Tuesday, August 16, 2022

June 17, 2021 SAN DIEGO (AP) — The USGA is starting to escape that reputation of an East Coast bias for the U.S. Open. The return to Torrey Pines for the 121st U.S. Open means another prime-time show along the Eastern seaboard, and that’s happening with greater frequency for the U.S. Open.

It wasn’t until the 48th edition of this national championship that it ventured farther west than Colorado, with Ben Hogan winning at Riviera in Los Angeles in 1948. That was the start of eight U.S. Opens in California over a span of 50 years.

The next 25 years include just as many U.S. Opens on the West Coast, which includes Los Angeles Country Club in 2023.

One appeal is being able to go prime time, with the weekend finish anticipated for 9 p.m. EDT on Saturday and 8 p.m. EDT on Sunday.

“It’s always good to have a West Coast site leading into the next TV negotiations or coming out of it,” former USGA executive director David Fay said.

The start of a 12-year agreement with Fox (since returned to NBC) was 2015 at Chambers Bay south of Seattle. The next TV contract would start in 2027 at Pebble Beach.

And then there’s the weather.

“I’ve been looking at the forecast,” Jordan Spieth said before he even arrived at Torrey Pines. “Cooler nights, 75 degrees in the day and no rain. They can do whatever they want.”

As comfortable as it sounds, that’s not necessarily comfortable for the players. All indications from three days of practice is the USGA has the South course right where it wants it, with little chance of something unexpected causing the wrong kind of havoc.

Missing the fairways is enough of a problem. Of greater concern might be missing the green. Wilco Nienaber, the big basher from South Africa, found that out behind the fifth green Wednesday. All he could do was chop at it to get it up in the air and move it forward, and then watch it roll some 25 feet by the hole.

Sure, it’s tough. That’s what players have come to expect from the U.S. Open. And that works anywhere in the country, East and West, or somewhere in between.

“It’s fairways and greens,” Rory McIlroy said. “It’s a proper U.S. Open test.”

McIlroy arrived later than usual for the U.S. Open, mainly because he played the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January. It’s not the same — not even close — though he has a familiarity of where the ball should be going, where not to miss.

His hope is not to be too slow out of the gates. McIlroy has gone seven years since he last won a major in the 2014 PGA Championship, a stretch too long for that amount of talent.

In his last three majors, two of them the Masters, he has started 75-76-75.

“Probably just putting a little too much pressure on myself, playing too carefully, being a little tentative,” McIlroy said. “I think that sort of sums it up.”

McIlroy at least has won recently, at Quail Hollow. Dustin Johnson hasn’t won in four months. He felt the pieces start coming together last week in South Carolina, right up until a triple bogey on the 16th hole Sunday that dropped him out of the top 10.

“If I can drive it well, I feel like I’m going to have a really good week,” Johnson said

The course, as always, figures to take the stage even from the silly feud between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka.

Mike Davis, the retiring CEO of the USGA, walked the course over the weekend and was reminded of how tough it played in 2008. Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate finished at 1-under 283, with Woods beating him in 19 holes of a playoff.

“It played like a U.S. Open should,” Davis said. “You had to hit all the shots. We tested shot-making skills. We tested your course management. We tested your ability to handle your nerves when it most counts.”

That’s what we saw this year and Davis said, “Can’t wait for it.”

When does it return after this year? That question is a little more complicated. During that early 50-year stretch of eight Opens in California, Riviera had it 1948 and the other seven were divided between Olympic Club and Pebble Beach.

Torrey Pines was part of a push to go public. Fay lobbied for Bethpage Black in 2002 and that turned out to a big hit, especially with Woods holding off Phil Mickelson along the back nine. The second version was a rain-soaked mess that was lucky to finish on Monday — Lucas Glover was the winner — and it’s no longer in the picture.

Would the U.S. Open have returned if Woods had not won?

“Having the champion you want does help,” said David Fay, the former USGA executive director when Bethpage and Torrey were awarded the Opens.

The USGA is planning a rotation of U.S. Open courses that include Pebble Beach, Oakmont, Shinnecock Hills and Pinehurst, leaving less room for others.

“We love Torrey Pines, and let’s see what unfolds this week,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of championships. “Again, I’m not going to speculate on the future, but we love everything about this place. ... It will get every bit of consideration it deserves.”

Whether there’s room for Torrey Pines, redemption for Chambers Bay, a star in the making at Los Angeles Country Club, the West Coast tends to put on a prime-time show.

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Entertainment

September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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