20 Jun 2017 Felicity sets the pace as the temperature rises Surrey’s Felicity Christine dislikes the heat – but shot two-over par 74 in scorching temperatures to lead the first round of the English senior women’s stroke play championship at Harpenden, Hertfordshire. She’s a shot clear of a group of four other internationals who all scored 75: defending champion Jackie Foster of Hertfordshire, who celebrated her birthday yesterday (image copyright Leaderboard Photography); Karen Jobling of Yorkshire, Helen Lowe of Leicestershire and Julie Brown of Staffordshire. Christine, a past British senior champion from Woking, spent most of the round with a wet towel round her neck, shaded by an umbrella – de rigeur apparel for the conditions. “It got a bit oppressive but I just played solid. I struck the ball well and tried to play conservatively because it’s the first day of a three-day tournament,” she commented. Sticking to that philosophy involved sparing use of the driver and avoiding the temptations of risk and reward holes, such as the 7th and 17th. “Maybe on day three but not today!” said Christine, who had four birdies in her round. “I played the sensible way, committed to shots and had a decent course strategy.” Foster (Bishops Stortford), is another player who hates the heat but she held it together, despite first tee nerves at the start of her defence. “I didn’t start very well, I had two bogeys in the first three holes, but I got it back together and played steadily,” she remarked. She was three-over on the outward half but came home in level par, helped by two birdies. The challenge of the weather included the importance of maintaining focus. Karen Jobling (Richmond) commented: “When it got very, very hot it was tough to keep concentrating, but there were opportunities to be had if you were brave enough take them.” She took her chances to score four birdies during her round, including one on the last. “That was a great way to finish,” she added. Although the weather precluded very low scoring it did nothing to dampen the competitiveness of the field. Behind the group in second place there’s a packed leaderboard and there are 14 players within five shots of the lead. Harpenden Golf Club is hosting a national championship for the first time and is represented by four players in the field. Cathy Gosling leads the way for the club, followed by Rhona Finch, Naoko Wada and Jill Banks. After tomorrow’s second round the field will be cut to the leading 45 players and ties who will play the final round on Thursday. Click here for full scores Captions: Defending champion Jackie Foster (top). Spectators take advantage of shady spot by the 18th green (below). (Images copyright Leaderboard Photography).
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker L.J. Fort (54) recovers a fumble by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Yet the veteran Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback understands he didn’t exactly shut down Atlanta’s Julio Jones during a dominant 41-17 win on Sunday all by himself.The Steelers sometimes had two — and on occasion three — bodies around Jones. And a resurgent pass rush forced Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to spend a significant portion of the afternoon under heavy duress.“They weren’t running,” Haden said. “The D-line controlled things. They controlled the front and then they got the sacks. That’s helping me out too big time. I just love when the D-line is able to get that type of pressure.”So do the rest of the Steelers (2-2-1), who for the first time this season looked like the group that led the NFL and set a franchise record with 57 sacks in 2017. T.J. Watt took down Ryan three times.Defensive tackle Cam Heyward picked up a sack and split another with linebacker Jon Bostic. Even reserve linebacker L.J. Fort got in on things, collecting the third sack of his six-year career and later falling on Ryan’s fumble in the end zone to put the finishing touches on Pittsburgh’s most complete performance of the year.Though Heyward downplayed the idea his team was desperate, he admitted there was a sense of urgency after the Steelers spent the first month of the season getting pushed around.The Steelers walked onto the steamy Heinz Field turf ranked 30th in total defense. Facing the high-powered Falcons, Pittsburgh responded by restoring a bit of normalcy by getting back to basics. They blitzed from all over. They disguised their coverages and then turned to Haden to put the clamps on Jones.The idea to have Haden shadow Jones came from coach Mike Tomlin, who broached the subject of having Haden follow Jones all over the field during the week. Haden welcomed the assignment, galvanized by the opportunity to take on one of the best in the business.“He can do everything,” Haden said. “He’s big. Physical. Strong. He can catch. Vertical. Everything.”At least until the first three quarters on Sunday, when Jones did nothing. Four times Ryan looked Jones’ way over the first 45 minutes.Each time the play ended the same way: with the pass falling incomplete.By the time Jones finally did break through early in the fourth quarter, the Steelers were already up 17 and the game was effectively over.“They had a good game plan for me today,” Jones said.One Pittsburgh might want to repeat going forward. The Steelers travel to AFC North-leading Cincinnati (4-1) next week.Much like the Falcons, the Bengals and star wideout A.J. Green present their own unique challenge.The Steelers have dominated the rivalry in recent years, winning 9 of 10, including an ugly victory in Cincinnati last December that included several vicious shots on both sides and the possible end of Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier’s career because of a spinal injury.Pittsburgh’s defense hasn’t been the same since, though the way the Steelers put it together against Atlanta offered a glimpse that perhaps things are starting to turn around.The communication issues in the secondary that plagued them in September largely vanished, at least for four quarters.And while Watt’s three sacks boosted his season total to six — tying him with older brother J.J. of the Houston Texans and Bengals defensive lineman Geno Atkins for the most in the NFL — Watt was quick to praise Fort and Tyler Matakevich, who stepped in admirably with Vince Williams sidelined by a hamstring injury.“I think we have so much confidence in them that we don’t have any wavering opinion whether they are in the game or not,” Watt said.“So, I think they just do a great job, go about their business as if they are the starter each and every week, and it shows.”Yet success has been fleeting. Pittsburgh thought it had figured some things out two weeks ago in Tampa Bay when it produced four turnovers in the second quarter to cool off the Buccaneers.Then Baltimore came to Heinz Field and controlled the second half on its way to a decisive victory.Whether Pittsburgh’s play against Atlanta is a one-off or a sign of things to come is uncertain.“Hopefully this performance can catapult us in the right direction, and start climbing the leaderboard of defenses and continue to win,” Fort said.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL PITTSBURGH (AP) — Joe Haden understands how it looks. Spend an afternoon keeping the NFL’s leading wide receiver in check and you’re bound to get all the credit.
Facebook21Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Rebekah Finn for Harlequin ProductionsHarlequin Productions has been an Olympia institution since 1991, witness to the ups and downs of the local economy. Now, in 2017, as they prepare to reveal the lineup for their 27th season, Harlequin founders Scot and Linda Whitney, along with their staff of passionate artists and professionals, are looking to the future. For 26 years, Harlequin Productions has provided a crucial cornerstone of art and entertainment in the Olympia community, and now the question is whether the community will help it continue.Why is it important to keep a live theater company open in our community?Maggie Ferguson-Wagstaffe and Christian Doyle perform in this year’s Stardust show. Photo courtesy: Harlequin Productions.Live theater has played a crucial role in society, stretching back thousands of years to a time when the general public was largely illiterate. Before books and newspapers, actors and live performances were essential for sharing spiritual and philosophical knowledge with the general public. As more and more people have learned to read and as technology has advanced, live theater has remained a vital way for humans to connect to stories and to each other.In a time when science is beginning to show concerns about how mobile devices may be affecting children’s brains, and adults have trouble looking each other in the eye because phones are easier to interact with, a place to tell stories face-to-face is increasingly necessary.How can we help?As the following graph shows, Harlequin Productions has been able to keep its nose above the water of encroaching expenses (red line), but has worked harder and harder to stay afloat (green line) as a nonprofit organization.With its productions being completely locally produced, and not having some of the same public, corporate and national support opportunities as more metropolitan areas, Harlequin relies on the support of the local community. Besides buying tickets and attending shows, Olympia arts patrons support Harlequin’s work through business sponsorships and individual donations.An easy and fun way to help make Harlequin sustainable is by joining the RLT Club. (Real. Live. Theater.) The concept is that many people giving a little adds up to a lot. Currently, there are 107 members, who make an automated donation of an average of $25 per month. That may not sound like much, but it adds up quickly to over $27,000 per year.Harlequin Productions produces modern, cutting-edge shows alongside classics like the 1955 show, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” proving the timeless nature of theater.In order to help stabilize finances, Harlequin has set a goal of signing up 200 new sustaining members. It’s easy to join and effortless from then on. (You may also stop your recurring donation at any time.) When you sign up, you’ll receive an RLT Club button. And every time you wear it to a show, you get a free cookie! If you join at $25/month or more, you’ll get an official RLT Club tote bag, too.The best news is that contributing to this important organization will make you feel good. You will surely be entertained when you attend a Harlequin show. You’ll feel even better knowing that you are supporting this local jewel, especially as you munch a delicious cookie. Buy tickets today by visiting harlequinproductions.org. And join the RLT Club to become a VIP Sustaining Member