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Bourdy shoots 66, leads by 1 shot in South Africa

Bourdy shoots 66, leads by 1 shot in South Africa

MALELANE, South Africa (AP) Gregory Bourdy of France shot a 6-under 66 for a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Thursday, with a revived Charl Schwartzel one of six players behind him.

Bourdy had six birdies at Leopard Creek Country Club at the second event on the European Tour schedule in the 2013 Race to Dubai.

Schwartzel, who won in Thailand last weekend for his first title since the 2011 Masters, had five birdies in his 67.

The South African was joined by countrymen Louis de Jager, Oliver Bekker and Darren Fichardt and English pair Steve Webster and Richard Bland.

Branden Grace shot a 68, while former British Open champion and No. 5-ranked Louis Oosthuizen struggled to a 73, thanks in part to a quadruple-bogey 8 on the third hole - his 12th.

Bourdy has won on South Africa's Sunshine Tour before and has three European Tour titles. He had three birdies on either side of the turn in a smooth start. Behind him, Schwartzel was beginning to find his 2011 form after struggling for much of this year with a chest injury.

Schwartzel, coming off an 11-shot win in Bangkok on Sunday, is in contention for back-to-back wins to start the season.

``It's a nice start,'' Schwartzel said. ``Whenever you can start off with a 5 under, it's good. Like I always say, you can't win on the first day, but you can sure lose it.''

Webster, who lost in a playoff in the opening tournament of the European Tour last weekend, also went bogey-free in his 67.

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New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

Alex Smith in, Kirk Cousins out.

That's certainly the headline, but there are plenty of other questions for the Redskins, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

For the last two seasons, most of the questions going into OTAs for Washington came from the defensive side of the ball. After consecutive drafts with a first-round defensive lineman selection, the defense should be much improved. 

On offense, however, there are a lot of new parts. 

  1. The headliner - No position in sports is as important as NFL quarterback. This will be Alex Smith's first action in a Redskins uniform with media present. The 34-year-old veteran is coming off the best season of his career, and if he can continue that level of accuracy and play-making, the Redskins could be poised for an explosive year.
  2. The speedster - Washington's wideouts lacked separation in 2017. It was apparent through much of the year, and likely played a roll in some of Kirk Cousins' reluctance to make tough throws. Free agent addition Paul Richardson is supposed to help, immediately. He has elite deep speed and the 'Skins brass hopes he can bring a similar element to the offense that DeSean Jackson provided a few years back. Time to prove it Paul. 
  3. The injuries - There are big reasons for concern, namely two very large men in Jordan Reed and Trent Williams. Reed will not participate in OTAs, and has been dealing with a foot/toe injury for the better part of a year. Williams, who seems highly unlikely to attend OTAs, underwent knee surgery in January. Beyond Smith, Reed and Williams are probably the two most important offensive players on the Redskins. OTAs aren't important, Reed and Williams participating, or even attending, OTAs is not important. Both men being healthy and ready to go in September is quite important. 
  4. The Rookie - Has Derrius Guice become the most popular player on the Redskins? Maybe. The dynamic rookie running back, with an interesting draft weekend slide, has the charisma and ability to be a star. The "off-field concerns" that hurt his draft status seem like myths at this point, but there was some injury concern his junior season at LSU (see video above). Guice has an opportunity to be a huge part of the Redskins offense, and all eyes will be watching the rookie. 
  5. The leap? - In 2017, Josh Doctson showed flashes of the player that warranted a first-round pick in 2016. Will 2018 be the year he proves it, week after week, game after game? Getting off to a good start with Smith should help, and even more important would be an injury-free offseason. 

There are questions for the defense too, particularly at cornerback after Josh Norman, but this year, the offense has more new parts. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

The Eastern Conference Final is going the distance!

After losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals won Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Can the Caps beat the Lightning one more time and advance to the Stanley Cup Final?

JJ Regan, Tarik El-Bashir and special guest cameraman Mike D break it all down.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to schedule and time constraints, this podcast was recorded by phone and the audio quality is not up to our usual standards.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.