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Bryson DeChambeau blasts way to U.S. Open title

MAMARONECK, N.Y. (AP) — What was supposed to be a typical U.S. Open produced a most unconventional champion.

Bryson DeChambeau was not the least bit concerned by the narrow fairways or the ankle-deep rough that shape Winged Foot into historically the toughest of all U.S. Opens. With his extra 40 pounds of muscle and mass, he wanted to pound it into submission with his driver, even if his errant shots were buried in deep grass.

That’s how he plays the game. And for skeptics who said that wouldn’t work in a U.S. Open at Winged Foot, just look at that shiny silver trophy he kissed, and the record score he posted Sunday in a six-shot victory.

This victory was as much about validating his out-of-the-box approach to the royal and ancient game.

“One hundred percent, no doubt,” DeChambeau said. “For me, it’s about the journey of can I execute every shot more repeatable than everybody else. I was able to do that this week. That’s why I won by six.”

Part of this course’s fame is the “Massacre of Winged Foot” in 1974 when the winning score was 7-over par.

This was a massacre, all right.

DeChambeau rolled in a 7-foot par putt and thrust those powerful arms in the air when he capped off a 3-under 67 on a course that didn’t allow another round under par. Two shots behind Matthew Wolff at the start of a chilly September afternoon, he caught him in four holes, passed him in five and pulled away along the back nine.

From the fairway. From the rough. It didn’t matter.

“I don’t really know what to say because that’s just the complete opposite of what you think a U.S. Open champion does” Rory McIlroy said. “Look, he’s found a way to do it. Whether that’s good or bad for the game, I don’t know, but it’s just not the way I saw this golf course being played or this tournament being played.”

Call him a mad scientist in a tam o’shanter cap. Call him a game-changer in golf.

Any description now starts with U.S. Open champion.

Wolff, trying to become the first player since Francis Ouimet in 1913 to win the U.S. Open in his debut, closed with a 75. He made a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth to stay within one shot. That was his only hole under par. Wolff finished at even-par 280, a score that would have won four of the previous five U.S. Opens at Winged Foot.

It didn’t stand a chance in this one.

“You can’t take Bryson out because obviously he won, but shooting even par for four rounds at Winged Foot is pretty exceptional,” Wolff said.

That describes DeChambeau this week. It was a breathtaking performance, four rounds at par or better, the first player to manage that at Winged Foot.

His victory really began last October, when he closed out his 2019 season in Las Vegas and said with a mischievous grin, “I’m going to come back next year and look like a different person.” He added 40 pounds through intense workout and a diet of 6,000 calories a day.

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down golf for three months, leading to the U.S. Open being postponed from June to September. It also gave DeChambeau more time to execute his plan of swinging faster and harder, stretching the limits.

His work ethnic borders on insanity, and the eve of the final round was no exception. Unhappy with how he played Saturday, hitting only three fairways, DeChambeau had the lights turned on so he could stay on the range well past 8 p.m., pounding driver, searching for the right swing. Temperatures were in the 40s. He was in a short-sleeve shirt.

He didn’t find fairways, but he seemed to miss in the right spots. That was key for a player who hit only six fairways on Sunday, 23 out of 56 for the week.

Skepticism turned into admiration, with a healthy dose of disbelief.

“It’s a game we’ve never really seen before,” said Harris English, who shot 73 and finished fourth.

Louis Oosthuizen birdied the 18th to finish alone in third.

“I don’t think they can set it up for him, to be honest,” Oosthuizen said. “I don’t know what they can do really, because he’s hitting it so far. He’s so strong out of the rough. And he’s probably one of the best putters out there, which a week that he really putts well, you’re going to have a lot of trouble.”

In six U.S. Opens at Winged Foot among 894 competitors, DeChambeau is only the third to finish a tournament under par. His 6-under 274 was the lowest score, and no one saw it coming this week.

Wolff, the 21-year-old Californian who can drive it past DeChambeau with a lower flight and more roll in the fairway, gave him a good run in his quest to become the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923.

The U.S. Open was still up for grabs for a fleeting moment around the turn. DeChambeau and Wolff each got out of position on the eighth hole and made bogey. DeChambeau was at 3 under, one shot ahead of Wolff. Ahead of them, Oosthuizen and Xander Schauffele were lurking at even par.

Still to play was the back nine, where so much has gone wrong at Winged Foot over the years.

Not this time.

DeChambeau and Wolff blasted drives down the fairway on the par-5 ninth. DeChambeau rolled in a 40-foot eagle putt with perfect pace. Wolff, who had pitching wedge for his second shot, matched his eagle with a 10-foot putt.

Just like that it was a two-man race.

And then it was a one-man show.

Wolff’s tee shot on the par-3 10th rolled left into the thick collar of the bunker, a spot so precarious he had to stand in the deep bunker and grip halfway down the steel shaft of his sand wedge. He chipped 10 feet by the hole for a bogey to fall two shots behind.

From the fairway on the 11th, however, Wolff hit wedge that was chunky and went into the right rough, and he had to scramble for par instead of setting up a reasonable birdie chance. DeChambeau from the right rough came up short, but he used putter from off the green for birdie from 15 feet away.

With a three-shot lead, DeChambeau kept blasting away as if he were chasing, not leading, just like he said he would. He saved par from the left rough on the 14th and a perfect pitch from deep grass behind the green. He downed another protein shake walking down the 15th, marching along to a major title that affirms his position in the game as a pioneer.

Imagine the USGA, which has been studying the impact on distance, getting together for a debriefing after this performance. What would they say?

“He’s hitting it forever,” DeChambeau said with a laugh.

The last laugh.

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Tough test for tough times: US Open at haunting Winged Foot

When golfers fall asleep imagining how they’d play this course or that, they’re almost never dreaming about Winged Foot. That includes Tiger Woods. The place is a nightmare for him, too.

Then again, if the aim is to stage the toughest test in golf, in the midst of a pandemic no less, where else would you plant the flagstick? Only two players have finished under par in the five U.S. Opens contested over the century-old design and no one on the ground in Mamaroneck, New York, this week, including the favorites, expects to make a serious dent in that legacy. Just the opposite.

“The viewers at home are going to see some pretty bizarre stuff and probably a lot of putts and chips that make us look pretty bad,” Justin Thomas said.

“If you’re into that stuff,” he added, “then you’re going to like this week.”

Which prompted at least one enterprising fan on Twitter to retort: “Why would I want to watch bad golf when I can do that to myself?”

A fair enough question, but one which the U.S. Golf Association rarely bothers to ask itself. The USGA selects the venues for the national championships and sets them up, sometimes diabolically, happy to let the game’s three other major championships and nearly every week out on tour offer what amounts to a skeet-shoot.

Birdies have been plentiful since golf resumed play back in June. Six players have won with scores of 20 under par or better, including an eye-popping, 30-under-par win by Dustin Johnson, the favorite at tee-off time, at the Northern Trust last month. The low scores could be the result of golfers using the extra time off to practice or just decompress, or maybe even a lack of fans applying pressure on the leader coming down the stretch.

Whatever the reason, don’t expect a lot of red on the board, or conversely, too much complaining by the players this week. It was at Winged Foot, not coincidentally, where the USGA’s rallying cry was made by the late Sandy Tatum, its president at the time, after a particularly brutal opening round in 1974.

“We’re not here to humiliate the best players,” he said. “We’re simply trying to identify who they are.”

Along with Johnson and Thomas, several other guys on impressive runs are being touted by the bookies, few gaining more buzz than Jon Rahm. The Spaniard by way of Arizona State has already notched the two toughest tournaments this year — the Memorial at Muirfield Village and the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields, holding off loaded fields in both — and is poised for his major breakthrough.

With tight fairways, thick rough, slick greens and five closing par-4s of 425 yards and better, Winged Foot places a premium on driving accuracy, distance control with the irons and especially the short game. That could bring young Collin Morikawa, the recently crowned PGA Championship winner, and just-turned-40 Aussie Adam Scott into the mix.

Most of the top 70-ranked players in the world will be on hand, including three-time winner Woods, defending champion Gary Woodland and eight other U.S. Open winners. Missing is Brooks Koepka, who won back-to-back in 2017-18, but will sit this one out due to an injury.

Woods, seeking his 16th major, claimed the 2000 U.S. title at Pebble Beach with a performance that ranks among the greatest four days of golf ever played. Now 44 and day-to-day because of a surgically repaired back, he might have trouble just hanging on into the weekend. When the 1997 PGA Championship was played at Winged Foot, Woods finished T29. In the previous U.S. Open there, in 2006, weeks after the death of his father, Earl, he missed the cut.

Phil Mickelson, the other aging superstar, has an even more tortured history at Winged Foot. Having just turned 50 and dominated in his first Champions Tour start, he’s spent much of the week recounting his improbable meltdown in 2006, one of a half-dozen runner-up finishes he’s collected chasing the one major championship that has eluded him.

But at least he’s having fun with it. In a TV ad running recently, Mickelson promises a free driver to a lucky contest entrant whose favorite Callaway golfer wins the U.S. Open.

“Come on,” Phil says in the promo, “we all know who it’s going to be. When have I ever let you down at Winged Foot?”

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The Latest: A tough test awaits at US Open at Winged Foot

MAMARONECK, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest from the U.S. Open (all times local):

7:30 a.m.

Brandon Wu kicked off the 120th U.S. Open with a drive into the right side of the fairway at Winged Foot.

That’s considered a great start.

Hitting fairways is paramount at Winged Foot. For starters, it’s tough to advance the ball very far. But the greens are severe, and the bunkers are as much as 8 feet deep. That explains why only two players out of 750 who have started the previous five U.S. Opens at Winged Foot finished under par.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will get an early start Thursday, though they begin on opposite ends of the West Course. The opening round began with cloud cover. The rest of the week is expected to feature plenty of sunshine and mild weather, unusual for a U.S. Open.

Then again, it’s been 113 years since the U.S. Open was played in September. It was moved from its traditional June spot in the calendar when golf shut down for three months in America because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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New PGA champion Morikawa’s toughest moment came after round

If all you saw were the highlights of how Collin Morikawa beat back the biggest names in golf and walked off with the PGA Championship, you’d conclude he did it the old-fashioned way.

The 23-year-old Californian delivered a 6-under 64 in the final round, including a signature shot that fans will be talking about for decades. He hit more fairways and greens, and picked up more strokes with the putter over four days than anyone else in the field. He even arrived at TPC Harding Park with some built-in advantages, in top form after winning twice on tour during this re-jiggered season, and he knew the course well from his days playing college golf at nearby Cal-Berkeley.

He parlayed all that into a two-shot victory Sunday over third-round leader Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey. Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka talked a good game, but crashed in his effort to three-peat with an uncharacteristic closing 74. After a turn-back-the-page opening round, Tiger Woods finished tied for 37th, feeling all of his 44 years and heading home before the fireworks on the back nine exploded.

What Morikawa said afterward sounded familiar, too. Asked whether he expected to win his first major this soon, he looked puzzled for the first time all day.

“Of course,” he began. “Why not? If you believe in yourself — and I believe I can do it —why not have it as one of my goals?

“It’s crazy,” Morikawa added a moment later, “because it feels like this is where I’m supposed to be.”

Chalk that up to youth if you like, but something about this kid’s demeanor suggests that he’s built for the long haul. Like most of the current players at the top of the game, and many of the highly touted amateurs who’ve debuted on tour in recent years, Morikawa packs plenty of power.

But despite his limited experience, Morikawa also possesses one of the most complete all-around games on display at the moment, giving him the freedom to apply new solutions to the same old problems that derailed everyone else coming down the stretch.

By the tie Morikawa faced his third shot in front of the 14th green, there were seven names tied atop the leaderboard at 10-under, the kind of traffic jam that happens only every so often in a major. The safe shot would have been a low-running chip to the ridge between him and the flag, hoping the ball trickled down close to the hole. Instead, Morikawa opened up the blade of his 60-degree wedge and improvised a high-risk, high-spin variation that landed on that same ridge, grabbed the turf briefly and slid straight into the cup for the outright lead.

Two holes later, at the 294-yard, par-4 16th, Morikawa forgot about finesse and bombed a driver to within 7 feet of the flag. His only regret? No spectators on the course because of the COVID-19 pandemic meant he initially had no idea how good it turned out.

“This is one time I really wish there were crowds,” Morikawa said. “I was just praying for a straight bounce … and then after it bounced, it kind of got behind a tree that we couldn’t see around the corner. So once it bounced, I was like ‘OK, I will take it anywhere.’

“I peeked around right and looked around the tree, and it looked really, really good.”

It was. He coolly drained the eagle putt from 7 feet and carried the 13-under cushion all the way to the scoring tent without much more drama.

The closest he came to losing his cool, not surprising, came in a post-round press conference when the first question thrown his way came from NBA star Steph Curry, usually employed by the Golden State Warriors, but working on this occasion for an outlet he identified as “Underrated Media.”

Curry wanted to know whether Morikawa kept an eye on the leaderboard during those tense moments down the stretch.

“Wow! My caddie is a huge Warriors fan … but yeah, I did,” Morikawa said. “I knew where I stood.”

And he doesn’t plan to climb down from that perch anytime soon.

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Berger a winner at Colonial, and PGA Tour feels like it, too

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The PGA Tour spent two months learning about the COVID-19 pandemic and trying to develop a safe plan to return, followed by another month hoping for the best.

Commissioner Jay Monahan said his confidence in the plan came with a dose of uncertainty.

“If we … got into a situation where we were dealing with a number of positive tests, that’s something — candidly — that I lost a lot of sleep over in the weeks that preceded coming,” Monahan said.

Monahan felt every bit a winner as Daniel Berger at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

The tour administered 487 tests for the new coronavirus at Colonial, and the results on all of them came back negative. On the golf course, a dozen of some of golf’s best players — from Rory McIlroy to Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele to Jordan Spieth — all had a chance going into the final round.

“Listen, there is more work to be done,” Monahan said. “But this is a phenomenal start to our return.”

It was a healthy return, except for a somewhat sickly finish.

Berger made a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and heard the deafening silence of a big moment with no spectators allowed at Colonial. He got into a playoff when Collin Morikawa missed a 6-foot birdie putt for the win and Xander Schauffele missed his try from 25 feet.

The playoff was held on the 17th hole, another reminder of how this week was different. Playoffs always start on the 18th hole because that’s where the gallery is packed into the grandstands. With no fans allowed, and with the 17th tee right next to the clubhouse, off they went.

Morikawa hit a deft chip to 3 feet. Berger chipped even closer from behind the green and rapped in his par. They presumably were headed to the 18th tee until Morikawa’s 3-footer spun out, and Berger was the winner.

Schauffele should have been in the playoff, but his 3-footer for par on the 17th in regulation dipped in the right side of the cup and spun out of the left side. Talk about a horrible horseshoe.

“If there are fans and everything with the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs,’ I’d probably be a little more (ticked) off,” Schauffele said. “Maybe that’s a good thing for me right now. But it was definitely weird.”

Justin Rose had an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th that looked good all the way until it wasn’t. He finished one behind along with Bryson DeChambeau and Jason Kokrak, who also missed birdie chances on the last hole.

This isn’t the first time Rose or anyone else has missed a big putt. It wasn’t the first time Rose let out a gutteral moan from missing. It was just the first time he actually heard it.

“If the crowd are there, their groans or cries, whatever it may be, would have drowned me out,” Rose said. “You suddenly realize you actually do make some noise sometimes yourself. And it surprised me a little bit there on 18.”

There were reminders all week of no fans, but rarely why golf had been shut down since March 12 because of the rapid spread of COVID-19, a pandemic that canceled one major (British Open) and postponed the others until later in the year.

“The only time I thought about it was when I was having to take the tests, and that was really it,” Keith Mitchell said. “Hopefully, nobody comes down with it and we can keep on playing.”

Players on the charter to the next stop — Hilton Head on the South Carolina shore — had to swing by the pool area at Colonial after the third round for a saliva test. If negative, they board the plane and don’t have to be tested at Hilton Head. Everyone else driving, flying commercial or flying private face another test when they arrive.

Tony Finau learned a new skill beyond chipping and putting. He learned to spit for his test.

“You just kind of roll your tongue around inside your mouth, and it seems to bring a little bit more, and also if you just lean your face down, it seems to come out a little easier,” he said.

So few talking about the virus was an indication of how safe it felt. In this case, the week doesn’t end until the next tournament begins.

“I was asked, ‘What’s a successful week look like?’ It means us getting to the RBC Heritage and having another successful week,” he said. “I feel very good about the setup there, and we’re ready to go again.”

Monahan had said as the tour prepared to return that it was critical not to fall into a trap that all is well. He said he wouldn’t feel comfortable until told he could be comfortable, and likely would mean a vaccine.

Morikawa said being back to golf and being back to normal were different matters.

“Just because we played one week doesn’t mean we can go party and go do everything else like we used to,” Morikawa said. “We still have to follow these guidelines and maintain safety and strict rules with how far we stay from each other because it’s still out there.

“We just have to be cognizant of what’s around us and where we put ourselves, because we want the tour to keep playing.

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NCAA adjusts requirements for incoming freshmen

The NCAA is waiving standardized test requirements for incoming freshmen to be eligible to compete in Division I and II during the 2020-21 academic year.

The Eligibility Center adjusted several of its eligibility requirements for incoming freshmen, including the number of core courses and minimum grade-point averages. The adjustments were made in response to schools across the country moving to online learning as part of the fight against coronavirus. Social-distancing restrictions had also canceled some SAT and ACT testing dates.

The NCAA’s news release said: “Membership committees in both Divisions I and II reviewed initial-eligibility data and determined the NCAA would offer flexibility for incoming student-athletes based on research, fairness, equity and a standard of college readiness.”

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South America’s soccer body Conmebol said in a statement it still expects to complete the current editions of the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana tournaments.

It did not, however, provide a date for matches to resume. Conmebol also added it’s up to FIFA to make decisions on September’s fixtures of the region’s World Cup qualifiers. The first two rounds were initially scheduled for March, but were postponed due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

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NASCAR has suspended its May 9 race at Martinsville Speedway and did not give an indication on when the season will resume.

When NASCAR suspended racing four events into the season, it listed the event in Virginia as its return date. But Virginia is under a stay-at-home order until June 10.

NASCAR in a statement said it is considering restarting the season without fans in May. It has privately told teams that NASCAR is hopeful to race May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Coca-Cola 600.

“Our intention remains to run all 36 races, with a potential return to racing without fans in attendance in May at a date and location to be determined,” NASCAR said in a statement.

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Women’s golf has lost another senior major because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Senior LPGA Championship has been canceled. It was scheduled to be played July 30-Aug. 1 at French Lick Resort in Indiana.

The USGA previously canceled the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

The Senior LPGA will stay at French Lick in 2021. The new dates will be determined later.

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The Premier League says it still wants to complete its season.

The league held a call with all 20 soccer clubs but provided no specifics about its plan to resume. The competition was suspended more than a month ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The league only says it discussed “possible scheduling models” and that “it remains our objective to complete the 2019-20 season but at this stage all dates are tentative while the impact of COVID-19 develops.”

The league says it will only restart “with the full support of the government” and when “medical guidance allows.”

Liverpool holds a 25-point lead at the top of the standings with nine games remaining.

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An employee of Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact has tested positive for COVID-19.

The team made the announcement Wednesday and said the employee had mild symptoms for a few days is doing well. The person has been placed in quarantine.

Montreal did not specify whether the employee was a player or another member of the team’s staff. The Impact said it is the only confirmed case of the novel coronavirus within the organization so far.

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The NBA and WNBA say they plan to sell cloth face coverings bearing team and league logos and that all proceeds generated by the league will go to charity.

The proceeds will go to Feeding America in the U.S. and Second Harvest in Canada. Both of those organizations work to assist the hungry.

Face-covering manufacturers FOCO and Industry Rag will also be amping up charity efforts through sales. They will donate one face covering for every one purchased to the benefiting charities.

NBA social responsibility and player programs president Kathy Behrens says the masks will help fans adhere to CDC safety guidelines “while joining in the league’s efforts to aid those who have been directly affected by COVID-19.”

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The fourth edition of the Laver Cup exhibition event founded by Roger Federer’s management company is being postponed a year because of changes to the tennis calendar caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

It now will be at TD Garden in Boston from Sept. 24-26, 2021.

The original dates were Sept. 25-27 this year.

But the French Open moved its start from May to Sept. 20 a month ago. That means the Grand Slam tournament would have overlapped with the Laver Cup. The exhibition tournament has attracted some of the top players in men’s tennis in the past.

Federer called the announcement of the Laver Cup date change “unfortunate” and “disappointing” but also “the right thing to do for everyone concerned.”

Tickets already purchased will be valid in 2021 or can be refunded.

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The governing body of track and field is leading a panel of Olympic sports to advise on safely organizing mass gathering events amid the coronavirus pandemic.

World Athletics says the Outbreak Prevention Taskforce includes the International Institute for Race Medicine and officials from cycling, rowing, skiing, triathlon and the International Paralympic Committee.

They will get input from a member of the World Health Organization’s coronavirus mass gatherings expert group.

The panel has its first meeting next week and plans to work with advisers from industry, sponsors and the media. Aims include guidance on risk assessment and how sports can “plan a return to normal activities in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak or similar future situations.”

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Former Leeds defender Norman Hunter has died after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was 76.

Leeds says Hunter was admitted to the hospital last week and died on Friday.

Hunter made 726 appearances for Leeds and also played 28 times for England. He was part of the 1966 World Cup-winning squad and earned the nickname “Bites Yer Legs” because of his tough tackling.

Hunter also won two league titles and the FA Cup with Leeds.

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The BMW International Open in Germany and the Open de France golf tournaments have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic and the Scottish Open has been postponed.

The BMW International Open was to be played in Munich from June 25-28 and the Open de France was scheduled to take place a week later.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has banned large public gatherings in the country through August 31 and the French government has done the same until mid-July.

The Scottish Open was scheduled to be played from July 9-12. Discussions on a rescheduled date are ongoing.

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Yahoo’s Co-founder Jerry Yang believes golf is about to enter a new age of innovation

Yahoo’s Co-founder Jerry Yang believes golf is about to enter a new age of innovation, and the game’s ruling bodies stand to benefit and also be challenged by the changes.

Giving his keynote speech on Monday at the North American Golf Innovation Symposium, Yang said that the same innovations that are reordering the greater consumer world, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, are coming to golf.

Yang, an internet entrepreneur and who now heads own technology start-up investment firm, highlighted on how golf could be set to see the same kind of technology development that is rapidly enhancing human potential.

“If you look at the categories of things that are coming across our investment activities and how people understand their bodies, every element of that applies to golf,” Yang opined, adding that measuring brain waves, measuring all the body metrics are fascinating.

Yang visualizes a future where laser rangefinder technology is incorporated in sunglasses, and where a golf simulator in a person’s garage “will let you play St. Andrews in a way that really feels like St. Andrews.”

Yang also talked about a future ‘smart ball’ technology that would track every shot, its launch condition, direction, and distance.

The tech entrepreneur also suggested that the kind of ‘haptic suits’ designed to help the lame walk could “be the same suit that can make you become a super person where you can literally swing like Dustin Johnson If you wanted to.”

He, however, said that these innovations would pose challenges for golf’s rule-makers, saying that the people who are upholding the essence of the game whether this helps the game.

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Pro golfer Jarrod Lyle ends leukemia treatment

The wife of Jarrod Lyle has announced the pro golfer’s decisiveness towards ending his cancer treatment, resulting in the transition into palliative care.

In an ongoing fight against acute myeloid leukemia, his wife Bri Lyles announced that the 36-year-old former PGA Tour golfer has been placed in palliative care in one final social media post on behalf of her blind husband.

“My heart breaks as I type this message,” Bri Lyle wrote on Facebook. “Earlier today Jarrod made the decision to stop active treatment and begin palliative care. He has given everything that he’s got to give, and his poor body cannot take anymore. We’ll be taking him closer to home in the next couple of days so he can finally leave the hospital.”

Lyle was first diagnosed with leukemia as a teenager, but overcame the disease to earn his PGA Tour card for the first time in 2007. Lyle won twice on the Web.com Tour in 2008 and competed in 253 world-ranked events in his playing career.

His cancer returned in 2012, but Lyle again beat the disease and returned to pro golf, where he competed in 42 tournaments, including 20 Tour events.

His last tournament was the Western Australia PGA Championship in May 2017, where he tied for 45th.

Lyle’s leukemia returned in 2017. He underwent a haploidentical transplant and stem cell therapy last December. However, in June, the Lyles announced that Jarrod had lost his vision unexpectedly.

Wife, Bri Lyle, said in a final Facebook post, “Jarrod knows he is loved, and the thousands of prayers and well wishes that have been sent his way have kept him going through some incredibly tough times.” She further added, “But he has reached his limit, and the docs have finally agreed that they can no longer strive for a positive outcome.

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Hackers attack PGA, demanding Bitcoin ransom

In a ransomware attack this week, PGA of America computers were infected this week with a strain of malicious software that locked down critical files and demanded cryptocurrency for their return.

Administrators discovered that servers had been targeted in the ransomware attack that restricted them from obtaining access to material relating to major golf tournaments, including this week’s PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club.

Golfweek reported, “Some signage had been in development for over a year and could not be reproduced quickly.”

The extortion threat demanded the transfer of bitcoin to the hackers with an end result of losing files as an alternative.

“Your network has been penetrated. All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorithm (sic),” a ransom read. “Backups were either encrypted or deleted or backup disks were formatted.”

The note claimed shutting down the system may damage files.

The notice included a bitcoin wallet number and a warning that there was no way to get access to the files without a decryption key. The hackers that said they would prove their “honest intentions” to the PGA of America by unlocking two files free-of-charge.

An anonymous source revealed to Golfweek that officials had no intention of paying the ransom demand, following the advice of most law enforcement officials and cybersecurity experts.

The network remained locked on Wednesday and external researchers are still investigating.

The golfing association did not reveal what ransomware infected its computers. However, tech website Bleeping Computer found the demand matched the BitPaymer variant. Researcher Lawrence Abrams said one previous extortion scheme asked for 53 bitcoins, equivalent to $335,000.

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Man with same name as pro golfer accidentally gets prize money

A Florida man with the same name as English professional golfer Tommy Fleetwood recently found himself $154,500 richer after the latter’s earnings from his 12th place finish at July’s British Open were mistakenly deposited into the wrong account.

According to ESPN, the world number 11 had no idea that the PGA (Professional Golfer’s Association) had sent his prize money to the wrong man, but he got a good chuckle out of it.

“They are looking into it and I’m sure they’ll feel pretty bad about it. It’s a funny story,” he told reporters at the U.S. PGA Championships in St. Louis. “It’s just something I don’t really look at, but I’ll get on top of that.”

The Fleetwood who got the money is reportedly 58-year-old Florida resident Thomas Fleetwood, a golf club professional based at Streamstrong Resort, 44 miles southeast of Tampa. He says his four attempts to qualify for the senior tour would explain the mix up. European tour officials blamed the mistake on a clerical error, noting that they had the U.S.-based Fleetwood’s  bank account details on file because he had competed in several Challenger Events in Europe decades ago.

Meanwhile, the British Fleetwood’s wife, Claire, said their accountant had been unable to locate the money for over a week.

“We didn’t know about the mix up,” she said. “The money was due in his account last Monday and his accountant had been chasing it so we knew it had gone somewhere.”