Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Photographers' Blog:

Augusta: A tournament like no other

Augusta, Georgia

By Phil Noble

It was the author Mark Twain who wrote "Golf is a good walk spoiled" and although the persistent rain that dogged the final round play at this years Masters certainly made it tough for both players and photographers alike, the amazing photographs at the final hole of regular play and the subsequent thrilling playoff certainly ensured our "good walk" wasn't ruined.

I was lucky enough to be asked to return to the Augusta National golf club this year for my second Masters tournament. Along with my Reuters colleagues Mike Segar, Bryan Snyder, Mark Blinch and 24 year Masters veteran Gary Hershorn, who would edit our pictures, we pitched up again at the Mecca of golf to cover a tournament unlike any other.

At most other golf championships we cover, photographers are allowed to work inside the ropes that hold the spectators back, making the job of following play and getting into a good position to photograph the golfers a relatively easy one. At Augusta however, we are accorded no such privilege, the hallowed, well manicured and vibrant green turf being preserved only for those playing in the tournament, meaning we are in with the spectators, or in the case of Augusta, the 'patrons'.

With tens of thousands of golf fans all vying to get a view of their heroes, moving around the course and finding a clear vantage point is more challenging than usual, but once you've got your 'masters head' on and a bunch of "Excuse me", "Would you mind awfully if I..." and a liberal sprinkling of "If I kneel can I squeeze in front of you?" in your camera bag the course offers a wealth of angles and pictures unlike anywhere else.

from Photographers' Blog:

Broken and showing

Indianapolis, Indiana

By Jeff Haynes

I was on the court when Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware went to block the three-point shot of Duke’s Tyler Thornton and landed wrong on his right leg suffering a compound fracture with the shin bone protruding through the skin, with about 3 inches showing.

It is being called one of the most gruesome sports injuries ever to be seen on live TV and then replayed again.

from Photographers' Blog:

How ’bout them Yankees?

Bradenton, Florida

By Steve Nesius

As a photographer you often don’t know what to expect when covering MLB spring training baseball games - especially covering the Yankees.

After several games of being crammed into ridiculously tight photo wells at other stadiums with still photographers, TV crews and team interns shooting videos of batters and pitchers, it was nice to be assigned to a game at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida. Most photographers choose to shoot on the walkway behind the seats with clean fields of view. I wanted to shoot in the third base well, which is low to ground level, during the first inning to get the starting right-handed pitchers before heading up to the walkway.

Cristiano Ronaldo graceful in controversial Real Madrid triumph over Manchester United

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Manchester United fans, players and manager Alex Ferguson will no doubt be fuming for a few more days about the controversial nature of their Champions League defeat by Real Madrid before the club’s attention turns to Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea at Old Trafford.

But even the referee’s decision to send off Nani when a booking seemed sufficient could not overshadow the graceful manner in which Cristiano Ronaldo handled the occasion of knocking out his former club at a ground where he is apparently still adored.

Domination in ODIs a thing of the past

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Recent results in one-day cricket have not only made a mockery of the rankings but it has also injected some much-needed excitement in the format.

First, it was current No. 1 India, who lost to Pakistan (No. 6) at home, followed by third-ranked Australia, who fought hard to just level a series with visitors Sri Lanka. Then it was the turn of hosts South Africa to lose a three-match series to lower-ranked New Zealand.

Warne and Samuels show TV cricket is no longer just a gentleman’s game

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When Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels came close to trading blows at the jam-packed MCG, it made for great TV viewing.

Sadly, in a sport like cricket which has always been considered a “gentleman’s game”, it wasn’t an aberration. 

Greg Rusedski blog: London tennis was best in Olympic history

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This year’s Olympic tennis was, in my opinion, the most prestigious in history due to the fact that it was being held at the home of tennis, Wimbledon.

Roger Federer had made it his goal to try to win Olympic gold in singles for the first time, one of the very few things he hasn’t achieved in his career.

Greg Rusedski blog: Murray still my tip for Sports Personality glory

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With Britain’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year approaching fast, it is going to be one of the most difficult years to win because of the brilliant performances of so many British athletes.

I cannot remember a year with more British sporting success. Andy Murray has had the best year of his career, becoming the first British man to win a major in 76 years. On top of that, he won Olympic gold at Wimbledon in singles, silver in the mixed doubles and also reached the Wimbledon singles final.

After Luiz Adriano affair, do fair play and winning always go hand in hand?

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Shakhtar Donetsk romped into the Champions League last 16 with a match to spare following their 5-2 win at Danish rivals Nordsjaelland, but only after their Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano scored a goal which outraged much of the football world as he broke what UEFA called “principles of conduct”.

With the Ukrainian champions 1-0 down and chasing the win they needed to progress into the knockout stage of the competition, Luiz Adriano latched on to a ball which his team mate and compatriot Willian played in an attempt to pass it back to the opposition after the game was halted to treat a Nordsjaelland player for injury.

Is Chicharito the new Solskjaer?

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Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said recently it was his dream to take over as manager at Old Trafford one day and if he fulfills it in the foreseeable future, the 39-year old Norwegian could coach a lethal finisher that is almost a carbon copy of himself from his playing days.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez made an immediate impact after joining United in the summer of 2010, helping the club to their 19th league title with more than just a few vital goals.

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