TOKYO (AP) — Grand champion Asashoryu of Mongolia beat compatriot Tokitenku on Sunday to win a one-day sumo tournament.

Asashoryu overpowered Miyabiyama in the semifinals before facing Tokitenku in the final at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu lost to compatriot Hakuho on the final day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament last month in his return to sumo after serving a two-tournament suspension for playing in a charity soccer tournament in Mongolia.

Asashoryu, who has won 21 Emperor’s Cups, became the first wrestler to win the annual one-day event three times in a row.

Hakuho started the one-day event from the second round but made an early exit after losing his first bout to Tokitenku, who defeated Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu in the semifinals.




Yokozuna Asashoryu made time in between interviews with TV “personality” Mina Monta to beat fellow Mongolian Tokitenku in the final of the 32nd Japan Ozumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sunday.

The yokozuna had a relatively straightforward route to the 2.5 million yen first prize, helped by yokozuna Hakuho’s loss to Tokitenku–a No. 1 maegashira at the New Year basho–in the second round.

(Feb. 11, 2008)

Never hit a shot without it

‘Grip it and rip it,’ is a favorite saying of Daly’s.

Marc Feldman/Getty Images
The following is an excerpt from the book Golf My Own Damn Way: A Real Guy’s Guide to Chopping Ten Strokes Off Your Score.
Never, ever hit a shot without going through your pre-shot drill. Not on the practice range, and certainly not on the golf course either. Your pre-shot drill is critically important to your golf game because it focuses your mind on all the keys to putting a good swing on the ball. Here’s mine:
  • (1) Stand behind my ball and set my target line. Mr. Harvey Penick said it best: “Take dead aim.
  • (2) Visualize my shot soaring through the air exactly on line and trajectory that feels best for the situation.
  • (3) Walk up to my ball and take my stance: square alignment, feet parallel to target line.
  • (4) Check my ball position: off inside left heel for driver, more towards the center as the club I’m using gets shorter.
  • (5) Check my upper body: arms hanging straight down from shoulder, hands in perpendicular line with chin and ground.(6)
  • Check my ball position by imagining a line straight up at a 90-degree angle from the ground: if it touches inside my chin, it’s too close; outside my forehead, too far away.
  • (7) Check my grip: the V’s formed by my thumbs and first fingers are pointing just right of my chin.
  • (8) Look/Waggle. Look down the target line, then back at my ball, and waggle my club head over it. Four looks, three waggles. No waggle after fourth look. Time to let ‘er rip.
  • (9) Exert slight (slight!) increase in grip pressure on fourth look. I’m reluctant to include this, because I’ve made such a big deal of you relaxing your grip. But for me, an ever-so-slight increase in grip pressure is my way of saying it’s time to get down to business. You know, Grip It and Rip It.

As I said, that’s my pre-shot drill. Looks like it takes forever, but it really doesn’t, you will soon learn to do it without thinking but one must always remember to do it. And while I might shorten my pre-shot drill some with middle- and short-irons, I always follow it to the letter when I hit driver. You don’t have to copy it. Prefer three looks and two waggles? Two and one? Be my guest. It all depends on what you’re comfortable with.

Just don’t try to get away with, say, ten looks and nine waggles. If you were to do that at the Lion’s Club in Dardanelle (Ark.), I’d have to get someone to politely ask you to remove your butt from the course — unless your playing partners hadn’t already come up the side of your head with a 2-iron.

But whatever mix you settle on, go through your pre-shot drill every time. Trust me — grooving your pre-shot drill will help your groove your golf swing.

John Daly

Let your belly lead your hands

Got that? Let me say it again just to make sure.

Let … your … belly … lead … your … hands. It’s simple, really. The power in any golf swing comes from turning your body — first back, then forward, as you swing the clubhead through the ball. Don’t believe me? Try standing stock-still, not turning your body, and swinging the club just using your arms.

See what I mean?

Watch your favorite guy on the Tour — Tiger, Phil, Ernie, Vijay, me, anybody — and forget about his arms and hands and head when he makes a golf swing. Just focus on his belt buckle.

Think of it as a third eye looking straight down at the ball, on a line perpendicular to the target line. First it turns to the right, away from the target, until it’s facing 45 degrees south of where it started. Then, after a tiny pause, the buckle — the eye — turns back hard along the target line and keeps on going until it’s looking straight at the target.

Then watch another swing, this time trying to focus on your guy’s hands in relation to his belt buckle. They’re always, always just a little behind through contact.

Now you take that tip to the practice range. You can’t see your own belt buckle, so focus on that little extra hanging over your belt. (For some of us, that’s easier than for others. If you don’t have that little roll of extra, you’ll just have to use your imagination.)

My point here is that your belly is your key to a good golf swing. As it turns toward your back foot, let your hands follow. Don’t sway! Just turn your belly! Pause just long enough to let your wrists cock, then turn your belly back along the line sharply and keep on turning until it’s facing the target, with your hands following just behind.

Don’t think about anything else. Not your shoulders, not your arms, not your elbows, not the club head, not your job, not pulling the trigger on that new rec room your wife wants to add on to the house, not anything.

Just have this one thought: Let your belly lead your hands.

Get your head out of the game

The No. 1 obstacle to hitting a good golf shot is your head. Not moving it or anything. Using it.

That’s the plain truth.

Your average golfer steps up to a ball out on the golf course and starts thinking a mile a minute. What’s my target line, how’s my grip, where are my elbows, take it back low and slow, remember to pivot, should I ask that new account executive out next Friday, time to cock my wrists, shift my weight, bring my shoulder down and through — what’d I forget?

With all that thinking going on, it’s a wonder every swing doesn’t end up a whiff.

Let me tell you, by the time I’m ready to start my swing, I’ve stopped thinking. I’ve looked close at my lie, I’ve checked my distance, I’ve factored in the wind, and I’ve figured out where I want the ball to end up — all before I step up to the ball. Then what I try to do is go blank. Not consciously think about anything. Just swing the club.

That’s what “Grip It and Rip It” was all about when I won the PGA in 1991. That’s the way I approach the game today.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Okay, I know it isn’t. The biggest difference between you and me is that I play golf for a living and you don’t, and even so it took me a long, long time to figure out how to stop over-thinking everything. That’s why, when I’m doing a clinic or maybe just talking to fans on the range, and somebody asks me for “swing thoughts” to help them put a better swing on the ball, I give them just one: don’t think.

Don’t think.

I figure you’ve already got too many swing thoughts rattling around up there when you’re playing a round of golf. If I give you another one, it’ll just mess you up more. I don’t want you to be thinking while you’re swinging, at least not on the golf course.

The practice range, though, that’s a whole different thing. That’s where I want you to do your thinking, because there you’re practicing, not playing — and believe me, that matters. In this book I’m gonna be giving you plenty of practice thoughts — not swing thoughts — because I want to help you get more fun out of golf, and the best way to that is to play better.

So here’s my deal: you promise me you’ll clear your head of that long checklist of stuff you’re used to running through every time you set up for a shot during a round, and I’ll give you my first practice thought to focus on at the range. I guaran-damn-tee you it will help.


John Daly is a five-time PGA Tour champion, including the 1991 PGA Championship and 1995 British Open.


Hakuno stops Asa/ Beats fellow yokozuna for 6th Emperos’s Cup
Asashoryu hits the dirt after being thrown to defeat by fellow yokozuna Hakuho in the final bout of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament. The win earned Hakuho the first Emperor’s Cup of 2008.

In probably the most important bout of his short but illustrious sumo career, yokozuna Hakuho beat Asashoryu on Sunday to win the first Emperor’s Cup of 2008.

It was Hakuho’s third straight makuuchi division championship, but those victories had taken place with Asashoryu absent, suspended for playing hooky from a regional tour in the summer.

Throughout the second week of the New Year Tournament, the 22-year-old Hakuho had faced questions about how he would match up against his fellow Mongolian, a 21-time Emperor’s Cup winner who had beaten him 10 times in 15 career meetings.

Hakuho’s response on Sunday was to throw Asashoryu to the dirt to win the sixth Emperor’s Cup of his career.

“Since the summer tour, I’ve been working really hard for this bout,” Hakuho said ringside after he had received the cup from Japan Sumo Association chairman Kitanoumi.

“I didn’t want to lose to a yokozuna who was coming back [from an absence]. I didn’t want to let down my supporters–their expectations were very high.

“Of course, now I want to go for four in a row.”

There is no reason Hakuho can’t, although the smart money is on Asashoryu coming back strong after he was bested in a contest of two immensely proud men.

The two yokozuna refused to back down as they prepared for the bout, and once it started, lived up to their rank.

Hakuho was always on the attack but as with everyone who faces Asashoryu, had trouble turning that into victory.

A double-handed belt grip gave Hakuho a chance to force Asa to the bales, but Asa had the same grip on Hakuho’s belt and fought back, returning the contest to the middle of the ring.

Hakuho attacked again, forcing both into Asa’s side of the ring. Asa’s response was to lift his younger compatriot into the air, but it was an empty gesture. When Hakuho touched down, he started a left-hand, overarm throw that seemed to happen in slow motion before Asashoryu somersaulted to defeat.

Asashoryu’s performance over 15 days confirmed his recovery from the stress-related illness that left him a shadow of his former self in the summer. Sunday’s loss and a Day 2 reversal to No. 1 maegashira Kisenosato aside, the yokozuna swept aside every wrestler he met in the ring.

The rest of the day’s action paled in comparison to the final bout at the Ryogoku Kokugikan, but there was still more than pride on the line for some wrestlers.

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Women’s World Cup of Gold

Dorothy Delasin & Jennifer Rosales

SUN CITY, South Africa, Jan. 20, 2008 – The duo of Dorothy Delasin and Jennifer Rosales ‘ham-and-egged’ their way to victory at the 2008 Women’s World Cup of Golf at the Gary Player Country Club this weekend. In a field of 40 women representing 20 countries, the Philippines defeated the South Korean team (61-72-67=200, -6) of LPGA Tour member Eun-Hee Ji and Korea LPGA leader Ji-Yai Shin by two strokes with a winning score of 18-under-par 198 (65-68-65).

The teams entered the final round of best-ball tied at 11-under-par. The Philippines were 13-under after three holes, but a three-stroke swing on five gave South Korea the lead after a bogey by the Philippines and an eagle by Ji-Yai Shin on the par-5, 492-yard fifth hole where she chipped in from 10 feet after barely missing the green on her second shot. Rosales earned birdies on holes 11 and 12 to tie the score, but Delasin was unstoppable with four consecutive birdies to close out the round and give the duo the win after Korea was only able to post birdies on holes 14 and 18.

South Africa makes final-round surge. Bolstered by strong support from the home crowd, Laurette Maritz and Ashleigh Simon, of South Africa, carded a 6-under-par 66 during Sunday’s best-ball round at the Women’s World Cup of Golf. Entering Sunday’s round, the pair was sitting in ninth place, but was able to finish tied for sixth at 10-under-par 206 (68-72-66) with Canada (Lorie Kane and Alena Sharp), 64-73-69; and Wales (Becky Brewerton and Becky Morgan), 67-71-68. This year was Maritz’ and Simon’s fourth representing their country together, best finish as a team in the event and Simon’s first as a professional. She earned non-exempt status at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in December and will play on both the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour in 2008.

New format leads to lower scores. The 2008 edition of the Women’s World Cup of Golf switch to a three-round format of best-ball, foursomes and best-ball. The new format eliminated the singles round that was previously used for the first round in 2007 and the third round in 2006 and 2005.

Past champions and scores
2008 Philippines (Dorothy Delasin & Jennifer Rosales) 198 (-18)
2007 Paraguay (Julieta Granada & Celeste Troche) 279 (-9)
2006 Sweden (Annika Sorenstam & Liselotte Neumann) 281 (-7)
2005 Japan (Ai Miyazato & Rui Kitada) 289 (-3)

Unlikely shot. The two-stroke victory by the Philippines over South Korea may be deceiving for those who were not on the 18th green during Sunday’s final round of the Women’s World Cup of Golf. After birdies on holes 15, 16 and 17, Dorothy Delasin and Jennifer Rosales, of the Philippines, both ended up in the rough off the tee—rough so thick, it forced players all weekend to fight just to punch the ball back into the fairway. After her tee shot landed in the fairway, South Korea’s Ji-Yai Shin’s second shot flew the green and appeared headed into the creek behind. Instead, the ball hit a rock on the edge of the bank and bounced back toward the green about 30 feet from the hole. Shin, however, missed the putt, while Delasin carded her fourth consecutive birdie to give the Philippines the win.

Japan, Philippines card low-round. Women’s World Cup of Golf champions Dorothy Delasin and Jennifer Rosales’ 7-under-par 65 tied for the low score of the day during Sunday’s best-ball final round for their overall 65-68-65=198 (-18). Japan (66-72-65=203, -13) also hit the 7-under mark on Sunday on the strength of an eagle on the final hole of regulation. Japan finished tied for third with Taiwan (66-69-68=203, -13) and was one of only three teams (South Korea and Australia) to card eagles during the 54-hole event. Japan had also eagled the 18th hole during Friday’s best-ball play.