in the right spots the first couple of days.

I think if he reflects and goes back and watches it and next year understand that his game-plan needs to be, when the pin is back left on No 1, I’ve got to hit it over there on the right hand side. Wherever the flag is at, you have to have a game plan around where those pins are located.

McIlroy completes his incredible final round by holing a brilliant bunker shot for birdie to set the clubhouse lead at seven under.

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McIlroy completes his incredible final round by holing a brilliant bunker shot for birdie to set the clubhouse lead at seven under.

McIlroy completes his incredible final round by holing a brilliant bunker shot for birdie to set the clubhouse lead at seven under.

He’s such an aggressive player, and he will always fire at flagsticks if he thinks he can get to them, he just needs to understand that you can’t always do that and I think he learned quite a bit about that yesterday.

One of the big moments was on 14 yesterday, he missed it way left, pitched it out to the right short of the green and then hit that chip in there close. I think there’s always something to learn around Augusta National, I think he learned a lot yesterday.

Don’t be surprised to see Tiger in contention at St Andrews

Tiger Woods finishes his incredible return to golf after his car accident over a year ago with a final round 78.

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Tiger Woods finishes his incredible return to golf after his car accident over a year ago with a final round 78.

Tiger Woods finishes his incredible return to golf after his car accident over a year ago with a final round 78.

Beem was also impressed by Tiger Woods’ return to major action at Augusta, and saw enough from the five-time Masters champion to believe he can contend for titles in future.

Watching him walk up the 18th hole yesterday afternoon, I got a little choked up.

If you look at how he was walking up there, it was clearly obvious that this man was in a lot of pain, he was struggling and it just wasn’t easy.

Woods rolled back the years and delighted the Augusta patrons with a one under par round of 71.

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Woods rolled back the years and delighted the Augusta patrons with a one under par round of 71.

Woods rolled back the years and delighted the Augusta patrons with a one under par round of 71.

You just have to put yourself in his situation, what he put his mind and his body through this week just to compete, even just for two days let alone four, was absolutely extraordinary.

I believe that he can win. What he’s going to learn about his golf game is that it’s no longer a power game, it’s more about precision and finesse, and I think that there’s a lot of room for that in major championships, whether it’s at Augusta National, St Andrews, or at some other place going forward.

I think just the fact that he knows how to play Augusta National, and you don’t always have to be longest player to win and compete at Augusta, I think that’s a good opportunity.

Woods confirms he will be playing at The 150th Open at St Andrews as his incredible return to golf continues.

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Woods confirms he will be playing at The 150th Open at St Andrews as his incredible return to golf continues.

Woods confirms he will be playing at The 150th Open at St Andrews as his incredible return to golf continues.

But if he can get his body right, at St Andrews it wouldn’t shock me whatsoever to see him go out there and get in contention on Sunday.

I just believe he’s got a better understanding of where his game is at and he’s just got to reconfigure how he plays the game, and what, he’s done that that three or four times already during his career changing coaches, so he definitely is on the right track getting back.

When are the rest of this year’s majors?

Scheffler will now target further major success at the PGA Championship from May 19-22, which takes place at Southern Hills Country Club for the first time since Woods’ victory there in 2007, with the US Open then being held at The Country Club in Brookline from June 16-19.

The men’s major season then reaches its climax at The 150th Open from July 14-17, with Woods confirming he intends to tee it up at St Andrews, with all the majors once again exclusively live this year on Sky Sports Golf.

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Malo Gusto transfer news: Chelsea agree £26.3m deal for Lyon right-back with player returning to France on loan | Football News

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Chelsea have reached an agreement in principle with Lyon for the signing of right-back Malo Gusto.

The west London side have agreed to pay £26.3m plus add-ons for the services of the 19-year-old, who will join the club in the summer.

Lyon head coach Laurent Blanc said that the board had guaranteed to him that Gusto would stay at the club for the rest of the season.

“The board have guaranteed to me that (Rayan) Cherki and Malo Gusto will be here until the end of the season,” Blanc told reporters on Friday.

The statement echoed the thoughts of president Jean-Michel Aulas Aulas who took to social media and declared Gusto would continue with the French giants beyond this transfer window.

But it appears the club has bowed down to the player’s wishes and while Chelsea have agreed the deal, Gusto will now be loaned back to Lyon for the remainder of this campaign.

GRAPHIC

Chelsea wanted a deal now as they are aware other clubs – such as Manchester United and Tottenham – are interested in the France U21 international.

Reece James has played just once for Chelsea since October 11 due to a knee injury, with the sole appearance – against Bournemouth last month – seeing him aggravate the issue and return to the sidelines.

The England international also missed several months of the 2021/22 season with a hamstring injury.

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The Transfer Show’s Dharmesh Sheth and Kaveh Solhekol round up the latest transfer news from all 20 Premier League clubs.

Chelsea are determined to sign a midfielder and right-back this month, despite already spending almost £500m on new players this season.

The Blues have signed 16 players since Todd Boehly’s consortium purchased the club last summer, but remain keen to add to head coach Graham Potter’s squad during the January window.

Enzo Fernandez is still a target and Chelsea are considering making a new bid for the Benfica and Argentina midfielder.

How much have Chelsea spent in January so far?

Chelsea have splashed the cash under Todd Boehly
Image:
Chelsea have splashed the cash under Todd Boehly

Chelsea’s January spending has risen to £190m now the Noni Madueke signing has been completed.

Here are the deals the Blues have made:

  • Benoit Badiashile – Monaco, £35m
  • David Datro Fofana – Molde, undisclosed (reported £10m deal)
  • Andrey Santos – Vasco da Gama, undisclosed (reported £18m deal)
  • Joao Felix – Atletico Madrid, £9.7m loan
  • Mykhailo Mudryk – Shakhtar Donetsk, £88.5m
  • Noni Madueke – PSV Eindhoven

Chelsea have now spent around £460m since Todd Boehly became the new owner of the club, having spent £270m in the summer transfer window.

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window closes at 11pm on Tuesday January 31, 2023.

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.



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Women’s leagues WNBA, etc. have ushered in sports’ golden age

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Image for article titled A rising tide lift all boats and it's time we threw Jason Whitlock’s ilk overboard

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Choosing between women’s and men’s sports is a false choice. If you’re a certain blogger for Glenn Beck’s conservative Blaze media, revisionist history can be a comfort zone that vilifies feminism in sports as your woke sports boogeyman, but makes you look like a headass instead. Jason Whitlock’s resentment-driven tweet on women’s basketball’s place at the bottom of the sports hierarchy eventually led to a longer missive against women’s societal advancements and the fall of masculinity.

Oddly enough, in a link I don’t care to share, Whitlock proceeded to blame feminism for everything ranging from drag queens, to the degradation of the nuclear family, and the decline of biblical values. In Whitlock’s opinion, the glass ceiling wasn’t sturdy enough.

He pontificated in his Wednesday column: “As technology advanced and curbed the natural hardships of basic survival, American men led the world in granting freedom and autonomy to women. Feminists have taken advantage of man’s instinct to please women, casting themselves as long-suffering victims of male supremacy, and reshaped American society into a culture that favors the weaker sex.”

In fairness to Whitlock, let’s analyze all the excellent points he made.

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Hold on a second. I read the entire screed. Something will squeeze out soon…

Whitlock spews more garbage

He did attempt to trace a crooked link between modern society and early man’s roles as hunter-gathers, but it doubled as a rant against evolution. Imagine beginning your argument for a return to medieval masculinity by bemoaning women’s sports on TV. As usual, the intellectual cupboard is bare. Whitlock’s fragility over women’s sports is indicative of the obstacles women in workplaces have always faced. For a contingent of dudes who take his word as gospel though, women’s sports are their bête noire.

Battling over an alternate view of history that makes a case for how sexism was good or opining that the women from the Greatest Generation who took occupations in defense plants and factories during the war effort of the 1940s defanged American culture is a fascinating insight into how a twisted mind justifies itself. Don’t give yourself hemorrhoids trying to mine wisdom from those thought turds, and never roll with a pig in his sty.

Women’s leagues have helped usher in sports’ golden age

If you’ve browsed the front page of Deadspin’s space lately, or any industry leaders like Fox Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports, or Yahoo Sports, you’d know the myth of the feminist agenda pushing men’s sports aside is a pile of crap. America’s Big 4 leagues, plus NASCAR, Formula 1, college football, and college basketball have reigned supreme since being given a 50 to 75-year year head start over organized women’s athletics.

In a few short months, the U.S. Women’s National Team will defend their World Cup so you can expect to see their faces plastered all over ESPN screens between now and then. The USWNT has won half of the first eight Women’s World Cups FIFA’s held, but had to grapple with U.S. Soccer for pay commensurate with men last year. Their decades-long push was reminiscent of Billie Jean King and the “Original Nine’s” early enterprising. Their revolutionary founding of the WTA is one of the impetus for women’s tennis being on a more equal footing with the men’s tour.

The most prominent leagues have had to share space in an increasingly crowded room (pickleball has entered the chat), but this is the golden age of live sports. The continued growth of women’s leagues has been nearly as monumental as streaming has been to prestige television. The only downside to the panoply of options at our disposal is the paradox of choice.

Dawn Staley and Kim Mulkey are college basketball titans

Today men’s college basketball is in a rut. It’s as rife with parity, as it is empty in name-brand, blue-chip talent, or upper-echelon teams. The inverse of men’s hoops’ suboptimal tornado of middle-of-the-road teams, is happening in the division where Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks are cruising toward a repeat. Fans love dynasties and one may be building in Columbia.

UConn is still a threat on Feb. 5, however, its biggest obstacle resides within the SEC.

Kim Mulkey and Staley have taken the baton as college basketball’s preeminent rivalry. The juiciest storyline in college basketball, regardless of gender, is the upcoming tilt between the only undefeated teams left in the nation. Hopefully, someone informs Alfalfa’s He-Man Womun Haters club not to switch on the late-night SportsCenter shows on the night of Feb. 18.

The halcyon yesteryear of the UConn-Tennessee rivalry is long gone in the Vols’ post-Pat Summitt era. Even with former Naismith Player of the Year Paige Bueckers on the mend for the entire season and phenom Azzi Fudd in and out of the lineup, UConn has been firmly entrenched in the top 10. Tennessee is still on the road back to prominence under Kellie Harper and was promptly smacked down by the Huskies on Thursday night.

While we’re on that note, contrary to the Blaze TV blogger’s soliloquy about women’s advancements coming off the backs of men’s work, the infrastructure for modern women’s basketball was originally built by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. At its peak, the AIAW’s membership consisted of 280 colleges that held championships across 19 sports, including women’s hoops. The AIAW was a women’s collegiate sports organization founded by women, but in 1981, the NCAA took over from the AIAW after 120 schools left for the more economically advantaged NCAA.

Breanna Stewart’s free agency

Over in the WNBA, free agency is in full bloom. Candace Parker is vacillating on whether to wind her career down in Chicago or with one last hurrah in Los Angeles. Free agent center Brionna Jones, the reigning Sixth Player of the Year, is essentially seeking to branch out after her second Finals appearance. Think of a bigger James Harden in 2012, trying to loosen himself from Oklahoma City’s bench.

The bulk of WNBA free agency attention is trained on Breanna Stewart’s movements. Reportedly, Stewart has whittled her choice down to approximately four teams, including her home state New York Liberty, a pairing with Elena Delle Donne in Washington, running it back with a depleted Seattle Storm roster, or zagging unexpectedly to the Minnesota Lynx.

There’s no planned primetime TV special starring Jim Gray, or Hannah Storm for the internet Whitlocks to carp about, but the Liberty are what everyone in the league office is undoubtedly rooting for. Imagine if LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh had chosen the Knicks in 2010. Or if Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Harden had been a more well-adjusted collection of personalities. Stewart linking up with 2020’s No. 1 overall pick, Sabrina Ionescu, recently acquired 2021 WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones, and free agent Courtney Vandersloot would be the culmination of an arms race with the Las Vegas Aces.

In addition to looking out for her own future, Stewart is using her clout to engineer solutions to funding charter flights for the league’s 12 teams. Stewart’s efforts have reignited the discourse around the WNBA’s problematic travel arrangements. We’ve long known that cramming long athletes onto commercial flights dozens of times a season is a hindrance to peak performance, but the WNBA hasn’t quite taken it to heart yet and Stewart’s not keen on waiting until the CBA expires in 2028 to address it.

Ultimately, for every sports fan with Whitlock’s attitude, there’s Kobe Bryant. Kobe and others understood that a rising tide lifts all boats. In his final years, Kobe became an advocate for women’s hoops. Then, three years and a day ago, he perished on his way to coach his daughter’s AAU team. But if you’re having trouble choosing between living in a shared reality where the Black Mamba’s noblesse oblige spirit is considered ruinous to culture or one where internet Whitlocks signify strength, your worldview is bass-ackwards and you’ve got your head on the wrong side of your torso.



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Pep Guardiola jokes he’s ‘sorry’ that he stopped Mikel Arteta from becoming Manchester City manager

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Arsenal will face City at the Etihad Stadium tonight, with Guardiola’s former assistant back on his old North West stomping ground in the FA Cup fourth round.

The Gunners head north leading rivals City by five points with a game in hand atop the Premier League, but acutely aware of the challenging taking on the frustrated Guardiola and company.

Arteta left Guardiola’s City setup in December 2019 to take the Arsenal helm, transforming the Gunners in remarkable fashion since.

“I am pretty sure if I would have left here before, he would be here [at City] and he would be the best, absolutely,” said Guardiola, of Arteta.

“But I extended my contract, I am sorry, and he didn’t wait, so it could not happen. But definitely it could have.”

Arteta joined Manchester City’s coaching ranks on retiring as a player in 2016, learning his craft under master tactician and serial winner Guardiola.

City’s former Barcelona boss revealed how Arteta would never celebrate goals against the Gunners, the team he represented more than 100 times between 2011 and 2016.

“He loves the club; I remember when we were together here and we scored goals, he jumped a lot and celebrated – except with one team,” said Guardiola.

“One team, every time we score a goal, I jump, look back and he was sitting there. It was Arsenal.”



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