PINEHURST, NC - As the years second major tees off on Thursday morning, here are a few things to consider: The Golf Course For the first time since the Second World War, there is no rough at the national championship. Instead, there is whats being called Native Areas. This is how Donald Ross created the course and this is how Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore restored it.Rather than being one-dimensional and having to hack it out of the rough, hitting it off the fairway now means a bit of a lottery. You might end up with a perfectly clean, if somewhat sandy lie or you could end up in a tangle of the wiregrass. If that happens, its like old times and youll be hacking out to the fairway. Depending on whom you talk to, its either a 50-50 or 60-40 or 80-20 situation that youll get a good result in the scrub.It will make for some interesting times. The Phil FactorWe all know that Phil has been runner-up at the U.S. Open six times and that the first of those came here, at Pinehurst back in 1999. We also know that he wants to win this tournament more than any other, to complete the Grand Slam. But we also know that Phil hasnt played very well this year and has struggled on the greens to the point that hes changed his grip coming into this week. Hell use the claw grip, which he says is better for the six to eight footers that will be key for this week. As much as Phil will tell you everything is great, that he loves the course, that his game is coming around, you have to think that the odds arent in his favour here. Oh CanadaGraham DeLaet will complete the Grand Slam here this week – not in terms of winning but just teeing it up in his fourth major. Sometimes we forget that hes still learning his chops in the majors and its a big step up to the majors. Yes, he is ultra-talented with a game that is suited well to this type of set up. In some ways, what he doesnt know may actually help him. In golf sense, DeLaet will always live and die by his putter and this week he is also going with a new putter grip, adopting a left-hand-low style that he says is working for him. History is not on his side this week – the last time a first-time entrant won the Open was way back in 1913. Of course streaks are made to be broken. WeatherRight now, Pinehurst No. 2 is baked out and dry. There is lots of run in the course and the greens are firm. But the weather forecast is for rain over the next four days, (although so far, predictions of rain havent materialized). If that comes true, it will, as Rory McIlroy said, take the fire out of the course. It will aid the longer hitters and, if there are delays, make it tougher on those who have little patience. In short, it will change the number of golfers who can win this tournament and thats why a handful of players are doing the rain dance here this week. ImaginationIts a buzz word in golf. Along with creativity. But here at Pinehurst, there really is a need to think about just how youre going to hit a shot. With so many run-off areas around the greens, youre going to have to find the right way to get the ball close to the hole. So that means a) putting it up; b) chipping it close; c) use a hybrid to bump it; or d) some other club to get it close.The guy who puts its beside the cup will be deemed the most imaginative golfer of the week (instead of the champion golfer of the year). GreensThe greens at Pinehurst No. 2 arent necessarily small in overall size, but the effective area that can be used is tiny. In fact, on some of them, less than 25 per cent of the overall space can be used for a pin. These are not unlike Augusta Nationals putting surfaces, where hitting the right area – not just the green -- is a requirement. Some are more generous than others while a few are absolutely diabolical. McIlroy said the second is just such a green. He estimated that less than 20 per cent of the field will hit that green in regulation. Who Will Win?The golfer who will win this week is one who can drive it long as the course has some length. And it will be the player who can loft it way up in the air, as youll need some height to hold the greens. And it will be the player who has some creativity (see above) for those missed green recovery shots, and it will be the golfer who has a hot putter. Put those all together and I think your winner will be . . . Sergio Garcia. (Second choice – Jason Day) Sam Darnold Jets Jersey
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.com) - Robert Martin and Josh Hicks combined for more than 300 yards rushing and three touchdowns, as Rutgers rolled past North Carolina, 40-21, in the Quick Lane Bowl. WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Azahara Munoz and Austin Ernst had strong finishes Thursday to share the first-round lead in the Kingsmill Championship at 6-under 65. The former NCAA individual champions completed their morning rounds on the front nine at Kingsmills River Course, with Munoz birdieing four of her last seven holes, and Ernst closing with birdies on No. 7 and 9. "I dont think its easy," Munoz said. "The wind is pretty tricky, but the pins were somewhat accessible. Obviously, the course is playing is much shorter than normal because its warmer and drier. Holes I had been having 4-irons in, I was having 9-irons in today." Munoz had a bogey-free round, saving par with a 10-foot putt on the par-3 second -- her 11th hole -- after hitting into a greenside bunker. The Spaniard lost a playoff to Paula Creamer in Singapore in March when Creamer made a 75-foot eagle putt on the second extra hole. "Ive been having a much better attitude," said Munoz, the 2008 NCAA winner at Arizona State who won the 2012 Match Play Championship for her lone tour title. "When I miss a shot, I dont let it get to me so much like I used to. I used to get pretty upset, and that really hurt me." Ernst, the 2011 NCAA winner at LSU, rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 first with an eagle on the par-5 third, hitting a 6-iron from 182 yards to 10 feet on the downwind hole. "Really just solid," Ernst said. "Gave myself a lot of looks, hit a lot of greens and made it really easy on myself out there on a day when it was pretty windy and it could kind of get away from you a little bit." Heavy rain was expected overnight and Friday morning, likely delaying second-round play. "Well just kind of see," Ernst said. "Im kind of glad Im in the afternoon tomorrow. That way I dont have to kind of hang out. If it does get delayed, youre not waiting on the update every 30 minutes." South Koreass Hee Young Park shot 66.dddddddddddd "Everything is pretty good," Park said. "I made a lot more putts." Defending champion Cristie Kerr opened with a 67 after missing the pro-am Wednesday because of illness. She also won the Michelob Ultra at the course in 2005 and 2009. "It was weird. I started feeling really bad Tuesday night," Kerr said. "I woke up and just didnt want to get out of bed. Just kind of knew something was wrong. I just was going to stay in bed and try to recover, but my husband was like, You got to go see a doctor. So I went, and he was like, You have heat exhaustion and maybe something else going on. So they took me to the hospital and gave my IV fluids and ran some tests and I had an infection." Lexi Thompson, the Kraft Nabisco winner, also was in the group at 67 along with Lizette Salas, Brittany Lang, Kathleen Ekey, Danielle Kang and Thidapa Suwannnapura. "Overall, Ill definitely take 4 under," Thompson said. "I feel really good about my game right now. Ive worked extremely hard in my off-season, especially on my short game. I put a lot of hours and hard work into it. To see it paying off definitely helps my confidence out." Jessica Korda, Yani Tseng and Ai Miyazato topped the group at 68. Second-ranked Stacy Lewis and No. 3 Lydia Ko, both in position to take the top spot in the world ranking from Inbee Park, each shot 70. Lewis would jump to No. 1 with a victory or a solo second-place finish, as long as Ko doesnt win. Ko needs a victory to move to No. 1. Park is skipping the tournament. Lewis won the North Texas LPGA Shootout two weeks ago. The 17-year-old Ko is coming off a victory three weeks ago in the Swinging Skirts event in California. "I think Im hitting the ball really well, which is a really good sign," Ko said. "So, hopefully, I can hit like this the next couple days and get some putts going in." Wholesale NFL Womens Jerseys China Womens NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Autographed Jerseys Jerseys NFL China Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Youth NFL Jerseys Cheap
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