LAKE OCONEE, Ga. – Technically, yes, there was only one winner on Friday at the inaugural Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation, and that man was Jay Woodson. But beyond him, the week was a win for all 40 players who teed it up at the Great Waters Course. Not because they all received consolation ribbons or participation certificates. Not because the 12 finalists that made it to Friday’s final round won money. Not because the competitors and their families spent the week at the Reynolds Plantation Ritz. Those are all victories, but this week was about something bigger than one win, something bigger than one week. To be clear, the $100K first-place prize awarded to Woodson is big. So big, in fact, it’s the largest check he’ll cash thus far in his professional career. At 32, Woodson has Monday qualified into one PGA Tour event (2008 Wyndham Championship) and six Web.com Tour events. Beyond that, he’s spent time competing on the NGA Tour, EGolf Tour and the Pepsi Tour. This season, he finished fourth on the NGA Tour money list, having earned $34,752. Don’t forget about the $850 he made this year in the Carolina Summer Series. While Woodson certainly cashed in this week, the money isn’t what this win is about. “When I started playing golf as a little kid, I never played because I wanted to make a lot of money,” Woodson said. “But, you need to make money to keep playing, so this is huge and it allows us to keep going and keep pursuing our dream. I definitely think I’m capable of [making it on the PGA Tour], so this just gives us a better opportunity.” Opportunity … and a chance to pay some off some debt, his wife Erin joked. “Pay some bills, that kind of pops in our head,” Erin said. “We have a one-year-old son, so just make sure he’s taken care of. It’s probably already spent, but it’ll go to good use.” It was a coincidence that Erin was even here for the biggest payday of her husband’s professional career. Her in-laws and parents pitched in to buy her a last-minute ticket from Richmond, Va., where the Woodsons reside, to Georgia on Thursday to make it just in time to watch Jay – the No. 11 seed – in his match against No. 2 seed Mark Murphy. “He made the cut on the number, and something inside of me just said, ‘That’s where you need to be,'” Erin said. ‘”You need to be there to support him, no matter if he does well, or if he does bad, just moral support.’ So, thank goodness I came, right?” It was a coincidence Erin was with Jay in the winner’s circle on Friday, but it was no coincidence Jay was there after a posting a bogey-free 4-under 68. “I played with Jay on the back nine, and he made some of the most incredible up-and-downs I’ve ever seen,” Mallory Blackwelder (T-5) said. “I was very happy for him. He’s a great guy, super nice to play with.” Perhaps the greatest up-and-down of the day came at the last. Three under heading to the par-5 18th and in the second-to-last group, Woodson knocked his second shot over the green and into a greenside bunker. He hit a near-perfect bunker shot that barely cleared the lip of the bunker, landed on the fringe, and nestled to 6 feet. He drained that for birdie to finish 4 under. “It was severely downhill and I had a downhill lie in the bunker,” Woodson said, “not to mention there was water on the other side [of the green]. … I probably had a 2-foot circle I could land the ball on to get to where it did. I hit a great shot, but I got lucky, too.” Lucky to win, perhaps, even luckier he was able to share this moment with family. With the people who care about him the most – his fellow “Big Break” competitors. Sixteen Big Breakers – a combination of the 11 who played Friday and five others who stuck around all week – gathered on the 18th green Friday night to congratulate Woodson. And it wasn’t just posing for the cameras. They were truly elated for him. “Everybody was really happy for him,” Blackwelder said. “He’s a great guy. … If I couldn’t win, I was happy to see him do it.” Justin Peters, the winner of the first “Big Break,” knows a thing or two about Woodson’s character, and his assessment is all postive. “I’ve known Jay for seven or eight years,” Peters said, “and we’ve been talking about patience all week and making putts. We were both the last two seeds (in match play). I was No. 12 and he was No. 11. We were supposed to both take down the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. He did his job, I didn’t. He finished it off and it was pretty awesome to share that moment with him on the 18th green.” “He is the sweetest, nicest guy in the world,” Mary Narzisi said, “and we were just talking about it. Not many people can be upset with Jay winning this. As a competitor, you always want to be like, ‘I wish that was me.’ But this could not have happened to a better guy.” No better guy and no better way to head into Q-School – with momentum and validation. Woodson heads to first stage of Web.com Q-School next week in Atlanta. Bigger and better things on the horizon for Woodson, and for all the Big Breakers after a feel-good week at Reynolds Plantation. “I think the week was phenomenal, Woodson said. “This is such an awesome tournament. The course was absolutely perfect. All of the volunteers and everyone at Reynolds Plantation and MetLife have been phenomenal. I would play in this event every year if they let me.” Good news, Jay: You’re a lock for 2015. The better news? You’re a member of the Big Break family for life.
In what may be the most accurate real-time picture of Zika activity in Puerto Rico, a sensitive test for screening blood donations shows rapidly rising levels that could result in thousands of infections in pregnant women, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned today.At a media briefing, CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said high levels of Zika activity in the US territory could result in dozens to hundreds of babies born with microcephaly.Puerto Rico has been using a highly sensitive investigational test since Apr 3 to screen local blood collections. Frieden said that though it’s not a stand-in for a serologic survey and doesn’t reflect a random sample, “it gives us a window to see what’s happening with infection rates.” Illnesses probably haven’t peaked yet, and disease activity—in view of dengue and chikungunya patterns—may last through summer and into the fall.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Mar 30 announced that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening test, made by Roche Molecular Systems, could be used under an investigational new drug application (IND) in areas experiencing local Zika transmission. CDC officials today said the FDA’s action doesn’t preclude the test’s use in other settings.Frieden said the test is so sensitive that it can detect even a few copies of the virus in a milliliter of bloodIn Puerto Rico last week, testing showed evidence of Zika virus in 1.1% of blood donations, which were removed from the blood supply. That level was the highest seen so far. Frieden said the proportion of positives has increased steadily since late April. Researchers from Puerto Rico and the CDC published the findings today in an early edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).This level of positive tests, if it continues over many months, points to a substantial threat of infection, especially to pregnant women.Matthew Kuehnert, MD, director of the CDC’s office of blood, organ, and other tissue safety, said the same investigational nucleic acid test is in use at one blood center on the US mainland. So far no positives have been detected in tests on more than 9,000 blood donations, he said.Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center in Houston had announced that it started using the test on May 23. Kuehnert said other blood centers in the southeastern United States are also planning to start using the screening test. Currently, US blood centers are deferring blood donations from those reporting recent travel to countries and territories where the virus is circulating. See also: Jun 17 MMWR report Mar 30 FDA news release
Baker & McKenzie has confirmed its status as the world’s biggest law firm, posting a turnover of $2.54bn (£1.51bn) for the year ended 30 June – its highest-ever sum.Total revenue was up 5% on the previous year as Bakers became the first firm to pass the $2.5bn mark since the global financial crisis. Profits per equity partner increased by 7% to $1.29m (£770,000).Bakers is also the world’s largest firm by headcount, with 4,245 lawyers, 1,430 of whom are partners.Standout practices in 2014 included banking and finance, tax and dispute resolution; with M&A, intellectual property, and trade and commerce also performing strongly.Key deals included: advising Dai-Ichi Life Insurance on its $5.7bn (£3.4bn) acquisition of New York Stock Exchange-listed Protective Life Corporation; acting for Deloitte and the lenders in the $1.1bn (£660m) receivership of the Gherkin; and the $638m (£380m) acquisition of the largest retail pharmacy chains in Mexico and Chile by Alliance Boots.During the year Bakers opened offices in Yangon, Myanmar and Dubai in the UAE. Further expansion into new markets planned for 2015 has already begun with the opening of an office in Brisbane, Australia in July.Firm chairman Eduardo Leite (pictured) said: ‘The market for legal services gets more competitive every year and the last twelve months were no exception, despite an improving global economy.’He said: ‘Baker & McKenzie defined the global law firm in the 20th century, and we are redefining it to meet the challenges of the global economy in the 21st by becoming even more competitive, strategically agile and above all focusing on client satisfaction.‘We have been passionately global since our founding 65 years ago and that is reflected in our continued expansion into new markets, and the recruitment of new lawyers and professionals around the world.’Leite added: ‘We remain confident that the combination of our deep local roots and our strong common global vision, strategy, brand, culture and operating philosophy will continue to reinforce our ambition to lead our profession globally and offer our clients exceptional service wherever they are in the world.’
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 TOMAKOMAI, Hokkaido – Money leader Sakura Yokomine matched the day’s best score to jump into a share of the lead after the second round of the AXA Ladies on Saturday.Yokomine shot a 6-under 66 to tie South Koreans Kim So Hee and Shin Hyun Ju for the lead at 8-under 136 at Tomakomai Golf Resort 72 Emina Golf Club. The 23-year-old perennial title contender had an eagle, five birdies and a bogey in a bid to become the first player to win four events this year. Kim shot a 67 and Shin carded a 70.Sitting one stroke back are Miho Koga (68), Shin Ji Yai (68), Momoko Ueda (69), Shiho Oyama (69) and Lee Ji Hee (71).Overnight coleader Yuko Mitsuka dropped into a tie for 17th at 4-under after a 74.Defending champion Shinobu Moromizato rebounded from an opening 75 to shoot a 66 and share 24th at 3-under. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
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FAIRMONT, Minn. – A company with a long list of IMCA customers has signed on to give awards to rookies of the year and state champions through the 2020 season.Kevko, of Fairmont, Minn., gives claim or crate engine oil pans to IMCA Modified, IMCA Sunoco Stock Car, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod and Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod national rookies of the year.State champions in the same divisions receive $50 product certificates.“IMCA is a huge part of our business. We offer a lot of new products for claim and crate engine drivers,” said Kevko Manager Josh Ruby. “We like being able to commit to a three-year program and supporting two groups of drivers.”“Obviously, we want to support drivers who are new to this sport or new to their division and support them any way we can,” continued Ruby, who races a Modified. “State awards allow us to recognize drivers who race all season. It’s nice to give back to drivers who are out there racing week in and week out.”Kevko certificates will be presented during the national awards banquet in November or mailed beginning the following week from the IMCA office.Product awards to be given at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s include a Mod Rod to champion and a pair of jack stands to the runner-up in the Modified main event and a wheel socket to fourth place finishers in Stock, Hobby and Northern SportMod mains.More information about Kevko oil pans and other high performance parts and accessories is available by calling 800 770-3557, on Facebook and at the www.kevkoracing.com website.“This program has a lot of layers we are really excited about. The three-year commitment demonstrates Kevko’s vision with IMCA and I can’t wait to present a one-of-a-kind Mod Rod to the champion in Boone,” IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder said. “It will be a moment to capture for sure.”
After launching the competition earlier this year in Saraburi on January 6, over 300 cyclists made their way to Pattaya last weekend for Round 2 of the Fisherman’s Friend BMX Thailand Championship 2013. The event took place at the Pattaya PRC Tower Boat Circuit on Sukhumvit Road on a newly constructed track that is considered to be one of the best laid out BMX competition venues in the kingdom.Taking a curve at high speed – all part of BMX racing. The sport of BMX racing has witnessed a positive resurgence in this country since it featured in the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and has now been adopted by the Thai Cycling Association (TCA), which considers it a viable method of attracting young people to the sport of cycling. The event in Pattaya was broadcast live nationwide through the Thai PBS network.Pattaya Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, along with dignitaries from the TCA, were among the crowd of many spectators to watch the action live last Sunday, March 10, as the highly skilled young (and not so young) bikers battled it out on the state of the art mixed-terrain track.Cyclists leap over the undulations during one of the male category races.The competition was divided into various age and gender groups with one of the highlights coming in the male general category where three cyclists from the Thai national team, Narong Klingsurhai, Jakraphet Witchna and Punyapol Sornkla, were competing against each other.From the starting gun, Klinsurhai took an early lead, with Witchana following close behind, but turning into the final curve Klinsurhai sustained a puncture in his front tire that caused him to fall within sight of the finish line, allowing Witchana to pass him and go on to claim first place honors.Lt. Gen. Phadungsak Klansanoh, vice president of Thai Cyclist Association under the royal patronage, presents medals to winning cyclists in the U 14 female category.There was an equally exciting race in the women’s open category as Thai national team cyclist Nisha Prasertsri, a winner in the first round, was pipped on the line by Duangkamol Thongmeematalord after leading for most of the race.The next competition, Round 3 of the Fisherman’s Friend BMX Thailand Championship 2013, will be held in Surin in north-eastern Thailand, followed by round 4 in Pathum Thani and ending with the finale back at Saraburi. The cyclists with the highest point tally over the 5 rounds will be awarded the HRH Princess Sirindhorn Cup.Senior and junior riders give encouragement to one another.
Due to her heroics on the course, Thidapa has also been offered an honorary membership at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club in Pattaya.Budding LPGA star Thidapa Suwannapura poses with her honorary membership invitation to Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.The season as a whole had been tough for 23 year old Thidapa , however she still finished ranked 92nd on the LPGA tour and so retained her full LPGA card for another year. Hopefully now she can receive treatment for her hip during the winter break here in Pattaya.Thidapa started playing golf at an early stage practicing at Plutaluang Navy Course with her father who lives in Pattaya.Although Thidapa is on the road for most of the year and is based in Atlanta, she does still call Pattaya her home.She has recently been seen on the fairways at Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club, and with her honorary membership, she can now get ready for next season.It should be a fun season as there will now be nine Thai ladies on the LPGA tour. Expect to see Thidapa and her fans at the 2016 Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club in February.Thidapa watches the ball after teeing off at the first hole during the final round of the Dubai Ladies Masters golf tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Dec. 12. (AP Photo/Martin Dokoupil) The Ladies European Tour event meant Thidapa ended her 2015 season with a very handy cheque for Euro 45,000 and finished ranked 18th on the LET.She was in so much pain after her round that she did her press interviews with everyone sitting down on the grass. Thidapa Suwannapura managed to overcome an injury to her hip joint by grabbing second spot at the Dubai Omega Masters recently, earning herself a lot of praise from fans and the media for this plucky Pattaya based LPGA player.
This March 11, 2017 file photo shows Akron coach Keith Dambrot yelling instructions to players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball championship game against Kent State in the Mid-American Conference tournament in Cleveland. Akron coach Keith Dambrot has left the school after a record-setting 27-9 season. Dambrot’s stunning departure was announced by the school, which released a statement Monday, March 27, 2017 thanking him “for the enormous contributions” and saying “we wish him well as he moves along.” (Tony Dejak, file/Associated Press)PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Keith Dambrot spent more than a decade turning Akron into one of the most consistent winners in the Mid-American Conference.Now he faces an even greater challenge: making Duquesne relevant in the Atlantic 10. The Dukes hired Dambrot on Tuesday to replace Jim Ferry and give a program that’s spent the better part of 30 years struggling to remain competitive a needed boost.Dambrot spent 13 seasons with the Zips, compiling a 305-139 record. Akron won at least 20 games in 12 straight seasons and earned three NCAA Tournament bids under Dambrot, considered the best coach in the Mid-American Conference.Akron set a school record for wins this season, but the top-seeded Zips were beaten in the MAC championship by rival Kent State and played in the NIT.The hire is a homecoming of sorts for Dambrot. His father, Sid, starred for the Dukes in the 1950s.“Today marks a new day for Duquesne basketball,” Dambrot said in a statement. “We are here to build a program that our campus and community will embrace. We need to unite together. Everyone from our administration, faculty and staff, alums, students, and the Pittsburgh community will play a role in our success. I look forward to all the great things ahead for Duquesne.”The Dukes last reached the NCAA Tournament in 1977 and failed to gain any significant momentum under Ferry, who kept retooling throughout his five seasons with no real success.The Dukes never finished better than 10th in the 14-team league during his tenure and managed just 10 wins total this season. Akron finished no worse than third in 12 of Dambrot’s 13 years on the sideline.Enter Dambrot, who coached Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James in high school then turned the Zips into contenders in the MAC.The league, however, hasn’t received multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament this millennium. That won’t be an issue in the A-10, which sent three teams to the NCAAs this season: Dayton, Rhode Island and VCU.___More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25