Walker soars up rankings after PGA triumph
Jimmy Walker jumped up 33 places in the world golf rankings on Monday thanks to his tense PGA Championship victory over Jason Day at Baltusrol.
The 37-year-old American has moved back into the top 20 for the first time since last October at number 15, after holding his nerve with a par at the last to win by one shot on Sunday.
Australia’s world number one Day strengthens his position at the top of the rankings, despite seeing his stunning eagle on the 72nd hole not prove enough to successfully defend the title.
South African Branden Grace put together an exciting charge into contention in the PGA, and he is rewarded with a return to the world’s top 10.
Brook to ‘shock the world’ in Golovkin title bout
Welterweight world champion Kell Brook vowed Monday he could overcome not only moving up two weight divisions, but also Kazakhstan’s feared world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin when they meet in London on September 10.
Brook, who is unbeaten in 36 bouts with 25 inside the distance, admits there will be a fear factor involved, but unlike what many believe, he is not aiming too high in taking on the 34-year-old pugilist widely regarded as the best pound for pound fighter in the sport.
“To be the best you have to beat the best and it doesn’t get any bigger than Triple-G,” said Brook using Golovkin’s nom de guerre.
“There’s a fear factor in this, I’m going to be so sharp, so alive for that night,” added Brook, whose nickname is ‘The Special One’.
Golovkin is not taking the title defence for granted against Brook as he remarked others have moved up the weights and won.
“This is the biggest test for me,” said Golovkin.
Day happy with performance after another close call
Larry Fine, Reuters
Jason Day had another near miss at a major championship, but not before he gave a major scare to eventual winner Jimmy Walker on the 72nd hole of the Australian’s defence of the PGA Championship.
Trailing by three shots, the world number one crushed a two-iron approach from 258 yards to 14 feet at the par-five 18th and made the putt for eagle to force Walker to make par to win by one.
“The two-iron into the green was probably one of the best two-irons I’ve ever hit into a par-five, especially under the circumstances,” Day told reporters.
“Emiliano (Grillo, Day’s playing partner) came up to me and said the ball was scared of me when I hit it.”
Day was making his first defence of a major, having claimed his maiden major in last year’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
“It was nice to get the eagle, just to try and make Jimmy think about it, but obviously Jimmy just played too good all day,” said Day, generously, after posting 67 for 13-under 267.
Zika an excuse for top ranked players, says Van Zyl
South African Jaco Van Zyl, who sat out the year’s last major, the PGA Championship, to prepare for the Olympics, says the world’s top-ranked golfers are using the Zika virus as an excuse to dodge the Rio Games.
World number one Jason Day of Australia, American world number two Dustin Johnson and number three Jordan Spieth and fourth ranked Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy all removed their names from Olympic consideration citing the risk of contracting the Zika virus.
U.S. health officials have concluded that infections by the mosquito-borne Zika virus in pregnant women can cause microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies.
“Honestly, I can’t feel that the Zika virus would be their reason not to go, the Zika virus is in Florida,” said Van Zyl, number 71 in the world ranking.
“I think they have got other reasons for not wanting to participate and the Zika virus is a very convenient way for them to get out of it.”
Nadal remains doubtful over Rio participation
Ossian Shine, Reuters
Rafael Nadal has conceded he is not yet sure that he will be able to represent Spain at the Rio Olympics as his fitness concerns linger.
The 2008 gold medallist withdrew from the French Open with a wrist injury and missed Wimbledon.
“I will not be at the best level in any of the categories,” Nadal told journalists after arriving in Brazil. “I have not competed for two months and I have not trained a lot.”
“I will train a few days here to see what I can do and then decide what is best, to be more positive for me and the team,” he said.
World number five Nadal, who is due to be Spain’s flag bearer, was absent from the 2012 Olympics due to injury and should he withdraw, it would come as a significant blow for tennis at the Games with several other high-profile player also missing.
Injured Cibulkova hobbles out of Rio
World number 11 and former Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova joined the Olympic Games tennis tournament’s growing list of absentees on Monday when she pulled out with a left calf injury.
The 27-year-old has been told to rest for between seven and 10 days after picking up the injury at the Montreal WTA tournament last week where she lost in the second round to Eugenie Bouchard.
Cibulkova is the latest high-profile player to withdraw from the Games which get underway on Friday.
F1 boss Ecclestone’s pilot held for mother-in-law kidnap
Natalia RAMOS, Agence France-Presse
Brazilian police arrested Monday the alleged mastermind behind the kidnapping of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law, a helicopter pilot who worked for the British billionaire’s family, officials said.
The arrest came after police rescued Aparecida Schunck Flosi Palmeira, the 67-year-old mother of Ecclestone’s Brazilian wife, Fabiana Flosi, on Sunday night after more than a week in captivity.
The pilot, Jorge Eurico da Silva Faria, “planned the kidnapping and knew these people’s routines,” said the Sao Paulo state security service.
It said the pilot worked for Ecclestone’s family. Brazilian news reports said he had also worked for Ecclestone personally.
Schunck, who was kidnapped on July 22, was rescued by the police in a massive night-time raid in the city of Cotia, in the greater Sao Paulo area.
Rio Olympic Park guard arrested in sex assault
A private security guard at Rio’s Olympic Park has been arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting a female firefighter while she slept, police said Monday.
“A security agent from a company working at the velodrome in the Olympic Park was caught red-handed” on Sunday, the police statement said.
He was accused of molesting the woman while she slept “and could not offer resistance.”
The man faces between two and six years in prison if found guilty, police said.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)