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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Tiger shoots eight-over 78 for worst score at a US Open

Sports Shorts: Tiger shoots eight-over 78 for worst score at a US Open

June 15, 2018 11:22 IST

A summary of sports events and persons in the news on Thursday.

Tiger Woods

IMAGE: Tiger Woods putts 17th hole during the first round of the US Open golf tournament. Photograph: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Tiger Woods carded his worst score at a US Open on Thursday after an eight-over-par 78 in the first round at Shinnecock Hills left him nine strokes off the lead.

In tough, windy conditions Woods got off to a horrible start with a triple-bogey seven at the first hole and later added a four-putt double at the par-four 13th.

His previous worst round at a US Open was a 77 in the third round at Oakland Hills in 1996.

 

The 42-year-old will now struggle to make the cut and has a mountain to climb if he is to end his decade-long major drought, stretching back to the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

"I didn't putt well today. I drove it pretty darn good for most of the day, just never took advantage of the opportunities," said Woods.

"It's tough out there, but you shouldn't make two doubles and a triple. My game plan was not to make any others (bogey or worse) and I made three of them."

After finding the fairway with a nice drive at the par-four first, Woods hit a knock-down shot into the wind but misjudged it slightly, his ball bounding over the crowned green and down the slope beyond.

He was left with an extremely tough pitch and failed to get the ball up onto the green. It took him two further attempts to reach the putting surface.

While a bogey at the second left him reeling at four-over he did not panic.

"All I had to do after that start was shoot even par over the next 16 holes and I'd be just fine," he said.

Woods managed to go even par through the next 10 holes but undid that good work by four-putting from 40 feet at the 13th.

"I was worried about running the (first) putt by, left it short, blocked the next one, then blocked it again," he said.

Real Madrid chief Perez attacks Spain's decision to sack Lopetegui

 Florentino Perez

IMAGE: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez during a presentation. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez on Thursday defended the appointment of Julen Lopetegui as coach of the 13-times European champions on the eve of the World Cup which led to the manager being sacked by the Spanish national team.

Instead of helping Spain prepare for Friday's highly-anticipated Group B game against Portugal in Sochi, Lopetegui was in Madrid on Thursday being presented as Zinedine Zidane's successor.

An emotional Lopetegui took to the stage in the presidential box at the Santiago Bernabeu, barely 24 hours after returning home following his humiliating dismissal by Spanish Football Federation chief Luis Rubiales.

Rubiales said he dismissed Lopetegui because he was informed about the 51-year-old's future plans only five minutes before the news was made public. However, Perez said his club had acted correctly.

"Real Madrid and Julen reached an agreement freely. Our objective was to show transparency and normality to avoid rumours," Perez said.

"We were surprised by the suggestion this deal could affect a dressing room of top level footballers, players who do not let anything affect their performances as sportsmen. There’s not a single argument that justifies why Julen Lopetegui will not be sitting in the Spain dugout tomorrow."

Lopetegui remained unbeaten in 20 games in charge of Spain, who were considered as one of the favourites to win the World Cup until his sacking rocked their preparations. Former Real defender Fernando Hierro was named stand-in coach for the tournament.

"Yesterday was the worst day of my life since my mother died," said Lopetegui as he fought back tears.

"But today is the happiest day of my life."

The coach echoed Perez's words as he tried to explain the decision which ultimately cost him the chance to lead Spain out on football's biggest stage.

"We had to close the deal before and not during the World Cup. We wanted to be transparent, I didn't want to hide anything as a coach. The players knew about it, there was no problem and they trained magnificently that day," he added.

"Without any doubt when I watch the game (against Portugal) I'll cheer the team on just like any other Spaniard, I feel part of this team and I'm sure we'll have a great World Cup despite everything."

A former goalkeeper, Lopetegui came through Real's youth system and played one game for their first team. He later went on to coach Real's reserve side for one season.

His only experience in charge of a top club was a trophyless 18-month spell with FC Porto which led to him being sacked.

He now faces the daunting task in succeeding Zidane, who quit Real after winning three successive Champions League titles and a La Liga crown in 2-1/2 years.

Former England captain Butcher appointed Philippines head coach

Terry Butcher

IMAGE: Former England captain Terry Butcher. Photograph: Action Images/Graham Stuart/Livepic/Reuters

Former England captain Terry Butcher said becoming a national team coach was the "next step" in his career after being appointed as the head coach of Philippines national team on a two-year deal.

Butcher, who won 77 international caps and played in three World Cups, went on to manage eight clubs but did not hold any managerial position since getting the sack at Newport County in 2015.

"People asked me whether I'd fallen out of love with the game but it felt more like the game had fallen out of love with me," Butcher told BBC Sport.

"I've enjoyed my punditry work, personal appearances and after-dinner speaking but there's nothing like getting back in the dugout."

The 59-year-old's first task, after joining in August, would be to prepare the national team for the ASEAN Football Federation Championship in November before making their Asia Cup debut next year.

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