National: Canadian Press

Westwood, McDowell Share First-Round Lead at Malaysian Open

Last Updated on Friday, 06 February 2015 05:42 Friday, 06 February 2015 05:35

Lee WestwoodCanadian Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (James Dampney/AP) — Defending champion Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell both shot a 6-under 66 to share the lead after the first round of the Malaysian Open.

Westwood won by seven shots here last year and again thrived at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, mixing seven birdies with one bogey. Former U.S. Open champion McDowell then joined his Ryder Cup teammate in the lead as both took advantage of the easier morning conditions on a hot and blustery day in Kuala Lumpur.

Westwood finished 2014 with a victory in the Thailand Golf Championship and then tied for ninth at last week’s Dubai Desert Classic.

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Finchem: Players Eligible for Olympics in May 2016 Must Be Available for Drug Testing

Last Updated on Friday, 06 February 2015 02:17 Friday, 06 February 2015 02:14

Tim FinchemCanadian Press

SAN DIEGO, California (AP) — The more stringent process of Olympic drug testing will start May 6, 2016, for players who might be eligible for the U.S. team. PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said any player who would be eligible on May 6 will have to make themselves available for testing at any time. That process was developed by the International Golf Federation and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

A country can have as many as four players at the 2016 games — the first time golf is in the Olympics since 1904 — provided they are within the top 15 in the world ranking. Otherwise, countries can have no more than two players.

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Mickelson Thinks Woods Will Have ‘Last Laugh’

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 February 2015 20:01 Wednesday, 04 February 2015 19:56

Tiger WoodsCanadian Press

SAN DIEGO, California (Doug Ferguson/AP) — One player not concerned about Tiger Woods and his golf game is his longest rival — Phil Mickelson.

Woods is coming off the worst score of his PGA Tour career — 82 — last week in the Phoenix Open. He missed the cut by 12 shots, and it was the first time in his career that he missed the cut in two straight tour events, though they were played six months apart. Most disconcerting was how badly his short game looked.

With analysis on overdrive, the immediate chatter has shifted from whether Woods will match the Jack Nicklaus record of 18 majors (Woods has 14) to whether he can win three more regular PGA Tour events and match the record 82 won by Sam Snead.

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Tiger Already Thinking About Augusta

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 February 2015 19:56 Wednesday, 04 February 2015 19:46

Tiger WoodsCanadian Press

SAN DIEGO, California (Doug Ferguson/AP) — The tournament that Tiger Woods used to dominate now feels more like a big practice ground with splendid views of the Pacific.

Woods always says he doesn’t enter a tournament unless he thinks he can win, and he has done that 79 times on the PGA Tour. There was nothing Wednesday to suggest he felt any differently at Torrey Pines, even though he is coming off an 82 at the Phoenix Open, the highest score of his career.

But while he is playing at Torrey Pines, where he is an eight-time winner as a pro, his mind was clearly on the Masters.

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McIlroy and Former Agent Seek Out-of-Court Settlement

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 February 2015 02:43 Wednesday, 04 February 2015 02:35

Rory McIlroyCanadian Press

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) — Rory McIlroy and his lawyers held negotiations with his former agent Tuesday in a bid to reach a settlement in their multi-million-dollar court case.

The two sides met for five hours at the High Court complex in Dublin, and the case was adjourned until Wednesday morning.

The top-ranked golfer is suing Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management and its leading agent, Conor Ridge, claiming he was misled into signing a contract with the company. McIlroy initiated the case in 2013.

Judge Brian Cregan said progress had been made between the two sides Tuesday and he agreed to allow further last-minute talks to try to avoid a long and costly trial. The case had been expected to last eight weeks.

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