The Sport Matrix: Thursday 11 April 2013


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The Independent Online

Can Tiger master his comeback?

Tiger Woods appeared a man at peace last night as he began his latest assault on the Masters. The 14-time Major winner has six top-10 finishes in the last seven years at Augusta but has failed to take the final-day honours since 2005.

"Life is better now," Woods, above, said. "It is a beautiful juggling act. That's the joy in life, being part of [my kids'] life and watching them grow. Taking them on the golf course every now and again, they will have a great time. That's what it's all about."

One endorsement of Woods' chances came from 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus, whose record Woods is aiming to overhaul. "I still expect him to break my record," Nicklaus said. "He's just too talented, driven, and focused. He's 37. He's got to win five majors - a pretty good career for most people." MORE

Sub Messi inspires Barca to progress

Barcelona reached the Champions League semi-finals for the seventh time in eight years. A 1-1 draw with PSG made it 3-3 on aggregate, the Spaniards going through on away goals. Javier Pastore gave PSG the lead before Pedro equalised. David Beckham and Lionel Messi both featured from the bench. MORE

Bayern complete stroll into semi

Bayern Munich also made it to the last four last night, easing to a 2-0 win at Juventus to complete a 4-0 aggregate victory. The 2012 finalists went ahead through Mario Mandzukic halfway through the second half, with Claudio Pizarro cementing the win in injury time. MORE

Wilson departs faltering Blades

Sheffield United last night confirmed the departure of manager Danny Wilson with just five matches of the season left. The League One side sit fifth in the table, but have won only once in their last six matches. Wilson departs after just under two years at Bramall Lane.

Familiarity gives Phil the edge

Phil Mickelson believes his good record at the Masters comes from his familiarity with the course. "I don't have to play perfectly to play well here," the three-time winner said. "I don't have to hit perfect shots. That's what's exciting about Augusta: the recovery shot." MORE

Spurs seek to make last four of Europa

Tottenham Hotspur travel to Basel for the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tonight seeking to make the last four for the first time in 29 years. The tie stands at 2-2. Chelsea and Newcastle are also in action tonight. MORE

Uefa to double racism punishment

Uefa are to increase the maximum punishment for a player found guilty of racism to 10 games. The governing body has never invoked the current maximum of five matches, but has made the change in response to claims it is out of touch on racism. MORE

Derbyshire find return hard going

Promoted Derbyshire endured a tough return to the First Division on the opening day of the County Championship season. Champions Warwickshire bowled the visitors out for 226 at Edgbaston, ending the day on 14-0 in reply. MORE

Troubled Wasps' future secured

The financial instability that has threatened Wasps' future was eased yesterday when businessman Derek Richardson became the new principal shareholder. A fresh board of directors will be appointed. "We start with a clean slate," a club official said. MORE

Jockeys in call for National day off

The Professional Jockeys Association has called for a break in jump racing on the day after the Grand National. The move follows Ryan Mania's serious fall 24 hours after winning the National last Saturday. MORE

Billy Foster

The former caddie to Seve Ballesteros and Lee Westwood shares his views on the three crucial holes that could make or break a charge up the Masters leaderboard in Augusta this weekend.