Rory McIlroy has defended his comments about Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson being in “the last few holes of their careers”. ” But it’s a lot of golf for him to play in such a short space of time. So you could see he was getting a little tired the last couple of weeks. And, I mean, Tiger’s not here just because he’s been injured or he is injured. He hasn’t had the opportunity to play. “But I think if he gets back and when he gets back to full fitness, you’ll see him back here again. So I’m not sure…they’re just getting older. Phil’s 43 or whatever (actually 44) and Tiger’s nearly 40 (Woods turns 39 in December). “So they’re getting into the sort of last few holes of their career. And that’s what happens. You get injured. Phil has to deal with an arthritic condition as well. So it obviously just gets harder as you get older. I’ll be able to tell you in 20 years how it feels.” Despite simply stating the facts, McIlroy’s comments inevitably generated comments on social media and the four-time major winner later wrote on his Twitter account: ” Got a question today about Tiger and Phil… Gave an honest answer, was very complimentary about the 2 best golfers of this generation. “Golfers on average have a 20-25 year career, both into the back 9 of their careers… Don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying that.” World number one McIlroy first addressed the issue during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, which will not feature either Woods or Mickelson for the first time since 1992. The 25-year-old was asked if that represented a changing of the guard in golf and said: ” Not really. I mean, Phil has played well in parts this year. He came really close to winning the PGA (finishing second behind McIlroy). I feel like he’s gotten a little better as the year has went on. Press Association
Talk about a switcheroo.The first 59 minutes of USC and UCLA’s annual cross-town battle Saturday qualified as a certifiable snoozer.Setting the tone · Junior linebacker Malcolm Smith got USC on the board by returning an interception 62 yards for a score. – Mike Lee | Daily TrojanBut boy did the sparks fly in the final seconds, when UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel called a timeout as USC attempted to run the clock out on a would-be 14-point victory.That was all the provoking USC coach Pete Carroll needed. On the next play he called on freshman quarterback Matt Barkley to deliver a 48-yard touchdown strike to junior receiver Damian Williams to break open the game.That gave the Trojans the 28-7 win in front of a decidedly quiet crowd of 85,713 at the Coliseum, but it also brought almost the entire UCLA sideline onto the field in what almost ended up in a brawl.“That was just competing,” Carroll said in his postgame press conference.Neuheisel said he didn’t blame Carroll for the decision to run a play-action pass with the Trojans up by 14 in the final minute.Still, his players expressed surprise at the call that mirrored Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh’s choice to go for the two-point conversion two weeks ago against the Trojans.“I was speechless,” sophomore safety Rahim Moore said. “They caught us off guard.”That last minute demanded most of the postgame attention, but for much of the game, junior linebacker Malcolm Smith was the story.He picked off a Kevin Prince pass in the first quarter and took it back 62 yards for a touchdown, providing the Trojans their only points of the first half.Smith, who has missed three games this season because of a shoulder ailment, was also credited with 15 tackles in the game, a career-high.“He was finally himself,” said redshirt sophomore middle linebacker Chris Galippo. “All year he’s been hindered by a few injuries and this and that, but this is the one game that everybody got to see the real Malcolm Smith.”Daily Trojan | Geo TuSmith also stuffed three UCLA plays for a loss.“He was all over the field,” Carroll said. “He played a beautiful game.”As a whole, the Trojan defense held the Bruins scoreless until late in the fourth quarter, rattling both UCLA quarterbacks all game long. Redshirt freshman Kevin Prince and senior Kevin Craft combined to complete 18-of-39 passes for no touchdowns and three interceptions.“We made too many mistakes, particularly on offense,” Neuheisel said.It was a performance not seen from the USC defense in recent weeks. In their last five games prior to Saturday, the Trojans had given up an average of nearly 35 points per game.“Defensively, it was huge to keep the score down,” Carroll said. “We were able to adjust and keep things in order.”UCLA’s first — and only — score came with less than six minutes remaining in the game on a direct-snap two-yard run by senior running back Chane Moline.That made the score 14-7, putting the Bruins in position to make a final push to tie the score.But USC responded with a methodical nine-play drive capped by a two-yard touchdown run by redshirt junior running back Allen Bradford, using up more than four minutes of clock.Bradford ran four times for 30 yards on the drive — for a total of 62 yards on 14 carries in the game — and served as a decoy on multiple Barkley passes.“We threw it when we had to and we used a little play-action here and there,” Barkley said. “When it counts, those are the big drives that you really need.”For the much-maligned USC offense, the possession was a bright spot.“I was really proud of the offense — that was their best drive of the day,” said offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates. “And we needed it. We had to take it down and get some points.”And so the 79th meeting between the two teams ended exactly like last year’s, with the Trojans on top by a score of 28-7.There will be no Rose Bowl for either Los Angeles school, but in what has amounted to a mediocre season for both, USC can again go home with bragging rights.“It’s always good to beat UCLA,” Bradford said. “They play us tough every year regardless of whether they’re ranked or they’re not or what’s going in the season or how bad their record is or how bad our record is.”Compared to other in-state rivalries across the nation, the so-called battle for LA has lacked in bravado since UCLA’s 13-9 upset over the Trojans in 2006. But the late-game antics this time around might have created something to look forward to next year.“It was good to see a little controversy, I guess you could say,” Galippo said. “Every other rivalry in the nation is like that, and it was good to see that here.”
In the other pool is the battle of the big cats which sees the minor premiers Lae Snax Tigers taking on the TNA Lions of Simbu at Dickson Oval in Kundiawa. After the 30th August two teams will make the final cut, booking a grand final ticket to Port Moresby for the final show down.Agmark Gurias boast a youthful team blended with old and experienced players Albert Patak,Pidi Tongap, Nelson Daplen and Bradley Simon.The experienced players will be relied on to lead the young pack as they attempt to avenge their 2014 Grand Final loss in Lae last year. The team is under the watchful eyes of upcoming coach Steven Nightingale.Hela Wigmen is an experienced team with the services of Kewa Kili, Joshaia Abavu, Larson Marabe and Nickson Kola.The older players will also be relied on to lead the up coming players in the ranks. After taking out the 2014 Digicel Cup in Lae, the Wigmen will want to go on a back to back premiership.But with Gurias’ home crowd advantage they will have to play smarter and harder. They are under the watchful eyes of Joseph Omai as their coach.Lae Snax Tigers have had another good season taking out the minor premiers title for the second time. However they have to travel up to Simbu to take on the TNA Lions.Will the leadership of experienced players such as David “Lokomotion’’ Loko, electrifying winger Robert Vuia jnr, Hunters reject Noel Joel and Kot Keruwa they will be making sure this season 2015 does not slip out of their hands again. The Stanley Tepen coached side is one win away from the Grand Final.T NA Lions are the dark horses this year playing a simple brand of rugby. They have been the 2015 surprise pack of unknown talents under the leadership of experienced players such as Mathew Puke and under the management of TNA franchise owner Philip Gerard.They are hard to beat on home soil this year, beating teams narrowly throughout the season at Dickson Oval. With complaints coming in from other franchises of rowdy supporters, it must be controlled for a fair semi finals show down.With home crowd advantage on the side of Agmark Gurias and TNA Lions they are tipped to run home to Grand Final Day. However finals football is a different ball game so the teams with fewer mistakes, less ball handling errors, good hard tackles and strong defence will come out winners.Agmark Gurias vs Hela Wigmen -Kokopo Kalabond Field.Lae Snax Tigers vs T NA Lions-Kundiawa , Dickson Oval.