Bryson DeChambeau cruises to victory at Dubai Desert Classic

Bryson Dechambeau shot an 8-under 64 to cruise to his first overseas victory at the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday. (AFP)
Updated 27 January 2019

Bryson DeChambeau cruises to victory at Dubai Desert Classic

  • The highest ranked player in the field at world No. 5, DeChambeau pulled ahead from the chasing pack
  • The previous biggest margin of victory was six by Ernie Els over Greg Norman in 1994

DUBAI: Bryson DeChambeau blew away any doubts of claiming a first title outside the US after an imperious showing in Dubai, winning the $3.25 million Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday by a record margin of seven shots.
The highest ranked player in the field at world No. 5, DeChambeau pulled ahead from the chasing pack with three birdies in his first three holes, and then almost assured himself of his fourth win in last nine starts with an eagle on the 10th hole and a birdie on the 11th.
By that point, he was six shots ahead of the field. After making his only bogey of the day on the difficult par-4 12th hole, he added further birdies on the 13th, 14th and 17th holes to finish on eight-under par 64 for the day and 24-under for the four rounds, also the lowest in the history of the tournament.
The previous biggest margin of victory was six by Ernie Els over Greg Norman in 1994. The old record for lowest tournament aggregate was set last year by Li Hao-tong (23-under par).
A jubilant DeChambeau said: “Today I was happy with my game. I executed a lot of great shots.
“Today was a pleasure. It was obviously a lot of fun to be able to finally hoist an international trophy, I’m so happy about that.
“I was trying to shoot 25 under today and missed it by one, but I’m happy with the results for sure.
“I was trying to go as deep as possible today.”
England’s Matt Wallace, the most successful player on the European Tour last season with three wins, made a stunning birdie after spraying his tee shot wide right into the waste area on the 18th, to break out of a logjam on 16-under par and finish solo second at 17-under par 271.
He was quick to praise DeChambeau for his performance at Emirates Golf Club across the whole weekend.
“I wanted to give it a go today, I really wanted to put some pressure on Bryson. 
“He was obviously scoring well. Credit to him, he’s played great today from what I hear and he’s a worthy champion this week and it’s great to have him here. But I’ll try and get him next time.
“The round was really good in parts, really shabby in parts. Not good enough to put any pressure on, but just about good enough to get second,” he said.
And the Englishman was looking at the positives of the weekend after finishing as a runner-up.
“I’ve got to take the positives from that early on in the season to get the juices flowing like that. And to play with Ernie (Els).
“I mean, I didn’t see myself having 165 yards in for my third on the last to try and get it done, but yeah, I’ll learn from that. I’ll put better swings on it next time. Overall, I’m happy.
“I actually drove it amazing, apart from that last tee shot, really. Friday was the best I’ve ever played tee-to-green, and that’s a really good sign.”
Two more Englishmen, Ian Poulter and Paul Waring had set the target by finishing on 16-under par with rounds of 64. They were later matched by two Spaniards — 2017 champion Sergio Garcia and 2001 winner Alvaro Quiros — and the defending champion Li Hao-tong of China to tie for third place.
South Africa’s Justin Harding shot the best round of the day in the morning — a nine-under par 63 elevating him to tied eighth place at 15-under par in a group that also included Lee Westwood (67) of England.


Bucks’ Antetokounmpo named NBA MVP for second straight year

Updated 18 September 2020

Bucks’ Antetokounmpo named NBA MVP for second straight year

  • The 25-year-old became just the third player in history to earn MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season, after Michael Jordan in 1988 and Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994
  • The MVP award carries a bittersweet tinge after the top-seeded Bucks fell in five games to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals

LOS ANGELES: Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said Friday he’ll treasure his second straight NBA Most Valuable Player award and redouble his efforts to capture a league crown.
The 25-year-old from Greece became just the third player in history to earn MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season, after Michael Jordan in 1988 and Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994.
“Michael Jordan, one of the best players who’s ever done it, if not the best,” Antetokounmpo said, speaking from a rooftop in Athens during the televised announcement of the award. “Hakeem, a guy that I look up to, he came from where I’m from, Nigeria, where I have roots.
“Just being in the same sentence with them, that means a lot to me.”
The player dubbed the “Greek Freak” became the 12th player to win back-to-back MVPs, joining Jordan, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.
But, once again, the MVP award carries a bittersweet tinge after the top-seeded Bucks fell in five games to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals in the quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.
Last year, Antetokounmpo won the MVP only for eventual champion Toronto to oust the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals.
“Obviously I would love to be still in the bubble playing games, fighting,” Antetokounmpo said. “But at the end of the day I won the award. I’m extremely blessed.
“It’s been a long journey,” Antetokounmpo added. “The people that know me, the people that know my story, you can never take these moments for granted.”
Antetokounmpo won in a landslide, receiving 85 first-place votes from a global panel of sports reporters and broadcasters, the league announced on Friday.
Los Angeles Lakers star James received 16 first-place votes and the third finalist, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, did not receive any first-place votes.
The voting was based on performance from the start of the season through March 11, when play was shut down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
It did not included the “seeding games” played when teams in contention for playoff spots once play resumed in Orlando.
Antetokounmpo averaged 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists in leading the Bucks to the best regular-season record in the pandemic-disrupted season.
But he had to watch from the sidelines as the Heat won game five of their semifinal series, nursing a sprained ankle suffered in game three and aggravated in game four.
“Obviously, I am disappointed to not be able to help our team go to the third round,” he said. “That feeling cannot take away from this award.
“I’m happy for this award, but I want more,” he said. “I want to be a champion.”
As a veteran entering his eighth season, Antetokounmpo will be eligible to receive a supermax contract extension from the Bucks.
The Bucks reportedly plan to extend that offer as soon as they can — after the 2019-20 season officially ends.
There has been widespread speculation as to whether a player of Antetokounmpo’s stature will be happy to remain in the small market of Milwaukee.
He met with Bucks owners including Marc Lasry before heading to Greece and has indicated he’d be open to staying.
Providing he’s convinced the team is determined to invest the resources to pursue a title, Antetokounmpo said Friday, “I don’t see why not to be in Milwaukee for the next 15 years.”