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19/09/2017

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WOBURN, England -- Ian Poulter is on the premises this week. Kyle Seager Jersey . The Englishman, like Charley Hull, is a member of Woburn Golf Club, and the walls of the clubhouse are filled with photographs and memorabilia that celebrate Poulters career.They include his individual success, but necessarily the Ryder Cup features time and time again because Poulter, of course, is a man driven by team competition; representing his nation or continent transforms him from a very good golfer into an exceptional one.And hes not alone.Spains Azahara Munoz is good on her own -- she claimed the 2012 Sybase Match Play Championship and is a three-time winner on the Ladies European Tour -- but throughout her career, team competition has fueled her passion and stimulated her soul.The early signs were there when she traveled around Europe with the Spanish amateur teams, and she backed it up with NCAA success as she competed for the Arizona State University Sun Devils.Back in 2011, her desire to make the European Solheim Cup team was motivated by her need to rediscover the team unity and purpose she missed from her amateur days. And to those in the know, it was no great surprise that when she was reunited with Carlota Ciganda, Beatriz Recari and Belen Mozo for the inaugural LPGA UL International Crown, the Spaniards romped to the title. This group was united by a belief in the team ethic, which is why last week hurt.This year, the Spanish team failed to qualify to defend its title. That alone would have been bad enough, but Munoz, personally sponsored by UL, was under obligation to attend anyway.It was painful, she said Thursday after her first round at the Ricoh Womens British Open. I had to watch them teeing off on Saturday and I actually saw the crown. I was thinking: This is no fun.But sometimes missing out matters more. Hurt can put fire in the belly. After opening her British account with a smart 4-under-par round of 68 (tied for sixth), she said of last week, It was definitely motivational.Not that she is getting carried away. I feel that its a golf course that if you hit good shots, you get rewarded, she said. And it definitely suits my eye, but Im just going to take it day by day.The way she closed out the front nine emphasized the notion of the course suiting her eye: She made four birdies in six holes from No. 4 to No. 9. She added a fifth red number at the 12th, and her only error came on the final hole when she failed to save par from short of the putting surface.Perhaps this years parkland test suits her better than the more common links examination. Munoz, 28, won the 2009 British Ladies Amateur title, which was played at Royal St Davids, a rugged seaside course beneath the imposing Harlech Castle in Wales. But her best finish at the Ricoh Womens British Open remains a tie for 12th at Royal Birkdale two years ago.Its definitely a different challenge this year, Munoz explained. Obviously, you can still get in trouble, but on a links course you can make a triple without thinking about it. Here, its not so much like that.Its nice to get a little break every now and then because the links courses are stressful, and they are really hard. Obviously, the weather is much nicer too, which I enjoy as well.It may not have been Spanish sunshine, but the tree-lined fairways of Woburn were dabbled in a golden light as she completed her round. A contrast to the scarves and hats that often protect the players in this event.Im definitely feeling comfortable with that, Munoz said with a laugh. Ive been playing pretty good lately. I just want to keep that going, because at the beginning of the year I wasnt hitting the ball that well and I was struggling with my short game.Up until the end of May, Munoz had gone 18 starts without cracking the top 10, a run that stretched back to the middle of last August. The answer initially came in the dirt on the range.Ive been working really hard, and lately its been clicking, she said. Im hitting the ball much better. I normally hit a lot of greens and I was struggling with that.What also helped were a few words from Marta Figueras-Dotti, the winner of this event in 1982, who is a longtime mentor of Munoz since coaching her on the Spanish amateur teams.She was a little down on herself, explained Figueras-Dotti, talking of Munozs early-season form. I think she has such high expectations, such a desire to improve every year, and I said to her, Aza, golf isnt always like that. I kept telling her stay in the present. Technically, she has absolutely nothing to worry about. I tell her to believe in herself, because you know what? Shes really good.The hard work and faith have been rewarded with three top-10 finishes in her last six starts, but talking to Figueras-Dotti, a figure who exudes a love of the sport and the players she guides, its impossible not to return to the subject of team golf.Ive known Aza since she was probably 12 years of age, Figueras-Dotti said with a smile. She thrives, as does Carlota [Ciganda, her teammate for the Rio Olympics], on playing for Spain or Europe. They just transform themselves. If you plant a flag, their adrenalin starts pumping.The first European team championship I took Aza to was when she was 13 years old, and she was so little. But she said to me, Hey, were going to win this thing, Marta. Sometimes I just say to her, Remember that little girl, Aza. She just went out and did it. Dont overcomplicate golf, that little girl never did.If Munoz was devastated to miss out on the UL International Crown, she doesnt have long to wait for compensation. Some golfers might be ambiguous about traveling to Rio, but she is not one of them.Im super-excited that golf is in the Olympics, Munoz said. I watch every single sport when the Olympics are on. I do wish it was a team event, though. Maybe have something individual as well, but I think playing as a team is so, so special.Figueras-Dotti will join Munoz and Ciganda in Rio, and they were discussing arrangements earlier this week. The tone of their conversation is a welcome juxtaposition to the half-heartedness of some.We were talking about all the builders still completing the Olympic village, Figueras-Dotti laughed. We were reading that they were getting electricians and plumbers in to fix it. And Aza said, I dont care. I just dont care. If I have to sleep on the floor, Ill sleep on the floor. I just want to play in the Olympics. I said, I agree. Well do it, well all look after each other. Those girls are so excited. If anything, Ill have to make sure they dont get carried away.Before that adventure, Munoz has the rest of this week to contemplate. By a curious quirk of fate, she was tied for sixth after 18 holes 12 months ago. This time she will hope to maintain the challenge.Perhaps the secret ingredient this week is European union. Britain may have opted to cast Europe aside in one respect, but Munoz has gone in the opposite direction -- at the end of last year she married Englishman Tim Vickers. Shes practically a local now. Felix Hernandez Mariners Jersey . Just as Montreal was settling into the first full working week of a new year, the Impact announced the appointment of their new head coach. Joaquin Benoit Jersey . A statement from the worlds top-ranked player says all checks "were satisfactory and showed positive evolution" regarding the injury, which contributed to his loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the final in Melbourne. http://www.baseballmarinersofficial.com/robinson-cano-jersey-c-4/ . He was followed closely by David Clarkson, donning red, seconds later. Clarksons actions one night earlier, leaping off the bench in defence of Kessel during a pre-season game against the Buffalo Sabres, will cost him the first 10 games of the regular season. LAS VEGAS -- The Latest from UFC 202, where Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will fight in an anticipated rematch from UFC 196 (all times local):---9:30 p.m.Conor McGregor avenged his only loss in the UFC with a majority decision victory over Nate Diaz on Saturday night at UFC 202.In a highly anticipated rematch of their two-round welterweight thriller in March, the two put on an action-packed fight, with each taking control at different moments. The judges scored it 48-47, 47-47, 48-47.McGregor forced the action early, landing multiple leg kicks to Diazs lead leg and a straight left that knocked Diaz down. McGregor knocked Diaz down twice more in Round 2, bloodying his nose and taking total control.Later in Round 2, Diaz found the energy to unleash a flurry of strikes, knocking McGregor down against the fence. Diaz continued to attack in Round 3, and for the final 90 seconds of Round 4, the fighters stood in the center of the cage and exchanged punches.They traded punches again in the fifth, and neither gained an edge until the final ten seconds, when Diaz secured a trip and landed a few final shots from on top before the bell rang.---8:38 p.m.Anthony Johnson landed a devastating uppercut 13 seconds into the first round to knock out Glover Teixeira in the co-main event between top-ranked light heavyweights.Johnson (22-5) flattened Teixeira with the shot, forcing the referee to call an early end to the fight. Johnson got his 13th victory in his past 14 fights and put himself in position to challenge for the title.Im coming for you Daniel, Johnson said, speaking to current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who was seated near the cage.---8:20 p.m.Donald Cerrone (31-7) got an impressive knockout victory over Rick Story (19-9) in a battle of ranked welterweights.Both fighters started slow, but 14th-ranked Cerrone picked up the pace in the second half of Round 1, landing accurate strikes and effective leg kicks to take an early edge. Cerrone controlled the pace in Round 2, forcing the action by landing a three-punch combinattion followed by a head kick that left Story dazed. Taijuan Walker Mariners Jersey. . Cerrone followed with a knee to the head that dropped Story to the mat, and the fight was stopped at 2 minutes, 2 seconds of the second round.---6:55 p.m.Bantamweight prospect Cody Garbrandt (10-0) notched his fifth UFC win with a devastating first-round knockout over veteran Japanese fighter Takeya Mizugaki (21-10-2). Garbrandt, known for his power, wasted no time in pressuring Mizugaki, landing a flurry of punches that sent Mizugaki to his knees. Garbrandt then pounced, landing crosses and hammer fists that forced the referee to stop the fight after 48 seconds.I respect him as a veteran, Garbrandt said. I noticed I hurt him early on. I had to pick my spots and take him out.---6:50 p.m.UFC 202 is underway, and Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz are nearly ready to begin their rematch of a two-round bout from March.McGregor was originally supposed to fight Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title at UFC 196, but dos Anjos pulled out due to injury. McGregor agreed instead to fight Diaz in a welterweight bout, and Diaz finished the flyweight champion with a rear naked choke in the second round, ending McGregors 15-match winning streak.A rematch was immediately set for the landmark UFC 200 card but canceled when McGregor announced his retirement and refused to meet with media. McGregor did not end up retiring, but UFC did drop him from the card.Instead the anticipated rematch was set for UFC 202. The garrulous McGregor has promised to finish Diaz early this time around, and promotion for the fight included a bottle-throwing melee at a press conference Wednesday.They are again fighting at welterweight, with McGregor planning to drop back down to lightweight following the bout win or lose.The rest of the card includes Tim Means vs. Sabah Homasi, Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Mike Perry, Rick Story vs. Donald Cerrone and Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira. 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