Wizards

Hanson leads McIlroy by 2 in Shanghai

201210260248100970589-p2.jpeg

Hanson leads McIlroy by 2 in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (AP) Peter Hanson of Sweden shot an 8-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead on defending champion Rory McIlroy after the second round of the BMW Masters on Friday.

McIlroy shot a 7-under 65 in a round that included seven birdies to put him at 12-under 132. Hanson's countryman Robert Karlsson also shot a 64 to move another three strokes back at Lake Malaren.

A group of four including Ireland's Shane Lowry (64), Justin Rose (68), Sweden's Alexander Noren (68), and first-round leader Welshman Jamie Donaldson (74) were at 136.

McIlroy's fifth round of 65 this season was capped by three birdies in succession from the 13th hole.

``When I did need to make a par here or there, I was able to save those, and I'm in a great position going into the weekend,'' he said.

McIlroy hasn't won a regular European Tour event since last year's Hong Kong Open. Of his four wins this year, all in the U.S., only the PGA Championship has counted toward the European Tour money list. Yet McIlroy leads the list, and was four shots clear of Rose, his nearest rival in the Race to Dubai.

``It looks quite routine at the moment,'' McIlroy said. ``The more you put yourself in this position, the more comfortable you become with it. I like the fact that most weeks I tee it up, I can get myself in contention.

``This is just another one of those weeks, and I'll try and continue that for as long as I can.''

However, Hanson also said he was relaxed about his form and game.

Winning his fifth tour title at the KLM Open and his second straight Ryder Cup have imbued in him a high comfort level.

``The biggest difference in my career compared to earlier times, is that I am playing better in the bigger events like the majors and the World Golf Championships that has helped my confidence quite a lot,'' Hanson said.

``Also, being a part of the Ryder Cup team, and being high up the world rankings, you feel you maybe belong a bit more competing alongside the best players.''

Hanson bogeyed his opening hole but quickly rebounded to enjoy a run of nine birdies in a 13-hole span.

``It's amazing how many good rounds can start with a bogey,'' he said. ``The key to my good two rounds is that I've birdied all the par-5s which can help dramatically around this place.''

Hanson matched his lowest score on the tour for the eighth time.

Karlsson seeks to end a near two-year winless drought since capturing the season-ending 2010 Dubai World Championship.

However, the Monaco-based Swede admitted he's also concerned with retaining his U.S. PGA Tour card for 2013. He was 158th on the PGA money list and needs to be 125th by the end of the season, which was why he's entered next week's tour finale at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

He wants to avoid tour school, which clashes with the European finale in Dubai, but doesn't think he can get around it.

``At the end of the day I am in a very fortunate position as I have another year of exemption for the European Tour,'' he said.

``There are a lot of players in a lot worse situation than I am, so I am not complaining. I haven't had a good year and you have to accept the consequences. So a good result this week, and what with the huge world ranking points on offer, will help with the confidence to put together some decent rounds.''

Quick Links

After getting little rest during All-Star break, Bradley Beal aims to be smart in second half

After getting little rest during All-Star break, Bradley Beal aims to be smart in second half

If anyone on the Wizards deserves some time off to rest it's Bradley Beal, who currently ranks fifth in the NBA in total minutes played. While his teammates were off on vacation, many of them at relaxing beaches far away, Beal was making appearance after appearance in Los Angeles as part of All-Star weekend.

The one drawback of Beal being selected as an All-Star and a contestant in the three-point contest was that he got little rest in the past week. He only made it one round in the three-point contest and played 16 minutes in the All-Star Game, but all of it was enough to soak up much of the free time he's used to getting this time of the year.

"Not as much as I needed to," Beal said when asked if he got any rest over the break. "I guess that's one of the downfalls of being an All-Star."

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

The workload has really added up for Beal. He leads the Wizards in minutes (36.4/g) and is one of two players on the team who hasn't missed a game all season.

Beal did have Monday and Tuesday off, but that was after a crosscountry flight and a whirlwind of a weekend. He called the media and sponsorship appearances "overwhelming." Many All-Stars have been there before and know what to expect, but Beal was a first-time participant.

Beal and the Wizards will be given no breaks with their upcoming schedule. They have four back-to-back sets in the next three weeks and begin with a stretch of five games in seven days. Those games will feature the Cavs, Warriors, Bucks, Sixers and the Hornets. Charlotte is the only team of that bunch currently out of the playoff picture, but they have already beaten the Wizards twice this season.

RELATED: WIZARDS HAVE BIG QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN SECOND HALF

For Beal, it will be extra important to get any rest that he can.

"I will definitely be smart," he said. "I just gotta take care of my body. Listen to my body."

Beal says getting treatment from the Wizards' training staff in between games will be crucial. He also hopes to not over-exert himself in games by trusting his teammates and not trying to carry the load with John Wall out.

Though Beal may be tired from the weekend, he came out of it feeling pretty good about how he represented himself and the Wizards on the All-Star stage. He scored 14 points in 16 minutes in a game featuring the best players on the planet.

Beal now wants to make it an annual thing.

"I defintiely think it can push you more down the line. For me, it's just motivation to continue geting better," he said.

RELATED: 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT HAS LOADED CLASS

 

Quick Links

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL. They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 

What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!