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Golf: Fifth Pebble Beach victory makes Mickelson’s day

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Golf: Fifth Pebble Beach victory makes Mickelson's day

(Reuters) – Phil Mickelson won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am by three strokes on Monday, equaling Mark O’Meara’s record of five victories in the northern California event.

FILE PHOTO: February 10, 2019; Pebble Beach, CA, USA; Phil Mickelson hits his tee shot on the ninth hole during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Mickelson recorded his 44th PGA Tour triumph in style with a closing seven-under-par 65 at Pebble Beach.

“This really is a special place for me, going back to 1919 when my grandfather was one of the initial caddies here,” the 48-year-old said after becoming the oldest winner of the event.

“This was the first event for me as a pro. To win here this week is something I’m going to cherish.”

Mickelson finished at 19-under 268, while Englishman Paul Casey (71) birdied the final hole for second place on 16-under.

Mickelson and Casey were the only players who did not complete the weather-delayed event on Sunday night.

Casey resumed with a three-foot par putt at the 16th hole on Monday, while Mickelson had already completed the hole.

They both parred the 17th and then birdied the par-five 18th, Mickelson sealing the win by rolling in a six-foot putt as former local mayor and actor Clint Eastwood looked on from the television tower.

“It means a lot to me to play the final round as focused and as well as I did,” said Mickelson, who started the final round three strokes behind Casey.

Mickelson had wanted to finish in the dark on Sunday and was left frustrated when Casey refused to play on – but a day later he understood the Englishman’s stand.

“I thanked Paul this morning because I sometimes in my own little bubble I don’t see the big picture,” Mickelson said.

“He really protected both of us. The greens were beat up (on Sunday). We had a chance to come out today on fresh greens, better weather and be able to see a lot better.”

The five-times major champion will get a chance to complete the career grand slam when the U.S. Open is played at Pebble Beach in June, but Mickelson wants to savor his latest success first.

“Every time I get here I have such feelings of gratitude that all that this place has done for my family, starting with my grandfather,” he said.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Pritha Sarkar

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Ex-Houston coach Major Applewhite to be analyst for Alabama

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Ex-Houston coach Major Applewhite to be analyst for Alabama

Former Houston coach Major Applewhite will join Alabama‘s program as an analyst this season, AL.com reported on Tuesday.

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Purdue student walks 100 miles, raises $20K in honor of superfan Tyler Trent

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Purdue student walks 100 miles, raises $20K in honor of superfan Tyler Trent

Purdue superfan Tyler Trent, who died in early January from a rare form of bone cancer, was honored Tuesday by a fellow Boilermaker who completed a near-100-mile walk from West Lafayette, Indiana, to Bloomington for the team’s game against the rival Indiana Hoosiers, raising more than $20,000 in the process.

Purdue student Aaron Lai announced the walk on Jan. 20 in an effort to raise awareness for Trent’s story and cancer research. Lai never met Trent but says he reminded him of his grandfather, who had lung cancer.

Many first learned about Trent and his connection to the Boilermakers football team when he correctly predicted Purdue’s upset of Ohio State on Oct. 20 during a feature on him on ESPN’s College GameDay.

Lai began his trek before dawn Sunday morning from West Lafayette.

He arrived three days and 99.6 miles later at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, some 40 minutes before Purdue-Indiana tipped off. Tyler’s parents, Tony and Kelly Trent, were there to welcome him.

Kelly Trent took to Twitter to show her gratitude:

“What an amazing young man you are and what an accomplishment. Just WOW! Words are inadequate for our gratefulness for your sacrifice.”

As of Tuesday night, Lai’s Go Fund Me — “A Walk for Tyler Trent” — had raised more than $21,000, easily surpassing its $10,000 goal. Money raised would benefit the Tyler Trent Cancer Research Endowment, and will be matched by the Walter Foundation, according to Lai.

Purdue won Tuesday night’s game on a tip-in with 3.2 seconds left, beating Indiana 48-46.

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Tiafoe crashes out, Del Potro advances at Delray Beach Open

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Tiafoe crashes out, Del Potro advances at Delray Beach Open

(Reuters) – Frances Tiafoe’s title defense wilted but Juan Martin del Potro looked fully recovered from his knee injury to cruise to a 6-3 7-5 win over Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round of the Delray Beach Open on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO – Tennis – Australian Open – Quarter-final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 22, 2019. Frances Tiafoe of the U.S. in action during the match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal. REUTERS/Aly Song

The third-seeded Tiafoe looked to have the match against qualifier Dan Evans in hand when he served up 6-5 and 30-love in the second set but was instead broken by Evans, whose aggressive net play frustrated Tiafoe in the final two sets as the Briton eventually prevailed 3-6 7-6(1) 7-5.

Late drama arose when Evans served for the match up 5-4 in the third set but nerves appeared to get to him and he was broken amid a flurry of unforced errors.

But Tiafoe was broken in the next game and Evans made sure not to make the same mistake twice, winning his final service game at love to set up a second-round match against tournament wild card Lloyd Harris of South Africa.

World number four del Potro, who missed last month’s Australian Open to nurse the kneecap he fractured at the Shanghai Masters, showed no ill effects in his first match of the year as he blasted 12 aces to see off baseline specialist Nishioka.

The hard-hitting Argentine is looking to pick up where he left off before the injury, when his superb play made him a finalist at the U.S. and China Opens and helped the 30-year-old reach a career-high ranking of world number three.

Del Potro, who won the tournament in Florida in 2011, will next face big-serving American Reilly Opelka after last week’s New York Open champion saw off countryman Tennys Sandgren 6-4 6-0 earlier in the day.

Top American men’s player John Isner used his blistering serve to overwhelm Canadian Peter Polansky 6-3 7-6(4) and advance to the second round.

The second-seeded Isner fired 23 aces to Polansky’s four and won 87 percent of his first serve points as he cruised to victory.

Next up for Isner is a second-round meeting with unseeded Slovak Lukas Lacko on Wednesday.

Adrian Mannarino, Andreas Seppi, Paolo Lorenzi, Jordan Thompson, Steve Johnson, Mackenzie McDonald, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Radu Albot also won their first round matches on Tuesday at the ATP World Tour 250 event, which is played on outdoor hard courts.

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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