Meet the hottest young couple in sports

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Meet the hottest young couple in sports

From Comcast SportsNet Wednesday, August 31, 2011
CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (AP) -- U.S. Open winner Rory McIlroy said his relationship with top-ranked tennis player Caroline Wozniacki can help him become No. 1 in golf. After spending two "great" weeks together in the United States, McIlroy believes he and the 21-year-old from Denmark can be good for each other's careers. "I think we definitely spur each other on. She's number one in the world and I've got a major, and we sort of both want what each other have," the sixth-ranked McIlroy said Wednesday before the European Masters. "It's a big goal of mine. I want to become the best player in the world." McIlroy is playing his first tournament since injuring his right arm at the PGA Championship three weeks ago. While recuperating, the 22-year Northern Irishman accompanied Wozniacki to tournaments in Cincinnati and New Haven. She is bidding for a first Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open, which began this week. McIlroy said he was impressed with Wozniacki's dedication and picked up pointers on improving his game. "She's got a great work ethic and it's something I can probably learn a lot from. It's a lot more physically demanding than golf," said McIlroy, adding he's a longtime tennis fan. "They do put the work in, they really do. It's just amazing how they can get up each morning and keep doing the same thing, putting their bodies through that. It's pretty impressive." McIlroy said the couple is "taking a day at a time," knowing tournament schedules leave few chances to meet this year. He watched on television Tuesday night when his top-seeded girlfriend opened at Flushing Meadows with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Spain's Nuria Llagostera-Vives. Wozniacki is scheduled to play Thursday, after McIlroy completes his first round at the European Masters. It counts as the first points-scoring event toward representing Europe in the 2012 Ryder Cup. McIlroy's goal is chasing No. 1 Luke Donald of England, who plays in the United States this weekend. "I don't think it's achievable in the short term, Luke is quite a long way ahead," McIlroy said. He calculates he can rise to a career-high No. 3 with victory at the Crans-sur-Sierre club, and if other results fall his way. Fifth-ranked Martin Kaymer of Germany is in the European field, while Americans occupying third and fourth spots -- Steve Stricker and Dustin Johnson -- play at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston. McIlroy will look for inspiration from "one of the most beautiful places in the world," where he almost got his first professional win as a 19-year-old. He took a four-stroke lead into the final round in the Swiss Alps but lost in extra holes to Frenchman Jean-Francois Lucquin. "I still think about that playoff in 2008," said McIlroy, who has yet to win in Europe as a pro. His sole European Tour victory was at Dubai in February 2009. McIlroy said his injured right arm is less of a factor. He was injured after hitting his club on a tree root just three holes into his PGA challenge. The damage spread from his wrist to shoulder as he compensated for the pain. "Now it's not painful. It's more like a numb sensation, like if someone gives you a dead arm," he said after a morning practice Wednesday. "It's nearly 100 percent and I'm happy with it." Second-ranked Lee Westwood, who won in 1999, is in the strong field that includes British Open winner Darren Clarke and defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez. As the only tournament in Europe sanctioned by both the European and Asian Tours, 30 players will participate from the other circuit, including money leader Noh Seung-yul of South Korea.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr out indefinitely with chronic pain

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr out indefinitely with chronic pain

PORTLAND -- Still suffering with chronic pain after multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Warriors coach Steve Kerr will step away from his duties for an indefinite period.

Kerr made the announcement Sunday afternoon, one day after he was unable to attend Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Trail Blazers at Moda Center.

Assistant coach Mike Brown, a three-time NBA head coach who guided the Warriors to a 119-113 comeback win in Game 3, will serve as acting head coach during Kerr’s absence and will be on the sideline for Game 4 Monday night.

Kerr spent Game 3 at the team hotel Saturday watching the game but was in serious pain throughout, according to sources late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

Kerr has been coping with severe side effects since the summer of 2015. Though he has said his back was improved by the surgeries, a spinal leak has resulted in frequent headaches and neck pain.

Two days into training camp in September, barely a month after his second surgery in seven weeks, he took an indefinite leave of absence, returning Jan. 22, 2016 and coaching the final 39 regular-season games as well as the postseason.

But after laboring through the 2016 training camp and the regular season -- often wearing a pain patch on the back of his neck -- the chronic anguish never went away, being by turns uncomfortable and excruciating. Kerr made it through only the first two games of the postseason.

He clearly was in discomfort during Game 2 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena and felt no better after an off-day Thursday. During his post-practice news conference Friday, before the team flight from Oakland to Portland, Kerr constantly shifted his body and grabbed his head.

“It’s been there the all along, but it was manageable,” one team source said of the ongoing pain. “The last few days, maybe a week, it’s just gotten worse.”

Kerr was unable join the team for shootaround Saturday morning, and four hours later the Warriors announced Kerr would not attend Game 3.

Kerr has tried various pain-killing drugs, as well as medicinal marijuana, in hopes of alleviating his chronic pain. Nothing so far has provided consistent relief, and some medications that have helped were offset by nausea and other side effects.

Kerr is in the third year of a five-year contract signed in May 2014. His 207-39 regular-season record is the best in NBA history by any coach over a three-year span.

Instant Replay: Giants' struggles continue in sweep from Rockies

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USATSI

Instant Replay: Giants' struggles continue in sweep from Rockies

BOX SCORE

DENVER — Bruce Bochy spent about 10 minutes before Sunday’s game talking about potential options in left field and center. The problems for this lineup, however, currently go much deeper than the outfield. 

A day after the Giants managed just four hits off Antonio Senzatela, the bats went completely limp against fellow Rockies rookie Kyle Freeland. The Giants were shut out 8-0, a rarity at Coors Field. They were blanked twice on the road trip and scored just 10 runs during a five-game swing through Kansas City and Denver. 

The sweep at Coors Field was the Giants' first since 2002. At 6-13, they have the worst record in the National League.

For the fourth time in seven games, and third time on this five-game road trip, the Giants went one time through the order without a baserunner. That puts added pressure on your starter, and Jeff Samardzija couldn’t keep it close. Charlie Blackmon hit a leadoff liner to right that was misplayed into a triple and he scored on a sacrifice fly. Gerardo Parra got a spinner down in the zone in the fourth and blasted a two-run shot to right. 

As they did Saturday night, the Rockies pulled away with a huge rally. Nolan Arenado’s infield single and a walk of Carlos Gonzalez set the table in the sixth. Gerardo Parra lined a single to center and all runners advanced when Gorkys Hernandez kicked it. Trevor Story’s single to right was bobbled by Hunter Pence and two more scored. Blackmon’s double made it 8-0.

Starting pitching report: Samardzija was charged with seven earned in 5 1/3 innings. He has a 7.40 ERA through four starts. The starting staff has a 5.02 ERA, the worst in the majors. That won’t play, not when you’ve spent most of your resources the last two years on starters. 

Bullpen report: Hunter Strickland's Mullet had a scoreless debut. 

At the plate: Nope. 

In the field: Brandon Belt’s first start in left this season was rather uneventful. He caught a liner right at him in the first and came up inches short on a diving attempt in foul territory. Belt moved to right in the seventh inning. He had one previous inning there in the big leagues but he actually prefers right because it’s the same angle as his normal position. Belt gloved a liner right at him in the eighth. 

Attendance: The Rockies announced a crowd of 42,011 human beings and one donkey, who was a menace. 

Up next: The first look at the Dodgers. The Giants will see Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood and likely Julio Urias in the four-game series.