Messi urges supporters: ‘stay at home with loved ones’

first_imgLionel Messi has urged his legion of supporters to stay at home with loved ones as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread globally. Loading… Promoted Content7 Theories About The Death Of Our Universe8 Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee18 Cities With Neverending Tourist-FlowThe Best Cars Of All TimePortuguese Street Artist Creates Hyper-Realistic 3D GraffitiBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made7 Truly Incredible Facts About Black HolesThis Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s Hysterical10 Absurd Ideas That Made Their Inventors Millions9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooBest Car Manufacturers In The World7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market Value The Real Madrid defender was put through his paces on a curved treadmill alongside the comment ‘#TrainAtHome’. His team-mate Fede Valverde was enjoying the sunshine by having a kick about in his garden with his dog. Juventus ace Douglas Costa was up to similar tricks in his garden while his dog attempted to put in a challenge. Fellow Juve star Matthijs de Ligt spent his afternoon playing table tennis while Paulo Dybala did a bit of home cooking. Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno was having a relaxing afternoon and sat watching Netflix on the sofa. Bayern Munich ace Robert Lewandowski also had some quality family time and used it to play a game with his daughter. Read Also:Messi: Health must always come first Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata lied on the grass in the sunshine with wife Alice Campello and kids Leonardo and Alessandro. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 All major sporting events, including football across Europe and further afield, have been postponed for the foreseeable future. With games unlikely to take place for at least another three weeks and possibly more, sports stars are having to find other ways to keep themselves occupied on weekends. Barcelona superstar Messi is spending quality time with his family while others are taking advantage of Netflix or working out in their own gyms. Posting a picture with his two sons to his 144million followers, Messi wrote: “Health must always come first. It is an exceptional moment and you must follow the instructions of both health organisations and public authorities. Only in this way can we combat it effectively. “It is the time to be responsible and stay at home, it is also perfect to enjoy that time with yours that you can not always have. “A hug and hopefully we can turn this situation around as soon as possible.” Fierce rival Sergio Ramos not quite ready to put his feet up and took to Instagram to show off his workout.last_img read more

Monk in line for Swansea coaching role

first_img Press Association He has already obtained the UEFA B licence and has been doing his A licence this season. Although there has been no confirmation from the club, it is thought they are preparing to offer him a role on manager Michael Laudrup’s backroom team. There has also been speculation that Pep Clotet, a Spaniard brought in to run the academy last November, could step up after impressing the Swans hierarchy. Reports of this possible coaching reshuffle come with Laudrup facing increasing pressure. The Dane’s side, who won the Capital One Cup last season, are facing a relegation fight after a loss of form. The Welsh side have won just one of their last 10 Barclays Premier League matches and, although 12th, are only two points above the bottom three. They face arch-rivals Cardiff in a crucial derby at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. Swansea veteran Garry Monk is being lined up to take on some coaching duties with the club, Press Association Sport understands.center_img The long-serving defender and club captain, 35 next month, has not played since September after undergoing knee surgery. Monk, who joined the club when they were in League Two in 2004, has long been viewed as a future member of the coaching staff. last_img read more

Inconsistent Sri Lanka Face Wounded Bangladesh

first_imgBristol: After two consecutive defeats, Bangladesh will look to return to winning ways when they face a depleted Sri Lanka in their fourth World Cup game at the Bristol Cricket Ground on Tuesday.The Bangla Tigers, after making a perfect start to their World Cup campaign against South Africa, faced back to back defeats against New Zealand and England and are low on confidence.Apart from the first game against the Proteas, the Bangladesh batting has not been consistent and it has only been all-rounder Shakib al Hasan who has been able to perform. None of their other batters have been able to maintain consistency and have failed to cope with the scoreboard pressure. Their openers, Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal, have not been able to provide the starts that the Bangladeshi fans would be hoping for, something which Mashrafe Mortaza will desperately want.However, Bangladesh’s major concern is their bowling which was taken for plenty by tournament favourites England in their previous encounter. They conceded a total in excess of 380 and were given a hard time on the field.Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will be looking for two crucial points after their last encounter was washed out against Pakistan. The Dimuth Karunaratne-led side started their tournament campaign on the worst possible note, conceding a 10-wicket defeat to New Zealand. However, it was their bowling which rescued them against Afghanistan in a rain-curtailed match which they just managed to win.Batting has been one of the issues which Sri Lanka has been coping with in the initial phase of the ongoing tournament. They have suffered batting collapses and have not been able to play their full quota of 50 overs in all the completed matches.In bowling, they will miss the services of Nuwan Pradeep who won them the match against Afghanistan. However, with the likes of Lasith Malinga, their bowling still finds an edge over Bangladesh. IANS Also Read: SPORTS NEWSlast_img read more

Hawkins, St. Francis visit Bryant

first_imgSAVVY VETERANS: Each team has relied heavily on their seniors this year. Grant, Ikenna Ndugba, Charles Pride and Benson Lin have collectively accounted for 60 percent of Bryant’s scoring this season and 56 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For St. Francis (NY), Hawkins, Deniz Celen, Unique McLean and Rob Higgins have collectively accounted for 69 percent of all St. Francis (NY) scoring, including 76 percent of the team’s points over its last five games.DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Terriers have given up only 69.4 points per game to NEC opponents so far, an improvement from the 74.8 per game they gave up over 11 non-conference games.CREATING OFFENSE: Hawkins has either made or assisted on 41 percent of all St. Francis (NY) field goals over the last three games. Hawkins has accounted for 16 field goals and 14 assists in those games.SIGNIFICANCE OF 63: St. Francis (NY) is 0-7 when its offense scores 63 points or fewer. Bryant is a perfect 7-0 when it holds opponents to 63 or fewer points.ASSIST RATIOS: The Bulldogs have recently created baskets via assists more often than the Terriers. Bryant has an assist on 38 of 69 field goals (55.1 percent) over its past three matchups while St. Francis (NY) has assists on 35 of 74 field goals (47.3 percent) during its past three games. February 5, 2020 Associated Press Hawkins, St. Francis visit Bryantcenter_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditSt. Francis (NY) (10-12, 4-6) vs. Bryant (10-12, 2-7)Chace Athletic Center, Smithfield, Rhode Island; Thursday, 7 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Two guards will be on display as Chauncey Hawkins and St. Francis (NY) will face Adam Grant and Bryant. The junior Hawkins has scored 20 percent of the team’s points this season and is averaging 12.2 over his last five games. Grant, a senior, is averaging 15.4 points over the last five games. DID YOU KNOW: Bryant has made 9.4 3-pointers per game this season, which is second-best among NEC teams.___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.comlast_img read more

Kreuter’s team must start to win sometime

first_imgHave you ever been really unlucky for a long period of time?How about for almost four years?And every time you were about to get on a positive run of some sort — every single time you started wondering if you were about to break your cold streak and snap out of it — you started getting unlucky again.That’s pretty much the situation Chad Kreuter and the USC baseball team is in — according to Kreuter, at least.The fourth-year coach won just about 50 percent of his games in his first three seasons at USC, leading many to expect he would be fired last May. But he wasn’t, and this season Kreuter’s team is .500 (14-14) again.But it’s just a matter of luck to him, and he seems to think it will turn around, eventually.“That’s baseball,” Kreuter said after the Trojans fell Saturday, striking out while down 4-3 with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth.“That’s baseball,” said Kreuter Thursday, after his team blew a chance to drive in a runner from second with the score tied 1-1 and two outs in the bottom of the ninth and then gave up three runs to visiting Oregon State in the top of the 10th. “We did what we needed to do, we just needed a break somewhere along the line and they ended up getting it in the 10th there.”And there are more excuses too.“Hey, we’ve had six games in conference, and four of those have come down to the last pitch,” Kreuter said after Saturday’s loss.“We feel that we’re close,” Kreuter said. “But we’re not getting that big swing out of somebody in those situations. We need the team, the hitters, to make quality at-bats out of the at-bats they are having, and that starts with the very beginning.”That might be true, but it also starts with you, Mr. Kreuter. There are a variety of reasons, undoubtedly. And by no means am I advocating fans to put the blame directly on Kreuter’s shoulders.Private colleges have a significant disadvantage when it comes to college baseball. Every team, public or private, gets 11 scholarships they can distribute in any way they wish. For example, if a team had 21 players, they could give each player a half scholarship and one player a full scholarship.USC has 35 players on its baseball roster. The school doesn’t release scholarship figures for its players, but it’s safe to assume the Trojans are splitting their scholarships pretty evenly among  players — with a few exceptions for star players and walk-ons.Then think about a public school like Long Beach State. The Dirtbags have a reasonably good program, have been definite competitor to the Trojans in recent years and close to USC geographically.Like USC, Long Beach has just 11 scholarships to offer players. But it also costs less to attend Long Beach — $35,000 less. In-state tuition at Long Beach State is around $3,500. Tuition at USC is around $38,500. And as a high school player from Southern California aims to be drafted by a professional baseball team and eventually make it to the major leagues, why would you ever pick USC?But it isn’t a new development. Mike Gillespie — Kreuter’s father-in-law, in a weird twist — coached the Trojans under the same restrictions for 20 years and posted a .618 winning percentage and won a championship. And Kreuter’s four years at USC have been marked by an incredible loss of recruits to the Major League Baseball Draft. Kreuter, for a reason unfathomable to many close to the program, continues to recruit the best of the best high school prospects in the nation.And they come. He’s a good recruiter. But, in the odd world that is college baseball, what he fails to realize is that those players will never actually end up attending USC.Those players — like Jiovanni Mier in 2009, Tim Beckham in 2008 and countless others in the past few years — almost always end up being drafted in the first round and getting a gigantic signing bonus offer from an MLB team.For a reference point, Mier got $1.4 million. Beckham got $6.15 million. They’re not coming to college.There’s something wrong with the USC baseball program. Whatever it is — and, after covering the USC baseball team almost game-by-game for a season and a half, I have no idea how to fix it — Kreuter needs to change something about the way he’s running the team.He can’t keep waiting, hoping or praying for luck to come around.Because it won’t.“Looking Past the X’s and O’s” runs Mondays. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or e-mail Pedro at pmoura@usc.edu.last_img read more

Following loss, USC gears up for Cougars

first_imgEntering the Halloween contest, No. 20 USC has an overall record of 12-9 and a 5-6 record in the Pac-12 play, following a loss to No. 2 Washington on Wednesday night.Despite being ranked 18 spots lower, USC played Washington close, losing by just two points in each set for an overall score of 26-24, 26-24, 25-23. USC led late in the third set, but couldn’t quite hold off the Huskies, who have long been a thorn in USC’s side. Last year, Washington knocked USC out in the NCAA Regional final in a tough five-setter.Against the Huskies on Wednesday, junior outsider hitter Samantha Bricio led the charge with 15 kills, while sophomore outsider hitter Ebony Nwanebu added 11 along with eight digs.USC couldn’t quite contain Washington’s star player Krista Vansant, who posted 17 kills and 10 digs.But the Women of Troy must now turn their attention to the Cougars, who are 10-12 overall and 1-9 in conference play. Though on paper this appears to be an easy match for the Women of Troy, the team knows that they shouldn’t take any opponent lightly.When the two teams met earlier this season on Oct. 3, USC won a thrilling five-set match in which the final set had two ties and one lead change. Junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio recorded a double-double with a game-high 28 kills and 13 digs.Since that match, however, the Women of Troy have changed their offensive system and personnel. Instead of running a 6-2 formation with sophomore setter Alice Pizzasegola and senior setter Hayley Crone controlling the offense, the team no longer has two back-row setters. Instead, senior opposite Emily Young has taken over setting duties in the front row, presenting an entirely new challenge for the visiting Cougars.Head coach Mick Haley acknowledged the challenges of such a midseason change.“It takes a while to develop and we have only done it for a week and a half,” Haley said. “The more we play, the better we are going to get out of it. We are just trying to speed it up as much as we can.”Though USC’s offense has changed slightly, its production has not slipped. Bricio has 313 kills on the season to go along with 63 aces. Her teammate Nwanebu has started to find her groove after coming back from a preseason injury. Nwanebu has averaged 15.33 kills and 10.33 digs in her last three matches.The Women of Troy’s defense has followed the offense’s example by upping the intensity. Sophomore libero Taylor Whittingham entered Wednesday night’s match against Washington State leading the Pac-12 with 4.64 digs per set.“[Leading the conference] is really cool. I didn’t even realize it,” Whittingham said. “It’s all thanks to the blockers because they help me see it and funnel the ball to me.”Ruddins managed 11 digs in Wednesday night’s matchup.Though Washington State has its hands full trying to contain Bricio, Nwanebu and Ruddins, the Cougars have their own one-two combo on the outside. Outside hitter Kyra Holt has been averaging 3.26 per set with outside hitter Jaicee Harris right behind her at 2.95. Setter Haley MacDonald has put up great numbers running the team’s 5-1 offense with over 11 assists per set.With roughly half of conference play in the books, the Women of Troy hope to make a late run in order to secure home court advantage for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Their quest begins on Friday night at the Galen Center. After tough matches against the nation’s top two teams the Women of Troy are set to face off against the lowly Washington State Cougars this Friday.Flying high · Junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio posted 15 kills and nine digs in USC’s three-set loss to Washington Wednesday night. – Brian Ji | Daily Trojanlast_img read more

Syracuse senior attack Jordan Evans primed for special senior year

first_img Published on February 16, 2017 at 12:16 am Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 UPDATED: Feb. 17, 2017 at 1:13 p.m.It is shaping up to be The Year. The Year of turning selflessness into production, of limiting turnovers while commanding the quarterback role, of fulfilling the load that fell on him four years ago. Yet over the last few weeks, Jordan Evans didn’t outline a specific plan. He didn’t jot down a single statistical goal. He hardly chatted with former Syracuse attacks about what’s at stake for him in 2017, or how to tackle his last season after three that didn’t quite meet the hype.In late January, television cameras and reporters circled around him in Manley Field House’s Trophy Hall, a few steps from a shrine to SU lacrosse greats. There, Evans shrugged off the expectations that accompany a No. 22 in his fourth year. How much pressure do you feel to be the guy? Will you be able to follow in Dylan Donahue’s footsteps? How are you going to score more?But tucked inside the 5-foot-10, 169-pound attack is a fire, kindled by disappointment that’s fueled him. He knows the responsibilities. All of them. He knows the relentless dodger he needs to be, the facilitator for a team amid its longest-ever national title drought, the pilot of the offense so vital to SU’s motion around the goal. The elder statesmen of the Syracuse attack is now central to No. 6 Syracuse’s (1-0) title hopes in 2017. This is, after all, The Year.“He’s got to step into a whole new role,” SU head coach John Desko said. “This year, he’s got to be the top guy. He’s extremely knowledgeable of our offenses, man-ups and so on, so that will help him. He’s got to take that next step and be a threat at the end of the field.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEvan Jenkins | Staff PhotographerDesko offered Evans the venerable No. 22 when he reached his sophomore year of high school, and Evans reminded onlookers of that potential last Saturday when he hung seven career highs, including points, shots and shots on goal. For the top-ranked class of 2013 recruit out of Jamesville-DeWitt High School, the pressure still endures.The fact that he wears the same number as SU All-Americans Gary Gait, Charlie Lockwood and the Powell brothers only adds to that pressure. Even though others have compared him to the Powells, Evans has not earned such honors; he didn’t even appear on this year’s preseason All-ACC team. Evans could be only the second SU player to wear No. 22 since 1988 and not capture a national title.Knee injuries nagged during Evans’ first two seasons at SU and cut short any sort of momentum he may have built. He scored only 11 goals in those years, when he played midfield and defense. As a junior attack in 2016, he turned the ball over a team-high 27 times. The same number of goals in the same campaign seemed a step forward, but placed fifth on the team.Despite his underwhelming past, teams recognize Evans as a threat. Five goals in an NCAA tournament game his sophomore year proved that. At his best, he’s aggressive. Ball in stick, head forward, quick burst to the goal. It’s the formula he stuck to in high school that led to scored more than 400 points. Five days ago, he flashed the same skill set in SU’s blowout win over Siena.“Once he takes the weight off his shoulders,” former midfielder Derek DeJoe said, “that’s when he’s going to start having eight points a game.”Evans’ education provides him with an edge. He can suck up information and process it before defenses slide over. Evans, who already has accepted a full-time job at the investment bank Goldman Sachs, might be the smartest player on SU. His influencers, DeJoe, Tim Barber and Donahue, helped sculpt that skill set over the last three years.“He has some of the best vision I’ve ever seen,” said DeJoe, who’s played with SU All-Americans Kevin Rice and Donahue.One of the smoothest players Desko’s had in recent years, Evans can go left or right equally. He can wrap around defenders, shake up the set and accelerate behind the cage. He now seems to have a firm grasp on managing the offense, aware of when to dodge, when to dish and when to burst toward the goal. If he’s going to put it all together, this is The Year.“Everybody has for the last three years been expecting big things from certain people, like myself,” Evans said. “It’s already expected as to what I should be doing.“I’ve been waiting for this.”CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, Derek DeJoe’s former position was misstated. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Burke performing beyond her years

first_imgFreshman defender Courtney Burke has scored one goal and tallied four assists on the season, leading all defenders with five points.[/media-credit]Being on your own for the first time is the stressful task most people take on in their first weeks of college, but for freshman Courtney Burke, that was an adjustment she had to make at the age of 13.The UW women’s hockey player moved 1,039 miles away from her family in Albany, N.Y. just after entering her teenage years. She jumped at the opportunity to play the sport she loves at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, an elite hockey school in Fairmont, Minn.“It was hard on my mom and my dad the most because they had to send their 13-year-old away,” Burke said. “It took awhile for me to adjust, about two weeks of being homesick, and after that it was just done. It wasn’t hard adjusting to [college life] at all because I am so used to it.”Now finding her place among the new faces of her Badger teammates, Burke has focused her attention on hockey, having already learned to deal with the other normal adjustments.Her early life away from home is proving to be beneficial. The transition from high school to collegiate play is generally a season-long process for freshmen athletes, who are not used to the size, quickness and physical nature of college play. Yet, Burke has already drawn attention to herself, impressing her new Badger family by competing right alongside the tougher competition.“She has a bright future, she adapts herself well to college life and hockey and I think she will just continue to grow,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “If people were watching Friday or Sunday night, they noticed her like, ‘Who’s that number 6, she’s pretty good.’”Burke’s presence on the ice against Bemidji State resembled more of an experienced athlete than a player just seven games into her college career.Debuting as a Badger in Madison last Friday, Burke and her eight freshmen teammates did so in front of a sold out crowd at LaBahn Arena. No one knew what the new rink’s atmosphere would be like, but for the newcomer, it was a surprise.“Honestly when they said it was sold out Friday I didn’t think there would be such a buzz in the place,” Burke said.This past Sunday Burke experienced another first: scoring a goal in a Wisconsin jersey. She admitted she didn’t know her shot from just across the offensive blue line had whisked by the Beavers’ goaltender until her teammates began celebrating and the blare of the new air horn sounded for the second time ever.With the goal, along with four assists this season, the defensive player is having a major impact on the scoreboard. She leads the Badgers’ defenders in points, tying for fourth on the team with five.“Traditionally we’ve had people back there that can produce and that is another reason we were excited when she chose to come here, she has that capability,” Johnson said. “She is really just touching the surface here.”Partnered with senior defenseman Jordan Brickner, the duo quickly bonded both on and off the rink, which was evident in their time on the ice. Both Badgers said they share some unspoken understanding, allowing each other to know just what the other will do.“I think Courtney and I think similarly on the ice in a defensive way. She is very poised out there,” Brickner said. “I think we back each other up. We know what the play should be before it happens, so we have been working pretty well together so far.”Beyond her play for UW, Burke has been successful at the international level. As a member of the USA under-18 team she has earned two silver medals in 2010 and 2012 at the U18 World Championships, and in 2011 she helped USA bring home the gold medal.“It’s been an adventure with USA hockey, playing such an up-tempo game and I like it a lot,” Burke said. “Stockholm was the best place, winning the gold in Sweden.”Burke’s success with Team USA and in high school made her an attractive recruit for Wisconsin. After visiting Madison several times, Burke said the appeal of being a Badger grew with each successive trip and decided that UW was where she saw herself, like many Badgers say, and it just felt like the right place.Another advantage to Wisconsin’s program was having several Shattuck alumna on the roster, including sophomore Blayre Turnbull, freshman Kim Drake, and senior Brianna Decker.Decker serves as Burke’s mentor both on and off the ice and the two are roommates on the road. This gives Burke a chance to learn and observe from one of the best players in the nation.“When you have Brianna around, I said ‘if you really want to become a great player just watch her’, and not just the things she does on the ice, but off the ice,” Johnson said. “It’s nice to hear Courtney respects her and uses her.”Decker learned from past Wisconsin greats Meaghan Duggan and Hilary Knight, and now takes on the star player role. With Burke’s impressive performance early on, it’s a serious possibility she could be at their level in the coming years.“Hopefully she will grab that torch and run with it,” Johnson said. “I’m excited because she is just touching the surface right now, the rest of her season and the rest of her career is going to be a lot of fun to watch her develop.”last_img read more

Women’s soccer: Wilkins impressed with team’s energy

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s soccer team and head coach Paula Wilkins have grown more confident as the season has progressed.The Badgers (10-4-3, 7-1-1 Big Ten) are coming off some big wins: one against Michigan, in which the Badgers came back in the last half to score all three winning goals to win 3-2, and the other against Michigan State, which ended in a 1-0 victory for the Badgers.These big wins are helping to instill confidence in the team, Wilkins said during her weekly news conference Monday, and that is what is going to help to carry them through the next few matches.After sustaining the Badgers’ last loss, which came at the hands of Penn State Sept. 17, Wilkins told the team to focus on the games ahead instead of the losses that should be left behind them.Those words helped Wisconsin push to do better, and they came back to produce three shutout matches against Indiana, Purdue and Minnesota.The Badgers will need this new-found confidence as they head into the next few weeks. Following this week’s match against Maryland and next week’s match against Northwestern, the Badgers will begin their playoff season, and they hope to win the Big Ten Conference for the second year in a row.Wisconsin will play Maryland (5-10-1, 0-7-1 Big Ten) Saturday, and even though Maryland is currently last in the Big Ten, Wilkins believes that they are still a team to be concerned about.“Maryland is the best last-place team,” Wilkins said.Wilkins said while Maryland might be winless in conference play, they also haven’t lost a game to a Big Ten team by less than a goal in the last few weeks, which makes them just as competitive as any other Big Ten team.Maryland’s last three losses have come in double overtime, something the Badgers haven’t seen since they played Ohio State a month ago.Wilkins said the Badgers’ seniors, who have scored all of Wisconsin’s six goals in the last three games, will have to keep the team’s energy level up.“All we talk about is getting better in each game,” Wilkins said. “They have, and there’s an energy about them right now.”last_img read more

Schauffele making a name for himself with his golf

first_img 8 months ago US Catholic priests beset by overwork, isolation, scandals Written By First Published: 9th December, 2019 18:11 IST COMMENT Last Updated: 9th December, 2019 18:11 IST Schauffele Making A Name For Himself With His Golf Steve Stricker cared only about securing a spot in the first U.S. Open in his home state of Wisconsin. Still, there was something about the PGA Tour rookie in his group during a 36-hole qualifier that intrigued him. WE RECOMMEND SUBSCRIBE TO US FOLLOW US 8 months ago 2020 Watch: Buttigieg on the defensive, Biden’s bus tourcenter_img WATCH US LIVE Associated Press Television News MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Steve Stricker cared only about securing a spot in the first U.S. Open in his home state of Wisconsin. Still, there was something about the PGA Tour rookie in his group during a 36-hole qualifier that intrigued him.It wasn’t just the name: Xander Schauffele.It certainly wasn’t the resume. Schauffele had missed the cut in half of the 18 PGA Tour events he had played and was No. 345 in the world ranking. And it wasn’t the pedigree. He played at San Diego State, hardly a college golf power.Stricker didn’t know any of that in early June of 2017, except that he liked what he saw.“I just remember he had a ton of game and he was a good kid, fun to be around,” Stricker said. “It’s kind of cool to see how his career has taken off.”That day was the turning point for Schauffele that took him from relative obscurity to four-time PGA Tour winner to top 10 in the world and his debut for the Americans in the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.Schauffele earned the final spot from that U.S. Open qualifier in a 5-for-2 playoff, opened with a 66 at Erin Hills and tied for fifth in his first major. Three weeks later, he won his first PGA Tour event. Since then, he won the Tour Championship, a World Golf Championship and the Tournament of Champions, each time coming from behind on the final day. At Kapalua, he shot 62 to rally from five back.Results came quickly. Recognition is still catching up.That should change at the Presidents Cup, the first time Schauffele is on the same team with players he has admired, and players he has beaten. When the group texts began, there were numbers that popped up on his phone he didn’t recognize. Popular among his peers, Schauffele doesn’t get wrapped up in the social life on tour, nor does the 26-year-old from San Diego spend time worrying whether he gets his due.“At no point do I feel like I’ve done that much, which is a weird thing. But it’s great that I think that way,” Schauffele said. “It’s all relative what you compare yourself to. If you want to be a good golfer, a great golfer, I think I’ve done a lot so far. If you want to compete with the best, I’ve got a lot more to do.”He is part of the high school class of 2011, but it took winning more than once for anyone to mention him alongside others in his age group like Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Rodgers, Ollie Schniederjans and Daniel Berger.Thomas, the NCAA player of the year as a freshman at Alabama, conceded that he didn’t know much about Schauffele when he got on tour. He shared this at East Lake, where Schauffele beat him by one at the Tour Championship.Spieth didn’t know much about Schauffele in college. He only recognized the name because it was unique.Now he raves about him.“I still think he’s one of the underrated players in the world, even with what he’s done,” Spieth said. “Overall, tee-to-green, everything is solid. He has great hands, great touch and a really good putter — a good pressure putter, too. He has all the tools to win anywhere, which is what you want.”Schauffele has all the traits of a global star.His father is German and French, an aspiring decathlete who was invited to Olympic training with the German team and was hit by a drunk driver on his way there, losing an eye. He turned to golf as one of the few sports his injuries allowed him to play, became an assistant pro in Hawaii and is the only coach his son has had. His mother was born in Taiwan and raised in Japan.Schauffele didn’t play the national junior circuit, which costs a small fortune, though he had a strong junior association in Southern California to find competition. He played one year at Long Beach State when the coach left, and Schauffele finished his last three years at San Diego State.That explains why he didn’t have a big name when he turned out, only one that was hard to pronounce (SHAU-fa-lay). Even he messed it up during a Callaway promo making fun of how it gets said.He doesn’t need the attention, nor does he want it. But it quietly motivates him.“I know my good golf can beat anyone,” Schauffele said. “It feels good to know that.”Making Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup teams is a big step. What matters more is making them year after year. Majors are the best measure, and Schauffele at least has put himself in the mix.He was in the hunt at Carnoustie last year until a bogey on the 71st hole ended his hopes. He made five birdies in seven holes to tie for the lead at the Masters this year until closing with four pars to finish one behind Tiger Woods.Woods now is his captain and teammate at Royal Melbourne. There also is a reunion with Stricker, a vice captain. Schauffele still has strong memories of watching the 50-year-old Stricker raise his game through sheer determination.He also remembers words Stricker took time to share that day.“It helped with him telling me, ‘Do what you do. Stop stressing out. You’re better than most I’ve seen,’” Schauffele said. “That was pretty warming to hear from a guy like Steve Stricker.”Schauffele took it from there, still feeling as though he has a long way to go.___More AP golf: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports 8 months ago Iran ready for more prisoner swaps with US, not negotiations LIVE TV 8 months ago British leaders tour country in final push before election 9 months ago Cavities: All about dental cavities and ways to prevent tooth decaylast_img read more