American Jim Furyk took command of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Friday as he looked to make amends for a number of near-misses at Firestone Country Club. “I actually hit it well on the second nine but made a silly six on the second when I was 25 feet away for eagle, putted it up and it came back off the green.” Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Jordan Spieth were among the group on two under, Spieth finishing his 68 in style with a brilliant birdie on the ninth thanks to a low, running approach from the rough to three feet. Spieth will replace Rory McIlroy at the top of the world rankings with a victory on Sunday, with McIlroy dropping further hints on Friday that he would be fit to defend his US PGA title next week following the ankle injury he suffered playing football at the start of July. Victory at Whistling Straits would make Masters and US Open champion Spieth only the third player in history after Ben Hogan (1953) and Tiger Woods (2000) to win three majors in a single season. “To cap off an incredible year with some more magic would be really cool,” the 22-year-old said. “There’s a special place in the history books for players who have won three in one year – it’s a really short list.” Press Association T he world number six also squandered a one-shot lead with one hole to play in 2012, carding a double bogey from the middle of the 18th fairway to lose out by a shot to Keegan Bradley. Despite a good opening round, Furyk received some tips from his father and coach Mike on Thursday evening and told Sky Sports 4: “I think I’ve found a way to get the ball in the hole. “I drove the ball better today, but I definitely hit my share of poor golf shots, just managed to put them in good spots and get up and down when I needed to. I also made a lot of birdies, I think 13 in two days, and that covers up some mistakes as well.” Lowry, 28, and Watson both matched Furyk’s 66 with six birdies and two bogeys, with Johnson carding a 67 which featured four birdies and a bogey in the last six holes. Lowry finished 77th in the 80-strong field on his debut in 1999 – the year he won the Irish Open as an amateur – and was 48th in 2013, but told Sky Sports 4: “This is one of the courses I came to when I had just turned pro and when you come back six years later I am definitely a much better player. My mental game and maturity is a lot better as well. “At this stage in ’09 I was 16 over par so it’s a big difference.” First-round leader Danny Lee, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell were five off the pace on three under, Stenson carding four birdies and three bogeys in his 68 and McDowell adding a 71 to his opening 66. “I started on the back nine and did not play very well to be honest,” McDowell told Sky Sports 4. “I didn’t hit many fairways and was scrambling and scrambling and hung in there incredibly well. Furyk carded a second consecutive 66 in Akron to finish eight under par, four shots ahead of compatriots Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson and Ireland’s Shane Lowry. The 45-year-old has recorded nine top-10 finishes in the event, including five in a row from its inception in 1999, and memorably lost a seven-hole play-off to Tiger Woods in 2001.
FILE – In this June 15, 2014, file photo, then Portugal’s head coach Paulo Bento attends a news conference the day before the group G World Cup soccer match between Germany and Portugal at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil. South Korea has appointed ex-Portugal manager Bento as head coach of the national team. The 49 year-old Bento is charged with leading the team to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and replaces Shin Tae-yong, who was not offered a new contract in July after South Korea’s group-stage exit at the World Cup in Russia. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte, File)SEOUL, South Korea— South Korea has appointed ex-Portugal manager Paulo Bento as head coach of the national team.The 49-year-old Bento is charged with leading the national team to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and replaces Shin Tae-yong, who was not offered a new contract in July after South Korea’s group-stage exit at the World Cup in Russia.ADVERTISEMENT Bento, who started out in coaching with Sporting Lisbon, led Portugal to the semifinals of Euro 2012 but was fired after a disappointing 2014 World Cup and a poor start to qualification for Euro 2016.He became available in July when he was fired by Chinese Super League club Chongqing Lifan.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“After reviewing his plans, we believe Bento is a coach who can develop South Korean football if we can support him for four years,” Kim Pan-gon, the head of the Korea Football Association’s Technical Committee, told a news conference Friday. “His results at Euro 2012 were very good and he is professional, charismatic, passionate and confident.”Bento was chosen over candidates on a shortlist that was reported to include Vahid Halilhodzic, who took Algeria to the second round of the 2014 World Cup, and Quique Sanchez Flores, a Spanish coach who has had stints at La Liga clubs Atletico Madrid and Valencia as well as Watford in the English Premier League. Bento’s first game in charge will be a home exhibition against Costa Rica on Sept. 7.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil NCAA: Benilde surpasses last season’s win total, stumps Arellano Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ MOST READ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:35U.S. urges Japan, South Korea to share intel00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew