PACIFIC PALISADES, California, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Jordan Spieth was golf’s hottest player at the end of 2014 and the fast rising American believes he is close to that level as he prepares for the Masters, the opening major of the year.
World number nine Spieth has recorded top-10s in two of his last three PGA Tour events and was able to recover from a slow start to the Northern Trust Open first round on Thursday with a sizzling back nine.
PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) – Former major winners Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen struck a blow for the old guard on the PGA Tour as the two veterans surged into a tie for the early lead at the Northern Trust Open on Thursday.
Playing together in the opening round at a sun-splashed Riviera Country Club, the two seasoned campaigners fired matching five-under-par 66s in ideal scoring conditions with barely a breath of wind.
PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) – Iconic Riviera Country Club, which once again hosts the Northern Trust Open this week, is loved by the players for its classic feel and the fact that it barely changes from year to year.
With its long established links to the Hollywood stars, the par-71 layout is consistently ranked as one of the top courses on the PGA Tour because long, medium and short hitters can all thrive at the venue.
PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) – The PGA Tour’s West Coast swing has always energised Bubba Watson and the American pronounced himself to be “on top of my game” ahead of his title defence at this week’s Northern Trust Open.
The left-hander triumphed by two shots at the iconic Riviera Country Club last year, a win that proved to be a springboard for his most successful season on the U.S. circuit as he went on to claim a second Masters crown at Augusta National in April.
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) – Mikaela Shiffrin soaked up the pressure and defended her alpine ski world championship slalom crown in thrilling style on Saturday to give the United States a golden finish to the women’s competition.
First after the opening leg, American darling Shiffrin trailed midway through her second trip down the Golden Eagle track before turning on the after-burners and blazing across the finish line in a combined time of one minute, 38.48 seconds.
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) – The mighty Austrians have dominated the medal table at the alpine ski world championships and Marcel Hirscher is favored to add yet another gold as defending champion in the men’s slalom on Sunday.
The three-times overall World Cup champion has already shown his liking for the plunging slopes at Beaver Creek Mountain where he will bid to retain the title he claimed in Schladming two years ago.
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) – Austrian slalom maestro Marcel Hirscher was left purring with admiration after being outperformed by defending champion Ted Ligety in the giant slalom at the alpine ski world championships on Friday.
Though Hirscher led after the opening leg and produced “a pretty awesome run” in the afternoon, he was beaten into second place by Birds of Prey specialist Ligety, who the Austrian described as outstanding.
BEAVER Creek, Colorado (Reuters) – Anna Fenninger survived a near-wipeout late in her second run to win the women’s giant slalom title at the alpine ski world championships on Thursday while Tina Maze’s bid for history came to a halt.
Austrian Fenninger, who won gold in the Super-G and silver in the downhill, posted a combined time of two minutes, 19.16 seconds, a staggering 1.40 seconds ahead of Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg despite nearly crashing out on a turn.
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) – Dual citizen Sarah Schleper felt twice blessed at the alpine ski world championships on Thursday as she competed in the women’s giant slalom in front of her hometown crowds under the flag of Mexico.
Born in nearby Glenwood Springs and a product of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, Schleper represented the United States at four Winter Olympics and five world championships before retiring from the sport in December 2011.
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) – The sharp trajectory of Travis Ganong’s progress over the past year has been a mirror image of his plunging ski runs, and those arcs converged on Saturday with his first world championship medal.
The 26-year-old American produced lightning speed down the bottom portion of the challenging Birds of Prey course to win silver in the blue riband men’s downhill, finishing just 0.24 seconds behind Swiss Patrick Kueng.