England’s Scott Gregory has taken a successful step on his way to The Masters with victory in the annual clash of the British and US amateur champions. The 22-year-old international won a thriller against Australia’s Curtis Luck, snatching the Georgia Cup on the first play-off hole at the Golf Club of Georgia. Gregory, from Corhampton Golf Club in Hampshire, had to wait until the 17th to get his nose in front in the match and was then pulled back to all square on the 18th. But when he got his chance on the next he grabbed it. The match was part of Gregory’s carefully planned warm-up for The Masters, where he’s earned his place alongside the giants of the game by virtue of his Amateur Championship win at Royal Porthcawl last June. His invitation arrived when he was representing England Golf on a winter tour of Australia and he says: “My girlfriend opened it for me on Facetime! Now I’ve got it up on the wall in a display frame and it looks quality.” Since he returned from Australia in early February, with a win in the New South Wales Amateur, he’s been preparing for his Augusta adventure. He’s already been in the States for almost two weeks and now he’s at Augusta National for three days of practice before the arrival of his coach, Simon Andrews from the Portsmouth Golf Centre. Then, the plan is for a weekend off before Masters’ week begins. Andrews will be at his side throughout the championship and Gregory is also importing a solid band of supporters of family and friends. He’ll also be drawing on the advice of a fellow Hampshire man, England Golf Ambassador and Olympic champion Justin Rose. “He has been very helpful to me recently with little words of encouragement,” said Gregory. They played a practice round at last summer’s Open championship and now Gregory is hoping they’ll be grouped together in the par three competition which precedes the championship. He’s also hoping to snatch a few practice holes with Masters’ legend Fred Couples, among others. “It will be exciting to see what it’s like,” he said. “It’s something I’ve watched on TV for years and it’s going to be cool to be there.” Gregory’s first goal is to make the cut and then aim to be low amateur. “I think that’s something I can do and once you make the cut the doors are open,” he said. He spills over with Masters memories from years of television viewing, picking out his personal highlights as Tiger Woods’ chip-in on 16 in 2005; Charl Schwartzel’s four consecutive birdies to win in 2011; Adam Scott’s winning putt in the 2013 play-off; and Jordan Speith’s dominance over the last three years, never finishing worse than second. Now, he makes his own way down Magnolia Lane – the reward for many years of very hard work. Gregory first hit a golf ball when he was about five and his father took him to the driving range. He was scratch by 16, but says he didn’t become ‘good’ until he was 18. By then he had teamed up with his coach, Andrews, made a lot of swing changes and started going to the gym to put on muscle. The aim was a place in an England squad and his results – including reaching the final of the 2014 English amateur – soon played him in. The England Golf support has played its part in many ways, helping him with preparation, more structured practice and access to top coaches. “Graham Walker (the England Golf men’s squad coach) has been incredible for helping me with my short game. It’s come on a ridiculous amount since I’ve been in an England squad,” said Gregory. Caption: Scott Gregory pictured after winning the Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl (Image © The R&A) 29 Mar 2017 England’s Gregory takes a winning step towards The Masters
Claire Dowling was one of the best golfers of her generation, who won five Irish championships, a British title and was selected for four Curtis Cup teams. Now she’s at the forefront again, this time in the world of rules and refereeing. She’s Deputy Chair of The R&A Rules Committee and has been closely involved with the creation of the new rules which come into force next year. She’s also just refereed at The Open and is on duty again this week at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. Here’s her story.How did you get started?My father ran the John Jacobs Golf Centre at Leopardstown, Dublin. It was really a case of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. He was a very keen golfer, still playing off 12 at the age of 80. My mother worked with him and so, as an only child, I found myself spending every weekend at the golf centre doing odd jobs. Every now and again, out of complete boredom, I would pick up a club and a basket of balls and take myself off to hit them. I was anything but sporty and would far rather have had my head stuck in a book.I developed a sudden rush of enthusiasm for golf when this lovely looking chap started to practice at the golf centre, he was gorgeous. He was a keen golfer and practiced a lot so every time he appeared I would ‘casually’ go out to practice too! Sadly he was about ten years older than me, a lot when one is a young teenager, and he had a very glamorous girl-friend, but I hit a lot of golf balls that winter. We became and remained good friends until his untimely death aged 62.What do you love about golf?Tough question. It’s great fun at any level, and for those who are very competitive it is a great test of mental strength as well as skill. It is one of the few sports where players of any age and ability can play together and still have a reasonable game, because of the handicap system. I have been incredibly lucky to have played when I did, I travelled the world and made lots of friends, and in fact I still do, though through my rules involvement, rather than playing.How did your interest in the rules develop? Was it a natural progression from your playing days?Not really. When living in the Midlands I became involved in handicapping at my club and within the county due to the fact that I had worked at Wentworth as Competition and Handicap Administrator. In 2009 I was invited on to the EWGA (English Women’s Golf Association) Handicap Committee and when the committee needed another rules qualified person, I was sent to the R&A’s Referees and Rules School at St Andrews. A brilliant few days but a very daunting exam! My very first event as a rules official was the English Women’s Championship at Broadstone in 2010.What’s the appeal of the rules and refereeing?Like any volunteering in sport, you meet interesting people and make friends, you stay involved in the game, you see great golf, and occasionally you can help someone. Both Peter, my husband, and myself love doing junior events where you feel you really can help the youngsters, as opposed to senior events where the only thing we seem to do is try and deal with pace of play. It is also a mental challenge.Best refereeing moment?It wasn’t really a refereeing moment as such, but I did find it highly amusing when Simon Khan asked me if I carried a mirror while I was refereeing his game at the Open in 2011. He was having a problem with his contact lens.Worst refereeing moment?Making a mistake and getting it wrong! Happens to all of us because the rules are not simple. However we can still get the simple ones wrong! The first ruling I ever gave was relief for a ball on a sprinkler head beside a green. I made the player drop at the nearest point of relief and didn’t give her the extra club length because I got mixed up between Rule 24-2 (interference) and the local rule for intervention within two club lengths of a putting green. Fortunately it didn’t have any adverse effect as she was dropping just off the green and was able to putt. The extra club length would have made little or no difference to her line or lie.Over-riding memory of refereeing at The Open?Being so petrified on the first tee at Royal St George’s in 2011 I was incapable of speech. Once over that it is the most amazing experience walking down the fairways with the very best players in the world. Hearing the roars from the stands while walking up the 18th is quite extraordinary.Who did you referee at Carnoustie?I had an amazing week at the Open and refereed Ernie Els on Thursday, Sandy Lyle and Martin Kaymer on Friday, Rory McIlroy on Saturday and Adam Scott on Sunday. It was a nice connection having Ernie as I had refereed his nephew, Jovan Rebula, in the final of the Amateur Championship three weeks previously (Jovan became the first South African to win the title). Such a nice lad and a swing to die for. Sandy’s round was especially memorable because it was his last in the Open.What do you enjoy about refereeing at The Ricoh?Well, similarly to the Open it is marvellous to see the best players in the world close up. Women golfers now are true athletes; they are fit and strong and hit the ball superbly. I am hoping though for a better pace of play than last year. I think it is high time the women realised what a detrimental effect their slow play has on the image of the game, and that it makes very boring viewing for the paying public. Why do they take so long on the greens!!What does your role involve on the Rules Committee?The R&A Rules Committee is a large one due to the fact that there are representatives from various parts of the world: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe, Japan. Also representatives from CONGU, the LET and the PGA European Tour.Our role has been primarily to review the various drafts of the new rules and to consider any issues that occur. A small group in collaboration with the USGA is responsible for drafting the rules which has been a huge job. It is a really interesting time to be on the Rules Committee. Every member of the Committee serves four years. The Chairman comes in as Chairman, and one member of the Committee is invited to be his Deputy and to support him. The Chairman, Deputy Chair, and a third member of the committee sit on a joint Rules Committee with the USGA. I was very surprised to be invited to be Deputy, and I had my first trip to the States in March, to Atlanta, as part of the JRC.What’s been your involvement in the creation of the new rules of golf?I was invited, along with another member of the committee, Roger Bathurst, to be part of a small working group dealing with the Decisions Book. First we mapped the current Decisions to the new rules, and in the process identified those Decisions that would no longer be needed because (a) they had been incorporated into the rules themselves, (b) the rules had changed or (c) the outcome would be different under the new rules. Following that the same group reviewed the drafts of the new publication which will not be called a Decisions Book but will be a new publication including the Rules, Interpretations on the Rules, draft Local Rules and Committee Procedures. It will be a one-stop shop for all committees, rules officials and competition administrators.What’s the best change in your opinion?I couldn’t pick any one rule change as being the best. However the entire process of making the rule book easier to read, in more modern language, and the rules generally simpler is great. Many outcomes will be fairer and more logical under the new rules. Also there is much greater consistency in terms of relief procedures. For example a player will be able to lift or move a loose impediment such as a leaf or twig anywhere on the golf course as long as they don’t move the ball. Many players have fallen foul of the current rule where they cannot touch or move a loose impediment in a bunker or water hazard. It can be a really harsh penalty particularly if it hasn’t improved the situation in the least for the shot they are about to play.I remember many years ago a player in the Irish Ladies’ Championship played a shot from a dry water hazard. As she walked in a small stone lodged in the sole of her shoe, so she casually picked it out and threw it away. She finished the round, signed her card and handed it in. Later someone commented on her action with the stone and it was decided that she had incurred a two stroke penalty for deliberately touching and moving it. She hadn’t realised this at the time and had therefore signed for a wrong score and was disqualified from the championship. Now that was really tough! Currently she wouldn’t be disqualified, that has already changed, but she would have the penalty added to her score. Next year there will be no penalty in such circumstances.Relief procedures will be more consistent and easier for players to understand. At present when a player is entitled to relief without penalty there are some situations when the ball must be dropped as close as possible to where it lay, eg embedded ball, or others where it is dropped within one club length of the nearest point of relief. Although this is ‘free relief’ if the player gets it wrong he will have played from a wrong place for which there is a two stroke penalty. Under the new Rules the player will always drop within a ‘relief area’ within one or two club lengths, depending on whether it is free relief or penalty relief.In terms of language too, the players’ edition will be written in the first person, so much more user friendly. A phrase such as, ‘through the green’, which people really struggled to understand, and which was impossible to translate in some languages has been put into simple language and will now be ‘general area’ The rules are translated into something like 35 different languages, so the words used need to be simple and straightforward.Golf seems to open doors! What would you say to encourage other women to play and get involved in volunteering?Primarily it is fun. Golf offers something for everyone. Whether you want to get to the top of the sport and play professionally, or whether you just want to go for a stroll and a bit of exercise and a chat with your best mate over 9 holes. Great thing about golf is that you can walk and talk. The chat only gets interrupted briefly while you hit the ball! Golf clubs are friendly places where you can make lots of new friends. It’s a fun way to get and stay fit and healthy whatever your age.Volunteering is great fun too. Golf relies on volunteers to look after juniors and beginners, to run competitions and social events at clubs, to run county competitions and look after county squads and teams, to act as rules officials, marshals, captains and so much more.My father said to me when I was young that golf would take me all over the world and I thought he was mad. He was absolutely right, and I imagine he is up there having a good laugh at where I am now.This year alone I have been to Atlanta for a JRC meeting, then to Bangkok and Melbourne doing, ‘Teach The Teachers’ rules seminars with the R&A. I am going to Korea in October to referee a women’s professional event, and I have been up to Scotland several times, not to mention all over England. It is fun!Inspired to Get into Golf? Visit www.getintogolf.org to find free or low cost beginner activities. 5 Aug 2018 Women and Girls’ Golf Week: Claire Dowling, a referee at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, was a top player and is now at the forefront in the word of golf rules. Here’s her story Tags: Get into golf, Girls, Women
100 METERS—Central Valley’s Jordan Whitehead, center, outruns Isaac Elliott, left, of Ambridge and Terry Swanson, right, of Aliquippa to win the 100 meter dash at the MAC Championships at Mars High SchoolTrack and Field roundup at MAC championships at Mars High School. (Photos by William McBride)LONG JUMP—Essence Barron of New Brighton had a leap of 18’2″ to finish 2nd in the Long Jump at the MAC Championships at Mars High School400 RELAY—Central Valley’s Seairra Barrett takes the baton from teammate Nicole Bartoletta as she heads to the finish line to win the 400 relay at the MAC championships at Mars High School (Photos by William McBride)
The Young Guns, coached by Iain Harvey, stayed with Co-op throughout the contest, and with the score tied 6-6 in the final minutes, went ahead for good.Members of the winning Young Guns includes, back row, L-R, Erick Norberg, Luke Mori, Mitch Melanson, Iain Harvey, Kevin Lewis, Simon Sheppard and Andrew Woodward. Front, Louis Loeschnik, Russell Rae, Mitch Popadynetz and Ryan Lewis.The other teams in the running for the Mallard’s honour are:The Scornets, outlasting the Creamers in an upset to claim the Bridge Ladies Rec title; Neon Indians coming out on top of the Finley’s Co-Ed League with a 6-2 win over Marshmellow Conspiracy of Selkirk College and Bia Bora rallying back to defeat Abacus 6-3 in the Jackson’s Hole Masters Men’s Final. Staff and management at Mallard’s Source for Sports didn’t need to look far for potential entrants into this week’s winner of Team of the Week as Soccer Quest concluded the season with its Champions Weekend. No less than four winning teams were crowned this past weekend at Soccer Quest Indoor facility. But the judges went with the Young Guns after the squad knocked off defending champion Kootenay Co-op 8-6 in the final of the Finley’s Men’s Open.
Team BC’s run at the 2016 Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championships in Digby, Nova Scotia ended Saturday morning with a 6-5 loss to Bryan Cochrane of Team Ontario during semi final action.Team BC lost a chance to finish in the medals after dropping a 7-5 decision to Alan O’Leary of Team Nova Scotia in the Bronze Medal match.Meanwhile, Cochrane doubled Randy Neufeld of Team Manitoba 6-3 to capture the 2016 Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championship in the Gold medal game.What’s even more crushing to Skip Bob Ursel and third Dave Stephenson of Kelownaa, second Don Freschi of Trail and lead Fred Thomson of Nelson was the fact Team BC held the advantage with last rock in the final end in semi final action against the eventual 2016 Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Champs.However, Cochrane overcame not having the hammer to steal one and the hearts of Team BC at the same time.”We lost that game by a quarter of an inch,” Ursel’s third, Fred Thomson said following the game.Thomson said Ursel’s first stone in the end caught something on the ice, which put the pressure even more on the Team BC rink.Then with Ursel’s final shot, needing a double takeout to win the game, Team BC’s rock came up ever so close to scoring the winning point.”Bob hit (the stone) where we thought we had to hit it,” Thomson explained. “There wasn’t a measurement, but we both looked at the two stones for a minute before realizing Team Ontario’s rock was shot.”Team BC had the advantage coming home, leading 5-3 after six ends.However, Cochrane scored a deuce in the seventh before completing the comeback with a single in the eighth.Thomson said Team BC third Dave Stephenson, who was injured Friday, played, and played well for the westcoast province. Team BC suffers huge setback, qualifies for playoffs at 2016 Canadian Senior Men’s Curling ChampionshipsJust when everything was going so well . . . well, then this happens.Team BC suffered a huge setback Friday at the 2016 Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championships in Digby, Nova Scotia when third Dave Stephenson injured a knee walking off the ice following the morning draw.“We had just played Team Ontario when Dave stepped in a spot at the end of the sheet with no ice and slipped,” third Fred Thomson of the Bob Ursel rink told The Nelson Daily.“He thought he was okay but while we were eating after he noticed the knee swelled so he went to get it check out.”Turns out Stephenson tweaked something in his knee.Skip Bob Ursel, Stephenson, second Don Freschi of Trail and lead Fred Thomson had just handed Team Ontario an 8-2 thrashing — skip Bryan Cochrane’s only loss of the Championships.However, the injury prevented Stephenson from taking to the ice for Team BC’s final game of the Championships, a 6-0 loss to Team Manitoba — a game that was called after five ends.“We’re hoping Dave is okay for (Saturday),” said Thomson, adding the rink was not really into playing the final game, especially after Stephenson went down.“He’s doing everything he can to be ready for the semi final.”Team BC, finishing with a 7-3 record, advances to the Playoff round as the fourth seed.Team BC, which meets Team Ontario at 5:30 a.m. PDT, moved Thomson to third and called in a spare to play lead against Manitoba.If Stephenson is ready to give it a go, Thomson is confident Team BC has just a good a chance to win the Championship as any of the other three rinks — Team Ontario, Team Nova Scotia and Team Manitoba.“We believe we’re have just a good a chance as any of the team,” Thomson said.“The way we’re curling, especially after the Ontario game, we feel we have a good shot at this.”That’s, of course, with Stephenson healthy playing third. Right now everyone in BC has fingers crossed.
JOCKEY QUOTES RAFAEL BEJARANO, AVANTI BELLO, WINNER: “I thought he rushed too much in his last out at Los Alamitos when I saw it. He still ran well and finished well in the end but I knew (what I would do differently.)“I knew Boozer and Songforjohnmichael were coming from shorter distances and were going to show more speed today. I pretended to go to the lead to make the other horses go, they went and I found my position and waited as long as I could until the right moment. I knew that Soi Phet was going to come running in the end so I wanted to save a little bit.“I thought we won. When we got to the stretch I still had a little horse and he was fine.” DOUG O’NEILL, AVANTI BELLO, WINNER: “Rafael thought he was like riding a bike a little in that you have to keep (his) mind on the game. But, at the same time he’s a horse that is very tempting to shoot off to the lead early with because he has the gate speed. Rafael chose to sit in a reserved spot and when he called on him, he chirped at him he had saved enough for the end.” TRAINER QUOTES NOTES: The winning owners are Steve Keh of Glendale, CA, Jim Richardson of Danville, CA, Pablo Suarez of Valencia, CA, Tom Roberts of Corona, CA and Wonderland Racing Stables of Orange, Connecticut. KENT DESORMEAUX, SOI PHET, SECOND: “Gallant effort, I thought I won. I thought I won.”
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MISS TEMPLE CITY, STEPHANIE SHIH, MEETS MISS TEMPLE CITY, WHO WILL TAKE ON THE BOYS IN $2 MILLION BREEDERS CUP MILE (TURF) AT SANTA ANITA ON SATURDAY, NOV. 5 ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 28, 2016)–Miss Temple City meets Miss Temple City Wednesday at Santa Anita Park. Say what?!That’s right. Miss Temple City, a 17-year-old senior at Temple City High School named Stephanie Shih, will meet the equine Miss Temple City Wednesday morning at The Great Race Place as she readies for an engagement versus males in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (turf).A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by the Dynaformer stallion Temple City, Miss Temple City is owned in-part by her breeder, Bob Feld, himself a Temple City native who now splits time between residences in both nearby Monrovia and Lexington, Ky.“This has just been a dream come true,” said Feld, 54. “I named this filly after my kid’s mother, who actually ran for Miss Temple City when we were kids. I can’t speak for the filly, but I’m really looking forward to meeting Stephanie and hopefully, she’ll bring a bunch of her friends out on Saturday to root her horse on. The whole week is going to be a lot of fun and we can’t wait to get out there and get her ready to run.”Feld also noted that his ownership group, which consists of The Club Racing, LLC and Allen Rosenblum, will present Miss Temple City with a check for $1,000, to be designated for future academic pursuits, on Wednesday.Miss Temple City, the horse, has never been better as she comes off a hard fought head victory versus males in the Grade I, Shadwell Turf Mile on Oct. 8 at Keeneland. Trained by H. Graham Motion, she has won five races from 14 starts and has earning of more than $1.2 million. The Breeders’ Cup Mile will be her first start ever at Santa Anita.