e losing lustre lately because so many pla

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e losing lustre lately because so many pla

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MARANA, Ariz. -- Jason Day of Australia and Victor Dubuisson of France reached the 18-hole final of the Match Play Championship on Sunday. Day, a semifinalist last year, led from the start in a 3-and-2 victory over Rickie Fowler. Dubuisson became the fourth player to reach the championship match on his debut in the 15 years after this World Golf Championship began in 1999. He had to take down Ernie Els in the most compelling match of the morning on Dove Mountain. Els, trying to reach the final for the first time, went 3 up through four holes and was on the verge of stretching his lead until the 23-year-old Frenchman halved the hole with a tough par putt at No. 7. Dubuisson won four of the next five holes to take the lead, only for the 44-year-old Els to battle back. Els made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th to square the match, and they headed to the 18th hole. Dubuisson hit to the back fringe, while Els came up short with a 6-iron into the breeze and found a bunker. He blasted out to just outside 12 feet, and narrowly missed the par putt to extend the match. Dubuisson said he didnt sleep well Saturday night and didnt feel well when he arrived at the golf course, perhaps because "I realized I was in the semifinal of the World Golf Championship against Ernie Els." "Im a big fan of Ernie, so I have always been watching him winning majors," he said. "I knew I had to play my best golf. Its what I did." Dubuisson is the first player since Geoff Ogilvy in 2006 to reach the final match in his first time playing this event. Ogilvy went on to win the title. It was a big blow to Els, who badly pulled an 8-iron far left of the flag on the 17th, losing a chance to put pressure on Dubuisson, and then came up short on the 18th. "Its tough to take," said the four-time major champion. Day won the opening hole with a birdie and never looked back, though Fowler didnt give in. Day was 3 up through 11 holes when he missed a 6-foot par putt on the 12th and Fowler made birdie on the 13th to cut the deficit to one hole. The turning point came at the 15th, when Fowler missed far enough left with his drive that he had no shot at getting close. He hit a flop shot strong that went over the green, hit another strong pitch and missed the par putt. Fowler had a chance to go 1 down on the 16th with a tee shot into 6 feet. But he missed the birdie putt, and then missed the 4-footer coming back for par to end the match. "The start of the season, thats all Im trying to do is win," said Day, with only one PGA Tour victory in his career. "I felt like I had a really good chance at maybe having a shot at winning this week and Im definitely in the final now and Im really looking for to it." Teemu Selanne Jersey . - Maynor Figueroa headed in a late goal to give Honduras a 1-1 draw with the United States in an international friendly Tuesday. 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WASHINGTON -- Heading toward the plate after the 500th homer of this career, Albert Pujols glanced ahead and saw a throng of Los Angeles Angels teammates waiting right there to greet him. He was pleased by the outpouring of support. He also had a message. "I was pretty emotional running the bases and when I ... looked at all these guys coming out, it was hard," Pujols said. "But I just told them, Weve got a game to win." Not a problem, especially with Pujols hitting like the Pujols of old. Continuing a strong stretch, the Angels first baseman became the first major leaguer to hit his 499th and 500th homers in the same game, driving in five runs Tuesday night to help Los Angeles beat the Washington Nationals 7-2. "I knew this year, it was going to happen, whether it was tonight, tomorrow, two months from now," Pujols said. "So my goal was just to prepare myself every day to try to help this organization win." The three-time NL MVP connected twice off right-hander Taylor Jordan (0-3) -- a three-run homer in the first inning and two-run drive in the fifth. Hes the 26th player in big league history to reach the milestone. Pujols also hit his 400th homer at Nationals Park. "I admire the man. I admire his ability and the way he goes about playing the game, and I have for some time," said Washington manager Matt Williams, who also played against Pujols. "I just wish hed do it against somebody else." Pujols is the first player to collect his 499th and 500th homers in the same game, according to STATS. About three months past his 34th birthday, hes also the third-youngest to get to 500; Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx were 32. Making a recent surge, Pujols has eight homers in the past 13 games. He leads the Angels with 19 RBIs. "Thats the Albert Im used to seeing," Angels outfielder Mike Trout said. "Full, healthy, 100 per cent healthy." The 500th homer went to left-centre field at Nationals Park, on an 89 mph pitch with the count at 1-2. The ball was grabbed -- and later given to Pujols -- by a man who identified himself as Thomas Sherrill, a 29-year-old Air Force staff sergeant from Pomona, Calif. "That pitch was supposed to be low and away," Jordan said, "and I guess I tried too hard to get it there." Pujols clapped his hands together a few strides before trotting home, then pointed both index fingers to the sky. Fans gave Pujols a partial standing ovation, and he acknowledged it by tipping his red batting helmet as he approached the dugout. After heading down the steps, he came back out for a curtain call. "Thats something you tell your kids when you get older. I dont know the next guy whos going to hit 500," said Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs (2-0), who gave up two runs in seven inninggs.dddddddddddd. "Nobody knows how to react. You dont see it too much." Teammates said that Pujols told shortstop Erick Aybar before the game he was going to hit two homers. "Alberts Albert. If he tells you something, hes going to do it," Trout said. "Im not surprised he said that, because Ive seen it before. Hes told me, Im going deep tonight." Jordan allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings. Washington entered the game with a majors-worst 22 errors and third baseman Anthony Rendon added two more. After a couple of down-for-him years with the Angels following 11 transcendent seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pujols appears ready to reclaim his spot among the games elite hitters. He homered Friday and Saturday at Detroit to lift his total to 498, and now hes reached the round number of 500 -- a total that remains hallowed despite losing lustre lately because so many players surpassed it. Of the 26 members of the 500-homer club, 11 reached the mark in the last 15 years, according to STATS. Gary Sheffield was the previous player to do it, hitting No. 500 in April 2009. "You dont see 500, obviously, every night," Pujols said. "Its been a great career." The Cardinals selected him in the 13th round of the 1999 draft, with the 402nd overall selection -- a steal if ever there was one. Pujols won a batting title in 2003, National League MVP awards in 2005, 2008 and 2009, and World Series titles with the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011. Pujols was the first player to hit 30 homers in each of his first 12 seasons and the second -- after Al Simmons in 1924-34 -- to reach 100 RBIs in each of his first 10. A nine-time All-Star, Pujols hit 455 homers with the Cardinals. After his decade-plus of excellence in St. Louis, Pujols signed a 10-year deal worth $240 million with the Angels following the 2011 season. Almost immediately, the 6-foot-3 slugger appeared to be slowing down. He hit .285 with 30 homers in 2012 -- impressive numbers for most players, but career lows at that point for Pujols. Things got even worse in 2013. Injuries limited Pujols to 99 games, and he was sidelined from July 26 on. He ended up hitting .258 with 17 homers and 64 RBIs. But not surprisingly, Pujols bat did not stay quiet for long. Sitting at a news conference with the balls he hit over the fence Tuesday resting near his left elbow, Pujols smiled as he said: "Now weve got to start on the next milestone, I guess." NOTES: Washington RHP Doug Fister threw 44 pitches in three innings at extended spring training in Florida on Tuesday. ... Angels manager Mike Scioscia on Pujols defence this season: "Hes played first base at the Gold Glove-caliber that you would expect. Well have to monitor it; if he needs a day to refresh, well give it to him." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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