2017

Sunday Star - - SPORTS -

from De­shaun Wat­son to Hunter Ren­frow with 1 sec­ond left that gave Clem­son the 35-31 win and its first ti­tle since 1981. “That has to be one of the great­est games of all time,” Clem­son coach Dabo Swin­ney said. SU­PER COME­BACK: The de­bate lingers: Did the Fal­cons choke this game away or did the Pa­tri­ots wrest it away? Ei­ther way, it was a come­back for the his­tory books. At­lanta took a 28-3 lead with 8:31 left in the third quar­ter. From there, At­lanta’s pre­vent de­fense and ques­tion­able calls on of­fense com­bined with New Eng­land’s re­fusal to give up turned it into an all-timer. The Pa­tri­ots’ ty­ing drive was high­lighted by a re­mark­able catch by Ju­lian Edel­man. New Eng­land tied the game at 28, won the over­time coin toss and At­lanta’s shocked de­fense of­fered no re­sis­tance. The Pa­tri­ots won 34-28 . “No panic,” Pa­tri­ots special teams cap­tain Matthew Slater said in ex­plain­ing the come­back. “Our bod­ies and minds were ready, and we just kept be­liev­ing in one another.”

ONLY A NUM­BER: He was 35, com­ing off a knee in­jury and much closer to the end of his ca­reer than his prime. No­body could be blamed for over­look­ing Roger Fed­erer. Yet the fa­ther of four, play­ing his first big tour­na­ment af­ter sit­ting out for six months, came back in clas­sic fash­ion , turn­ing back the clock to top his long­time ri­val, Rafael Nadal, in a mem­o­rable Aus­tralian Open final. Fed­erer over­came a break in the fifth set to cap­ture his 18th Grand Slam ti­tle with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 vic­tory. It was Fed­erer’s first ma­jor since Wim­ble­don in 2012. (And he would go on to take No. 19 later this year at Wim­ble­don). “For me it’s all about the come­back, about an epic match with Rafa again,” Fed­erer said.

*** SEE­ING GREEN: Two shots behind with six holes to play, the Masters looked like another in an un­bear­ably long string of ma­jor dis­ap­point­ments for Ser­gio Gar­cia. But Gar­cia did not fade . He saved par af­ter hit­ting his drive into an aza­lea bush on No. 13, then made ea­gle on No. 15 to set up a play­off with Justin Rose that Gar­cia won. Gar­cia could’ve won it with a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 18, but it rolled out. Gar­cia per­sisted. Rose hit his drive into the trees on the play­off hole and couldn’t scram­ble to save par. The re­sult: Gar­cia wear­ing the green jacket and cap­tur­ing his first ma­jor . No one had ever played more ma­jors as a pro (70) be­fore win­ning one for the first time. SOME FAREWELL: World cham­pi­onships were sup­posed to be a stroll down the straight­away fol­lowed by an over­sized go­ing-away party for track’s big­gest star, Usain Bolt. Not even close. Bolt fin­ished third in the final 100-me­ter race of his ca­reer, un­able to find the over­drive that had sparked him to all those Olympic medals. Then, in his cur­tain call, the 6-foot-5 sen­sa­tion pulled up lame in the an­chor leg of the 4x100 re­lay. The crowd gasped. Bolt was placed in a wheel­chair and later limped off the track. It was proof, yet again, that no­body com­mands the spot­light quite like Bolt — even on those rare oc­ca­sions when he doesn’t run away with the win.

LONG BALL: Ten in­nings. Seven home runs. 5 hours, 17 min­utes. 25 runs. The Astros topped the Dodgers 13-12 in Game 5 of the World Se­ries , a game in which no lead, or pitcher, was safe. The teams com­bined for 28 hits and used 14 pitch­ers. In a game in which the long ball reigned, it was a sim­ple sin­gle off the bat of Alex Breg­man that brought home Car­los Cor­rea for the win­ning run. “The best game ever, for sure,” Cor­rea said. BEST OF THE REST: Who says a 6-1 soc­cer game can’t be a thriller? Paris Saint-Ger­main had beaten Barcelona 4-0 in the first part of a two-leg Cham­pi­ons League matchup. An im­pos­si­ble hill to climb? Not quite. Barcelona won the sec­ond leg by scor­ing three times over the final eight min­utes to ad­vance . ... Even if the fight wasn’t the great­est, the spec­ta­cle cer­tainly was. Floyd May­weather Jr. slowly wore down Conor McGre­gor in the show­down be­tween boxer and UFC cham­pion. Ring­side seats went for $10,000 and 4 mil­lion peo­ple bought the fight on pay-per-view. ... On the 13th hole in the clos­ing round of the Bri­tish Open, Jor­dan Spi­eth made ar­guably the best bo­gey in ma­jor-cham­pi­onship his­tory on the way to the cap­tur­ing the third leg of the ca­reer Grand Slam.

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