Mark's Feed
Apr 8, 2014

Lefty feels ‘nervous’ ahead of Masters bid

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Playing in the Masters has always been an electrifying experience for Phil Mickelson and this week is no different for the American, even though he is “nervous” about his title bid after recent health concerns.

The left-hander, a three-times winner at Augusta National, says he has fully recovered after withdrawing from last month’s Texas Open with a pulled abdominal muscle but rues the fact that he has not been in tournament contention in recent months.

Apr 8, 2014

Scott to launch Masters defence with Dufner and Fitzpatrick

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Defending champion Adam Scott will launch his title defence at this week’s Masters in the company of PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner and U.S. amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Australian Scott, who won his maiden major crown last year in a playoff with Argentina’s Angel Cabrera at Augusta National, was grouped with American Dufner and Englishman Fitzpatrick for the first two rounds in the draw announced on Tuesday.

Apr 8, 2014

Stenson plays down chances of a Masters victory

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Had this week’s Masters been staged last November, Henrik Stenson would have been an overwhelming favorite to win his first major title after producing a barn-storming finish to his 2013 campaign.

Five months on, though, the Swedish world number three has very carefully played down his chances of clinching a maiden victory at Augusta National, mainly due to his mediocre record at the venue and a less than impressive start to this year.

Apr 7, 2014

Walrus and son set for ‘very, very cool’ Masters

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Craig Stadler is ready for “a very, very cool” experience at this week’s Masters where he and his son Kevin will become the first father-son duo to compete together in the season’s opening major.

Kevin Stadler made it all possible when he won his maiden PGA Tour title at the Phoenix Open in February, and just in time with his father planning to make his final appearance at Augusta National in this year’s edition.

Apr 7, 2014

Masters thumbs up for Australian Jason Day after injury layoff

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Jason Day heads into this weeks Masters having not played competitive golf since late February due to a thumb injury but he is relieved to be back to full fitness as he seeks his first major title.

The Australian world number four had been in sparkling form earlier this year before his unexpected time on the sidelines, right after he had clinched his second PGA Tour victory at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Apr 7, 2014

Masters thumbs up for Australian Day after injury layoff

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Jason Day heads into this weeks Masters having not played competitive golf since late February due to a thumb injury but he is relieved to be back to full fitness as he seeks his first major title.

The Australian world number four had been in sparkling form earlier this year before his unexpected time on the sidelines, right after he had clinched his second PGA Tour victory at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Apr 4, 2014

Rehabilitating Woods could miss U.S. Open, say surgeons

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – Tiger Woods could be sidelined from competitive golf for at least three months after undergoing back surgery, casting doubt over his participation in the June 12-15 U.S. Open, say several leading sports surgeons.

The world number one, whose back pain surfaced last year and intensified this season, will miss the Masters next week for the first time in his career after being advised by his doctors on Monday to have a microdiscectomy in Park City, Utah.

Apr 3, 2014

A hole-by-hole look at Augusta National

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – Once again, the eyes of the golfing world will be firmly fixed on Augusta National when it stages the 78th Masters in Augusta, Georgia, next week with one of its iconic images, the famed Eisenhower Tree, no longer gracing the 17th hole.

The tree, a loblolly pine believed to be at least 100 years old, had to be removed from its position on the 17th fairway, some 210 yards from the tee, after being severely damaged by an ice storm that tore through the venue in February.

Apr 3, 2014

Expect the unexpected at next week’s Masters

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – As the first of the season’s four major championships, the Masters has always been the most keenly anticipated, a veritable golfing ‘rite of spring’ that brings together the game’s leading players in Augusta, Georgia.

This year, that sense of expectation is especially heightened with the list of likely winners deeper than ever and multiple champion Tiger Woods a notable absentee for the first time in his career after having surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back.

Feb 23, 2014

Collins signs with Nets as first openly gay player

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – Veteran NBA player Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, making him the first openly gay athlete on a team roster in any of North America’s four major professional sports leagues.

Collins, who last April revealed that he was gay in a Sports Illustrated article that was published after the National Basketball Association regular season, joined the Nets before their Sunday game in Los Angeles against the Lakers.