Now all the former world number one needs to do is avoid his ‘Friday curse’ to take another step towards a second European Tour title in four events and give himself a boost ahead of next week’s Open Championship . Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg had established a new record of 65 at a windswept Royal Aberdeen after going out in the first group at 6:30am, but that lasted two hours as McIlroy carded eight birdies – including six in seven holes around the turn – and just one bogey. Press Association Not for the first time this season, Rory McIlroy started a tournament in brilliant fashion with a course-record 64 in the opening round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. The 25-year-old used the 20mph winds to his advantage in amazing fashion on the 13th, driving the green on the downhill 436-yard par four. But he was equally pleased by the controlled iron shots which went 50 yards less than usual after practice for links golf following his “lads holiday” in Ibiza paid off. McIlroy said: “Everything was pretty much on. I controlled my ball flight really well which is the key to me playing well in these conditions and on these courses. “I’ve been working the last 10 days on keeping the ball down, hitting easy shots and taking spin off it and I went out there today and really trusted what I practised.” McIlroy revealed he had also driven the 13th in Wednesday’s pro-am, although it probably still came as a shock to the group ahead who were still on the green – which included Ian Poulter. “I’m driving the ball really well and I feel if I can get driver in my hand and have an advantage on the field I should do it,” he added. “Going out this morning in these conditions I thought anything in the 60s would be a good score so to shoot something better than that is pleasing. “I told Poulter it was a 3-wood but it was a driver. He was on the green trying to flex his muscles.” It is the fourth time in 13 events McIlroy has shot 64 or better in an opening round this season, but the two-time major winner has won none of those tournaments. His first-round scoring average of just under 68 leads the PGA Tour but his second-round average is almost five shots worse. “I’ve got off to a lot of good starts and tended to fall away. Hopefully that won’t be the case this week,” McIlroy added. “It’s more mental than anything but I am really comfortable with my game at the minute. ” McIlroy famously said after the 2011 Open at Sandwich that there was no point in changing his game for one week a year, while 12 months ago he missed the cut at Muirfield and labelled his own play “brain dead” following an opening 79. “It’s chalk and cheese,” he added. “This time last year I was trying to get the ball under control and not really too confident with anything and this year is totally different. “I’m more confident than ever in my ability to hit the shots I need in this sort of golf. I’m going to make it my favourite style of golf for two weeks of the year!” The scoring overall was excellent in the conditions, with McIlroy leading by one from Broberg and Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez, with fellow Northern Irishman Michael Hoey another shot back on five under after covering the back nine in 29 with four birdies and an eagle. Gonzalez was somewhat hoarse after cheering on his country’s football team in their World Cup semi-final win over Holland but he added: “I think it’s one of the best rounds of this year and that’s why I’m very happy now. To make 65 on that wonderful course, with my son on the bag, that’s great. “I enjoyed the match and maybe this is the key to play well, to relax and enjoy the day. I would like Argentina to win the World Cup and also if I can win here it would be amazing. It’s my dream.” Defending champion Phil Mickelson finished four shots off the lead after a 68 which featured an eagle, two birdies and a solitary bogey caused by three putts on the 18th.
Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jay Tufele knew the second he heard the play call that he was going to make a full effort to block the potential game-tying field goal. “I just get around the guard and go over him and bob swat him,” Tufele said. “I was like ‘hell yeah’ and it was game over.” A blocked field goal and a high-scoring offense helped USC edge Washington State 39-36 in a shootout at the Coliseum on Friday. The Cougars attempted a game-tying 38-yard field goal with under two minutes to play, but Tufele blocked it, handing the Trojans the win and getting them back to .500 on the season. The Trojans edged out the final score thanks to a touchdown by redshirt sophomore running back Vavae Malepeai and a two point conversion to grant them the 3-point lead in the middle of the fourth quarter that would prove to be the final score.The start of the fourth quarter began the shootout with Mater-Dei duo of freshmen quarterback JT Daniels and receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown connected for a 30-yard touchdown to steal the lead early in the fourth. The Cougars responded with a touchdown of their own after converting a 4th-and-one attempt.Marvell Tell breaks free for a gain – Tal Volk | Daily TrojanThe win comes at a crucial point in the Trojans’ season as it returns the team to a .500 record both overall and in conference play. Moreover, the victory comes after two tough losses at the hands of Texas and Stanford.“To be able to get a win at home over a team that’s gonna be a good team this year up [in the Pac-12] North, it was critical for us,” head coach Clay Helton said. “For our confidence and our psyche. To be able to fight back and finish a game in the fourth quarter, it can only build confidence and help your football team.” The Trojans pounced on Washington State early in the first quarter with an energetic rushing drive. In just five plays on the ground, running backs sophomore Stephen Carr and redshirt sophomore Vavae Malepeai drove the Trojans 75 yards to a touchdown only two minutes into the game.Defensive rushes from the outside and pressure over the middle, including two batted passes, aided in the Trojans’ efforts to force fourth down situations. However, the Cougars, notorious for attempting fourth down conversions, were able to find their first touchdown after converting on two consecutive fourth downs.On the offensive front, USC relied on its running backs in the first quarter. The Trojans tallied 68 rushing yards on the ground in the first 15 minutes compared to the Cougars’ six, but WSU’s passing game towered over that of the USC’s by a margin of 43 to six.USC was quick to fire back this time, opting for an aerial route to the end zone after recognizing that the Cougars defense began stop the rush. Daniels connected with redshirt sophomore receiver Velus Jones Jr. on a 44-yard reception. The long gain set up a touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore Tyler Vaughns to give the Trojans a 4-point edge.Daniels said his chemistry is improving with receivers junior Michael Pittman Jr., Jones Jr. and Vaughns. Pittman tallied 72 yards, Vaughns recorded 64 yards along with a team high seven receptions and Jones contributed 48 yards. “We just have more practice time. We’re getting used to each other more,” Daniels said. “I’m learning where they want me to put the ball, and they’re making the plays every time it’s there.” The second quarter saw USC’s more unpolished side. Preventable penalties and errors aided in Washington State’s favorable field position, resulting in a touchdown which extended the Cougars’ lead to 24-14 with 1:39 left in the half. The Trojans attempted to break into the end zone to end the first half but were unable to gain 7 points after three attempts from the eight-yard line — and an incomplete pass to Michael Pittman, whose foot appeared to be on the line in the back of the end zone — and settled with a field goal to close the first 30 minutes trailing 24-17.In the game, Daniels touted 241 yards with three touchdowns compared sophomore quarterback Gardner Minshew II threw for 344 yards with three touchdowns.Tyler Vaughns reaches for a pass in the end zone – Tal Volk | Daily TrojanUSC converted three third downs in the second half, an improvement on their 0-of-4 conversions in the first half.The Trojans delivered in front of a home crowd of 52,421 after falling behind to the Cougars late in the first half. The victory marked the Trojans 18th consecutive win at the Coliseum. “We walk out there with a sense of pride because we are at the Coliseum,” senior linebacker Cameron Smith said. “We know walking by everytime in the tunnel we see guys on our right that are painted on the wall that have played there before us and for me it hits me right in the heart. It feels good to be home. Feels good to get this win and move on from here.” USC will take on Arizona next week in Tucson as Pac-12 play continues. read more
Twenty-four-year-old Fred Trimeon, a porter of Plantation Best, West Coast Demerara, was on Thursday granted $100,000 bail at the Wales Magistrate’s Court by Magistrate Rushell Liverpool for the unlawful wounding of Stephan Johnson at Middle Street, Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara. The father of two, who said he was never previously charged, denied the allegation which Police said occurred on March 5, 2018.The Police prosecution objected to bail based on the grounds of the seriousness of the offence but the Magistrate overruled this application and granted the man his pre-trial liberty. She however ordered that Trimeon stay 50 feet away from Johnson for the duration of the matter. The case was transferred to the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrate’s Court for April 3. read more