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last updated: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:09:22 -0400

Whan gets six-year contract extension as LPGA boss

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan waits on the first tee during the final round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship at Monroe Golf Club on August 17, 2014 in Pittsford, New YorkMike Whan has received a six-year contract extension to remain as LPGA commissioner that will keep him in the position through 2020, the tour's board of directors announced Tuesday. Since arriving in 2010 to a women's golf tour that had lost several tournaments and key sponsors, Whan has guided a rebound that has seen the LPGA grow from 23 events and $40 million in prize money to more than $60 million in prize money and 33 events. "While we are certainly pleased with the growth we've experienced over the last five years, I firmly believe we are poised for even greater success," board of directors chair Mike Trager said. "Over the course of the LPGA's history, we have certainly experienced wonderful periods of growth.

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Sport | The Guardian
last updated: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:18:51 GMT2015-03-31T19:18:51Z

Holland 2-0 Spain: international friendly – as it happened! | Alan Smith

Holland scored twice inside the opening 16 minutes against Spain in a dull fixture at the Amsterdam Arena

That is that. There were two goals inside 16 minutes. The rest of the first half was dull. The second half was scrappy and saw 10 substitutions. Thanks for reading! Bye!

90 min+3: Counting down the seconds with some non-descript passing across the Holland defence.

90 min+1: De Vrij, being chased down by Morata, executes a Cryuff turn to get out of trouble. Not sure whether to be thrilled or disgusted by that.

90 min: We are into added time! There should be five minutes based on all the substitutions but this game has been dead since 16 minutes in.

88 min: Martins Indi concedes a corner after hooking David Silva’s cross over his own bar. Spain attempt to take it short but Holland are on to their oft-used trick and pen them in before recovering the ball.

An email from Raymond Reardon …

Spain’s players should have arrived earlier in the day and bonded at one of Amsterdam’s coffee shops as they seem totally lethargic and not up for this match against Holland.

85 min: Bye, bye Depay. The star of the show is off to a decent ovation Affelay comes on in his place and I am now at risk of losing count of the substitutions.

84 min: I’m so enthralled by this that I just took a sip from a bottle of water and some of it dribbled down my chin.

82 min: Know when the ball hits the side netting and one side of the ground jumps up in celebration? That’s just happened here. Wijnaldum hits a rocket towards goal but it ripples the wrong side of the onion bag after Depay put him in.

81 min: Fabregas plays a hopeful/hopeless ball across goal, Vermeer gets a foot to it and Holland break through Dost. He feeds Narsingh and gets it back but the move breaks down.

79 min: Dost, banging them in regularly for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, is on for Huntelaar.

77 min: That goal means Iniesta’s every touch will be booed for the remainder here. Meanwhile, Fabregas sends a low but tame effort into the stretched arms of Vermeer.

76 min: That was Cazorla’s last act. Spain’s sixth and final sub sees Iniesta – scorer of the only goal in the 2010 World Cup Final – come on for 15 minutes.

75 min: Silva now has a shot blocked by Martins Indi and Cazorla hooks the ball wide. More substitutions imminent, too, it appears. Oh, joy!

73 min: Jonathan de Guzman is on for Daley Blind. That’s the seventh substitute of the game. 5-2 to Spain.

An email from JR in Illinois

Hey Alan,

I consider it slightly peculiar that there is an MBM for this game but not one for Israel v Belgium, the only Euro qualifier of the day, but whatever. No biggie.

70 min: Silva has the ball in the net but he is offisde (and also handles the ball) from Morata’s shot-cum-pass.

68 min: Another pair of Spain substitutions sees Ramos and San José on for Pique and the ineffective Mario Suarez.

65 min: Vitolo has shanked a great chance wide. Morata played a five yard pass to his fellow substitute who shot wide when unmarked ten yards from goal. Dreadful.

63 min: For Spain, Morata has come on for Juanmi, whose debut wasn’t the most impressive.

63min: Wijnaldum replaces Sneijder, who was quite decent in midfield during his hour and a little bit more.

61 min: It’s taken by Pique! He sends it through a gap in the wall with his right but Vermeer is down to save.

60 min: Vitolo has won a free-kick less than a yard outside the Holland area having made a rampaging run forward only to have his right ankle clipped by Huntelaar.

58 min: Klaassen pumps a long ball forward but De Gea is quickly out to drive the danger far, far away.

56 min: Sneijder picks out Depay on the left. Again, he cuts in and then sends a dipping strike towards goal. De Gea palms away.

53 min: And from that Martins Indi has missed a glorious opportunity to put the game to bed. Sneijder sends a lovely pass in from the right and the defender rises unmarked six yards out. He only has De Gea to beat but he somehow heads downwards and the ball bounces over.

52 min: Pique goes long and picks out Carvajal in an advanced position on the right but Depay tracks his run and holds off Carvajal well before clearing. From Holland’s counter, Narsingh wins a corner.

50 min: If Andy Townsend was watching this, he would have said this is BETTER from Spain. Bernat flashes a low cross from the left past the face of goal but no black shirt is on hand to add a final touch as Fabregas mistimes his run.

48 min: Blind penalised for halting Viotlo. but Fabregas’s delivery is poor. De Vrij heads it unconvincingly into the air before Vermeer pulls it down and into his arms.

47 min: Pedro and Isco came off for the visitors at the break.

46 min: We’re back off again. Can Spain show a bit more in attack than the opening half?

David Silva and Vitolo, another debutant, are coming on for Spain at the break. Waiting to confirm who has come off …

45 min: Luckily, there is no injury time. Holland, mainly thanks to Depay adding a sprinkle of excitement, deservedly go in at the break with a two-goal lead.

44 min: Vermeer has been quick off his line with the slightest sniff of any Spanish danger and he repeats his Neuer-lite trick by rushing out to meet a long pass. He smothers but brings down an onrushing Carvajal while doing so.

43 min: Huntelaar and Albiol have a coming together which leaves the Spain defender incensed and he shoves Huntelaar on the back. The referee steps in to calm things down and we continue.

41 min: Holland still passing it across the backline.

39 min: Depay is off down the left this time but he senses trouble ahead, turns around and plays back to Willems and Holland embark on a prolonged period of patient passing. I like alliteration.

36 min: It’s been tame enough fare since the second goal but Depay is a joy to watch. Carvajal is the latest to be made look a tad silly by the 21-year-old, even if the final ball lacks a little incisiveness. How much will PSV fetch for him when he inevitably moves to Spain, Germany or, er, England?

34 min: Isco throws a sweet dummy and plays in Juanmi, whose snapshot from the edge of the area fizzes wide.

32 min: Spain are coming into it a bit more now but Pedro, making his 50th appearance for the 2010 world champions, is halted by Willems.

31 min: Pedro turns Martins Indi too easily in the area but from a tight angle Vermeer is out to block impressively. Holland then break and Huntelaar’s pressure forces a corner. Depay’s pass is cleared by Isco. Yes, Isco.

28 min: Fabregas wins a corner for Spain. It is worked short and Cazorla plays a dinked pass towards the six-yard box where Pique emerges to challenge Vermeer. However, the Holland keeper is on hand to smother.

24 min: Sneijder plays it along the deck on the left to Depay, who then feeds Willems but his cross is easily dealt with.

21 min: Both sides are without big names but Holland are really dominating this. Spain cannot find any rhythm and Juanmi looks isolated up top on his own. And by up top I mean somewhere near halfway with his team-mates sat deeper.

2 - Stefan de Vrij (27 caps, 3 goals) scored two of his three goals for the Dutch national team against Spain. Matador.

18 min: Juanmi, feeding off scraps so far on his Spain debut, runs into trouble and Holland have a goal-kick.

16 min: Three minutes later and Holland are back in front again! Depay sees Klaassen on his right, picks him out and Davy shoots straight at David de Gea. The goalkeeper can only block rather than smother, however, allowing Klaassen to turn the rebound home.

13 min: But Holland send another cross in following Pique’s clearance from the corner and De Vrij is on hand to steer Sneijder’s kick from the left home.

12 min: Pique concedes another corner but the delivery is, once again, poor.

10 min: Holland stroke it around at a leisurely pace but Spain remain compact and after 30 or so passes Mario Suarez intercepts.

7 min: Depay dazzles the Spain defence with a couple of step-overs before playing a sweet one-two with Huntelaar. When he receives it back, 25 yards from goal, the next great Dutch hope, fizzes a shot that De Gea saves with some ease.

5 min: That is taken short before being worked into the box by Carvajal. Raul Albiol heads towards goal but misses the target by some way.

4 min: Isco is played through by Juanmi but the former is marginally offside as Vermeer emerges to smother the ball. From that the Holland free-kick is intercepted and Juanmi wins a corner.

2 min: Early corner for the hosts as Pique heads a cross towards Huntelaar away from danger. The delivery is easily dealt with by Isco at the front post.

1 min: We are underway with both teams in their away kits. This makes me deeply unhappy. Holland, playing from left to right as we watch it, are in white shirts and socks with orange shorts; Spain are in black with neon yellow trim.

“In reply to Charles Antaki David Villa says hi,” writes Anna Pons.

It’s time for the anthems!

Your* pre-match email s

Spain have notoriously lacked a proper centre-forward since the glory days of Raúl - recent damp squibs Llorente and Torres are (very) pale imitations. Hence the need for the emergency nationalisation of Diego Costa. And he’s mostly injured. So step forward Juanmí, presumably on the basis that he can’t be any worse than Morata (who did actually score against Ukraine, though), and that he appears to be physically fit.

Holland: Vermeer; Janmaat, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Willems; Narsingh, Blind, Klaassen, Sneijder; Huntelaar, Depay.

It is never too easy to get excited by friendlies, particularly during these international weeks of football™, but among the likes of Liechtenstein v San Marino, Russia v Kazakhstan, Portugal v Cape Verde and, er, Italy v England a rare gem sporadically pops up. Holland v Spain. A repeat of last year’s amazing World Cup group game. A repeat of the 2010 World Cup final.

These are oddly worrying times for both sides. And there is plenty of pressure on both managers, Guus Hiddink and Vicente del Bosque, after less than impressive starts to their respective Euro 2016 qualification campaigns.

“The defenders were only passing the ball to the midfielders and they then passed it back to the defenders. The people with little creativity were dictating play. This is not what you want. The problems only got bigger.

“After the level of the Eredivisie and the performances of the Dutch teams in the Champions League and Europa League, it is now clear where the national team stands as well. We are suffering all over the place and I really wonder when we will finally wake up.

Continue reading...

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NYT > Sports
last updated: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:00:14 GMT

South Carolina’s First Women’s Final Four Completes a Steady March
Coach Dawn Staley has made steady progress since becoming the Gamecocks’ coach in 2008, reaching the round of 16 in 2012 and 2014 and the second round in 2013.

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last updated: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 04:50:10 EDT

Tiger Woods drops out of golf's top 100
For the first time in his illustrious career, Tiger Woods is no longer considered one of the world's top 100 golfers.

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Fox Sports Top Stories RSS feed merging with Breaking News
The Fox Sports Top Stories RSS feed is merging with Breaking News. Please use instead.

full story | Breaking News
last updated: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:00:00 GMT

Wicks reformed and hungry for NRL success
WHEN Danny Wicks walked out the front gates of Glen Innes Correctional Centre a free man, returning to the NRL was the furthest thing from his mind.

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last updated: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:29:31 PDT

Heat's Bosh out for season with blood clots
Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh will miss at least the remainder of the season after developing blood clots on one of his lungs, the team announced Saturday.

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Final Four Set - ESPN


Final Four Set
Can Wisconsin end Kentucky's pursuit of perfection? It's the question that will dominate the Final Four debate this week. We put the Kentucky/Wisconsin question to roughly a dozen Division I coaches -- both head coaches and assistants -- to see if any thought ...
Three No. 1 seeds in the Final - WISC-TV3

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News and notes: Locke over Worley?
After Monday’s game, Clint Hurdle announced that Jeff Locke will open the season in the rotation, pushing Vance Worley to the bullpen. This is a pretty big surprise, and honestly, I don’t really understand it. It’s hard to make an argument that Locke has outpitched Worley in any capacity. The numbers from last year aren’t […]

After Monday’s game, Clint Hurdle announced that Jeff Locke will open the season in the rotation, pushing Vance Worley to the bullpen. This is a pretty big surprise, and honestly, I don’t really understand it. It’s hard to make an argument that Locke has outpitched Worley in any capacity. The numbers from last year aren’t close. Neither has been very good this spring, but Locke has been worse. To boot, Worley is being paid more, has more major league experience, and has only made eight career appearances out of the bullpen. Worley is probably one of the best pitchers in baseball (with starting experience) that won’t be opening the year in an MLB rotation.

Both are out of options, so in order to keep both around, the Pirates had to put one in the bullpen. You could rationalize this by saying the Pirates might be more comfortable with Worley out of the pen rather than Locke (who also barely has any bullpen experience, and would be the pen’s third lefty). I don’t really buy that, though – the loser of this battle seemed destined to be the “mop-up” man – the guy that will come out the bullpen in semi-rare situations when 4-5 innings or so are needed. Those are typically low leverage innings, so it would be silly to prioritize those over the far more significant role of a starter. Maybe they have different plans for Worley, but you’d think they’d want to keep him stretched out to be the next man up for when a starter goes down.

This probably isn’t that big of a deal – while I think there’s a decent difference between Locke and Worley, it probably isn’t a huge difference, and the decision can easily be flipped if Locke pitches poorly. Locke has also surprised us with his best work when we seem to least expect it (and his best work has come early in the last few seasons, before fading late). And the Pirates, who are actually watching and talking to these guys every day, know a whole lot more about the situation than you or I do, and they’ve been right about this stuff more often than not lately. Hopefully that’s the case again, but for now I’m a little confused.

The rotation to open the year will look like this:

  • At Reds: Liriano, Cole, Burnett
  • At Brewers: Locke, Morton, Liriano
  • …then presumably Cole, Burnett, and Locke for the first home series (vs Tigers)

Monday’s game at McKechnie was the final home contest of the spring. The Pirates set an attendance record and finished the home slate with a 18-4 thrashing of the Phillies. Pedro Alvarez homered twice, including a grand slam, and Josh Harrison, Pedro Florimon, Tony Sanchez, and Starling Marte also went deep. The bats seem to have picked up lately after a slow start to the spring, which is of course irrelevant but will probably ease the minds of some fans a bit. The game also featured bench clearings and ejections, all for seemingly no good reason (a quick pitch?). The Bucs see the Phils again for the (apparently annual now) two game series in Philly on Friday and Saturday.

I’ll have more on this later, but I’ve been working on putting together a fan guide for PNC Park. It’s not complete yet, but you can read what I have so far: sections on getting tickets, choosing where to sit, and getting to the park. Feel free to send me any feedback or tips you have!

Original article: News and notes: Locke over Worley?

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