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Grace shoots course-record 60 at Dunhill Links

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Grace shoots course-record 60 at Dunhill Links

KINGSBARNS, Scotland (AP) South Africa's Branden Grace made five closing birdies to shoot a course record 12-under 60 in the opening round of the Dunhill Links Championship on Thursday.

Grace, who has won three European Tour events this year, took full advantage of the superb scoring conditions at Kingsbarns, one of three courses hosting the $5 million event.

The 24-year old Grace's score was two shots better than the 62 posted by England's Lee Westwood on his way to victory in 2003.

While no player has recorded a 59 in the 40-year history of the European Tour, Grace is the 15th player to shoot 60.

``It could have been a 59, and I said to my caddy when I hit it stiff on 18 that it could be close to a 59,'' Grace said. ``I had some opportunities, but you know, I never really made anything long. But that round has to be my best ever.''

Victor Dubuisson shot a course record 10-under 62 on Old Course at nearby St. Andrews, despite dropping a shot at the 16th hole.

``It's very special as I had 10-under par in Italy last year, but today I could have done better,'' Dubuisson said. ``I'm not saying that 10 under is really bad. It's my best score I have ever played, but it's just that my longest putt was (16 feet).''

Dubuisson's round is one stroke less than the previous low of 63 set by three players, including Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during the 2010 Open Championship.

The lowest round of the day at Carnoustie was 67, shared by England's Oliver Wilson and Frenchman Gregory Havret.

The four Ryder Cup players in the event struggled at Carnoustie. Martin Kaymer shot 70, American Dustin Johnson and Peter Hanson had 72s. Johnson moved to 4 under after 12 holes but dropped four shots in his closing four.

Paul Lawrie finished with a 75.

``I am a bit tired and just played poorly,'' said Lawrie, winner of the inaugural event in 2001. ``My first 12 holes was probably my worst ball striking of the year but I put that down to a bit of jet lag, and I also didn't sleep well last night.''

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5 reasons the Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime

5 reasons the Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime

The Caps gave up a 2-1 and 3-2 lead, but ultimately came away victorious on Wednesday in a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers thanks to an overtime goal from Matt Niskanen.

Here are five reasons why the Caps won.

1. Djoos saves a goal

With the Caps already trailing 1-0 in the first period, they were about an inch away from going down by two. Luckily, Christian Djoos was there to make the save.

Yes, Djoos, not Braden Holtby.

A diving Jesper Fast got to a loose puck before any of the Caps defenders and beat Holtby with the shot. Djoos, however, was there to sweep the puck off the goal line and out, saving a goal.

That play turned out to be a two-goal swing as less than two minutes later, the Caps scored to tie the game at 1.

2. Carlson off the faceoff

The Caps emphasized the importance of the faceoff this week and worked on it specifically in practice on Tuesday. That practice turned out to be very prescient as Washington’s first goal of the night came right off the faceoff.

Nicklas Backstrom beat Ryan Spooner on the draw cleanly in the offensive zone, feeding the puck back to John Carlson. With the players all bunched up off the draw, Carlson benefitted from Brady Skjei standing right in front of Henrik Lundqvist. Carlson teed up the slap shot and beat Lundqvist who never saw the puck.

Of the five combined goals scored in the game, three were directly set up off a faceoff.

3. Hand-eye coordination

With the Caps on the power play, Fast tipped a pass meant for Carlson that looked like it was headed out of the offensive zone. Carlson reacted to the puck then stretched the stick and somehow managed to control the bouncing puck and keep it in the zone.

Fast charged Carlson at the blue line so he chipped the puck to Ovechkin in the office. Ovechkin managed to hit the puck just as it hit the ice and somehow beat Lundqvist with the shot.

Ovechkin was by the boards at the very edge of the circle. It was an amazing shot and it was set up by the great hustle play from Carlson. Both showed tremendous hand-eye coordination to control that puck.

4. Braden Holtby

Lundqvist entered this game with a 1.99 GAA and .939 save percentage, but he was outplayed by his counterpart from Washington.

Holtby had himself a night. He was particularly strong down low with the pads as he made a number of key pad saves throughout the game, particularly in the second period when he recorded 17 saves including a shorthanded breakaway save on Kevin Hayes as time expired.

Of the three goals Holtby allowed, the first he made a great save on Chris Kreider who looked like he had an empty net to shoot at. Mike Zibanejad would score on the rebound. The second goal came as a shot deflected off Devante Smith-Pelly and went right to Jimmy Vesey for an easy tap-in. The third was a deflection goal from Kreider to redirect a shot that was going wide.

Can’t blame Holtby for those.

5. Working from the office

The Caps had three power play opportunities on the night. They scored on two of them and those two goals looked pretty darn similar.

There was the one described above in which a hustle play by Carlson at the point kept the puck alive and he fed to Ovechkin in the office. The second goal came with Carlson on the point feeding Ovechkin in the office.

Those two goals give Ovechkin 232 power play goals for his career, tying him with Dino Ciccarelli for ninth on the NHL’s all-time list.

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Wayne Rooney converts ridiculous free-kick marking 10th MLS goal

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USA Today Sports

Wayne Rooney converts ridiculous free-kick marking 10th MLS goal

When England's all-time goalscorer signed on with D.C. United in June, the soccer community in the nation's capital was ignited. 

Shortly after the excitement came the questions. How much does he have left in the tank? Can he actually carry a struggling D.C. United squad? Is he up for the task? 

Wayne Rooney has responded. 

Through 18 MLS matches, the 32-year-old now has 10 goals. 

In the first half of Wednesday night's game against Toronto FC, Rooney broke a scoreless tie with this free-kick strike. 

DC United currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, on 44 points.

 

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