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Late eagle propels Spieth to lead at Pebble – TSN

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Jordan Spieth holed out from 160 yards for eagle on the 16th hole at Pebble Beach, the start of a stunning turnaround that took him from two shots behind to a two-shot lead Saturday in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

These moments used to happen when Spieth was winning all the time. This was the second time this week he holed out from the fairway, and now he is on the cusp of ending more than three years without a victory.

He shot 1-under 71 as he goes for a second victory at Pebble Beach in the last five years.

A pedestrian round that included bogeys on two of the par 5s left Spieth two shots out of the lead with three holes to play. And then it all changed. His hard draw to a left pin on the 16th landed about 8 feet right of the hole and took the slope all the way to the bottom of the cup.

Two holes later, Daniel Berger sent his drive well to the right, over the bunkers and onto the cart path. It settled next to the hedges, and was out-of-bounds by mere inches. Berger called over an official for a linear measurement, but it was out. That led to double bogey and a 72.

Abbotsford, B.C. native Nick Taylor is in a tie for 34th place at 4-under par.

Patrick Cantlay, whose third round began with such promise when he hit 8 feet for eagle, birdied the 18th for a 70 and joined Berger two shots out of the lead. Tom Hoge (68) and Russell Knox (69) also were two shots behind.

Spieth was at 13-under 203.

He was tied for the lead going into the final round last week in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, only to fall back when he couldn’t make any putts. He shot 72 and finished two back.

Jason Day was very much in the mix, too, after a 68 left him in the group at 10-under 206. Paul Casey stayed three shots behind with a great break on the 18th when his tee shot tumbled down onto the rocks, but had a flat enough lie he could hit off the rock back into the fairway. He shot 71.

Maverick McNealy had a 69 that included a penalty shot behind the fifth green when his ball moved right as he set the club behind the ball.

Spieth didn’t have to contend with what he predicted to be a “mean” day at Pebble Beach. The rain in the forecast was gone by the time he teed off. The raging wind was more of a stiff breeze along the ocean holes that Pebble gets all the time.

Spieth didn’t do anything great Saturday. He made bogey on the easiest hole at Pebble Beach from the middle of the fairway on the par-5 second hole, coming up well short of the green, pitching short of the putting surface and missing a par putt from 5 feet. He also bogeyed the par-5 14th when his lob wedge was too tentative and spun all the way off the front of the green.

But there was enough good golf — and no wild shots that have cost him so dearly over the last three years — to keep him close enough to work a little magic at the end.

He also needed some help, which Berger supplied.

Even so, a dozen players were separated by four shots going into the final round at a tournament that moves much faster this year without amateur partners creating groups of four players.

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Maple Leaf Notes: Galchenyuk, Matthews, Andersen, Campbell – prohockeyrumors.com

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When the Toronto Maple Leafs sent forward Alex Galchenyuk from the taxi squad to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL Saturday, many felt that it was just to get a few games under his belt after having sat out since Feb. 11. That may not only be the case as Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan writes the Maple Leafs intend to properly develop Galchenyuk and his lost game.

Galchenyuk, the third-overall pick in 2012, has never played a game in the AHL, having jumped straight from the OHL to the Montreal Canadiens. The Maple Leafs would have sent Galchenyuk to the Marlies right after the trade. However, the AHL squad has been on an eight-game road trip and finally has their home opener on Monday. Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe said the team intends to be patient with Galchenyuk as they try to help the forward find his game.

“Part of our plan was to get him playing and we would have made this move probably a little bit sooner had the Marlies not been out west,” Keefe said.

  • Sticking with the Maple Leafs, it looks like the team could be without star Auston Matthews for another game, according to TSN’s Mark Masters. The forward skated with the team Sunday in Edmonton, but didn’t skated as an extra and didn’t take any hard shots. However, Keefe didn’t rule out Matthews playing either, according to NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger. “He’s not ruled out for tomorrow,” said Keefe. Matthews missed Saturday’s game against the Oilers and now could miss Monday’s bout with them as well. If Matthews is out, John Tavares will fill in as the first-line center.
  • No word on who will start in net on Monday for the Maple Leafs. Goaltender Frederik Andersen, who is dealing with a lower-body injury, was a full-participant in practice, but it’s not looking like he will play Monday, according to TSN’s Kristen Shilton. “Ah, it’s not looking that way, if we’re being honest,” said Keefe. “Basically, where we’re at now is just waiting for him to be comfortable … & we don’t really know when that’s going to be. But today was a very positive step towards that.” To make matters worse, Jack Campbell sat out of practice for a maintenance day after returning from a leg injury on Saturday. “Between Campbell and Fred and their situations, we’ve got a lot of things to sort through that I don’t suspect will get sorted out until tomorrow night,” Keefe said.

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Kerri Einarson wins second straight Scotties Tournament of Hearts – Sportsnet.ca

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CALGARY — Kerri Einarson’s second Canadian women’s curling championship was very different from her first.

Einarson didn’t throw her last stone Sunday in a 9-7 win over Ontario’s Rachel Homan in Calgary, in contrast to her nail-biting last draw to beat Homan in an extra end last year in Moose Jaw, Sask.

Einarson and her teammates also celebrated Sunday in the silence in an empty arena without applause and adulation of spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the skip insists it still felt sweet to repeat.

“It means the absolute world to be able to repeat,” Einarson said. “It’s something that is very hard to do.”

Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Meilleur from Manitoba’s Gimli Curling Club were the first to claim back-to-back titles at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts since Homan in 2013 and 2014.

Homan has lost three straight Hearts finals going back to 2019 when her team lost in an extra end to Chelsea Carey in Sydney, N.S.

Einarson had a better feel for ice conditions Sunday than Homan, who is pregnant and due in April.

“I’m unbelievably proud of these girls for battling all week and sticking with me and doing all the extra stuff I couldn’t do,” Homan said. “We had a chance right to the end, but it didn’t go our way.

“I pushed as hard as I could and went as far as we were able to go as a team. It was a phenomenal team effort to make this happen this week.”

Einarson controlled most of the game leading 5-3 after five ends and 7-4 after seven.

But Homan scored a point in the eighth and stole two in the ninth to tie it coming home.

Einarson lay two in the rings when Homan’s attempted freeze slid too deep into the rings.

“Definitely felt extremely weird not being able to run and hug my girls and my parents and family and friends,” Einarson said.

Einarson retains the Maple Leaf as Team Canada for the 2022 national championship in Thunder Bay, Ont., and picked up $100,000 in first-place prize money.

Einarson faces the prospect of missing out on a women’s world championship again.

The World Curling Federation cancelled the March 20-28 tournament in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, because the local Swiss health authority would not support it in a global pandemic.

Einarson and her teammates had arrived in Prince George, B.C., for the 2020 world championship when it was called off.

The WCF pulled the plug Feb. 8 on this year’s championship. An announcement has yet to be made on whether it will be rescheduled to another date and location.

“My husband said to me before I came here ‘you could be the first person to not go to worlds and win twice,'” Einarson said.

“I don’t know. Hopefully something can happen for us.”

Einarson beat Alberta’s Laura Walker 9-3 in the afternoon semifinal to earn a championship showdown with Homan.

Walker eliminated six-time champion Jennifer Jones of Manitoba with a 9-8 win in a morning tiebreaker.

Homan earned prize money of $60,000 as the runner-up. Walker collected $40,000 for third place.

The Hearts was the first of four Curling Canada events shifted to a spectator-free, controlled environment at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre in an effort to have a season and get curling on TSN.

The Canadian men’s championship starts Friday, followed by national mixed doubles and the men’s world championship April 3-11.

Two Grand Slam events, which are Rogers Sportsnet’s properties, are planned for later in April.

Tourism Calgary predicts the six curling events in Calgary will inject $11 million into the local economy.

The Hearts was the first test of the curling bubble. No positive tests for the virus were reported as of Sunday.

“I think it went really smoothly. It felt good to be out there doing what we love,” Sweeting said. “Even though there were no fans, it was still special for us.”

Teams arrived in Calgary with a few games played this winter, and depending on pandemic restrictions in their region, not much practice time at their local clubs.

Homan lacked ice time to adapt her stone delivery to her changing body before arriving in Calgary.

“Can we talk for a second about skipper over here?” Homan’s third Emma Miskew said. “Unbelievable you curled that well. It’s just amazing.”

Ontario also incorporated lineup changes on the fly at the Hearts.

Homan dropped longtime lead Lisa Weagle last year for Wilkes to play second, and shifted Joanne Courtney to lead.

They didn’t have the benefit of 50 games to re-establish chemistry and communication.

Einarson’s advantage was an unchanged lineup from the team that bested Homan a year earlier.

Birchard and Meilleur both posted shooting percentages higher than counterparts Wilkes and Courtney in Sunday’s final.

Einarson, Sweeting and Birchard were named to the tournament’s first all-star team at their positions with Manitoba lead Weagle breaking up an Einarson sweep.

Homan, Wild Card One third Selena Njegovan, Manitoba second Jocelyn Peterman and Courtney were second-team all-star picks.

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Einarson defends Scotties title with win over Homan – TSN

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CALGARY — Kerri Einarson’s second Canadian women’s curling championship was very different from her first.

Einarson didn’t throw her last stone Sunday in a 9-7 win over Ontario’s Rachel Homan in Calgary, in contrast to her nail-biting last draw to beat Homan in an extra end last year in Moose Jaw, Sask.

Einarson and her teammates also celebrated Sunday in the silence in an empty arena without applause and adulation of spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the skip insists it still felt sweet to repeat.

“It means the absolute world to be able to repeat,” Einarson said. “It’s something that is very hard to do.”

Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Meilleur from Manitoba’s Gimli Curling Club were the first to claim back-to-back titles at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts since Homan in 2013 and 2014.

Homan has lost three straight Hearts finals going back to 2019 when her team lost in an extra end to Chelsea Carey in Sydney, N.S.

Einarson had a better feel for ice conditions Sunday than Homan, who is pregnant and due in April.

“I’m unbelievably proud of these girls for battling all week and sticking with me and doing all the extra stuff I couldn’t do,” Homan said. “We had a chance right to the end, but it didn’t go our way.

“I pushed as hard as I could and went as far as we were able to go as a team. It was a phenomenal team effort to make this happen this week.”

Einarson controlled most of the game leading 5-3 after five ends and 7-4 after seven.

But Homan scored a point in the eighth and stole two in the ninth to tie it coming home.

Einarson lay two in the rings when Homan’s attempted freeze slid too deep into the rings.

“Definitely felt extremely weird not being able to run and hug my girls and my parents and family and friends,” Einarson said.

Einarson retains the Maple Leaf as Team Canada for the 2022 national championship in Thunder Bay, Ont., and picked up $100,000 in first-place prize money.

Einarson faces the prospect of missing out on a women’s world championship again.

The World Curling Federation cancelled the March 20-28 tournament in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, because the local Swiss health authority would not support it in a global pandemic.

Einarson and her teammates had arrived in Prince George, B.C., for the 2020 world championship when it was called off.

The WCF pulled the plug Feb. 8 on this year’s championship. An announcement has yet to be made on whether it will be rescheduled to another date and location.

“My husband said to me before I came here ‘you could be the first person to not go to worlds and win twice,'” Einarson said.

“I don’t know. Hopefully something can happen for us.”

Einarson beat Alberta’s Laura Walker 9-3 in the afternoon semifinal to earn a championship showdown with Homan.

Walker eliminated six-time champion Jennifer Jones of Manitoba with a 9-8 win in a morning tiebreaker.

Homan earned prize money of $60,000 as the runner-up. Walker collected $40,000 for third place.

The Hearts was the first of four Curling Canada events shifted to a spectator-free, controlled environment at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre in an effort to have a season and get curling on TSN.

The Canadian men’s championship starts Friday, followed by national mixed doubles and the men’s world championship April 3-11.

Two Grand Slam events, which are Rogers Sportsnet’s properties, are planned for later in April.

Tourism Calgary predicts the six curling events in Calgary will inject $11 million into the local economy.

The Hearts was the first test of the curling bubble. No positive tests for the virus were reported as of Sunday.

“I think it went really smoothly. It felt good to be out there doing what we love,” Sweeting said. “Even though there were no fans, it was still special for us.”

Teams arrived in Calgary with a few games played this winter, and depending on pandemic restrictions in their region, not much practice time at their local clubs.

Homan lacked ice time to adapt her stone delivery to her changing body before arriving in Calgary.

“Can we talk for a second about skipper over here?” Homan’s third Emma Miskew said. “Unbelievable you curled that well. It’s just amazing.”

Ontario also incorporated lineup changes on the fly at the Hearts.

Homan dropped longtime lead Lisa Weagle last year for Wilkes to play second, and shifted Joanne Courtney to lead.

They didn’t have the benefit of 50 games to re-establish chemistry and communication.

Einarson’s advantage was an unchanged lineup from the team that bested Homan a year earlier.

Birchard and Meilleur both posted shooting percentages higher than counterparts Wilkes and Courtney in Sunday’s final.

Einarson, Sweeting and Birchard were named to the tournament’s first all-star team at their positions with Manitoba lead Weagle breaking up an Einarson sweep.

Homan, Wild Card One third Selena Njegovan, Manitoba second Jocelyn Peterman and Courtney were second-team all-star picks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021.

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