Graeme McDowell looking to kick-start season as European Open returns

first_imgGraeme McDowell will look to resurrect his season this week as the Porsche European Open returns to the schedule for the first time since 2009. McDowell’s only top 10 of the year to date came in the Dubai Desert Classic in February and the former world number four has fallen to 67th in the rankings. The 36-year-old has not played competitively since missing the cut in the US PGA Championship but has been working hard on his game before getting his campaign for a fifth consecutive Ryder Cup appearance under way at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach. “I always love coming back to Germany and the European Open is a prestigious event,” said the former US Open champion, who was third in this event at The London Club in 2008. “There are some great names on the trophy. “I’m very happy to be here and I’m looking to resurrect my season; this week is as important for me as any of the past few months have been. I’m starting my 2016 campaign this week and my Ryder Cup campaign. I want to drive myself forward and get myself where I feel I belong. “Golf is a tough game sometimes and it has felt more difficult this year for me than it has in the past. But it makes you appreciate the good times in the past and I’m looking forward to good times ahead. “Since Whistling Straits I took two weeks off and didn’t touch any clubs and spent some time with the family. Then I’ve been working pretty hard for three weeks now. “I’ve just been resetting and practising and trying to get this ship back on path. I’m playing here, Dunhill (Alfred Dunhill Links Championship), British Masters, Hong Kong and Turkey and hopefully HSBC-Champions.” Home favourite and course designer Bernhard Langer is in the field, along with fellow former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson and American Hunter Mahan. “It is nice to test myself against the younger players every once in a while,” the 58-year-old Langer said. “It’s not my goal to play on the European Tour in the long run as I’m very happy on the Champions Tour. I’ve done the European Tour and PGA Tour for many years and I’ve done my time. “I am proud to have this event on a course I designed. We used to play the German Open on a course I designed in Stuttgart so to have this event on another is fantastic.” Fellow German Max Kieffer is looking to make the cut in his 22nd consecutive stroke play event, which would be the longest active streak on the European Tour. “I’m playing very consistently. I don’t really know why,” Kieffer said. “It’s great. There have been three or five times this year when I’ve felt like I’m not hitting it well on the range, but every day I wake up I feel I can play good golf. That’s what you want for your form, to feel consistent.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Dick Advocaat: Sunderland squad not good enough for relegation battle

first_img Press Association Advocaat told Studio Voetbal: “I already made my decision last week, but the club asked me to do the match against West Ham and I really wanted to finish this in style. “The struggle against relegation is not my cup of tea. I think it was time for someone else to take over at Sunderland. I became negative and that didn’t feel like myself. “I don’t regret signing my new contract because it was a great experience. Our squad was simply not good enough. The club knew we had to strengthen ourselves, but the chairman [Ellis Short] never told me how much we could spend.” Speaking to De Telegraaf, he repeated his insistence that he had no regrets, adding: “Sunderland is in my view a very beautiful club. What I have seen no one can take away from me and I would not have missed this for anything. “Even on Saturday, there were three or four loud chants for me. The fans supported me until the last day, although they did not know I was leaving.” Advocaat’s departure has created a vacancy Sunderland need to fill as quickly as possible, with first team coach Paul Bracewell and senior professional development coach Robbie Stockdale currently looking after those players not away on international duty. The search for a replacement – which is perhaps further complicated by the fact that sporting director Lee Congerton is understood to be working his period of notice – is under way, although a definitive list of potential targets is yet to be drawn up. There have been mixed messages as to leading candidate Sam Allardyce’s readiness to return to the game over the last 24 hours, while Harry Redknapp has distanced himself from the vacancy and Patrick Vieira is not understood to be in the reckoning. The availability of Allardyce following his West Ham exit at the end of last season and former Leicester counterpart Nigel Pearson makes them attractive to the Black Cats, but Sean Dyche too is a man who is held in high regard on Wearside. However, no appointment is imminent as the club tries to avoid the mistakes of the recent past and find a man who can galvanise a squad Advocaat believes are inadequate, and one which cannot be strengthened further, even if the money is available, until January. Dick Advocaat has admitted his Sunderland squad were simply not good enough to avoid another scrap for Barclays Premier League survival. center_img The 68-year-old head coach parted company with the club on Sunday just eight games into the new league season having failed to lead them to victory in any of them. He left following Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with West Ham without asking for a penny in settlement and retaining a fondness for the Black Cats, but has since revealed his reasons for doing so. last_img read more

Early check-in set to quell any Northern Ireland celebrations

first_img Press Association Michael O’Neill believes an early check-in will keep Northern Ireland’s celebrations under control if they manage to book their Euro 2016 place on Thursday night. Should O’Neill’s side beat Greece at Windsor Park – or Hungary fail to defeat the Faroe Islands – the full-time whistle would usher in a party 30 years in the making. It has been almost three decades since Northern Ireland appeared at a major tournament, the 1986 World Cup, and the Green and White Army can be relied upon to paint Belfast red. center_img The players might also allow themselves to savour the moment, but with a flight to Helsinki booked for Friday morning, for the final Group F qualifier, O’Neill has a simple rule that should keep things sensible. “We’ve told the players if they aren’t on the plane to Finland, they won’t be on the plane to France and that is the only sort of curfew we can enforce!” he said with a smile. “That’s really the only stick I can beat them with, to be fair. “We are on a plane on Friday morning at 10am but it would be lovely to celebrate on Thursday night. “If we are successful I am sure the stadium won’t empty in a hurry but at the moment the focus is on the game and you don’t think about anything else.” O’Neill drew some mirth last month when Kyle Lafferty’s stoppage-time equaliser against Hungary saw him respond with an uncharacteristically joyful jig. Emotions will be even higher should his side go one better this time, but he does not expect a repeat performance on the touchline. “I’ve no idea what I would do to celebrate. Given the stick I’ve had since the last game I will probably get myself into the dressing room in case I embarrass myself even further,” he said. “If you look at the bench after the goal it was amazing. I think that was the only run Kyle made in the second half and the players were all chasing him, but that shows the emotions of it. “Hopefully we’ll all be celebrating.” last_img read more

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal more adept at handling the Premier League pressure

first_img “We have played nine games, there is a long way to go, but let’s make sure that we can produce week in, week out. For me, that is the most important (thing).” That is something Ozil is doing, having grown into his role as Arsenal’s ‘number 10’ since joining from Real Madrid for £42.5million in September 2013. The German World Cup winner scored in the 3-0 thrashing of Manchester United and capped a fine display against Bayern with a goal in stoppage time. “Ozil is 27 now,” Wenger said. “It is the golden age of a football player, 27 to 31 or 32, the age when you know your job. “When you are under 25, you think you can last for ever. Once you get to 27 you realise it is time to capitalise on what you have learned and efficiency takes a little bit over the playing mood. “You realise suddenly that it is not only important to play, it is important to win as well.” Wenger added: “Mesut is focused on his job. Talent wise, I think deeply he is a very, very collective player. “He is a very respectful guy. If you tell him to do that, he will do it for you. “Mesut plays in the link between the low midfield and the striker, he is the vital part in that. “When he has the ball in the final part of the pitch, he has the most assists. “Sometimes I think he sacrifices himself for the team, and I think his talent is exceptional.” Arsenal last led the league heading into the weekend of February 8, 2014, before they were blown away 5-1 at Liverpool in a nightmare lunchtime encounter. Wenger, though, knows his players have come a long way since then – now more battle-hardened and driven on by the endless energy of Alexis Sanchez and tenacity of club-record signing Ozil, backed up by midfield enforcer Francis Coquelin. “We have strengthened our belief with our run last season, from January 1 – you could feel there was really a change in our stability,” said the Arsenal manager, whose side ended the league campaign well before winning a second successive FA Cup. “We have shown that we can handle the pressure. What is the most important for me is to continue to develop as a team, to feel that we grow in the quality of our game. “We have maybe a better discipline. People reproached us many times: ‘okay, Arsenal play football, but they are a bit fragile.’ Before, maybe, when we were not dominating completely the game, we were a bit insecure.” Wenger continued: “We are more mature, for sure. “Two years ago, we were a long time top of the league. After, we lost one or two players and we lost one or two big games, that was the killer for us. “I feel today we are better prepared. We know, as well, the competition will be long. Arsene Wenger is confident a more mature Arsenal side can now handle the pressure in the Barclays Premier League title race, led by Mesut Ozil in his “golden age”. The Gunners head into Saturday’s late kick off against Everton on the back of an impressive 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League. With leaders Manchester City taking on rivals United at Old Trafford on Sunday, Wenger’s side could move to the top of the table with victory over the Toffees. Press Associationlast_img read more

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho: I am not worried about my job

first_img The reigning Barclays Premier League champions have won one game since – against free-falling Aston Villa – and sit 15th in the table with five defeats in 10 games ahead of Saturday’s match with Liverpool, prompting suggestions he could be axed. “I am not worried about my job. I am not worried about my future,” Mourinho said. “I don’t spend one second of my day thinking about it. “It looks like you (the media) want to put a lot of pressure on me in relation to that, where you can’t do it. You can’t do it.” Mourinho says his concern is reviving Chelsea, who saw their Capital One Cup defence end in a penalty shootout defeat at Stoke on Tuesday night. The three matches before November’s international break could be key, though, with Liverpool’s visit to Stamford Bridge followed by a Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev – one of two sides ahead of Chelsea at the halfway point of Group G – and a Premier League trip to Stoke. Mourinho added: “I am worried about the results. I am worried about winning (on Saturday). I am worried about qualifying for the next round of the Champions League. “I am worried about recovering positions in the table and to go back to where Chelsea normally has to be.” The 52-year-old Portuguese is in his second spell as Blues boss and was subject to the first managerial vote of confidence of Roman Abramovich’s 12-year ownership on October 5. That came less than two months after Mourinho had signed a contract extension as manager until June 2019, with the caveat results had to improve. Jose Mourinho is unconcerned over suggestions his time as Chelsea manager could soon end if results do not improve. It was put to Mourinho that bookmakers are already providing odds on his successor. “Don’t speak with me about bets and odds,” he said. “It’s something that belongs to your culture, not to mine. “I don’t understand very well when you say 24 to two and 25 to six. Sometimes I think it’s cricket. In the end, it’s odds.” Mourinho fails to understand the clamour for a manager to be removed from his position, using the example of Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool. The Northern Irishman was earlier this month replaced by Jurgen Klopp as boss, despite almost guiding Liverpool to a first championship in 24 years in May 2014. “What I would like to understand is why some people can be so excited and happy with the perspective of somebody losing his job,” Mourinho added. “It’s sad. The Brendan situation – he was almost winning the Premier League. He was the manager of the season. He won the award from Barclays, the managers’ association and everything. “And suddenly, you (the media) were really happy and working hard until he was sacked. It’s strange. “I don’t belong to this world. I’m too much emotional. I hate people losing jobs. Not (just) in football, in everything.” Mourinho has had private matters to deal with this year, too, with his father falling ill in April, requiring brain surgery. Jose Mourinho Snr is recovering well in his native Portugal, though. The Chelsea boss said: “After a very difficult period, the recovery in the last two months is good news. “My father is winning his fight. He’s almost ready to play.” Press Associationlast_img read more

After Leak Of Diplomatic Cables, UK Ambassador To U.S. Resigns

first_imgKim Darroch stepped down today, informing the UK’s Foreign Office that the situation has made it impossible for him to carry out his role effectively. The cables, obtained over the weekend by a British tabloid, show Darroch assessing the White House as dysfunctional. He referred to the President Trump as insecure, clumsy and inept. Trump hit back this week saying he didn’t know the ambassador but would “no longer deal with him.” He also blasted him on Twitter, calling him “wacky” and “a very stupid guy.” The UK ambassador to the U.S. is resigning following the recent leak of diplomatic cables that were highly critical of the Trump administration.last_img

Jeffrey Epstein Found Injured in his Cell

first_imgWas he trying to kill himself, get a transfer or was he attacked?Accused child sex trafficker and Palm Beach County millionaire Jeffrey Epstein is recovering after being found injured in his jail cell in New York. A New York TV station is reporting Epstein was found last night in the fetal position on the floor of his cell in a semi-conscious state with marks on his neck.Investigators have not determined what happened to him, but speculation ranges from a suicide attempt to a possible assault, and he’s being kept on a suicide watch.Epstein, who has pleaded not guilty to federal conspiracy and sex trafficking charges, is due in court next Wednesday.last_img

Ex-Boyfriend Of Bobbi Kristina Brown Dead at 30

first_img(Altamonte Springs, FL) — The ex-boyfriend of Whitney Houston’s daughter, the late Bobbi Kristina Brown, is dead. Nick Gordon passed away Wednesday at a hospital in Florida from an apparent drug overdose. Gordon was found liable for Bobbi Kristina’s 2015 death. Gordon’s younger brother, Junior Walker, publicly mourned his untimely death on Facebook, writing alongside a series of photos of the two growing up, “You were [sic] best friend and I never in a million years thought I’d be writing this for my ACE I was there through every step we all love you no matter what and we’ll all stay strong for you.”Bobbi Kristina Brown was found face down in a bathtub and was in a coma for months before her death at the age of 22.Her family, including singer Bobby Brown, sued Gordon for wrongful death, accusing him of giving her a toxic drug cocktail that led to her death.He was ordered to pay 36-million-dollars after he didn’t show up to court. Nick Gordon was 30 years old. Whitney Houston died in a bathtub in 2012. Houston died in February of “drowning and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use,” according to a toxicology report, cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs were present in Houston’s system at the time of her death.While the cause of Gordon’s death is unknown, ABC News obtained a statement from his attorney, Joe Habachy, who wrote, “While I cannot speak to the specific circumstances of his death, I can say that it’s been truly heartbreaking to have witnessed first hand the total devastation that drug addiction has wreaked upon a group of young friends.”last_img read more

Teen critically injured; adult male dead in Belle Glade shooting

first_imgThe Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating a shooting that left one man dead and a 14-year-old boy in critical condition.The incident was reported along Runyon Village on Thursday night.Authorities say they arrived on the scene to find the adult male dead inside of a home, and the teen suffering from gunshot wounds across the street.The teen was rushed to an area hospital where he is said to be in critical condition.Authorities say they do not have a suspect or a motive behind the shooting.If you have any information about this incident, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-458-TIPS.Tips leading to an arrest will be eligible for an award.last_img