Archive For 04/19/2019

Scott rues the gold jacket that got away

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Tour veteran Peter Senior celebrated a richly deserved two-stroke win at Huntingdale Golf Club on Sunday but the trophy was virtually gift-wrapped for former world number one Scott halfway through his second round.

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The 2012 and 2013 champion had marched to a five-stroke lead after a bogey-free run of 27 holes, but from there it became a grind.

With his driver, irons and putter all misbehaving, Scott fell back into a share of the lead after the second round and crashed during the third with a six-over 77.

Five strokes off the pace on Sunday, Scott dug deep to claw within three of the lead but a double-bogey on the par-five seventh took the wind out of his sails and his challenge ended with another dropped shot on the 15th.

He finished fifth after a final round 69 and felt the week was a microcosm of a frustrating, winless year.

“I think I played okay. It’s kind of hard to know after yesterday’s (round) left my head spinning a little bit because I just played so poorly,” the 2013 U.S. Masters champion told reporters.

“(That was) some of the worst golf I’ve played this year and really disappointing.

“So, it was a big ask to be able to go low today.”

As Senior marched to his third Masters title, draining a number of long birdies with a broomstick putter, Scott laboured for the most part on the greens with the short putter.

Last month, Scott gave up the broomstick which he won with at Augusta in readiness for the ban on anchoring in 2016.

The transition has had its setbacks and barring some fine putting in his opening round 64, Scott struggled to find the hole from outside 10 feet.

Scott, nonetheless, said his week had left him with a “competitive mind‑set” for the Open at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

“Three pretty good rounds this week, that’s how you have to look at it, and one you’d like to forget about,” he added.

“Hopefully that means I’m not far away from four good rounds … I’m going to have to tighten it up just that little bit and hit some better shots overall.”

(Editing by Julian Linden)

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Ban urges Russia, US to unite on terrorism

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Russia and the United States to co-operate in rooting out terrorism and said he would unveil a comprehensive plan to fight extremism and violence early next year.

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“All these terrorists and ideology extremists should be defeated in the name of humanity,” he said at the annual East Asia Summit, this year hosted by Malaysia.

“In that regard, we need to unite. We need to show global solidarity to address … the common enemy of ISIL, Daesh, some other extremists and terrorist groups,” he said, referring to Islamic State.

US President Barack Obama said at the same summit the United States and its allies would not relent in the fight to combat Islamic State extremists and would hunt down their leaders and cut off the group’s financing.

“Destroying (Islamic State) is not only a realistic goal, we’re going to get it done,” he told a news conference after the summit.

“We will destroy them. We will take back land they are currently in, take out their financing, hunt down leadership, dismantle their networks, supply lines and we will destroy them.”

Obama said it “would be helpful” if Russia directed its focus on tackling Islamic State and he hoped Moscow would agree to a leadership transition in Syria that meant its president stepping down.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said countries with large populations of Muslims, including Russia, should unite to fight against Islamic State.

“We need a consolidated anti-terrorist position of those countries that have a large Islamic community, and incidentally Russia is one of these countries,” Medvedev said.

He said “it is now clear we can only fight this threat by bringing our forces together and by working through such international institutions as the United Nations”.

Ban said he “highly commended the leadership of the Russian Federation together with the United States to address some of the roots causes of terrorism”.

The United Nations is now gathering ideas and experience from its member states. “Early next year, the UN is going to present a comprehensive plan of action to defeat violence and extremism.”

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Turkish Airlines plane diverted to Canada

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A Turkish Airlines plane flying from New York to Istanbul has been diverted to Canada because of a bomb threat, police said.

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said the plane, with 256 passengers and crew, landed safely at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

“RCMP is looking to establish the origin of the threat and identify the person or persons responsible,” it said on Twitter.

Officials said they would provide no details on the bomb threat.

“This will form part of the investigation,” the RCMP’s Nova Scotia branch said.

Authorities received the bomb threat late Saturday at after the plane had departed New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The RCMP, in a series of statements on Twitter, said the process of transferring passengers to the terminal was going “smoothly”.

Police will be “searching the Turkish Airlines plane using police dogs trained in explosives”, it said.

“Luggage will also be searched by police dogs,” the RCMP added.

The bomb threat comes with aviation officials on high alert for possible acts of terror, following the November 13 attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead and hundreds injured.

The latest threat follows incidents last Tuesday, when two Air France planes flying from the US to Paris were diverted because of similar bomb scares.

Those planes were forced to land in Halifax and in Salt Lake City, Utah, but officials said no explosives were found on either flight.

Law enforcement officials in the United States and Canada are investigating both incidents, authorities said.

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NZ chopper crash victims’ bodies removed

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It may be days before police can recover the remaining bodies from the wreckage of a helicopter crash that killed seven on Fox Glacier.

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Three bodies have been removed from the crash site where two young Australians, four Britons and a Kiwi pilot died on Saturday.

Police said they had recovered those bodies on Sunday morning by using a helicopter to winch them out during a lull in bad weather.

But conditions worsened again in the afternoon, and police were unable to reach the remaining four.

With weather forecasts poor for Monday and Tuesday, police said it could be the middle of the week before they reached the site again.

Inspector John Canning said the terrain was treacherous and care had to be taken.

“The site is near the top of the glacier, it’s all ice, it’s not level and there are blocks of ice as big as buildings with crevasses between them.”

The Australian victims were named as Leang Sovannmony, 27, and Josephine Gibson, 29, both from NSW – not South Australia as previously believed.

The pilot has been named as Mitchell Paul Gameren, 28, from Queenstown.

NZ Prime Minister John Key said he had passed his condolences on to Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday night.

Mr Turnbull told reporters in Kuala Lumpur he was thinking of the victims’ families.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and we’re very sorry to hear about the accident,” he said.

The British tourists were named as Andrew Virco, 50, and Katharine Walker, 51, both from Cambridge, and Nigel Edwin Charlton, 66, and Cynthia Charlton, 70, both from Hampshire.

Emergency services were alerted to the crash just before 11am on Saturday.

Investigators were able to fly over the crash site on Sunday morning, but could not continue working in the afternoon.

A drone would be used to get photographs of the area when the weather permitted.

Investigators from France and the United States have been invited to join the inquiry, as they are the countries where the aircraft was made.

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Guptill posts ton in NZ’s pink-ball game

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Martin Guptill found form and flayed an inexperienced Western Australia attack on Sunday, posting an unbeaten century against the pink ball.

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Guptill retired after scoring 103 on day two of the two-day fixture at the WACA, where New Zealand were 4-301 at the dinner break.

BJ Watling also enjoyed some quality time at the crease, scoring 81 before he was out edging to Ryan Duffield.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor didn’t bat in the first two sessions after being demoted down the order in the tune-up for the inaugural day-night Test.

NZ’s only previous pink-ball experience came in a home training camp and last month’s 50-over clash in Canberra.

Guptill hit 94 in that one-day clash at Manuka Oval, his only other score of substance on the current tour.

Guptill looked a different batsman against WA compared to his inability to reach 25 in all four knocks during the Test series.

Australia’s star-studded attack will present a lot more challenges at Adelaide Oval than the likes of Liam O’Connor, a 22-year-old legspinner yet to make his first-class debut.

But the leading run-scorer of this year’s World Cup clearly regained some of his natural aggression in a productive three-hour stint at the crease.

“He’s a quality player at the international level and I don’t think he’s far off producing some of the innings we know he can produce,” NZ batting coach Craig McMillan predicted on Friday.

“One of the important things I talk to Gupp about is encouraging him to play similar to his one-day game.”

Guptill did exactly that, hammering O’Connor for a fourth sixth to bring up his ton off 107 balls.

O’Connor had figures of 1-82 from 15 overs at the meal break but his wicket was the prized scalp of Brendon McCullum.

McCullum bludgeoned the pink ball all over the park before he was stumped on 49, charging down the wicket and trying to heave O’Connor’s second delivery over the fence.

McCullum’s 40-minute blitz was the highlight of Sunday’s first session.

The Blackcaps skipper came to the crease at 2-63 and wasted few of his 28 balls, attacking David Moody and Duffield at almost every opportunity.

At one point WA had three men on the leg-side rope as McCullum mixed power with panache.

McCullum broke a bat when he cracked a bouncer from Duffield back over the paceman’s head for six.

Keeper Josh Inglis snared catches to dismiss Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford, who were both undone by Andrew Tye in the first session.

It was agreed pre-match that both sides would bat for one full day.

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