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Tiger Loses World Challenge

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Woods loses to Zach Johnson in over time then bids farewell to Southern California

By Gary Montgomery
Staff Writer

Thousand Oaks – They came by the thousands to get one last chance to see the world’s number one golfer and Tiger gave them everything they came to see but a win. After leading most of the tournament Woods’ lost to Zach Johnson in a one hole sudden death playoff.

The brainchild of his father Earl, Tiger Woods World Challenge funds much of the Woods Foundation’s educational endeavors. The inaugural event was held at Grayhawk Country Club in Scottsdale Arizona. The following year it was moved to Sherwood Country Club’s pristine setting nestled on the Thousand Oaks side of the Santa Monica Mountains.

After 15 years, The Tiger Woods Foundation announced early this month that it would be moving Tiger’s iconic tournament annually featuring 18 of the world’s top golfers to Florida after this year’s event. Sherwood Country Club has hosted 13 of the 14 previous events and has seen Tiger take home five of his own trophies.

Tiger’s new multi-year agreement will move his tournament to Isleworth Golf & Country in central Florida very near his previous residence. His departure leaves Californians with only one scheduled opportunity to see him play in person. Although he has not released his 2014 schedule, Tiger routinely plays the Farmers Insurance Open tournament at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, one of his favorite courses. Beyond that, his Tiger Woods Challenge is the only other annual California scheduled stop.

Ironically, this comes at what many believe to be the apex of Tiger’s return. Tiger is again the number one player in the world and is coming off a 2013 season that includes 5 wins, 8 top ten and 10 top 25 finishes in 16 events. Woods’ 2013 tour winnings of $8,533,439 outpace number 2 Hedrick Stenson by more than 2 million dollars.

Even after a loss, it's obvious that Tiger Woods is far from done as many of his detracted had earlier predicted and his progress is evident. His course record round of 62 on Friday was clear and undeniable evidence that when he gets all phases of his game in sync he’s the ‘Old Tiger’ and more maybe more.

Woods shot rounds of 71, 62, 72 and 70 in the final round on Sunday pushing his lead over Johnson to 4 strokes at one point. But, Tiger’s nemesis was his putting. “I just didn’t make enough putts and that’s the story. Said Woods. “I have been blocking them all week and it came back to haunt me today”.

Johnson came from four shots behind with 8 holes to play to tie Woods with and incredible hole out from the drop area making an improbable par that forced Tiger to hole out from the bunker to preserve the win.

Tiger’s bunker shot landed 2 feet from the hole and he finished with a par on 18 to shoot 70. Johnson shot 68 giving both players a 13 under 275 totals.

Playing the same hold in the sudden death, Tiger had nearly the same shot as in regulation and put his ball right back in the right side bunker again. “I was between clubs and tried to fly a soft 7-iron that I lost a little bit”. Johnson avoided the water this time and put his approach shot in the center of the green forcing Tiger to get up and down just to continue play.

Woods missed a number of critical putts throughout the week particularly those within the 10 feet range. After hitting another great bunker shot, Woods missed a 5 foot par attempt that would have sent the match to a second playoff hole. Woods putt hit the left side of the cup, appeared to go down and came back up on the other side of the hole giving Johnson the win and the $1,000,000 prize and also catapulting him to no. 9 in the world.

Tiger’s exit is said for California golf fans. He leaves Sherwood with 5 wins and 5 runner-ups. An impressive run by any measure but the last one would have been the crown jewel for Woods.

Sunday’s attendance of 24,922 was a record for any year and bears witness to the fact that fans know there will be limited opportunities to see Woods in the future. Traffic stretched for miles through the winding Santa Monica Mountain roads.

In his final remarks, Tiger thanked Sherwood and Southern California for helping raise more than 15 million dollars over the years for his Foundation’s educational programs which have sent thousands of young men and women to colleges across the nation.

Gmontgomery can be reached at sports@blackvoicenews.com

James Powers UCLA Bruins Attack

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Former Corona Star Jordan James is Leading the Bruins in rushing with 424 yards

By Gary Montgomery

The UCLA Bruins are now 3-0 after Saturday’s 59-13 rout of the New Mexico State Aggies at the Rose Bowl. This is the Bruins second consecutive 3-0 start.

Last season, UCLA ran off opening season victories over Rice, Nebraska and Houston before suffering a 27-20 home loss to Oregon State. Although the Bruins eventually recovered and won the Pac-12 South Division, the team never regained its early season swagger and lost both the Pac-12 title game and its Bowl game badly.

Since leaving training in San Bernardino, the Bruins have vowed that this season would be different. So far, so good.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley has thrown for 962-yards this season and 8 touchdowns. Hundley’s performance has placed him on the Heisman watch list and the talking heads are starting to take notice.

Behind Hundley, the Bruin’s offense rolled up 692-yards on the Aggies Saturday evening crushing their season average of 575-yards per game and surpassing the previous school record of 679-yards set in 1994.

Hundley has already passed the 5000-yard mark and is currently eight on UCLA’s all-list for most passing yards. Hundley will likely surpass Troy Aiken at 5,294-yards next week against Utah.

While Hundley and the Bruins’ aerial attack is getting all of the attention, the ground game led by former Corona High speedster Jordan James is quietly setting some records of its own.

Jordan James has racked up 3 straight 100-yard games including 164 on Saturday night to give him a total of 424-yards for the season. James also turned in his first two touchdown game of his career. James, a 5’9” 194 pound soft spoken and amazingly unselfish young man gives all of the credit to his offensive line and the coaches. “The offensive line is blocking great. I see a hole and I just run through it,” said James.

James appeared in 14 games in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons playing behind Jonathan Franklin, now with the Green Bay Packers. With the speedster James taking over the tailback position this season has given the Bruins running game a complete new dimension and widened their attack. “The biggest change for me this season is that I am relaxed. As the starter I can just get comfortable and let the game come to me,” said James.

At this point in the season Jordan is quietly on a 1000-yard pace. If the UCLA offense can continue on its current pace the young man from Corona could have a very special season, one that could bolster him into Heisman territory next year.

As a Watkins Award finalist who represents some of the smartest athletes in the country Jordan knows that teams will begin to focus on stopping the Bruins running attack and Jordan says, “I don’t think they can.” UCLA will play Utah on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Gary Montgomery can be reached at gmontogmery@att.net

USA Women Dominate 2012 Olympics & Sports News

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By Leland Stein III

Triumph and tragedy. Stars were born, and legends were toppled. But in the end the superstars were indeed super.

The 2012 London Olympic Games, lived up to the hype and even more. What makes the Olympic Games so intriguing and captivating is that it happens only once every four years.

Just think an Olympic athlete has to peak at every four years. There is no room for mistakes and/or I‘ll get it done next year attitude if an athlete has a bad day – simply put there is no tomorrow. In the sports genre . . . the Games are the ultimate do it now or never opportunity for many.

Sure there are always a few superstar men and women that have the gift of ability, tenacity, courage, commitment and single mindedness that are all necessary to just compete in the Games let along win more than one title.

Well, superstar swimmer Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (18, double that of the next highest record holders). In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Phelps won four golds and two silver medals.

Maybe even greater was the effort of Jamaican phenomenon sprinter Usain Bolt. He made himself a true legend of sport with his unprecedented second gold triple triple – winning the 100-, 200- and 4x100- meter relay.

The 25-year-old Bolt in the face of stronger competitors than in Beijing, unleashed that intrinsic determination and drive that only a superior athlete processes.

USA gymnast Gabby Douglas, 17, became the first African-American to win the all-around Olympic gymnastics title in London. She later was chosen The Associated Press female athlete of the year. Her autobiography, “Grace, Gold and Glory,” became No. 4 on the New York Times’ young adult list. She, along with her gold medal teammates recently completed a 40-city gymnastics tour, in which she got to meet President Barack Obama.

Another women’s star that rocked the sports world was Serena Williams. She won Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the London Games two years after her career was nearly derailed by health problems. She and her sister Venus won their third Olympic doubles title and she also won her first single’s gold medal.

Also high on my memory list is how the American women rocked the Olympic Games. Douglas and her gymnastics squad won the team gold medal.

Swimmers Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt were multiple golden. There were track and field stars Spectacular 2012 London Games USA Women Dominate 2012 Olympics & Sports News By Leland Stein III Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross that chewed up the track.

There was the beach volleyball team of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Jennings Walsh. And of course there were the USA soccer and basketball teams. When the Olympics were over, the American women had won 29 gold medals. Only one country had more gold than they did: China with 38.

The London Games were the first for women referees and Middle Eastern countries sending females to compete. The Games also had its first women boxers. Only four weight classes competed. USA and Michigan boxer Claressa Shields won the gold in the women’s toughest division.

One of my favorite athletes had to have been the 800-meter runner from Kenya, David Rudisha, who set a world record in winning the gold medal.

I have never seen anyone with a more beautiful stride and running gait.

Also with the Games being in London, being in the stadium to witness Great Britain’s Mo Farah win the 10,000- and 5000-meters in thrilling style, as well as watching British darling Jessica Enis win the heptathlon . . . at both events if there had been a roof on the stadium it would have come off as 80,000 people roared both to victory while waving the Union Jack.

The Olympics are a celebration of humanity and people, where for close to a month all of this earth’s brothers and sisters come together in a friendly spirit of competition that challenges not only their opponents, but themselves and us to keep the spirit of peaceful integrated humanity alive.

Leland Stein can be reached at lelstein3@aol.com or Twitter at LelandSteinIII.

UCLA and Baylor Matched in San Diego's Holiday Bowl

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Players enjoy bowl week activity aboard the USS Boxer

By Jon D. Gaede
BVN Sports

Unique to the annual Holiday Bowl in San Diego, the team luncheon is held aboard a United States Navy carrier. This year’s host was the USS Boxer (LHD 4) the sixth U.S Navy ship to bear the name.

Captain Kevin Flanagan, Commanding Officer of the USS Boxer, welcomed this years teams from UCLA and Baylor University. The ship, nicknamed the ‘Golden Gator’ is supported by a crew of 1,077 and 1,870 troops.

The Holiday Bowl kick-off on Thursday night would temporarily take a back seat to the significance of the day, while many Americans serve in regions of conflict, during Christmas, thousands of miles away.

The World War II version of the Boxer was an Essex Class ‘heavy carrier’ that launched Corsairs, Helldivers and Torpedo Bombers conducting combat operations during the Korean War and Vietnam conflict. Today’s USS Boxer and Holiday Bowl Luncheon host, is a WASP Class Helicopter Carrier that operates Harrier’s, V-22 Osprey & MH 605 aircraft.

Commander Flanagan welcomed the players and coaching staffs to his ship and reminded them of the sailors and troops who work tirelessly as a team, to support the ships mission, in defense of freedom around the world.

During the luncheon, the players enjoyed speeches from Baylor coach Art Briles and UCLA coach Jim Mora. Vice Admiral Tom Capeman, Commander, Naval Surface Forces and Brigadier General Daniel Yoo, Western Recruiting Region, also made presentations.

UCLA running back Melvin Emesibe (Hesperia H.S.) was given a special award in front of his fellow players as he was recognized for emulating unselfish commitment, motivation and teamwork. All attributes of the late Admiral U.S. Grant Sharp who served with distinction during WW II.

The UCLA and Baylor players were escorted on a comprehensive tour, above and below of the magnificent 844 ft. carrier. They jogged up the ramps, climbed into helicopters and took pictures with the crew. All smiles from the Bruins and Bears, on this day.

The experts have posted an over/under number of 80 points for Thursday night. Both UCLA and Baylor possess high-powered offenses and the game promises to be exciting and entertaining for viewers. Regardless, the winners on this day are certainly the players, the Holiday Bowl Committee and the wonderful crew who selflessly serve their country, aboard the USS Boxer.

BYU Over San Diego State 23-6 in Poinsettia Bowl

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By Tom Taylor
Special to BVN

San Diego – The Aztecs earned a Mountain West Conference selection to play BYU in this year’s Poinsettia Bowl. They were 7-1 in conference play and had won seven games in a row, until the BYU Cougars abruptly ended their season 23-6.

For most of the first half and well into the 3rd quarter, both teams traded punts and posted field goals. San Diego State’s Chance Marden kicked field goals of 23 and 27 yards to take a slight 6-3 lead into the 4th quarter.

At the 12:32 mark of the 4th quarter, BYU made the first of several big plays to put the Aztecs away. The first was a fumble recovery by Cougar linebacker Kyle Van Noy for three-yards and a touchdown. The Aztecs had difficulty making first downs after that as the energy and momentum was clearly with BYU.

Jamaal Williams, former Summit High School standout, went untouched on a 14-yard run for another fourth quarter score. On the next possession, San Diego State quarterback Adam Dingwell was intercepted by none other than Kyle Van Noy (game Defensive MVP) who promptly ran the ball in for another Cougar score.

The low scoring contest was dominated by big plays in the final quarter. Everything went BYU’s way. Their athletic defense swarmed to the ball and took advantage of every opportunity. Unfortunately for the Aztecs, running back Walter Kazee (Cajon H.S./San Bernardino) would miss his final game with a torn ACL. BYU 23 San Diego State 6.

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