Lampas win national title; Jersey Blues take second

first_imgLampas win national title; Jersey Blues take second Brookdale tennis team perfect again in dual meets; win streak at 30 By tim morris Staff Writer Brookdale Community College’s men’s tennis team completed its finest season ever by finishing in a second-place tie at the Junior College National Championships. Winners of the Region XIX Tournament, the Jersey Blues had five finalists in Plaino, Texas, site of the national tournament. Brookdale scored 33 points, tying DuPage of Illinois for second behind 2002 champion Rock Valley, which is also from Illinois and which had 37 points. “All of our doubles teams made the finals,” noted Karpinski. “I’ve never seen that before.” It was the first doubles team of the Lampa brothers, Ron and Able, who brought home the Jersey Blues’ only national championship. To do so, the Lampas, who starred at Ocean Township High School before heading to Brookdale, had to rally from one set down to beat the No. 1-seeded team of Jason Girandin and Andre Stanig from Rock Valley. Girandin and Stanig looked like they wouldn’t break a sweat in winning the first doubles title when they won the first set 6-0. But the Lampas dug in and used the determination that makes them such successful singles players, and some sibling camaraderie, to their advantage and won the final two sets, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6), to capture the first doubles national championship. “That was the most exciting match I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching,” said Karpinski. “There were great exchanges at the net. There were no freebies; no point was given up. “Ron and Able are fiery competitors and play well together,” he added. The Lampas’ win allowed the Blues to catch DuPage and tie for second place. It was the second national championship won by sophomore Ron Lampa. He won the second singles title last year when the Blues placed third. BCC’s second doubles team of Jimmy Brennan and Leon Harary lost in straight sets to DuPage’s Chris Gainer and Gian Mura, 6-3, 6-3. Abe Saka and Ryan Krone lost at third doubles to Rock Valley’s Mike Cassata and Matt Palmer, 7-5, 7-5. It was not by accident that the Blues got all three of their doubles teams through to the finals. It is not only a tribute to the team’s talent but the fact that the Blues take it seriously. “We work hard on doubles,” said Karpinski. “We work on the fundamentals, doing drills on volleys and overheads.” Able Lampa and Brennan got to their respective singles finals as well, picking up very big points for the team. Able Lampa fell to Girandin in the second singles final, 6-4, 6-2, while Brennan lost at fifth singles to Rock Valley’s Palmer, 7-6, 6-1. “Able has a very strong game,” said Karpinski. “He has a big serve and solid groundstrokes. He hits the ball hard and is consistent. You don’t usually have that balance. “Jimmy Brennan is our elder statesman,” added Karpinski. “He’s in great shape and keeps the ball in play. He is a crafty player who outthinks his opponents.” All six of Brookdale’s players earned all-American honors by virtue of getting to the finals. “It was a really super, exciting tournament for us,” said Karpinski, who has twice led the Blues to a third-place finish at the nationals. “The guys proved that they can play with the best at their level.” Prior to tournament play, Brookdale won its third straight Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) title and ran its winning streak, which dates back to April 1999, to 30. The Blues rolled through the dual meet season with an 8-0 mark. They have now gone three seasons without a loss. The Blues will start the 2003 season with a lot of streaks on the line. In addition to the 30-dual match win streak, there are the three-straight Region and GSAC crowns, and two straight wins at the Hartford (Md.) Invitational.last_img read more

CBA cruises to a 14th straight county title

first_img BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer PHOTOS BY CHRIS KELLY staff Middletown South’s Dana Sacerdote competes in the 100 butterfly during the Monmouth County Championships at the Ocean County YMCA on Sunday. DOVER TOWNSHIP — The CBA boys swimming team has done it again. The Colts won their 14th straight Monmouth County title on Saturday on the heels of six first-place finishes at Saturday’s competition, held at the Ocean County YMCA. The Colts swept all three relays, and got individual wins from Chris Cefalo in the 200 free (1:48.85), Kelly McCarthy in the 100 fly (54.07), and Vinnie Tupper in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.65), to compile 423 team points, well ahead of second-place Rumson-Fair Haven (303). Holmdel was third with 237 points, their highest finish in the program’s history, followed by Freehold Township (166), Ocean (125), Red Bank Regional (122), Wall (113), RBC (104), Long Branch (96.5) and Monmouth Regional (91). Middletown North’s Jordan Crosby swims to a first-place finish in the 200 IM at Sunday’s county championships. The Colts’ first relay win of the day came in the 200 medley relay (1:44.55), where they held off Holmdel (1:48.83). The 200 freestyle relay was a bit closer with the Colts taking first with a time of 1:30.58, followed closely by Rumson (1:31.50). In the day’s final relay, CBA, which entered 30 swimmers on the day, touched the wall in 3:18.14, well ahead of second-place Rumson (3:20.51). While CBA managed to capture three individual championships, they also used a slew of top finishes to distance themselves from the upset-minded Bulldogs, including a pair of second-place finishes in the 200 IM (Tupper — 2:01:73) and 100 butterfly (Plaukoudas — 56.62). They also scored a third-place finish in the 50 freestyle (Brandon Grikas — 22.92), and two fourth-place finishes. Rumson’s valiant effort was led by J.C Rodenburg, whose two individual golds in the 50 free (22.60) and 100 (49.07) earned him the meet MVP award. He also split 21.53 and 48.2 in his anchor legs of the two freestyle relays, where the Bulldogs took second to CBA. RFH’s Shawn Matthews also had a strong day for the Bulldogs, winning the 500 freestyle in a time of 5:01.62, and finishing second in the 200 free (1:51.80) behind CBA’s Cefalo. Among the other Rumson swimmers to contribute were Phil Rheders (third, 100 butterfly — 57.15, and fifth, 200 IM — 2:07.81) and Pavel Milke (fourth, 50 freestyle — 23.17, and fifth, 100 free — 51.84). Holmdel’s 200 medley relay team of Brian Malcolm, Keith Timko, Stephen Chien and Darius Dehnand took second behind CBA, posting a school record time of 1:48.83. The Hornets also had strong individual showings from Brendon Jones (second, 500 freestyle — 5:02.90) and fourth, 200 free — 1:54.57), and Dehnand (third, 100 breaststroke — 1:06.87). RBC girls dominate once again The Red Bank Catholic girls swam away with their fourth straight county title on Sunday, on the heels of a pair of relay wins and a pair of individual titles. RBC senior Bridgette Pegler led the way for the Caseys, winning the 200 freestyle and taking part in the squad’s wins in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. She was joined by freshman Christina Dimaria, who won the 500 freestyle (5:22.00), followed closely by her teammate Caroline Faughnan (5:29.59), a sophomore. The Caseys’ relay wins came in the 200 medley relay, where the quartet of Pegler, Meryl Wimberley Aly Jensen and Ivy Wimberley scorched the field in 1:55.98, and the 400 freestyle relay, where Pegler, Lauren Pfeifer, Aubrey Cefalo and Faughnan won in 3:48.90. Rumson-Fair Haven was second in both events. While the four gold medals were the highlight of the meet for the Caseys, the RBC girls grabbed top finishes throughout the day, accumulating 18 top-eight finishes in the eight-event meet. Among those to capture second-place finishes for the Caseys were Pegler (100 free — 56.11) and Faughnan (500 free — 5:29.29). Ivy Wimberley added a third-place finish in the 100 butterfly (1:02.92), while Pfeifer took third in the 100 back (1:10.69). Rumson and Ocean tied for second in the team standings with 223 points, with Holmdel in fourth with 182 points. Rumson’s effort was keyed by Paige Bissett’s win in the 100 back (1:00.84) and Lesley Pringle’s win in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.73). The Bulldogs also got strong finishes from Bissett in the 200 IM (second — 2:18.82), and Pringle in the 50 free (second — 25.71). Ocean was led by its 200 freestyle relay team of Lauryn Stengel, Katie English, Allyson Weincofsky, and Holly Biro, who won in 1:44.44. The Spartans also finished well in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, finishing in third and fifth, respectively, and got a third-place finish in the 50 free (25.81) from Weincofsky. That race was won by Holmdel’s Katie Miller, who won by a full body length in resetting the county mark at 23.95. She then came back to win the 100 free, missing the county mark by just .04 seconds, to earn the meet’s MVP award. Holmdel also got a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay (1:45.66) and a fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:58.98). Middletown North took eighth overall with 109 points, led by Jordan Crosby, who won both the 200 IM (2:14.13) and the 100 butterfly (1:00.85). BY DOUG McKENZIEStaff Writer last_img read more

Sports Shorts

first_imgSports Shorts The Bayshore Bulldogs captured the boys 10U state AAU Division II basketball championship with a 41-33 win over the Elizabeth Giants on May 9. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter, led by the scoring of Alex Cohen of Rumson, who scored six of his team-high 10 points in the first quarter, and the relentless defense of Jack Donnelly of Rumson (six points, eight steals). The Giants surged in the second quarter and closed the gap to just four points at halftime. Robbie Esser of Belford provided a spark off the bench, scoring a critical three points in the second quarter, which helped preserve the Bulldogs’ lead. The Giants continued their surge in the third quarter, when they took the lead and held it until midway through the fourth quarter. Adrian D’Averso of West Long Branch scored six of his eight points in the third quarter to help keep the Giants’ lead to a point or two heading into the fourth. In the fourth quarter, Bryan Morris of Tinton Falls and Danny Tartaglia of Middletown provided a defensive spark, holding the Giants to just one basket in the fourth quarter, which helped the Bulldogs put together a strong closing run. Tim Rhatigan of Belford ignited the Bulldogs offense, scoring five of his nine points in the fourth quarter, and J.R. Hobbie of Spring Lake (five points) scored on a tough drive down the lane late to help put the game out of reach. The Bulldogs were coached by Matt Donnelly and Tom Rhatigan Hazlet Recreation will sponsor a football camp July 1-15 at a cost of $90. This is a noncontact camp, stressing fundamental skills and drills. The program is for ages 6-15 and will be directed by Bob Generelli. The camp will be held at Raritan High School, Hazlet, from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants must bring cleats and sneakers. Physicals are required. Registration may be done by mail or at the Cullen Center, 1776 Union Ave. Hazlet; cash or money order only. There is a $15 late fee for registrations taken after July 9. Racers are needed to compete in Keyport’s Weekend of Wheels Soapbox Derby to be held on Saturday, July 31, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Applications and information can be downloaded at the Web site The U16 fall girls Middletown Comets are looking for skilled, motivated players to expand the team for fall 2004 tournaments and spring 2005 MOSA league play. Please contact coach Mark Cummings at (732) 291-9336, e-mail, or coach Anthony Bonfiglio at (732) 615-9430, e-mail, for details or to attend a team workout/practice. The Be the Best You Can Be Championship Football Camp will be held July 12-15 at St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, under the direction of head football coach John Amabile. The camp is a noncontact camp for boys in grades 5-8. The philosophy of the camp is to improve their basic skills and learn the fundamental techniques of playing sound but safe football. For more information, go to the Web site or contact coach Amabile at (732) 449-3953.last_img read more

North hockey trying to make state playoffs

first_imgBY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer Though the Middletown High School North ice hockey team’s record is 5-6, there have been several bright spots thus far for the Lions as they seek to secure a berth in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Ice Hockey League tournament. Coach Neil Leone’s team won the Montclair Christmas Tournament over the holiday break, coming from behind to score five third-period goals to secure a 6- 3 win over Brick and then defeating the host team in the finale. “We’re a pretty young team, and we’ve been up and down and just not very consistent,” the coach said. “When we scored five in the third to beat Brick, our guys didn’t even look like the same team that had played the first two periods. That inconsistency has been frustrating.” Days after downing Brick in the tournament, the Lions met the Green Dragons in a regular-season game and lost a 4-2 decision. On the positive side, Middletown North has also won games against St. Rose, West Milford and Middletown South. “I’m trying to be realistic about our goals because this is a young team, but I do believe we can qualify for the state tournament,” Leone added. “I’d also like to win the Mayor’s Trophy (against Middletown South on Feb. 15) and qualify for the Shore Conference Tournament.” To qualify for the state tourney, teams must have a .500 or better record at the end of play on Feb. 11. The Shore Conference has not yet announced eligibility requirements for its tournament, though Leone said he expects an announcement in the near future. This is the first year the Shore has competed as a conference, and the Lions are in the Class A North division. Middletown North’s success has been fueled by the strong play of captain Rich Meyer, a defenseman who leads the team with 10 goals and also has five assists. Meyer, a junior, was named the MVP of the Montclair tourney. Now in his third varsity campaign, Meyer is the Lions’ steadiest player, Leone said. Other key contributors include junior forwards Brian Kirk and Joe Vega. Kirk has nine goals and six assists, while Vega has contributed eight goals. Another junior, Dan Wrensen, has played well in eight games and has served as an inspiration to his teammates after he recovered from a broken neck he suffered in a bicycle accident. Wrensen picked up his first goal in the Montclair tournament. Leone noted that hard-working senior forward Walter Heid is playing well and providing good leadership in his third varsity season. Heid has a pair of goals to go with six assists. Another plus has been the play of forward Dan Reno, one of several sophomores on the team. Reno, who played for the junior varsity a year ago, has six goals and three assists to his credit. In goal, senior Shane Hall has performed well in posting a 3-3 record. Hall shares work between the pipes with sophomore Chris Brown, who moved up from the JV. Brown is 2-3 in seven games and was in the net for the Lions in both of their victories in the Montclair Tournament. “Our guys are doing a lot of things right, and 95 percent of them will be back next year,” Leone said. “Right now we just need to get them to put it all together more often.” The Lions, who were slated to visit Toms River East on Monday, will be at Princeton this afternoon and will visit Red Bank Regional on Saturday.last_img read more

Mid South bowlers repeat as B North champs

first_imgBY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer The Middletown High School South boys bowling team heads into the NJSIAA tournament sporting a 35- 10 mark to go along with its second successive Shore Conference Class B North championship. The Eagles soared averaging a team record 200 pins per player and freshman Tyler Yakow emerged as a prominent force in the anchor slot where he averaged 211 pins, tops in the conference. Middletown South set another team record by scoring 3,215 pins in a victory against Long Branch. The Eagles also set an individual game made of 1,126 pins. “This team was just so consistent week in and week out,” fifth-year coach Brian Rasp said. “Knowing that I could count on 1,000 pins every game is a real plus and it gives the guys a lot confidence.” Although a Group III school, Middletown South will compete against Group IV schools in the state tourney, which will be held later this month at the Brunswick Zone Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick. Included in the field will be Woodbridge, Sayreville and St. Joe’s. Rasp said that the top 25 percent of Group III schools will compete in the Group IV competition. “That’s a tough division and we’ll have our work cut out for us, but we have an excellent team and we may just shock some people,” he added.With three of the top five bowlers in the ShoreConference, theEagles should certainlymake theirmark in the state tourney. Yakow ended the campaign with a 225 in his final game against Shore Regional to win high-pin title for the conference. Heading into the last frame, Yakow needed a double plus three, and he surpassed that mark.As a result of his strong campaign, the freshman, who also rolled a 707 series, will represent B North in the Shore Conference individual tourney. Three seniors: Mark Spoleti, Andrew Rendelson and Justin Guy hold down the two through four slots in the Eagles lineup. Spoletti averaged 205 pins and at one point rolled 13 consecutive strikes over two games. He also has a 704 series to his credit. Rendelson and Guy, both in their fourth varsity season, averaged 201 pins apiece, withRendelson posting the best single game score of the Eagles season, 278 pins. A pair of sophomores, Ronnie Leppel- Walsh and Chris Pattwell split time at the number five spot. Leppel-Walsh has a 700 series and ended the regular season with a 204-pin average over 28 games. Pattwell meanwhile competed in 25 games and averaged 201 pins per outing. “It’s hard for me to point to any one highlight over the season because we were so consistent as a team,” Rasp said. “This is a great group of kids and they work very well together.” Middletown South’s other accomplishments include a second-place finish at Keyport’s Red Raider Holiday Tournament, as well as a 10th place finish at the Brick tourney. In addition, Leppel-Walsh and Pattwell, combined with three freshmen, Nick Dunn, Thomas Henry and Kevin Kelly to win a junior varsity tournament hosted by Jackson. The fivesome averaged 195 pins en route to victory. “We have some very talented young bowlers and they performed well when they did get into the lineup,” Rasp said. “So we’ll be in good shape for the next few years.” Rasp’s immediate focus, however, is on the Shore Conference Tournament, which begins Feb 11 at Sea Girt Lanes. The Eagles were also slated to compete yesterday in the Monmouth County Championship at Howell Lanes.last_img read more

Basketball league is off and running

first_imgBY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer Matt Russo attempts to make a shot during a Crazy Johnny Memorial Basketball League game Friday. ERIC SUCAR staff The Crazy Johnny Memorial Basketball League began its summer 2011 season last weekend with Crazy Johnny’s getting off to a 2-0 start.Doubleheader games were played Friday and Saturday evenings. Friday, due to weather concerns, games were played indoors at St. Catherine’s Church in Middletown, and games on Saturday were at Wallow Park in Port Monmouth.The league has high school players from Middletown and the Bayshore area participating.The Springsteen Shooters started the season off with a 45-33 victory over the Thunder Road Magic in the first game. Mike Moore and Mark Lezynski led the Shooters with 15 points each while Matt Russo topped the Magic with13.In the second game of Friday night’s action, Crazy Johnny’s beat the E Street Ballers, 53-33, with Jepi Tonnuzi leading a balanced Crazy Johnny’s attack with 12. E Street’s John Dini led all scorers with 15. On Saturday, Van Zan Jam beat the Thunder Road Magic, 65-45, behind Steven Goldstein’s 17 points. Russo again led the Magic with 9.Crazy Johnny’s ran its record to 2-0 with a 57-41 win over the Springsteen Shooters. James Cochran pulled down 15 rebounds for the Johnny’s.Goldstein was named Player of the Week for the first weekend of play, and Sportsmanship awards went to Tony Pryseno of Crazy Johnny’s, Russo of the Magic, Moore from the Shooters, and E Street’s Dini.Play continues this Friday and Saturday with doubleheaders that begin at 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. As long as the weather holds up, games are at Wallow Park.Games will be played Friday and Saturday evenings through the summer, ending on Aug. 12.last_img read more

36th annual Belmar 5-mile run to fill borough’s streets

first_imgRunners will take over the streets of Belmar on the morning of July 14. The borough and the Goodwill Hose Fire Co., in collaboration with the Jersey Shore Running Club, will present the 36th annual Belmar 5-Mile Run with a starting time of 8:30 a.m.With its longevity, the race owns a distinct history as one of the most popular road races in the Shore area. The course is flat and fast, which is good for setting personal bests. It attracts runners of all levels. Last year’s race attracted a field of 3,000 runners.James Gathoga of Newark won last year’s race in a time of 25:36. The women’s winner was Noel Brock of Toms River in 28:38. It was a repeat win for both runners, who could be going for three straight victories if they line up on July 14. More than $2,300 in prize money will be offered to the overall race winners and age group winners.The race has been held in memory of longtime Belmar resident Johnny Cobb since 2002. In addition to being an originator of the race, Cobb had a 25-year career with the Belmar Police Department and was a member of the Belmar Fire Department. He is a graduate and supporter of St. Rose School and he has promoted local sports all of his life.The 5-mile run is just part of the festivities that will begin on the evening of July 13, when the popular Community Fitness Walk and Kids’ Race will take place. After those events, there will be a free family movie followed by fireworks on the beach. All events will be held in Belmar.The Jersey Shore Running Club is dedicated to helping local charitable organizations in promoting a healthy lifestyle through running and walking, and the Goodwill Hose Fire Co. is a volunteer organization dedicated to helping the community.The Belmar 5-Mile Run is made possible due to annual help from the Belmar public works, recreation, fire and first aid departments and the police departments of Belmar, Spring Lake and Lake Como, as well as through continued support from the borough of Belmar and its residents, according to a press release.Participants in the 5-mile run are treated to refreshments after the race and a health and vendor fair in Silver Lake Park.In addition, the runners’ random prize drawing, which includes free beach passes and other donated prizes, will take place during the awards ceremony. There will be a free party with music at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como following the run.The goal for this year’s event is to attract 3,500 participants.The Belmar 5-Mile Run is the third stop on the Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix, which is sponsored by McLoone’s. The five-race series offers awards and prize money to overall winners and winners from various age groups.The series began with the Spring Lake Five onMay 26 and the George Sheehan Classic on June 16. Following the Belmar race, the final two events are theAsbury Park 5K on Aug. 11 and the Pier House 5K in Long Branch on Sept. 3. Additional information on this series can be found at for the Belmar 5-Mile Run is ongoing. For locations and race information, visit or call 732-571-2162.last_img read more

U.S. Open Men’s Singles Round 1 Results

first_imgU.S. Open Men’s Singles Round 1 matches on Wednesday Ivo Karlovic (Croatia) beat James Blake (U.S.) 6-7(2) 3-6 6-4 7-6(2) 7-6(2)Alex Bogomolov Jr (Russia) beat 24-Benoit Paire (France) 7-5 2-6 6-4 5-7 7-6(5)3-Andy Murray (Britain) beat Michael Llodra (France) 6-2 6-4 6-3Leonardo Mayer (Argentina) beat Victor Hanescu (Romania) 7-6(4) 6-4 3-6 7-6(4)Marcel Granollers (Spain) beat Juergen Zopp (Estonia) 6-1 3-6 1-6 6-3 6-49-Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) beat Radek Stepanek (Czech Republic) 7-6(2) 6-3 6-2Rajeev Ram (U.S.) beat 16-Fabio Fognini (Italy) 6-1 6-2 6-2Evgeny Donskoy (Russia) beat 29-Jurgen Melzer (Austria) 7-5 6-3 7-6(3)Lleyton Hewitt (Australia) beat Brian Baker (U.S.) 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-46-Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina) beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Spain) 6-3 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(7)Peter Gojowczyk (Germany) beat Igor Sijsling (Netherlands) 7-6(7) 2-6 6-4 6-120-Andreas Seppi (Italy) beat Xavier Malisse (Belgium) 6-3 3-6 7-5 7-5Tim Smyczek (U.S.) beat James Duckworth (Australia) 3-6 6-2 6-4 6-1Somdev Devvarman (India) beat Lukas Lacko (Slovakia) 4-6 6-1 6-2 4-6 6-4Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukraine) beat David Goffin (Belgium) 6-2 6-4 6-421-Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) beat Nicolas Mahut (France) 6-4 6-4 7-6(4)17-Kevin Anderson (South Africa) beat Daniel Brands (Germany) 7-5 4-6 6-2 6-3Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus) beat Go Soeda (Japan) 6-4 6-3 6-1last_img read more

Johnson turns tables on Spieth while Woods slumps at Open

first_imgBy Tony JimenezDustin Johnson sounded an ominous warning to grand slam-chasing Jordan Spieth by outmuscling the youngster to power his way to the top of the leaderboard in the Open Championship first round at St Andrews on Thursday.The 31-year-old Johnson gave an object lesson in big hitting as he bulldozed his way to a pacesetting seven-under-par 65 in becalmed early weather conditions at the iconic Fife links.Sharing second place on 66 are fellow Americans Zach Johnson and Robert Streb, South African Retief Goosen, 1999 champion Paul Lawrie of Scotland, England’s Danny Willett and Jason Day of Australia.Spieth, bidding to add golf’s oldest major to his wins at this year’s US Masters and US Open, tucked in two strokes behind countryman and playing partner Dustin Johnson but is all too well aware of the size of the task that could lie ahead.“If DJ keeps driving it the way he is I’m going to have to play my best golf to have a chance,” the 21-year-old Texan told reporters.“It’s hard to argue with somebody who is splitting bunkers at about 380 yards and two-putting for birdie on five or six of the holes when there are only two par-fives on the course.“I don’t have that in the bag so I’ve got to make up for it with ball-striking.”While Johnson and Spieth were showing off their dazzling skills, former world number one and twice St Andrews champion Tiger Woods looked a pale imitation of his old self as he slumped to a sad four-over 76.The 14-time major winner made a wretched start when he dunked his approach into the Swilcan Burn on the first hole and that set the tone for a litany of errant strokes.“The guys have been shooting good numbers, unfortunately I did not do that,” said Woods.“Hopefully the conditions will be tough tomorrow and I can put together a good round and move up the board.”Woods’ prayers may well be answered as the forecast for Friday’s second round is for high winds and heavy rain.Johnson, who suffered US Open heartbreak last month when he missed his eagle effort for victory at the final hole and eventually three-putted, turned the tables on Spieth yesterday but this was no grudge match.“We are good buddies and we like playing with each other,” said Johnson. “We had a lot of fun out there.“This venue here is one of my favourite Opens. I really like the golf course and I think it sets up well for me.”The contrast in styles was stark as world number four Johnson belted a series of booming tee shots while second-ranked Spieth relied on strategy, deadly accurate approaches and a magical touch with the putter.The youngster gave an early statement of his intent by ramming in a six-foot birdie putt at the first.Spieth, looking dapper in a grey sweater and white trousers, continued to play smart golf and added another birdie at the second.The American whizzkid, trying to emulate compatriot Ben Hogan who won the year’s first three majors in 1953, showed he was human by missing from eight feet at the third before bouncing back with a birdie hat-trick from the fifth.Spieth picked up another shot at the 11th but needed to caress a curling 20-foot birdie putt into the cup at the last to recover from dropped strokes at the 13th and 17th.He and Johnson had the advantage of playing early in the day when the weather conditions were ideal for scoring.The winds started to gust between 18 and 20 miles per hour for the late starters but it did not seem to bother Willett or Zach Johnson as the pair shot up the leaderboard.last_img read more

Di Maria’s United future still uncertain, Valdes to be sold after ‘refusing to play’

first_imgBy Greg Stutchbury and Alan BaldwinManchester United manager Louis van Gaal has done little to dampen speculation that Argentine winger Angel Di Maria could leave the club, a year after moving to Old Trafford for a British record transfer fee.British media have reported that Di Maria, who joined United for £59.7 million last year, is a target for French club Paris Saint Germain and that his wife is unhappy living in the northwest of England.Van Gaal, while keen to keep the 27-year-old, was unsure if he would stay.“We shall see,” the Dutchman told reporters in Seattle when asked whether he expected Di Maria to be with the club for the next English Premier League season.“In football it’s a process and I have said that many times. It’s not clear in one day. It’s a process for Di Maria, for United and we shall see.“For now he’s still a member of United and he has told me he shall come on 25 July.”Di Maria played for Argentina in the recently completed Copa America and was given permission to join the club’s pre-season tour of North America later this month.United will sell goalkeeper Victor Valdes after the Spaniard refused to play in the reserves, Van Gaal also said.The manager made clear 33-year-old Valdes was on his way out after only six months at the Premier League club.“He doesn’t follow our philosophy. There is no place for someone like that,” said the Dutchman. “The philosophy is how you play football, and how you maintain your match rhythm.“For example, he refused last season to play in the second team. That’s also one aspect of our philosophy but there are a lot of other aspects in the philosophy of how you have to play like a goalkeeper in Manchester United.“When you are not willing to follow the principles of the philosophy, then there is only one way and that is out,” continued Van Gaal.Asked directly if he was selling the player, the manager replied: “Yes. For us it is a big disappointment because we thought he would follow our philosophy.“When you are not playing in the first selection, then you must play in the second selection. Every player has to do that and he refused to do that.”Van Gaal had said in February, a month after Valdes joined United on an 18-month contract from Barcelona, that the Spaniard must earn his spurs with the reserves before he could be considered for a full first-team debut.Valdes, who was a surprise omission from United’s squad for the tour, failed to displace incumbent David de Gea, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid and whose contract expires at the end of next season.last_img read more