Month: May 2019

Woods endures ‘mixed bag’ in trying week of play

Woods, who had plummeted to 125th on the world list before Florida tournament can at best hope to be 129th this week after an even-par 72 at TPC Sawgrass left him at three-over-par 291 on Sunday.

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“It was a mixed bag, pretty much all week,” Woods said.

“A lot of really, really good stuff out there, some mediocre and some bad. What did I have? Three sevens on the week. That’s not very good.

“That will get cleaned up over time but this golf course definitely exposes that,” he added. “You can be going along, playing fine, all of a sudden make a double here and it’s like, ‘What just happened.’”

The 14-time major winner showed both in his final round.

After trading a birdie and a bogey on the front nine, Woods rattled off three consecutive birdies to open the back side before a triple bogey seven on the 14th hole.

He hooked his tee shot into the water and later left a chip shot short.

The triple bogey was his first in the tournament, and it came a day after he notched two double bogeys on par fives for the first time in the same round.

He is headed for his worst finish in the PGA Tour’s flagship tournament, behind his tie for 39th in 2003. He withdrew twice, in 2010 and 2011.

“For the majority of the week, I hit my driver a lot better and definitely a lot further than I had been hitting it,” Woods said. “I just wasn’t as sharp with my irons. Normally I’m a pretty good iron player and I can get the ball in there tight. And I had a lot of clubs where I was 8-iron on down and I didn’t stiff them. That’s something I’ve got to do a little bit better.”

Woods is next due to play at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village starting on June 7, then the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in mid June.

“From what I hear, it’s a golf course we need to take a look at a few times,” he said.

(Editing by Gene Cherry)

Almost 500 Rohingya rescued off Indonesia

Rescuers have brought ashore 469 migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh after their wooden boat arrived off Aceh in northwest Indonesia.

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“We received a report from fishermen this morning that there were boat people stranded in the waters off north Aceh,” Aceh provincial search and rescue chief Budiawan told AFP.

“We despatched teams there and evacuated 469 migrants who are Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladeshis. There are women and children among them. So far, all of them are safe.”

He said the group would be taken to a detention centre in north Aceh district, where police and immigration officials would carry out “further processing” which would include investigating their motives.

Darsa, a disaster management agency official who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told AFP the group had arrived near a beach in north Aceh district early Sunday and were told to swim to shore.

“One of the migrants who could speak Malay told me that their agent had told them they were in Malaysia, and to swim to shore,” he said.

“Some of them did. But later they found out from fishermen that they were in Indonesia.”

According to the migrant, five boats had departed from Myanmar last week to escape the conflict in their country, Darsa said.

“He said the Muslims were beaten and had hot water poured on them and they just wanted to get out of Myanmar as soon as possible, to anywhere where they could seek refuge,” he said.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar views its population of roughly 800,000 Rohingya as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, and they have been targeted in outbreaks of sectarian violence there in recent years, prompting many to flee.

Darsa said there were 83 women and 41 children on board. One of the women was pregnant and some of the children were aged under 10.

“There was little food and water on the boat. Some of them were not doing too well and needed medical attention,” he said.

Sport News Update, what you need to know

AFL – There were watershed moments for very different reasons for two AFL clubs on Sunday, West Coast rising to second on the ladder after an upset win over Port Adelaide while Brisbane turned up the heat on Carlton coach Mick Malthouse by beating the Blues by nine points for their first win of the season.

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SOCCER – Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold insists the Sky Blues are the best team in the A-League heading into a mouth-watering grand final against arch-rivals Melbourne Victory after hammering Adelaide United 4-1 to set up a repeat of the 2010 grand final.

RUGBY LEAGUE – It was fullbacks to the fore as Brett Stewart and Billy Slater both produced scintillating doubles on Sunday to propel Manly and Melbourne to crucial NRL wins over Newcastle and Parramatta respectively.

TENNIS – Andy Murray has recorded his first-ever win over Rafael Nadal on clay, the Scot stretching his perfect season record on the surface to 9-0 by demolishing the Spaniard 6-3 6-2 to win the Madrid Masters final.

CYCLING – Australian Michael Matthews has taken the overall leader’s pink jersey after Italy’s Elia Viviani won a sprint finish for the second stage of the Giro d’Italia.

SOCCER – Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City sealed Queens Park Rangers’ relegation from the Premier League with a 6-0 victory, while Liverpool’s hopes of a Champions League place are all but over despite Steven Gerrard’s goal in a 1-1 draw with champions Chelsea.

MOTORSPORT – Nico Rosberg ended Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton’s winning streak by taking out the Spanish F1 Grand Prix, trimming the defending champion’s series lead to 20 points.

Raul Castro meets pope, says he might return to the Church

The 83-year-old younger brother of Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel spoke with the Argentine-born pope for nearly an hour – unusually long for a papal meeting – during a meeting the Vatican said was strictly private and not a state visit.

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Papal audiences on Sundays are extremely rare. Francis made an exception when Castro asked if he could stop in Rome on his way back from Moscow to thank Francis for the Vatican mediation between the United States and Cuba, Cuban officials said.

Leaving the meeting, Castro told reporters that he thanked the pope for the Vatican’s contribution to December’s historic resumption of diplomatic relations between the former foes after more than half a century of antagonism.

Later, at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Castro said he came out of the meeting with the pope “really impressed by his wisdom and his modesty”.

“When the pope comes to Cuba in September, I promise to go to all his Masses and I will be happy to do so,” he said, adding that he reads all of the speeches of Latin America’s first pope, who has made defence of the poor a major plank of his papacy.

“I told the prime minister if the pope continues to talk as he does, sooner or later I will start praying again and return to the Catholic Church, and I am not kidding,” he said.

Both of the Castro brothers were baptised as Catholics.

‘Jesuit in a certain sense’

Francis, who is due to visit both Cuba and the United States in September, is a member of the Jesuit religious order. Castro joked that “even I am a Jesuit in a certain sense” because he was educated by the Jesuits before the 1959 revolution.

The Church’s activities were suppressed for decades after the revolution. The government began loosening restrictions in the early 1990s. After the late Pope John Paul visited in 1998, Fidel Castro re-instated Christmas as a holiday.

The pope’s U.S. trip had been planned for some time before the Vatican announced last month that Francis would stop in Cuba on his way to Washington.

It will be the pope’s first visit to both countries as pontiff. His predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI, visited Cuba and met Fidel Castro.

Castro also said he was looking forward to Cuba being removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, due to take place at the end of this month, saying “We really should never have been on that list.”

Cuba was slowly “trying to move forward with perfecting our political, cultural and economic system,” he said, adding that it was “difficult because we do not want to take measures that hurt our people. We don’t want any shock measures. We don’t want anyone to be left on the streets.”