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Author Topic: "Over the last few years  (Read 6 times)

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"Over the last few years
« on: November 08, 2018, 05:23:27 AM »

PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Matt Every made the best of the worst conditions Thursday at Innisbrook. Danny Lee, finally, seems to be playing good golf in any weather. They were among a four-way tie for the lead after the opening round of the Valspar Championship, a day so challenging that 3-under 68 was the highest score to lead after the first round in the 14-year history of this event. Pat Perez and Greg Chalmers also had 68s to share the lead. Every was the only one among the leaders to play in the morning, when the temperatures were in the mid-50s and felt even colder because of a strong wind. He had three birdies on his last four holes, all of them about 15 feet or longer, and was five shots better than he would have hoped when he teed off. "I would have been satisfied with 2 over today," Every said. "It was tough. This morning you couldnt feel your hands. The wind was brutal." The temperature warmed under full sunshine in the afternoon, though that only helped a little. Only three players broke 70 in the morning, with the average score nearly 3 1/2 shots over par. Eight players broke 70 in the afternoon, and the average for the day turned out to be 72.6. Lee was in the last group, and how he got to Tampa Bay explains why he was one of the leaders. The former U.S. Amateur champion had missed every cut this year, and six straight dating to the OHL Classic in Mexico last November. That changed last week in the Puerto Rico Open, when he posted all four rounds in the 60s to finish second to Chesson Hadley. That got him into the field at Innisbrook, and Lee kept right on rolling. He ran off three birdies in five holes to start his round and was the only player all day to reach 4 under with a birdie on the par-5 first. He dropped his only shot on No. 6 when he failed to get up-and-down from the bunker. "I gained a lot of confidence after last week playing with the finish in Puerto Rico," Lee said. "It really helped me a lot with that confidence stuff, and Im hitting it really well right now. My ball striking is the best its ever been, especially with the putting. I got the new claw grip -- still working great, which is fantastic." Only 25 players managed to break par. Matteo Manassero, who didnt break 74 in four rounds at Doral last week, was in the large group at 69 that included Nicolas Colsaerts and Bill Haas. Russell Knox, who lost in a four-man playoff two weeks ago at the Honda Classic, was in the group at 70. John Merrick made bogey on his last two holes for a 70, while Peter Uihlein made birdie on two of his last three holes, including a 35-foot putt on his last hole, for a 70. This is a big week for Uihlein, a European Tour member, who is No. 73 in the world. He has only two more tournaments to try to get into the top 50 in the world and become eligible for the Masters. Justin Rose, at No. 7 the highest-ranked player in the world at Innisbrook, Luke Donald and 20-year-old Jordan Spieth were among those at 70. More cold was expected Friday morning before the warming trend returns the rest of the week. That means Lee, Perez and the others could face wind and cold at the start of their second round. Lee can only draw comparisons with his game, not the course or the conditions. He had never been to the Copperhead course, regarded by many as perhaps the best tournament course in Florida. He played a practice round Tuesday and jokingly said he would have shot about a 90. "I was shocked how hard it was," he said. "Without the wind and the cold weather -- even were playing in nice weather -- its a very tough golf course." Every traded birdies and bogeys until a strong finish. He made birdie putts of 15 feet on the sixth and seventh holes, and then made a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-3 eighth and he made par from a fairway bunker on his last hole. "Ive played enough to know the first round doesnt matter that much," Every said. "This place is just going to be about not making doubles and taking yourself out of the tournament." Perez played well on the West Coast, earning nearly $1 million, and then took three weeks off. He worked a little with his coach, but felt some rust early, so he was happy to get around Innisbrook at 68. And he was lucky to be playing late. "Definitely the guys that teed off at 7:40, 7:50, they had the hardest of what were going to see this week," Perez said. "I think so far we got the good side." DIVOTS: Angel Cabrera opened with a 72 with a backup set of clubs and rain gear belonging to swing coach Charlie Epps. Cabrera took one airline from Buenos Aires through Santiago and into Miami. The last he heard, his clubs and luggage were being shipped on another airline through Los Angeles. ... Blake Adam withdrew with a hip injury after opening with a 78. 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Nat Borchers headed in the sole goal in the 54th minute, getting on the end of a Kyle Beckerman free kick. The defeat cost Sporting top spot in the Eastern Conference. Even a draw would have moved the Kansas City club above Columbus.It has been 10 years since Steve Moores NHL career ended with an attack by former Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi. The 35-year-old Moore says he still suffers from headaches and low energy, even if he feels better overall and wants to get on with his life. But there has been no closure for the former Colorado Avalanche centre, whose $38-million dollar lawsuit against Bertuzzi and the Canucks is still in the courts after numerous delays. A trial date has been set for Sept. 8. Moore, a rookie on a powerhouse Avalanche team, still remembers that game on March 8, 2004, and the devastating effect it had on his career. "I think about it at times like this," Moore said Friday in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. "When the anniversary comes around, its hard not to reflect on the impact this has had on my life, which is dramatic. "At the same time I think a lot about how grateful I am that this wasnt worse. Every time I watch it I have the same reaction other people have, which is shock and disgust. Its just a little stronger when its yourself youre looking at and when youre aware of everything that happened in the three weeks leading up to it -- the threats and all those things." It all started on Feb. 16, 2004, when Moore flattened Canucks captain Markus Naslund with an open ice hit that put Vancouvers scoring star out with a concussion but was deemed legal by the NHL. Major retaliation was expected. Vancouvers Brad May was quoted as saying there was a "bounty" on Moores head. But when the teams next met on March 3, with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in the house, there were no incidents. The fireworks came in their March 8 game, a 9-2 Colorado win. Moore squared off against Matt Cooke in the first period, a fight that was considered a draw. It appeared that was the end of if. But things got nasty in the third frame. Moore was challenged again. He turned away. Bertuzzi skated up behind him, tugging on his jersey, then punching him from behind and falling on top of him as other players piled in. Moore lay motionless on the ice in a pool of blood before being stretchered off and taken to hospital. The diagnosis was a concussion and three fractured vertebrae. Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, which cost him about $502,000, and he didnt play during the 2004-05 lockout season. But he was reinstated for the 2005-06 campaign and has since continued his career, most recently with Detroit. He also pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of assault causing bodily harm and was sentenced in 2006 to a years probation and 80 hours of community service. There was also Bertuzzis tearful apology on television. But nothing could fully heal Moores wounds. After five years visiting the best specialists he could find, he was told he had made a remarkable recovery but none would give him clearance too play hockey again.dddddddddddd His career was over. "That was a very difficult time for me," he said. "It took a heck of a lot longer than I expected, but I was expecting to go back and I never thought about anything other than returning to play." He has since started the Steve Moore Foundation to help people with head and neck injuries. "Over the last few years, with the number of concussion injuries, especially with high-profile players, the public has been educated in a major way, but we still have a long way to go not just in making people aware of this, but in avoiding them and treating them," he said. While Moores foundation keeps him busy, he is also still dealing with the lawsuit, which could set a standard for determining responsibility for on-ice behaviour and injuries. Moore said the suit was not so much about the money as being compensated for the loss of his dreams. When Moore was injured, he was in his first full NHL season. He had five goals and seven assists in 57 games, but injuries had seen him move up from the fourth line to regular duty with stars like Joe Sakic and Paul Kariya. "I lost my entire career in my rookie year," he said. "I think any player put in that situation would do the same thing. "I cant recover anything else. I cant recover my career, the experience of living out my dream from the time I was two and half years old of playing in the NHL." He said the injury cost him all the good things about being an NHL player: rewarding himself and his family for the hours they put in to get him there, the chance to skate in the playoffs and maybe even win a Stanley Cup, or even the chance to be an inspiration to youngsters hoping to be in the league one day. "Everything I watched my peers go through the last 10 years," he said. "Ive watched the careers theyve had and I cant get any of that back." Bertuzzi has alleged the Canucks then-coach Marc Crawford urged his players to make Moore "pay the price," while Crawford has claimed Bertuzzi disobeyed instructions to get off the ice before Moore was attacked. Asked if he has forgiven Bertuzzi, Moore spoke instead of being frustrated at the repeated delays in the trial and the resistance put up by the opposing side in the lawsuit. "Im a very forgiving person," said Moore, who lives in Toronto with his wife and two small children. 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