Moody’s sees increased risks in Quebec budget

first_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service has its doubts about the government of Quebec’s pledge to eliminate its deficit by 2015-2016. Following the tabling of its new budget on June 4, Moody’s notes that the province’s fiscal health has weakened from earlier projections. It’s now forecasting a $2.35 billion deficit this year, up from the $1.75 billion forecast in November 2013. And, the estimated deficit for 2013-2014 has also been increased from its previous forecast. Yet, despite these deteriorations, the target for a return to balanced budgets remains unchanged, it notes. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news Keywords Budgets,  Quebec Alberta hopes higher oil prices will power recoverycenter_img Quebec seniors working later in life, carrying more debt The government aims to get there primarily by curbing spending, and by finding further savings in a review of program spending. The budget also proposes to launch a review of the province’s tax system, and Moody’s notes that it allocates results equal to $650 million from this review in the planned balanced budget. “The goal of achieving a balanced budget for 2015-2016 rests on a substantial shift in spending patterns from recent years and revenue measures from a special review committee that has not yet been formed,” noted Michael Yake, assistant vice president and analyst at Moody’s. “Given the reliance on these factors, as well as the deterioration in fiscal balances for the recent past from previous targets, expectations of a balanced budget in 2015-2016 appear ambitious at this point.” Moody’s also notes that the province announced that infrastructure spending will equal $90.3 billion over the next 10 years. “With higher deficits and significant infrastructure spending, Quebec’s debt burden is expected to increase over the next two years,” it says, adding that, nevertheless, the province remains committed to its plan for a gradual reduction of its debt burden, targeting gross debt to equal 45% of GDP by 2026. James Langton B.C. budget forecasts three years of billion-dollar deficitslast_img read more

UK PM call with President Erdoğan of Turkey 8 March 2021

first_imgUK PM call with President Erdoğan of Turkey 8 March 2021 The Prime Minster spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan this afternoon.They discussed the importance of the UK-Turkey relationship and ways to deepen that relationship across trade, the links between our people and defence – particularly recognising the UK and Turkey’s status as NATO allies.On trade, both leaders welcomed the agreement of the UK-Turkey Free Trade Agreement in December and agreed that it should form the basis of further trade and investment between our countries.The Prime Minister and President Erdogan discussed the upcoming UN Cyprus talks. The Prime Minister emphasised that the UK continues to be a strong supporter of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on the internationally accepted model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.The leaders also talked about the situation in Libya. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of implementing the ceasefire agreement and reducing tensions in the country.The Prime Minister offered his condolences following the deaths of thirteen Turkish citizens in northern Iraq and condemned killings by PKK terrorists. The Prime Minister and President Erdogan agreed on the importance of the UN Security Council Resolution facilitating cross-border humanitarian access from Turkey to north west Syria being renewed.The Prime Minister noted the importance of ambition in tackling the fight against climate change and the leaders looked forward to continuing cooperation ahead of COP26 in November. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:climate change, Cyprus, Erdogan, Government, Humanitarian, Iraq, Libya, NATO, PM, Prime Minister, Security Council, Syria, Turkey, Turkish, UK, UK Government, UNlast_img read more

UK PM call with Secretary General of NATO 22 March 2021

first_imgUK PM call with Secretary General of NATO 22 March 2021 The Prime Minister spoke to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this afternoon.He updated the Secretary General on the outcome of the Integrated Review. This includes the £24bn increase in the UK’s defence budget and our commitment to the wholescale modernisation of the Armed Forces.The Prime Minister emphasised the UK’s strong commitment to NATO as the guarantor of Euro-Atlantic Security and highlighted that the increased investment in defence brings the UK’s total spending to 2.2% of GDP – significantly above the NATO target.The Secretary General outlined his work on the ‘NATO 2030’ vision, a piece of work that was launched at the NATO meeting hosted by the UK in 2019. The leaders discussed the important role NATO must play in tackling climate change and countering the security threats caused by it.The Prime Minister and Secretary General discussed the importance of NATO going forward, particularly in Afghanistan where both leaders stressed the importance of supporting long-term and inclusive peace. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Afghanistan, climate, climate change, GDP, Government, Investment, military, Minister, NATO, PM, Prime Minister, Secretary, security, spending, UK, UK Governmentlast_img read more

Battle Ground Shred Day 2020

first_imgDonations accepted by Battle Ground Lions Club as people bring boxes full of paperBATTLE GROUND – It was steady from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.A few cars here, then a few more, and a few more. Sometimes, a line would materialize.Some of the folks driving those cars had boxes, a lot of boxes, full of receipts, bills, and other legal documents. Others just had maybe half a bag filled with those papers.Soon, all that paper would be diced and chopped into itty bits of paper. It was Shred Day in Battle Ground, presented by the Battle Ground Lions Club.The event was free Saturday but the Lions Club took donations. And most people were very giving.Usually, Shred Day is in May, soon after Tax Day. This year, of course, Tax Day was delayed. So, too, was Shred Day. The hope is for Shred Day to return in May in 2021.Many people dropped their paper into a receptacle and drove away, knowing that Marty Damewood of Le May Mobile Shredding would do his job, by dumping those papers into the back of the truck, where the shredding happens.Some, though, insisted on parking nearby and watching their papers get put in the shredder. There is even a small monitor that shows the shredding from a small camera inside the back of the truck.Members of the Lions Club said they have been doing this for about eight years, and it has become a popular event. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTags:Battle GroundClark CountyLatestshare 0 Previous : Vancouver Fire Dept battles attic fire in Glenwood Neighborhood Next : Protect yourself, others from heat-related illness during hot weatherAdvertisementThis is placeholder text Battle Ground Shred Day 2020Posted by Paul ValenciaDate: Monday, July 27, 2020in: Peopleshare 0 last_img read more

Afternoon Brief, September 30

first_imgLinkedin Home Afternoon Brief Afternoon Brief, September 30Afternoon BriefAfternoon Brief, September 30By Editor – September 30, 2019 136 0 Share Trending Story:Russian River Valley Wines Sweep Top Honors at 2019 Sonoma County Harvest Fair AwardsA pinot noir, a chardonnay and a sparkling brut rosé – all produced from Russian River Valley grapes – won the coveted sweepstakes awards Sunday night at the Sonoma County Harvest Awards Gala…Today’s News:What Part of Reality Are You Missing? Augmenting Smart PackagingWhat are customers looking for in wine packaging that most wineries are ignoring or missing at this point? Simply put, it’s the story…Drinks Brand Could Lose Billions if Plan Packaging Extended to AlcoholValuation consultancy Brand Finance has analyzed the potential impact of such a policy on food and beverage brands in four categories: alcohol, confectionery, savory snacks, and sugary drinks, and found that companies like Pernod Ricard are particularly vulnerable…Startup of the Month: PairAnythingIn 1986, Christy Serrato was a founding fellow for the nonprofit Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy. More than 30 years later, after decades working in Silicon Valley, she moved back to the Capital Region and became the academy’s newest program director…Fruition Science 360viti Gadgets Take Guesswork Out of WinemakingHow Millennials and Augmented Reality Are Changing Wine SalesPennsylvania Wine 2.0: The View from the Next GenerationCentral Coast Wine Industry Sees Late Harvest After Cool, Wet WinterWe Think Treasury Wine Estates Can Stay on Top of Its DebtDecanter Asia Wine Awards 2019 Winners AnnouncedIsraeli Winery: ‘Add Us to Appeal on Labeling Our Wines’Fine Wine Investment: Buying SmartRosés, Sparklers Lead the Way for France’s “Hot Prospect” WinesPesticide Challenge Leaving French Viticulture with Little ChoiceBear with Expensive Taste Only Eats Pinot Noir Grapes at California VineyardBlogs:California ABC Facing Three Separate Whistleblower LawsuitsShould You Auto-Post to Facebook and Twitter from Instagram?How Not to Write a Wine Report“Your Data Has No Value.” Except in One Very Specific Way.What Should Wine Producers Focus On?WineIndustry.Jobs:Technical Sales RepresentativePacific Winemaking llc – Sherwood, OR, USASales RepresentativePolarClad Tank Insulation – CA, USATasting Room AssociateCarr Winery Inc. – Santa Barbara, CA, USAMore Wine Industry Jobs…Feature Your Job Listing in the Afternoon BriefPeople:William Chris Vineyards Welcomes Leah Derton as Senior Director of MarketingEmetry Welcomes Sara Vlasach as Senior Director of Product MarketingRepublic National Distributing Company Announces Key Leadership AppointmentsFrom the Glamorous World of Wine, Meet the Entrepreneur Leading the Gourmet Side of CannabisThe New Compliance Game: A Follow-up Interview with Steve Gross, Vice President, State Relations at the Wine InstituteSupplier News:Advanced Grape Juice and Wine Filtration Technology to Revolutionize Winery EfficiencyA Beginner’s Guide to SEO: Identifying KeywordsTiming Your Harvest with TerrAvion High-Resolution Image DataThe SVB Survey Is Now OpenMore Supplier News…Vineyard & Winery:Bouchaine Vineyards Offers Monthly Wine & Chocolate ProgramCalifornia Wine’s Unlikely EdenSonoma-Cutrer Releases Latest Winemakers Release in Annual SeriesVineyard to Research Effects of Climate Change on Wine GrowingA Wine Fashioned Exclusively for Emmy Award Winners Subscribe to the Afternoon BriefAdvertisement Previous articleSonoma-Cutrer Releases Latest Winemakers Release in Annual SeriesNext article#MerlotMe Campaign Aims to Break Record This October Editor Facebook Emailcenter_img ReddIt Pinterest Subscribe to the Afternoon Brief Twitter Advertisement TAGSBalletto VineyardsDecanter Asia Wine AwardsFruition SciencesIsraelJ Vineyards & WineryLarkmead VineyardsPennsylvaniaRussian River VineyardsSan Luis Obispo CountySonoma County Harvest FairSterling VineyardsTreasury Wine Estates last_img read more

Dr Harsh Vardhan launches Ayushman Bharat Pakhwara

first_imgDr Harsh Vardhan launches Ayushman Bharat Pakhwara Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Comments (0) MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” Share Related Posts Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” By EH News Bureau on September 18, 2019 Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha The fortnight-long national campaign will enhance awareness around the preventive, promotive and curative aspects of healthcare, nutrition, yoga and healthy lifestyle through Ayushman BharatDr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, recently launched Ayushman Bharat Pakhwara, a fortnight of enhancing awareness about the Yojana, the salient features of its twin pillars and the benefits that can be availed of.Dr Vardhan said, “This year, as we complete one year launch of AB-PMJAY, we are celebrating Ayushman Bharat Pakhwara (September 15-30), a fortnight-long national campaign to enhance awareness around the preventive, promotive and curative aspects of healthcare, nutrition, yoga and healthy lifestyle through Ayushman Bharat and other related initiatives such as Poshan Abhiyaan and Swachhta Abhiyaan.”Dr Vardhan informed that tele-consultation services will be introduced shortly which will have qualified medical officers and specialists. Work has been undertaken with eSanjeevani application of C-DAC, Mohali in Gujarat. Post security audit, the service will be rolled out in all functional AB-HWCs in a phased manner.Dr Vardhan mentioned that the Governing Board of the National Health Authority decided to overhaul the existing health benefits packages and rationalise the cost of the packages to remove any aberrations. This has ensured private sector participation by empanelling more hospitals to improve access to hospitalisation-related care. The IT system has been upgraded to make it more user-friendly, interoperable, secure and state-of-the-art.Dr Vardhan further mentioned that due to the policy of zero tolerance towards corruption, 97 errant hospitals have been de-empanelled and penalties worth more than Rs1.5 crore have been levied. The scheme is also progressing to achieve its vision of increasing employment in the health sector. He stated that an indigenous healthcare setup is coming up across India and the infrastructure will develop further, especially in tier II and tier III towns. In the last one year, the scheme has started to create thousands of jobs across the healthcare sector in India and many more will be created in the coming years.Dr Harsh Vardhan also stated that to mark the first anniversary of PMJAY, the National Health Authority will organise a two-day national workshop, Arogya Manthan, on September 30 and October 1, 2019. In Arogya Manthan, all important stakeholders of PM-JAY will meet and discuss through day-long sessions and working groups. Dissussions will be held on what challenges were faced till now and to forge new understanding and pathways towards improving the implementation of PM-JAY. Ayushman Bharat PakhwaraDr Harsh VardhanPOSHAN AbhiyaanSwachhta AbhiyaanYojana Add Comment News Read Articlelast_img read more

VimpelCom’s Djezzy deal nears, as price deemed fair

first_img Author Tim Ferguson AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 21 AUG 2014 Russia regulator approves second operator for 5G trials Verizon sees positives in service revenue despite drop Related Russian regulator opens roaming probe into Veon Home VimpelCom’s Djezzy deal nears, as price deemed fair Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter… More Read more Tags The sale of a controlling stake in Algerian operator Djezzy to the country’s government looks likely to go ahead after the agreed price was deemed fair.Financial adviser HC said a fair price for the 51 per cent stake held by VimpelCom subsidiary Global Telecom Holding (GTH) is $2.54 billion, 4 per cent lower than the $2.64 billion deal agreed with the government.VimpelCom acquired Djezzy in 2011 as part of a $6 billion deal to buy the assets of Orascom Telecom. It first agreed to sell a 51 per cent stake in the operator to the Algerian government in January 2012.Algeria’s finance minister said in September 2012 that the government remained interested in acquiring the controlling stake in Djezzy. There had been uncertainty around the deal after the operator was fined $1.3 billion for violating foreign currency regulations in March of that year.According to a Bloomberg report in April, GTH will retain a 49 per cent stake in Djezzy and continue to have operational control, based on a shareholder agreement with the government fund.Djezzy is the largest operator in Algeria, with 17.7 million connections at the end of the second quarter, according to GSMA Intelligence figures. Algerie Telecom’s Mobilis was second with 13.1 million connections, while Ooredoo had 10.9 million.According to VimpelCom’s second quarter results, Djezzy launched 3G services in seven provinces in July. Previous ArticleB&N debuts Galaxy Tab/Nook hybridNext ArticleVerizon quashes app store talk AlgeriaDjezzyFinancialVimpelComlast_img read more

Monday Scramble: Sawgrass show

first_imgSi Woo Kim makes Players history, Ian Poulter locks up his card (again!), the 12th hole flames out, the stars struggle and more in this week’s edition of the Monday Scramble:  For better or worse, there is no tournament as unpredictable as The Players. Kim hadn’t done anything of note this season – in fact, after dealing with back and wrist injuries, he had more withdrawals (four) than top-25s (two). And yet he looked like a completely different player for four days on a course that can punish even decent shots. No one goes to TPC Sawgrass to find their game, and yet Kim, statistically one of the worst ball-strikers this season, finished the week ranked second. Golf is funny sometimes. Just 21 years old, Kim is used to being a part of the “one of the youngest to …” discussion. It’ll be fascinating to see where this burgeoning star goes from here.  1. Kim was the youngest player to earn a Tour card, in 2012, when he was just 17. At 20, he closed with 63 and lost in a playoff at Barbasol. A few weeks later, he blew away the field in Greensboro. Not only is he the youngest winner of The Players – by two years – but he is the fourth-youngest player in the past 25 years to win twice on Tour, behind some bold-faced names, Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia and Jordan Spieth.  Some elite company, for sure. 2. An instant classic, it was not, but Kim’s short game Sunday was what many will take away from his Players victory. He hit only eight (!) greens in the final round and still shot a bogey-free 69. Think about that. He was a perfect 10-for-10 scrambling, rolled in all 15 of his attempts inside 10 feet and needed just 23 putts on the day.  3. A victory at The Players won’t exempt Kim from fulfilling his mandatory military service in South Korea. Kim receives a five-year exemption for winning at TPC Sawgrass, and he has until age 30 to complete the two-year obligation that has paused the career of Sang-Moon Bae (who is expected to return next season). “Regardless of me winning this tournament, I really have to go to the military service, and I’ve already decided that I’m going to go, too,” Kim said. “So I’m ready for that.”  4. Poulter completed an incredible story Sunday with a tie for second Sunday at The Players. Incredible because of his position just a few weeks ago – he’d lost his card and was in danger of being sent back to the minors or Europe. Instead, thanks to Brian Gay, he kept his card after the Tour recalibrated the points for players on major medicals. Then, at TPC Sawgrass, he ranked third or better in strokes gained-tee to green and around the green, went 39 consecutive holes without a bogey in difficult conditions, and earned a paycheck worth $924,000 – enough to keep his card for next season. 5. In contention for the biggest title of his career, Poulter said that he felt “very comfortable” as he played the nerve-wracking finishing stretch at Sawgrass, but he played cautiously given his position. Down two and with his ball sitting in the right rough on 16, he had only 238 yards to the flag. He chose to lay up and, at least statistically, hit the worst wedge shot of the day (by 21 feet), to 40 feet. Par. On 17, still trailing by two, he hit it 40 feet left. Par. And on 18, still trailing by two, in need of a birdie, he shanked his approach shot off a tent and into a palmetto bush, leading to a miraculous bogey and a boatload of badly-needed FedEx and world-ranking points. 6. Steve Elkington rarely looks smart on social media, but he tweeted this Sunday:  No doubt… never thought bout trying to win https://t.co/7euubgVaby— Steve Elkington (@elkpga) May 14, 2017 Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offered an even more pointed critique, saying on “Live From”: “He clearly did not play to win, and he didn’t!” Were they right? Afterward, Poulter said it was an “extremely good week” and he was “really pleased.” And he should have been – again, it locked up his card for next season. But after all that he has been through, after the most trying 18 months of his career, it’s reasonable to wonder whether he was just trying to protect his place on the leaderboard, rather than making a run for the title. Because we can’t help but think back to how Patrick Cantlay handled the disappointment of losing the Valspar Championship in March. Cantlay, like Poulter, was competing on a major medical, was coming off a rough patch (injuring his back and losing his best friend/caddie), was trying to earn as much money and as many points as he could, was trying to lock up his card. But in the aftermath of a second-place finish, he didn’t view it like that at all. He was trying to win, period. Even as a 25-year-old just starting his career, and with so much at stake, he dismissed any sense that there was solace in finishing second and securing his card. In fact, he was peeved. “It didn’t really feel like a burden to begin with,” he said. “I’m not too worried about that. It didn’t really feel like much consolation at the moment. I didn’t finish the deal.” In other words, it was a stark contrast to how Poulter sounded in his post-round presser.  What Cantlay said was what we want to hear from the great players: We want them to compete for titles, not for points or money or status. 7. As much as the Tour tried to promote a “new-look” TPC Sawgrass, the only notable changes were the drastic makeover of the par-4 12th hole and the redone greens. It’s clear the greens are still a year or two away from being as receptive as Tour players see on a weekly basis, but the early returns on the 12th are already in: Good idea. Poor execution.  The Tour wanted to see a 50-50 split, but only 29 percent of players (131 of 439) went for the green throughout the week – and even that number was boosted by a third-round setup with an easy hole location. Even then, just 62 percent of players went for the green. Only 19 percent of players were successful in holding the green and putting for eagle. It ranked as the fourth-easiest hole of the week, playing to a 3.83 average. No doubt, it was a more interesting hole than in previous years. But there is work to be done: 1.) The layup area needs to be more challenging, forcing players to go for it; 2.) The left side of the green is basically unusable because the slope is so severe that any shot spinning in that direction would roll into the water, and 3.) The area between the right bunker and the front edge of the green is too penal and can put good tee shots in bad spots. Until those issues are resolved – and you can bet Camp Ponte Vedra received plenty of player feedback – the hole will continue to be underwhelming. Get those bulldozers ready. 8. Rory McIlroy, who has already missed six weeks this year because of a rib injury, is set for another MRI today after feeling discomfort in his upper back. It might be just a minor inconvenience, a slight tear in a muscle – after all, he was able to complete 72 holes, finishing in a tie for 35th. But it continues what has been a bizarre year for McIlroy. After Dustin Johnson’s emergence, this was supposed to be the year that McIlroy reasserted himself as golf’s alpha male. Instead, he was an afterthought in the Masters, he changed his clubs and his ball, and he is now, once again, dealing with an injury. McIlroy is entering one of his busiest stretches of the season. More time on the sidelines would be a massive bummer.  9. DJ had a career-best finish at The Players – and it still was a disappointing result. For the first time in nine appearances, Johnson finally got a top-15 finish, thanks to a closing 68 that matched his lowest round there. It was just the third time in his past 14 starts that Johnson finished outside the top 10.   10. Even with the deepest field in golf, it seems the star of the show is always Pete Dye’s diabolical Stadium Course, which tricks and confuses and confounds the year’s best once a year. Early in the week, players will discuss how they’ve (1) come to appreciate the genius behind the design, or how they (2) enjoy how you have to “think” your way around the course. But by the weekend, by the time the double bogeys rack up and the balls bounce over the green and into impossible spots, the warm, fuzzy feelings disappear. Here’s Pat Perez on Saturday afternoon, speaking for the rest of the field … if the rest of the field was speaking honestly: “I think like everybody else: It’s tough to get through. The course is hard. It doesn’t fit my eye on almost any shot, like everybody else. That’s how it was designed. So you know who loves it? Maybe the winner of Sunday. That’s about it. It was designed to penalize you and cause trouble, and that’s what it does and it makes it uneasy for you. There’s not a shot out there that I’m comfortable hitting.” 11. Another example of why The Players doesn’t play favorites and is the most wide-open big tournament: Of the top 25 players in the world, only four (Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Alex Noren and Rafa Cabrera Bello) finished inside the top 10. If it felt like this ’board was lacking the necessary star power, it’s because it was. The USGA already puts a cap on which amateurs can try and qualify for the U.S. Open, stating that those who don’t play for pay must have a handicap index of 1.4 or lower. But maybe the blue blazers should pay closer attention to the “professionals.” Last week, Clifton McDonald shot a 127 in a local qualifier in Alabama, a lowlight that was only brought to our attention thanks to Lee McCoy.  We attempted to find out more about McDonald – who he is, why he attempted to qualify, why he’s so unfathomably awful – but he declined an interview request, via the USGA. Since McDonald, a professional from Meridan, Miss., did not shoot a score within eight of the USGA Course Rating, his future entries may be declined if he does not provide proper documentation showing that he won’t embarrass himself once again. The USGA only offered this: “The USGA’s goal is to provide a fair competition and not exclude a player from making the attempt.” Well, sorry, but there’s nothing fair about playing with or behind a guy who needs 127 shots to play an 18-hole qualifier.  This week’s award winners …  Zinger of the Week: Phil Mickelson. When asked whether the USGA needs to get the upcoming U.S. Open right, from a credibility standpoint: “I don’t know if doing one thing right is going to fix that.”  Pour Some Out For …: J.B. Holmes. The 54-hole co-leader shot a final-round 84, dropping all the way to a tie for 41st. An all-time ejection.  Sunday (Blood) Red: Big final-round numbers. Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose – they all shot 78 or worse on the last day.  More Troubles: Danny Willett. The 2016 Masters champion hasn’t done anything of note since that fateful Sunday a year ago, and things have only gotten worse lately. In the past month alone, his caddie fired him and now an achy back has sent him (perhaps fortuitously) to the sidelines.  Not good to have to withdraw but swinging very poorly is putting a lot of unwanted strain on the back.. body and mind need a rest!!— Danny Willett (@Danny_Willett) May 12, 2017 Re-Upped: FedEx Cup. Good news, as the Tour’s playoff system will continue through at least 2027, though it could look drastically different in a few years, with a new spot on the schedule and one fewer postseason event.  How Not to Celebrate an Albatross: Rafa Cabrera Bello. After recording the first 2 on the par-5 16th, the Spaniard flung his iron into the air … and into the pond. Doh! ALBATROSS!Just perfect. #QuickHits pic.twitter.com/bgyFEl6pzI— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 14, 2017 Life Comes at You Fast: Jon Rahm. Through two days, he looked like the man to beat at TPC Sawgrass. Then, on Saturday, he shot the worst round of his young career, a third-round 82 that led him to miss the secondary cut. Speaking of which … Seriously?: 54-hole Players cut. The Tour usually resorts to a “secondary” cut when more than 78 players make the weekend. But at the Tour’s flagship event, at the event FOR the players, with so much money and so many points at stake, it just seemed wrong to send 11 players home early. It’s the third time in the last 10 years that this has been used, but it still doesn’t make it right.  Crisis Management 101: Billy Horschel. After getting shredded on social media for whipping his 5-wood into his bag in a kind of are-you-kidding-me? celebration following a chip-in, Horschel took to Twitter to explain his actions. No matter what you think about the club toss, this was a smart move – and a good use of social media.  Clearing the air. Take it or leave it. #truth pic.twitter.com/ulLJHAo6qX— Billy Horschel (@BillyHo_Golf) May 13, 2017 Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Jordan Spieth. Striking the ball as well as 2015, and at a course that he actually enjoys because of the strategy involved, Spieth railed against a poor rake job in Round 1, shot a second-round 75 and missed the cut for the third year in a row. Sigh.last_img read more

New outlook has Bubba back on top

first_imgAUSTIN, Texas – In 1958, the Georgia Bulldogs rolled into the Texas state capital with Fran Tarkenton at the helm. Sixty years later, another Bulldog fared much better than the football Hall of Famer. Tarkenton lost that season-opener, 13-8, which wasn’t a far cry from the beating Bubba Watson put on fellow Dawg Kevin Kisner in the finals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Watson thumped his fellow alum, 7 and 6, at Austin Country Club. It was the most lopsided rout since the Match Play went to 18-hole championship matches in 2011, and made for some bitter-sweet viewing for Chris Haack, who coached both Watson and Kisner at Georgia. “Someone asked me who I was going to be rooting for and I said, ‘Georgia,’” Haack laughed. But if Watson and Kisner both share an affinity for Athens, Ga., that’s where the similarities end. Kisner is intense on the course and exceedingly grounded away from competition, while Watson is prone to bouts of mental lapses during rounds and let’s say, quirky behavior when he’s not carving drives into the great beyond. Where Kisner seems to be made in a lab to play match play (Note to U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk, following victories for Kisner this week over match play “ninja” Ian Poulter and Alex Noren you may want to have him fitted for a team uniform now), Watson’s relationship with the format is something of a mixed bag. The same qualities that have now lifted the left-hander to his 11th PGA Tour title, often worked against him in college. “That was probably his weakness, he had a go-for-broke mentality and instead of playing smart he’d stay aggressive and make a ‘7’ on a hole and keep from making the line-up,” Haack recalled. “Kisner never missed qualifying for a tournament, ever. Bubba did. He had to learn to be more conservative and gear back and he’s done a good job of that.” WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos In seven previous trips to the Match Play, Watson made it to the weekend just twice, including his semifinal loss in 2011, and his fortunes didn’t seem to be improving when he halved his Day 3 pool play match with Julian Suri. “Match play is not my favorite,” Watson said. But he rebounded with a hard-fought 2-and-1 victory over Brian Harman in the Round of 16 and cruised to the final from there by defeating Justin Thomas, 3 and 2, who was the highest-seeded player to make the weekend. Maybe that’s why this victory seemed so special to Watson. Five days, seven matches and 109 holes is a long time not to get distracted, particularly for Bubba. For all the distractions that accompany the Tour’s most demanding test, all the potential pitfalls that are inherent to match play, all the reasons to figure that this might not be his week, Watson did what doesn’t always come naturally to him – he maintained his mental focus. “His mind has just been great this year,” said Ted Scott, Watson’s caddie of 12 years. “Sometimes when you fall from the top, and he had some health issues and stuff, when you come back you’re like, OK, this isn’t the most important thing in my life. The hardest part is the world tries to label these guys as a golf score. The game of golf isn’t difficult for Bubba, it’s the extra stuff, the distractions can be difficult. For him, focus is just about not getting distracted.” He wasn’t perfect at Austin Country Club, admitting that throughout the course of the week he only lost focus about four or five times, most notably on the par-4 13th hole in his semifinal match against Thomas. “In my head, in my imagination, I kept seeing a slice driver catching the slopes and then just trickling on the green or right next to the green,” Watson explained. “So every day, even though that number is not even scary when it comes to me hitting a driver, in my head, I just panicked and I wasn’t committed.” But those concerns were few, and he proved extremely adept at playing his opponent and not allowing his aggressive tendencies to dictate an unwise and unneeded game plan. That was evident in the week’s final match when Kisner played his first four holes in 3 over par and made the turn 6 down. During that span, Watson was a conservative 1 under par. “When you get a lead in match play the one thing you never want to do is give your opponent any sort of momentum. You want them to have to earn it,” Scott said. “He didn’t give many holes away for the week.” If all this doesn’t exactly sound like the Bubba we’ve become familiar with over the years, it’s not too much of a stretch to declare that there has been an evolution. Some of this newfound perspective was born from 2017, when he hit rock bottom professionally. He failed to win last season, failed to advance past the second round of the playoffs and told the world that he was going to step away from the game for a few months. It didn’t take nearly that long for him to rediscover the spark that made him a two-time Masters champion. “Last year was the lowest point, I would have to say one of my lowest points in my life,” Watson said. “It just mentally, being an athlete is not easy.” From those depths, Watson has now won twice on Tour in a little over a month and defied conventional wisdom with a victory at the Match Play, which is widely considered the game’s most mentally challenging marathon. Sixty years ago, Tarkenton’s squad came up short in Austin. Watson’s performance, by any measure, was so much better.last_img read more

Butte Woman Pleads Not Guilty in Crash at Capitol

first_img Email HELENA – A 21-year-old Butte woman accused of nearly crashing a stolen vehicle into the Capitol after leading police on a chase has pleaded not guilty to several charges.Sarah E. Bunker appeared in District Court on Wednesday and denied a felony charge of theft and misdemeanor charges of fleeing and obstructing a peace officer. The Independent Record reports her trial has been scheduled for May 2.Bunker is accused of stealing a Jeep Cherokee on Dec. 20 and of trying to avoid police when they spotted her with the vehicle near the Capitol. Court records say she drove up a dead-end parking drive and became lodged in a snow bank inches from the Capitol steps.She fled on foot and was arrested a few blocks away while she was running through a yard. A 20-year-old female passenger in the vehicle was interviewed and released.No one was injured in the crash. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.last_img read more