first_imgThe vast majority of NHL teams and players are extremely frustrated right now as the 2019-20 season remains paused. Franchises were in the midst of playoff pushes or trying to gain momentum ahead of the postseason when commissioner Gary Bettman brought play to a screeching halt March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic.One team that might be slightly less annoyed is the Canucks.  “It seems to be a lot of ups and downs in terms of ‘It’s getting better, it’s not getting better,'” he said. “I would love to have a chance to finish the year. Just like everyone else, I’m so new to the situation that I just really have no idea what it could look like. I think more time has to go by to see what could even be possible because right now I just have no clue.”With the rest of the campaign up in the air, Myers is just hoping that the Canucks get the chance to prove to themselves — and everybody else — that they deserve to be in the playoffs.”Well, I think all of us in the room, we see ourselves as a playoff team,” he said. “It’s impossible to tell what could have happened in the last 15 games or whatever it was, but I really liked our strides that we made this year. I really hope we’re able to come back and try and end it off on a good note.” Vancouver’s campaign got off to a promising start, but then its season began to nosedive in February and early March with just six wins in the team’s final 17 games before the pause. They currently sit just outside a playoff spot — they’re one point behind third-placed Calgary in the Pacific Division and a single regulation win behind Nashville for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The past four weeks have given the players an unexpected opportunity to take a breath and reflect on the first 69 games. Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers has been doing that while under quarantine at home in Kelowna, B.C., with his wife and son.”My wife and our 3-year-old son, Tristan, we popped back to Kelowna pretty quick after this thing hit, and we just had a little bit more space for him to run around and burn off a little bit more energy so you can sleep in a little bit longer,” he told reporters in a video call Wednesday. “So we headed back home here and have just been here since and spending time with each other during this quarantine.”MORE: Canucks’ J.T. Miller wants a “fair season” if the NHL returnsMyers thinks the team was heading in the right direction, despite its tough stretch, when the season was put on hold.”It’s such a unique situation for everybody,” he said. “I think we started to get a lot better with our consistency. I think, you know, as the year went on, that was one of the things we were working on as a group. I think it was getting better . . . right towards the end before everything shut down. We were really trending in the right direction.”He’s disappointed the Canucks haven’t been able to experience the intensity of a playoff push.”Certainly missing out on the last month of the season there, you really develop such a playoff atmosphere and a playoff feel on the ice,” he said. “It would have been nice for young guys to experience that but the whole league is in the same boat.”Like everyone else, Myers has no idea whether the season will resume.last_img read more


first_img A birdie-three on the 17th hole provided the key to Mark Willis winning the Fullers London Pride Gold Medal in the closest finish in the history of the 17-year history of the popular event for club golfers. It help the 34 year old from the Kendleshire club in Bristol to return 34 Stableford points over the Hotchkin course at Woodhall Spa for an aggregate of 70. That left him tied with playing partner Aiden Tanner from Norwich, who also signed for 34. So a card countback was needed to decide the winner. Both scored 15 points on the back nine, both recorded ten over the back six, but Willis’ birdie at 17 helped give him eight points over the back three compared to Tanner’s seven. It couldn’t have been closer and Willis even managed to get up-and-down from behind a bunker then sink a 15-foot putt on the last hole to save par or the first prize would have slipped away. “That was the longest putt I’d holed all day,” said Willis. “But I’m very surprised but proud to have won. I’m surprised because my game has not been good coming into the event so I didn’t think I’d be in the hunt. “But I think the course and the wind helped me as it made conditions difficult for everyone else. My putter was cold all weekend but it came good when I needed it.” Compared to the first day, conditions improved with a lot of sunshine but the wind gradually increased to be quite strong towards the end, a factor reflected in the scoring. Tanner, the 16 year old from the Costessey Park club, was naturally disappointed but he was disappointed by his form over the back nine. “I messed up on the back nine but Mark played well and deserved to win.” Third place was also decided on countback, Rob Sims from Bulbury Woods in Dorset edging out overnight leader Justin Brassell after both finished with 69 points. Sims, 60 year old warehouseman from Corfe Mullen, recorded 36 points in his second round to Brassell’s 32 and said: “The putts went in today. But I also drove the ball well and my plan was to play for position and I only found two bunkers.” The nine-handicapper had four birdies on his card but was annoyed to not score on the final hole. 18 Aug 2013 Crucial birdie tips the balance in Willis’s favour last_img read more


first_img A superb round of 69, containing eight birdies, saw Billy Watson secure the Junior County Champions title for Hampshire over the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, ending a two-year domination by Lincolnshire golfers.His 36-hole aggregate of 142, four under par, was five strokes ahead of runner-up, Gian-Marco Petrozzi from Staffordshire, his playing partner, and six clear of Essex champion Taylor Carter.“Although I won the Hampshire Boys Championship, this is my biggest victory as it is a national title,” said Watson. “It is a big achievement for me and a great boost. It also gets me automatic entry into next year’s Brabazon Trophy and hopefully on to better things.”Watson (image © Leaderboard Photography), the 18-year-old son of former European Tour professional Scott Watson, started his second round one shot off the lead held by Lincolnshire’s Sam Done. But he was soon setting a hot pace.“I was fighting a left pull on my long irons this morning so before I went out this afternoon I spent some time in the net with my dad and he put me right,” added Watson.“This afternoon was fun. I started well with a birdie at the first from six feet and I missed chances at the next two holes. But I birdied the sixth and bogeyed the seventh to be out in 36 but I had six birdies on the back nine. “This win will take a while to sink in. It was good to have dad on the bag, not necessarily for tips but for his support.”While most of the field were struggling with the Hotchkin’s tough challenge, Watson, who stands 6ft 6ins, made it look easy. He had birdies at the tenth, 11th, 13th, 14th, 16th and 18th while bogeys at 12 and 15, both to three putts, kept him on an even keel.He and Petrozzi were in the last group on the course and the Staffordshire youngster also beat the par with his five-birdie 71 for 147.Carter, who won all six of his games for Essex in the recent English Boys County Championship, added a level-par 73 to his opening 75 for third place on 148.“I started poorly with a double bogey at the second after getting a bad lie in a bunker,” said the 18 year old from Rochford. “But I played O.K. but didn’t hole a thing. I had a lot of chances but couldn’t get the ball to drop. But I finished well with an eagle at 18, hitting my hybrid to eight feet.”Although Cheshire boy champion Max Rogers finished down the field he had the satisfaction of securing his first ever hole-in-one. It came at the 209-yard eighth hole when he sank his five iron tee shot.“I didn’t see the ball go in but the pitch mark was about ten feet in front of the hole so I assume it rolled in from there,” said the 17 year old from the Astbury club. “I’ve never had an ace before and I needed it today. It made up for a bogey at that hole this morning. 13 Sep 2014 Victory proves elementary for eight-birdie Watson last_img read more


first_img Shooting a score of 59 is the impossible dream for most golfers.England boys’ squad member Craig Passmore, however, is not your average golfer.And at the tender age of 17, Passmore has already exceeded his wildest golfing fantasy to record a stunning round of 58!“It was pretty insane,” remarked Passmore in what may go down as the understatement of the 2019 season.Picture the scene.Standing on the 18th fairway at the Players Club near Bristol, the young golfer from Devon knew that a birdie three at the final hole would give him that magical score of 59.No mean feat on a course with a par of 72.Inevitably, there was a buzz as a small crowd of fellow competitors and curious spectators from the clubhouse gathered behind the green eager to watch the drama unfold.Having played without fear all day, Passmore wasn’t about to change tactic now.The youngster pulled out a wedge, steadied himself, took aim at the pin – and promptly holed out from 45 yards to nail a 58!It’s no wonder that the student from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College lost his mind for a few seconds.“I just dropped the club and held my head in my hands!” confirmed Passmore as he reflected on the craziest round of his fledgling career.“My previous best score was a round of seven-under par. To then come in with a round that was 14-under par is surreal.“I have to say everyone at the course was really happy for me and the boys I know in the England set-up were also quick to pass on their congratulations on social media.“There were a few comments expressing disbelief – but I guess that was to be expected.”To put Passmore’s round into perspective it’s worth noting that it took nearly 50 years for any golfer on the European Tour to break the 60-barrier.Oliver Fisher was the ecstatic golfer who finally cracked the code – his 59 in the Portugal Masters at Vilamoura in 2018 coming after over 690,000 competitive rounds on the European Tour without a single score registered in the 50s.And let’s nail this now – the Codrington Course at the Players Club is no ‘gimme.’Off the medal tees it stretches to 6625 yards. For the purposes of the qualifying competition on that November day, Passmore used a combination of yellow and white tees – with the course still playing around 6200 yards long.The incredible thing was that in a round featuring nine birdies and three eagles it took a BOGEY to kickstart the scoring spree.Passmore explained: “It was just one of those days when almost everything went my way. I say almost because I bogeyed the fourth hole after a three-putt.“At that point I just decided to go for it. I only had 21 putts in my round which is ridiculous.“I couldn’t believe how it turned out.“Nine birdies and three eagles is mad.“After my bogey I immediately birdied the next two and then eagled the seventh by holing my second shot from 60 yards.“We were one of the last games out so by the time I came to the final hole there were a few people around the green including my coach Kelvin Aitken and a lot of the other competitors.“I knew a birdie would give me a 59. To then hole my second shot again from about 45 yards was unreal.”Out in 30 and back in 28, plus-two handicapper Passmore was justifiably thrilled.Passmore was still walking on air when he set off for the Justin Rose Telegraph Young Masters in Portugal.When he did land in the sunshine, Passmore was surprised to find that Rose was not only putting his name to the event, he was also there to encourage the competitors.Passmore finished a creditable fifth in the boys’ event but was able to take so much more than a decent finish away from his stint at Quinta Do Lago.“The week in Portugal at Justin Rose’s event was amazing,” said Passmore.“It was an experience I will never forget. For Justin himself to turn up and speak with all the players was brilliant.“I’m a huge admirer of his and was able to ask him lots of questions mostly about the mental side of the game.“He always seems so mentally strong on the course and keeps his focus and that’s something I’d like to develop.”Passmore has earned an England call-up for 2020 when he will compete in the European Boys’ team championships being held at Upsala Golf Club in Sweden in July.The following month, England will defend their Home International crown at Killarney Golf Club in Ireland.These team events figure high on Passmore’s list of priorities for the new year along with better showings in individual championships.He added: “I went into the 2019 season with no expectations. I had had a couple of poor years really and decided to try and relax and try and play a more natural game.“I made the quarter finals of the British Boys’ and I’d like to go further in 2020.“I should look at things like the Carris and other boys’ events too.“I’ve not been involved at England level before and that’s something I’m really looking forward to as I know the experience of these team events will help me develop.“The way the 2019 season has ended has given me plenty of encouragement for 2020.”Headline photograph credit: Leaderboard 2 Dec 2019 A round of 58? That’ll do for Pass marks! last_img read more


first_imgFacebook69Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Harlequin Productions Harlequin Productions own comedy troupe, Something Wicked, will be just one of the acts during the 2nd Annual South Sound Improv Comedy Festival.Harlequin Productions is gearing up to present The 2nd Annual South Sound Improv Comedy Festival April 3rd and 4th at 8:00 p.m. at the State Theater in downtown Olympia. This festival will feature some of the most acclaimed improv troupes from the Olympia area and the Puget Sound region.Troupes set to perform include Unexpected Productions, Jet City Improv, Fools Play, Olyimprov, Hat Trick Pony, Generation Friends, and Harlequin’s own improv troupe, Something Wicked. Local favorite stand-up comedian Morgan Picton will serve as Master of Ceremonies.“This festival aims to celebrate extraordinary improv in our area,” said festival organizer and Harlequin development manager Mark Alford. “I think a lot of people don’t realize how vibrant our local improv scene is.”Last year the 1st annual festival sold out completely, forcing the theater to turn many patrons away at the door. This spurred the Harlequin staff to make this year’s festival a two-night affair.“The festival last year was Harlequin dipping its toe into Olympia improv,” commented Harlequin managing artistic director Scot Whitney. “We couldn’t fit the audience inside the theater! So this year we’ve added another night, two more troupes, and the amazing Morgan Picton. We’re preparing for a nice long swim in deep water.”Modern improvisational theater became a popular form of live comedy in the United States in the 1970’s and 80’s. However, it is still predominately confined to large cities. A scattering of improv troupes can be found among smaller cities and towns, but a festival of this size in a smaller city is not a common occurrence. “This is not some small-town, knock-off version of a big city festival,” Alford said. “We’ve got some of the most popular troupes in the state coming to perform. It’s really cool to be able to present this right here in Olympia.”“Unexpected Productions is the longest-running show in Seattle. Ever. And Hat Trick Pony is headed by the people behind the popular film series The Gamers and the web series JourneyQuest. Meanwhile, Jet City Improv is one of the most popular improv companies in the Pacific Northwest. Fools Play has been doing comedy in the South Sound for over 21 years. OlyImprov has been a local favorite since 2006. And in my opinion, Generation Friends is one of the best college improv groups in the nation. We’ve got an incredible lineup set to perform.”Friday April 3 will feature performances by Generation Friends, Hat Trick Pony, Olyimprov, and Something Wicked. Saturday April 4 will showcase Fools Play, Jet City Improv, Unexpected Productions, and Something Wicked.Harlequin is offering single-day tickets for $20 and two-day passes for $30. Patrons can find more info and purchase tickets by calling (360)786-0151, or by visiting harlequinproductions.org/something-wicked-improv.Alford summarized his excitement by saying, “This truly is a collection of some of the best improv our region has to offer. They’re gonna blow the roof off the place.”last_img read more


first_imgON TRACK CROWD OF 38,647 WITNESS 78TH RUNNING OF WEST COAST’S PREMIER DERBY PREPBy BETH HARRISAP Racing WriterARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Dortmund towers over his competition, standing the equivalent of 5-feet, 8-inches tall. He’s pretty imposing on paper, too.The chestnut colt romped to a 4 1/4-length victory in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, keeping him unbeaten at 6-0 heading into next month’s Kentucky Derby.“It’s good to see this horse just really developing the way he has from his first start,” Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said. “I just love the way he ran.”Dortmund led all the way in running 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.73 under Martin Garcia and paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite in the six-horse field. Baffert earned his record seventh victory in the West Coast’s major prep for the Kentucky Derby.“When we bought him he looked like a really good horse, but he was just a big horse and sometimes they don’t turn out,” Baffert said. “He’s a big, long-legged horse. When he made the lead and when he gets by himself like that, he’ll idle on you a little bit, so he had to keep going.”Dortmund bobbled slightly coming out of the starting gate in the No. 1 post _ a spot Baffert detests _ but he quickly went to the lead and kicked clear leaving the final turn.“Even though he’s won all his races, he’s still learning,” said Garcia, who won his first Santa Anita Derby. “He can play around a bit when someone comes to him. When I ask him to go, he becom s push-button and he just takes off.”Dortmund joins his sire Big Brown (3-0) and Barbaro (5-0) in taking an undefeated record into the Kentucky Derby. Big Brown won the Derby in 2008 and Barbaro did so in 2006.At 17 hands, Dortmund stands taller than the average thoroughbred, which can measure anywhere from 15 to 17 hands, with a hand being equal to 4 inches.One Lucky Dane, also trained by Baffert, returned $4.80 and $2.80, while Bolo was another 2¼ lengths back in third and paid $3 to show. Prospect Park was fourth, followed by Cross the Line and Bad Read Sanchez.Dortmund earned 100 points for the victory, moving him into second place on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard that determines the 20-horse field for the May 2 race.One Lucky Dane was running just 16 days after returning from a 4½-month layoff with a victory on March 19. He moved into 16th on the Derby leaderboard and will head to Churchill Downs, too.“He qualified in Bob Baffert’s eyes,” the trainer said. “I don’t need 40 points.”Baffert’s other top horse, American Pharoah, will run in next weekend’s Arkansas Derby, giving the white-haired trainer a third shot at winning the Kentucky Derby for the fourth time in his career.“I can’t believe I’m so fortunate to be in this position with two outstanding 3-year-olds,” he said.In other stakes:_ Stellar Wind rallied to win the $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks by 5 1/4 lengths under Victor Espinoza. The 6-5 favorite ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.26 and paid $4.40 to win. Trainer John Sadler said he plans to run the filly in the Kentucky Oaks on May 1._ Even-money favorite Gimme Da Lute won the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes by 5 1/4 lengths for Baffert. Ridden by Garcia, the 3-year-old colt ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.64 and paid $4 to win._ Spirit of Xian won the $151,750 Providencia Stakes by a neck under Joe Talamo. The filly ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.10 and paid $35.60 to win.last_img read more


first_imgAfter winning the Kentucky Derby for the second straight year, jockey Victor Espinoza is excited to go for the elusive Triple Crown. Follow Victor as he visits ESPN and throws out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium. Good luck in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 16! Come to Santa Anita for live racing plus watch the simulcast of the Preakness Stakes. Special packages available.last_img