National Sports | WRHL http://www.wrhl.net/pages/index.cfm?id=495 National Sports 2017-01-16T06:48:02Z National Sports McIlroy set for back scan after painful South Africa defeat (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy was suffering from a back problem during his South African Open playoff loss to England's Graeme Storm on Sunday and the Briton will undergo scans this week to learn the extent of the injury and time he could be forced to sit out. McIlroy has been injury-free since missing two months with a sprained ankle in 2015, a layoff that prevented him from defending his British Open title, and the latest setback could rule him out of next week's Abu Dhabi Championship. Golf-McIlroy set for back scan after painful South Africa defeat Rory McIlroy was suffering from a back problem during his South African Open playoff loss to England's Graeme Storm on Sunday and the Briton will undergo scans this week to learn the extent of the injury and time he could be forced to sit out. McIlroy has been injury-free since missing two months with a sprained ankle in 2015, a layoff that prevented him from defending his British Open title, and the latest setback could rule him out of next week's Abu Dhabi Championship. Harden's triple-double leads Rockets past Nets (Reuters) - Eric Gordon's sprained left big toe was not normal on Friday and neither was the pace and 3-point rhythm of the Houston Rockets. Pace and rhythm returned in a big way for the Rockets, who also mixed in effective second-half defense against the worst team in the league. Gordon scored 24 points, James Harden recorded his 12th triple-double of the season with 22 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds as Houston snapped its first losing streak of the season with a 137-112 rout of the Brooklyn Nets Sunday night. Dunleavy settles in at Atlanta, NBA Raptors batter Knicks Mike Dunleavy is fitting in nicely with his new team, scoring a season-high 20 points as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-98. Dunleavy, who was playing in just his second NBA game with the Hawks, initially baulked at a trade to Atlanta that sent Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It took a meeting with coach Mike Budenholzer to convince him it was a good career move. Green Bay stun Cowboys, Steelers top Chiefs in NFL playoff battle Mason Crosby kicked a last-gasp field goal as the Green Bay Packers downed the Dallas Cowboys 34-31 in a thrilling NFL playoff battle on Sunday. Crosby held his nerve superbly to kick the winning three-pointer from 51 yards with just three seconds left on the clock in the final twist of an epic duel at the AT&T Stadium. Green Bay will now play the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday in the National Football Conference Championship game for a place in the February 5 Super Bowl in Houston. Golf-FedEx Cup rankings Jan 16 (Gracenote) - FedEx Cup rankings 1. (2) Justin Thomas (U.S.) 1614 2. (1) Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) 1177 3. (3) Pat Perez (U.S.) 754 4. (4) Brendan Steele (U.S.) 648 5. (5) Mackenzie Hughes (Canada) 643 6. (6) Rod Pampling (Australia) 560 7. (7) Cody Gribble (U.S.) 481 8. (8) Russell Knox (Britain) 449 9. (13) Gary Woodland (U.S.) 411 10. (10) Luke List (U.S.) 382 11. (9) Scott Piercy (U.S.) 356 12. (39) Jordan Spieth (U.S.) 335 13. (11) Daniel Berger (U.S.) 330 14. (12) Brooks Koepka (U.S.) 316 15. (14) Patton Kizzire (U.S.) 300 15. Justin Rose (Britain) 300 17. (33) Jamie Lovemark (U.S. ... Boswell boots Steelers past Chiefs, into AFC title game (The Sports Xchange) - The Pittsburgh Steelers did not spend much time in the end zone at Arrowhead Stadium in Sunday's AFC divisional round game against the Kansas City Chiefs. In fact, it was the home team that scored the game's only touchdowns. The victory sends the Steelers to the AFC Championship Game next Sunday against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium. Justin Thomas delivers Hawaiian punch, setting PGA record Justin Thomas made more history at the Sony Open, firing a five-under 65 to set the PGA Tour's lowest 72-hole score at 253. Thomas on Sunday sank a one-foot birdie putt on the par-five 18th at the Waialae Country Club course where his 27-under 253 is the lowest four round score of all-time. Unforgettable," Thomas said. Thomas romps to Sony Open victory in record style (Reuters) - Justin Thomas overcame a slow start for a second straight day before five birdies in seven holes helped him wrap up a wire-to-wire victory in record style at the Sony Open in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday. The long-hitting American clinched his fourth PGA Tour title, his second in a row and his third of the young season, by seven strokes after firing a five-under-par 65 at Waialae Country Club for a stunning 27-under total of 253. Thomas, who had opened with a magical 11-under 59 to take control of the tournament, signed off with a comfortable two-putt birdie at the par-five last to add yet another slice of golf history to his dominant week of multiple records. Golf-Thomas romps to Sony Open victory in record style (adds quotes, detail) * Thomas finishes strong after nervous start to win by seven * Sets PGA Tour record low for 72 holes Jan 16 (Reuters) - Justin Thomas overcame a slow start for a second straight day before five birdies in seven holes helped him wrap up a wire-to-wire victory in record style at the Sony Open in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday. The long-hitting American clinched his fourth PGA Tour title, his second in a row and his third of the young season, by seven strokes after firing a five-under-par 65 at Waialae Country Club for a stunning 27-under total of 253. Thomas, who had opened with a magical 11-under 59 to take control of the tournament, signed off with a comfortable two-putt birdie at the par-five last to add yet another slice of golf history to his dominant week of multiple records. Golf-U.S. PGA Tour Sony Open scores Jan 16 (Gracenote) - Scores from the U.S. PGA Tour Sony Open at the par-70 course on Sunday in Honolulu, Hawaii -27 Justin Thomas (U.S.) 59 64 65 65 -20 Justin Rose (Britain) 66 64 66 64 -19 Jordan Spieth (U.S.) 65 67 66 63 -18 Kevin Kisner (U.S.) 70 67 60 65 Jamie Lovemark (U.S.) 64 68 65 65 -17 Zach Johnson (U.S.) 69 61 65 68 Gary Woodland (U.S.) 64 64 68 67 -16 Chez Reavie (U.S.) 67 67 69 61 Charles Howell III (U.S.) 65 66 68 65 -15 Jim Herman (U.S.) 66 67 67 65 -14 Russell Knox (Britain) 64 67 66 69 Sean O'Hair (U.S.) 66 69 67 64 -13 Russell Henley (U.S.) 64 67 68 68 Bill Haas (U.S. ... Packers win an 'unbelievable effort', says QB Rogers (Reuters) - Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the MVP of Green Bay's Super Bowl triumph six years ago, was left almost speechless after his team's nailbiting 34-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys in a divisional playoff showdown on Sunday. After squandering an 18-point lead they established during the second quarter, the Packers held off a thrilling Cowboys comeback with successive field goals by Mason Crosby, the last of which was set up by another bit of playoff magic by Rodgers. Rodgers, taking over the ball with 44 seconds left and the score 31-31, connected on a stunning 35-yard completion to tight end Jared Cook, who nimbly tip-toed inbounds with just three seconds left on the clock. 12th triple-double for Harden in Rockets rout James Harden bagged his 12th triple-double of the season as the Houston Rockets routed the Brooklyn Nets 137-112 to end their two-game losing streak on Sunday. Harden compiled 22 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds, completing his triple with three assists in the final quarter as the Rockets pummelled the Nets. Harden was one of six Houston players to make double figures as the Rockets bounced back from consecutive losses to Minnesota and Memphis. Toronto Raptors get physical as New York downed DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points as a physical Toronto Raptors outmuscled the New York Knicks 116-101 on Sunday. DeRozan added five assists and five rebounds for Toronto but it was the no-nonsense defensive effort from his team that delighted Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "I was really proud of the way the starters came out and set the tone, especially starting the third quarter," Casey said. Packers win thriller vs Cowboys to reach NFC title game (The Sports Xchange) - Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was left with a few seconds and one shot at winning it and that was enough as Green Bay's 51-yard field goal at the gun gave them a 34-31 playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Rodgers, the NFL's hottest quarterback, put Green Bay in position to advance to the NFC Championship and kicker Mason Crosby did the rest to launch a Packers' celebration at AT&T Stadium. NBA: League eyes growth in Mexico, looks at possible franchise (Reuters) - NBA games have been played in Mexico for a quarter of a century and the league, eager to grow the sport worldwide, is "going to look at" the possibility of establishing a franchise in that country, according to commissioner Adam Silver. Silver said on Saturday when the Phoenix Suns played their second of two games in a week in the Mexican capital that there were no immediate plans to expand the NBA and the next step should be to increase the regular-season games in the region. "In terms of a franchise in Mexico City, it's something that we're going to look at," Silver was quoted as saying by nba.com. Antetokounmpo scores 33 but Bucks fall to Hawks Giannis Antetokounmpo piled up 33 points but was unable to prevent the Milwaukee Bucks from sliding to a 111-98 defeat against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. Greek star Antetokounmpo also added eight rebounds and six assists but it was not good enough to prevent Atlanta grabbing a win which saw them improve to 23-17. It was Atlanta's eighth win in nine games, a run of results which has left them firmly rooted in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Golf-Race to Dubai rankings Jan 15 (Gracenote) - Race to Dubai rankings 1. Sam Brazel (Australia) 311844 2. (1) Andrew Dodt (Australia) 222425 3. (2) Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spain) 207896 4. (17) Graeme Storm (Britain) 204709 5. (3) Brandon Stone (South Africa) 198498 6. (4) Harold Varner III (U.S.) 175631 7. (5) Richard Sterne (South Africa) 138000 8. Rory McIlroy (Britain) 119287 9. (6) Tommy Fleetwood (Britain) 105342 10. (7) Thomas Detry (Belgium) 89160 11. (62) Jordan Smith (Britain) 84316 12. (17) Thomas Aiken (South Africa) 80080 13. (8) David Lipsky (U.S.) 79334 14. (12) Paul Waring (Britain) 67855 15. ... Golf: Chilean amateur Gana wins Masters spot with playoff win (Reuters) - Teenager Toto Gana of Chile sank a two-foot birdie putt to book a spot at this year's Masters with a gripping playoff victory at the third Latin America Amateur Championship in Panama City on Sunday. Gana, 19, clinched the title on the second extra hole at Club de Golf de Panama to edge out compatriot Joaquin Niemann and Mexican Alvaro Ortiz. Ortiz, 21, parred the hole, the par-four 10th, and 18-year-old Niemann ran up a bogey after Gana had conjured a superb approach from just inside 100 yards for a tap-in to seal the win. Golf-Chilean amateur Gana wins Masters spot with playoff win Teenager Toto Gana of Chile sank a two-foot birdie putt to book a spot at this year's Masters with a gripping playoff victory at the third Latin America Amateur Championship in Panama City on Sunday. Gana, 19, clinched the title on the second extra hole at Club de Golf de Panama to edge out compatriot Joaquin Niemann and Mexican Alvaro Ortiz. Ortiz, 21, parred the hole, the par-four 10th, and 18-year-old Niemann ran up a bogey after Gana had conjured a superb approach from just inside 100 yards for a tap-in to seal the win. Storm holds off McIlroy to claim South African Open England’s Graeme Storm claimed a first European Tour trophy in almost 10 years after holding off the challenge of world number two Rory McIlroy on the third playoff hole to win the South African Open on Sunday. McIlroy led by one shot going into the last two holes, but bogeyed 17 and had to be content with a 68 to force a playoff. Storm kept his composure though and on the third attempt to separate the pair, he managed a par as McIlroy bogied following a skewed tee shot. Golf-Storm holds off McIlroy to claim South African Open * England's Storm beats McIlroy on third playoff hole * Storm claimed a first professional victory in almost 10 years (adds details, quotes) JOHANNESBURG, Jan 15 (Reuters) - England's Graeme Storm claimed a first European Tour trophy in almost 10 years after holding off the challenge of world number two Rory McIlroy on the third playoff hole to win the South African Open on Sunday. McIlroy led by one shot going into the last two holes, but bogeyed 17 and had to be content with a 68 to force a playoff. Storm kept his composure though and on the third attempt to separate the pair, he managed a par as McIlroy bogied following a skewed tee shot. Golf-Storm holds off McIlroy to claim South African Open England's Graeme Storm claimed a first European Tour trophy in almost 10 years after holding off the challenge of world number two Rory McIlory on the third playoff hole to win the South African Open on Sunday. McIlroy led by one shot going into the last two holes, but bogeyed 17 and had to be content with a 68 to force a playoff. Storm kept his composure though and on the third attempt to separate the pair, he managed a par as McIlroy bogied following a skewed tee shot. Golf-European Tour South African Open scores Jan 15 (Gracenote) - Scores from the European Tour South African Open at the par-72 course on Sunday in Ekurhuleni PLAY-OFF 1 Graeme Storm (Britain) after 3 2 Rory McIlroy (Britain) after 3 REGULAR ROUNDS -18 Graeme Storm (Britain) 69 63 67 71 Rory McIlroy (Britain) 67 68 67 68 -17 Jordan Smith (Britain) 67 68 68 68 -15 Dean Burmester (South Africa) 67 70 67 69 -14 Thomas Aiken (South Africa) 67 70 68 69 Trevor Fisher (South Africa) 66 68 71 69 -13 Peter Uihlein (U.S. ... Statistics make NBA more 'beautiful', says TV chief It can look like a tsunami of statistics, but live tracking of every bounce and shot that has become a mark of the NBA has made it a more "beautiful game", according to the executive who introduced the technology. Steve Hellmuth, NBA Entertainment executive vice-president for media operations and technology, told AFP that tracking had been a revolution for the sport and has changed strategies used by the 30 teams. Hellmuth, speaking on the sidelines of the Leaders Meet Innovation conference in London, said tracking is a boon to players and watchers. Clippers get their revenge, Suns rally past Spurs The Los Angeles Clippers avenged a Christmas Day loss with a 113-97 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers in Saturday's rematch at Staples Center arena. The Lakers beat the undermanned Clippers 111-102 three weeks ago as injuries forced Chris Paul, JJ Redick and Blake Griffin to watch from the sidelines. It was one of just two wins the Lakers had in the month of December and it halted the Clippers' 11-game win streak. Patriots topple Texans, Falcons advance to NFC title game The New England Patriots advanced to the AFC title game for a record sixth straight time as Dion Lewis scored touchdowns three different ways in a 34-16 win over the Houston Texans. Lewis on Saturday became the first player in National Football League history to score on a kickoff return, pass and run in a playoff game to help set up a conference title showdown against either the Kansas City Chiefs or the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lewis' 3 TDs leads Patriots past Texans (The Sports Xchange) - It wasn't an artistic success, but it was enough for the New England Patriots to return to the AFC title game for a record sixth straight time. "You gotta give these guys a lot of credit -- we didn't play particularly well but we hung in there and we ended up making enough plays to win," coach Bill Belichick said after his team moved on with a 34-16 victory over the Houston Texans in the divisional playoff game on Saturday night. Dion Lewis scored touchdowns three different ways and the Patriots, who have won eight straight games, will play the winner of Sunday night's Kansas City-Pittsburgh game at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 22. Thomas takes huge lead into final round of PGA Sony Open Justin Thomas is doing just about everything right at the Sony Open as he fired a bogey-free five-under 65 in the third round to extend his lead to seven strokes. A day after setting the USPGA Tour's 36-hole scoring record, Justin Thomas on Saturday continued to roll at the Waialae Country Club course in Honolulu. Thomas reached 22 under 188 to equal the lowest 54-hole total in PGA history. Kisner flirts with 59 at Waialae, shoots 60 (Reuters) - Two days after Justin Thomas opened with a magical 11-under-par 59 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, fellow American Kevin Kisner fell agonizingly short of following suit on Saturday when he narrowly missed an eagle putt on his final hole. Kisner watched as his attempt from 10 feet slid past the right edge of the cup at the par-five ninth and he then tapped in for a birdie to card a career-best 60 on the PGA Tour for a 13-under total of 197 after three rounds. "I hit two great shots (on the ninth hole) and had a great look at it," Kisner told Golf Channel about his bid to become only the eighth player to break 60 on the U.S. circuit. Golf-Late birdie rush puts Thomas seven ahead in Hawaii (Reuters) - Justin Thomas overpowered Waialae Country Club over the previous two days but his patience was tested early in the third round on Saturday before he caught fire to stretch his overnight lead to seven shots at the Sony Open in Honolulu, Hawaii. The American parred the first eight holes before he finally clicked into gear with consecutive birdies, followed by a strong finish as he carded a five-under-par 65 for a 22-under total of 188 in the PGA Tour's first full-field event of the year. "Just patience," the long-hitting 23-year-old told Golf Channel when asked what had been the key to his bogey-free round. Golf-Late birdie rush puts Thomas seven ahead in Hawaii (Adds quotes, detail) * Thomas fires bogey-free 65 to extend lead * Ties PGA Tour record low for 54 holes Jan 15 (Reuters) - Justin Thomas overpowered Waialae Country Club over the previous two days but his patience was tested early in the third round on Saturday before he caught fire to stretch his overnight lead to seven shots at the Sony Open in Honolulu, Hawaii. The American parred the first eight holes before he finally clicked into gear with consecutive birdies, followed by a strong finish as he carded a five-under-par 65 for a 22-under total of 188 in the PGA Tour's first full-field event of the year. Golf-U.S. PGA Tour Sony Open scores Jan 15 (Gracenote) - Scores from the U.S. PGA Tour Sony Open at the par-70 course on Saturday in Honolulu, Hawaii -22 Justin Thomas (U.S.) 59 64 65 -15 Zach Johnson (U.S.) 69 61 65 -14 Justin Rose (Britain) 66 64 66 Hudson Swafford (U.S.) 62 68 66 Gary Woodland (U.S.) 64 64 68 -13 Russell Knox (Britain) 64 67 66 Kevin Kisner (U.S.) 70 67 60 Jamie Lovemark (U.S.) 64 68 65 -12 Jordan Spieth (U.S.) 65 67 66 -11 Tony Finau (U.S.) 64 67 68 Brian Harman (U.S.) 66 67 66 Ollie Schniederjans (U.S.) 66 67 66 Hideto Tanihara (Japan) 67 65 67 Charles Howell III (U.S.) 65 66 68 Russell Henley (U.S. ... MVP contender Ryan delivers as Falcons down Seahawks (Reuters) - Quarterback Matt Ryan again proved himself the leading contender to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award as he guided the Atlanta Falcons to a 36-20 victory over the visiting Seattle Seahawks in their NFC divisional playoff clash on Saturday. Taking advantage of multiple throwing options in the league’s premier offense, Ryan completed 26 of 37 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns in front of jubilant fans as the Falcons advanced to the NFC Championship game for just the fourth time. "It feels good," Ryan told Fox Sports. Ryan's aerial attack fuels Falcons past Seahawks (The Sports Xchange) - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, building off a spectacular regular season, threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns to help the Falcons to a 36-20 playoff romp over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday. The Falcons lived up to their billing as the highest-scoring team in the NFL to the delight of their Georgia Dome fans as they advanced to next Sunday's NFC championship game. Atlanta, who had lost 28-26 at Seattle in the regular season, will play either Dallas or Green Bay on Jan. 22 for the right to advance to the Super Bowl. Clippers get even, rout Lakers (The Sports Xchange) - The Los Angeles Clippers returned their Christmas gift. Three weeks after losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the prime time holiday game, the Clippers handed the Lakers a 113-97 beating in the rematch on Saturday at Staples Center. The Lakers' win on Christmas Day was one of only two they had in 16 December games and ended an 11-game winning streak for the Clippers in the L.A. rivalry. Raiders to apply for move to Las Vegas: report (Reuters) - The Raiders will soon file relocation papers to move from Oakland to Las Vegas, the National Football League's official website reported on Saturday, citing sources familiar with the team's plans. The bid to relocate in the shifting landscape of the NFL would require 24 votes from the league's owners, three-quarters of the NFL's 32 clubs, to win approval in a vote this spring. The decision by the Raiders to pursue a shift to Las Vegas came after a lack of progress over finding a viable stadium proposal with the city of Oakland, the report said. Calm Storm leads McIlroy at South African Open England's Graeme Storm carded a faultless 67 for a 17-under-par total and a three-shot lead over world number two Rory McIlroy following the third round of the European Tour’s South African Open on Saturday. Jordan Smith (68) of England and home golfer Jbe Kruger (69) are a further shot back on 13 under par for the tournament. McIlroy, who has been suffering with back pain this week, was left frustrated by another poor finish to his round of 67. Golf-Calm Storm leads McIlroy at South African Open England's Graeme Storm carded a faultless 67 for a 17-under-par total and a three-shot lead over world number two Rory McIlroy following the third round of the European Tour's South African Open on Saturday. Jordan Smith (68) of England and home golfer Jbe Kruger (69) are a further shot back on 13 under par for the tournament. McIlroy, who has been suffering with back pain this week, was left frustrated by another poor finish to his round of 67. Cavs snap skid, Grizzlies down Rockets The NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a two-game skid, with Kyrie Irving leading the way with 26 points in a 120-108 victory over the Kings in Sacramento. Kyle Korver, recently arrived in a trade from Atlanta, added 18 points off the bench and superstar LeBron James contributed 16 points and 15 assists in his latest outing in the city where he made his NBA debut in 2003. The Cavs responded with a 16-4 scoring run that included seven points from Korver. WRHL 2017-01-16T11:48:02Z http://www.wrhl.net/pages/index.cfm?id=495