Redskins

McIlroy can wrap up Euro money title in Singapore

McIlroy can wrap up Euro money title in Singapore

SINGAPORE (AP) With his closest rivals sitting on the sidelines, Rory McIlroy can wrap up the European Tour money title with a strong showing at this week's Singapore Open.

The Northern Irishman already has claimed the U.S. PGA Tour money list and is looking to emulate Luke Donald's 2011 feat of capturing both money titles in the same season.

``I'm in the lead at the moment and it would be nice to increase that,'' McIlroy said Wednesday, a day before the tournament. ``There's still a lot to play for in the next three weeks and I want to finish off the season as strong as possible.''

McIlroy has a lead of about $1 million over Swedish golfer Peter Hanson, who beat him by a stroke in Shanghai two weeks ago to climb to second in the Race to Dubai standings. But Hanson has opted out of playing in Singapore.

The next three golfers on the money list also are not competing this week: Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, the winner at last weekend's HSBC Champions, and Branden Grace.

British Open champion Ernie Els had been in the sixth spot, but his name was dropped from the list this week because he hasn't played the required number of tournaments.

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen and Italy's Francesco Molinari, sixth and seventh in the standings respectively, are taking part in Singapore.

Three-time Singapore champion Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, John Daly and Miguel Angel Jiminez are also teeing it up at the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club.

This weekend's winner receives $1 million. McIlroy is also competing at next week's Hong Kong Open, while most of his top challengers are again sitting out.

McIlroy chose not to play last week at the HSBC Champions, a decision that was publicly questioned by the sponsor.

Tiger Woods, ranked second to McIlroy, also declined to play in Shenzhen days after they took part in a head-to-head exhibition event in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou.

McIlroy preferred to be courtside in Bulgaria last week, watching girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki reach the final of the WTA's Tournament of Champions, while Woods traveled to Singapore briefly for corporate commitments.

McIlroy defended his decision Wednesday, saying his schedule this autumn has been exhausting and he's earned the right to be choosier about his events.

``I can't play every week. If I had I would have played five in a row finishing the season and after playing Turkey and Ryder Cup and all the FedEx Cup stuff, it's just too much,'' he said.

``You have to say no and you have to be selfish sometimes and look after yourself; it doesn't make you a bad person,'' he added. ``You have got to put yourself first and foremost, and try fit in the things you want to do. I'm in the fortunate position where I can dictate where I want to play, what I want to do, where I want to go.''

Mickelson understands how tough it is for McIlroy and Woods to manage their schedules given how much they are in demand.

``We certainly want to help promote the game and drive the game throughout the world, but Tiger's just one person, and I think it's a little unrealistic for every tournament and every sponsor in every city in every country to expect him to be able to play every week,'' he said.

Mickelson said he's finally playing well again after struggling earlier this season, and he likes his chances in Singapore, especially coming off the HSBC Champions, where he finished tied for second, two strokes behind Poulter.

``I've had a really tough three or four months, when I played some of the worst golf in my career,'' he said. ``It's turning out to be one of the best things that have happened for me because it forced me to analyze my game and dissect it and put each part back.''

Scott, winless this year on the European and U.S. tours, was also looking to end his season on a positive note. He may have his best shot in Singapore, given his previous victories here in 2005, 2006 and 2010.

``My game is in good shape, I have played a lot of good golf this year,'' he said. ``Getting to the point now that I am getting a little desperate to win a tournament. There are not that many left and this one would be a great one for me to do it at.''

Quick Links

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

scherffvideo102918.jpg
USA Today Sports

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon. or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Washington Wizards hire assistant coach Michael Longabardi to Scott Brooks coaching staff

gettyimages-1128423981-612x612.jpg
Getty Images

Washington Wizards hire assistant coach Michael Longabardi to Scott Brooks coaching staff

The Wizards sought to add an assistant coach with a strong defensive track record this offseason and they did just that Saturday evening by hiring Michael Longabardi, according to NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes. 

Longardi, 46, has spent the last three seasons as a defensive coach on the Cleveland Cavaliers' staff. He was initially hired by former Cavs' head coach Tyronn Lue in 2016 when the team claimed their first championship in franchise history. 

Before joining the Cavaliers, Longabardi held assistant coaching roles with the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, and most notably the Boston Celtics, in which he and Lue served under head coach Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau from 2007 to 2013.

Longabardi was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Xaverian High School, a private Catholic school. He then went on to play basketball at Newberry College where he earned the nickname "Mr. Defense."

Just a day after reports broke that Tommy Sheppard would be promoted to a permanent general manager position, the organization is making yet another move in hopes of improving overall culture and team defense.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: