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The battle for supremacy between Match and Shoot and more of the week's best sportswriting

Some of our favourite pieces from the past seven days.

The Open Championship 2018 - Day Four - Carnoustie Golf Links Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the 18th during his final round at the 2018 Open Championship. Source: Richard Sellers

“He’s the person that many of these young golfers grew up watching, still the player older golfers admire (and maybe fear), and still the guy that can bring hordes of fans out of the woodwork to tune in to a tournament being played across the pond, at ungodly hours of the morning, just to see what he can pull off. To those fans, he may never fully seem like an underdog. We’ve all seen what he’s capable of too many times to ever really count him out. And now that his back is in order and his game has returned, Sunday could prove to be the first of many times we see Tiger Woods back in contention in a tournament. But it still feels different.”

Megan Schuster for The Ringer on the Third Act of Tiger Woods.

“Whether Grindel’s resignation could pave a way back for Ozil remains doubtful, however, if the predictably dismissive reaction by Bild is anything to go by. The paper accused Ozil of ‘whining’ on Sunday night. Sadly, they are yet to realise that 22 July, 2018 marks a defeat that’s much more painful and unsettling for German football than anything that happened in Russia this summer. The most technically gifted player of his generation feels he can no longer represent the white and black colours due to racism. Let that horrific sentence sink in.”

Raphael Honigstein examines Mesut Ozil’s international retirement for ESPN.

“For endurance athletes, the drugs that were popular 10 years ago are still the ones that are popular today. Ultimately EPO is simply perfectly suited to boosting performance. What is different is that in the past the supply network was generally face-to-face; now the internet has changed things significantly.”

Peter Stuart of Cyclist.co.uk on the increase of performance-enhancing drug use among amateur cyclists.

Match-September-6th-1997 Roy Keane on the cover of 'Match' in September 1997.

“As their early readers rushed online instead, Match’s sales fell to a quarter of their mid-1990s peak by 2010. The magazine still exists, but only just: less than 20,000 copies are sold each week. The recent vogue is for football magazines reborn as batch-brewed, high-fashion numbers complete with heavyweight paper, full-page nostalgia pictures and cultural chin-stroking. But such titles still owe plenty to Match. For many in analogue-era, small-town Britain, it was like a Now That’s What I Call Football compilation; an incongruous, colourful mass-market mix that was the perfect primer for the scene.”

Mike Henson for The Set Pieces on the battle for supremacy in the mid-90s football magazine market.

“Ever since he left his Foxboro apartment at 5am last Halloween and boarded a plane to northern California, Garoppolo has been living in a sort of time warp. He was transported, in just a few short months, from being Tom Brady’s rarely used back-up to being the highest-paid player in the NFL (for five weeks, at least). In this new world, a sloppy mid-summer practice is now a headline, and never mind the two banners that adorn one corner of Levi’s Stadium. Printed on one, under a photo of Hall of Famer Joe Montana, are the words ‘FAITHFUL THEN’. On the other, under a photo of Garoppolo: ‘FAITHFUL NOW’. No pressure, Jimmy.”

– How Jimmy Garoppolo copied Tom Brady and then escaped his shadow, writes Sports Illustrated’s Jenny Vrentas.

“You could argue that his time has passed, but in some ways he was a man ahead of his time, well aware of the power of the sound bite. Dunphy monetised that pulling power and the anger at his observations was still feeding the beast. Website editors will tell you about the value of Dunphy’s name in a headline. Then again, there’s also a market for a website featuring cats that look like Hitler, and there comes a time when enough is enough, when the joke gets old.”

The Irish Independent’s Daniel McDonnell on Eamon Dunphy’s departure from RTÉ.

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