The Sports Report: Tiger Woods is in it to win it
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From Steve Henson: It can’t be fond memories of the place, because they are few. Tiger Woods will play the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club this week, injecting an already star-stacked field with that incomparable Tiger factor.
The gallery will swell. The television audience will skyrocket. Tiger could stumble. Tiger could dazzle. A spectacle is guaranteed.
It began with Woods addressing the media Tuesday and making it clear that despite five back surgeries, an arduous recovery from a near-fatal car accident and recent issues with plantar fasciitis, he is here to win.
“I know some players are ambassadors of the game, but I can’t wrap my mind around that as a competitor,” he said. “If I’m playing in the event, I’m going to try and beat you. I’m there to get a W, OK? So I don’t understand that making the cut’s a great thing. If I entered the event, it’s always to get a W.”
Woods will play his first competitive rounds since he missed the cut at the British Open at St. Andrews in July and his first non-major since 2020. Last year, he played only in three majors, finishing 47th at the Masters, missing the cut at the British Open and withdrawing from the PGA Championship after the third round.
Why here? Why now? Woods has always left Riviera disappointed, from his first pro event as a 16-year-old amateur in 1992 when he didn’t make the cut to 13 starts at the event without a victory. He has played no other course as many times without a win.
He is the host of the Genesis Invitational, which benefits his TGR Foundation. But his name will always be linked to the tournament for another reason — his harrowing, horrific car crash in the early morning of Feb. 23, 2021, on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The accident occurred the day after the tournament, which Woods attended as host but did not play.
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From Andrew Greif: Five months into a Clippers season that has sometimes felt like a slog, feeling less like joy than a constant examination under a microscope of their own championship expectations, the impression imparted on forward Nicolas Batum after Monday’s practice, the team’s first with their three new additions, was notable.
New backup point guard Bones Hyland was a burst with the ball.
Backup center Mason Plumlee’s size balanced the Clippers’ rotations.
Veteran guard Eric Gordon could defend players far bigger than his 6-foot-3 frame – and shoot over them, too.
“It’s gonna be easy,” Batum concluded Tuesday morning, “to play with basketball with those guys.”
If that first practice had shown glimpses why the organized believed its trade-deadline activity had fortified its playoff rotation, the first game showed more.
With Kawhi Leonard making seven three-pointers to tie his career high en route to 33 points, and Norman Powell scoring 24 points off the bench, the Clippers looked, for three quarters, like a team that might have another gear to hit, leading Golden State by as many as 18 points before beating the Warriors, 134-124.
From Broderick Turner: Lakers coach Darvin Ham said that “in all likelihood,” LeBron James “should be available” to play against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night at Crypto.com Arena.
That was Ham’s expectation Monday night after the Lakers’ 127-115 loss at Portland. What James’ return will look like, with him playing for the first time with the new players the Lakers added through trades last week, is an unknown.
James missed the last three games with left ankle soreness and ould only watch newcomers D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and Davon Reed try to incorporate themselves into the Lakers’ mix the last two games.
GREATEST NBA PLAYER POLL
We asked you to vote for your pick for the greatest NBA player in history. After 4,706 responses, the results:
Michael Jordan, 30.7%
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 18.1%
LeBron James, 16.1%
Bill Russell, 10%
Kobe Bryant, 6.4%
Magic Johnson, 5.9%
Wilt Chamberlain, 5.8%
Jerry West, 2.1%
Oscar Robertson, 1.7%
Not listed, 1.4%
Elgin Baylor, 1.3%
Larry Bird, 0.4%
Tim Duncan, 0.1%
From Mike DiGiovanna: A new rule banning infield shifts will require big league second basemen to cover far more ground than they have for the past decade or so, when teams regularly positioned three infielders on the right side against left-handed hitters.
That could make it risky for a team with World Series aspirations to entrust the position to a rookie who made only 27 starts at second base in five minor league seasons and is not considered an elite defender at his primary spot — third base.
But it won’t deter the Dodgers, who will open spring training in Phoenix this week with highly touted prospect Miguel Vargas, the best pure hitter in their farm system, penciled in at second base, Gavin Lux taking over at shortstop and erstwhile utility player Max Muncy manning third.
From Sarah Valenzuela: Spring training begins this week for the Angels, who are trying to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Because of next month’s World Baseball Classic, there will be a slightly different cadence to the preseason, and the Angels will feel the impact. Ten players from the Angels’ 40-man roster and eight from the minor leagues will be leaving camp early to play in the WBC, which runs March 7-21.
Before the Angels’ big league spring camp concludes — with the traditional exhibition Freeway Series against the Dodgers March 26-28 — here are five things to watch at Angels spring training this year.
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1932 — Eddie Eagen, as a member of the four-man U.S. bobsled team, wins a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. He previously won a gold medal in boxing light heavyweight division at the 1920 Summer Games in Antwerp, Belgium.
1936 — Sonja Henie of Norway, wins her third consecutive Olympics figure skating gold medal in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
1953 — Tenley Albright becomes the first American woman to win a world figure skating title beating Germany’s Gundi Busch at the World Championships in Davos, Switzerland.
1964 — Ken Hubbs, the 22-year-old Chicago Cubs second baseman, dies when his private plane crashes in Utah. The 1962 NL Rookie of the Year had his pilot’s license for two weeks and was flying in bad weather.
1974 — Boston’s Phil Esposito scores his 1,000th point with an assist in the Bruins’ 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
1978 — Leon Spinks wins a 15-round split decision over Muhammad Ali to take the world heavyweight title at Las Vegas.
1980 — Rookie Wayne Gretzky ties the NHL record with seven assists in a game and sets a scoring record for first-year players in Edmonton’s 8-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.
1986 — A crowd of 44,180, at the time the largest to attend an NBA game, turned out at the Pontiac Silverdome to watch the Pistons beat the Sixers 134-133 in overtime.
1994 — Kentucky makes one of the greatest comebacks in college basketball history with a 99-95 victory over LSU after trailing by 31 points with 15:30 to play.
1994 — Freshman Ila Borders becomes the first woman to pitch in an NCAA or NAIA game. The left-hander pitches a complete-game for Southern California College, allowing five hits in the Vanguards’ 12-1 win over Claremont-Mudd.
1995 — Charlie Standish sets a PBA record by rolling three perfect games in the first round of the Peoria Open bowling tournament. Standish rolls the 300s in the second, fourth and sixth games of the six-game round and at one point has 23 consecutive strikes.
1998 — Dale Earnhardt takes the Daytona 500 on his 20th try and ends a 59-race winless streak on the day NASCAR begins celebrating its 50th anniversary.
2002 — The worst judging scandal in Winter Olympics history is resolved, with Canadian pairs figure skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier declared co-gold medalists with the Russian winners.
2004 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. barrels past Tony Stewart to win the Daytona 500 on the same track that claimed his father’s life three years ago. Junior wins this race in his fifth try, the same race that bedeviled his later father for 19 years.
2007 — Joe Sakic scores twice, including his 600th goal, and adds three assists and Milan Hejduk has three goals to lead Colorado to a 7-5 win at Calgary.
2010 — American Seth Wescott defends his Olympic title in Vancouver overtaking Canada’s Mike Robertson to win the gold medal in the wild sport of men’s snowboardcross. Didier Defago wins the gold in the Olympic downhill and American Bode Miller breaks his personal streak of major championship mishaps by taking the bronze.
2013 — Ted Ligety becomes the first man in 45 years to win three gold medals at a skiing world championships. French great Jean-Claude Killy took home four golds in 1968. Ligety wins giant slalom by a massive margin for his third gold. Earlier in the championships held in Schladming, Austria, Ligety won the super-G and super-combined — both events he had never won on the World Cup circuit.
2014 — Renaud Lavillenie breaks Sergei Bubka’s 21-year-old indoor pole vault world record in Donetsk, Ukraine. Lavillenie clears the bar comfortably at 6.16 meters (20 feet, 2 1/2 inches) in Bubka’s home city, almost to the day the pole vault great cleared achieved 6.15 (20-2) on Feb. 21, 1993.
2018 - German figure skaters Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot set new ISU best free skating score of 159.31 on their way to pairs gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
Compiled by the Associated Press
Leon Spinks defeats Muhammad Ali. Watch and listen here.
Until next time...
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