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Campbell seizes his chance on final hole to share lead

LAS VEGAS: Chad Campbell eagled his final hole at TPC Summerlin to seize a share of the lead along with Troy Matteson in the $US4.2 million ($4.5m) Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.Campbell eagled the par-five ninth hole to complete a nine-under 62 for 129. Matteson followed his career-best first-round 62 with a 67 for 129. Campbell also had seven birdies in a bogey-free round.”I didn’t hit a very good tee shot,” Campbell said of his eagle. ”I hit it a little left. Luckily, it stopped short of the bunker and had a perfect lie … just a perfect three-wood and I was able to hit it up there 12 to 15 feet. It was definitely a great way to finish a round.”Matt Kuchar, coming off a victory two weeks ago at Turning Stone in the tour’s Fall Series opener, fired a 64 to join Ryan Moore (63), Bob Heintz (67) and Scotland’s Martin Laird (67) on 12-under 130.”I think the back nine is the nine that people are going to be taking advantage of,” Kuchar said after his sixth straight round in the 60s. ”I did it today. I shot six-under on the back side and only one-under on the front side. It seems like people are making the majority of their birdies on the back side. It makes for some fun finishing holes.”Moore’s round was highlighted by an eagle at the par-five 16th. ”Every hole is a birdie hole if you can get in position,” Moore said. ”So even if you do make a bogey or two, you feel like you can bounce back right away and make some birdies.”Rickie Fowler carded a 64, America’s 2008 college player of the year getting to 11-under 131 in his first PGA Tour start as a professional.Three-time Las Vegas winner Jim Furyk was also 11-under after a 67, along with Scott Piercy (67) and overnight co-leader Tom Pernice, who fired a 69. Greg Chalmers was the best placed Australian at 133, four shots off the pace.Meanwhile, Australia’s Andrew Martin and China’s Liang Wenchong each shot six-under 65s on Friday to be co-leaders after the second round of the China Classic.Liang fired six birdies, while Martin carded eight but bogeyed the second and third holes at the Royal Orchid International Golf Club in Shunde, south of Guangzhou.Their eight-under 134 totals put them two strokes clear of South Korea’s Park Jun-bum (66) and Australia’s Stephen Leaney (69) in the $US500,000 tournament, part of the OneAsia series that rivals the Asian Tour.Australia’s overnight leader Craig Scott (72) was a stroke further back at five-under, along with China’s Wenyi Huang (68) and Australian Brad McIntosh (71).
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Davydenko, Nadal through to semis as injury strikes

NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO moved closer to a spot in next month’s season-ending showpiece in London with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 defeat of Radek Stepanek for a semi-final place at the Shanghai Masters.The Russian sixth seed, who missed three months of the season with injuries but has still reached a dozen quarter-finals in 2009, leapfrogged Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez to stand a provisional ninth in the race to the World Tour Finals.Three places remain up for grabs in the eight-man field with a month of the regular ATP season to go.Davydenko, 28, next faces second seed Novak Djokovic.”Stepanek changed the game in the second set,” Davydenko said. ”He started to better return and play better from the baseline.”He’s very difficult to play, so unpredictable. You never know what he will do in a match.”The Russian is trying to complete the autumn Asian swing with a second title after lifting his third of the season in Kuala Lumpur a fortnight ago.”I’ve had good results in Asia for three weeks,” he said.”I still have three more tournaments this season. I hope I can play well [at the final Masters 1000 of the season] at Paris Bercy and defend my semi-final there.”Spain’s unseeded Feliciano Lopez continued his winning streak, producing his best showing of 2009 for a place in the final four by upsetting ninth seed Robin Soderling 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.The Swede, who played the Roland Garros final against Roger Federer, led 4-2 in the opening set before Lopez, 28 and ranked 41st, seized the momentum for the win in 94 minutes with three breaks of serve and 30 unforced errors by Soderling.Lopez next faces fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who won after his opponent, Ivan Ljubicic, retired with a leg problem to hand a 3-6, 6-3 win to the top-seeded Spaniard.Nadal expressed disappointment at the bitter ending as the veteran Croatian could not go on at an event peppered with pull-outs all week, including the loss of Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick and US Open winner Juan Martin del Potro.”I’m sorry for Ivan,” said the world No.2, who has also had physical problems this season.”I wish him a fast recovery. I know how tough it is to be injured.”Nadal missed his Wimbledon title defence due to knee problems and needed a month to recover from an abdominal strain.”I’m happy to be in the semi-finals,” said Nadal. ”I’m also very happy for Feliciano. He’s been having a difficult year and this is a big result for him. He will be coming to the court with confidence. I hope to play a good match and have my chances to win.”Frenchman Gilles Simon put up a fight before Djokovic struggled through into his second straight semi-final in China with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 win in their quarter-final.Djokovic backed up his Beijing title of last weekend as he overcame stiff resistance to advance into the last four, with Simon saving a pair of match points.
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Baggy green therapy has Jaques back in the mood

WHENEVER ”forgotten opener” Phil Jaques needed extra strength to pull through the pain barrier as he recuperated from his third – and ”definitely final” – operation to fix a bulging disc in his lower back, he’d pull his baggy green Test cap out of the wardrobe and look at it.He used the ”baggy green therapy” in the lead-up to an operation to implant a prosthetic disc in his lower back to deal with the pain of the damaged disc stabbing violently at his back and legs.Jaques then called upon it in the months that followed the surgery when he was put through a rehabilitation program that would’ve tested a masochist’s mettle.”I was really hungry to get back,” said Jaques, who averages 291 for Sutherland after three innings for the club. ”I’m still desperate to play for Australia again … there was no way I could have gone through everything I did if I didn’t have that desire.”After looking at the bottle-green fabric and national crest, Jaques would head to the gym or local pool for what he describes as short-term torture for his long-term wellbeing, buoyed by the memory of how he once ranked in the top echelon of Australian cricket.But there was also a fear that the surgery, which Gold Coast Titans rugby league player Mat Rogers successfully underwent for a neck problem, could end his career.”Any surgery, especially back surgery, could potentially spell the end,” Jaques told The Sun-Herald . ”I always had the desire to come back to cricket but my decision was based on simply getting my life back in order; getting every aspect of my life on track.”The problem was debilitating and it affected just about everything. I based my decision around that … to first and foremost get my life in order and then hopefully have my cricket fall back in place. I couldn’t stand up straight, let alone play cricket.”I lived with [the disc problem and pain] for three years. I had constant discomfort … constant leg pain, and the [pain] levels varied, and that pain was what I struggled with most.”The 30-year-old, who scored a second-innings century against the West Indies in his last Test, attended swimming and pilates classes as part of his rehabilitation, and he says he’s never been stronger.”It feels like the old me is back again,” he said. ”I also did heaps of core [strength] work so I’m definitely a lot stronger. I haven’t been this strong ever. On the running side of things I’m not as fit, but I am getting there.”Should he turn the early season into a run-fest – as many, including former NSW coach Steve Rixon, expect – he’ll need to get some speed into his legs. He opened his summer with an unbeaten century for Sutherland in their limited overs victory over Fairfield-Liverpool and followed it up with an unconquered 41 before slamming 136 against Gordon last weekend.Jaques did not play yesterday, explaining it was part of a well-plotted plan to not rush his recovery. He intends to do all he can to ensure he’s available for NSW in time to challenge the likes of Shane Watson and Phillip Hughes for a place in the state team.When Jaques helped coach the state under-17 squad during the winter, he kept his eye in by standing behind the nets and ”tracking” balls, thinking of what shot he’d play. It kept him mentally sharp, but he’s more surprised by how he’s shaped up physically.”I feel freer in every shot I play because I don’t think about my back at all,” Jaques said. ”Before [the operation] I was constantly mindful of positions I could get into and I had to make decisions on playing shots. I don’t think about it at all now.”I was struggling before because I couldn’t get my weight over my front leg. The weakness in my glute affected my right knee so I struggled basically on the outside stump to get the distances I needed to play shots properly, particularly off the front foot. It’s now fluid. I feel so much better.”
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Fowler rescues Fury

North Queensland Fury 1 Wellington Phoenix 1 Wellington Phoenix set an unwanted A-League record of six consecutive draws with a 1-1 result against North Queensland Fury at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday night.Phoenixs Tim Brown scored in the 6th minute and Fury skipper Robbie Fowler managed an equaliser in the 84th to placate 6,191 fans as the sides stayed locked to the bottom of the ladder.Fowlers header gave the eighth-placed Phoenix their sixth consecutive draw, which beat Melbournes record of five in the 2007-08 season.Within the first minute of the game, the Fury had their first goal opportunity with Jeremy Brockie getting away a pass to James Robinson, whose attempt drifted to the left side of the goal.Phoenix responded with Paul Infill making a break and getting away an accurate cross that was finished off with a header from Tim Brown to give the visitors the lead.Both teams continued to have half chances throughout the first half.In the 55th minute, the Fury looked for the equaliser with Brockie sending in a cross that was pounced on by Daniel McBreen but his shot went wide.The Fury continued to attack with McBreen getting a header through to Robinson who was one on one with goalkeeper Mark Paston but buckled under the pressure and miscued his shot.North Queensland finally converted an opportunity with a well delivered cross from Chris Tadrosse finding Robbie Fowlers head and then the back of the goal to tie the game at 1-1 in the 84th minute.The Phoenix had five players — Tim Brown, Leo Bertos, Mark Paston, Ben Sigmund and Tony Lochhead — backing up from the All Whites 0-0 draw in the World Cup qualifier in Bahrain a week ago, which was followed by four separate flights home then another two to Townsville.Brown said the travel had its effect.I dont think we really played well enough in the second half and North Queensland were deserving of their equaliser so its disappointing, he told Fox Sports.Weve done a ton of travelling and my legs were starting to go in the second half, but thats no excuse, thats part of the job and North Queensland played well. NORTH QUEENSLAND FURY 1 (Robbie Fowler 84m) drew WELLINGTON PHOENIX 1 (Tim Brown 6m) at Dairy Farmers Stadium. Referee: Chris Beath. AAP
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Nightmare start to life after Farina for Roar

Brisbane Roar 0 Central Coast Mariners 3 Life after Frank Farina began for the Brisbane Roar the same way the coachs tenure ended at the A-League club – badly.Central Coast Mariners showed no mercy to a Roar outfit still reeling from Farinas messy mid-week sacking for a second drink driving offence, cruising to a 3-0 win at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.The most disappointed member of the 7,434-strong crowd was Farinas replacement, ex-Young Socceroos mentor Ange Postecoglou.Technically Postecoglou had left the reins with caretaker coach Rado Vadosic ahead of his official start on Monday.But Postecoglou couldnt help himself, addressing the players ahead of the match and heading down again from his grandstand seat at halftime.He will no doubt have plenty more to say to his troops after their dispirited effort against a team that had previously tasted victory only twice at Suncorp Stadium in four seasons.Brisbane players took the field shellshocked after the clubs most tumultuous week.And their heads did not stop spinning thanks to the Mariners stunning start.The visitors took just four minutes to draw first blood after Nicky Travis made Brisbanes ex-Rangers defender Bob Malcolm pay for some sloppy work in front of goal.Malcolm simply stood still after a Mariners cross deflected off him, giving Travis ample time to crash home the opener.Fourteen minutes later Malcolm was the villain again when Central Coasts Maltese international John Hutchinson waltzed through flimsy defence to score.Despite only returning from Maltas World Cup qualifying loss to Portugal early on Saturday morning, Hutchinson still had far too much zip for the lumbering Malcolm.Cynics would have claimed the best thing that could have happened to the Roars defence was Malcolm coming off with a broken nose in the 20th minute after a jumping duel with Adam Kwasnik.The third goal summed up the Roars night.In the 70th minute, defender Luke DeVeres errant pass found Central Coasts Pedj Bojic who sealed the Mariners first win in four weeks with a wonderful finish. CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 3 (Nicky Travis 4m, John Hutchinson 18m, Pedj Bojic 70m) bt BRISBANE ROAR 0 at Suncorp Stadium. Crowd: 7,434. Referee: Peter Green. AAP
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