Monthly Archives: March 2017

Jordan Spieth with a great shot to win the British Open

When things couldn’t have looked worse, Jordan Spieth never looked better.

The young Texan was in the midst of a monumental collapse Sunday in the 146th British Open that was reminiscent of the calamity he produced in the 2016 Masters, when he blew a five-shot lead with nine holes to play. This time, at Royal Birkdale, his three-stroke lead with 18 to play had vanished by the fourth hole, and Spieth looked lost, frustrated and defeated on the ancient land by the Irish Sea.

His struggles continued for eight holes and then his tee shot on the par-4 13th wound up 40 yards to the right of the fairway and disappeared into high, thick grass, forcing him to take a penalty drop. Make that an adventurous, bizarre penalty drop that took 20 minutes and found Spieth on the driving range by the equipment trucks despite a massive sand dune blocking his view of the green.

Somehow, some way, that’s when Spieth turned his fortune around.

From the moment he finally hit his approach to the 13th from 235 yards, Spieth authored the latest chapter in his ever-growing legend. With remarkable brilliance, Spieth started doing Spieth things as he managed to make a miracle bogey on the 13th. He canned a “massive” putt from 7 feet and then summoned a red-number tear by going birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie to win the oldest championship in golf.

With a 1-under-par 69, Spieth, who turns 24 on Thursday, finished at 12 under and three shots clear of playing partner Matt Kuchar (69) to become the Champion Golfer of the Year. And he is now the second-youngest player to win the first three legs of the career grand slam, bested only by Jack Nicklaus.

“Today took as much out of me as any day that I’ve ever played golf,” said Spieth, whose shaky start included four bogeys in his first nine holes. ” … Showed some resiliency and give a lot of credit to my guy (Michael Greller) on the bag for that. As you can imagine, thoughts come in from my last scenario when I was leading a major on Sunday. All of a sudden it creeps into your head. I was so confident and all of a sudden, the wheels have kind of come off everything. And how do we get back on track to salvage this round and just give yourself a chance at the end? It took a bogey to do so.”

Spieth denied Kuchar his first major championship triumph. Paired for the second consecutive round, Kuchar took the lead when Spieth made his bogey on 13 but couldn’t match his foe on the last five holes. Then again, who could have?

“It’s crushing. It hurts. And it’s an excitement and a thrill to have played well, put up a battle, put up a fight,” Kuchar said. “You work so hard to get to this position, to have a chance to make history and win a championship. You don’t get that many opportunities. And to be this close, to taste it with five holes to go, it’s a hard one to sit back and take.

“Jordan is a great champion and certainly played that way in the finishing stretch. It was impressive stuff when a guy does something like that. All you can really do is sit back, tip your cap and say, ‘Well done.’ It was certainly a show that he put on.”

Haotong Li, at 21 the youngest Chinese golfer to play in the Open, closed with four birdies to shoot 63 and finished third, six shots behind Spieth. Rory McIlroy closed with a 67 to tie for fourth with Rafa Cabrera Bello (68), seven shots behind Spieth.

Spieth’s name is now engraved on the shiny, gray Claret Jug, which will join his green jacket and silver U.S. Open trophy he captured in 2015. He now stands on the doorstep of history, just a Wanamaker Trophy away from joining Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to complete the grand slam. His first chance to join the immortal group comes next month in the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte.

“It’s a career goal,” said Spieth, the only player to win 11 PGA Tour titles and three majors before turning 24. “Growing up playing golf, I just wanted to be able to play in major championships and compete with the best in the world, and things have happened very quickly. And it’s good and bad, because a lot comes with it. And a lot more attention versus just being able to kind of go about your own thing. And I never realized how underrated that was. I wanted to be in this position but then, it becomes harder when it doesn’t go your way. And you’re harder on yourself because you expect so much. Therefore, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy this.”

A different, noticeable swagger was about Spieth upon his arrival to this seaside village, along with a combination of poise, experience and confidence that he ultimately was forced to call upon. He’s wiser and more comfortable now wrestling with the high expectations left in the wake of his brilliant 2015 major season, when he won two majors, five titles in all, the FedExCup and was one stroke out of a playoff in the British Open and was runner-up in the PGA Championship.

He had won his last start three weeks ago in the Travelers Championship, where for the first time he won on Tour without putting well. His three-week break included a trip to Cabo, where he hung out with two Michaels – Phelps and Jordan.

After setting up shop in a large rental home with Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson, where a lot of gin rummy and snooker was played, Spieth and Greller started drawing up the blueprint to master Birkdale and the vagaries of links golf.

Through three rounds Spieth did what he had to do — he went low when conditions were ripe for scoring — shooting 65s in the first and third rounds. And he survived when conditions were horrendous — a 69 in the second round.

And then he started going sideways in the final round. That’s when Greller got into his ear on the tee box of the seventh hole.

“Michael did a great thing today,” Spieth said. “He said, ‘Do you remember that group you were with in Cabo last week? You’re that caliber of an athlete. But I need you to believe that right now because you’re in a great position in this tournament. This is a new tournament. We’re starting over here.’ …

“And I definitely thought about what he was saying while I was over some of those key 3- to 4-footers that I made on 7, 8, 11 and 12. Those 3-footers were 10-footers to me. And all of a sudden the lid came off. And the 30-footers were 2-footers to me.”

After the bogey on 13, which Greller said was the greatest bogey his boss ever made “by a mile,” Spieth nearly made an ace on 14, made eagle from 40 feet on 15, dropped a 25-footer for birdie on the 16th, then matched Kuchar’s birdie on the 17th from 10 feet.

“He’s hurt a lot since that ’16 Masters,” Greller said. “And I’m sure somewhere in there some doubts had crept in. He just said, ‘You know what? I know how to do this.’ It was just cool to see him with his back against the wall. To see what he did just shows his character and his grit.”

Johnson, the 2015 Open champion, was among many friends waiting for Spieth behind the 18th hole. He, too, was amazed at what Spieth did.

“Words fail me,” Johnson said. “I can’t fathom it. Those are the intangibles, and the things I just don’t understand. I’m not suggesting I can’t do it.

“He just does it all the time.”

What Should Your First Marathon Prepare?

Running is a great form of exercise, but others step it up by joining marathons. For some, it’s a personal challenge to test their limits. For others, it’s just for the love of running. Perhaps you want to try your first marathon because it’s for charity, your friends talked you into it, or you simply want to start a new challenge for yourself? If so, there are preparations you need to do. In fact, others would even opt for speed training in Vernon Hills just to prepare themselves.

 So whether you are preparing on your own or with a personal trainer, here are some things to keep in mind:

 Know Your Limits

Running marathons is a huge undertaking and comes with higher risk than your routine morning runs. Thus, it is important to consult your doctor first to know if you are really fit for it. Also, start gradually. Don’t overwork yourself a week before the marathon date. If you could start running a base mileage months before the run, do so. One of the leading causes of injuries is running too fast and abruptly.

 Make a Plan

Create a plan that takes into consideration your abilities and limitations. Also, keep in mind your schedule. If you are to join a marathon, you should be able to run for 30 minutes straight, without interruption during your training. Also, include in your plan the mileage you will be running, cross training, and recovery exercises.

 Training Building Blocks

Build a weekly base mileage. Three to five runs per week is sufficient and should be done at a relaxed pace. When increasing your mileage per week, do not go over 10% that of the previous week. Then build a weekly long run – extending your run for about a mile or two each week. This should be done at least every seven to 10 days.

 Another aspect of your training is speed work. As mentioned earlier, some athletes go for speed training in Vernon Hills. While this is optional, speed work can enhance your aerobic capacity. Two ways to do this is through intervals and tempo runs. Interval is running a set of short distance at a faster pace than usual. Tempo run is the same as an interval but doing it for longer distances.

 Rest and Recovery

An essential part of your training is a time to rest and recover, and this means no running for the day. Injury is the number one enemy of any athlete, and rest and recovery are a great protection against it. If during your rest days you find it difficult to not do anything, do cross training instead. This may include other exercises, swimming, walking, yoga and other activities that are not as intensive as running.

 Stay Healthy

Probably one of the most neglected advice but is actually one of the most important is, “Stay healthy!” No matter how hard you train when your body is not healthy, you will surely end up injuring yourself. Take in enough carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Also, do not forget to hydrate. Buy a hydration belt or pack and carry it with you during your training so that you will get used to it. Try out energy bars, energy gels or chews and certain fruits when fueling during a run to know which works best for you. Never try something new during the marathon day itself.

Most Popular Sports in the World

Sport or sports is basically any form of competitive physical activity that is either organized or casual. Many different kinds of sports exist in this world with several hundred participants from all around the globe. The largest competition of sporting events takes place in the Olympics. Sports are usually governed by a set of rules which ensure fair play. I am sure a lot of you are into sporting activities and this particular list is just for all you guys out there. I happen to be a huge fan of tennis and football. Unfortunately cricket dropped out of my favorite sports a while ago. Anyway, you guys can let us know if your favorite sport is included in this list or not. Enjoy the read!

1. FOOTBALL
3.5 billion people watch football/soccer every year.

This happens to be my second favorite sport in the entire world. It is played between two teams with eleven players on each end. You have to score by hitting the football through the opponent’s goal. The highest governing body is FIFA and the first game ever played was somewhere in the mid nineteenth century in Great Britain. It is played on a football field in an outdoor stadium.

2. CRICKET
3 billion people watch cricket every year.

This particular sport is played between two teams with eleven players on each side. You are given a bat, and you have to hit a ball in order to score. There’s three different types of cricket games; one-day, test match and T20. I will not get into their details but if you are a fan you must already know. The highest governing body is International Cricket Council and the modern day cricket was first played somewhere in the sixteenth century. It is played in an outdoor cricket field.

3. FIELD HOCKEY
2 billion people watch field hockey every year.

The game is also known is hockey and it played between two teams with eleven players on each side. You are given a hockey stick and you have to guide the ball to the opponent’s goal and avoid that from happening to your own team. The first game ever played was somewhere in the nineteenth century. The rules are pretty much like football or soccer if you may especially so when it comes to penalties. The highest governing body is International Hockey Federation and it’s played outdoors only on a rectangular field.

4. TENNIS
1 billion people watch tennis every year.

This happens to be my favorite game by far. It is usually played between two players but you can also play a double just like in table tennis. You are provided with a tennis racket and the objective is to make the opponent miss the ball. The game requires a lot of stamina and it is very fast-paced. The highest governing body when it comes to Tennis is International Tennis Federation. The first game played was somewhere between 1859 and 1865 in Birmingham, England. Tennis can be played indoors and outdoors.

5. VOLLEYBALL
1 billion people watch volleyball every year.

The game is played between two teams on a rectangular field with a net in the middle. A team is allowed to have six players on the field to play. The objective is to get the other team to drop the ball. It sounds relatively simple. The game has been a part of Summer Olympics since the year 1964. It can be played indoors, outdoors and on the beach. The first game ever played was in 1895 that happened in Holyoke, Massachusetts, United States. The highest governing body is FIVB.

6. TABLE TENNIS
900 million people watch Table Tennis every year.

The highest governing body when it comes to table tennis is ITTF. The game is played with one or two players at the same time on either side. Table Tennis is also known as Ping Pong. All you need to do is get the ping pong ball to the other end of the table using your miniature sized racket. But you should know that as easy as it sounds it is not even close. The game is very fast faced and you need a lot of precision and the hand and eye coordination is supposed to be top notch.

7. BASEBALL
400-500 million people watch baseball every year.

This is a sport that involves the use of a bad and a ball. Baseball is played between two teams with nine players on each side on a ninety-foot diamond like pitch. The first game was played in the mid eighteenth century and the first recorded game happened on the 19th June of 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey. I have never actually seen this sport but apparently it is a big deal in many countries. If you change a lot of rules it is almost like cricket so my liking for this sport is at a minimal too.

8. GOLF
400-500 million people watch golf every year.

I am sorry but this in my opinion is the most boring sport ever. It involves precision and a lot of patience. The objective is to get the ball to the hole across a long area. Many different types of clubs are used to hit the ball and you have to do with minimum possible strokes. The highest governing body of golf is R&A and USGA. It was first played in Scotland during the fifteenth century. There are no teams in these sport, just a single man for himself. Golf is an outdoor sporting event.

9. AMERICAN FOOTBALL
350-450 million people watch football every year.

In the United States this sport is known as football but of course to other countries, football is an entirely different sport. It is played between two teams with eleven players on each side and the objective is to bring the ball to the other team’s end zone either by running along with it or throwing it to a teammate. The first game of American Football took place on the 6th November in 1869 and it was played between Rutgers and Princeton.

10. BASKETBALL
300-400 million people watch basketball every year.

The objective of this particular sport is to shoot a ball through a hoop at either end of the field. It is governed by a set of rules and usually two teams play this game on a market rectangular field. The highest governing body of Basketball is FIBA. The first time basketball was ever played was in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States in 1891. There are around 10 to 20 players on each side with five of them paying at any given time. It is usually played indoors.

 

The Bright Side of Sports

Benefits of Martial Arts When you are raising a child you want to do everything you can to set them up for success. Most people think that the best way to give your child a good start in their life is to make sure they get a great education. But, if you want your child to grow into a happy and successful adult, education is not the only thing they are going to need. You want to make sure that your child not only has a good amount of discipline, but they are healthy and are able to socialize with others. A great way to do this is to get your child involved with some kind of sport. Not every child is going to enjoy team sports like baseball or football. If you are looking for a great physical activity for your child to get involved with, you are going to want to consider martial arts. When you enroll your child into martial arts, there are a wide range of benefits they are going to get. When your child is practicing martial arts they are going to be doing a physically intensive activity that is great for their health. Plus, a key element to the martial arts they will learn is discipline. Developing this discipline early on will help them to work harder when they grow up. Plus, if your child knows martial arts they are going to be better able to defend themselves in an emergency. If you want to enroll your child into a martial arts class, there are many kinds they are going to be able to practice. You are going to want to talk to them and see which type they are going to enjoy doing the most. And with many martial arts classes your child is going to be given the chance to take a trial class to see if they enjoy it.
The Key Elements of Great Defense
You are going to be able to find many options in your area if you want to get your child involved with a martial arts class. When you go online you are going to be able to find a lot of information about the studios near you. Plus, you will be able to compare prices for the classes so you can be sure to find one that you can afford.
Why People Think Classes Are A Good Idea
You are going to want to do whatever you can to give your child the best start in their life. There are many benefits that come with getting your child enrolled into martial arts classes. When you go online, you are going to be able to find a lot of information about studios in your area.