Bjorn leads after course-record 62 at BMW PGA

first_imgVIRGINIA WATER, England – Thomas Bjorn set a course record at Wentworth with a 10-under-par 62 on the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship on Thursday. Bjorn grabbed an eagle and seven birdies to end his round two shots clear of Shane Lowry of Ireland, who shot 64 on the West Course. However, poor weather forced two separate delays totaling nearly two hours in the European Tour’s flagship event, and darkness halted play with 33 in the 150-man field yet to complete their first round. It is the third occasion in Bjorn’s 21-year European Tour career he’s shot a round of 62, and the Dane rated it the best in his 434 tournaments. ”Absolutely,” he said. ”You can’t ask for much more.” BMW PGA Championship full-field leaderboard BMW PGA Championship: Articles, videos and photos Bjorn is contesting his 17th BMW PGA, with his best finish being a share of fifth in 1988, and comes after he missed the cut in the Spanish Open last week with 75-78. ”Last week was awful, and I was starting to feel a bit frustrated with things, and to be honest in practice, it hasn’t been great, either,” he said. ”So … today is a little bit surprising. ”I haven’t had the best record here. I haven’t had the best round here. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually had any sort of result on this golf course. It’s not a place when I come in here, I think, ‘Oh, this is going to be a great week.’ I guess I’ve got to start sticking my head down for the rest of the week.” Lowry produced his best round since a Carnoustie course-record 64 last October in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He made only 25 putts with an old putter he found in his Dublin apartment. ”I have been messing about here and there with putters, and pulled this one out, got the cobwebs off it,” he said. Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain was alone in third place with a 65, and Gary Stal of France made the most of his last minute call-up by shooting a 66. Stal was first reserve for the event, and took the place of countryman Victor Dubuisson, who pulled out injured. Rory McIlroy’s 4-under 68 included holing his second shot for eagle at the par-four seventh hole, and landing his second shot to within six inches for eagle at the par-five 12th. ”The two eagles helped, and it’s a good round for me around this place,” he said. ”It’s a place I’ve notoriously struggled on, but it was good to shoot something in the sixties.” Henrik Stenson, who can become the new world No. 1 with a good result, also carded 68. However, defending champion Matteo Manassero of Italy slumped to an 8-over 80 that included a quadruple-bogey nine at the 17th.last_img read more

CJ Smith looking to fulfill big dreams

first_imgAdditionally, Smith said he considered becoming a politician someday.“If that was an option after a lot of years of practicing law, I think that would be pretty interesting thing to be involved with,” Smith said. “It is not an easy path to take, especially in the U.S. It takes a lot of money, and it takes a lot of connections to get involved with at a high level. But I think that it would be great to have an influence on not just on my friends but the nation as a whole.”Kaci Smith said she believes her son would be a great politician.“I could definitely see him go down that path,” Smith’s mother said. “He’s very composed, and he also does his homework, too. What I mean by that is he doesn’t just go give an opinion on something unless he has checked out what that opinion really means. I think that’s really important for a politician.”Smith’s younger brother, Grant, a swimmer for Davidson, said his brother represents himself very well.“CJ always knows when to take a backseat and be an observer,” Grant Smith said. “He also knows when to speak his mind. A lot of people look up to him for that. I don’t know if he realizes how many people look up to him, but he’s just a natural born leader.”Swimming dreamsBesides taking a year off to prep for the LSAT, Smith will be training to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics.He said the trial is a little bit away, but it comes up soon, and he wants to be ready for it. “Right now, even if I am a few seconds behind [a qualifying time], obviously I don’t want to cut myself short. The big goal for me has always been to represent the United States. I don’t want to quit swimming knowing that I feel like I have the potential to reach that,” Smith said.Grant Smith said if his brother does realize his goal of representing the United States in the Olympics, he wouldn’t know how to describe his feelings exactly. In high school, he said his brother wasn’t in contention to qualify for the Illinois state meet, but he left as one of the best 500-yard freestylers.“I think there would be so much joy knowing that his work really did pay off,” Grant Smith said. “Even if he doesn’t make the Olympics, he should be proud of what he has accomplished in the sport of swimming.”But before the Olympic trials, Smith has another important meet to focus on. He’ll have about three weeks off before the NCAA championships.However, no matter how he performs or what the legacy that Smith may leave behind at Minnesota, his parents will always be proud of him.“We are extremely thankful for the opportunity that he has been given,” said Smith’s father, Chris. “It means a lot to us that he is very devoted to the program. He has probably got as much out of it as he has given back. I think he wants to leave the program better than [when] he came there, and I hope that’s what happens.” CJ Smith looking to fulfill big dreamsSenior swimmer CJ Smith is an All-American for the Gophers.James HealyCJ Smith will compete in his fourth consecutive NCAA championships later this month. Danny ChenMarch 4, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintIt takes a lot of commitment to become an All-American at the Division I level.For senior CJ Smith, his desire to be the best started before he even stepped on campus.As a high school swimmer, Smith didn’t miss a single practice in all four years of his career.“I’ve never seen somebody who has been so dedicated and works hard on his own. We never, ever, ever had to tell him to go to practice. Not once in his entire life,” said Kaci Smith, CJ’s mother.Smith’s commitment to swimming has taken him to his fourth-consecutive NCAA championships, where he’ll compete later this month.“He just continues to do for the Gophers what he [has done] for the last three years, finishing up his fourth year,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “There is no question about it that he is dependable. He’s a heck of a swimmer, and I know he’ll finish his career strong in the NCAAs.”Smith completed his final Big Ten championships last month, and he has one more collegiate meet that could add on to his legacy here at Minnesota.Beyond that, Smith has already made plans — law school.Career aspirationsRecently, Smith has spent summers working at the State Fair in the entertainment department.“I got to meet some of the agents for musicians,” Smith said. “I know that I want to be in the field of law, and I have set my sights on it; and that is one of my goals.”His acquaintance with the agents sparked his interest in representing athletes in the future.“Being an agent is a really interesting line of work,” Smith said. “It’s one of those things where the effort you put in is what you are going to get out. You chase people, and you want to represent them. And if you show them that you have a real passion for it, then they are going to let you represent them as an agent.”Chris and Kaci Smith, CJ’s parents, said they support his decision whole-heartedly.“We learned to never doubt his ability or his desire to want to pursue something,” Chris Smith said. “He’s always been so focused on things that if [being a sports agent] is what he wants to do, we know that he will be successful at it.”Smith said after he graduates, he will use the following year to study for the Law School Admission Test or LSAT.last_img read more

Will Ravens rise to occasion after tumultuous week?

first_imgA national audience will be hoping the Ravens fail when they take on the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.Virtually everyone outside Baltimore will be rooting against an organization viewed in a negative light for its handling of the Ray Rice saga over the last seven months before the ultimate release of the disgraced running back earlier this week. The integrity of the organization has come into question as owner Steve Bisciotti acknowledged in a letter Tuesday that the Ravens needed to do more to investigate what happened between Rice and then-fiancée Janay Palmer instead of simply deferring to the New Jersey legal system.Needless to say, it’s been a rocky 19 months for the Ravens since winning Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, 2013. In addition to Rice, four players on the current 53-man roster were arrested this offseason while there have been other examples of questionable choices — don’t tell me you’ve forgotten the “Sweet Pea” saga — over the last 12 months or so.The former heart and soul of the Ravens — Ray Lewis and Ed Reed — have both questioned leadership at different times over the last calendar year. The roster turnover has been clear with only 25 members of the current 53-man roster having been with the organization for Super Bowl XLVII. Veteran leaders have departed in addition to Lewis and Reed, including Anquan Boldin and Matt Birk.And even if too much emphasis is put on the impact of leadership and off-field issues in terms of on-field results, Baltimore has gone a mediocre 8-9 in the regular season since raising the Vince Lombardi Trophy in New Orleans. However you want to explain it, the Ravens haven’t been particularly good since winning their second NFL championship.Is it fair to ask if the Ravens, who long held an excellent reputation, have lost their way? There’s little disputing that the aura of the organization has taken a severe hit over how it handled the Rice situation over these last seven months.“I don’t think of it that way,” said head coach John Harbaugh when asked if he’s concerned about the Ravens’ image taking a hit. “You do your best with the situations that are put before you and try to handle things the right way and do the right thing.”Shifting their attention back to the field after a few difficult days, the Ravens are as close as you get to facing a “must-win” game in Week 2 as they’ve already lost to the Cincinnati Bengals and would fall to 0-2 with a defeat to the hated Steelers Thursday night. According to NFL Network research, no team has ever made the playoffs after dropping two divisional games at home to start a season.Under Harbaugh, the Ravens have dealt with difficult losses before and have consistently answered the bell in the face of adversity. But Rice’s release stems from something that goes beyond football or the business of the salary cap. It isn’t the loss of a standout player because of retirement or a season-ending injury but due to his cruel actions that the entire world saw on video Monday morning.And players have faced more questions about Rice than ones about what it will take to slow Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers this week. The focus began to shift on Tuesday when some semblance of normalcy — in the context of preparing for a football game, of course — returned to the facility in Owings Mills, but the challenge of playing on a short week is hefty enough despite the Ravens owning the home-field advantage and seeing a familiar opponent.“We’re going to be playing really soon, so we have to get our minds right,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “But more importantly, we have to do everything we can to physically feel good by the time that whistle blows on Thursday night, and that’s what we’re doing.”While everyone else will be talking about the individual who is no longer with the organization on Thursday night, the Ravens must focus on getting off to a much quicker start offensively while also trying to slow a Steelers offense that produced 30 points and 490 yards against what was expected to be a good Cleveland defense last week. The general consensus among the so-called experts before the season was that Baltimore and Pittsburgh were fairly evenly matched — both finished 8-8 last year — so the the Ravens will need to hold serve on their home field and put the bad taste of last week’s loss behind them.Over the course of his seven-year run in Baltimore, Harbaugh has typically been able to rally his team in these types of games to perform at their best and secure a much-needed win. But he hasn’t dealt with a situation quite like this before.And there is evidence of cracks in the foundation — both on and off the field — since the Ravens reached the pinnacle of the NFL less than two years ago. We saw it late last year when the Ravens were 8-6 and needed only one win to secure their sixth consecutive trip to the postseason before losing their final two games by a combined 51 points.A win calms nerves and puts the Ravens back at .500 as they receive the extra rest that follows a Thursday night game before preparing for a third straight division game. A defeat puts the Ravens in an early-season hole in the AFC North while the rest of the world mocks their misfortune.The best teams come together under these circumstances, even when their organization is guilty of its own mistakes as the Ravens were with Rice. The lesser ones wilt under such adversity.The Ravens know they already face a crucial game Thursday with the season less than a week old. They’re out to prove they haven’t lost their way on the field.“It’s everything. You don’t want to come out of an 0-2 hole, especially giving up two at home,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “Wins in the NFL are hard to come by, so that’s why you’ve got to win your home games. We unfortunately dropped one; [the Bengals] cashed in and they won one — a division game. We’ve definitely got to cover up some ground, but it all starts with this one on Thursday.”last_img read more

Simpson conquers the weather at Emerald

first_imgPSC golf from The Beaver Bar & GrillInclement weather did not stop the hearty souls of the Beaver Bar & Grill weekly golfers from taking on Emerald Golf Club on Friday, Sept. 13.  At tee-off time, mild showers greeted each group starting out but the inclement weather receded as the players progressed through their rounds.  Emerald Golf Club continues with their reconstructing of their fairways in front of the greens creating additional challenges for all golfers.  Even with all the hindrances, Paul Simpson carded 38 stableford points to take top honors, with Jeff Moodie taking second place on 36.  Nearest to the pin was hole 13 with the Beaver Bar winning as all the players missed the green.After golf, all returned to the Beaver Bar &Grill for lunch and refreshments.  Larry wishes to again thank all the players attending. Paul Simpsonlast_img read more

Manchester United ready to splash £50m on Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld

first_imgMANCHESTER UNITED are ready to launch a £50m bid for Toby Alderweireld this week – and offer him a bumper deal to entice him away from Tottenham.The Belgian defender is stalling on a new Spurs contract at present, and looks set to be sold this summer.2 Toby Alderweireld joined Tottenham in 2015 but Manchester United are keen to sign the defenderCredit: REUTERSUnited boss Jose Mourinho is a huge admirer of the 29-year-old, and has scouted him for a number of seasons.And the Red Devils chief is looking to make a huge offer to land his target, and sure-up his defence.A United insider said: “The manager considers the player one of the best in the world in his position.”The club know there could be a bargain to be had. He is an unbelievable talent for the money.MOST READ IN FOOTBALLLive BlogBLUES NEWSChelsea news LIVE: Follow all the latest updates from Stamford BridgeLive BlogUNITED LIVEMan Utd news LIVE: All the latest updates and transfer gossip from Old TraffordLive BlogBLUES NEWSChelsea transfer news LIVE: Havertz deal LATEST, Willian move updatesLive BlogUNITED LATESTMan Utd transfer news LIVE: All the gossip and updates from Old TraffordLive Bloggunners newsArsenal transfer news LIVE – Latest updates from the EmiratesAZPI BETTERAzpilicueta reveals turning off phone saved his season after horror startART ATTACKInside Arsenal’s celebrations as Arteta is showered with champagne as he dancesLive BlogTRANSFER NEWS LIVEStones update, Sancho latest, Havertz to Chelsea news”His wages certainly aren’t a problem for United. They know they can pay what he wants if they have to.”There is a feeling Alderweireld would still like to stay at Spurs if they decide to meet with his demands.”Alderweireld is demanding Spurs double his £50,000-a-week wages to put him near parity with top-earner Harry Kane.United have no issues giving him a hefty amount on top of that though, as the Old Trafford wage structure is more flexible.Tottenham, Man United, PSG… where does Toby Alderweireld’s future lie? 2 Alderweireld could be on his way to Old Trafford after refusing to sign a new contract at TottenhamCredit: PA:Press AssociationBut if he does decide to stay at White Hart Lane, the Red Devils will not come back in for him.It is thought there is also a clause in his contract that will allow him to leave on the cheap next season.DANE DEAL Real Madrid to battle Barcelona for Tottenham ace Christian Eriksen as they seek Luka Modric replacementTottenham chiefs are understood to be willing to let Alderweireld leave, depending on the offer.Spurs are keen on Anthony Martial, and would like the French winger as part exchange of any deal.Football legends look ahead to the FIFA World Cup in Russialast_img read more

DONEGAL CREAMERIES BEGIN TO SEE SOME GREEN SHOOTS

first_imgDonegal Creameries has said its performance is broadly on plan for the first five months of 2013 but said it remains cautious for the rest of the year.Chairman Geoffrey Vance said its reliance on revenues from its produce unit during the final quarter made it difficult to say with any authority how it would perform for the year as a whole.Mr Vance described 2012 as a “transformational” year for the group, following the disposal of its liquid milk and agri-food business a year earlier. The company announced a pre-tax profit of €4.65 million for 2012 with revenues up 16.9 per cent to €80.5 million.This was not helped by the extreme weather conditions experienced last year that had a negative impact on the group’s produce business which was partially offset by an increased demand in its Food-Agri business.The company has operations in Ireland, the UK, Holland and Brazil, Donegal Creameries and operates across agri-inputs, produce, property and other investments.Mr Vance told the annual general meeting the board remained excited about the mix of its businesses. It is also optimistic about the global potential of the company’s produce business, the high growth being delivered in its niche dairy business and the ability of the rest of its businesses and assets to provide cash for growth. DONEGAL CREAMERIES BEGIN TO SEE SOME GREEN SHOOTS was last modified: July 3rd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:AGMDonegal Creameriesprofitslast_img read more