- Created on 11 March 2013
DORAL, Fla. — That red shirt is starting to look ruthless on Sunday again.
One year after Tiger Woods hobbled off the Blue Monster, he picked up the pace in his march to the Masters. Woods delivered two quick birdies to take the drama out of Doral, and two late bogeys only made his victory in the Cadillac Championship seem closer than it really was.
Woods had full control of his game and never let anyone get closer than three shots until he had locked up his 17th World Golf Championship title. With a conservative bogey that didn't matter on the final hole, he closed with a 1-under 71.
For the first time in five years, Woods has two wins before the Masters.
And both of them were dominant.
"That's how I know I can play," Woods said. "That's the thing. To be able to bring it out a couple times so far this year — and then be able to close and get the Ws on top of that — that's nice. Any time I can win prior to Augusta, it always feels good."
And to think it was one year ago Sunday that Woods withdrew after 11 holes in the final round at Doral because of tightness in his left Achilles tendon, the same injury that had cost him to sit out most of the previous summer. It created uncertainty about his health and whether he could ever get his game back.
Woods now has five wins in the last year, the most of anyone in the world, and he can return to No. 1 with a win at Bay Hill in two weeks.
He won by two shots over Steve Stricker, who might want to claim a share of this trophy.
Woods ran into Stricker on the putting green Wednesday afternoon, and in a 45-minute session, Stricker helped him with his posture over putts. Woods left feeling as good as he did at Torrey Pines, where he won by four shots. And it showed. Woods made 27 birdies this week, one short of his personal best on the PGA Tour, and he took the fewest putts (100) over 72 holes in any tour event.
"Thank you to Steve for the putting lesson," Woods said at the trophy presentation. "It was one of those weeks where I felt pretty good about how I was playing, made a few putts and got it rolling."
The Masters is a month away, and Woods is sure to be the favorite.
"Majors and World Golf Championships are the best because you know you are playing against the best players," Woods said. "That's what makes wins like this special. That's why I love to compete."
Woods now has won more than $24 million in the WGCs alone since the series began in 1999, winning 42 percent of the tournaments. This was his 76th career win on tour, leaving him six short of the record 82 wins by Sam Snead. He now has more wins than Mickelson and Vijay Singh combined.
- Created on 08 March 2013
ATLANTA — A lawyer for a woman who says Michael Jordan fathered her teenage son is attacking the basketball hall of famer's allegation that her ex-husband has been established as boy's dad.
Pamela Smith last month sued Jordan and asked that he take a paternity test and pay child support. Jordan has said he's not the father and filed motion to have her lawsuit dismissed.
A lawyer for Jordan said in a court filing last week that Smith's divorce filings established her ex-husband as the teen's father. The response also accused Smith of trying to get child support from more than one person.
Smith's lawyer, Randy Kessler, says the ex-husband hasn't paid child support and hasn't been involved in the teen's life.
A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
- Created on 06 March 2013
The Lady Dolphins didn't advance Friday, March 1 to play for the first place win. Still, they took to the court at Red Bird Arena Saturday, March 2 on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. and snagged the third place win - and trophy - in a 60-27 blowout against the Huntley (Ill.) Red Raiders.
- Created on 07 March 2013
SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich will not tolerate excuses, so the Spurs know better than to feel self-pity when a key player like Tony Parker is injured.
Instead, San Antonio is actually feeling pretty good about itself.
Tim Duncan had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spurs beat the Chicago Bulls 101-83 on Wednesday night in a matchup of teams missing their starting All-Star point guards.
Manu Ginobili added 18 points and nine assists, Tiago Splitter had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard scored 14 points for San Antonio (48-14), which won its third straight since Parker was injured.
Parker is expected to miss about four weeks with an ankle sprain and Derrick Rose has yet to play for Chicago this season after undergoing major knee surgery.
San Antonio continued to play well without Parker, shooting 54 percent from the field and handing out 22 assists to maintain the league's record.
"In the first half it was not great, not bad either, but the second half was great," Ginobili said. "We attacked and moved the ball around the court from side to side and that is what you have to do against good defensive teams. I think that is something we should be really satisfied about."
Marco Belinelli had 21 points, Luol Deng added 19, Marquis Teague had 11 and Carlos Boozer 10 for the Bulls.
Chicago led by as many as 14 points before San Antonio rallied behind increased defensive activity. The Bulls shot 8 for 31 in the first 18 minutes of the second half.
"You can't hold on to the ball," Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said. "The ball has to move side to side. They're too good defensively. In the second half we settled; we took some poor shots. With the depth that they have, they're going to make you pay."
San Antonio's bench outscored Chicago's 45-18, with Patty Mills scoring 10 of his 13 points in the second half.
"That is my role, to come off the bench and bring energy both offensively and defensively," Mills said. "My role is to shoot the ball when open, so I have a great opportunity now. We all have to fill the shoes of Tony being out and tonight was a great showing of Spurs basketball and identity."
San Antonio needed that energy after falling behind 52-47 at the half.
The Spurs chipped away at the lead in the third quarter, finally taking a 66-65 advantage on Boris Diaw's free throw that completed a three-point play.
"I thought defensively we were really on the mark in the second half all the way around," Popovich said. "I think all the way around it was a really fine effort. It was a physical game. It looked a lot like a playoff game atmosphere with intensity."
Nate Robinson's 3-pointer put the Bulls back ahead, but the Spurs went on a 14-0 run to bridge the third and fourth quarters.
Deng's 3 ended the run, pulling the Bulls within 80-71 with 9:27 left in the game.
San Antonio was able to close out its third straight win at home, outscoring Chicago 54-31 in the second half.
"That's a championship team right there," Chicago center Joakim Noah said, slumped in his chair in visible despair. "They do all the little things. Play together, defensively, everybody's on the same page. They make very little mistakes. You've got to give credit where credit is due."
Chicago opened strongly, leading by as many as 14 points in the first half.
Energized by the loudest reception for any opponent this season aside from the Los Angeles Lakers, the Bulls rallied from an 8-0 deficit.
The Bulls forced four turnovers and five missed shots in a 15-1 run for a 21-16 lead with 46 seconds left in the first.
Robinson was 1 for 8 in the first half, but his only basket capped the run. He stripped DeJuan Blair and drove the length of the court, channeling Karl Malone as he placed a hand behind his head and posed as he leapt for a layup.
After the Spurs took a 32-31 lead on Stephen Jackson's 3, the Bulls went on a 15-0 run as Teague hit a pair of 3s and Belinelli added another. Chicago led 52-47 at halftime.
- Created on 04 March 2013
NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman is back in the United States amid much criticism after his trip to North Korea to meet leader Kim Jung Un.
Rodman came under fire after declaring that the leader of a country notorious for its prison camps is a 'great guy.'
"I'm not apologizing for him. He was a great guy to me. He was my friend. I don't condone what he does. But as a person to person, he's my friend," Rodman said on ABC News "This Week."
Rodman and his companions are the only Americans known to have met the North Korean leader.
The Obama administration responded to Rodman's trip by saying North Korea should be focused on the well-being of its citizens rather than 'celebrity sporting events.'
"North Korea ought to be focusing on its own citizens and opportunities to improve their lives and the United States has channels of communication directly to the DPRK and those are the channels we choose to employ," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday during the White House press briefing.
How is it that an eccentric basketball star making more headway than the U.S. Government? Is the criticism against Rodman valid?
OutFront tonight: Olympic medalist Ato Boldon, Politico's Ben Smith and CNN Contributor Reihan Salam.
Tune to Erin Burnett OutFront at 7p and 11p ET on CNN.