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Manassero wins Singapore Open in playoff

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Manassero wins Singapore Open in playoff

SINGAPORE (AP) After already playing 33 holes at the Singapore Open on Sunday, the last thing Matteo Manassero probably wanted was to go back on the course for a playoff hole.

Or two playoff holes. Or three.

The 19-year-old Manassero persevered and holed a 12-foot eagle putt to beat Louis Oosthuizen on the third playoff hole to capture his third European Tour title and by far his biggest paycheck: $1 million.

In another money matter, Rory McIlroy finished in third place at 10 under, guaranteeing he will win the European money title this year. He becomes the second golfer after Luke Donald last year to win both the U.S. PGA Tour and European money titles in the same season.

``Winning a second major championship already made it a fabulous season, but then to follow Luke Donald in becoming No. 1 in both Europe and the States is the icing on the cake after a fabulous season,'' he said.

It was a very long day on the course for both Manassero and Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion. Tropical downpours on the first two days of the event had created a backlog in the schedule, forcing all the golfers to finish their second rounds Saturday afternoon and then rush back out to start the third as the sun was going down.

Manassero only finished three holes in his third round Saturday, meaning he had to return early Sunday morning to play 15 holes, then after a brief 27-minute rest, start his final round. Oosthuizen played 13 holes to finish his third round in the morning.

``It's been a very tiring week,'' Manassero said. ``On 13, I was not feeling that great. I was really flat, no more energy left but the adrenaline throughout the day kept me going.''

Oosthuizen and Manassero both finished at 13-under 271 in regulation. The South African had seven birdies and three bogeys to card a 67 in the final round, while Manassero, the third-round leader by two strokes, had three birdies in a round of 69.

Oosthuizen, who also lost a heart-breaking playoff this year to Bubba Watson at the Masters, barely missed a 4-foot putt for the title on the second playoff hole, covering his mouth in disbelief and muttering to himself after it lipped out.

McIlroy finally found the consistency that's been missing this week with four birdies and a 30-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole to shoot a final-round 65.

``I set myself a target today to finish on 10 under, get myself into double digits under par,'' the Northern Irishman said. ``Obviously it was great to finish with an eagle on the last but I was not thinking of anything else other than hit a good putt.''

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, the second-round leader, had five bogeys in the third round in a disappointing start to the day, but shot a 68 in the final round to finish fourth at 8 under. Three-time Singapore champion Adam Scott was one stroke back in equal fifth with Italy's Francesco Molinari.

Phil Mickelson, who barely made the cut on Saturday, had four birdies in a bogey-free round of 67, finishing in a tie for 14th place at 5 under.

Much has been expected from Manassero following the records he set when he burst on the scene several years ago: youngest British Amateur winner (16 years old), youngest golfer to play in the Masters and make the cut (16), youngest European Tour winner (17).

Still a teenager, Manassero acknowledged that it's been somewhat tougher in his third year as a pro. He hasn't been back to the Masters since his debut and he failed to qualify for this year's British Open. His last title had come last April at the Malaysian Open.

``It's been very frustrating at times,'' he said. ``I had to be more clear in my mind thinking that I started my career really well, but it's very early. I've got many years. This is the time in which I really need to step my game up, make technical changes and adjusting myself.

``I didn't have some great results for something like a year, a little ups and downs. Obviously, it was frustrating.''

Both he and Oosthuizen had a number of chances to put distance between one another in the final round.

Down three strokes on the front nine, Oosthuizen put pressure on Manassero with three straight birdies on the 9th, 10th and 11th holes to pull even at 13 under. But he then gave two strokes right back by bogeying his next two holes.

The Italian, meanwhile, was steady, if not spectacular. He made par on 10 straight holes before finally slipping up on the 15th, where he hit his approach shot well short and two-putted for bogey. He also barely missed a 25-footer for birdie on No. 17.

This time, Oosthuizen was able to capitalize. He perfectly placed his approach on the 18th within two feet of the pin and sank the birdie putt, taking his first outright lead of the day.

Manassero responded, however, by hitting a big drive off the tee on the 18th and then getting close enough with a 60-foot putt to make birdie himself to force the playoff.

Both players birdied the first playoff hole on the 18th before Oosthuizen blew his 4-foot putt on the second hole.

Oosthuizen was playing for more than just his third title of the year - he was one of the few golfers who could still theoretically catch McIlroy in the European Tour money chase. But since the South African didn't win the title, McIlroy's third-place finish was enough to seal the title heading to the Dubai World Championship.

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The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

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USA Today Sports Images

The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The NFL dropped the Redskins' 2018 regular-season schedule on Thursday and everybody will predict the team’s season-long record. 

It’s a fun exercise, and something the football world enjoys doing.

Myself included. 

But don’t read much, if anything, into the schedule right now. 

Every year, some teams look mighty in the offseason only to fall apart in the regular season. 

Need an example? Many predicted the Giants to be the beasts of the NFC East in 2017, and the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. 

What actually happened? The Giants finished 3-13 and the Eagles won the Super Bowl. 

The NFL cannot be predicted year to year. It can hardly be predicted week to week. 

Last season, two December home games against the Broncos and Cardinals looked very daunting when the schedule came out. Instead, that was a two-game win streak. 

Enjoy the schedule release. It’s a fun time to guess what will happen in 2018.

But remember, once the games start, anything can happen. 

(For the record: My prediction is 9-7.)

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Another Thanksgiving game for Redskins

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Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

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NBC Sports Washington

Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

The 2018 NFL regular-season schedule is finally here.

We’ve known who the Redskins will play in the 2018 season and where the games will be played since the regular season ended.

Now we know the when.

Here is the Redskins 2018 schedule; games are at 1:00 Eastern unless otherwise indicated.

The first thing that jumps out is the Thanksgiving game. This will be the third straight year that the Redskins have played on Thanksgiving. Two years ago they lost at Dallas and last year the got a win over the Giants at home. 

Three Thanksgiving games in a row for a team that is not the Lions or Cowboys, the two teams that traditionally host on Turkey Day, is not without precedent although it is unusual. Besides Dallas and Detroit, only two teams have played in three straight Thanksgiving games since the 1970 merger.

The Bears played every Thanksgiving from 1979-1981. The Cardinals also played three straight, but there is an asterisk there since they hosted the game instead of the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977. In between the played at Dallas on Thanksgiving.

Washington Redskins 2018 Regular-Season Schedule

Week 1: Sunday, 9/9. 4:05 PM at Arizona Cardinals
Week 2 Sunday, 9/16 vs Indianapolis Colts
Week 3 Sunday, 9/23 vs Green Bay Packers
Week 4 BYE
Week 5 Monday, 10/8. 8:15 at New Orleans Saints 
Week 6 Sunday, 10/14. vs Carolina Panthers
Week 7 Sunday, 10/21. 4:25 vs Cowboys
Week 8 Sunday, 10/28.  At New York Giants
Week 9 Sunday, 11/4. vs Atlanta Falcons 
Week 10 Sunday, 11/11. At Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
Week 11 Sunday, 11/18. vs Houston Texans 
Week 12 Thursday, 11/22 (Thanksgiving).  4:30 at Dallas Cowboys 
Week 13 Monday, 12/3. 8:15 at Philadelphia Eagles 
Week 14 Sunday, 12/9. vs New York Giants 
Week 15 Sunday, 12/16. At Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 16 Sunday, 12/23.  At Tennessee Titans (Time TBD)
Week 17 Sunday, 12/30. vs Philadelphia Eagles

2018 REDSKINS SCHEDULE NOTES:

  • If the Redskins are going to take advantage of home cooking, they will need to get off to a good start. They have five home games in the first half of the season. After Week 9 they have just three home games and they face a stretch of four road games in five weeks in late November and December. Three of the teams in that stretch, the Eagles, Jaguars, and Titans, made the playoffs and won at least one game. The Eagles, of course, won it all. The other road game in that stretch is against the Cowboys, who finished 9-7 last year. 
     
  • The Redskins will open on the road for the first time since 2014 when they opened in Houston. This year they will have to travel west to Arizona and try to win to remove the goose egg in Jay Gruden’s 0-4 opening-game record as coach of the Redskins.
     
  • They get an early bye, in Week 4. That will be their earliest bye week since 2007 when the bye also came in Week 4. 
     
  • On the plus side, their two games in Florida come at times when hot weather is unlikely to be a factor. Their game in Tampa comes in November and the contest at Jacksonville comes in mid-December. 
     

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