#1 United has regressed since landing its record-extendi von miaowang123 20.04.2019 05:30

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tiger Woods was a large part of the conversation on the eve of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. And hes not even playing. Woods is missing Bay Hill for only the second time in his career when the tournament starts Thursday on a course that Palmer said is in the best shape ever. Woods has won eight times, including the last two years, but he called the 84-year-old host on Tuesday to say persistent back pain will keep him from playing. "He didnt tell me how bad his back is. I dont think he knows how bad his back is," Palmer said. "I think hes listening to the doctors. And he mentioned that theyre saying that he needs to give it a bit of a rest and see if he can work it out. He was very nice. And I, of course, have great sympathy for the fact that he tried like hell to come here and play. And I appreciate that and the fact that he called. "I think he wanted to play golf this week," Palmer said. "I think that he needs to take (time) -- whether its this week, next week or the following week -- to get ready for Augusta. Certainly, if I were in that position, Id be doing much the same." Most of the chatter was more about the future with Woods. Will he play at the Masters? Stuck on 14 majors for the last five years, can he match or surpass the record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus? And what will be the larger obstacle -- his age (38), his health (legs and back) or the competition (long list)? "I dont think 38 years is the ultimate stopping point for his quest to do what Jack did," Palmer said. "I think it lessens the possibility of that happening. Its going to be tough. Its going to be tough to keep the concentration and the type of the game that is necessary to win majors." Nicklaus won four of his majors after turning 38. Ben Hogan, with battered legs from a car accident, won five majors after turning 38. Palmer, however, believes more than age is at stake for Woods. "These young guys are tough, and theyre strong," Palmer said. "And if they continue to play as well as theyve been playing, its going to be tough for anybody -- whether it be Nicklaus or Tiger or whomever it would be -- to continue to win major championships. And were talking about guys that are playing good and coming on." Palmer actually had a list of players he was talking about. Some of them were young, such as Chris Kirk and Harris English. Others had either won this season (Ryan Moore) or played well recently (Robert Garrigus). "I dont know how many you want me to name," Palmer said. "But really, the strength and the ability of these people is very pleasing to me." Graeme McDowell, a runner-up to Woods two years at Bay Hill, said he can understand what the No. 1 player is going through with injuries. He also believes that competition might be an even larger obstacle than his health for Woods to break Nicklaus record. "Hes a physical player who creates a lot of speed and a lot of power and his body is starting to struggle a little bit, no doubt about it," McDowell said. "But Im sure hell fix it. ... But we all talk about how good the fields are nowadays. Taking Tigers fitness and physicality out of it, winning major championships is getting harder and harder for everyone -- including the best player maybe thats ever lived in Tiger. "Hes got more than just his body to be fighting. Theres a lot of great players in the world now," McDowell said. "Its going to be harder for him to achieve Jacks record. But if anyone can do it, Im sure he can find a way because we all know how good he is." The field at Bay Hill is not as strong as usual, starting with the absence of Woods, the No. 1 player in the world and an eight-time winner of this event. Match Play champion Jason Day (No. 4 in the world) pulled out with recurring pain in his thumb, and Phil Mickelson (No. 5) is not playing this year. Not that it would change the dynamics of what already has been a peculiar season. With 18 tournaments in the books this season, Zach Johnson is the only player to win a PGA Tour event while ranked among the top 10 in the world. The Masters is three weeks away. Is it time for the stars to come out? "Hopefully, this one does," Masters champion Adam Scott said, pointing to himself with a laugh. "But as far as unexpected winners, it seems to me thats happening more and more in golf. There are more and more guys breaking through, putting in a lot of hard work and getting what they deserve. So I think weve seen a bit of a shift in the game over the last couple of years -- a lot less domination by top players." Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys . Patty Mills had 20 points, Tim Duncan had 11 points and 13 rebounds in limited action, and San Antonio rolled to a 110-82 victory over Milwaukee that kept the Bucks winless in the new year. Custom Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys . They kicked off the still-going trend of host cities winning the Grey Cup and sent Hall of Fame head coach Wally Buono to the front office a champion. http://www.hockeyhurricanes.com/rod-brindamour-hockey-jersey/ .C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes have activated defenceman Joni Pitkanen from injured reserve. Justin Faulk Jersey . "First, I would like to offer my deepest and sincerest apologies for any harm I have inflicted on University of Missouri defensive lineman, Michael Sam," the statement read.MANCHESTER, England -- Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal was hired as Manchester United manager on Monday, tasked with repairing the damage from David Moyes disappointing 10 months in charge and reviving the fortunes of one of the worlds biggest clubs. The 62-year-old Dutchman has signed a three-year contract and will take over at Old Trafford after the World Cup in Brazil, becoming the first United manager from outside Britain and Ireland. United great Ryan Giggs, who announced the end of his 23-year playing career, will be Van Gaals assistant. "To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud," Van Gaal said in a United statement. "This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together Im sure we will make history." Van Gaal has experience of coaching -- and winning league titles -- at some of the worlds top teams, but even spells at Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich may not prepare him for the rebuilding job required at United. The club has been in a state of flux since the retirement of Alex Ferguson last May after nearly 27 years in charge. Moyes, Fergusons successor, was dismissed last month before the team went on to finish seventh -- its lowest placing since the Premier Leagues inception in 1992. United also failed to qualify for European football for the first time in 24 years. Van Gaal is likely to be handed considerable funds to strengthen the squad to get United back in the Champions League, something the clubs American owners -- the Glazer family -- werent prepared to give Moyes. A return to Europes top competition will likely be the priority, followed by a desire to play the kind of attacking, dynamic brand of football expected at United but unable to be delivered by Moyes. United has broken the mould by appointing Van Gaal. In the clubs 136-year history, no previous manager has come from outside Britain or Ireland, a common occurrence at Englands other big clubs in recent years. The notion of United hiring coaches in a bid to create a dynasty -- something Ferguson uniquely achieved -- also appears to have ended. After spending six years at Ajax, where Van Gaal guided a talented young team to the pinnacle of European football by winning the Champions League in 1995, he joined Barcelona in 1997 for the first of two spells -- the first lasting three seasonns and the second barely half a year.dddddddddddd He has since coached AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch league and Bayern between 2009-11. So he may not be the long-term manager many at United crave -- Giggs, Uniteds interim manager for last seasons final four games and one of the clubs greatest players, is thought to be being groomed for the seat in the future -- but the fact that Van Gaal has won league titles with every team he has worked makes him one of Europes most-respected coaches. He has been coach of the Netherlands since 2012, his second spell with the national team following a stint from 2000-02. "Everyone is very excited about this new phase in the clubs history," United vice-chairman Ed Woodward said. "His track record of success in winning leagues and cups across Europe throughout his career makes him the perfect choice for us. "People know him as a larger-than-life character but I have also been extremely impressed by his intelligence, thoughtful approach to the role and his diligence." He can be spiky and provocative with journalists and hardly lacks in self-belief, a trait which can often spill over to make him appear arrogant. But after the failed tenure of Moyes, United needed a manager who commanded respect and had a strong track record. His job wont be easy. While United has regressed since landing its record-extending 20th English championship last year, rival Liverpool has improved greatly under Brendan Rodgers and finished second in the Premier League this season. Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are established members of the top group and showing no signs of being on the slide. The appointment of Giggs as Van Gaals No. 2 will satisfy those eager for some continuity at the club following the trophy-filled era of Ferguson. The 40-year-old Giggs published an open letter on Uniteds website an hour after Van Gaals appointment, praising the Dutchmans qualities and revealing his decision to end his playing days. "For me, today is new chapter filled with many emotions -- immense pride, sadness, but most of all, excitement towards the future," Giggs said. "United fans I hope will share and echo my belief that the club, the management and owners, are doing everything they can to return this great club to where it belongs, and I hope to be there every step of the way." ' ' '

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