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SPORTS

13

WWW.

SAUDIGAZETTE

.COM.SA

MONDAY 22 OCTOBER 2018

Kang claims Shanghai title

JSC soccer

tourney for

above 40

players

Marquez wins as Dovizioso crashes

Koepka to

become

No. 1 after

CJ Cup win

Hamilton takes US pole

Rodriguez

retains belt

with decision

over Moloney

SHANGHAI —

American

Danielle Kang overcame flailing

nerves to fire a three-under-par

69 in the final round and claim

the inaugural LPGA Shanghai

title by two-strokes Sunday.

Kang, who started the final

day one shot off the lead, failed to

make any gains on the front nine

and dropped a shot at the par-five

fourth hole.

But the 26-year-old recov-

ered with four birdies after the

turn to finish 13-under overall at

a breezy and overcast Qizhong

Garden Golf Club, fending off

a late charge by New Zealand’s

Lydia Ko, who carded the day’s

lowest score of 66.

Ko, who mixed seven birdies

with a lone bogey, finished tied

for second at 11-under in a group

of seven players which included

American Brittany Altomare,

Thai Ariya Jutanugarn and over-

night co-leader Kim Sei-young of

South Korea.

Kang, ranked 29 in the world,

added the Shanghai title to the

Women’s PGA Championship

crown she lifted last year.

She later admitted having a

“temper tantrum” after a sluggish

front nine and credited her cad-

die for a remarkable turnaround

on her way to the finish.

“After nine holes I had a tem-

per tantrum,” said Kang. “He told

me to go off to the side and we

did. Hit the bag, do whatever you

need to do to let your anger out

and start a new nine. That’s what

I did.

“I’ve been through so much

just mental struggle that it’s just

been emotionally draining all

year. I’m just finally happy and

just working on my game prop-

erly.”

Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, who

held a share of the lead heading

into the final round, slipped to a

tied-ninth finish after signing for

a one-over 73.

— Reuters

JEDDAH —

JSC-ISM football

academy, the first soccer train-

ing center for expatriate boys in

the Kingdom, which comes up

with novel events every year as

the first Under-6 football tourna-

ment, is getting ready for a Super

Soccer League for players past 40

years.

This will be a rare opportuni-

ty for former players to showcase

their skills as well as a wonder-

ful occasion for the soccer fans

to see the famous veterans in ac-

tion.

This elevens football tourna-

ment will begin at Hilal Shyam

Stadium on Khalid Bin Waleed

Street here on Dec. 7.

The interested teams may

confirm their entries before

Nov. 15 with tournament com-

mittee convenor Zamir Kannur

(0553946698) or co-ordinator

Rafi Beemapally (0504334934).

Players who are born before 1978

December are only eligible to

take in the Super Soccer League.

Trophies and prize money

are at stake for the winner and

runner-up. There will be bumper

prizes for spectators on every

match day.

Super Soccer League will

be conducted on a league-cum

knockout basis and the final is

scheduled for Jan. 4, 2018.

— SG

MOTEGI, Japan —

Honda’s Marc

Marquez stormed to a nail-biting vic-

tory in Japan Sunday to capture his

third straight MotoGP world champion-

ship as Ducati rival Andrea Dovizioso

crashed out.

The Spanish sensation has now won

five championships in motorcycling’s

premier class, putting him level with

Australian legend Mick Doohan.

Marquez, still just 25, trails only the

Italian pair of Valentino Rossi, who won

the last of his seven championships in

2009, and Giacomo Agostini, whose re-

cord eighth came in 1975, in the all-time

list.

“I feel really, really good,” whooped

Marquez after Dovizioso’s late spill con-

firmed his eighth victory of the season.

Marquez started from sixth on

the grid at Motegi but quickly knifed

through the field and was third by the

end of the first lap.

He flirted with disaster on lap 14,

however, after overtaking Dovizioso at

turn nine before running wide at the

next corner and spitting up dirt and dust

as he battled to control a violent wobble.

That heart-in-mouth moment al-

lowed Dovizioso to retake the lead, but

Marquez continued to swarm all over

the Italian, finally slashing past himwith

a daredevil move on lap 21 of 24.

Dovizioso, who needed to complete

a pole to flag victory to keep alive his

fading championship hopes, crashed out

on the penultimate lap in a desperate

last push, ending this year’s title race.

Fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow

finished runner-up after Dovizioso’s fall

with Alex Rins (Suzuki) edging out Ros-

si (Yamaha) to round out the podium.

Marquez has now won seven world

titles in total after also winning the

125cc championship in 2010 and the

Moto2 crown in 2012.

Meanwhile, three-time world cham-

pion Jorge Lorenzo will miss next week-

end’s Australian race after sitting out

the Japanese round with injury.

Ducati said the Spaniard, who frac-

tured his wrist at the previous race in

Thailand, will aim to return at the pen-

ultimate weekend in Malaysia at the

start of November.

Lorenzo paid tribute to Marquez,

who he will join at Honda next year.

“Sometimes we don’t agree on the

way to compete,” he tweeted. “But I rec-

ognise talent and excellence and there’s

no doubt about (his). Congratulations,

you’ve been the best again.”

—AFP

SEOUL —

Brooks Koepka will

become world No. 1 for the first

time Monday after the American

fended off a game Gary Wood-

land to earn a four-stroke vic-

tory at the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup in

South Korea.

Koepka posted a final round

of 64 at the Nine Bridges Golf

Club on Jeju island on Sunday,

finishing with a flourish by ea-

gling the last hole for a combined

21-under 267 at the $9.5 million

tournament.

The 28-year-old, who won

two of this year’s four majors and

was named the US tour’s Player

of the Year, will move up from

third spot to replace Dustin John-

son as No. 1 when the latest rank-

ings are released.

Johnson and world No. 2 Jus-

tin Rose were not playing this

week.

Koepka said his rise to be-

come the top ranked player in

men’s golf was the stuff dreams

are made of.

“I look at where I started, my

first pro start was in Switzerland

and I don’t think I could have

said six years later that I would

be number one in the world,” he

said.

“The world number one is

something I dreamed of as a kid

and I don’t think this one’s going

to sink in.”

Woodland (63) gave Koepka

a run for his money, closing the

gap with six birdies on the front

nine, but his charge faltered with

a bogey on 17 and he finished

alone in second on 17-under.

Ryan Palmer looked well out

of contention heading into the

final round but a course record

10-under 62, which included sev-

en straight birdies to finish, gave

him the clubhouse lead on 15-un-

der before Woodland and Koepka

came home.

Palmer finished tied for third

with Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello

(65).

Koepka, whose win came on

his first start of the new PGA

Tour season after he skipped

the opening two events, showed

both sides of his game on Sun-

day, hammering out thunderous

drives and exhibiting deft touch

around the greens.

With Woodland trailing

by just a shot, Koepka looked

to be struggling to make par

on 16 when he found himself

in tangly rough from off the

green.

However, he produced a de-

lightful chip that disappeared

straight into the cup, and when

Woodland dropped a shot at the

par-three 17th Koepka was virtu-

ally home and dry.

The victory and number one

ranking has come at just the right

time for Koepka, who was part

of the U.S. team beaten handily

by Europe at the Ryder Cup last

month.

Koepka was also left ‘heart-

broken’ after learning that one

of his tee shots at the event in

Paris had struck a spectator and

reportedly left her blinded in one

eye.

Garcia closes on

Valderrama treble

Home favorite Sergio Gar-

cia fired a magnificent seven-

under-par 64 to seize a four-

shot lead heading into the third

and final round of the weather-

hit Valderrama Masters Satur-

day.

The tournament host had

not hit a shot since Thursday

after thunderstorms forced the

event to be cut to 54 holes, but

he carded the lowest score of the

week to close on a third straight

Valderrama title.

Garcia was four strokes clear

of England’s Ashley Chesters in

second.

Garcia’s fellow Spaniards Al-

varo Quiros and Gonzalo Fernan-

dez-Castano sit in a tie for third

with Scotland’s Marc Warren on

four-under.

— Reuters

AUSTIN, Texas —

Lewis Ham-

ilton took a big step toward

clinching his fifth Formula One

title after putting his Mercedes

on pole position at the US Grand

Prix Saturday with Ferrari rival

Sebastian Vettel starting fifth.

The Briton, who will be only

the third driver to win at least

five titles if he scores eight points

more than Vettel on Sunday, will

share the front row with the Ger-

man’s Finnish team mate Kimi

Raikkonen.

Vettel qualified second, and

just 0.061 slower than Hamilton,

but has a three-place grid drop

after failing to slow sufficiently

while red flags were being waved

in Friday practice.

The pole was a record-ex-

tending 81st for Hamilton, his

third in a row in Austin and ninth

of the season and he did it with

a time of one minute 32.237 sec-

onds — a track record.

“That was very important,

that was close,” said the Briton as

he waved at the throng of fans on

an overcast and gusty afternoon

at the Circuit of the Americas

with rainclouds gathering.

Ferrari had looked the faster

team in the second phase of qual-

ifying, with Raikkonen top of the

timesheets and Vettel second.

Vettel will have his work cut

out Sunday at a racetrack where

Hamilton has won five times in

the last six years. The Mercedes

driver is also on a roll, with six

wins in the last seven rounds.

Another win Sunday would be

Hamilton’s fifth in a row, and Vet-

tel —also a four times world cham-

pion—would have to finish second

to keep the championship alive to

Mexico the following weekend.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri

Bottas will share the second row

with Red Bull’s Australian Dan-

iel Ricciardo and neither will be

easy for Vettel to get past.

Ricciardo’s teammate Max

Verstappen would also have

hoped to be in the mix but the

young Dutch driver will start 13th

after suffering suspension dam-

age in the first phase of qualify-

ing.

Force India’s Esteban Ocon

will start sixth, with Renault’s

Nico Hulkenberg seventh and

Romain Grosjean in eighth place

for Haas, Formula One’s only US

team.

Vettel’s future Ferrari team

mate Charles Leclerc will line up

ninth for Sauber while Force In-

dia’s Mexican Sergio Perez, who

has plenty of local support, quali-

fied 10th.

— Reuters

MIAMI —

Unbeaten Puerto

Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez re-

tained his International Boxing

Federation bantamweight world

title Saturday with a 12-round

split decision over previously

undefeated Australian Jason Mo-

loney in Orlando.

Two judges scored the bout

115-113 for Rodriguez, who im-

proved to 19-0 with 12 knockouts.

A third judge gave it to Moloney

by the same score, but the Aussie

fell to 17-1 with 14 knockouts.

The bout was part of the ban-

tamweight World Boxing Super

Series, with the victory sending

Rodriguez into a clash with Ja-

pan’s Naoya Inoue. on Saturday,

Demetrius Andrade won the va-

cant World Boxing Organization

middleweight crown with a pun-

ishing 12-round unanimous deci-

sion over Walter Kautondokwa

of Namibia in Boston.

Kautondokwa was a late re-

placement for British southpaw

Billy Joe Saunders, who tested

positive for a banned stimulant

in August.

The WBO said Saunders vol-

untarily vacated the title after

the Massachusetts State Athletic

Commission declined to give him

a license at an October hearing.

Andrade knocked down

Kautondokwa four times in the

first four rounds en route to the

victory, improving to 26-0 with 16

knockouts.

Two judges scored the fight

120-104 for Andrade while the

third saw it 119-105.

Kautondokwa fell to 17-1 with

16 knockouts.

On the same card, Tevin

Farmer retained his IBF super-

featherweight world title with a

spectacular fifth-round technical

knockout of Northern Ireland’s

James Tennyson.

Southpaw Farmer dominated

early, dropping Tennyson with a

left to the body in the fourth.

One round later Farmer con-

nected with a series of brutal

body shots to put Tennyson down

again and the fight was waved off.

Farmer improved to 27-4 with

one drawn and six knockouts and

immediately reiterated his call

for shot at unbeaten World Box-

ing Association title holder Ger-

vonta Davis, who boasts a record

of 20-0 with 19 knockouts.

Tennyson, in his first world

title tilt, fell to 22-3 with 18 wins

inside the distance.

In Las Vegas, US middle-

weight Rob Brant dethroned

WBA “regular” world champion

Ryota Murata of Japan with a lop-

sided unanimous decision.

Two judges gave the fight to

Brant by a score of 119-109 while

the third saw it 118-110 for the

American, who improved to 24-1

with 16 knockouts as he seized the

title held by Murata — which is

one rung lower theWBA’s “super”

world middleweight title held by

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico.

Murata fell to 14-2 with 11

wins inside the distance.

— AFP

Danielle Kang of the US celebrates after winning the LPGA Shanghai

2018 Sunday.

— AFP

Repsol Honda Team Spanish rider Marc Marquez celebrates on the podium of the MotoGP Japanese

Grand Prix at Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Motegi Sunday.

— AFP

Brooks Koepka with CJ Cup

Pole position winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP

celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying for the US Formula One Grand

Prix in Austin Saturday.

— AFP