China closes 66 'illegal' golf courses
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 01:38:42 -0400
China has closed down nearly 70 "illegal" golf courses, a government statement said, in what appears to be the first sign of enforcement of a decade-old ban. The announcement by China's ministry of land and resources comes amid a high-profile anti-graft campaign spearheaded by President Xi Jinping, which has seen crackdowns on banquets, lavish gift-giving and other official excesses. The ruling Communist Party has long had an ambivalent relationship with golf, which is both a lucrative opportunity for local authorities and a favoured pastime of some officials, but closely associated with wealth and Western elites. "Presently, local governments have shut down a number of illegally-built golf courses, and preliminary results have been achieved in clean-up and rectification work," read the announcement on the ministry's website late Monday.
DeRozan scores 42 as NBA's Raptors bring down Rockets
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 23:38:54 -0400
DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 42 points and matched a career best with 11 rebounds as Toronto beat Houston 99-96 in a battle of NBA division leaders. DeRozan, who netted 12 points in the fourth quarter on Monday, was 14-of-27 from the court and 12-of-17 from the free throw line to power the Raptors to their eighth home win in a row over the Rockets. Atlantic division leader Toronto improved to 44-30, one game behind Chicago for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Hawks down Milwaukee to clinch top seed in NBA's East
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 22:52:13 -0400
DeMarre Carroll scored a game-high 23 points and the Atlanta Hawks, already assured of the best record in the NBA Eastern Conference, ripped the Milwaukee Bucks 101-88. Al Horford scored 18 points on Monday while Paul Millsap contributed 15 points and nine rebounds and Carroll added eight rebounds as the Hawks improved to 56-18, 4 1/2 games behind Golden State for the top record in the league. Atlanta's Kyle Korver scored all 11 of his points in a 65-second span of the third quarter, boosting the Hawks' lead from five points to 16 on the way to their third victory in four games.
McIlroy, Stenson, Watson commit to WGC Match Play
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:53:01 -0400
World number one Rory McIlroy as well as the next two in the rankings, Sweden's Henrik Stenson and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, will play at the World Golf Championships Match Play, organizers said Monday. The Northern Ireland star, whose major wins include the 2011 US Open plus the 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship and 2014 British Open, was runner-up in the WGC Match Play three years ago to American Hunter Mahan but has never won the event. Watson has three top-10 finishes in four appearances at the WGC Match Play, including fourth-place in 2011.
Ex-NFL player's fiancée says she threw out box after murder
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:28:01 -0400
By Daniel Lovering FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - Ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez asked his fiancée to dispose of a heavy cardboard box that smelled of marijuana a day after prosecutors say he fatally shot an associate, the fiancée told jurors at his murder trial on Monday. Shayanna Jenkins, 25, testified that she put the box in a trash bag and concealed it with baby clothes before carrying it from the basement of their home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, to her sister's car in the driveway. ... At that point I was nervous." Hernandez, 25, is being tried on murder and firearms charges in the slaying of Odin Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player who was dating Jenkins' sister, Shaneah. Prosecutors say he and two friends, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, picked up Lloyd at his Boston home early on June 17, 2013, and drove him to an industrial park near Hernandez's house, where his bullet-riddled body was found later that day.
Play-off-bound Rockets lose Beverley for rest of season
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:56:06 -0400
Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley will miss the remainder of the NBA season after undergoing surgery on his injured left wrist, the team announced Monday. Beverley will have an operation on Tuesday to repair a torn wrist ligament that he suffered in last Monday's 110-100 victory over Indiana. The Rockets lost Beverley just two days before they welcomed back center Dwight Howard following a two-month absence due to a right knee injury. Beverley, 26, was averaging 10.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists over 56 games this season, but was as important to the Rockets for his defensive skills.
NFL's Falcons fined, stripped of draft choice for piping in fake noise
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:27:06 -0400
The National Football League on Monday fined the Atlanta Falcons $350,000 and stripped them of a fifth-round draft choice in 2016 for piping in artificial crowd noise during their home games in 2013 and part of 2014. Separately, Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer has been suspended four games for texting coaches during games in 2014 and the team was fined $250,000, the NFL said. Falcons President Rich McKay, although not implicated in the scheme, will be suspended from the league's competition committee from April 1 through at least June 30 for failing to ensure that the team complied with NFL rules, the league said. "What took place was wrong and nowhere near the standards by which we run our business," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Monday in a statement.
Falcons lose draft pick for artificial crowd noise
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:12:31 -0400
The Atlanta Falcons were fined $350,000 and stripped of a fifth-round pick in the 2016 National Football League draft on Monday for using artificial crowd noise for the past two seasons. A review by league officials concluded with the NFL imposing the punishments because a former Falcons executive, event marketing director Roddy White, pumped extra crowd noise into the Georgia Dome for home games in the 2013 and 2014 season until the situations was revealed last November. "What took place was wrong and nowhere near the standards by which we run our business," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said. "Any time there are actions that compromise the integrity of the NFL or threaten the culture of our franchise, as this issue did, they will be dealt with swiftly and strongly.
Browns GM banned four games for texting to sideline
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:40:55 -0400
Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer was suspended for four games without pay by the National Football League on Monday for violating rules banning the use of electronic devices during games. Farmer sent text messages to the Browns sideline with a cell phone during games last season. The suspension will begin at the start of the 2015 regular season and forbids Farmer from any involvement in club matters or from being at the team's offices, practice facility or Browns games. The Browns were also fined $250,000, although the league found no other members of the front office were involved.
Tiger Woods out of golf world top 100
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:27:09 -0400
Former number one Tiger Woods has dropped out of the world top 100 for the first time in his career as he continues his battle against injuries and loss of form. Just last January Woods posted an 82 in the Phoenix Open -- his worst round as a professional -- that saw him drop outside the top 50 in the world rankings for the first time in more than three years. He then jumped from world number 221 to 75 five tournaments later in breaking through for a maiden pro career win at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational, the first of his 79 PGA Tour titles.
Tiger Woods career timeline
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:25:45 -0400
London (AFP) - Tiger Woods timeline since turning pro in 1996 to falling out of the world top 100:
Woods drops out of world's top 100
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:58:41 -0400
(Reuters) - Tiger Woods has dropped outside the top 100 in the world golf rankings for the first time since 1996. Woods's last major title was the 2008 U.S. Open but he won five PGA Tour events in 2013 and topped the rankings in May 2014 before suffering injury problems and a loss of form.
China says 66 golf courses shut in renewed crackdown
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 05:50:03 -0400
BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities have closed 66 golf courses in a renewed crackdown on courses built in contravention of rules designed to protect arable land and save water, China's top economic planning body said on Monday. The central government last year ordered the demolition of courses built by five mainly little-known developers, the first real sign of enforcement of a 2004 ban. The ban was imposed to protect China's shrinking land and water resources in a country home to a fifth of the world's population but which has just 7 percent of its water. ...
Kerr fires 65 to capture 17th career LPGA title
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 00:04:32 -0400
Cristie Kerr fired a seven-under-par 65 to win her 17th career LPGA title, taking a two-stroke victory over South Korea's Lee Mi-Rim at the Kia Classic. A tearful Kerr had vowed to win after her caddie, Greg Johnston, mourned the death of his father last week. Lee was second, undone by a double bogey at 17, with world number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand third on 271, American Alison Lee fourth on 272 and South Korean world number two Park In-Bee fifth on 273. Ko, 17, fired a 67, stretching her streak of sub-par rounds to 28 as she prepares for the year's first major tournament, next week's Ana Inspiration at Rancho Mirage.