Newell chases his dream with Trophy win

first_img Now Newell and the next eight players on the leaderboard will make up teams at the Bridgestone Challenge, the English leg of the European Challenge Tour, on Wednesday, 6 September.  Tags: Bridgestone, Chase Your Dream Given the circumstances he decided to go for it and was rewarded with a two-putt birdie. Shortly afterwards he chipped in for a birdie two and his round was back on track. The other qualifiers are: Jacob Scargill (Hanging Heaton, Yorkshire) Neill Jonas (Tilgate Forest, Sussex), Kevin Madden (Walmley, Warwickshire), Michael Durkin (Hurlston Hall, Lancashire), Giles Puckle (Clandon Regis, Surrey), Sam Storey (Windlesham, Surrey), Barrie Harding (West Byfleet, Surrey) and Neil Garbutt (Masham, Yorkshire). Click here for full scores Today’s round did not start as planned. After three holes the 11-handicapper was five over par and “spraying the ball all over the place.” The turning point was the par five fourth, where Newell hammered a drive down the middle, leaving himself 220 yards to the pin. “I was really, really hoping to make the top nine and squeak through, but to actually win is off the scale,” added Newell.  The 42-year-old tax consultant is an avid golfer and was highly motivated by the opportunities of the Chase Your Dream Trophy.  “I liked the title of the trophy and when I saw the ultimate goal was to play in the pro-am of the British Masters, I just had to have a go.”  15 Aug 2017 Newell chases his dream with Trophy win He scored net 69 – three-under par – on the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa, where the final was played as part of England Golf Week, the annual celebration of the handicap game.  They’ll be joined by nine players from the women’s final, which will be played on Friday, and the best of these teams will play with a star of the European Tour at the pro-am of the British Masters, supported by Sky Sports, on Wednesday, 27 September.  Buckinghamshire’s John Newell made his dreams come true today when he was crowned England’s male handicap golfer of the year – and kept alive his hopes of a date with a star of the European Tour.  “This is absolutely crazy, I can’t believe I have actually managed to win,” said Newell, the vice-captain at Hazlemere Golf Club, after his one-shot victory in the men’s final of the Bridgestone Chase Your Dream Trophy. last_img read more

Two teams to challenge in Welsh women’s championship

first_img Two England teams will challenge for the Nations Cup at this weekend’s Welsh women’s open championship at Aberdovey.Lily May Humphreys (pictured) and Sophie Lamb, who have both been selected for the GB&I Curtis Cup team, will be joined by Georgia Price in a team drawn from the England Golf women’s squad.Thalia Kirby, Martha Lewis and Hannah Screen make up the second team and are all members of the England Golf girls’ squad.The 54-hole championship starts tomorrow and continues until Sunday. The Nations Cup will be decided by the best two scores from three in each round.Humphreys will be looking to add this championship to the Scottish women’s open, which she won last month and holds alongside English, British, European and US titles. Lamb was the low amateur at the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open and a past winner of the British stroke play title. Price returns consistently high finishes.The three girls are all looking for a big win after coming very close last season. Lewis was runner-up in the 2017 English girls’ championship, Kirby was in a play-off in the English U16 girls’ championship and Screen was runner up in the women’s British stroke play and the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters.Team 1Lily-May Humphreys, 16, Stoke by Nayland, EssexSophie Lamb, 20, Clitheroe, LancashireGeorgia Price, 24, Bude & North CornwallTeam 2Thalia Kirby, 17, Stoke Park, BuckinghamshireMartha Lewis, 18, St George’s Hill, SurreyHannah Screen, 18, Berkhamsted, HertfordshireImage copyright Leaderboard Photography Tags: Aberdovey, Nations Cup, Welsh, Women 3 May 2018 Two teams to challenge in Welsh women’s championship last_img read more

Women and Girls’ Golf Week: TV and radio presenter Jenni Falconer on her golfing adventure

first_img TV and radio presenter Jenni Falconer describes her golfing adventure and urges more women and girls to follow her and Get into GolfWhy did you want get into golf?It baffles me as to why women in general aren’t playing as much golf – they’ll go and join a gym, they’ll go to a spin class but they wouldn’t think ‘I want to go and play golf in my free time’.So my aim is to show that we should be going to play golf, it is possible and it is something that is just as enjoyable as all the other activities women do in their spare time. Golf can appear to be one of the least-accessible activities at the moment and it does seem to be such a male-dominated sport so let’s change that!I’ve always wanted to play golf, and I decided that 2018 was the year I was going to learn. I’ve never played before so I wanted to know if it’s possible and if I can do it. Luckily I’ve recruited some friends to help me try and achieve it, and the PGAs of Europe added the extra challenge of giving me just a few months to go from a complete novice to competitor in front of spectators at the European Tour’s GolfSixes!In at the deep end then! How did you prepare?The PGAs of Europe and love.golf got me started. love.golf is a programme designed specifically to focus on coaching women. I am also a regular at a driving range near to where I live and did a lot of extra practice there particularly as I was learning over the months when we had snow, rain, hail and general freezing weather conditions….sometimes I just needed to be under cover!How had you progressed by GolfSixes?By the time of the Golf Sixes, I had definitely improved – getting more confident with my driver and a lot more consistent with my irons. My putting was also much better….it was nerve-racking to play with so many pros on the day but I loved every minute and despite first tee nerves under the eye of a fairly large crowd, I soon relaxed. There was a great mix of people playing in the pro-am alongside me – admittedly they were much better and far more experienced than I was – and they were really encouraging and supportive of the fact that I was new to the game. I would love to play in the tournament again next year – this time just be a lot better! Haha!How were your first tee nerves?The first tee nerves really do get to you…at that stage I was nervous teeing off in front of anyone let alone a large crowd cheering you on whilst you did it. Not surprisingly I messed it up and it rolled off the tee….oh dear!What’s happened since then with your golf?Since then, I have played more, practiced more and worked on various disciplines from my swing, grip and stance to really learning how to relax whilst hitting the ball. I have played a lot on golf courses with a few friends too and that has been a huge contributing factor to my improvement. Watching and learning from others – making mistakes with others and laughing about them so as not to take it too seriously and also witnessing friends also make errors only boosts your confidence that it happens at times to everyone.I have also played in a couple more tournaments – the big one was the Celebrity Cup weekend at Celtic Manor. That was without doubt the best golfing experience I have had so far in terms of the incredible course on which we were playing, dealing with the pressure of the competition, huge crowds on every hole, great camaraderie between players and for me playing so intensively helped me improve even more.What do you enjoy about golf?I love the time out, away from emails, phones, general stresses – this is like a period of calm where your focus is entirely on the game. I guess for that reason it’s a form of meditation, where you can switch off and train your mind to think only about your swing, and then once that’s out the way – you start thinking about your next shot. It’s also a lot of fun, whilst challenging, the latter being an element I really embrace as I am constantly striving to improve.What are your golfing goals?I suppose one of my golfing goals is to encourage more girls to take up the sport – it is such a shame that it is seen as a game played predominantly by middle aged men, but things are moving forward – there is much being done to try and change the perception and find ways to make it more accessible to women, in particular those who haven’t played before. If you are keen to learn, there should be an easy route to go down into order to give it a go.On a personal level, my main goal is to improve – I have been working hard and playing as often as I can. I am now a member of a couple of clubs and so want to build up the confidence to play with other members and by doing so hopefully I can work on bringing down my 36 handicap. I truly love this sport and can’t believe it has taken me so long to give it a shot. 2019 is going to be a rather big year with the Solheim Cup being at Gleneagles and as a Scottish girl who now truly loves golf, I am hugely excited about what might be ahead.How are you sharing your golfing adventure?Throughout my initial learning period, I was sharing my golf experiences on social media and the PGAs of Europe were also documenting it as we went on using #FalconerForeGolf. You can follow on my instagram account @jennifalconer.What would you say to any woman or girl considering playing golf?You need to just give it a go – see what you’re missing out on, I am certain that you will love it! It’s an amazing opportunity to have ‘me time’ whilst learning a new skill, you really have to focus and in doing so you push all stresses about life to the side for that time you are on a golf course. What’s more, you have a great laugh with friends, you meet new people, you are outside in the fresh air and it’s a great way to keep fit….make sure you wear a fitness tracker – you’ll be in awe at yoursteps!!• Inspired by Jenni to Get into Golf? Visit www.getintogolf.org to find free and low cost beginner activities across the country.Caption: Tips from the top: Jenni Falconer (centre) with Georgia Hall and Charley Hull (image courtesy PGAs of Europe). 1 Aug 2018 Women and Girls’ Golf Week: TV and radio presenter Jenni Falconer on her golfing adventure Tags: Get into golf, Jenni Falconerlast_img read more

Inside Conditions…Bad timing

first_imgYour comments are welcome. Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlDownload our mobile app at http://www.appshopper.com/news/new-pittsburgh-courier AUBREY BRUCE Hey everybody hot off the press, according to the Bleacher Report “Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed part of the 2012 NFL regular season with injuries to his ribs and shoulder. This offseason, Big Ben is taking no chances with his long-term health and ability to stay on the field for a full 16-game season. [Last]Wednesday, Roethlisberger underwent minor surgery to have some discomfort in his right knee taken care of, a move that is not expected to keep him off his feet when training camp begins later this summer. On the day of the surgery Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin also tweeted that, “Ben Roethlisberger had minor surgery on his right knee that was the result of slight discomfort this offseason.” I am not getting it but with Pittsburgh being in an almost “rebuilding year” and with this procedure being so “minor,” then why wasn’t it performed (the procedure) immediately after the 2012 season ended so that Roethlisberger could have been ready for mini-camp, scheduled for June 11-13, 2013? As far as the eye can see on the brightest side of this scenario, the timing seems to be a bit on the shady side. Hey, don’t want to attend or go through mini-camp its simple have minor surgery just prior to mini-camp. With the Steelers having to deal with major personnel changes on offense as well as the team continuing the process of adjusting to a fairly new offensive coordinator then why wouldn’t everyone be eager to attend mini-camp, beni-camp or any camp just to make sure that everyone was on the same page and to also have a leg up in the “gory blood and guts” AFC North. According to a story by ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley, “when Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was asked about Roethlisberger’s minor knee surgery Suggs told the NFL Network: “You know, it just isn’t the same game when the two teams don’t have all their parts playing. So you’re absolutely right, I do wish him well and I hope for him to have a speedy recovery.” Suggs finished the last line with a big grin, which certainly leaves his comments open to interpretation because from 2004 to 2011, Suggs sacked Roethlisberger 15.5 times, which is more than any other NFL defender during that time.”When you have a defender wishing you well because it possibly increases his chance of sending you to hell that is bad, really bad. Big Ben through all of his success and glory still has not gotten rid of some rookie and novice tendencies the biggest still being; he continues to hold onto the ball for far too long. When you grip the ball for too long only three things can happen and they are all bad.1. Just like in real estate when they say location, location, location, in football when you fail to get rid of the football in three seconds or less then sack, sack, sack is the catchphrase for the day.2. Pick, pick, pick. And I am not referring to the “pick six lottery” or any other game of chance but any quarterback takes a gargantuan chance when they launch the ball after three and one half seconds. Why? Well now you have given the defensive back a chance to read and diagnose the play even if he has to read Braille to do it and most slow developing plays, especially pass plays do not normally bode well for the offense and coupled with the Steelers questionable O-line, well as Charlie Chan used to say, “things could very well get a bit tricky.” 3. The “guillotine syndrome.” According to history guillotines were used as execution instruments and really became popular during the French revolution. The wealthy and upper crust were relieved of their “noggins” rather unceremoniously. Well, when an NFL quarterback is stressed and has to rush his delivery the pass may bounce harmfully off the turf or may sail just high enough that the outstretched arms of the intended receiver may just be the last photo taken of him before he is relieved of his cranium and all of the contents within. There is no time for slacking and B’s-ing. The Steelers are in a dogfight in the AFC North and contrary to popular belief they have a chance to win a championship but they have to play all of their cards right. There can be no false posturing and chest thumping. Bluffing and false moves will be exposed instantly and the consequences will be dire and swift. There are no weak teams in the Steelers division. From a roster perspective every team in the AFC North has a legitimate shot at winning the division title so every division game will be a potential season breaker. See folks the AFC North is so strong there may be two even three teams that may earn wild card berths. They can ill afford to lose any game during the upcoming season because two of their member teams in the AFC North, the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals, have made major and vital upgrades to their rosters and seem to be “primed for bear.” There is virtually no room for error if the Steelers are going to make a run for a Lombardi Trophy. One of the positive things that they have done is sign their first and second round draft picks linebacker Jarvis Jones and running back Le’Veon Bell early, therefore eliminating distractions among a very young team prior to mini-camp and training camp. Big Ben had better begin to perform to justify the money that the Steelers have forked out because time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into his and the Steelers future. If the “franchise” quarterback label that they have hung around his neck is for real then he had better live up to the hype because the last time I checked, “the guillotine has no kin.”(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@new­pittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741.)last_img read more

Johnny Halftime: Manziel to sit 1st half of opener

first_imgby Kriestie RiekenAP Sports WriterHOUSTON (AP) — Johnny Football has done it again.Facing another problem that could have derailed his football career, Texas A&M’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel has evaded serious punishment one more time.Manziel was suspended Wednesday for the first half of the Aggies’ season opener against Rice on Saturday for what the school said was an “inadvertent” violation of NCAA rules involving signing autographs.The quarterback was being investigated for allegedly accepting money for autographs from memorabilia brokers, a violation of NCAA rules that could have led to a much longer suspension. ESPN first reported the allegations against Manziel earlier this month.The latest problem isn’t the first time off-the-field trouble has put Manziel’s career in jeopardy.Manziel was arrested last summer after a bar fight near campus and charged with disorderly conduct, possession of a fake ID and failure to identify himself to police. It was an incident that put him in danger of being suspended from school and left him having to earn the starting job in fall camp.Manziel admitted this June that he failed to identify himself to police following the altercation. As part of a plea deal, other charges against the 20-year-old, including disorderly conduct, were dismissed, and it looked as though Manziel’s trouble was behind him before the latest problems came to light.The news of Manziel’s suspension was the talk of Twitter on Wednesday, with many questioning the length of the suspension. Former NFL and MLB star Deion Sanders was incredulous at the brevity of Manziel’s suspension, after Dez Bryant was suspended for an entire season while at Oklahoma State after lying about having dinner with Sanders.“Can we investigate the investigators? @DezBryant got suspended a season 4 lying about a dinner that wasnt a violation & Manziel gets a half,” Sanders tweeted soon after the ruling was made public.The decision also had a major impact in Las Vegas, where the odds of Manziel’s chances of repeating as a Heisman winner and Texas A&M’s chances of winning the national championship shifted dramatically. RJ Bell, the founder of sports betting website Pregame.com, said Manziel’s chances of winning the Heisman jumped from 12/1 to 6/1, and the team’s shot at the title increased from 18/1 to 10/1.The penalty appears to have brought a quick end to an investigation that could have ruined the seventh-ranked Aggies’ season.The school issued a statement Wednesday saying it declared the Heisman winner ineligible and that the NCAA agreed to reinstate Manziel after he sits out the first half against the underdog Owls.“I am proud of the way both Coach Sumlin and Johnny handled this situation, with integrity and honesty,” Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp said in the statement. “We all take the Aggie Code of Honor very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny violated that code.”According to the statement, Texas A&M and the NCAA “confirmed there is no evidence Manziel received money in exchange for autographs based on currently available information and statements by Manziel.”Conditions for reinstatement include Manziel discussing his actions with teammates and A&M revising how it educates student-athletes about signing autographs.“Student-athletes are often asked for autographs from fans, but unfortunately, some individuals’ sole motivation in seeking an autograph is for resale,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs. “It is important that schools are cognizant and educate student-athletes about situations in which there is a strong likelihood that the autograph seeker plans to resell the items.”Manziel likely will be replaced for the opening half by either junior Matt Joeckel or freshman Kenny Hill. Joeckel has thrown only 11 passes in his college career.Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman last season, setting numerous school and Southeastern Conference records while leading A&M to an 11-2 mark and a victory over No. 1 Alabama in its first season in the SEC.He followed that with a high-profile offseason of road trips to Las Vegas and the NBA Finals. Manziel got to meet Heat star LeBron James and rapper Drake, and he posted some Tweets that made headlines.His biggest misstep, however, came during the summer when he departed early from a quarterback camp for high school players run by the Manning family in Louisiana. Manziel said it was a mutual decision after he overslept and missed meetings and activities.Dat Nguyen, an All-America linebacker at Texas A&M in the 1990s and former assistant coach for the Aggies, lamented Manziel’s mistakes, but noted what he’s done for the program.“I’m a little bit disappointed with what’s going on down there,” Nguyen said recently. “Going into the season I thought this would be the year for A&M to win a national championship and this has been a distraction. He made a bad decision and he’s just got to move on … but overall the guy has put A&M back on the map.”Former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum, who is now a special adviser to the school’s president, has watched Manziel’s career with great interest and is looking forward to seeing how he’ll follow up his incredible first season.“This young man has been in a position that no one has ever been in,” Slocum said before the suspension was announced. “He’s been a freshman and a 20-year-old winner of the Heisman Trophy, and he’s done some great things with that and he’s had a few things I’m sure he’d like to have a do-over with. And if I were advising him, I might have said, ‘That’s probably not in your best interests to do that or say that or be there,’ but in terms of the upcoming season, I’m as anxious as anybody to see what happens and see what the results are.”Manziel was the main attraction at SEC Media Days, where he was peppered with questions but answered with the same cool and calm he often shows in the face of a pass rush.“I don’t feel like I’ve done anything that’s catastrophic,” Manziel said at the time. “Of course, I’ve made my mistakes. It’s time to grow up.”The day before the Aggies reported for preseason practice, ESPN reported Manziel signed thousands of autographs for brokers in Texas, Florida and Connecticut, and cited unidentified sources who said Manziel was paid thousands for dollars for the signatures.Manziel has been off-limits to the media since news broke of the NCAA investigation, but has been practicing with the Aggies._____Associated Press writer George Henry in Atlanta contributed to this report. In this April 13, 2013, file photo, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) stands on the sideline during the first half of the Aggies’ Maroon & White spring NCAA college football game at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Karen Warren,, File)last_img read more

Inside Conditions…A day late a dollar short

first_imgKansas City Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop misses the possible game-winning field goal against the San Diego Chargers during the closing seconds of regulation of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in San Diego. The Chargers eventually won the game 27-24 in overtime. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)Last Sunday evening I watched Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Ryan “the chokester” Succup gag and flinch, kicking the Pittsburgh Steelers out of the postseason.It is not clear whether Succup developed a case of the dreaded malady, “chokitis,” or just deliberately punched the Steelers in the gut while simultaneously punching the San Diego Chargers ticket to play on the “big stage” known as the NFL playoffs.  But ya know what boys and girls, the Steelers should not have depended on the competence of a player from another NFL franchise to “pay their toll” so they could continue traveling on the “playoff highway” leading to the Lombardi Trophy.See, in the NFL there is no such thing as an “E-Z Pass lane.”Aubrey BruceLet’s hit “Rew” and do a partial review of the 2013 Steelers season (a complete review may just be a bit too painful for yinz guys and gals to bear).Succup’s botched field goal attempt was not the play that will cause the Steelers to be at home ordering sandwich rings, cases of Bud Light and hot wings while watching the first (wild card) round of the playoffs.In the Steelers opening game they could only score a measly 9 points in a 16-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh drew first blood by scoring a safety on the first play of the game and was only able to muster a “garbage” touchdown with only 1:23 left to play in regulation.You say you don’t agree, okay; was it the following Monday night when the Black and Gold ventured into Paul Brown stadium to face the eventual 2013 AFC North Champion Cincinnati Bengals who had more than an adequate supply of family sized cans of “whoop ass” to send the Steelers packing back to Pittsburgh “smarting” from a 20-10 loss.  Although, Steelers reserve tight end David Paulson lost a fumble,  “Big” Ben Roethlisberger  contributed a fumble and a pick in the losing effort.On the following Sabbath Day “da Chick-a-go” Bears strolled into Heinz Field and promptly smacked the Steelers around by the score of 40-23.  Roethlisberger threw 2 picks and fumbled 3 times, losing 2. When you give any offense 5 extra possessions, game, set, match.The next week the Steelers traveled to London and lost to the Minnesota “Vikes” by the score of 34-27.  “Big Ben” had this to say about the loss; “We are in unchartered territories and the water is dangerous right now, so we have to stick together and get out of it. Right now, you could say we’re the worst team in the league, that hurts.”They may have entered the review room with glaring questions about a glorious past and a hazy future. However, just as they were stumped by that decades old mystery of a timeless and historical reception by an NFL running back they seemed to be just as perplexed by their own futures.But there was a light at the end of the tunnel or so the Steelers nation hoped. A few folk even began to nitpick and bash. When Steelers rookie running back LeVeon Bell was injured for the initial three games people, even the running back’s own quarterback, sort of expressed doubts about his “toughness” and “heart.”Mike Chiari, featured columnist from Bleacher Report in an article published  on September 25, quoted Roethlisberger saying this about Bel;  “Honestly, I have no idea with him. You can’t get a read on him. One day, he’s practicing, one day, he’s not; one day, he’s going hard, the next day, he’s not. I wish I could. If he was a guy like Heath Miller that you knew was busting his butt every day to get back there … Le’Veon is a rookie, I don’t know him quite well enough yet. But if he can come back and help us, we’ll take him.”Spoken like a true general manager or head coach, don’t you agree? Steelers tight end has been and remains one of the most consistent Steelers but who is “a guy like Heath Miller?”Injuries affect individual players, differently. Remember the Steelers/Ravens match up on November 29, 2009 in Baltimore? The Steelers lost to the Ravens after Roethlisberger took all of the reps during that weeks practice and informed the team the day before the game Saturday that “concussion symptoms” had returned, thus thrusting Steelers rookie quarterback Dennis Dixon to start placed in an almost impossible situation.At the time that Roethlisberger was forced to issue the Steelers a “rain check” in regards to him competing against Baltimore, Steelers wide receiver and future hall of famer Hines Ward had this to say. “‘Ben practiced all week. Then to find out that he’s still having some headaches and not playing and it came down to the doctors didn’t feel that they were going to clear him or not. It’s hard to say. I’ve lied to a couple of doctors saying I’m straight, I feel good when I know that I’m not really straight. I don’t think guys really worry about the future while they’re playing currently in the NFL.”Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin did not even reveal to the team that Roethlisberger was not starting this important game against the hated Ravens.“At the time, I was more concerned about getting Dennis ready to play,” Tomlin said, “and I proceeded with the assumption that our men understood what kind of competitor (Roethlisberger) is. If they don’t, I will tell them.”Ben Roethlisberger is by no means finished as the Steelers starting QB but the team might be better served to at least drafting, signing or grooming a replacement.  The late songstress Billie Holiday once sang; “God bless the child that has his own.”  Never depend on anyone to do your work for you.Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412.583.6741last_img read more

Blacks still left outside the ropes in golf

first_imgTiger Woods (AP Photo/File)Jupiter, Fla – Recently I attended a PGA event called the Honda Classic. It is considered one of the top events on the tour that is not a “Major.” This year the tournament had a field that featured eight of the top 10 golfers in the world, including Tiger Woods. The great Jack Nicklaus was even in attendance, not to mention the estimated 250,000 fans who showed up for the four-day event. Perfect weather, great crowds and good golf until the final nine holes was what they came to see.There was one thing missing … no African Americans. Oh, there were the ones you normally see at Forest Park or Norwood Hills Country Club, who dress the part as they keep up with whatever Tiger is wearing this week. I learned long ago, no matter what you think and wear and how much you pay for it, golf is a sport where you cannot buy a game to go with your nice outfit, even Tiger’s.It has been 18 years since Tiger Woods came onto the scene for the game of golf. The sport was struggling with its identity, image and lack of a face for the game – until Tiger hit town. He opened the doors for a younger, less affluent audience, as well as people of color. Not just for people from the inner city, but for people all around the world, Tiger Woods was here to save the game.TV ratings went up, revenue went up, courses were being built at a rapid pace to accommodate the new participants and, yes, Black people were starting to pick up clubs and take up the sport. Some made the mistake of not taking lessons, but that is a story for another day. Millions of dollars have been poured into youth and minority golf programs, and never was there a greater race than to see who the next Tiger Woods would be.Well, after 18 years of searching, the results are in: absolutely no one.No other African American has won a PGA event since Tiger Woods made his debut. We have seen players from places like the Fiji Islands win, people who come from places that are hard to find on a big map; people from around the globe who have been inspired by Tiger Woods to play golf are winning tournaments. But there has not been an African American who has even made the cut in a PGA event. Surely you would think that after all the time, money and energy invested in such a project, there would be at least one, but that is not the case.To make matters even more concerning, it is hard to find a Black caddie on the tour. This was a job that Whites would have had nothing to do with years ago, as this was a way many Blacks learned how to play the game when the course was closed to patrons and members. That job is no longer to be had.Considering the fact that the money is so much better for the players, some caddies now make at least 10 percent of the winnings that week. Russell Henley won just over a million dollars for winning the Honda Classic last week. Simple math tells me that his caddie could have pocketed $100,000 dollars. Now you know why the Black caddie has almost gone the way of the dinosaur in some tour events.One thing is for sure, golf is a very challenging sport to play when it comes to making money. There are only 125 players on the tour who have qualified to play. Others are sent to what some would consider a golfer’s Devil’s Island, which is called “Q” school – a grueling series of golf rounds, where last man standing is the winner. Winning at “Q” school only affords you the opportunity to go out and play on the tour if there is a spot open. Making the cut to play for money on the weekend is the next near mission impossible.Cashing a check is next, provided you cash enough checks during the year where you are one of the top 125 money winners. If not, see you at “Q” school again. One can only compete at this for so long before other career options are considered.The fact that there are not enough African Americans inside the ropes at PGA events is concerning. While the game has grown among those who do not make a living at it, we are still short on names of who may be the next Tiger Woods. I say that only in color terms and not in skill, as there may not ever be a golfer who dominated the game like he has.I am not sure what the next step to remedy this problem should be. I am out of answers, as I have seen African Americans excel at virtually every other sport they have been introduced to on a fair basis.The golf industry has made millions off of African Americans since Tiger’s arrival, when it comes to merchandise and participation. The sport has also reinvested into that same community, and yet the wait continues to have more professional participation, be it as player, caddy or administrator.http://www.stlamerican.com/sports/sports_columnists/claibs_call/article_caffc690-a4cc-11e3-8e24-0019bb2963f4.htmllast_img read more

Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76

first_imgIn this Jan. 29, 2004 file photo, former boxer, Rubin, “Hurricane” Carter, holds up the writ of habeas corpus that freed him from prison, during a news conference held in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, died Sunday. He was 76.He had been stricken with prostate cancer in Toronto, the New Jersey native’s adopted home. John Artis, a longtime friend and caregiver, told The Canadian Press that Carter died in his sleep.Carter spent 19 years in prison for three murders at a tavern in Paterson, N.J., in 1966. He was convicted alongside Artis in 1967 and again in a new trial in 1976.Carter was freed in November 1985 when his convictions were set aside after years of appeals and public advocacy. His ordeal and the alleged racial motivations behind it were publicized in Bob Dylan’s 1975 song “Hurricane,” several books and a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington, who received an Academy Award nomination for playing the boxer turned prisoner.Carter’s murder convictions abruptly ended the boxing career of a former petty criminal who became an undersized middleweight contender largely on ferocity and punching power.Although never a world champion, Carter went 27-12-1 with 19 knockouts, memorably stopping two-division champ Emile Griffith in the first round in 1963. He also fought for a middleweight title in 1964, losing a unanimous decision to Joey Giardello.In June 1966, three white people were shot by two black men at the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson. Carter and Artis were convicted by an all-white jury largely on the testimony of two thieves who later recanted their stories.Carter was granted a new trial and briefly freed in 1976, but sent back for nine more years after being convicted in a second trial.Thom Kidrin, who became friends with Carter after visiting him several times in prison, told The Associated Press the boxer “didn’t have any bitterness or anger — he kind of got above it all. That was his great strength.”“I wouldn’t give up,” Carter said in an interview on PBS in 2011. “No matter that they sentenced me to three life terms in prison. I wouldn’t give up. Just because a jury of 12 misinformed people … found me guilty did not make me guilty. And because I was not guilty, I refused to act like a guilty person.”Dylan became aware of Carter’s plight after reading the boxer’s autobiography. He met Carter and co-wrote “Hurricane,” which he performed on his Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975. The song concludes: “That’s the story of the Hurricane/But it won’t be over till they clear his name/And give him back the time he’s done/Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been/The champion of the world.”Muhammad Ali spoke out on Carter’s behalf. Advertising art director George Lois and other celebrities also worked toward Carter’s release.With a network of friends and volunteers also advocating for him, Carter eventually won his release from U.S. District Judge H. Lee Sarokin, who wrote that Carter’s prosecution had been “predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure.”Born on May 6, 1937, into a family of seven children, Carter struggled with a hereditary speech impediment and was sent to a juvenile reform center at 12 after an assault. He escaped and joined the Army in 1954, experiencing racial segregation and learning to box while in West Germany.Carter then committed a series of muggings after returning home, spending four years in various state prisons. He began his pro boxing career in 1961 after his release, winning 20 of his first 24 fights mostly by stoppage.Carter was fairly short for a middleweight at 5-foot-8, but he was aggressive and threw a lot of punches. His shaved head and menacing glower gave him an imposing ring presence, but also contributed to a menacing aura outside the ring. He was quoted as joking about killing police officers in a 1964 story in the Saturday Evening Post, which was later cited by Carter as a cause of his troubles with police.Carter boxed regularly on television at Madison Square Garden and overseas in London, Paris and Johannesburg. Although his career appeared to be on a downswing before he was implicated in the murders, Carter was hoping for a second middleweight title shot.Carter and Artis were questioned after being spotted in the area of the murders in Carter’s white car, which vaguely matched witnesses’ descriptions.Both cited alibis and were released, but were arrested months later. A case relying largely on the testimony of thieves Alfred Bello and Arthur Bradley resulted in a conviction in June 1967.Carter defied his prison guards from the first day of his incarceration, spending time in solitary confinement because of it.“When I walked into prison, I refused to wear their stripes,” Carter said. “I refused to eat their food. I refused to work their jobs, and I would have refused to breathe the prison’s air if I could have done so.”Carter eventually wrote and spoke eloquently about his plight, publishing his autobiography, “The Sixteenth Round,” in 1974. Benefit concerts were held for his legal defense.After his release, Carter moved to Toronto, where he served as the executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted from 1993 to 2005. He received two honorary doctorates for his work.Carter’s papers will be sent to the Rubin Carter/John Artiz Innocence International Project at Tufts University outside Boston, Kidrin said.Director Norman Jewison made Carter’s story into a well-reviewed biographical film, with Washington working closely alongside Carter to capture the boxer’s transformation and redemption. Washington won a Golden Globe for the role.“He’s all love,” Washington said while onstage with Carter at the Golden Globes ceremony in 2000. “He lost about 7,300 days of his life, and he’s love. He’s all love.”On Sunday, when told of Carter’s death, Washington said in a statement: “God bless Rubin Carter and his tireless fight to ensure justice for all.”The makers of “The Hurricane,” however, were widely criticized for factual inaccuracies and glossing over other parts of Carter’s story, including his criminal past and a reputation for a violent temper. Giardello sued the film’s producers for its depiction of a racist fix in his victory over Carter, who acknowledged Giardello deserved the win.Carter’s weight and activity dwindled during his final months, but he still advocated for prisoners he believed to be wrongfully convicted.Carter wrote an opinion essay for the New York Daily News in February, arguing vehemently for the release of David McCallum, convicted of a kidnapping and murder in 1985.Kidrin said Carter would be cremated, with some of the ashes given to his family. Two sisters are among Carter’s survivors, though Kidrin said Carter was alienated from many relatives.Kidrin planned to sprinkle Carter’s remains in the ocean off Cape Cod, where they spent the last three summers together. Artis planned to bring some of the ashes to a horse farm in Kentucky the boxer loved.Kidrin spoke with Carter on Wednesday.“He said, ‘You know, look, death’s coming. I’m ready for it. But it’s really going to have to take me because I’m positive to the end.’”___AP Sports Writer Rick Freeman and AP Drama Writer Mark Kennedy contributed to this report in New York.last_img read more

Revamped Penguins have same Cup expectations

first_imgPittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Johnston, left, and assistant Rick Tocchet, right rear, stand behind their bench as Beau Bennett (19) celebrates with teammates after scoring a first period goal during a NHL pre-season hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings in Pittsburgh Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. The Red Wings won 2-1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)PITTSBURGH (AP) – The puck is the same size. So is the rink. The goal too.So forgive Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby if he’s not getting too caught up in the idea new coach Mike Johnston and general manager Jim Rutherford are creating some kind of brave new world for the perennial Stanley Cup contenders to navigate after they were brought in to replace Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero.“There’s only so many ways to play,” Crosby said. “It’s not like we’re reinventing anything. It’s little details, little cues. Guys at every position have to be aware of little details.”And one big one: thrive in May and – hopefully – June.Five straight seasons without a Cup victory parade cost Bylsma and Shero their jobs, leading to the kind of turnover the Penguins have largely avoided during Crosby’s eight-year career.While the league’s reigning MVP allows there will be an adjustment period as Pittsburgh gets acclimated to Johnston’s up-tempo but decidedly more responsible approach, Crosby believes the Penguins are ready for the challenge.“I think in different situations change can be a pretty good thing,” he said. “But it’s all about your attitude and your mentality toward it too. For new guys and guys that have been here, you have to focus that much more and pay attention to everything. In a way I think it gets the best of everyone and forces everyone to be more focused right away.”Even if that’s not the ultimate goal. Rolling through the regular season has never been an issue for the Penguins, who romped to the Metropolitan Division title last spring only to fall to the New York Rangers in seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals, a series they led 3-1 before collapsing. It was the fifth straight postseason Pittsburgh fell to a lower-seeded team.Bylsma and Shero weren’t the only ones out the door. Forward James Neal took his 27 goals and his sometimes surly attitude to Nashville in a draft day trade. Defensemen Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen bolted for the riches offered by Washington in free agency.Their replacements aren’t bold-faced names, but that’s fine. In Crosby, forward Evgeni Malkin, defenseman Kris Letang and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the Penguins have plenty of recognizable faces. What they need is the cohesion it takes to play deep into spring. After a bumpy summer, Pittsburgh is ready to move on.“When you get a new house, you’re excited with your new house,” Letang said. “It’s not that the old one was bad, it’s just that it didn’t work for you anymore, stuff like that. It’s exciting to be in something new.”Some things to look for as the Penguins try to get back to where they once belonged:SLOW START: Johnston’s first training camp hasn’t exactly gone to plan. Crosby has missed time with a wrist injury and the loss of his grandmother, while Malkin hasn’t been anywhere near a practice while recovering from an undisclosed injury. Johnston stressed early on the issues with the former MVP were minor, but his absence stretched into the final days of camp. Whenever the 28-year-old Russian returns, it will take him a bit to get up to speed, leading to the potential for a sluggish start.CROSBY’S OK: Crosby insists the bum wrist that slowed him at the end of the 2013-14 season and limited his effectiveness in the playoffs – where he scored just once in 13 games – is responding well to treatment. He opted to skip surgery only to have another minor issue pop up just before camp. He’s optimistic it won’t take long to find a rhythm in Johnston’s system, which focuses more on puck possession, meaning he may have the puck on his stick more than ever as he searches for a third MVP award.FLOWER POWER: Fleury was one of the few bright spots during the playoffs. After a handful of tough springs, he posted the second-highest postseason save percentage (.915) and second-lowest goals against (2.40) of his career. Still, it wasn’t enough for the Penguins to offer him a new contract. So he enters the final season of the seven-year deal he signed in 2008 with a bit of uncertainty. If he’s worried, he’s not showing it.“I just want to go play, go win,” Fleury said. “What’s going to happen is what’s going to happen. I’m not worried too much about it.”SUPER DUPER: The Penguins played the second half of last season without forward Pascal Dupuis, who tore the ACL in his right knee and watched Pittsburgh’s meltdown against the Rangers from afar. He’s back playing alongside Crosby, and the Penguins will rely on the 35-year-old’s steadying presence in the dressing room now more than ever.GO, GO, GO: Johnston is at his first NHL head coaching stop but he’s not new to coaching some of the game’s best. He served as general manager for the Canadian hockey program and spent time in Los Angeles and Vancouver as an assistant. Given a roster filled with offensive-minded players, his goal is to get them moving together.last_img read more

Northwest Infrared Services in Olympia, Recently Received the Level III Infrared…

first_imgWebsite: www.northwestinfrared.com Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Brent Foster, owner of Northwest Infrared Services in Olympia, recently received the Level III Infrared Thermography Certification, the highest level of certification available.  As one of only a handful of thermographers certified at this level in the State of Washington, Foster is now qualified to train Level I and Level II thermographers, as well as provide advanced consulting for corporations. Foster can be reached at 360-786-6850 or brent@northwestinfrared.com.last_img read more