Stuard cards 65, holds early Rd. 2 lead

first_imgHONOLULU – Fans soaking up the sun along the shores of Oahu took home plenty of memories Friday in the Sony Open, the least of which was Brian Stuard atop the leaderboard with this fourth straight round of 65 at Waialae. Stuard finished the second round with a hybrid into 2 feet for eagle, giving him a one-shot lead over Marc Leishman of Australia and Hideto Tanihara of Japan. The best stuff came later. James Hahn, best known for his ”Gangnam Style” moves after making birdie at the raucous 16th hole at the Phoenix Open last year, tried (and failed) for a chest-bump with his caddie after the rarest shot in golf – an albatross – when he holed out from 191 yards with a 6-iron on the par-5 ninth hole. ”That was a little spontaneous, but I forgot that – I’ve got to be politically correct, right? – but white men can’t jump,” said Hahn, a South Korean-born, Cal grad and funnyman on tour. ”So I got a little air, he didn’t. But it was fun. I don’t think he knew I was going to chest-bump him. But that’s just what I felt like at the time.” Sony Open in Hawaii: Articles, videos and photos The big attraction was having surf champion Kelly Slater in the gallery for the final hour, even though he was there to watch a caddie. Fellow surfer Benji Weatherley is on the bag this week for Masters champion Adam Scott, and he had a blast in front of two dozen friends from the North Shore. But this golf is serious business, and Weatherley showed great confidence talking Scott out of a driver on the 18th hole. ”He’s really getting the hang of it,” Scott said. Scott took over from there, getting a break on the last hole when his ball was in a partial divot. Scott was able to take a free drop away from the grandstand, and while his chip came out strong, it banged against the bottom of the flagstick and stopped an inch from the hole for a tap-in birdie and a 66. Scott was only three shots behind. Weatherley was having a blast. ”It’s the most fun you could ever have,” he said. ”I have no nerves because for one, he’s so good it’s embarrassing. Like every single shot is what you see on ‘Sports Center,’ especially that last one.” He said this during an interview with Golf Channel. Meanwhile, another good tournament was shaping up in Hawaii. Stuard was at 10-under 130. Those four straight rounds of 65 ordinarily might be good enough to win a tournament. Except that the first half of that streak happened on the weekend at Waialae last year. Even so, it was enough for him to be in the lead going into the weekend. It was his seventh straight round in the 60s at Waialae dating to Stuard’s first trip here in 2010. ”I think it’s something to do with the greens,” Stuard said. ”I feel comfortable on the greens. I feel like I read them pretty well and I’m able to make putts.” Leishman also made an eagle on the ninth hole, but that was in the middle of his round. And it was part of a three-hole stretch he played in 4 under, and he made a 25-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole. It led to a 64 that put him in a good spot going into the weekend. ”They’re the sort of things that really turn an average round into a good one, or a good one into a great one,” Leishman said. ”It was nice to shoot 6 under and get myself right in it.” Tanihara had a 65 and will join Leishman and Stuard in the final group Saturday. The tee times were moved up for the third round because of rain in the forecast. Harris English had his second straight round of 66 and was two shots behind, poised to go for his third win in his last 16 starts. ”I hit it all over the map,” English said. ”Yesterday, I striped it down the middle and didn’t make any putts. Today, 4 under was the lowest I could have shot.” He was scrambling so far that he didn’t realize until the end of his round that he had a glove on his left hand, and another one tucked under the back of his belt. This was not a new craze, like Tommy ”Two Gloves” Gainey with gloves on both hands. English was letting it dry out and forgot about it. Joining Scott in the group three shots behind were Jimmy Walker and Chris Kirk, while Hudson Swafford (64), Justin Leonard and past Sony Open champion Jerry Kelly were still in the mix at 6-under 134. Kapalua winner Zach Johnson, trying to become the first player since Ernie Els in 2003 to sweep the Hawaii swing, had a 67 and was five shots behind. Hahn also was 5-under after a 68.last_img read more

College no longer a common path to LPGA stardom

first_imgDALY CITY, Calif. – Juli Inkster can’t help marveling looking down the practice range at the Swinging Skirts Classic this week. The LPGA has never looked so young. The average age of the nine winners this year is 20 years old. “That’s unbelievable,” Inkster says. The last three LPGA events have been won by teenagers, and the average age of the top 10 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings is 23 years old. “Amazing,” Inkster says. Inkster, 55, a hall of famer, marvels at how 17- and 18-year-olds know more about how to play the game than she did in her early 20s. “Absolutely,” Inkster said. “You see so much discipline, such disciplined games. And the patience they have, the course management, and the swings. It’s a different game, a different era. We grew up with no coaches, no video. We just went out and played. I have to say, when I came out on tour, you could shoot 74 or 75 and still win. Now, you can’t do that. You have to put four good rounds together to win.” Over the last five years, the LPGA has watched players 15, 16 and 17 years old win titles. In 2011, Lexi Thompson became the youngest winner of an LPGA event at 16. A year later, Lydia Ko topped her, winning at 15 and then winning again a year later at 16. Brooke Henderson won at 17 last year. Inkster sees teenagers joining the tour who are more experienced playing under pressure against elite competition than ever before. These youngsters hit the LPGA having learned lessons most players in the past didn’t learn until they were hardened veterans. “You look at Lydia Ko, Minjee Lee, In Gee Chun, they’ve played really competitive golf since they were 13 and 14 years old, high-end competition as juniors, in world tournaments,” Inkster said. “They’ve traveled all around the world, developing their games, getting ready for this opportunity. I didn’t play out of state until I was 18.” Inkster has watched juniors become like closet pros. They travel like pros. They work with coaches and trainers like pros. They meet with sports psychologists and nutritionists like pros. They do everything pros do, except they play for trophies instead of money. Here’s something else that has changed dramatically since Inkster joined the tour. The game’s best players aren’t the product of the best college programs anymore. The best players are turning pro at 17 and 18 now, some before leaving high school, especially internationally. “When I came out here, we all went to college,” Inkster said. None of the nine winners this year played collegiately. In fact, over the last 44 LPGA events staged, Anna Nordqvist and Kris Tamulis are the only winners who played collegiately. Stacy Lewis is the only player among the top 15 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings who played in college. The winners of the last seven major championships did not play collegiately. Since 2010, there have been 28 major championships staged. Lewis and Mo Martin are the only winners of majors in that run who played college golf. If you’re wondering, Inbee Park left UNLV two days after enrolling. Megan Khang, 18, considered going to Wake Forest, but she told the school she wanted to take a year off and try making it through LPGA Q-School. Khang made it through in her first try in December and is off to an excellent start to her pro career. She tied for 11th in her LPGA debut at the Pure Silk Bahamas, tied for fourth at the JTBC Founders Cup and tied for seventh last week at the Lotte Championship. “I was definitely thinking about going to college,” Khang said. “I played with Brooke Henderson growing up, and watching her win definitely inspired me. Knowing Lydia is only a few months older than I am, and that she’s already No. 1 in the world, that definitely inspired me, too. I felt like if I went to college, I’d be falling behind. I actually feel like I’m a little behind everyone right now, but I’m trying to speed up the process the best I can.” Mic Potter, the head coach of the University of Alabama women’s golf team, says he isn’t surprised so many young LPGA players are succeeding so early because of the advanced coaching, training and elite tournament experience available. He also says he doesn’t pretend college is for the uniquely talented teens mature enough to succeed right away. “When we recruit, if someone is good enough to play professionally and make a really comfortable living and win, we tell them that,” Potter said. “Unless you’re genuinely interested in a specific area of study, and you want to get a degree, developmentally, you are better off playing professionally. But if you’re not, our main recruiting point is that you can come and train, for virtually nothing, and when you do come out, you can be ready to play the tour. We also tell prospects that when they are ready to play professionally, to make money, we will be the first ones to tell them they should turn pro.” Potter, though, worries about young players who aren’t ready but think they are. “The downside is these young girls aren’t getting the social, college experience that might be good for them,” Potter said. “And it’s a double-edged sword. If you turn pro, and you don’t develop at the rate you thought you were going to develop, there really is nothing for you to fall back on.” Tamulis shook her head surveying all the youth around her Wednesday on the practice green at Lake Merced Golf Club. Every single winner on tour this year turned pro while still a teenager. “I’m 35, and I feel old,” said Tamulis, a Florida State graduate. “I feel like I’m getting older and everyone else is getting younger. They come on tour, and they’re so fit and so strong. You have to do so much to keep up with them. “I feel like I’m leaps and bounds from where I was as a player 10 years ago, but I see girls coming out on tour now who are already where I’m at.” It wasn’t that long ago that the game’s dominant stars at least played collegiately. Lorena Ochoa played two years at Arizona. So did Annika Sorenstam. As a two-time major champion, a two-time Rolex Player of the Year, Stacy Lewis is the exception to the rule now as a graduate of the University of Arkansas. She loved the college game. She still does, so much so that she’s a volunteer assistant at her alma mater. “The LPGA getting younger, it has a huge effect on the college game,” Lewis said. “If affects how coaches recruit, who they recruit.” Lewis took note that the college ranks lost yet another top recruit this week with reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Hannah O’Sullivan announcing she is forgoing a scholarship offer from USC. O’Sullivan, 17, plans to play LPGA Q-School in the fall as an amateur. She became the youngest winner of a Symetra Tour event as a 16-year-old last year. While Lewis understands the dilemma parents of gifted junior golfers face, she also appreciated the message Se Ri Pak delivered when Pak announced her retirement at 38 last month. Pak said she cherished what golf gave her, but she also regretted what she deprived herself of by being so devoted to it. She said the game left her feeling incomplete as a person. “Life not all about winning, losing, practicing and then winning, losing, practicing,” Pak said. “It’s balance, feeling right balance. It’s practicing life. I’m still developing myself, and I’m so far behind.” So Yeon Ryu is a rare phenomenon in Korean golf, where most Korean LPGA players turn pro as teenagers. Ryu won the U.S. Women’s Open in 2011 while attending Yonsei University. She wasn’t studying as a correspondent student, either. She was attending classes while playing the Korean LPGA Tour. “Se Ri always told me, `Golf can’t be your whole life,’” Ryu said. “She said it’s part of your life, but you can’t let it be your whole life. I think it’s an important message to all Korean golfers, because not many have a good balance. For too many, it’s all about golf, always thinking about golf. We’re only going to play golf for about 20 years. When we leave, we need to know what’s outside golf for us.” Lewis, 31, hates seeing young players miss out on the college experience. “It’s disappointing to me,” Lewis said. “I think they’re missing out on a really cool time in their life. They’re missing out on kind of still being a kid and having fun, from being 17 and 18 and going to college, living on their own and learning how to do that. All of a sudden, they’re out here on tour. This is their job, they’re professionals. They don’t get to be the kids they are. “Will these girls be done at 30? Will they be retiring at 28? Who knows? Only time will tell, but the thing is, there aren’t going to be many Lydia Kos coming along. Parents see Lydia, and they think, `My kid can do that,’ but what Lydia is doing, nobody’s ever going to do that again, I don’t think.” Tamulis wouldn’t trade her years at Florida State. “College is the best time of your life,” Tamulis said. “I never hear anyone say they hated their college years. I think girls are missing the boat, but then I wasn’t as good as some of these girls coming out on tour now. I didn’t have the opportunity they have.” Like Lewis, Inkster wonders if young phenoms will have the same passion for the game after 10 years on tour. But Inkster doesn’t wonder whether the future is going to keep delivering young talent the way it is today. “They’re all coming now, and they’re just going to get better and better,” Inkster said.last_img

Missing St. Andrews gave Rory unique perspective

first_imgTROON, Scotland – A year ago this week Rory McIlroy was wielding crutches – not clubs – and watched The Open at St. Andrews, which for a Northern Irishman might be the closest thing to major championship nirvana, from the confines of his couch. It was the most crushing kickabout in the history of golf, a soccer mishap that kept the defending champion from his duties on the Old Course. “It was one that I’d earmarked since 2010, to possibly have a chance to win a claret jug there,” McIlroy said on Tuesday at Royal Troon. “Of all the courses on The Open road, that’s probably my best chance to win, so to miss that last year was very disappointing.” McIlroy would miss two months nursing his left ankle back to health, a rehab stint that also kept him from playing the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and stalling what was shaping up to be another historic year following early victories at the WGC-Match Play and Wells Fargo Championship. Missing majors is never easy, just ask Tiger Woods. Missing what is unquestionably the most important major at the game’s signature venue was gutting, as they say in these parts. “I’m determined not to miss anymore for the foreseeable future,” McIlroy declared. McIlroy isn’t geared to watch from the sidelines. Like most athletes he’s not wired that way, and as the 2015 Open approached he now admits to bracing for a weekend full of mixed emotions. He’d come close at the Old Course before, finishing tied for third at the Home of Golf in 2010 after a second-round 80. He also has a good grasp on history and understands the distinction between a major champion and a major champion at St. Andrews. Maybe it was therapy, maybe it was retribution for putting himself in this position with a self-inflicted injury; either way McIlroy settled in to watch last year’s Open with a dollop of dread. “It was difficult. I actually thought it was going to be more difficult watching it,” he said. “It was at St. Andrews and because I was going in there feeling like I was playing well.” But along the way his impromptu therapist’s couch turned into a life lesson, watching the wind-delayed tournament unfold with a voyeuristic interest. The Open: Full-field tee times | Photo gallery Full coverage from the 145th Open “I enjoyed watching over the weekend, as funny as that sounds,” he said. “I sort of realized that it put things in perspective for me, as well.” McIlroy didn’t brood over his missed opportunity. He didn’t blame timing and karma for robbing him of a chance to fulfill a lifelong competitive dream of winning an Open at St. Andrews. Instead, he lived his life. He went to the gym, kept on with the rehabilitation of his ailing ankle and tried not to dwell on his misfortune. “People were just sort of going and doing their daily routines and doing their thing, and it sort of just put it in perspective to me,” he said. “When you’re here it seems like it’s everything to you. But you look outside in the bigger, wider world, and it’s not the be all and end all.” It’s a 30,000-foot view that helped ease the sting of missing last year’s Open and possibly the languid pace of his comeback. After starting 2015 with so much promise, he struggled the rest of the way with just a single top-10 finish on the PGA Tour before closing the season with a victory at the European Tour’s finale. A game that has appeared a few bricks shy of solid this season came together with his victory at the Irish Open, which for McIlroy qualifies as a “fifth major,” and he arrives at Royal Troon with a real sense of momentum. Despite never having played Royal Troon, the enigma of the Open rotation, McIlroy said his game plan is relatively straightforward – avoid the bunkers – and a singular focus. Since closing the 2014 Grand Slam season with back-to-back victories, McIlroy’s major record has gone decidedly in the wrong direction – finishing fourth, T-9, 17th, T-10 and missing the cut in last five starts. But with age has come a sense indifference to the urgency of now. Although he admits to not being as bold on the golf course as he once was – either the byproduct of maturity or a game that’s been slightly off in recent years, he couldn’t say for sure – he’s also learned that in golf it’s much better to embrace the long view. “If someone said at the [2014] PGA Championship, you won’t win one of your next five majors you play. I’d be like, yeah, well, sometimes it goes like that and it goes in cycles,” he said. “It’s a very long career, so there’s plenty of time to try and rack up more major championships.” Sitting on the couch watching Zach Johnson win the claret jug last July wasn’t easy given the relative importance of the championship, but it did teach McIlroy that there will be other Opens, other chances for glory and other trips to St. Andrews.last_img read more

Family-oriented Bubba’s life, golf in great spot

first_imgAUGUSTA, Ga. – To illustrate just how much has changed in Bubba Watson’s world since 2012, since his first Masters title, he needs only to return to his Pensacola, Fla., home. His son, Caleb, is now 6 years old, not yet old enough to understand the intricacies of the sport, but clever enough to recognize when the Golf Channel commercial comes on, the one that shows him as a toddler, hands stuffed in his pockets, waddling out to the 18th green to celebrate with his daddy. He likes the Par 3 Contest, too, because he gets to slip into the traditional white overalls and tote the bag. But that’s about it. At home, golf typically triggers a negative response – when dad gets dressed in slacks and a collared shirt, that means he’s about to leave again. The majesty of the Masters means little to him. “I believe he’s still too young for it,” Watson said Monday at Augusta National. “I don’t think he understands. He just knows that at this tournament, you get a green jacket.” Watson has many interests in his life – his car dealership, his minor-league baseball team, his candy shop – but it’s clear that his family comes first, second and third in his life. After all, it’s his family that keeps him grounded. That helps him maintain the proper perspective. That puts up with his unusual quirks and mood swings. And it was his family – most crucially, wife Angie – that helped pull Watson out of his funk and improbably turn him into a Masters favorite, again. Last fall, with his game a mess and his health deteriorating because of an undisclosed illness, he contemplated quitting the game. Then his sponsors offered him support, and Angie stepped in, giving one of golf’s most mercurial characters the tough love he desperately needed. “They helped me come out of a dark place,” he said. Maybe it was just that simple, that he needed to flip a switch mentally. Or maybe it was ditching the multi-colored golf balls that he tried out for a year, with little success. Whatever it was, at the onset of major season, he arrives here at Augusta National with one of the game’s most impressive resumes this season: a victory against a top field at Riviera, then a surprising takedown of seven top players at the WGC-Match Play. It’s the first time in his career that he enters the Masters with two early-season victories. “My life is in a great spot,” he said. “Golf sometimes makes it in a bad spot, but I’m just in a right frame of mind, and I understand what I want do with my life and where I want to go in my life.” Masters Tournament: Articles, photos and videos And where that is, golf-wise, Watson doesn’t seem particularly interested.  To keep his boss’ mind from wandering, caddie Ted Scott has told Watson to focus on the next six months, to stay in the process, to get better, to continually move forward. So six months from now, where does Bubba see himself? As a three-time Masters champion? A Ryder Cup hero? A PGA Tour Player of the Year? “I see myself being an improved father,” he said. “The golf part, it doesn’t matter. (Caleb) could care less if I win or lose. He’d rather me not play so I could be home playing toys with him. So that’s really it – being a leader that way. I’m going to make mistakes, and how do I show him that I can improve on those mistakes?” Watson’s many critics will say that he’s merely deflecting, that if he didn’t care so deeply about his performance that he wouldn’t occasionally treat his caddie or his fans or the media with such disdain, that he’ll be surly again just as soon as his play slips. Except Watson sounds different this time, calmer, quieter, untroubled. He’s found that happy place before – usually during and after each of his 11 career wins – but now, with his life settled, he seems determined to stay there. “As I’ve gotten older and been on Tour longer,” he said, “you learn and look back and figure out why it was so good this time and where I was in life, what stage of life – getting married, getting moved into the house, adopting kids, my dad passing away. There are things in life that we don’t ever talk about that causes somebody to be in a good or bad frame of mind. “I’ve been in a good frame of mind when I won. But I’ve never been in a bad frame of mind and still beat everybody else.” That makes Watson dangerous this week at the Masters. Now that he has purpose, perspective and peace, all of the game’s biggest titles are back within reach. “When life’s in the right spot,” he said, “golf’s in the right spot. Golf is really easy when you free it up.”last_img read more

Return of The Roar: The day ‘never’ became remembered forever

first_imgAUGUSTA, Ga. – He was done. Everyone knew it. Even Tiger Woods. At the 2017 Masters, Woods’ back was so ravaged that he needed a nerve blocker just to attend the Champions Dinner. Slumped in his chair, searing pain shooting down his legs, he leaned forward and whispered to a fellow green jacket: “I’m done. I’m done. My back is done.” For so many years Woods made the superhuman seem routine, but Notah Begay III watched his longtime friend suffer in agony, unable to complete even the most basic tasks. Before a fourth back surgery, Woods required the use of a specialized reclining chair in his Jupiter, Fla., mansion. He couldn’t even hobble to the car without assistance, needing to drape an arm over Begay’s shoulder for support. “It was one of those moments in my life, after seeing up-close and personal how hard it was, that it was a realistic consideration that it all could have been over,” Begay said. But the same night as the Champions Dinner, Woods flew to England to meet with a back specialist. The doctor’s recommendation – the only possible remedy for Woods’ 24/7 pain – was a Hail Mary spinal-fusion surgery that would improve his quality of life, that at least would offer him the possibility of closing out his legendary career on his own terms. “What people see and understand is only a fraction of what he had to overcome,” Begay said. “To say that it’s been a phenomenal comeback doesn’t even come close to doing it justice.” Your browser does not support iframes. The golf world is scrambling for superlatives now, after a Sunday unlike any other at Augusta National. Fourteen years removed from his last Masters title, 11 years after his most recent major, a few years since his private life became tabloid fodder and his game sank to embarrassing lows and his body betrayed him, Tiger Woods improbably won another major championship. For the first time in his storied career, he came from behind to win a major, chasing down Francesco Molinari on the second nine and then hanging on for a one-shot victory. There has been no shortage of instant classics throughout Woods’ career: The 1997 Masters signaling the start of a new era; the 2000 U.S. Open capping the greatest golf ever played; the 2001 Masters and the completion of the Tiger Slam, a monument to his extraordinary talent. But this Masters, at age 43, was a deeply personal achievement, a warning shot that his pursuit of Big Jack’s 18 majors isn’t over yet, and arguably his most impressive feat in a career full of them. “It’s got to be right up there, with all of the things that I’ve battled through,” Woods said afterward. “I was just lucky enough and fortunate enough to be able to do this again.”  So much was different about major No. 15 – his body and swing, his competition and perspective – but the biggest change of all was waiting for him behind the 18th green. His two children, Sam, 11, and Charlie, 10, have known him only as the YouTube golfer – as the living legend who twirled his clubs and pumped his fists and pummeled an entire sport into submission. But all they’d seen recently was him at his lowest, in unimaginable pain, incapable of kicking a soccer ball in the backyard, or driving them to school, or even summoning the strength to roll out of bed, the reason he kept a urine bucket next to his nightstand. And so as Woods walked off the green to a thunderous roar, a major winner again, he screamed, “WOOOOOOO!” and bear-hugged Charlie – a scene reminiscent of when Tiger collapsed in the arms of his own father, Earl, in ’97.   “For them to see what it’s like to have their dad win a major championship,” Woods said, “I hope that’s something they will never forget.” Your browser does not support iframes. It was special, too, for the members of golf’s glitterati waiting outside the scoring building. For PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. For former Masters champions like Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson and Bernhard Langer. For Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele, the generation of young stars that Woods’ dominance helped create. “It’s hard to put this into words right now,” said Johnson, the 2007 champion. “It’s history.” “I’ve played against him when he was really unbeatable – when he knew he was the best, and you knew he was the best, and that’s just the way it was,” said 2008 winner Trevor Immelman. “So for him to come back through all of that adversity and win the biggest tournament on Earth, it’s just unbelievable. I think it’s the greatest day and comeback in the history of sports.” The comeback may have started with that last-ditch fusion surgery in April 2017, but it wasn’t the definitive turning point in his return to prominence. That came roughly a month later, when he was in the throes of an addiction so deep that South Florida police found him slumped over the steering wheel of his Mercedes, five drugs coursing through his system, a shocking and sad DUI arrest that was the catalyst for this clear-eyed comeback. Woods has never talked publicly about his treatment, or the impact of that sobering incident, but Begay said that it was the moment in which Woods “finally began to take responsibility for his decisions.” “This is somebody who has a deeper appreciation of being able to live his life and play,” Begay said, “and he’s acting like it.” Over the next few months, Woods’ quality of life improved, and so, too, did his long-term outlook. In late 2015 he said that whatever else he achieved would be “gravy,” but now, optimism began to build.  “He’s got that competitive desire,” said Rob McNamara, who has worked for Woods since 2000, currently as the vice president of TGR Ventures. “I don’t think that ever goes away. He just wants to prove it to himself. He’s competing against himself.” The 2018 golf season was therapeutic not just for Woods but for the entire sport. With an evolving body and game, Woods scared the lead at a few events in the spring. He contended deep into two summer majors. And then he finally put it all together last fall at the Tour Championship, winning wire to wire against the top 30 PGA Tour players of the year, his first title in more than five years. 83rd Masters Tournament: Scores | @GolfCentral Masters tracker | Full coverage “Giving up is never in the equation,” he said. “Pushing and being competitive is what got me into this situation, but it’s also what got me out of it.” There were scant signs in 2019 that Woods was ready to build on his resurgent season. Coming off the worst putting year of his career, he continued his decline on the greens this season, with rumblings about everything from his setup to his eyesight to his frayed nerves. Though he never finished closer than eight shots of the eventual winner, he saw evidence in practice that he was peaking for Augusta. After trying in vain to keep up with the game’s biggest boppers, Woods finally resigned himself to a smoother rhythm off the tee. He’s found his highest percentage of fairways since 2002, and in recent starts he once again began to shape the ball both ways. “It’s the best I’ve felt with a driver in years,” he said. That control paid off at the Masters, where he opened with 70 and reminded reporters afterward that he’d won three of his four green jackets after posting that first-round score. He continued to climb the board with rounds of 68-67, playing his way into the final threesome Sunday with Tony Finau and Francesco Molinari. During his prime, Woods’ dominance was so oppressive that he stunted the Hall of Fame careers of Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh, but over the past year and a half he’s been vexed by Molinari, the robotic, 5-foot-8-inch Italian who blew past him at Woods’ own tournament outside D.C., stared him down at The Open and then beat him three times at the Ryder Cup in Paris.  But the machine-like Molinari finally malfunctioned in the final round. Staked to a two-shot lead at the start of the day, he snapped a streak of 49 holes without a bogey, then made a critical mistake with an 8-iron into Rae’s Creek on 12, the double bogey erasing his two-shot advantage. Woods pounced on his opponent’s miscues. He landed his tee shot safely in the middle of the green on 12. He needed only an 8-iron into the par-5 13th for a two-putt birdie. And then he grabbed the outright lead for the first time with another stress-free birdie on 15. “Dude, it’s happening!” said a patron as he power-walked toward the 16th tee. “This is history,” said his buddy, stashing his Masters ticket in his pocket, to preserve it for posterity, “and I’m witnessing it with 10,000 of my closest friends.” The exclamation point came on 16, when Woods’ 8-iron caught the slope that bisects the middle of the green. As his ball rolled closer to the cup, the patrons 10 deep rose to their feet, raised their arms in anticipation of an ace, and then put their hands on their heads when it slid past the cup. “This will be biggest roar you’ve ever heard in your life,” said another patron, peering into his binoculars, and sure enough, Augusta National shook, with Woods’ kick-in birdie giving him a two-shot advantage he wouldn’t fully relinquish. Woods closed with 70 and won at 13-under 275, one clear of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Schauffele, and a clear message had been sent. “We’re going to have to step up our games,” said 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed, “because Tiger is back, and he’s proven it this week.” From every corner of Augusta National, patrons young and old descended on the 18th hole, chanting Tiger’s name, in anticipation of a celebration they never could have imagined. They high-fived and hugged and congratulated themselves on their good fortune, and who could blame them? They were here, at the Masters, on the day The Roar returned.last_img read more

Defining Dignity Up

first_img Medicine Defining Dignity UpWesley J. SmithFebruary 10, 2018, 1:48 AM TagsAlzheimer’sanxietyassisted suicidebrain cancerBrittany MaynardCNNdignitydying naturallyexistential fearshospiceillnessIra Byockold agesufferingsuicideTheosVeterans Hospital,Trending Recommended Mom died of Alzheimer’s disease in my home after receiving months of excellent and truly compassionate hospice care that alleviated her physical, mental, and existential symptoms significantly. Mom even had a slight smile on her face at the end.Dad died naturally of cancer in a Veterans Hospital hospice after receiving months of excellent in-home hospice care that helped him live his last months substantially pain free and able to contemplate life’s deepest meanings.Sure, both had difficult times — particularly my mother — as did I in caring for and worrying about them. But that’s part of life.Neither committed suicide by prescribed poisoning nor administered a lethal injection — which we are now told ubiquitously in the media and popular culture, encouraged by assisted suicide advocates, are the true means to “death with dignity.”I bring this up because we rarely see a strong defense of the inherent dignity in natural dying these days. But Theos has published a fine essay in that regard that I hope readers will ponder. From,  “What Does Dignity Really Mean?” (my emphasis):Many of us fear the loss of independence which old age and illness bring. We fear that when we need other people’s help to move around, wash ourselves, feed ourselves we will lose our dignity. That we will lose control of our bladder or bowels and feel humiliated. Of course we do.That fear is a reason for defending the fuller, deeper concept of dignity. Dignity cannot and should not rest wholly or mainly in our ability to make self-optimising choices, or be totally ‘together’, impervious to pain or suffering. If we continue to let the concept of dignity be high-jacked to mean choice and independence we will add to the sufferings of those at the end of life.A non-assisted death is not undignified. No one should feel ashamed of becoming incontinent. Needing the love and care and help of others should be seen as a normal part of the human lifecycle, part of our embodied adventure, not a cause for mental distress. Dignity can be protected and enhanced through tailored, thoughtful, personal palliative care, reassurance, and a sense of humour. Many of our hospices provide dignified deaths day in, day out, helping people feel loved and valued no matter their physical or mental limitations.Absolutely true.When you look at the studies of why people decide to commit assisted suicide or be euthanized, a consistent pattern emerges. It is very rarely about pain that can’t be controlled — despite the euthanasia movement’s fear-mongering about that being the reason to legalize euthanasia.Rather, it involves deep existential fears — primarily (but not exclusively) of losing dignity, meaning a profound worry that we are less worth loving when impaired than we were when healthy.Even the poster woman for legalizing assisted suicide, Brittany Maynard, gave that as one of two primary reasons for her self-termination.Sure, with brain cancer, she worried about suffering. Who wouldn’t? But she never tried hospice and apparently accepted a worst case scenario about what her experience would be — which I suspect the suicide pushers whispered in her ear.And then, she and the assisted suicide movement reacted angrily when good hospice doctors — such as Ira Byock — tried to alert her and the country that death from brain cancer could be peaceful and didn’t have to be a time of uncontrollable suffering.But also note that she worried deeply about being thought of less well by her family after they witnessed her time of dying. From a column by Maynard published by CNN:Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I am likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind. I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that.I did not want this nightmare scenario for my family, so I started researching death with dignity. It is an end-of-life option for mentally competent, terminally ill patients with a prognosis of six months or less to live. It would enable me to use the medical practice of aid in dying: I could request and receive a prescription from a physician for medication that I could self-ingest to end my dying process if it becomes unbearable.I quickly decided that death with dignity was the best option for me and my family.In other words, she was terrified that dying naturally would not have been dignified, and therefore — bluntly stated — she felt the need to put herself out of her family’s misery as an act of love! Imagine how awful that must have felt.And imagine what kind of an abandoning society we will establish if we allow fears of losing dignity or being a burden to become substantially grounded in reality and accepted as the norm to justify support for suicide.How often do we hear the ill, elderly, and people with disabilities worry about being a burden or losing dignity? Isn’t that another way of saying we worry that we are no longer worthy of being loved unconditionally? Isn’t it a fear of being considered of reduced value when we need care or if our condition causes our family grief and anxiety? Isn’t it to accept that once we are not as good looking as we were when healthy and may have some odor issues, the time has come to go?And then, when such concerns make people suicidal, we coldly offer “choice” instead of suicide prevention and other ameliorating interventions.That’s not on people who have those fears. It is on us for creating a society in which people so readily believe that suicide, rather than dying naturally with proper care, is the “dignified” way out.Photo credit: Jan McLaughlin, via Flickr.Cross-posted at The Corner.  Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharecenter_img Wesley J. SmithChair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human ExceptionalismWesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.Follow WesleyProfileTwitterFacebook Share “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Culture & Ethics 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

On the Evolution of Automobiles

first_imgEvolution Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Photo: Tesla factory, by Steve Jurvetson / CC BY.In the second half of my new video Why Evolution is Different, I point out how similar the fossil record is to the history of human technology. In automobile evolution, for example (or in the evolution of software), as in the history of life, we see major new features appear suddenly, because gradual transitions would necessarily involve the development of new, but not yet useful, features. Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos 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 Harder, Not Easier to Explain Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man The movie now has Spanish subtitles, by the way. Press CC to see them. This translation was done by myself and Fabian Fuentes. Tagsautomobilescar factorycarsdevolutionevolutionFabian Fuentesfossil recordHouston Baptist Universityhumansintelligent designreproductionsoftwareSpanishsubtitlesWhy Evolution Is Different,Trending “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Intelligent Design On the Evolution of AutomobilesGranville SewellJuly 13, 2020, 4:58 PM Darwinists believe that the ability of living things to reproduce is what makes it possible to explain them without design. It actually makes them even harder to explain.  I made this point at a meeting at Houston Baptist University in September 2015, and at the end someone said, “But of course cars cannot evolve because they cannot reproduce.” I believe I simply replied, that’s not really relevant to the main point I am making. But in the new video I have a better answer (beginning at the 19:39 mark), which makes an important but simple point not often discussed: Recommended Some people say, Of course cars cannot evolve because they cannot reproduce.Well, designing any type of self-replicating machine is still far beyond our current technology. When we add technology to such a machine, to get closer to the goal of reproduction, we only move the goalposts, because now we have a more complicated machine to reproduce. So how could we imagine that such a machine could have arisen by pure chance? Nevertheless, imagine that we did manage to construct a fleet of cars that contained completely automated car-building factories inside, with the ability to construct new cars — and not just normal new cars, but new cars containing automated car-building factories inside them. If we left these cars alone and let them reproduce themselves for many generations, is there any chance we would eventually see major advances arise through natural selection of the resulting duplication errors? Of course not! We could confidently predict that the whole process would grind to a halt after a few generations without intelligent humans around to fix the mechanical problems that would inevitably arise, long before we saw duplication errors which held any promise of advances: devolution is natural, evolution is not. That it seems even superficially plausible that random mutations could produce major improvements relies completely on the observed but inexplicable fact that while they are awaiting rare favorable mutations, living species are able to preserve their complex structures and pass them on to their descendants without significant degradation, generation after generation. We are so used to seeing this happen that we don’t appreciate how astonishing it really is. But if we saw cars reproducing themselves, generation after generation, we might conclude that this actually made the development of cars even more difficult to explain without design. Granville SewellGranville Sewell is professor of mathematics at the University of Texas El Paso. He has written four books on numerical analysis, most recently Solving Partial Differential Equation Applications with PDE2D, John Wiley, 2018. In addition to his years at UTEP, has been employed by Universidad Simon Bolivar (Caracas), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Purdue University, IMSL Inc., The University of Texas Center for High Performance Computing and Texas A&M University, and spent a semester (1999) at Universidad Nacional de Tucuman on a Fulbright scholarship, and another semester (2019) at the UNAM Centro de Geociencas in Queretaro, Mexico. Sharelast_img read more

Determinism: Smart People and an Absurd Claim

first_imgPhysics, Earth & Space Determinism: Smart People and an Absurd ClaimCornelius HunterOctober 22, 2020, 6:51 AM Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share “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 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 Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis But why is that true? Hossenfelder makes the Humean appeal to the laws of nature. They show how systems evolve deterministically, so therefore the data from our personal experience must be false. Hossenfelder fails to see the unjustified leap she has made. She has declared the laws of nature to be authoritative without justification. Recommended Tagsanti-realismBig BangbrainsCorinthiansDavid Humedeterminismevolutionfree willhumansillusionintellectual necessity argumentJohn Earmanknowledgelaws of naturemiraclesparticlesPierre-Simon LaplaceSabine HossenfelderSt. Paultheoretical physicstruth,Trending This brings us to the second problem with Hossenfelder’s determinism, which is her many truth claims. As she explains above, “the whole story of the universe in every single detail was determined already at the Big Bang.” But if that is true then Hossenfelder cannot know anything. Everything she has typed out was, well, pre-determined by some initial conditions and some blind natural laws. Cornelius G. HunterFellow, Center for Science and CultureCornelius G. Hunter is a graduate of the University of Illinois where he earned a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Computational Biology. He is Adjunct Professor at Biola University and author of the award-winning Darwin’s God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil. Hunter’s other books include Darwin’s Proof, and his newest book Science’s Blind Spot (Baker/Brazos Press). Dr. Hunter’s interest in the theory of evolution involves the historical and theological, as well as scientific, aspects of the theory. His blog is Darwin’s God. Share Why should Hossenfelder think for a moment that anything that occurs to her has any correspondence to truth? Above she made the classic intellectual necessity argument but, in fact, it is precisely the opposite. Her determinism undercuts her many truth claims, and knowledge in general. The End of Knowledgecenter_img These laws have the common property that if you have an initial condition at one moment in time, for example the exact details of the particles in your brain and all your brain’s inputs, then you can calculate what happens at any other moment in time from those initial conditions. This means in a nutshell that the whole story of the universe in every single detail was determined already at the big bang. We are just watching it play out. An Unjustified Leap As if sensing a problem Hossenfelder attempts to justify her leap. She explains that “These deterministic laws of nature apply to you and your brain because you are made of particles,” and that “we know that brains are made of particles.” Furthermore, “the laws of nature that we know describe humans on the fundamental level.” But rather than saving the theory, Hossenfelder is merely digging deeper into the fallacy, as she simply begs the question. These are all non-empirical truth claims that are beholden to the assumption of determinism. She simply asserts these claims, but why should we believe any of them are true? The first problem with Hossenfelder’s sophism is that it is non-empirical. We experience free will continually in our personal experience. Hossenfelder’s claim amounts to a denial of untold mountains of evidence. Hossenfelder’s predictable solution is anti-realism. The problem, according to determinists such as Hossenfelder, is that our experience is uniformly false. We may think we have free will, but that is nothing more than an illusion. Yet Hossenfelder is supremely confident in her finding. Drop this free will nonsense, she warns, or “you will never understand how the universe really works.” This is the classic intellectual necessity argument, so common in the evolution literature. In this case it is determinism that is required for scientific progress and truth. Hossenfelder has identified a conflict: our experience says one thing, and the laws of nature say the opposite. Something must give, and Hossenfelder unilaterally and without justification concludes that the laws of nature win out. The fallacy is reminiscent of Hume’s argument against miracles that John Earman demolished twenty years ago. The Intellectual Necessity Argument Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Photo: Sabine Hossenfelder, by HossenfelderS, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons.As noted here yesterday, theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder has become the latest in a long line of smart people to make the absurd claim of determinism (see her blog or video), and that therefore there is no such thing as free will. This silliness traces at least as far back as Laplace and is based on the idea that any system evolves from time point 1 to time point 2 according to the laws of nature. As Hossenfelder puts it: There would be no reason to think anything we ever generate has any particular truth value. For instance, I could decide to type 2+2=5. In fact, there I did it. But of course, Hossenfelder would say that sentence was all preordained. She also would say it is not true. So certainly preordained sentences are not necessarily true. In fact, for Hossenfelder our notions, thoughts, commitments, and conclusions are merely a consequence of the arrangement of particles in our heads. Why should we think they would be true, if there even is such a thing? Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Hossenfelder’s conclusion, that “the whole story of the universe in every single detail was determined already at the Big Bang. We are just watching it play out” is fitting. For it is the ultimate in meaningless, trivialization of the profound. She is mired in the absurd. Hossenfelder is the best and the brightest — a cutting-edge theoretical physicist. The wisest that the world has to offer and look where she has landed. As Paul informed the Corinthians in the introduction of his first letter to them, God made foolish the wisdom of this world.last_img read more

Schutt Selected to Fill In for Steenson as HD 8 Legislator

first_imgThe Flathead County Commission has appointed Bryan Schutt as the interim legislator for Kalispell’s House District 8. Schutt, a Democrat running for the HD 8 seat in November, was chosen during an August 2 meeting to fill in for Cheryl Steenson, the former legislator holding the seat, after she resigned her post in July to take a teaching job in Colombia. Secretary of State Linda McCulloch received Steenson’s letter of resignation July 20. State law mandates that when a legislator steps down or is otherwise unable to perform their duties, the county central committee of the lawmaker’s party, in this case Democrats, provides the county commission with a list of three nominees to fill the vacancy within 45 days. The commission must make its selection within 15 days of receiving that list and notify the secretary of state. Since Joe Brenneman is the sole Democrat serving on the county commission, the other commissioners deferred to him, allowing him to choose from a list that also named Eve Dixon and John de Neeve. According to a letter from Scott Wheeler, chairman of the Flathead County Democratic Party, the three names were voted on with secret ballots during a recent meeting of the central committee. Schutt found out two days later he had been appointed the interim HD 8 representative, and as of last week had not yet taken his oath of office. Though some legislative committees are holding hearings in the interim before the next session, in January, Steenson’s seat on the House Appropriations Committee is not scheduled to meet – which means Schutt might not have that much to do. “It’s quite possible that there may be no legislative duties between now and Nov. 3,” Schutt said. House District 8, which encompasses downtown Kalispell, regularly swings from Democratic to Republican control. In 2008 Steenson defeated incumbent Republican Craig Witte by just 14 votes, evidence that even a small advantage could be helpful in winning the seat. But Schutt said he was concerned, should he be listed as an incumbent on the ballot in November, it could prove a disadvantage in the current electoral climate. “I didn’t want the position if it was listed as ‘incumbent,’ because I think it’s going to be a tough year on incumbents,” he said. (Schutt will not be listed as an incumbent.) With the House currently split 50-50, virtually any House race could hand either party the majority, making HD 8 a key election. Despite what is likely to be a close election, both Schutt’s opponents – Republican Steve Lavin and Independent Bill Jones said they felt the legislative vacancy had been handled properly. “I expected it,” Lavin said. “I believe it would have been the same way if a Republican would have stepped away from the seat.” “I feel it’s good the Flathead’s represented; I would encourage him to start attending committee hearings,” Jones said. “What would be inappropriate would be to let it sit there blank.” As for whether holding the seat for a few months could give him an edge, Schutt wasn’t sure. “How many people will it influence?” Schutt said. “Eh. Maybe a few – but a few can be all it takes to win HD 8.” Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Emaillast_img read more

Northwest Montana Poaching Probe Leads to Law Officers

first_imgAn investigation into the apparent illegal shooting of a moose in northwestern Montana has brought to light possible hunting violations by Lake County law enforcement officers, state Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said.Jesse Jacobs was charged Aug. 3 with two counts of unlawful possession of a game animal. He made a brief appearance Thursday before District Judge Ted Lympus in Kalispell.Prosecutors allege Jacobs shot a moose in 2005 and then asked a Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal member for his permit. Officials say Jacobs gave the tribal member the meat while he kept the head and antlers for a wall mount, the Daily Inter Lake reports.Jacobs was briefly in the Lake County sheriff’s office reserve training program at the time.FWP Warden Capt. Lee Anderson said the case against Jacobs “brought light” to possible violations committed by Lake County law officers.“We’ve got an investigation going on into alleged illegal hunting activities in Lake County involving law enforcement,” Anderson said. He would not comment on how many people might be involved.Court records say an anonymous tip received last March led to the investigation of Jacobs. Interviews with his ex-wife and a man who helped him retrieve the moose led to the charges.A Montana assistant attorney general is prosecuting the case.Lake County Sheriff Lucky Larson said Jacobs had only been in the department’s reserve training program for a few weeks when he left. Larson said he could not comment on why Jacobs left.Larson said he is aware of the larger investigation. Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.last_img read more