Month: May 2021

Chat on plane led to founding of vets’ group

first_imgFairways for Warriors was conceived five years ago on a flight to Fort Bragg, N.C. Tom Underdown was sitting next to a sergeant on leave from Afghanistan, listening to the soldier talk about two comrades who had lost limbs. Underdown had never been a soldier himself, but with both parents in the military, he had grown up at various Army bases in Germany and the United States. He knew the deadly toll that life in uniform could extract. “My father served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam,” Underdown, 64, said recently. “I saw what post-traumatic stress did to him and his family. It was horrible, what he went through. He did what I call slow suicide – he drank and smoked himself to death.” Underdown had gone into information technology, continuing his family’s military connection by having the Department of Defense as his sole client. But as he listened to the sergeant talk, business was the furthest thing from his mind.  “I don’t know why,” Underdown said, “I just felt like I needed to do something.” He persuaded some friends to visit one of the wounded soldiers. He called the mother of the other one. “I said, ‘I don’t know why I’m calling, but I just want to let you know that somebody cares. Is there anything I can do for your son?’” Channeling his energy: Golf Channel show inspired veteran “She said all he ever wanted to be was a soldier – ‘I know he’s going to be OK physically, but he’s never going to be OK mentally. He’s always going to have issues.’ “That really resonated with me. I found a program called Operation Warrior Golf at Fort Bragg that was started by a college student, Gretchen McClean. I got involved in that and I said if she can do that at Fort Bragg, why can’t I do that in Orlando? So I got some friends together and we launched Fairways for Warriors. Today, Fairways for Warriors has expanded to four chapters – Orlando and Jacksonville in Florida, plus San Antonio, Texas, and Newport, R.I. Underdown is working to create a golf facility for the Orlando chapter, and hopes that eventually every chapter will have its own Warrior Golf Club. “It’s been humbling,” Underdown said. “We’ve had probably well over 200 combat vets come through our program in Orlando, not including family members. I used to have to go out and generate interest in our program. Now I get word of mouth. I get at least three or four e-mails or phone calls every single week from people hearing about our program and wanting to be part of it.” Veterans group seeks to build golf course “We are lucky to have Tom Underdown,” said Navy veteran Luis Lorenzana. “Words cannot describe how amazing his soul is.  Our society needs a Tom Underdown to understand what selfless acts are all about and what sacrifice really means.” Fairways for Warriors’ mission is “providing hope, healing and camaraderie for combat wounded warriors and their families.” “When a young guy goes into the military,” Underdown said, “he has a support infrastructure, he’s got his buddies, he’s got a unit, he’s got a first sergeant. He goes over to combat, he’s got a battle buddy. He knows this guy has his back. He gets injured, he gets medically discharged and he’s left out there all by himself. “When you get out of the military, especially if you’ve been injured in combat, you don’t feel comfortable around civilians. They just don’t understand. Other combat warriors understand what you’re going through.” Returning veterans “isolate themselves, they lose hope, they’re angry, they’re not sure what to do with their lives, and they drink and think too much. This program gives them that camaraderie that they had in the military, gives them hope and helps them heal.” Juan Velazquez is a former combat engineer who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and came home with – among other wounds – a traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder. “I couldn’t even socialize,” he said. “For the first few weeks, even the first few months, I was a quiet guy, I was separate from everybody. I didn’t want to hear any stories, I didn’t want to tell any stories about me. And now it’s gotten to the point where I can socialize because I feel at home.” Golf is an effective vehicle for healing because of the game’s social aspect and the concentration it demands “It helps you focus, focus on the ball,” Velazquez said. “It’s a repeated motion that you’ve got to practice all the time. And it’s fun. It gets frustrating – don’t get me wrong, I do get angry a lot of times, but just one shot can change everything.” [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”1036596″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”299″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”width”:”480″}}]] Fairways for Warriors members Juan Velazquez (l), Jack Wiseman “I believe it helps stimulate the brain, the thoughts, the soul to focus on the challenge of getting that small white ball into a small white cup up to 500 yards away,” said Lorenzana, who deals with constant pain from two unsuccessful lower-back surgeries. “The frustration of living with disabilities was given a new meaning when I started playing golf.  What seemed impossible on the first tee looking down at the barely visible flag about 487 yards away on my first day of golf ever, now seems exhilarating.  I can overcome anything.  I can learn to adapt to my surroundings, be it life or fairways and bunkers.” “It’s not just the physical and mental healing, it’s also spiritual,” said Robert “BJ” Jackson, a former member of the Iowa Army National Guard who lost both legs below the knee to a land mine in Baghdad. “It’s getting together, the camaraderie. The fellowship is the biggest part. Golf is an added bonus.” Jackson met Underdown after moving to Florida in 2011. He became involved in Fairways for Warriors, “but once he told me the golf course idea, I had to step up a little. He thought about a friend, Chad Pfeifer, a veteran who lost a leg in Iraq, took up golf as part of his rehabilitation and became good enough to pursue becoming the first amputee to play on the PGA Tour. (Pfeifer, who was profiled by GolfChannel.com in December 2012, is one of the contestants on the current Golf Channel series, “Big Break: The Palm Beaches, Florida.”) Jackson took to heart a message he got in a fortune cookie: “He who is afraid of doing too much, does too little.” “So I stuck it in my wallet as a reminder and started asking Tom what I can do to help.” Jackson appreciates the fact that Fairways for Warriors includes older veterans – “guys that came home to nothing and were treated horribly, that paved the way for men and women today to be treated like heros. We owe them to be better and also to recognize their sacrifice and service,” he said. “They are great mentors and friends to this era’s veterans.” Jack Wiseman, an Army veteran who lost his left arm in Vietnam, is grateful for the opportunity to help. “For us older vets,” he said, “to help these guys out and give them something we never had when we come home, it fills my heart just to be able to be here and do whatever we can do.”last_img read more

Allen maintains Schwab Cup Championship lead

first_imgSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Michael Allen held onto the lead Saturday in the Champions Tour’s season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, and playing partner Bernhard Langer pulled within a stroke to easily remain in position to take the points title. Allen shot a 1-under 69, making six birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey in breezy conditions on Desert Mountain’s Cochise Course. He had a 12-under 198 total. The 56-year-old Scottsdale resident birdied the par-3 11th to open a six-stroke lead, then played the next four holes in 4 over. He rebounded with a birdie on the par-3 17th and parred the par-5 18th. “I didn’t really know what my lead was,” Allen said. “It probably would have been a good idea to look at a board at that point, but I was just trying to do what I’ve been doing all week, which is just try and hit good shots, make birdies and pars. I don’t think my strategy would have changed any.” Langer birdied the final two holes for a 68. The 58-year-old German star is competing with Colin Montgomerie and Jeff Maggert for the Charles Schwab Cup points title and a $1 million annuity. Langer began the week third in the standings, 66 points behind Montgomerie and 27 behind Maggert, in a bid to win the title for the second straight year and record third time overall. “Obviously, I’m in a unique situation this week where I’m sort of keeping one eye on what’s happening there with Monty and Maggert and I’m trying to win the tournament at the same time,” Langer said. With players receiving a point for every $500 earned in the $2.5 million tournament, Langer started $33,000 behind Montgomerie and $13,500 behind Maggert. With their current positions, Langer would earn $254,000, Montgomerie $40,500, and Maggert $34,000. Langer also is in position to top the money list. Montgomerie had a 71 and was tied for 18th in the 30-man field at 1 under. Maggert was tied for 21st at even par after a 71. The runner-up in the points competition will receive a $500,000 annuity, and the third-place finisher will get a $300,000 annuity. “Right now it’s looking good and it’s still a shootout for the title as well,” Langer said. “Michael played phenomenal on the front and wheels came off a little bit in the middle there, early back nine, and then he pulled himself together again. It’s still anybody’s ball game at this point, the tournament.” Allen made a double bogey on the par-4 12th after driving into the desert. “I just think let up for a shot there and it kind of, it really got me. Is that what happened carrying on? Who really knows.I felt like I overcame it all right and I didn’t feel like, ‘Oh, boy, I’m uptight and not doing well.’ I kind of just tried to shrug it off and kind of keep moving forward.” He bogeyed the par-3 13th, then topped a long-iron approach into the water on the par-4 15th and holed a 10-footer to escape with bogey. “I was a little out of sorts and probably just didn’t go through the routine quite properly,” Allen said. “I don’t know because it was a perfect number. … I guess it happens once in a while in golf.” He made an 18-foot birdie putt on 17, and missed a birdie chance on 18 when he pulled his 8-footer to the right. “I feel good,” Allen said. “I felt like I just lost my swing a little bit there and maybe really my focus more than my swing.” Allen began the day with a two-stroke lead after opening with rounds of 65 and 64. He won the last of his seven victories on the 50-and-over tour in October 2014. Mark O’Meara, Stephen Ames and Billy Andrade were tied for third at 8 under. O’Meara shot 66, Ames 67, and Andrade 70. Ames was the last player to get into the field, jumping from 31st to 30th on the money list with a ninth-place tie last week at Newport Beach.last_img read more

Monday Scramble: Plenty of drama at FedEx finale

first_imgThe storylines are plentiful at the Tour Championship, In Gee Chun marches into the history books, Beef becomes a PGA Tour member and more in this week’s edition of Monday Scramble. There will be a lot more on the line this week at East Lake than a FedEx Cup trophy and $10 million. First, Dustin Johnson will have a chance to settle the Player of the Year debate with a win and/or the FedEx Cup title. Johnson appears to have the edge over world No. 1 Jason Day with a U.S. Open win, a WGC title at Firestone and a playoff win at the BMW. Plus, Johnson leads the Tour with 14 top-10s and the lowest scoring average. Day, however, could tilt the argument toward his side with a win at the Tour Championship. He has three titles of his own, including a wire-to-wire win at The Players. And then there will be plenty of drama after the FedEx Cup champion is crowned. Davis Love III will announce his final pick on NBC during halftime of Sunday Night Football. World No. 7 Bubba Watson is (probably) the favorite, but Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Ryan Moore all have strong cases to make the U.S. team. From a muddy picture, we’ll finally find some clarity Sunday night. 1. In Gee Chun took the phrase “winning in style” to a whole new level Sunday at the Evian. First, she won her second major title by four strokes, joining fellow countrywoman Se Ri Pak as the only players to make their first two LPGA wins majors. Second, Chun finished 21 under par, breaking the record for the lowest 72-hole total in a men’s or woman’s major championship. She beat the women’s record by two strokes and topped Day (2015 PGA) and Henrik Stenson (2016 Open Championship) by one stroke. Chun also continued the streak of South Korean women winning at least one major title to an impressive six years. South Koreans have also won 11 of the last 22 majors, and Inbee Park has a gold medal, too. 2. Chun can not only rest easy with a new trophy to add to her collection, but Sunday also allows her to completely move on from a bizarre incident earlier this season. In March, Ha Na Jang’s father lost control of his luggage on an escalator at the Singapore airport and his suitcase struck Chun. She admitted Sunday the incident had more of an impact on her than she initially let on. Chun missed a month with injuries to her back and pelvis, and the media attention the incident brought on Jang and Chun caused them both a lot of stress. “It was an inner struggle,” Chun said Sunday. “I just had to keep it quiet inside, but I had to go through all those hard times, not being able to mention anything about my injury and my hurt and pain.” 3. For the second weekend in a row, an emerging star earned a PGA Tour card. Last week, Bryson DeChambeau won the first Web.com Tour Finals event in a playoff over Andres Gonzales. And on Sunday, Andrew “Beef” Johnston finished fourth to earn his card for the 2016-17 season. Johnston has become one of the breakout stars of the year after he said he was planning on getting “hammered” after winning the Spanish Open. He did. And then he tied for eighth at the Open. Beef has earned scores of fans along the way. And now along with DeChambeau and Gonzales (half man, half amazing), PGA Tour fans will have three new players to root for next year who not only have colorful personalities, but also plenty of game. 4. Maybe it’s a perfect storm of fun personalities, but the Web.com Finals has been surprisingly entertaining this year. Like a lot of golf fans, I do miss the old Q-School, but there is no doubt the four-event series is a better product for TV. It may not be as intense as Q-School, but there is something on the line every weekend at a Web.com event, and that wasn’t always used to be the case. 5. European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke had to love what he saw at the Italian Open. Masters champion Danny Willett finished second and pushed winner Francesco Molinari the whole way. Outside a third-place finish at the BMW PGA, Willett hasn’t been in contention much since his win at Augusta. But a T-12 at the European Masters and a runner-up in Italy has Willett trending in the right direction ahead of Hazeltine. 6. Molinari’s win likely won’t be remembered as one of the better finishes of 2016, but it should be. There is always something compelling about watching someone try to win their national open. And with Willett applying the pressure, Molinari nearly folded. But he hit a spectacular recovery shot on 18, punching an iron around a tree and splitting two bunkers to reach the green in regulation. Molinari’s reaction after he holed the winning putt said it all about how much this victory meant. 7. Day’s health will once again be under the microscope this week. He withdrew during the final round of the BMW as a precautionary measure after experiencing back pain. He also dealt with back pain at the WGC Match Play, when he was able to play through it and win. But this is certainly a troubling sign for a guy who is only 28 years old. Day doesn’t go half-speed on any shot, and it appears those violent swings are already catching up. 8. Something that should ease the pain is the new contract Day reportedly signed with Nike. Day will continue to use TaylorMade equipment, but he will be wearing a Nike swoosh. Nike announced last month is was getting out of the equipment business, but it would still focus on making apparel. By signing Day, Nike is making a statement that while it may not be designing drivers, it will still have a big presence in the game. 9. It’s time to do something I rarely do – disagree with Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus repeated his opinion this week that we’re making too big a deal about the Ryder Cup, and we should focus more on the spirit of the event and not who wins and loses. Maybe the Golden Bear was right. Maybe the task force was overkill (OK, it was), but I think the teams have struck the right balance between fierce competition and sportsmanship. Yes, there will likely be some prickly moments between the teams next week, but by the end of the night there will also likely be some glorious social media posts after the two sides get together to celebrate another great Ryder Cup. 10. While Watson, Thomas, Berger and Moore are just a few of the names Love has to choose from Sunday night, don’t rule out Jim Furyk. Mr. 58 and the U.S. vice-captain was practicing over the weekend with the American squad at Hazeltine, according to Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte. Love told Furyk not to put his clubs away after he failed to qualify for the last two playoff events, so he’s definitely still a contender for the final spot. But on a team with only one rookie, it seems logical Love would look to inject some youth on the U.S. team. Golf’s version of Bigfoot was spotted not once but twice last week … Yes, it’s Anthony Kim! The three-time Tour winner showed up Monday at a charity event in Plano, Texas, for former pro basketball player Nancy Lieberman and was seen again on Friday at an event for his alma mater, Oklahoma. Kim has been battling injuries and recovering from surgeries for the better part of four years. In an interview last year, he didn’t rule out a potential return to the PGA Tour. So here’s hoping this isn’t the last we’ll see of the former Ryder Cup star. This week’s award winners …  Best Way to Start Your Round: Jamie McLeary resumed his second round at the Italian Open on Saturday morning at the par-3 10th, and it only took one swing for him to have a very nice day. McLeary made a hole-in-one and won a brand new Mercedes. It just so happens his daughter has been asking for a convertible. Boom, done. You’re Joking, Right? When asked how he would celebrate securing his PGA Tour card, Johnston smiled and said he might have “a few sodas.” He could only keep a semi-straight face for so long before saying, “Nah, there’s going to be a few beers, man!” Trash-Talking Advice From FLOTUS: Steph Curry admitted he lost a match to President Barack Obama, and the NBA star said the Commander-in-Chief’s trash talking got under his skin. Fortunately, Curry got some advice on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” from First Lady Michelle Obama, who was co-hosting during Curry’s appearance. The key, she said, was to go after the president’s ears by saying, “the shadow from your ears is really messing up my putt.” No, Beef, Don’t Do It!last_img read more

Reed to Euros: No blue for you

first_imgCHASKA, Minn. – Born in Spring, Texas, educated in Georgia, and truly at home only in San Antonio, for three glorious fall days Patrick Reed played his frenzied role to perfection. He was animated and angry, energized and endearing; the perfect tonic for America’s Ryder Cup woes if not the ideal epicenter for what turned into the game’s most raucous member-guest (think TPC Scottsdale’s 16th hole times 18). From the outset of the 41st matches, U.S. captain Davis Love III stressed that each of his 12 players had a single job. For Reed, he may have exceeded even the most lofty job description. The 26-year-old paired with Jordan Spieth to play all four team sessions, hauling his American stable mate across the finish line on Saturday afternoon with the type of performance that defines Ryder Cup careers, a masterpiece that included six birdies and an eagle through 17 holes. He was even better on Sunday. When Love marched Reed out in the day’s first match against Rory McIlroy, Europe’s undisputed heavyweight at Hazeltine National, the job parameters remained unchanged – win your match – but in practice the outcome was much more nuanced. European captain Darren Clarke had to front-load his Sunday singles lineup with hopes that they could set an early tone for a comeback like the one that went the Continent’s way in 2012 at Medinah. Ryder Cup: Scoring | Live blog: Day 3 | Photo gallery Full coverage from the Ryder Cup An early American victory would be clutch; if Reed could keep McIlroy from running away with the match and posting an early European flag on the leaderboard, it would have a profound impact on the back end of Clarke’s lineup. “It was important to get some excitement going in the beginning and get off to a good start,” Love said. “We knew they were going to load the boat, and we had to get off to a good start against them.” There was a brief moment, just past the lunch hour, when Love & Co. had no American flags on the scoreboard and trailed in six matches. It was Medinah all over again. Leave it to Reed, the U.S. side’s unlikely ace, to set the tone with a deafening performance. He eagled the fifth to square his match with McIlroy, birdied Nos. 6 and 7 to keep pace with the Northern Irishman and traded the week’s ultimate blow on the eighth hole. From 50 feet, McIlroy – pushed to the limit by unruly fans all week and keen to push back – charged in a 50-footer for birdie. “I can’t hear you,” he roared at the masses. Moments later, Reed matched him with a 25-footer for birdie, followed by a finger wag in McIlroy’s direction. So much show, so much swagger, so much spirit. There’s no better theater in golf than the Ryder Cup, and for three days there weren’t two better leading men than Reed and McIlroy. If the Minnesota masses had a tendency to go too far, and they did, Reed’s antics only went to prove once and for all that it’s not indifference that has cost the U.S. team all these years. If anything, Reed and his frat brothers may care too much. If you can want something only so much, Reed’s passion was boundless and infectious. But then he’s always been that way. “He hates losing more than he loves winning,” said Josh Gregory, Reed’s college coach at Augusta State and still a member of his inner circle. “He’s a rock star playing pro golf. If he could play in a dome with people yelling at him, he’d love every single week.” By the time Reed finally pulled away with a birdie at the 12th hole to take his first lead of the day, the rout was on with the U.S leading in seven matches and needing just five points to reclaim the cup. The U.S. team motto all week at Hazeltine was “12 Strong,” and the box score suggests that was the case with every member of Love’s team earning at least one point. But when the line between obituary and ovation is so thin, the actions of a single man can often dictate the outcome. Reed wanted to play McIlroy, he wanted to play early, it’s in his DNA. Love and fate delivered both and he took care of the rest in a frenzied blur befitting his budding Ryder Cup reputation. His record in the transatlantic title bout now improves to 6-1-2 in two starts after going 3-1-1 at Hazeltine, and his reputation as a bona fide match-play closer has now reached urban legend proportions. “I told Ian Poulter back in 2012 that he was built for the Ryder Cup, and I think Patrick Reed is built for the Ryder Cup, too,” Love said. “He’s got that attitude.” Some players are made for these high-pressure events, players like Reed who thrive on adversity and the harsh head-to-head reality of match play. There’s nowhere to hide or play it safe, just a glaring spotlight and an unrelenting opponent. Reed wanted the pressure. He wanted the moment. He wanted to be Love’s guy out front nixing any possible European rally. “My job was to not allow blue [European flags] to go on that board, I couldn’t allow blue to go on that board because I knew they needed me to come out and get that confidence going,” said Reed, his voice hoarse from three days of exuberance. “I knew if Rory went out and got a point, it just wasn’t good for our team. I had to do my part.” As he headed up the 18th hole, his mission all but accomplished even with McIlroy still having a chance to scratch out a half point if he could win the final hole, Reed provided the perfect walk-off to his week, firing his approach shot to 5 feet and rolling in the birdie putt for a 1-up victory. He’d done his job. He’d kept McIlory under his thumb, and helped lift the U.S. to its first victory in the biennial matches since 2008. He’d done it with grit and emotion. He’d earned the U.S. side’s Man of the Match honors and a new nickname – Minnesota wild.last_img read more

Phil’s having a blast at Match Play

first_imgAUSTIN, Texas – On the eve of the final round last year at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, Daniel Berger gave a glimpse into the psyche of a champion. With Phil Mickelson looming in second place, just three shots behind Berger, the second-year PGA Tour player was asked his thoughts on Lefty’s close proximity. “I like to call Phil ‘Philip.’ He says only his wife calls him that. I can’t call him that until I win on the PGA Tour,” smiled Berger, who would go on to win the 2016 St. Jude Classic. “But I still call him that anyway. I don’t care. It is what it is.” That evening your scribe ran across Mickelson and told him Berger’s “Philip” story: “That’s awesome,” Lefty beamed, “you have to have that out here.” In Berger, Mickelson sees a kindred spirit, a younger iteration of the player who won on Tour before he even turned pro and thrives on the challenge almost as much as he does the competition. That connection at least partially explained Mickelson’s smile on Thursday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play when he set out for his Day 2 match against Berger in some of the most demanding conditions on Tour this season with winds gusting to 35 mph through the Texas hill country. Mickelson, fresh off a Day 1 victory over Si Woo Kim, was solid, mostly with his driver that’s becoming something of a pillar in his game, on his way to a 4-up advantage through eight holes. From there, it became a very Mickelson-esque round with Berger playing the role of wayward contender. Mickelson halved holes with a double bogey (No. 9), bogey (No. 12) and bogey (No, 13), and he won a hole with a par (No. 8). During that stretch Berger was 5 over par, and that didn’t include an approach shot at the 14th hole that was pulled badly into the Colorado River that ended the match. WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos For the second time this week, Mickelson hasn’t been pushed past the 16th hole. In fact, he hasn’t even seen the final three holes since last year’s Match Play, having skipped that stretch during his practice round. “I’m having fun,” he said. “The greens are severely pitched, very fast and firm and that makes it very difficult. I find that the mixture of holes from birdie holes to tougher pars is fun.” There’s also something to be said for this week’s format, which brings out the best in Mickelson’s competitive moxie and allows for the occasional foul ball that has always been a part of Lefty’s persona. “The fact that you are not adding up every shot allows you to be not quite as focused on every shot,” he said. That’s not to say Mickelson and the Match Play have always been a perfect match. In 12 starts at the event, including the first Match Play in 1999, he’s advanced past the third round just once, in ’04 when he lost in the quarterfinals, and there was a four-year window when he skipped the World Golf Championship beginning in ’12. Although his passion for the Ryder and Presidents cups, which use the same format, is well documented, that hasn’t necessarily translated to the Match Play. “It’s a little different because you don’t have that team environment. You don’t have teammates and partners. You don’t have the team room where everybody is talking smack and having fun,” Mickelson said. “Here I don’t really talk too much because I don’t want to cause a rift or cause any problems. So it’s a totally different feel and environment than, say, the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup.” But as Mickelson talked about his match against Berger his mannerisms, his emotions, had a similar energy to the biennial team matches. After having something of a meltdown with his driving over the weekend at the WGC-Mexico Championship, he’s largely kept the ball in play, hitting 7 of 12 fairways on Day 1 and 6 of 11 on Thursday. His miscues earlier this month in Mexico City, Mickelson said, were a “relapse,” but his work with swing coach Andrew Getson has produced a much more consistent game from the tee and restored much of Lefty’s confidence. The Match Play is one of two WGCs that Mickelson hasn’t won, a statistical oddity considering his affinity for the format, and he can secure himself a trip to the round of 16 with a victory on Friday against J.B. Holmes or if Berger drops his match against Kim. It would set up arguably his best chance to win the event in his career, which prompted one reporter to ask if it was fair to say he had a little extra motivation to win this week and fill a hole in his resume? “You can, but this isn’t the one,” he smiled in a not-so-subtle reference to the U.S. Open which he hasn’t won. Fair enough, but that same drive that Mickelson admires in Berger will only further inspire him the deeper he plays into the weekend.last_img read more

Van Rooyen (68) takes 1-shot lead at Hassan II

first_imgRABAT, Morocco – Erik Van Rooyen posted a 5-under 68 to take a one-shot lead over Jorge Campillo after the third round of the Trophee Hassan II on Saturday. Van Rooyen had two bogeys but made seven birdies to lead at 8 under overall, while Campillo had five birdies and a bogey in his 69. David Lipsky and Sean Crocker shared a one-shot overnight lead after the second round, but fell back. Your browser does not support iframes. Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II Crocker was in third place, two shots behind the leader, after a 1-under 72 in which his five birdies were undone by two bogeys and a double bogey on the 16th hole. Four players were three shots behind Van Rooyen heading into Sunday’s fourth and final round on the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Tied for fourth place were Julian Suri, Wade Ormsby, Lee Slattery and Grant Forrest. Lipsky opened with four straight bogeys but recovered well to limit the damage with a 1-over 74. He sits four shots off the lead along with first-round leader Jordan Smith, who hit an eagle on the 17th on his way to a par 73.last_img read more

Cut Line: Less is more for TW; more of less Romo

first_imgIn this week’s pre-PGA Championship edition we examine Tiger Woods’ new limited schedule, Jordan Spieth’s limited progress and the limits of the AT&T Byron Nelson’s new home. Made Cut See you when we see you. When Tiger Woods opted to not play last week’s Wells Fargo Championship there was a light undercurrent of concern considering that it would mean a month between starts for the Masters champion. For a player with a medical history like Woods perhaps the concerns were understandable, but various posts on social media this week showed Woods practicing at Bethpage Black, site of next week’s PGA Championship. Woods has repeatedly said after last season’s 18-event campaign that he would not play as much going forward and his decision to skip the Quail Hollow event, which had been a staple on his schedule, appears to be proof of this new approach. There’s also a chance that between now and the start of the PGA Tour playoffs that Woods will make just five more starts. Given the results so far in his comeback it would be foolish to question his scaled-back schedule. Quality over quantity seems to be working just fine. Wanamaker Trophy half full. On the eve of the year’s second major, we are going to take the high road. The PGA Championship will sport the strongest all-professional field of the year with each of the top 100 players in the world rankings –  which, the PGA proudly says, has never happened before in a major championship –  and a lineup that features 34 major champions. Of course, the championship’s move to May will certainly be scrutinized next week at Bethpage Black, which probably won’t be at its mid-summer toughest considering the need for warm weather to groom rough heights. The highs next week in New York are forecast at 65 degrees with rain chances hovering between 20 and 40 percent. If that sounds more like fall football weather just remember last year’s triple-digit temperatures at Bellerive. New York in May doesn’t sound terrible now, does it? Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF) Being Jordan. On Thursday at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Jordan Spieth did what Jordan Spieth has done so many times in his career, playing his first seven holes in 5 under par. He followed that blistering start with a double bogey and two bogeys for a 3-under round, which has also become the norm for the 11-time Tour winner. Throughout Spieth’s recent swoon he’s preached patience and the message was no different on Thursday. “I’ve told you guys ahead of time it’s just a matter of time. This is different. I feel good. I feel like I’m really in the right place,” he said. Spieth, who is nine shots back after Day 2 in Dallas, may not be poised for a breakthrough this week, but at least he’s not becoming a prisoner of the moment. Tweet of the week: A lifestyle many would consider glamorous often conceals the reality of life on Tour. For the father of three it was an easy choice to leave it all behind for now. Your browser does not support iframes. Missed Cut Dallas stars? When officials relocated this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson from TPC Four Seasons in Irving, Texas, to Trinity Forest last year the idea was the upgrade would help attract a better field. But if the last two events are any indication it’s time to call this a failed experiment. Although Trinity Forest is in Dallas, it feels closer to the middle of nowhere and the Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design is, well, turning out to be an acquired taste for many Tour types. Just two players from the top 20 in the world ranking, No. 3 Brooks Koepka and No. 19 Patrick Reed, are in this week’s field. The projected strength of field (219) is well below what it was when the event was played at TPC Four Seasons, which was also not the most popular stop but at least it was centrally located. The Nelson’s new spot on the schedule, before the PGA Championship, probably doesn’t help the event’s outlook either, but the tournament’s strength-of-field woes are starting to feel more and more self-inflicted. Sideshows. Not to pile on the folks in Dallas but it’s also time tournament officials stop sacrificing competitive integrity for gimmicky attention grabs. Tony Romo is playing his third Tour event in two years this week at the Nelson. After missing the cut the last two years at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, the former Cowboys quarterback did the same on his home course at Trinity Forest. He opened with a 5-over 76 on Thursday and followed that with a 74 on Day 2. When he signed his card, he was was tied for 148th out of 153 players. It’s worth pointing out his 74 was his best round ever on Tour. It’s also worth pointing out that Romo has played all three events on sponsor exemptions, which events are allowed to dole out however they wish. But when a player like Boo Weekley, a three-time Tour winner and former Ryder Cup player, can’t get into the field as the first alternate it might be time to reexamine the system.last_img read more

Medved, Richards Ask: Are We Alone in the Universe?

first_img Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis At the end of a fascinating new podcast episode of Great Minds with Michael Medved, our host poses the question to Jay Richards: If life in the universe is singular, if we’re it and there is no other life, whether intelligent or otherwise, what’s the bad news about that, and what’s the good news? For materialists, there is only bad news, since it would strongly imply that life on Earth was somehow intended. Intention behind life wrecks the materialist view of reality, which is why they fight so hard against any notion of any exceptional status for our planet or for human beings.For others, for those who are simply open-minded and uncommitted philosophically, such a result if it could be known (and it can’t) might be a disappointment. But it would also open up wondrous possibilities not only of intention but of ultimate, transcendent purpose behind our privileged existence.Dr. Richards is co-author of The Privileged Planet and he talks with Mr. Medved about the incredibly precise and unforgiving requirements that would have to be met for life even to be remotely possible on any given planet elsewhere in the cosmos. That is to the point that a planet capable of sustaining life would in all likelihood be remarkably similar to our own, down to details like experiencing total solar eclipses. News of freshly discovered “Earth-like” planets is a staple of popular science reporting. But as Richards points out, still to this day the most Earth-like planet we know of is Mars, and that is a lifeless waste land.Jay is a great explainer who says he would be “tickled pink” by evidence of extraterrestrials, much as he is not holding his breath waiting for it. You’ll thoroughly enjoy their conversation. Watch or listen at the Great Minds with Michael Medved website, dedicated to exploring questions whose urgency and importance never go away. The audio is up now, and the video will follow later this morning. While you’re at the site, you can subscribe — it’s all FREE. But please do make sure to donate to keep this excellent podcast going strong. TagscosmosearthEarth-like planetsexoplanetsextraterrestrialsgalaxyGreat Minds with Michael Medvedintelligent designinterviewJay RichardslifeMarsmaterialismMichael Medvedplanetspodcastrealityscience reportingSETItotal solar eclipsewaste land,Trending Recommended “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Physics, Earth & Space Medved, Richards Ask: Are We Alone in the Universe?David [email protected]_klinghofferMarch 1, 2018, 1:29 AM Share A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to Alllast_img read more

Conference on Engineering in Living Systems: Application Process is Open Now

first_img A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Orchestration and Optimization — control systems and lifecycle processes Intelligent Design Conference on Engineering in Living Systems: Application Process is Open NowEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCDecember 20, 2019, 2:11 PM Recommended Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Intersection of Biology and Engineering — the impacts of engineering thinking in the study of biology Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Share Interdependency and Causal Circularity — how complex and coherent systems are initialized and jumpstarted Space is limited, so we will be taking applications for attendance, with priority given to those who are able to attend all three days of the conference and actively contribute in the working sessions.Early bird registration is $450 ($550 after March 1, 2020). Find all information and an easy online application here.CELS 2020 is organized by the Engineering Research Group (ERG) at the Center for Science & Culture, Discovery Institute, in conjunction with the School of Science, Technology and Health, the Chemistry, Physics and Engineering Department, and MA, Science and Religion at Biola University.We are excited about this unique opportunity, and look forward to seeing you at CELS 2020! Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharecenter_img Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Adaptation — mechanisms and processes used by living systems to adapt to changing circumstances and environments Coherence — organization of capabilities and processes to achieve and sustain life Theory of Design — theoretical foundations for a positive theory of design in living systems TagsapplicationBiola Universitybiologycausal circularityCELS 2020Center for Science & CultureConference on Engineering in Living SystemsDiscovery InstituteEngineeringEngineering Research Groupintelligent designinterdependencyliving systemsoptimizationorchestrationresilienceworkshop,Trending Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Architecture of Living Systems — design principles and design patterns in living systems We are pleased to announce the Conference on Engineering in Living Systems (CELS 2020) to be held this coming April 23-25, 2020 at Biola University.CELS 2020 brings together leading engineers and biologists in order to: (1) apply engineering principles to better understand biological systems, (2) craft a design-based theoretical framework that explains and predicts the behaviors of living systems, and (3) develop research programs that demonstrate the engineering principles at work in living systems.The conference will follow a workshop-like format of discussion-oriented sessions in a collegial setting, with a goal of fostering active participation and establishing concrete results and action items. Topics include the following: Resilience — failure prevention and anti-fragility in living systemsApplications and Models — formal methods for modeling and understanding of living systems Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Manlast_img read more

For Your Post-Holiday Enjoyment, Healthy ID Snacks

first_imgYesterday, Evolution News offered appetizers for 2020. But maybe you are bothered already by overeating during the recent holidays. No problem. Here are healthy nuggets with an ID flavor to snack on. Better Suction CupsThose plastic suction cups we use on glass fall off after a while. One would never think of getting them to stick to uneven rock. How about fastening them to rock underwater in a strong current? Impossible? The aquatic larvae of the net-winged midge do it. To the amazement of biologists from the University of Cambridge, these larvae even move around the rocks without losing their grip while subjected to “absolutely enormous” forces trying to pull them off, reports Phys.org.The larvae have the ability to quickly detach and reattach to underwater rocks in torrential alpine rivers that can flow as fast as three metres per second. Their highly specialised suction organs are so strong that only forces over 600 times their body weight can detach them. [Emphasis added.]The investigators had difficulty balancing while standing knee deep in the river, but they found the larvae “grazing on the underwater rocks, apparently oblivious to the torrents bearing down on them.” The larvae possess the highest attachment strength ever recorded in insects. What’s their secret?The researchers found that a central piston, controlled by specific muscles, is used to create the suction and enable each larva to form a very tight seal with the surface of the rock. A dense array of tiny hairs come into contact with the rock surface, helping to keep the larva in place. When it needs to move, other muscles control a tiny slit on the suction disc, pulling the disc open to allow the suction organ to detach. This is the first time such an active detachment mechanism has been seen in any biological system.Engineers could imitate this mechanism for numerous applications in industry and medicine.Lights by Intelligent DesignThe design inference is at work in the Astrophysical Journal. Astronomers are wondering about lights that appear and disappear in deep space. About a hundred anomalous sources have been detected. The New York Post says that scientists “aren’t ruling out” extraterrestrial intelligences as the cause. But of course, ID’s design filter requires eliminating chance or nature first.They say the blinking lights are most likely derived from “natural, if somewhat extreme astrophysical sources,” adding that the finding could change the study of astrophysics forever.“The implications of finding such objects extend from traditional astrophysics fields to the more exotic searches for evidence of technologically advanced civilizations,” the authors write in their report, recently published in the Astronomical Journal.They’re not supernovae or any other known phenomena. So while intelligent design is barred from most journals, it remains useful. In fact, the researchers are “very excited” about looking for intelligent causes.Another FlagellumArchaea constitute a separate domain of life from bacteria, yet they, too, have outboard motors that help them swim. Phys.org describes their place in the living world:Archaea, bacteria and eukaryotes are what biologists call the three domains of life. Of these three, archaea form an important link within the evolutionary theory. They are the direct ancestors of eukaryotes, but resemble bacteria in structure and organization. Archaea can colonize hot sulphur springs or extremely saline lakes, but can also be found in the ocean or in the human intestine and on the skin. Unlike bacteria, archaea have been relatively little researched — because no pathogenic forms have been identified so far.The outboard motor of some archaea is so different from the bacterial flagellum, it is called an “archaellum” instead. Like the flagellum, the archaellum appears to be irreducible complex. A paper in Nature Microbiology describes what happens when one part of this “unique nanomachine” is removed:In Archaea, motility is mediated by the archaellum, a rotating type IV pilus-like structure that is a unique nanomachine for swimming motility in nature….Strikingly, Sulfolobus cells that lack the S-layer component bound by FlaF assemble archaella but cannot swim. These collective results support a model where a FlaG filament capped by a FlaG–FlaF complex anchors the archaellum to the S-layer to allow motility.The authors note that “Motility structures are vital in all three domains of life,” and yet each type of machine is unique from those in the other domains. Phys.org adds:It is important for microorganisms to be able to move actively — so that if their environment deteriorates they can seek better living conditions. Bacteria use what is known as the flagellum, a complex structure requiring up to 50 proteins that assemble according to a strict timetable. Scientists assumed that archaea used the same structure as bacteria to “swim” from one place to another. But after sequencing the first archaeal genomes, the researchers discovered that archaea did not possess flagella operons. Instead, archaea swim using a structure called an archaellum. It consists of only seven subunits in the model organism Sulfolobus acidocaldarius used by Albers, which lives in highly acidic hydrothermal springs. “Nevertheless, this relatively simple structure can perform the same functions as the bacterial flagellum,” she explains.The archaellum cannot be an ancestor of the flagellum, though, because it’s in a different domain of life, and uses different parts. If five parts in a mousetrap confirm intelligent design, seven subunits in the archaellum make an even stronger case. Undoubtedly the subunits have even more constituent parts. So here, the most “primitive” microbes come already equipped with rotary outboard motors, and these tiny cells also live in some of the most extreme environments on the planet — including hot springs at the boiling point. See our “Archaea Have Their Own Rotary Propellers“ for more about the amazing archaellum that is “profoundly different” from the bacterial flagellum yet performs a similar function. Incidentally, it is also “highly conserved” in all archaeal species.TidbitsYou’ve had some ID cookies. Now here are some small candy pieces. Don’t worry about the calories. They’re all in your head!The “ultimate non-stick coating” developed at McMaster University was inspired by the lotus leaf. Made into a plastic wrap, it stops dangerous superbugs in hospitals and food packaging.Penn State announced a “New, slippery toilet coating provides cleaner flushing, saves water.” This biomimetic research has already led to products you can buy from SpotLESS Materials. The spray coating was inspired by the pitcher plant. Watch the video to see how well it works on glass and ceramics. Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Soil has been called “that thin layer on the planet that stands between us and starvation.” Phys.org reported on work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that “shows how bacteria can degrade solid bedrock, jump-starting a long process of alteration that creates the mineral portion of soil.” Bacteria speed up redox reactions that let them “eat” the rock because of a “biological invention” of a protein that allows cells to make electrical contact with minerals. Moreover, the bacteria couple the oxidation of iron to make ATP, the energy molecule in all forms of life. The way bacteria metabolize rock to begin soil formation “has been going on basically forever, but unknown to us.”Better desalination machines and water filtration methods could be coming, thanks to mechanisms inspired by our own body cells. Aquaporins are “essential membrane proteins that serve as water channels in the cells of our eyes, kidneys and other watery organs. Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin couldn’t mimic aquaporins exactly, but found a way to create “water wires” that work a thousand times better than existing desalination systems.“It is difficult to even effectively mimic the complexities of how the human body works, especially at the molecular level,” he said. “This time, however, nature was the starting point for an even greater discovery than we could have ever hoped for.”Happy ID snacking… all meat and no fat!Image: Special repellent properties of the lotus leaf inspired the “ultimate non-stick coating”; by William Thielicke (more images here), [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons. “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos TagsaquaporinsarchaeaarchaellumAstrophysical JournalATPbacteriabacterial flagellumbiologistscaloriesDesign Inferenceextraterrestrial intelligenceeyeshuman bodyindustryinsectsintelligent designkidneyslarvaelotus leafMcMaster UniversitymicrobesnanomachineNature MicrobiologyNew York Postoutboard motorPenn Statepost-holiday seasonproteinsriverSpotLESS Materialsstarssuction cupsuction discSulfolobus acidocaldariustoiletUniversity of CambridgeUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison,Trending Recommendedcenter_img Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Intelligent Design For Your Post-Holiday Enjoyment, Healthy ID SnacksEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCJanuary 3, 2020, 4:39 AM Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to Alllast_img read more