“The dynamic has changed significantly from the first time we ever played together back in 2009, when perhaps the older brother/younger brother leadership role that maybe I had with him, that’s changed,” McDowell told a press conference on Tuesday. “He’s the world’s number one player. He’s a four-time major champion. The dynamic between him and I is changed forever. He would now be the leader of the two of us and perhaps the dynamic doesn’t work as well as it did in the past. “Perhaps I’m the kind of guy that needs that leadership role a little bit, who needs to feel like he is at least on a level with the guy he’s playing with.” With that in mind, McDowell admitted he could well partner Dubuisson this week, adding: “Yes, I would very much embrace the task of blooding a guy like Victor and I would love to play with him. We are talking about potentially that happening and I’m one of a few guys that could potentially do that.” Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell were kept apart on Tuesday as Europe’s players prepared for their first official practice rounds ahead of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. However, European captain Paul McGinley said on Monday that their record of two wins, three losses and one half from those six matches meant they were not a formidable pairing “written in stone”, and Tuesday’s practice line-up offered hints about possible alternative partnerships. With the 12-man team split up into four groups of three, McIlroy was alongside Medinah hero Martin Kaymer and Spain’s Sergio Garcia, with McDowell alongside France’s Victor Dubuisson and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson. It was no surprise to see good friends Justin Rose and Ian Poulter in the same group with local favourite Stephen Gallacher, with Thomas Bjorn, Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson making up the other threesome. All three played in the Wales Open last week, with Westwood and Donaldson playing together in the first two rounds at Celtic Manor. Europe were due to practice at 11am with the American team starting at 9:30am and split into three groups of four. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, who played three matches together at Medinah, were out with Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth, while Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Hunter Mahan and Patrick Reed made up the second group. Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson, who won all three of their matches two years ago, were out with Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker. McDowell reiterated that the court case involving McIlroy and his former management company – which also represented McDowell – was not an issue and in fact had made their relationship stronger. But he admitted that things had changed on the course following McIlroy’s rise to prominence. Press Association McIlroy and McDowell have been regular partners in team events since 2009, winning three of their four matches in the Seve Trophy and also representing Ireland in the World Cup that year and 2011. The Northern Irish duo have also played six times together in the Ryder Cup, including the very first match at Medinah two years ago, and would seemingly make an obvious pairing at Gleneagles.
Raja adds “this is not a general exception … this is an exception for this match.”Norway captain Omar Elabdellaoui and striker Alexander Soerloth both play in Turkey.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___Bundesliga team Schalke has reported a positive case of the coronavirus in an unidentified member of staff at its training camp in Austria.“The affected person is currently self-isolating after the test result. Contact tracing is already underway,” the club says on its website. Schalke was due to play Würzburger Kickers in a friendly game later Monday but that has been called off as the club conducts further tests. Team doctor Patrick Ingelfinger is liaising with local authorities on what the club should do next. ___Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski was one of the numerous COVID-19 false positive tests reported Sunday by the NFL’s lab partner.Stefanski was at home with his wife and three children when he got word that he may have the virus.“It wasn’t fun,” Stefanski said on a Zoom call. “I can laugh about it now, but truly it wasn’t fun to have that phone call very early in the morning and not get news that it was potentially an error until later.”Stefanski said he immediately left his house as not to put his family in any more danger. He went to a condominium near the team’s facility where he stayed before moving his family to Ohio from Minnesota in the offseason. He spent the previous 13 seasons on the Vikings’ staff. August 24, 2020 It took four hours before Stefanski learned he was negative. He was not able to coach on Sunday, when the Browns initially called off their workout before holding it when they learned of the flawed lab results.Stefanski did not disclose how many false positives affected the Browns. He said 12 more players need to be cleared before they can practice Monday.The 38-year-old coach praised the Browns for the way they handled “a fire drill” with their virus protocols.— Tom Withers reporting from Cleveland.___ The school says sales proceeds will go to Duke Athletics for student-athlete support.Athletics director Kevin White says it is “imperative to be both adaptable and compliant in anticipation of hosting fans in the near future.”___The Norwegian government says it will make an exception from its travel ban to accommodate a Nations League soccer game against Austria on Sept. 4 in Oslo.Culture and sports minister Abid Q. Raja says “we make this exception to ensure that both teams can field a full crew.” “We will do everything we are told to do by the authorities. The health and safety of everyone involved is the most important thing,” sports director Jochen Schneider said. ___Duke will open its season for football and other fall sports with no fans at home games because of the coronavirus pandemic.Duke says traditional parking lots used by fans on gameday will be closed. The school will contact football fans who have purchased season or single-game tickets or have seating and suite contracts in Blue Devil Tower regarding potential options.The school will allow fans to purchase a fan cutout of a person or pet to be placed in seats for football games. The school will offer varied packages and stadium locations along with weekly prize drawings and the ability to have football coach David Cutcliffe autograph the cutout. Associated Press Army has finalized its football schedule and the Black Knights will play 11 games, eight at home. Navy and Air Force remain on the schedule.Attendance for the first two games in West Point, New York, is expected to be limited to the Corps of Cadets and exclude the general public.Decisions on fan attendance for the remaining home games at Michie Stadium will be decided later.The Black Knights will open the season Sept. 5 at home against Middle Tennessee State. The rest of the home slate includes Louisiana-Monroe, BYU, Abilene Christian, The Citadel, Mercer, Air Force and Georgia Southern.Road games are at UTSA, Tulane and Philadelphia for the 121st Army-Navy matchup. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt says on social media he is awaiting the result of a coronavirus test and is quarantining himself as a precaution. The 34-year-old retired sprinter who won gold in the 100 and 200 meters at the last three Olympics posted a video Monday on his official Instagram account to explain the situation.“Good morning everybody. Just waking up. Like everybody, checked social media and saw that social media says I’m confirmed of COVID-19,” he said. “I did a test Saturday, because I work. I’m trying to be responsible, so I’m going to stay in and stay here for my friends.”Bolt added he has no symptoms.“Just to be safe, I’ll quarantine myself and just take it easy,” he said.Bolt set the world records in the 100 and 200 meters at the 2009 world championships in Berlin. He retired after worlds in 2017. The Latest: Retired sprinter Usain Bolt in isolation
“It is not easy for a person to bring down these great personalities under one umbrella. It goes to show the respect and love they have for me while I was playing; this, I was not even aware of. This is one occasion I will live with and I’m grateful to all those that made it a success,” Yobo said.Yobo insisted that he cannot single out any of his games in the national colour as better than the others.“I feel fulfilled playing for Nigeria. In fact, all the matches were special. I cannot tell you I treasure this one more than the other. Whether it was a friendly game or a World Cup, there was this special feeling I had anytime I put on the national colours,” stressed the former Everton and Fenerbahce defender while ruminating on his time at the senior national team.He continued; “Whether it was my debut against Zambia or my 87th against Rwanda when I became the most capped Nigerian at the time or the game against Argentina where I became the first Nigerian to reach 100 or even the last one against France, every moment was special”.“I am privileged to be the first Nigerian player to make FIFA’s exclusive Century Club. I feel so glad to have reached that milestone for my country. The younger ones should give the national team all their best. It is a privilege to be deemed worthy to wear the national colours in a country of over 170 million people”, he noted.He challenged the current crop of Eagles to arrest the national team’s decline.“Things are not going so well at the moment but it is also time for the players to take it upon themselves and rise to the occasion. I have a strong belief that this generation will even be greater given the abundance of young talented players coming through the ranks and the youth teams. I am happy the NFF has paid enough attention to the age-group teams. That is the way to go. There will never be shortage of talents. Watch out for the Super Eagles in future. A solid foundation is being laid,” he concluded.The day was not all about his testimonial, but also to celebrate the former Everton of England defender’s centenary for the Super Eagles.Speaking with THISDAY, former Nigerian international and organiser of the testimonial match, Waidi Akani said the event was special in a lot of ways. “The event was two in one. First we celebrated the centenary of the player in the Eagles and secondly we staged a testimonial to mark his retirement from active football. Two other players had staged testimonial games before but this time, we also celebrated the 101 caps of Yobo in the Eagles. He was a diligent player and he deserves what was done for him,”Akani said.Four days before the match at Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, sent in a congratulatory message to the Ogoni-born ex international.In a letter personally signed by Infantino and addressed to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, the FIFA chief wrote: “Many thanks for your letter dated 17 May 2016 and informing us of the testimonial match in honour of former international player and Nigeria Captain, Joseph Yobo.On this occasion, allow me to congratulate and send my best wishes to Joseph Yobo for his future activities.”But for Akani, he was not surprised that a large number of top players associated with Yobo’s testimonial.“That simply means that while he was playing, either in the English Premiership, Belgium or in Turkey he must have developed a good relationship with a lot of players across the globe and that was why many of them craved to be part of the event. Little wonder the FIFA boss himself associated with him,” the former Nigerian international said.On what the testimonial meant to Yobo, Akani said: “It’s about him leaving a good legacy to the young ones coming after him that they should be dedicated. For him to be the first person to play over 100 matches for Nigeria as a full player, it also demands that upcoming players should look at him as a role model and follow his footpath.“Though, he may not have won the World Cup, but the fact that he appeared in six Africa Cup of Nations and three Mundials is quite a great achievement and he can stand tall among the world great footballers anywhere.”Yobo remarked: “It was an absolute honour for me to have represented my country, and played at the highest level for over 13 years, and I was humbled to see so many great people turn out here today. I was David Moyes’ first signing at Everton, and that was one of the reasons he came for my testimonial game. I did not even make many calls before many of my former teammates in all the clubs I played in started calling that they wanted to be part of this game”Speaking on the turnout, Kanu said: “It is not an easy thing to bring these many football legends together in a stadium. The fact that Yobo has done it shows the respect that he has in football circle.”Former PSG and Bolton Wanderers midfielder, Okocha was equally also noted, “It is not easy to play 100 games for your country and the fact that Yobo was the first to reach that mark says a lot about him as a player.”Meanwhile, the eggheads of the NFF have been condemned for fixing a friendly match for the national team on a day one of its most celebrated players was being “pulled out.” The federation however responded by releasing Super Eagles skipper John Mikel Obi and his assistant, Ahmed Musa, to honour Yobo in the testimonial game, leaving them out of the international friendly with Mali in France on the same day.The Joseph Yobo’s testimonial featured a Team Joseph Yobo (comprising Super Eagles’ players of Yobo’s generation) and a Rest of The World team.Yobo began his career at non-league Michelin FC in Port Harcourt, before leaving for Standard Liege in Belgium. He went on to play for Marseille, Everton, Fenerbahce and Norwich.Internationally, Yobo first appeared for Nigeria at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship before the team was ousted in the quarter finals.He made his senior international debut against Zambia in a 2002 World Cup qualifier and went on to play in all six of the team’s matches in the 2002 AFCON and was included in the squad for the 2002 World Cup, where he was again ever-present, assisting Julius Aghahowa’s goal in a 2–1 loss to Sweden.Yobo made his second World Cup appearance at the 2010 tournament in South Africa, after which he assumed the captaincy of the Eagles following the international retirement of Kanu. But the veteran defender was no longer a first choice player at the 2013 AFCON, but lifted the trophy after appearing as an 89th-minute substitute in Nigeria’s 1–0 final defeat of Burkina Faso.He was included in the squad for the 2014 Mundial and was named in the starting line-up for both the second and third group matches, helping the Super Eagles to clean sheet in a 1–0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina.In Nigeria’s round 16 game against France, the 35 year old defender made his 100th international appearance, and after scoring an own goal in the 2–0 defeat, Yobo announced his international retirement, saying: “This is it. I can look back on my career with great pride. I wanted to leave on a high for my country. Defeat by France was not the right way to go but I’m happy with all I’ve done for the national team. It’s time to give a chance to other people to come through.”In 2010, following a brief courtship, Yobo married former Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, Adaeze Igwe, in a ceremony held in Jos, Plateau State.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram With an international career spanning over 15 years, with 101 caps for the national team and three World Cup and six Africa Cup of Nations appearances behind him, Joseph Yobo remains one of the most accomplished Nigerian footballers, not only in terms of appearances, but laurels. As the former Super Eagles captain officially quits with a testimonial match, Kunle Adewale looks at his eventful careerFor those who think lifting the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa should undoubtedly be Joseph Yobo’s best moment as a footballer, no little about him. His greatest joy would remain the support and calibre of players and personalities that showed up at his testimonial game yesterday.