Ja Scorpions skipper expects tough clash

first_imgJamaica Scorpions captain John Campbell expects a tough match when his team faces ICC Americas in today’s WICB/NAGICO Super50 Tournament in Trinidad and Tobago.The contest in Group ‘A’ will see both teams looking to rebound from opening-round losses to Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and Barbados Pride, respectively.Jamaica lost to the defending champions by 84 runs at the Queen’s Park Oval, while the Americas, a composition of players from the western hemisphere, fell to Barbados Pride by four wickets.”They, like us, lost their opening match, but I had a look at the scorecard and noticed Barbados Pride lost six wickets to get the runs in 47 overs,” noted Campbell.”It appears, therefore, that the (Americas) have a decent bowling attack, and as such, it should be a hard-fought game.”SIMILARLINE-UPJamaica, looking to eventually cop one of two available spots from Group ‘A’ to the semi-finals, are expected to keep a similar line-up to that of the Trinidad fixture.Despite losing several players, Jamaica Scorpions showed glimpses of their ability and are likely to be given another opportunity to show their worth.Among these are batsmen Brandon King and Guyanese-born opener, Trevon Griffith.King top-scored with 26. Opener Griffith, in the meanwhile, was making his debut for Jamaica after sitting on the sidelines since the start of the season. He made a third-best score of 20.Nikita Miller and emerging leg-spinner Damion Jacobs who shared five wickets in the opener, are again expected to lead the bowling along with left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell.”Everybody appears to have put the defeat behind us and are ready,” Campbell told The Gleaner yesterday.”We had a good training session this morning, and all the guys were in high spirits and looking for us posting our first win.”Trinidad and Barbados will do battle at Queen’s Park Oval in the day’s feature encounter.Over in Group ‘B’, being contested in St Kitts, Windward Islands Volcanoes, who surprised Guyana Jaguars in their opener, will square off with Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners.The latter drew their match against Leeward Islands Hurricanes in a rain-affected encounter.The Leewards and Guyana will meet in the day’s other fixture at Warner Park.Jamaica Scorpions: John Campbell (captain), Trevon Griffith, Jermaine Harrison, AndrÈ McCarthy, Tamar Lambert, Brandon King, Devon Thomas, Nikita Miller, Damion Jacobs, Aldaine Thomas, Marquino Mindley, Sheldon Cotterell, Shacaya Thomas, Nicholson Gordon.ICC AMERICAS: Ruvindu Gunasekara (captain), Danial Ahmed, Timroy Allen, Alex Amsterdam, Akeem Dodson, Navneet Dhaliwal, Muhammad Ghous, Jeremy Gordon, Nitish Kumar, Muhammad Khan, Hammad Shahid, Timil Patel, Hamza Tariq, Steven Taylor, Srimantha Wijeyeratnelast_img read more

Swiss police open criminal case against Blatter

first_imgZURICH (AP):FIFA President Sepp Blatter was placed under criminal investigation by Swiss authorities yesterday as a probe into football corruption reached the highest levels and left his grip on the top job in peril.The Swiss attorney general’s office opened proceedings against Blatter for possible criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of FIFA money. Authorities also searched Blatter’s office and seized data.The announcements came as FIFA wrapped up a two-day executive committee meeting and marked another stunning day of turmoil for the governing body and Blatter, who have been targeted by American and Swiss investigations into corruption.The 79-year-old Blatter is set to step down in February as a result of those probes, but yesterday’s events made an early exit seem inevitable.The opening of formal criminal proceedings against Blatter could lead the FIFA ethics committee to provisionally suspend him from duty.Blatter’s US-based lawyer, Richard Cullen, said in a statement his client was cooperating and that “certainly no mismanagement occurred.”The latest allegations also threaten UEFA President Michel Platini, Blatter’s one-time protege and favourite to succeed him in February’s election. Platini was questioned as a witness yesterday about taking a “disloyal payment” from Blatter of two million Swiss francs (now US$2.04 million) of FIFA money in February 2011.At the time, Platini was already tipped as a future FIFA leader though unlikely to run against Blatter in that year’s presidential election – instead backing the incumbent against Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar. Blatter was re-elected in May 2011 after Bin Hammam withdrew amid bribery allegations.Paid laterAccording to Switzerland’s attorney general, the money was supposedly paid nine years later for Platini’s work as Blatter’s football adviser at FIFA from 1999-2002.Under Swiss law, a payment is classified disloyal if it is against the best interest of the employer in this case FIFA.Platini said in a statement issued by UEFA that he was entitled to receive the money.”I wish to state that this amount relates to work which I carried out under a contract with FIFA and I was pleased to have been able to clarify all matters relating to this with the authorities,” Platini said. The statement did not address the apparent nine-year wait for payment.The American probe rocked FIFA on May 27, when senior officials suspected of bribery and racketeering were arrested in dawn raids at a luxury Zurich hotel two days before Blatter’s re-election.Blatter is a stated target of that case but has always denied being corrupt, blaming individuals who are outside of FIFA’s controlBut the Swiss allegations suggest authorities suspect Blatter of criminal mismanagement of FIFA money to shore up his own power base – political enrichment, if not taking money himself.Blatter had been set to hold a news conference for international media after the executive committee meeting, but it was first postponed and then suddenly cancelled.FIFA later issued a statement saying the Swiss attorney general “conducted interviews and gathered documents pursuant to its investigation,” adding that it was cooperating with the probe but would not make further comments.Blatter is the first person publicly revealed to be formally quizzed as a suspect in the Swiss case, which FIFA instigated last November when it complained about possible money laundering in the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests won by Russia and Qatar.Valcke suspendedHis right-hand man, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, was suspended last week after being implicated in a scheme to sell tickets for the 2014 World Cup on the black market.Friday’s allegations also relate to undervalued World Cup broadcasting contracts for the Caribbean that Blatter agreed to with disgraced former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner in 2005.”There is as suspicion that, in the implementation of this agreement, Joseph Blatter also violated his fiduciary duties and acted against the interest of FIFA,” the Swiss federal office said.Warner, who was a long-time FIFA power broker supporting Blatter at elections, was indicted in the wide-ranging US case in May.last_img read more

Clarke goal nets win for Whitmore’s St James

first_imgWESTERN BUREAU:Neil Clarke scored the only goal in an ISSA-FLOW daCosta Cup inter-zone football match that deserved a few more to lift St James High to a scintillating 1-0 victory at the expense of The Mannings School in the second match of a Jarrett Park triple-header yesterday.In the first game, Petersfield High defeated Herbert Morrison Technical 3-0 in Zone Two and moved their tally to four points after two rounds.Clarke took his chance with calm in the 47th minute, enhancing his team’s shot at advancing to the next round. The win lifted them atop Zone One on six points, two more than second-place Frome Technical.Frome dispatched Spot Valley 3-0 at Frome Sports Complex.At Jarrett Park, Clarke was exceptional and Manning’s defenders were left searching for a way to stop his mesmerising dribbles. He was not alone, however, as his strike partners, Radcliff Dawkins and Ronaldo McLeish, were also brilliant once again for the Theodore Whitmore-coached team.”I thought we should have scored another two or more goals, but so it is with us this season. We are not putting away the number of chances we have been creating, but we keep on winning and that is the great thing about it,” said Whitmore.He told The Sunday Gleaner his team is building for the Super Cup and hopes they will continue improving.Mannings, though defeated, were not embarrassed. They had their moments, but poor execution in front of the goal proved their downfall.Tafari Cunningham should have, at least, hit the target with his effort midway the first half and, had he scored, perhaps it would have given the contest a different flavour.They remain on a single point following yesterday’s defeat, but will want to end on a good note when they next tackle Spot Valley, who will be playing for pride come Tuesday at 2 p.m., also at Jarrett Park.Meanwhile, defending champions Clarendon College tagged Lennon High 2-0 at Kirkvine, recording their second straight win in this round of the competition to jump into the lead in Zone Four with maximum six points.St Elizabeth Technical High School took control of Zone Three with a 3-0 drubbing of Lennon High at their Santa Cruz base to notch their sixth point of the round.last_img read more

Armchair theories and the return of Blake

first_imgWhen you think about it, there is probably good reason that the prime rivals of Usain Bolt have experienced injury. The tall man’s combination of stride length and leg speed creates a dilemma for the rest of the world’s best. How can they keep up without increasing risk?Asafa Powell had recurring groin injuries before Bolt took over as the globe’s sprint king in 2008. One such pain knocked him out of the 2005 World Championships months after he had brought the electronically timed world 100-metre record to Jamaica. Another dogged him at the 2007 Worlds.Bolt clipped Powell’s record from 9.74 to 9.72 and 9.69 in 2008. When Powell placed third in the Berlin Worlds to Bolt’s wonderful record time of 9.58 seconds, Powell was racing with groin and hamstring maladies. To make matters worse, he missed the 2011 Worlds due to the dicey groin. That was despite him holding the year’s fastest time – 9.78 seconds – before the Championship. Finally, the groin let him down in the 2012 Olympic final.Tyson Gay was at the Jamaica Invitational when Bolt bombed the 100 in 9.76 seconds, a mere 0.02 off Powell, and lost to the 21-year-old tall man in New York in 2008 when the record moved to 9.72 seconds. He was injured at the US Olympic Trials and didn’t reach the Olympic 100m final and ran an American record of 9.71 seconds with nagging groin problems at the 2009 Worlds, where Bolt zipped his pluperfect 9.58. He hasn’t been the same since.Yohan Blake challenged his friend and training partner in 2012 with a double win over Bolt at the Jamaican Olympic Trials and double silver medals in the Games. His time in the Olympic 200-metre final – 19.44 seconds – is the fastest second-place clocking of all time. Sadly, his injuries began in 2013.Blake is known for his serious approach to training, and it’s not hard to imagine him doing a bit more in practice to catch Bolt at the 2013 World Championships. Perhaps that contributed to his troubles. The injuries of 2013 and 2014 might instead have been random occurrences as injuries often are, but it’s possible that the effort to keep pace with Bolt has hurt Powell, Gay, and then Blake.Perhaps Blake has suffered the most because he knows more than the others how good Bolt is. Perhaps.Thankfully, the MVP meet showed that Blake and sprint guru Glen Mills have found a path back to form for the 26-year-old 2011 World champion. His time of 9.95 seconds wasn’t born of a quick start or smooth acceleration, but Blake’s basic speed and classic sprint form won the day. There’s definitely more there.FINALLY RECOVERINGBlake has already endured disappointment on the way back and has exercised much patience to navigate his way to recovery.Now, he will need to work judiciously to build on the progress revealed at the National Stadium last week.Coach Mills is almost certain to devise ways to get his two speed merchants to push each other while preserving time for Blake to focus on himself. Whatever the training strategy and whether or not the armchair theory of Bolt causing his rivals to push too hard makes any sense, Yohan Blake is back.A 9.95 in April of an Olympic year marks him once again as a major medal contender. There’s no ‘maybe’ about it.n Hubert Lawrence has watched Yohan Blake speed since 2005.last_img read more

Lawrence delivers for Holy Trinity

first_img MAKING EVERYONE PROUD Second-half substitute Phillon Lawrence came off the bench and inspired Holy Trinity to a 3-1 win over Waterford with a goal and an assist. The win means Holy Trinity avenged their 1-0 first round loss to the St Catherine side and lifted the Devon Anderson-coached team to joint-first with Charlie Smith 12 points, but they are second on goal difference. The defeat saw Waterford slipping to third with nine points. Second-half hero, Lawrence, who is usually a starter but was left on the bench because for tactical reasons, made an immediate impact minutes after his introduction when he latched on the a sublime ball from Shai Smith and hammered a well struck volley past Tafari Chambers in goal on 70 minutes. But the visitors were level in the 83rd minute when Richard Coates headed home from close range. However, that parity was short-lived as a minute later, Chambers spilled a corner from Jabari Howell into his own goal. Then in time added on, Holy Trinity sealed the win when Lawrence returned the favour for Smith, finding his strike partner with a superb cross field ball, which Smith stabbed home with a side foot volley. Lawrence told The Gleaner that he knew he wouldn’t start, but knew he had something “great” to offer his team on the day. “I didn’t train yesterday, but I told coach I was going to come out with something great for him and there it is, and the feeling is great, because my mommy is in the stands and the fans are here and I made them proud,” he continued. The 15-year-old Harbour View forward, who was netting his second of the season said he didn’t have the best of start to the season, but his teammates have been a great source of encouragement and his performance was his way of paying them back for their support and faith in him “When I did bad, they didn’t break me down. They lift my spirit and told me to come again. Well, I gave them back something today and I am looking for more performances like this,” he said. Anderson said Lawrence promised him to do the job and delivered. “It was a plan (not to start Lawrence) as he has been starting all season, we knew he had one in him and we saved him for crunch time and he delivered again,” he commented. In the group’s other game Charlie Smith stunned Mona 5-0. Norman Manley vs Denham Town Papine vs Ascot Kingston College vs St Mary’s College Ardenne High vs Jonathan Grant Pembroke Hall vs Haile Selassie Meadowbrook vs St Catherine Kingston Technical vs Dunoon Camperdown vs Jose Marti Wolmer’s Boys vs Edith Dalton James St Jago vs Campion College Bridgeport vs Calabar Cumberland vs Hydel (Home teams named first and all games start at 3:30 p.m.) Today’s games Eltham 0 STATHS 1 Greater Portmore 2 Tivoli 1 Tarrant 0 Excelsior 4 Holy Trinity 3 Waterford 1 Charlie Smith 5 Mona 0 Yesterday’s resultslast_img read more

Cornwall continue ominous march towards D’Cup title

first_imgWestern Bureau A rampant Cornwall College steamrolled their way past Manchester High on their way to a 5-2 victory in the first game of a double-header at Jarrett Park yesterday, securing a semi-final berth in the 2016 ISSA/Flow daCosta Cup, while going unbeaten in the process. Lennon High secured their place also, after edging Rusea’s 1-0 in the second match. It also means the Dr Dean Weatherly-coached team qualifies for the Ben Francis Knockout competition, where they are likely to face familiar foe in Clarendon College. Defending daCosta and Ben Francis Cup champions, St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) also advanced after stopping Petersfield 2-0 in Santa Cruz to top Zone R with maximum nine points At Jarrett Park, it took them little time to get cracking, when central defender Pagiel Brown scored easily from close range in the 7th minute, after the Manchester defenders failed to clear on several attempts. Brown would add a second on the brink of half time, when he provided the simplest of finishes to make the score 2-0. It was Manchester’s time to pounce, and they did with pleasure in the 50th minute. Damani Henderson cracked a powerful shot that ricochet off the underside of the crossbar and into the goal to slice the lead in half. That was as close as it got for Manchester, as Cornwall went all out for more goals, adding a third in the 68th minute through their talismanic forward Jourdaine Fletcher, who in spite not having one of his better matches, manage to find the back of the net. Fletcher was brought down inside the area by Manchester goalkeeper Odane Reid. He then stroked home the resulting penalty kick for his 27th goal in all competitions so far this season. Shavon McDonald in the 71st and Dwayne Harding in minute 79 rounded off the scoring for Cornwall College. Ajay Chin netted Manchester’s second goal in the 78th. PAID OFF “I feel that we can do it all this season,” said a confident Fletcher, “We want all four titles, so being in the semi-finals of the daCosta Cup is a great feeling,” He added. “Today we played hard football and it paid off. I am just enjoying the football right now, and I know that we have enough quality to win each time we play,” stated Fletcher. Cornwall is on a sixteen game winning streak in the daCosta Cup and have successfully negotiated three games in the Flow Super Cup to reach Saturday’s final against Wolmer’s. Meanwhile, Tavis Grant was on target for Lennon in their 1-0 win over Rusea’s to win Zone Q with 9 points. Elsewhere, despite going down 1-2 to a plucky Spot Valley in Zone S, Clarendon College advanced on goal difference over Little London, who defeated Steer Town 3-1 to end their promising season on a high note. The four semi-finalists and Ben Francis hopefuls are Cornwall College, STETHS, Lennon and Clarendon College. STETHS 2, Petersfield 0 Clarendon College 1, Spot Valley 2 Little London 3, Steer Town 1 Vere Tech 2, Fair Prospect 0 Dinthill 2, Paul Bogle 2 Ocho Rios 1, Glenmuir 1 Lennon 1, Rusea’s 0 Cornwall 5, Manchester 2 Yesterday’s resultslast_img read more

Barcelona official dismissed after Messi comment

first_imgBARCELONA, Spain (AP): A Barcelona official has been dismissed from an institutional-relations role after he said Lionel Messi would not be as good if he didn’t have great teammates, the club announced yesterday. Barcelona said it relieved Pere Gratacos from his responsibilities because “he publicly expressed a personal opinion that did not coincide with the opinion of the entity”. Gratacos was responsible for the club’s institutional relations with the Spanish football federation. Barcelona said he will remain working on other projects within the club. The official told Spanish media after the Copa del Rey draw yesterday that “Leo is one of the most important players of the team, but he wouldn’t be as good without Neymar, (Luis) Suarez, (Gerard) Pique, (Andres) Iniesta and the rest of the players.” He added that “obviously Messi is the best player”. Gratacos was answering a question about Messi’s importance after the team advanced to the Copa quarter-finals with a win over Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, when Messi scored a decisive free-kick goal. The official’s comments came as Messi, a five-time World Player of the Year, is reportedly negotiating a new contract with the Catalan club. The 29-year-old Argentine has 12 goals in the last 11 games. He’s scored decisive free-kick goals in all three of Barcelona’s matches this year.last_img read more

Munro buoyed by recent successes

first_imgFollowing Tuesday night’s TVJ Schools’ Challenge Quiz title win, Munro College’s Track and field head coach, Orin Gordon has told his charges, “We are on a high now, so let’s aim for at least nine medals at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships.”The St Elizabeth-based Boys’ school made a stunning comeback Tuesday night, beating defending champions, Titchfield High 27-24 to take – their sixth hold of the prestigious 48-year-old trophy.The team, which would have been journeying to their guest house in Kingston on Tuesday night, did not get to watch the match live, but followed keenly and with much anticipation.”I have been appealing to our athletes to use this (TVJ Schools’ Challenge Quiz) as an inspiration going forward to the rest of this championships.”This year, in comparison to other years, we have a smaller team, but the quality is a little bit higher over the past two years,” he said.Munro are not new to winning, however, having won the Boys Championships trophy a total of eight times, the rural-area school has seen a long trophy drought, with 69 years passing without winning the country’s premier high school athletics title.HOPING FOR MEDALSAs coach, Gordon has an ambition for his team this year, with three athletes moving on to semi-finals, and four to the respective Boys finals.”If we could get two (or) three gold, silver and bronze, that would be a good achievement for us.”The mere fact that you medal, and to win anything at these championships is an overall victory,” he reasoned.Though Munro has had multiple titles at the annual championships, Gordon maintains that it is almost impossible for them to win this year, or any time soon, due to a lack of recruiting of athletes by his institution.Meanwhile, assistant coach Omar Bryan backed his coach, noting that the College is on a high right now, from winning the quiz and under-19 boys hockey title, which the school claimed in a 2-1 win over Excelsior High recently.”We are really happy and on a high, and things are looking good. We like it,” he admitted, while hoping the school could finish close to the top five this year.- S.F.last_img read more

Woods returns with solid round and good start in Bahamas

first_imgMargot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene MOST READ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set LATEST STORIES After his best shot of the day — a pitching wedge he hit low from 95 yards that settled a foot behind the hole for birdie on No. 14 — he sent a drive well to the right into the native dunes. Woods had to take a penalty drop to get back in play and wound up making bogey.But it was solid enough that Woods was far more interested in the leaderboard than the fact he felt strong physically.“It was not only nice to get the first round out of the way, but also I’m only three shots out of the lead,” he said. “So to be able to put myself there after not playing for 10 months or so, it was nice to feel the adrenaline out there.”He was tied for eighth in the 18-man field of this holiday exhibition that awards world ranking points but does not count as official on any tour. Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar were at 67, while Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kevin Chappell were at 68.The buzz was back. Johnson noticed it when he was on the practice range and noticed a crowd around theputting green.ADVERTISEMENT “For me, I thought I did great,” Woods said with a smile.And in a sign that he was ready to get back into the mix, he was far from satisfied.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkUnlike a year ago, when Woods ended a 15-month hiatus from his ailing back, he didn’t show any fatigue at the end of his round or make any big numbers. His only regret was playing the par 5s at Albany Golf Club in 1-over par with two bogeys that stalled his momentum.Coming off a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 eighth, Woods hit a 3-wood that rolled up on the green and then down a slope about 30 feet from the pin. It took him four shots from there, starting with a chip that didn’t reach the green and his first expletive loud enough for television to pick up. View comments Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacsoncenter_img Tiger Woods prepares to hit from the second fairway at the Hero World Challenge golf tournament at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Dante Carrer)NASSAU, Bahamas — Tiger Woods looked a lot better in his return to golf than he did when he left.Playing for the first time since his fourth back surgery, Woods returned from a 10-month layoff with a 3-under 69 on a breezy Thursday in the Bahamas that left him three shots behind Tommy Fleetwood after the opening round of the Hero World Challenge.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson “Tiger must be there,” Johnson said. “Because there’s 40 people instead of four.”Golf Channel added an hour of coverage, and Twitter came alive with people curious about the latest return. That included Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors’ two-time MVP who played a Web.com Tour event in August. “The wait is over. The wait is over,” he tweeted .Michael Phelps said he was “pumped to be watching” Woods on TV again.This event doesn’t draw big crowds, but most of them were with Woods to see how he would fare in this latest comeback, this one from fusion surgery on his lower back on April 20. Given it was his fourth surgery in three years, coupled with a DUI arrest in the summer that exposed the struggles Woods was having with pain medicine, a day like this seemed a long way off.Woods said he appreciated the moment Thursday morning.“I was in my head thanking all the people who have helped me in giving me a chance to come back and play this round again,” he said. “There were a lot of people who were instrumental in my life — friends, outside people I’ve never met before, obviously my surgeon. I was very thankful.”And he was as competitive as always.Woods delivered his first fist pump on par-4 fourth hole when he scooped a chip that didn’t reach the green, and then holed an 18-foot par putt.While the field is short, the competition is strong with eight of the top in the world at Albany. Woodsrealizes they have spent the last couple of years playing at a high level that allows them to overcome a few mistakes.“I don’t want to lose shots,” Woods said. “I haven’t played in a very long time and I can’t afford to go out there and make a bunch of bogeys and know that I can make nine, 10 birdies and offset them.” Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Passenger volume spike at Araneta bus terminals PLAY LIST 02:43Passenger volume spike at Araneta bus terminals00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Russia signals rainbow flags tolerated at World Cup Along with his five birdies — only two of them were tap-ins — Woods had an assortment of tough par saves, including a 10-footer that kept him dropping another shot on a par 5 at No. 11. He finished his round with a belly wedge from short of the 17th green because of mud on his ball, and holing a 6-foot par putt on the 18th.A year ago, Woods made a pair of double bogeys over the last three holes for a 73 to finish nine shots behind. This time, he closed with pars and was three back.PGA champion Justin Thomas, who also opened with a 69 in the same pairing with Woods, is among those whohave played with him in recent weeks in Florida. Woods said he once played nine straight days.“It was what I saw when we played at home,” Thomas said. “Obviously, taking this much time off from competition is hard. I felt rusty starting after a month-and-a-half, so I can’t imagine what it felt like for him. But he played well.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more