Make or break as MotoGP™ eSport returns for Global Series Round 3 #SootinClaimon.Com

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Make or break as MotoGP™ eSport returns for Global Series Round 3

Oct 27. 2020

 The season is moving into its critical phase. Can anyone put an end to the dominance of Williams_Adrian in Round 3 of the MotoGP™ eSport Championship?

The ever-growing MotoGP™ eSport Championship is passing into its crucial phase in 2020 as eleven finalists prepare for a late-season attack in the third round of the Global Series, due to kick off this Friday 30th October. Eleven competitors from around the world qualified to compete in the all-important Global Series, a four-round, eight-race championship that determines who walks away with the 2020 MotoGP™ eSport crown. 

In previous seasons experienced names such as 2017 and 2018 Champion trastevere73 and reigning Champion AndrewZH have grabbed the glory, but 2020 is showing there is a new sheriff in town to challenge the old guard: Williams_Adrian.

MotoGP™ teams and manufacturers are placing a greater emphasis on the MotoGP™ eSport Championship than ever. As such, each finalist will represent a current MotoGP™ team, meaning factory pride is at stake!

They will continue fighting it out for the crown. Along with the honour of victory, there are some incredible prizes at stake: first place takes home a BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupé, second an Aprilia RS 125 GP replica and third a new Lenovo Legion Y740 Laptop – and there are Red Bull and MotoGP™ VIP Experiences up for grabs too, as well as a pole position prize from partner TISSOT. 

So far Williams_Adrian has proved himself to be the class of the 2020 field, winning three races from four and finishing second on the other occasion. The fourth race of the year did give the rest a glimmer of a chance as Williams_Cristian, brother of the current leader, claimed a timely victory to place him second in the standings, 29 points in arrears. There is a great deal of work to be done for experienced names trastevere73 (third overall, 34 points back) and AndrewZH (fifth, 51 behind), who endured a nightmare fourth race at Sepang, if they want to haul themselves back into title contention! 

Due to the restrictions placed on the MotoGP™ paddock during the global pandemic, eSport races can no longer be held on site. Finalists will be competing from home on Friday 30th October at 16:00 (GMT+1). As ever, they’ll be race with the new official MotoGP™20 Videogame from videogame developer, publisher and longstanding partner Milestone, with both race direction and the event powered by Lenovo Legion PCs. 

The eleven finalists will race the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on the Italian Riviera in the first encounter and Australia’s awesome Phillip Island, the jewel in the MotoGP™ calendar, for the second. Both will be held over ten laps.

Cantlay secures thrilling win #SootinClaimon.Com

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Cantlay secures thrilling win

Oct 26. 2020Patrick Cantlay (Credit to Getty Images)Patrick Cantlay (Credit to Getty Images) Patrick Cantlay overcame an overnight three-shot deficit to win the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD by a single stroke on Sunday, beating World No. 2 Jon Rahm and third-ranked Justin Thomas.

 The 28-year-old American fired a final round of 7-under 65 at Sherwood Country Club to claim his third PGA TOUR victory with his 23-under 265 aggregate. He picked up US$1.44 million and 500 FedExCup points which pushed him up to second place on the latest standings.

 Overnight leader Thomas settled for joint runner-up place after a 69 as he paid dearly for some uncharacteristic errors on the back nine which cost him a chance of winning a 14th win while Rahm also finished one shy, missing a 19 feet birdie on the last to force a playoff in the US$8 million tournament which moved from its home base in Japan to the U.S. this year due to COVID-19.

 Cantlay, a former world amateur No. 1 and grew up California, turned in 32 before enjoying a run of four birdies over a five-hole stretch on the back nine which saw him seize control of the tournament. A bogey on 16 – he made only two all week – left the door ajar for Rahm and Thomas but he prevailed in the end.

 “It just kind of all came together every day,” said Cantlay, who made nine birdies in the final round to tie his career best. “I knew I had to go out and make a bunch of birdies. And today was actually the only day I made a bogey, but offset it with enough birdies. I just had a really aggressive mentality from the start. I made a couple good swings early, so after feeling comfortable with my swing and distance control, it felt like it was off to the races and see how many putts I could make.

 “I think it’s (winning) just validation of all the hard work. I put in a lot of work and try to do the right things all the time, so when it all does come together, it’s really rewarding.”

 With the tournament on the line, Cantlay, who returned into the world’s top-10 at ninth position, said his last birdie at Sherwood on the par 3, 15th hole was crucial. He took dead aim at the flag with a 7 iron which nearly bounced into the cup before subsequently stroking home a 10-footer for birdie which kept him ahead of Rahm and Thomas.

 “The iron shot on 15, that’s a hard hole and to make a birdie there was definitely getting some back on the guys. There couldn’t have been that many birdies there and it was just one of those swings where you make the swing exactly how you picture it in your head,” said Cantlay.

 After playing the back nine at Sherwood in 15-under during the first three rounds, Thomas was disappointed with his even par effort on his inward nine, which features three par 5s, on Sunday. He dropped a bogey on 15with a tee shot that ended in the penalty area and found trouble again on the par 5, 16th hole with a pushed iron approach shot that cost him a penalty stroke which he subsequently made par. Thomas had made eagle, birdie, birdie on 16 in the first three days.

 “I just didn’t play very well. It’s unfortunate because I feel like I usually could have shot 5-under out there. To play the par 5s in one under is just unacceptable. I fought like hell, I fought as hard as I could, I just didn’t have my best stuff,” said the 27-year-old Thomas, who won three times in the previous season to finish second on the FedExCup standings.

 “I think if I birdie 16, I win the golf tournament. I’ve kind of been struggling with leaving the face open. There’s no excuses other than just poor execution. It just sucks when you’re right there and you don’t get it done. It’s crazy, but sometimes it’s hard to just kind of keep the killer instinct and stay in the zone when it’s as quiet as it is out there.”

 Rahm also missed an opportunity to regain the World No. 1 ranking which he needed a solo second or better finish this week. The Spaniard had birdie looks on 17 and 18 to tie Cantlay but agonisingly missed both opportunities.

 “It is what it is. I thought the one on 17 was in the whole way and at the end it just stayed right, didn’t break,” said Rahm, who won twice in the previous season. “I can go all the way back to the first hole of the tournament where I missed a three footer for birdie on 10 to start the tournament, so I can pick easily one shot I could have done better. But it’s just golf. I can tell you none of us are happy. It’s upsetting,” he said.

 “It was a tough day out there and I still shot 5 under. I know it’s easy to complain and to be picky because we’re professionals and we expect a lot of ourselves, but still a good round of golf. Patrick just played better.”

 Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama closed with a 66 to finish as the best Japanese amongst the eight in the elite field in tied 28th place while defending champion Tiger Woods closed with a 74 to end the week in tied 72nd position.

McDonald gifted with first LPGA title #SootinClaimon.Com

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McDonald gifted with first LPGA title

Oct 26. 2020

 Ariya finishes with her best position of the season.

Ally McDonald, on her 28th birthday, headed off the 18th green after the final round at Reynolds Lake Oconee to champagne showers from friends and family after becoming a Rolex First-Time winner on the LPGA Tour at -16. The four-year Tour player said she was proud of the resiliency she showed through the final holes to win by one stroke over five-time LPGA Tour winner Danielle Kang.

“I’ve never doubted my ability, but I’ve definitely questioned whether I would be able to win out here. It’s really hard to win out here,” said McDonald. “So I’ve just really hung in there and tried to stick to my process since day one. That was able to get me in the winner’s circle today. I’m really thankful.”

McDonald started the day alongside rookie Bianca Pagdanganan and Kang in the final grouping, with Kang carding the first birdie of the group at No. 2 to gain a stroke on the leader. McDonald answered with a birdie of her own at No. 4, to which she credits as the momentum-starter for her day. The Mississippi State alum would then par the rest of her front nine, as Kang bogeyed No. 5 and birdied No. 4 to make the turn two shots back.

McDonald would then stick it to 15 feet on the par-4 10th to make her first of three consecutive birdies through No. 12, despite not feeling too confident on the approach shot on No. 11. “I didn’t hit that great of a shot on 11. I feel like I executed my game plan, but we didn’t carry it far enough for it to take that slope down,” said McDonald. “That was definitely not a putt that I was looking to make. It was just one that I was trying to nestle down to the hole, but executed great speed, great line, and just so happened to go in.”

Kang would inch back into the picture with birdies on No. 11, 13 and 14 to get to -15 heading into No. 15, one back of McDonald at -16. But a bogey at No. 15 set her back as McDonald’s nine-foot birdie putt dropped on No. 16. Though she bogeyed the next at No. 17, McDonald said she never lost touch with her initial game plan, and knew she had to finish strong by taking it “one shot at a time.”

“I didn’t really panic just because I knew — I thought I hit a really good putt on my first putt. Just carried a little bit too much speed and kind of power lipped out,” said McDonald. “Yeah, like I said, I didn’t really know where I stood, but I thought I might have had a couple clear. So I just went back to my game plan with executing my routine.”

It came down to the 18th hole, as Kang’s eagle chance almost landed in the hole, went out three feet and spun back, barely missing the cup as it grazed the lip. Kang ultimately putted for birdie, finishing in solo second at -15. After her par putt dropped, McDonald, emotions aflutter, felt relieved.

“It’s very fulfilling for me to finally get that victory. I won’t say over the hump or anything like that because it’s really hard to win out here,” said McDonald. “I’m just going to continue working really hard and try to even get No. 2 after this one. But I’ll definitely soak this in. I’m just really grateful and blessed that I play on the LPGA Tour and am able to do what I love to do every single day.”

Pagdanganan, in the first final grouping of her young Tour career, parred the first 16 holes as the battle between McDonald and Kang raged on, closing with two birdies on her the final holes to finish -14 in solo third. After a final-round 67, Mina Harigae ended in a tie for fourth, her second top-10 result in the last three events, with Carlota Ciganda, at -13.

“I feel great. I was hitting it really well this week, my driver especially. I think I only missed a couple fairways all week,” said Harigae, who only missed two fairways this week in Greensboro. “I wish I made a little more putts on the first day, but they came together the rest of the time. It’s been great.”

Ariya Jutanugarn 

Ariya Jutanguarn and Katherine Kirk recorded their best results of the season with a tie for sixth at -11, as last week’s Symetra Tour champion Matilda Castren, 15-time LPGA Tour winner Lydia Ko and Brittany Altomare rounded out the top 10 in a tie for eighth at -10.

EUBANKS: A CALMING PRESENCE AND A HIGHER POWER MARK ALLY MCDONALD’S INAUGURAL WIN 

Faith is the center of Ally McDonald’s life. Always has been. So, it came as no surprise when, minutes after capturing her first win at the Drive On Championship, she stepped to the microphone on the 18th green of the Great Waters Course at Reynold’s Lake Oconee and said, “I can’t stand up here without, first and foremost, telling you that Christ Jesus is amazing in how he was able to just calm me during these times. And He was no doubt with me, the third member of our team out on the golf course today in giving us this win.”   

That brought another torrent of tears from McDonald’s mother, Angie, who held it together, not just this week but through all the ups and downs of Ally’s professional career, until the final putt fell. It was Angie who, in years past, had Ally’s blood-sugar monitor synced to her phone. Ally is a type-1 diabetic and requires constant monitoring. For years, if things got out of whack, Angie received an alert. She was also the one who got a call in the middle of the night – every parent’s nightmare – when Ally had a seizure half a world away in Malaysia and spent a week in the hospital with severe dehydration. 

Angie and Ally’s dad, Jamie, have been by their daughter’s side through it all. They hoofed every step and bore every heartbreak. They celebrated when their daughter won the North and South Women’s Amateur and enjoyed the congratulatory hugs and handshakes when she won Mississippi State’s home event, the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational. Ally was the pride of Fulton, having learned the game on a nine-hole golf course and became a college All-American. She even represented her country as an amateur in the 2014 Curtis Cup at St. Louis Country Club where Angie and Jamie walked every step and celebrated a U.S. victory.  

They also hurt for their daughter when the wins everyone expected in the pros were slow to come. They had to find the right words in Scotland when Ally was on the verge of capturing the point needed for the U.S. Solheim Cup victory at Gleneagles until Bronte Law went on a putting tear that turned the tide.  

They were also there to celebrate her friendships and her recent marriage to Charlie Ewing, a golf coach at Mississippi State.  

But since she joined the LPGA Tour, they were never able to be celebrate her birthday. October 25 has always fallen in the middle of the Asia swing, so the McDonalds could only celebrate through video chats. That changed this year with the best present any of them could receive.

To read more of Steve Eubanks’ column on LPGA.com, click here: https://www.lpga.com/news/2020/a-calming-presence-and-a-higher-power-mark-ally-mcdonalds-inaugural-win 

KANG PROUD OF HER FIGHT TO THE END AT REYNOLDS LAKE OCONEE

“Well, that was the play, to be honest,” said Danielle Kang of her near eagle on No. 18 which would have forced a playoff with winner Ally McDonald, who parred the hole.

“I thought I hit a good drive but looked up and it just kind of veered right. Then I saw it kick right and then I took a little while over that shot because I had to make a decision whether to go for it,” said Kang, who finished solo second at -15. “My wedges are really good, so I said I can’t guarantee on-the-green shot, even if I’m long enough to try and chip in. Let’s just lay it up to a number I like. Laid up to a number I like and I tried to hole-out.”

Currently ranked fifth in the world, a win on Sunday would have been the third for Kang this season and the second at a “Drive On” event. Despite a few bogeys on the card, Kang said she is happy with the result. With three weeks of break ahead for all players before the next Tour event at the Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging, Kang’s plan is to relax and recoup.

“I think I just need to take a few days off right now. My back has went into a spasm a few days ago. So it was a little difficult this week to play with it. I think I’m very proud of how I played despite not having my full game, but Ally played wonderfully and it’s been a really great week,” said Kang.

ROOKIE PAGDANGANAN LIVING HER DREAM, IN CONTENTION FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE WEEK

Ahead of Bianca Pagdanganan’s 23rd birthday on Wednesday, the 2020 LPGA Tour Rookie said she is already living her dream. Heading into the final two rounds at Reynolds Lake Oconee beside veteran players, like Ally McDonald and Danielle Kang, Pagdanganan said it was a surreal moment, as she remembered all those she looked up to when she was young.

“Growing up definitely Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa. They were the top players when I was growing up. But I also had some local players to look up to–Jennifer Rosales who played on Tour when I started to play golf,” said Pagdanganan, who finished in third at -14. “But being at this level and just being able to compete with the greatest players, it’s so much fun.”

Now inspiring younger kids herself, the Filipino cannot reiterate enough how lucky she feels to be where she is. Of course, her hard work was what got her here.

“I say this a lot, but I really do get to live my dream. If you told me a couple years ago that I would be playing on the LPGA Tour and be in this position in my rookie year I probably wouldn’t believe you,” said Pagdanganan. “Playing with the best of best, it’s such a great experience, especially as rookie. Makes me want to be in this position even more.”

CME GROUP CARES CHALLENGE—SCORE 1 FOR ST. JUDE 

The CME Group Cares Challenge is a season-long charitable giving program that turns aces into donations. CME Group donated $20,000 for each hole-in-one made on the LPGA Tour in 2019, with a minimum guaranteed donation of $500,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is leading the way in how the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and life-threatening diseases.

Austin Ernst made the ninth hole-in-one of the 2020 LPGA Tour season on Thursday, finding the bottom of the cup on No. 4 with a 9-iron from 138 yards during the third round. The nine aces on the 2020 season means a total of $180,000 has now been donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this year. 

The 2019 LPGA Tour season saw 32 total aces from 31 different competitors for a total of $620,000. That more than covers the average cost of $425,000 needed to treat a pediatric cancer patient.

PLAYER NOTES

Rolex Rankings No. 62 Ally McDonald (66-68-69-69)

  • McDonald’s 272 is her second-lowest 72-hole score of her career; her best is a 268 from the 2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, where she finished T15
  • She becomes the first player from Mississippi State to win on the LPGA Tour
  • McDonald is the third Rolex First-Time Winner of the season, following Madelene Sagstrom (Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio) and Mel Reid (ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer)
  • This is the first time McDonald has held a 54-hole lead in her LPGA Tour career
  • She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens, with 25 putts
  • This is McDonald’s 11th event of the 2020 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is T11 at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio in January
  • This is her fifth season on the LPGA Tour; her career-best finish is third, recorded at the 2019 ShopRite LPGA Classic and the 2018 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship
  • She was a member of the 2019 U.S. Solheim Cup Team, with a 1-3-0 overall record
  • McDonald payed collegiate golf at Mississippi State and was a two-time First-Team All-American
  • She played on the 2014 U.S. Curtis Cup Team

Maximum attack: Morbidelli puts on a masterclass at MotorLand #SootinClaimon.Com

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Maximum attack: Morbidelli puts on a masterclass at MotorLand

Oct 26. 2020

 The number 21 flies to a phenomenal win to get right back in the Championship hunt as Rins and Mir return to the rostrum

A faultless Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) didn’t put a foot wrong for a formidable second victory of 2020 at the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel, no one able to stay with the Italian as he also put himself right back in the title fight. Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins took second place to make it back-to-back podiums, with teammate Joan Mir picking up another P3 at MotorLand to extend his Championship lead in yet another dramatic premier class race…

That drama began right from the off on Lap 1. Polesitter Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) got the launch he would have been hoping for and led into Turn 1, just holding off fellow front row starters Morbidelli and Rins. At Turn 2 the first disaster struck as both Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) tumbled into the gravel after the South African tagged the back of the Australian and then, at Turn 5, race leader Nakagami made his first and only race day mistake of the season. The Japanese rider lost the front and was down, sliding out of the race in heartbreaking fashion – no dream podium or victory today for the number 30.

That left Morbidelli leading, closely followed by Rins, with Mir the other key player on the move as the Spaniard made a glorious start from P12, up to fifth on the opening lap and ahead of closest rival Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), who had a tougher opening few opening laps. It was opposite fortunes for compatriot Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing), though, as he was up to P3 and holding off Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Mir.

Quartararo then began slipping into the clutches of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Marquez able to escape both to then set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 4; the reigning Moto2™ World Champion latching onto the back of Mir. Up front though, Morbidelli then set a 1:48.089 to take the race lap record at MotorLand, he and Rins a second up the road from third place Zarco on Lap 6. Mir was on the move though, slicing past Viñales at Turn 12, and Marquez wasted no time in following suit, putting in a classy move at Turn 15. The Mir-Marquez duo had their sights firmly set on Zarco up ahead…

Quartararo, meanwhile, was in a serious battle mid-top ten. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Crutchlow, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech3) were all line astern behind ‘El Diablo’, and things started to get spicy. Soon enough, that was also true up ahead. 

The gap between Rins and Zarco was still hovering around the 1.7 second mark, with Mir and Marquez shadowing the fastest Ducati on track. But eventually, Mir pounced on Zarco at Turn 4 as the gap between the leading duo and Mir hovered at 2.2 seconds. Marquez then didn’t take long to follow as he took that incredible inside line round the double left hander at the end of the lap, but Zarco fought back at Turn 1. Marquez was back underneath the Ducati at Turn 4 and the small squabble cost the number 73 time, although Mir was making no real dent into the lead held by Morbidelli and Rins.

The fight behind, meanwhile, had seen Quartararo drop down to P8 as Pol Espargaro diced up the inside at Turn 1, and Viñales was just a few tenths ahead. Oliveira was then climbing all over the back of Quartararo but the latter was strong on the brakes at the end of the back straight. As the battle raged on, Oliveira briefly got through on Quartararo but the Yamaha was back through at Turn 1 as Crutchlow and Dovizioso waited to pick up any pieces. Pol Espargaro was making progress nearer the front of the group as he got ahead of Viñales, and every single point and position counted. The next drama would come from further up the road though, as the second Honda heartbreak of the day hit.

Suddenly at Turn 2, the dream of a third MotoGP™ podium in a row evaporated as Alex Marquez slid out. Rider ok, but left wondering what could have been as Mir disappeared into the distance.

At the front, Morbidelli’s lead over Rins was 0.6 seconds and holding more than firm, with Mir 2.6 seconds behind with nine laps to go. Zarco had been shuffled down to P4, but he was still ahead of Pol Espargaro, Viñales and Quartararo as the latter two sat sixth and seventh heading into the closing stages. Quartararo was still fending off Oliveira too, and Dovizioso was lurking. The Portuguese rider then made his move and it stuck, with Dovi then right behind Quartararo…

Next though, Aleix Espargaro made his presence felt and, after getting so close to making some more gains in the Championship, Dovizioso was on the receiving end of an aggressive move from the Aprilia at Turn 1. The number 04 then ran in too hot at Turn 8 and suddenly, the Italian was down to P12 after crossing the line last time round in eighth.

Viñales and Quartararo were next under threat, however. Oliveira grabbed P6 at the final corner to demote Viñales to seventh, and soon enough joined the battle for fourth between Pol Espargaro and Zarco. Esparagaro climbed to P4 and Oliveira was soon through too, but Zarco wasn’t giving it up that easy, the Ducati man fighting straight back at Turn 13.

Up ahead, it couldn’t have been less chaotic for Morbidelli. From half a second to a second and a half to nearly two and still climbing, the Italian was on rails as the gap kept extending. Rins was well clear of teammate Mir as well as the Championship leader was forced to settle for a lonely third, and all three held firm on the final lap. Morbidelli completed his masterclass with more than two seconds in hand, becoming the second repeat winner of the season – and climbing to within a race win of the top in the Championship.

Rins takes 45 points from 50 in Aragon as both he and Morbidelli bring themselves right into the title frame, facing a deficit but far from out of it. Two P3s at MotorLand see Mir extend his World Championship lead with three races to go, however, with 14 points now his advantage over Quartararo.

Pol Espargaro picked up a great P4 from ninth on the grid, another solid ride and some better luck at MotorLand this time around. Just behind the number 44, Zarco vs Oliveira went right down to the wire and in the end, the Ducati eventually pipped the KTM by just 0.038, Oliveira forced to settle for a nevertheless impressive sixth.

Then came Viñales and Quartararo, the Yamaha title contenders finishing P7 and P8 as they slip further away from Mir after a tougher race weekend than expected. Lecuona secured his third top 10 of the year in P9, as Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) rounded out the top 10. Crutchlow and Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) finished P11 and P12, ahead of Dovizioso after his tough race at the office.

Tito Rabat (Esponsorama Racing) and Bradley Smith (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) were the only other two riders to finish, the duo pick up P14 and P15 respectively. Aleix Espargaro was on for a top 10 but his RS-GP suffered an issue with a couple of laps remaining.

That’s a wrap in Teruel. The 2020 title race just keeps on twisting and turning and now, 32 points split the top SIX with three races to go. Mir, Quartararo, Viñales, Morbidelli, Dovizioso and Rins will all fancy their chances still heading into two Valencia races and the Portimao finale. Who will win the 2020 MotoGP™ World Championship? Mir leads the field by 14 points, but that can change in the blink of an eye. It’s game on in 2020, and Valencia is up next!

MotoGP™ podium
Franco Morbidelli – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha – 41:47.652
Alex Rins Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki +2.205
Joan Mir Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki +5.376

Franco Morbidelli: “I had dynamite for breakfast! I felt great out there today. The feeling with the bike was amazing, we gambled a bit with the tyre choice, we knew we had to do something more and strong re: tyre choice and we decided to go with the medium and it paid off because in the race it was working really well and I was feeling great with the package today. This victory is for the team, they worked really well, unbelievable till late in the box trying to sort out what was the best choice and setting, this is for them. Now we’re back in the game, 25 points behind the top… I think we should be as aggressive as we were today in Valencia and Portimao.”

MotoGP™ podium L-R: Rins, Morbidelli and Mir

Demolition job: advantage Lowes after another Aragon stunner
The Brit dominates and takes the points lead, with ‘Diggia’ back on the box and Bastianini doing some damage control in third

Not since Phil Read in 1971 has a Brit won three intermediate class Grand Prix races in a row, but Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) now has. The number 22 dominated from the start to pull over eight seconds clear by the flag in the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel, the 25 points giving him the Championship lead. Second went to Fabio Di Giannantonio (Lightech Speed Up) as the Italian got some redemption after a heartbreaker in the Aragon GP, with Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) doing some solid damage control to take third and stay on the podium.

From pole, Lowes got a perfect getaway and made the dream start. The holeshot was his as Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) made an shocker from P2 on the grid, with asRemy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) grabbing second. Di Giannantonio was soon past the Australian though at Turn 5 and the fast-starting Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was soon P3 from the third row of the grid. Lowes was powering off into the distance though and on Lap 2, his gap was 1.5 seconds over Di Giannantonio and continuing to rise.

On Lap 3, Gardner and Bastianini were through on Dixon in quick succession, with Lowes’ lead up to 1.7. Drama then unfolded in the Championship chase once again, with bad luck hitting Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) twice in a week as the Italian was down at Turn 1, losing the chance at more points to cut his deficit. Can he bounce back at Valencia?

Up front, Lowes’ lead was now at the two second mark, and Diggia was 1.3 clear of Gardner in the battle for the final podium place. Bastianini was on a charge though, past Gardner not long after, and with Dixon and Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) in hot pursuit. Lowes’ lead continued to soar and with Diggia also showing cracking pace, the Italian was leaving compatriot Bastianini behind in the close fight for fifth with seventh place Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) joining the battle too.

Meanwhile, it was a tough race for former points leader Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46). The Italian was down in P14 behind Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) and Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), before Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) then overtook the Italian and suddenly, Marini was P15 with 12 laps to go, only on for a point. Then, fellow VR46 Academy rider Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) made it even worse as he demoted Marini to P16…

By then, Lowes was a comfortable four seconds ahead of Di Giannantonio, who was two seconds ahead of Bastianini in a tense as you were at the front. The battle for the top five was anything but that as Fernandez, Martin, Dixon and Navarro diced it out, with everything still to play for. 

There were no such battles for Lowes, however. The Brit was over eight seconds clear by the flag, winning in dominant style and leading from lights to flag to stamp some authority on the Championship to boot – now seven points clear of Bastianini. Di Giannantonio took second and was back on the box after heartbreak last weekend, able to keep some time in hand ahead of Bastianini. For ‘Bestia’ though, it was exactly what he needed – more consistent podiums, with Lowes seemingly having more than the rest at MotorLand.

In the end, Gardner held onto P4 by just three tenths over a hard-charging Navarro as the Australian and Spaniard rounded out the top five, that scrap rolling on to the flag. Martin took P6 and Dixon got the better of Fernandez in the latter stages to take P7, the Spaniard forced to settle for eighth. Ramirez beat teammate Roberts by a second as the two American Racing riders finish P9 and P10 respectively.

And then came Marini. The Italian dug deep to claw back up to 11th place and he takes home some points, but the number 10 does now drop 23 points off Lowes in the title race to make it a triple-header of races to forget for the former Championship leader.

Vierge, Hafizh Syahrin (Kipin Energy Aspar Team Moto2), Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Simon Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) completed the points.

Kasma Daniel (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) and Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) crashed at Turn 1 unhurt, with Garzo, Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40), Edgar Pons (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Manzi joining Bezzecchi in riders who crashed out in Teruel, too.

Three wins from three sees a high flying Lowes take the title lead with just three races to go in 2020. Seven points split the British rider from Bastianini, with Marini and Bezzecchi losing a lot of ground in Aragon. A weekend off now follows before two Valencia races and the season finale in Portimao come thick and fast, and the Moto2™ Championship scrap looks set to go all the way to the wire.

Moto2™ podium
Sam Lowes – EG 0,0 Marc VDS – Kalex 39:27.645
Fabio Di Giannantonio – Lightech Speed Up – Speed Up +8.425
Enea Bastianini – Italtrans Racing Team – Kalex +10.871

Sam Lowes: “I’m really happy because last weekend we were strong, to win the race you have to finish but I felt like Bezzecchi crashed but he had the win, Diggia crashed… it was a great ride but I wanted to improve this weekend and today there was no doubt. I was the fastest guy all weekend, I made a great start and made the race. This is really important for me, there are three races to go, I’m in a good way but to win a race like this takes so much confidence. I said to myself before these three races, Aragon being a track I love, that if I can win these three then I have a chance at the Championship. I didn’t expect some results to go my way, but now we’re already leading and have a good chance. I’m really happy, the team has done an amazing job to improve from last weekend to this, that’s the sign of a great team when they give you a few tenths you don’t have to find yourself! Thanks to everyone that’s supported me the last couple of years and we’ll give everything in these last three races.”

Moto2™ podium L-R: Di Giannantonio, Lowes and Bastianini

Magic Masia takes Honda’s 800th win
The Spaniard does it again, with Sasaki taking his first podium in second and Toba back on the rostrum for third

Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) is truly the master of MotorLand! A week on from his first win of the year, the Spaniard went back-to-back with another stunning victory – and it’s Honda’s 800th in Grand Prix racing. It was as close as you like in classic Moto3™ style, however, with Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) taking his first Grand Prix podium in second, just 0.051 off the win, and Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in third… still within a tenth and a half of the top.

It was polesitter Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who managed to hold on to the front through Turn 2, the Spaniard swooping round the outside of fast starter (Tony Arbolino Rivacold Snipers Team) and Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) able to fight off key rival Albert Arenas (Solunion Aspar Team) – but not for long, as the Championship leader struck straight back. These were the early bouts though, and plenty was to come as the classic Moto3™ freight train got in gear.

On take two in Teruel, there would be no group splintering off at the front as what seemed like the whole field snaked around MotorLand Aragon, locked together in lightweight class combat. As ever, the leading positions were ever-changing. Down the back straight it was slipstream city as Fernandez slipped from P1 to P3, but on two consecutive laps the Spaniard bit straight back at Turn 1. Fernandez, Arenas, Vietti and Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) all took turns leading on the opening handful of laps, with Fernandez on Lap 5 getting a bit beaten up heading into Turn 1 – the Aragon GP podium man shuffled down to P10. Arenas then took to lead on Lap 6 as Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) did his usual Sunday morning routine of fighting his way through the pack, the South African up to P2.

For the next few laps, Arenas was holding firm at the front as the top 26 riders were all line astern. It really was a Moto3™ freight train at MotorLand. However, Arenas was looking formidable and even when the chasing pack was in the slipstream, no one could get past him down the straight. The title chase leader wasn’t getting away though…

With nine to go, Toba tried to take the lead at Turn 1 but he was slightly wide and Arenas went aggressive on the switchback into Turn 2 and held P1, Toba losing out and Masia moving up to try an attack nexy.

Masia was using the Honda grunt down the back straight, but Arenas kept biting back at Turn 1. The Aspar rider was supreme on the brakes, but Masia wasn’t allowing him to get away. After an earlier moment, John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was back in the hunt for victory and up to P4 and with three laps remaining as the battle royale kicked into overdrive. Masia made a move stick at Turn 1 on Arenas but the latter was back through at Turn 7. Toba was up the inside of both Binder and McPhee, but the Petronas rider got back into third as Masia aimed to get Arenas down the back straight.

However, Arenas continued his great run down the 1km straight. With two laps to go, Masia grabbed the lead at Turn 7 instead, but the Spaniard was then dropped back to third as both Arenas and McPhee carved past at Turn 12. Masia got McPhee back down the straight, but Arenas led onto the last lap and the scene was set.

Done waiting, Masia struck early to force his way through at Turn 1, with Toba making McPhee’s life difficult just behind too. Sasaki followed his compatriot through on McPhee as well, as Arenas squeezed past at Turn 7, and so it was all down to the back straight. Could Arenas hold it? Once more he got a great run out of Turn 15 but Masia was reeling him in and the two KTMs of Toba and Sasaki were tucked in too. Into the braking zone, all three soared past Arenas and Masia stole the lead with two corners to go, then ultimately holding it to the line to take his first back-to-back wins and Honda’s 800th Grand Prix win.

Toba had been in second but ran slightly wide, and Sasaki needed no further invitation. Slicing up the inside, the number 71 also got some great traction to home in on Masia – crossing the line just 0.051 down but nevertheless taking a stunning first Grand Prix podium to bounce back from some terrible luck in 2020. Toba was forced to settle for third but got back on the podium, also a bounce back.

Arenas slipped to P4 in the last two corners but crucially, he beats the likes of Vietti and Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), key Championship contenders. Vietti finishes just three tenths off the win in fifth though, with McPhee in P6. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) rode superbly to  mount a comeback to P7, with Binder suffering in the final couple of laps to finish P8 ahead of Ogura. The Japanese rider was less than a second away from the win but still lost more ground in the fight for the title. Arbolino picks up P10, 2.259 seconds adrift from the win as a crash split the pack on the final lap.

That crash was late heartbreak for Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) as Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) crashed ahead of him, leaving the Spaniard nowhere to go, and he lost out on a solid result after slicing through from P28 on the grid. There were no other crashes.

Another rip-roaring Moto3™ race goes down to the wire, with Masia making history for the second weekend in a row. What does all this mean for the Championship? Well, Arenas extends his advantage to 19 points over Ogura with three races to go. Vietti is 20 points behind Arenas with Masia now right in the hunt, 24 points split tdown heading into the final Valencia and Portimao rounds. Game on!

Moto3™ podium
Jaume Masia – Leopard Racing – Honda 37:44.602
Ayumu Sasaki – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – KTM +0.051
Kaito Toba – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM +0.152

Jaume Masia: “I’m really happy, it’s an amazing sensation to win back to back. I’m really happy because after the win last week I felt a bit more pressure because I was closer than before in the championship so I tried to keep my mind calm and keep working with my team. I kept believing in myself, today I struggled a bit more because the rhythm was really fast, it seems like I was fighting all race with the KTMs, they brake really strong so I struggled more but I did the same strategy as last week. Today I struggled more in the straight as the KTMs were so fast but we’re here again, two wins, closer and we’ll see.”

Moto3™ podium L-R: Sasaki, Masia and Toba

Masia celebrates Honda’s 800th win

Rins takes a second podium in a row and valuable 20 points

Mir extended his Championship lead with third

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Dorna CEO Ezpeleta: ‘Races will continue’ #SootinClaimon.Com

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Dorna CEO Ezpeleta: ‘Races will continue’

Oct 26. 2020

 On race day at the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta answered a couple of key questions about the remaining races of the season and the situation for the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship regarding the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe, confirming there are no changes expected to the calendar.

With how the Covid-19 situation is evolving in Europe, and especially in Spain, many fans are wondering… what will happen with the remaining races?

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta: “At the moment nothing has changed, a state of alarm in Spain, in principal, doesn’t impact our situation. We’re working during the race, and if there are restrictions on movement after 22:00 until the morning, it doesn’t impact us. At the moment we can continue. In any case we’re in close contact with authorities in each place, and at the moment we didn’t receive any kind of information about it.”

With the Covid-19 protocols in place, we are showing the Championship can continue, and can do so safely…“The situation is as we proposed in the beginning, we are controlling the cases, there were some in Austria, and then in any place there have been one or two people who have been home and then have some problems before they return – some riders and some workers in the paddock. But the most important thing is that, through the tests we’re doing, we are able to control everything and know what the situation is. In principal right now we don’t see any problems in the future, but I repeat, we’re in close contact with authorities in each place. The remaining places are Valencia and Portimao, and at the moment we didn’t receive any queries.”

Included: a selection of photos of Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta on race day at the Teruel GP

Rodtang expects ‘Burmese Python’ to prevail in tough battle against ‘Dutch Knight’ #SootinClaimon.Com

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Rodtang expects ‘Burmese Python’ to prevail in tough battle against ‘Dutch Knight’

Oct 25. 2020Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon  and  “The Burmese Python” Aung La N SangRodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon and “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang It takes one amazing fighter to know and recognise another.

When One flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon met reigning One middleweight and light heavyweight world champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang for the very first time, it was an instant connection.

The two fierce competitors found they both had a lot in common, and quickly became good friends.

“I got to know Aung La since the One Championship Athletes Retreat in Phuket. Since then, we’ve become good friends and we always chat every now and then,” said Rodtang.

“I also got to compete in the same event as him a few times. He’s quite a nice guy, very friendly. We always chat on social media.”

Aung La is scheduled to defend his One middleweight world title against top contender Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder of The Netherlands on October 30 in Singapore at “One: Inside The Matrix”. It’s the headline bout, and one of four world title matches on schedule, which will be broadcast live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Rodtang, who admires Aung La’s fighting spirit and sees a lot of himself in “The Burmese Python”, is pulling for his friend to successfully defend his title, but equally expects a close and entertaining, fan-friendly fight.

“Aung La is a tough fighter with a lot of heart. I never see him give up in any fight, no matter how hard things get for him. He’s the same kind of fighter as I am. We don’t have any quit in us. We both have the same goal, which is to keep fighting and winning, and working hard to be the best,” said Rodtang.

“I have a feeling this will be a very close fight. Overall, I think Aung La is the more well-rounded fighter, and he should have a few key advantages. Even as a Muay Thai athlete myself, I can sign off on Aung La’s striking. He’s a tough fighter with good skills. It’s hard to pick a winner for this fight, but Aung La might be the one. Let’s see.”

Also on the card is One featherweight world champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Vietnam and Australia, who is set to defend his title against third-ranked contender Thanh Le of Vietnam and the United States in the co-main event of the evening.

One lightweight world champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee of Singapore will make the first defence of his lightweight belt against top contender Iuri Lapicus of Moldova.

Lastly, reigning One women’s strawweight world champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan of China defends her title against Singapore’s Tiffany “No Chill” Teo in a highly-anticipated rematch.

Like millions of fans from around the world, Rodtang will be glued to his television screen to catch all the action, but more importantly, to support his friend Aung La.

“I’ll definitely be watching for sure,” Rodtang said.

Fairtex believes Angela Lee, who is pregnant, will be ready to defend her atomweight title #SootinClaimon.Com

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Fairtex believes Angela Lee, who is pregnant, will be ready to defend her atomweight title

Oct 24. 2020Angela Lee Angela Lee Controversy enveloped the One women’s atomweight division a couple of weeks ago, when reigning One women’s atomweight world champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee engaged in a war of words against No.1-ranked contender Denice “The Menace” Zamboanga.

Following Lee’s announcement of her pregnancy, Zamboanga called for the Singaporean to vacate her title “out of respect for other athletes”, given that the 24-year-old superstar may be out of action for quite some time. Lee fired back, calling Zamboanga “entitled” and that she would not give up her belt.

One Championship revealed plans of hosting a One Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship to determine the rightful challenger to the atomweight throne shortly after.

Former One atomweight Muay Thai and kickboxing world champion Stamp Fairtex, who recently told media she aims to focus on her mixed martial arts career, sided with Zamboanga, whom she considers a close friend. She believes Lee should vacate her title if she will be unable to defend it in a certain amount of time.

However, Stamp also believes Lee will be back just in time to swoop in and challenge the winner of the atomweight tournament.

“First of all, I’d like to say congratulations  to Angela Lee and her family. I wish her baby good health and all the happiness for her family,” said Stamp.

“It’s not easy being champion, with everyone coming for the belt on your shoulder. Angela deserves that championship because she trained hard for it. She’s defended it for four years now and running. That being said, if it does take too long for her to be able to defend the belt, I would have to agree with Denice.

“However, I think by the time this tournament is done, Angela may already be ready to defend her title. Let’s see,” Stamp added.

Although details of the atomweight tournament, such as date, venue, and athletes participating, have yet to be revealed, there is already a good inkling of which fighters will be included in the eight-woman bracket.

Stamp, who currently stands at No.5 on the official athlete rankings at atomweight, is expected to be one of the names thrown into the hat, although nothing has been finalised as of yet. The Thai warrioress is excited about the idea of competing in the tournament.

“If I do get a chance to compete in the Atomweight Grand Prix, it would be an honour. Angela Lee is a great champion, and to earn the right to face her would be amazing. If I can win the tournament, then I’ll be the one to face her when she comes back. That right now is the goal for me.”

One Championship returns on October 30 with “One: Inside THE Matrix”, broadcast live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. The blockbuster features four world title bouts for a total of six compelling martial arts contests.

In the main event, reigning One middleweight and light heavyweight world champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang of Myanmar defends his middleweight title against top contender Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder of The Netherlands.

Munoz soars with eagles to lead by one #SootinClaimon.Com

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Munoz soars with eagles to lead by one

Oct 23. 2020 Sebastian MunozSebastian Munoz Sebastian Munoz eclipsed the stars with two eagles as he grabbed a one-shot lead with a superb 8-under 64 in the first round of the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Colombian began his day with a three-putt bogey from seven feet before soaring with eagles on Hole Nos. 7 and 16 when he holed out from 168 yards and 51 yards respectively to  earn his fourth ever first round lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR.

 In-form Tyrell Hatton and Justin Thomas, the 2017 FedExCup champion, led the chasing pack at Sherwood Country Club with matching 65s in the US$8 million tournament which moved from its home base in Japan to the U.S. due to the coronavirus.

 Defending champion Tiger Woods had a day to forget as he stumbled to a 76 for his career worst round at Sherwood, leaving him in a share of 75th place in the 78-man field while two-time FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy carded a 73.

 After securing his maiden PGA TOUR victory last fall which helped him finish a career high eighth on the FedExCup ranking last season, Munoz has continued to establish himself and arrived at Sherwood following a ninth place outing at THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK in Las Vegas on Sunday.

 He bounced back from his first hole blemish with four birdies over his next five holes before producing a moment of magic by holing out a nine iron approach shot at the par 4 seventh hole. A second eagle came courtesy of a deft pitch at the par 5 16th hole, although he needed a touch of luck when his second shot hit a tree and managed to stay out of the penalty area.

 “At just one of those days it happens,” said Munoz of his round which also featured eight birdies, two bogeys and one double bogey.“On seven, my caddie was just talking it had to be a really good 9 (iron). So I just focused on making the best swing and I started four yards left, started cutting nicely towards the pin, and once you see the guys throw the touchdown sign, it’s good. And 16, we thought it was maybe going to be wet, but happily it was short of the water (after hitting a tree with his second shot). So I throw it up there and find the hole (for eagle) … it was pretty sweet,” added the Colombian, who led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and Around the Green.

 Thomas battled to an even par front nine with two birdies against as many dropped shots before cruising home in 29, courtesy of a hot putter which delivered five birdies and an eagle on 16 as he chases a 14th PGA TOUR victory.

 “I was playing well on the front, I just stayed patient. I was really reading the greens poorly for the putts that I missed. If my ball rolls another inch on 1, I make it. I had a pretty nasty lip out on 2, bad three putt on 7, so it’s the little things like that to where if some of those things go my way, I don’t shoot even. I knew that I was close, I just needed to stay patient,” said Thomas, who finished his day with eagle-birdie-birdie.

 Hatton, 29, credited a short break in the U.K. for his top form which has seen him rise to World No. 9 following a win on the European Tour two weeks ago and a tied third finish at THE CJ CUP last week. In March, he claimed a maiden PGA TOUR win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.

 “I think being able to go home after the U.S. Open was massive for me. I did eight and a half months out here in the States … that’s a long time away from family and friends. And I worked with my dad who’s my coach, who I haven’t seen since THE PLAYERS. You can only do so much on FaceTime and stuff like that,” said Hatton.

 “Everything was pretty solid out there, to be honest. Obviously I got lucky a couple of times, my bad shots today ended up in kind of okay places. Hoping that I can kind of play well the next three days and finish off what would be a really good three weeks of golf.”

 A year after making history in Japan where he equalled Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA TOUR victories, Woods surprisingly struggled at Sherwood, a course which he has won five times previously in his own tournament, the Hero World Challenge. Woods struggled off the tee, hitting only seven fairways and found only 10 greens in regulation. He was also 3-over on the par-5s, tying his worst par-5 performance in a round on TOUR.

 2018 RBC Heritage champion Satoshi Kodaira and Rikuya Hoshino hold the best position at T17 amongst the eight Japanese players in the field with matching 4-under 68s while Hideki Matsuyama, who is a five-time PGA TOUR winner and runner-up in the event last year, opened with a 70.

McIlroy keen to end year-long drought #SootinClaimon.Com

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McIlroy keen to end year-long drought

Oct 23. 2020Rory McIlroy and his caddy. (Getty Images)Rory McIlroy and his caddy. (Getty Images) Rory McIlroy knows where his priority lies at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD this week, although he could easily be distracted by an opportunity to rewrite some golf history next month.

 The Northern Irishman, who is a two-time FedExCup champion, cannot be faulted if his mind wanders off-track to the Masters Tournament which takes place in three weeks’ time and offers another crack for him to complete a career grand slam which only five golfers, including this week’s defending champion Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, have achieved.

 While McIlroy is keen to don the Green Jacket at Augusta National, he is intent on keeping his focus solely on the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, which moved from its home base in Japan to Thousand Oaks, California due to Covid-19 and features a star-studded field including 28 of the top 30 from the final FedExCup points list last season.

 “I mean, it’s four rounds, it’s an opportunity to win a PGA TOUR event. That’s sort of first and foremost what my focus is. It’s been a year basically since I’ve won, I haven’t won since China (WGC-HSBC Champions) last year,” said the 31-year-old McIlroy.

 ” It’s a great opportunity to try to get a win and get into contention and I think that would be a big step if I were able to. I haven’t really been in contention much since coming back from the lockdown. If I could get into contention this week and have a chance to win, I think that would be great for just the overall confidence. But obviously great looking ahead a couple weeks’ time and getting in a position where you’re having to hit shots under the gun and under that pressure of trying to win a golf tournament.”

 McIlroy finished eighth in his defence of the FedExCup last season which saw him winning three times during the 2018-19 season, including the 2019 PLAYERS Championship and TOUR Championship. As he admitted, his form since the Return to Golf in June has been patchy by his high standards, with only two top-10s to show for. Last week, he finished tied for 21st  place at THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK, a Korean-based tournament which also moved to the U.S. this year due to Covid-19.

 A return to Sherwood, which is located at the base of Santa Monica mountains and whose membership includes many A-list Hollywood celebrities, brings good vibes for McIlroy which he hopes to ride to his advantage as he seeks to end his year-long title drought.

 “Yeah, I’ve got some good memories here. Playing Tiger’s (Woods) event back in the day, this was the first ever competitive round I played with Tiger was here at Sherwood, which was pretty cool, so remember that,” he said.  “I’ve always enjoyed Sherwood. It’s a great venue for a golf tournament. Whenever this tournament was announced that it would be coming here instead of going back to Japan, I was excited. I think a lot of the guys were looking forward to playing it.”

 Another top name whose adrenaline is pumping is Phil Mickelson, the 50-year-old veteran star who has taken the PGA TOUR Champions by storm after winning a second tournament last week in as many starts in the 50-over circuit. The 44-time PGA TOUR winner is now eager to go head-to-head with the young guns in what will be his ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP debut.

 “I’m excited to be here and play in a great championship close to where I live,” said the Californian. “It’s a great golf course. I mean, in phenomenal shape. I’m excited to compete and come off of last week’s event on the Champions Tour and try to play, compete against the young guys. This is a fun opportunity for me. I seem to get a little bit of confidence and I’m hoping to bring that over into this event as well,” said Mickelson.

 Matthew Wolff, who is amongst a new generation of young stars including Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland emerging on TOUR, is looking forward to playing alongside Woods  in the opening two round for the first time in his fledgling career. The 21-year-old grew up in a nearby neighbourhood and has already won once on the PGA TOUR and finished runner-up in two of his last three starts, including at the U.S. Open.

 “Even though it would be awesome to see, I’m not focused on Tiger, I’m focused on myself and my game and I’m out here to win a golf tournament,” said Wolff, who possesses one of the most unorthodox golf swings in the game.

 “You do want to impress him and you do want to play well in front of him, but at the end of the day, that’s not what I came here to do. I came here to win a golf tournament and if that happens, it happens. But like I said, I’m just going to take in the experience and enjoy myself because it’s going to be awesome playing a home course, especially with Tiger. I just think the way he carries himself and what he’s done for the game is pretty unbelievable. If he were to get 83 (wins), it would be pretty amazing for me to play beside him the first two rounds of the tournament that he did it.”

Woods claimed a three-stroke victory in Japan last year to equal Sam Snead’s long-standing record of 82 career wins.

ONE announces addition of 250 ‘Superfan’ tickets for ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX #SootinClaimon.Com

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ONE announces addition of 250 ‘Superfan’ tickets for ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX

Oct 23. 2020

 ONE Championship (ONE) announced the addition of 250 in-person ‘Superfan’ ticket packages now on sale to watch ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX live on Friday, 30 October at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

This will be the first sporting event in Singapore which allows for a limited live audience since Singapore moved into the second phase of its reopening.

The move comes after the successful conclusion of ONE’s first pilot closed-door production on 9 October, and the Singapore Government’s announcement on 20 October that it is piloting the use of pre-event COVID-19 testing at selected events.

The presence of a live audience for ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX further cements ONE’s partnership with Singapore to pilot the return of international sporting productions. In line with Singapore’s approach to resuming activities in a calibrated and safe manner in Phase Two, the event will implement all necessary measures to ensure the safety of all attendees, including piloting the use of antigen rapid tests prior to the event.

The 250 ‘Superfan’ in-person ticket packages will be priced at $148 SGD which includes a safe seating plan as well as the addition of special ONE Championship branded merchandise worth over $60 SGD, valuing the unique offering at over $208 SGD. Five (5) lucky ticket holders also have a chance to win JBL Reflect Flow True Wireless Sports Earphones worth over $230 each. This exclusive limited live experience can be purchased now until tickets sell out at Ticketmaster.sg

ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX will feature four ONE World Title bouts, for a total of six exciting world-class match-ups including.

In the main event, ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang of Myanmar will defend his middleweight belt against undefeated top contender Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder of The Netherlands.

Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee of Singapore will make the first defense of his World Title against undefeated top lightweight contender Iuri Lapicus of Moldova.

In a highly-anticipated bout, ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Vietnam and Australia will put his World Title on the line against former LFA Featherweight Champion Thanh Le of Vietnam and the United States.

The final World Championship showdown will feature reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jin Nan of China, who will make her return to the ONE Circle to take on former ONE World Title Challenger, Tiffany “No Chill” Teo of Singapore, in what is a highly-anticipated rematch.

Three-time former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of the Philippines will step back inside the ONE Circle to face Australia’s Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso.

Indian national wrestling champion Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat will take on Cambodia’s Nou Srey Pov.

For those unable to join the action in person, ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX can be enjoyed on ONE Championship’s official ONE Super App, ONE’s social media channels, locally in Singapore on MediaCorp’s Channel 5 and meWATCH app, as well as globally across ONE Championship’s broadcast and digital media partner’s properties.