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Scoring difficult for early starters at the Masters AUGUSTA: Conditions were tricky for early starters on a lightning-fast, sun-baked Augusta National layout where a tightly bunched leaderboard was likely to create a gripping finish to the Masters on Sunday.Only seven players were under par for the final round in the early going, Australian Steve Bowditch the best of them after eagling the par-five second and recording a birdie at the par-four third to get to one over for the tournament.Most fans, however, were eagerly anticipating the later teeoffs with 13 players separated by just four strokes at the top of the leaderboard in the year's opening major.Bubba Watson, the 2012 champion, was joint pacesetter at five under with fellow American Jordan Spieth, who at 20 is trying to become the youngest player to win the Masters, putting him ahead of Tiger Woods who was 21 when he triumphed in 1997.Georgia resident Matt Kuchar, who knows the Augusta National ...

Leverkusen coach Lewandowski enjoys winning start BERLIN: Bayer Leverkusen bounced back after a recent bad run to beat Hertha Berlin 2-1 on Sunday and move back up to fourth place in the Bundesliga, celebrating a winning debut for new coach Sascha Lewandowski.Leverkusen, who sacked Sami Hyypia last week after only one win in their previous nine league games, grabbed a first-minute lead through Stefan Kiessling's 15th league goal of the season. Julian Brandt gave them a two-goal cushion after Son Heung-min's ...

Record-equalling seven titles for Le Clos DURBAN: Olympic gold medalist Chad Le Clos from South Africa won a record-equalling seven titles at the national swimming championships which closed in Durban this weekend.The 21-year-old, who stunned American superstar Michael Phelps to win the 2012 London Games 200-metre butterfly, entered eight events in his home city.And he won the 200m butterfly (1 min 54.56 sec), 200m freestyle (1:48.43), 200m backstroke (1:57.93), 200m individual medley (1:57.94), 100m freestyle (49.38), 100m butterfly (52.14) and ...

Cornet wins fourth career title in Poland KATOWICE: France's Alize Cornet won her fourth career title on Sunday when she saved a match point on her way to a 7-6 (7/3), 5-7, 7-5 victory over Italy's Camila Giorgi in the Katowice final.Cornet, the world 22, added the Poland title to trophies at Budapest in 2008, Bad Gastein in 2012 and Strasbourg last year.The 24-year-old had knocked out world number three Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals."What a match. It was definitely a huge ...

Djokovic hits fast forward in Monte Carlo MONACO: Novak Djokovic believes he has hit the reset button on his 2014 season at exactly the right moment as the world number two enters the Monte Carlo Masters eager to begin his title defence.The Serb, who is based in the principality, ended Rafael Nadal's eight-year title streak a year ago although the Spaniard still went on to defend his French Open crown.Djokovic said he was bolstered by his back-to-back Masters trophies from the US ...

Garcia opens WTA account in Bogota BOGOTA: France's Caroline Garcia opened her WTA account in Bogota on Sunday, the world number 74 taking her first title with a 6-3, 6-4 upset over Serbian top seed and former world number one Jelena Jankovic.Garcia, the 20-year-old fifth seed, made it a WTA double for France as earlier her compatriot Aliza Cornet saw off Camila Giorgi in three sets to win in Katowice, Poland.Both Garcia and Cornet are members of captain Amelie Mauresmo's Fed ...

ATP Monte Carlos Masters results MONTE-CARLO: Results from the first day of the ATP Monte-Carlo Masters on Sunday (x denotes seeding):1st rdJeremy Chardy (FRA) bt Igor Sijsling (NED) 1-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/5)Nicolas Mahut (FRA) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-1, 5-7, 6-3Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR x17) bt Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 6-2, 6-4 Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014


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