Remember When Bianca Andreescu absolutely dominated 2019?

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Norway’s rising star Viktor Hovland should already be in the Ryder Cup conversation

When a player starts to show signs of magic early into his professional career, the hype appears. Pressure is immediately added, even though it all might be misguided.

Some can live with that high bar of expectation and continue to demonstrate their class, while most others take time to adapt to the gruelling realities of the pro game. Players have to make mistakes, gain confidence and find their own path to success.

For Viktor Hovland, he appeared to be the real deal from early on, a total star in the making on and off the course. Quick with a joke and a smile, he has a mature head on his shoulders for a 22-year-old.

After turning pro following a T12 at the 2019 US Open, he finished last season with eight successive top-16 finishes. Among the many highlights of his burgeoning stardom was setting the record for most consecutive rounds in the 60s on the PGA Tour (19) after less than a full year as a professional.

That consistency was displayed with impressive ball-striking – he would have ranked second in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and third in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green if he had enough rounds to qualify for the PGA TOUR’s statistical rankings. Impressive for a young player still trying to unearth his own journey to glory.

Already a winner on the PGA Tour this season in Puerto Rico, the Oslo man provided another landmark feat when he became the first Norwegian man to break into the global top-50 following his T11 finish in the Travelers Championship last week.

Twelve months ago at the same event, he was ranked 340th in the world. Even then, there was something special about him.

It’s his presence, his innate sense of calm and self-confidence that sets him apart from other rising stars. He

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Mike Plania can’t wait to celebrate upset win back home

Mike Plania after stunning Joshua Greer in their catchweight fight at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Photo from Top Rank

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s latest boxing sensation Mike Plania can’t wait to celebrate the biggest win of his career with his family back home.

With the coronavirus pandemic still at large, the General Santos City native said he will make sure to follow the necessary procedures for the safety of everyone.

“I know all the hassles I will have to go through but it’s fine as long as everyone’s safety is ensured. I will comply with all the procedures just to be with my family again. I badly miss my family, baby and of course I can’t wait to celebrate my victory with my Sanman Team,” Plania said in a story on boxingscene.com.

Plania is scheduled to return home on Saturday (Manila time).

As far as his future is concerned, his manager and Sanman Promotions CEO JC Manangquil said their team is looking for a title shot for Plania at 122 pounds.

The 23-year-old Plania (24-1, 12 KOs) stunned WBO bantamweight contender Joshua Greer Jr. two weeks ago at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.


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