Joe Durant shoots 63 to take Chubb Classic lead

NAPLES, Fla. — Joe Durant birdied five of the last eight holes for a 9-under 63 to match Steve Stricker’s Saturday finish and take the second-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Chubb Classic.

Durant rebounded from a three-putt bogey on the par-4 10th with birdies on the next two holes and also birdied Nos. 15-17. He had a 14-under 130 total on TwinEagles’ Talon course for a one-stroke lead over Stricker.

“You’re going to laugh at me when I tell you this, but it was actually a par I made on my first hole,” Durant said. “I pulled my tee shot left, went into a bush and had to take an unplayable, had to drop back and hit an 8-iron about 15 feet and made par and it was kind of like, ‘OK, well, maybe the putter is going to work today.”‘

Stricker had nine birdies in a bogey-free round.

“I look forward to playing with Steve,” Durant said. “He’s a class act, one of my buddies out here, and obviously he is playing well and he had a great round today. It will be a shootout tomorrow, no question, but it will be fun.”

The 53-year-old Durant has two PGA Tour Champions victories after winning four times on the PGA Tour.

The 50-year-old Stricker is making his first start of the year on the 50-and-over tour after playing six tournaments last year — a runner-up finish in his debut and three third-places ties but not a victory.

“That’s why I’m here, to try to win the golf tournament,” the 12-time PGA Tour winner said.

He played the last two weeks on the PGA Tour, …read more



Changes to blue-line strategy helping spur Bruins’ 2017-18 revival

Lost among the quick feet and the slick mitts of the Eastern Conference for the past three seasons — pushed out of the playoff picture for two straight years before serving as a stepping stone in Ottawa’s Cinderella run last year — the Boston Bruins have reclaimed a seat at the contenders table.

The Bruins sit just three points from Tampa Bay’s conference-leading sum (with three games in hand) heading into action Saturday, and their success is buoyed by a potent, consistent offensive renaissance led by their top line.

But while it’s been Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak shouldering the heaviest load during the Bruins’ climb back into the championship picture, at least part of Boston’s renewed success can be attributed to the play of the club’s blue line.

While they haven’t discovered a Nashville Predators-esque knack for piling up points from the back end, a key change in strategy has granted Boston’s rearguards the freedom to embrace their vision and move the play up ice with more creativity.

“Coming in, we played Claude (Julien)’s system, where everything was D-to-D over or rim,” defender Torey Krug told The Boston Globe‘s Fluto Shinzawa recently. “It kind of limited you on where you could go. You just go straight back to the corner and wait there for your partner to get it over to you.”

That stands in stark contrast to the B’s approach under new bench boss Bruce Cassidy. The new emphasis? Create some space, assess your options, and react.

“Every time we get the puck, the first thing we think about is moving our feet three hard strides, then making the play from there.”

According to Krug, that’s allowed his team to open up their …read more



Matt Mitrione beats former UFC rival Roy Nelson at Bellator 194

Matt Mitrione earned a majority decision victory over Roy Nelson Friday night in the main event of Bellator 194 to advance to the semifinals of the promotion’s ongoing heavyweight grand prix.

The win avenged Mitrione’s 2012 technical knockout loss to Nelson that occurred back when the two competed in the UFC. Mitrione (13-5) was the more effective fighter on the feet and limited the damage Nelson (23-15) was able to inflict when the fight went to the ground.

Mitrione is now slated to face the winner of Ryan Bader vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, which is expected to take place May 12 in San Jose, Calif.

In the co-main event, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire stopped Derek Campos with punches in a fan-friendly bout that lasted just 2:23.

Also on the main card, former pro boxer Heather Hardy improved to 2-1 in MMA with a unanimous decision victory over Ana Julaton, plus Vadim Nemkov upset former light-heavyweight champion Liam McGeary thanks to a leg-kick clinic he put on.

Here are the complete results from Bellator 194:

— Matt Mitrione def. Roy Nelson by majority decision
— Patricky “Pitbull” Freire def. Derek Campos by TKO
— Heather Hardy def. Ana Julaton by unanimous decision
— Vadim Nemkov def. Liam McGeary by TKO
— Tywan Claxton def. Jose Perez by TKO

— Ross Richardson def. Ron Leon by TKO
— Michael Kimbel def. Geoffrey Then by TKO
— Regivaldo Carvalho def. Tom English by knockout
— Jarod Trice def. Walter Howard by majority decision
— Marcus Surin def. Dean Hancock by submission (arm-triangle choke)
— Kastriot Xhema def. Peter Nascimento by TKO
— Pat Casey def. Tyler Hamilton by unanimous decision

…read more



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