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Archive for September, 2018

NFL announces Way to Play Award

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Michael Signora, Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers of NFL.com: COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

An extension of the Way to Play initiative, the weekly award will recognize proper

in-game technique exemplified by NFL players

 

The NFL Way to Play educational series highlights proper technique to protect players from unnecessary risk and to foster culture change across all levels of football.

 

To further showcase the NFL’s commitment to promoting proper playing technique, the league today announced the NFL WAY TO PLAY AWARD as an extension of the initiative.

“Coaches, Legends, and players worked together to develop the NFL Way to Play emphasizing stance, posture and technique as key to protecting players while providing a winning edge,” said TROY VINCENT, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “The Way to Play Award will acknowledge a player each week who best demonstrates the fundamentals of knees bent, pads down, and head up and out as they compete in this great game.”

The NFL Football Operations and Officiating departments will select the top nominees, with NFL clubs providing plays for consideration each week. Video of those plays will then be sent to an expert panel consisting of ED HOCHULI, MERRIL HOGE, RONNIE LOTT, WILLIE MCGINEST, ORLANDO PACE and CHUCK PAGANO. They will select the best play to honor for demonstrating excellence of proper in-game technique exemplified by NFL players.

 

Each Way to Play Award recipient will receive a $2,500 equipment grant through USA Football to be awarded to the local youth or high school football program of the player’s choice.

 

The weekly winner will be announced on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football every Thursday morning.

 

NFL Way to Play educational sessions were held with coaches May 1-2 in New York. Webinars and conference calls with all 32 coaching staffs were held May 16-17. Officiating sessions with players occurred during training camps.

 

Several NFL head coaches, active players and NFL Legends have created videos to assist in educating coaches and players on position-based applications of the new use of helmet rule. The videos provide coaching points of emphasis to execute proper technique and are to be used as an educational tool.

To watch the videos and for more information, please visit ops.nfl.com/WTP-Award or www.playsmartplaysafe.com.

 

NFL suspends Ravens CB Jimmy Smith for violation of Conduct Policy

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

Jimmy Smith 2011 photo By Thibous - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

STATEMENT FROM AN NFL SPOKESPERSON

JIMMY SMITH of the Baltimore Ravens has been suspended without pay for the Ravens’ first four regular-season games for a violation of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Smith’s suspension will take effect as of the final roster reduction on September 1 and he will be eligible to return on October 1 following the Ravens’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Smith may continue to participate in all of his club’s preseason activities, including games.

 

 

 

NFL Network announces additions of Giardi and Acosta

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL NETWORK; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

Television reporters Mike Giardi and MJ Acosta have joined NFL Network, it was announced today. Both will contribute to NFL Network shows such as NFL Total AccessNFL GameDay Morning and NFL Up to the Minute, with Giardi based in Boston to cover the New England Patriots and Acosta based in the Bay Area to cover the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.

Giardi (@MikeGiardi) joins NFL Network from NBC Sports Boston, where he served as the primary Patriots beat reporter contributing coverage both on television and digitally. Additionally, Giardi served as the host of Monday Night Patriots on NBC Sports Boston since 2014, a show which consistently was one of the highest-rated on the network.

Prior to joining NBC Sports Boston in 2009, Giardi covered Boston sports for New England Cable News for nine years. Giardi’s work in Boston also includes contributions to 98.5 The Sports Hub and WEEI Radio.

Giardi graduated from Trinity College with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature/Classical Tradition, and received a Master’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University.

Acosta (@MJAcostaTV) joins NFL Network from NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 in San Diego where she covered the Chargers for three seasons as the lead sports anchor. Prior to joining NBC 7 and Telemundo, Acosta spent three years as a reporter for WPLG in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, covering sports, entertainment and breaking news.

Acosta’s work also includes co-hosting NBC’s Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge for two seasons.

A former Miami Dolphins cheerleader and bilingual in English and Spanish, Acosta graduated from Barry University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

 

ABOUT NFL MEDIA

NFL Media is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL.com, the NFL app and NFL RedZone.

Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can be streamed live through the NFL app and via Watch NFL Network on smartphones, tablets, PCs and connected TV devices tablet (Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, PlayStation 4 and Roku). Access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to NFL.com/nflnetwork.

 

Recapping, Streb holds off Malnati in playoff to win 2018 Nationwide Children’s Championship

MATCH RECAP WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF NCC COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

The tournament's championship trophy (file photo)

 

Robert Streb had a great week of golf (photo by Stuart Mason)

Peter Malnati happy eventhough he finished second. His game is improving each tournament (photo by Stuart Mason)

COLUMBUS, Ohio –  After capturing the 36-hole lead at the Web.com Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Kansas State University alum Robert Streb appeared calm and confident, remarking to media that he knew he had what it took to capture the title at the end of the week.

Streb backed up his claim with strong play in the final two rounds in Columbus, carding rounds of 68-71 on the weekend to finish the tournament at 12-under 272, enough to force a playoff with fellow PGA TOUR winner Peter Malnati. The 31-year-old would go on to par the first hole in sudden death, topping Malnati’s bogey to pick up his first win in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event since the RSM Classic in 2015.

Streb, who held shares of the 36- and 54-hole lead, struggled on Sunday, parring his first two holes at The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course before picking up a bogey on the par-4 third. He moved back into red numbers with birdies on his next two holes, eventually making the turn at 1-under 35, remaining atop a leaderboard that at one point saw as many as six players tied for the lead.

The Oklahoma native turned Kansas resident would hit trouble again after making the turn, bogeying Nos. 10 and 11 to drop back down in the standings.

While Streb struggled, Malnati surged, posting a 5-under 66 in the final round to move into a share of the lead. A par from Streb on the last would send the two into a playoff, the third on Tour this season and the fourth in tournament history.

The duo faced trouble off the tee on the first playoff hole, causing each to hit their second shot from the immediate rough. Streb and Malnati both landed their shots on the green, but a par putt lip-out from Malnati would ultimately be the deciding factor.

“Peter’s a good friend,” Streb commented after sinking his par putt for the victory. “We both more or less achieved what we were trying to achieve [in securing a PGA TOUR card].  I would say it was probably a little more relaxed than normal.  Could have flipped a coin, I think everybody would have been all right.  It was nice to come out on top.”

With their finishes this week, both Malnati and Streb secured a return to the PGA TOUR for the 2018-19 season.

“It’s really nice,” Streb remarked. “It’s been a pretty big struggle all year. I played a lot and was not playing well, so it’s really nice to get that knocked out the first week.  [Now I’m] just going to work on improving and get ready for next year.”

“I can’t tell you how good that feels,” Malnati said of his return. “It’s cool and, you know, I’ve never really played this game to make money, but I don’t want to have to do something else to make money, either. So to get back to the PGA TOUR, it’s just a little bit of freedom.”

Also heading to the PGA TOUR next year is 2018 Nashville Golf Open Benefitting the Snedeker Foundation champion Cameron Davis.

Davis entered Sunday six strokes back of the lead, playing in the fifth-to-last grouping. The 23-year-old didn’t let that deter him, however, notching a 5-under 66 to make a jump up the leaderboard. The performance was reminiscent of his win in Nashville earlier this season, where the Tour rookie overcame a six-stroke deficit in the final round to pick up the title.

“I was in a position where I was going okay,” Davis said, “but I still didn’t really have much to lose so I just went out there knowing that if I had a good round and kind of pieced one together – there wasn’t much wind today so I wasn’t sure I was going to get as high up as I did with that score, but it kind of worked out the way it has.  It’s nice to be up near the top.”

The finish was enough to move Davis into the mix, but with several groups still on the course, the Australian was forced to sit and wait, watching the leaderboard to see if the finish would be enough to lock up a card.

“It would be nice to play the next three weeks without having to think about it,” Davis said as he waited, “but at the same time, even if I do sneak in there, I still want to play well over the next three weeks, so I wouldn’t let it get to my head or anything like that. It would be cool to celebrate knowing that I’m there if I do get in, but otherwise, I still really want to make the most of the next three events.  It’s still really big tournaments and really strong fields, so I just want to make sure I can kind of keep it going and play well the next three events.”

The solo-third finish came with a $68,000 paycheck for Davis, enough to secure the 2017 Emirates Australian Open champion a spot in The 50.

“Any good week will get you in,” Davis remarked of the Finals, “but you’ve got four of them as well, so you don’t have to do it all the first week.  If you don’t have a great week, you still have plenty of time.  So I just kept on telling myself you don’t have to rush and do it all now, but if you play really well, take what you get.  So I did end up playing really well over the last couple of days and it’s nice to be where I am.”

SATURDAY NOTES:
* Sunday weather: Scattered showers, High of 89, Winds S/SW 10-20 mph.

* This week’s purse was $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion, Robert Streb.

* This week marked the beginning of the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-event series that concludes at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Florida, Sept. 20-23. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

About Robert Streb

HEIGHT: 5-10   WEIGHT: 165
BIRTHDATE: April 7, 1987
BIRTHPLACE: Chickasha, Oklahoma
RESIDENCE: Shawnee, Kansas
FAMILY: Wife, Maggie; Daughter, Catherine; Son, David Frank
EDUCATION: Kansas State University (Marketing, 2009)
TURNED PROFESSIONAL: 2009

* Streb becomes the sixth 54-hole leader to go on to capture the title in Columbus since its inception in 2007, with the most recent being Justin Thomas in 2014. Streb is also the seventh straight player to win when playing out of the final Sunday grouping.

* Including the one-hole playoff on No. 18, both Streb and Malnati played the hole five times. Streb played the hole at 2-under, while Malnati played it in 4-over, including a lip-out bogey in the playoff from roughly 15 feet.

* Jonathan Byrd carded the low round of the day with a 6-under 65 to jump 40 spots from T70 to T30.

* Shawn Stefani bookended his tournament with 4-under-par 67s to claim a solo fourth finish and lock up a return to the PGA TOUR. A late birdie on No. 17 ended up being the difference for the 36-year-old. The 221-yard par-3 played as the fourth-toughest hole throughout the week, but Stefani played it 1-under.

* Leading the contingency of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica alumni in this week’s field was 2017 Nashville Golf Open champion Lanto Griffin. Griffin finished T5 with four rounds in the 60s.

* While it is difficult to estimate exactly how much money is needed to finish in the top 25 of the Finals money list and collect one of the remaining 25 PGA TOUR cards handed out at the conclusion of the Web.com Tour Championship, below is how much money the 25th man on the money list earned in each of the past two four:

2013     Bobby Gates                            $33,650.00
2014     Eric Axley                               $36,311.66
2015     Rob Oppenheim                      $32,206.00
2016     Tim Wilkinson                        $27,425.00#
2017     Seamus Power                         $40,625.00

# – denotes three events played (Web.com Tour Championship was cancelled)

* The Ohio State University GC’s Scarlet Course scoring average:

Front (36)         Back (35)          Total          Cumulative

R1 35.956                34.912                70.868

R2 36.154                35.750                71.904         71.386

R3 35.747                35.053                70.800         71.191

R4 35.987                35.000                70.987         71.140

 

Final-Round Leaderboard

Pos. Name Scores
1 *Robert Streb 65-68-68-71–272 (-12)
2 Peter Malnati 69-68-69-66–272 (-12)
3 Cameron Davis 69-71-67-66–273 (-11)
4 Shawn Stefani 67-72-68-67–274 (-10)
T5 5 tied at 275 (-9)

*Won via sudden-death playoff

 

* NEXT WEEK: The Web.com Tour travels to Northeast Ohio for the DAP Championship presented by NewBrick, the second event of the Web.com Tour Finals. The Tour then takes a week off before traveling to Boise, Idaho, for the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco and then heads to Atlantic Beach, Florida, for the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship.

 

 

Recapping, Knous, Streb shared lead going into final round of Nationwide Children’s Championship

MATCH RECAP WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF NCC COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

Jim Knous speaks with media (photo by Stuart Mason)

Robert Streb told the media his game is going good right now (photo by Stuart Mason)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a round broken up by a weather delay in Columbus, Jim Knous and Robert Streb stayed one stroke clear of the field with matching scores of 12-under 201 heading into Sunday’s final round at the Web.com Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. Knous tied the low round of the day with a 6-under 65, while Streb maintained his 36-hole lead with a 3-under 68. Joseph Bramlett and Denny McCarthy each sit two shots back at 10-under 203.

Making his career debut in the Web.com Tour Finals, Knous was on fire from the start, birdying the first five holes to jump to the top of the leaderboard. The string of birdies matched the longest streak of his Web.com Tour career after a similar stretch in the first round at the 2017 LECOM Health Challenge.

“Five birdies in a row obviously is a dream come true,” said Knous, a Colorado School of Mines alum. “But, I mean, I was just hitting shots good, hitting shots close to the hole. There really weren’t that many long putts. The putt on No. 5 was a downhill trickler about 20 feet, so that was kind of a bonus there.”

Knous had a less eventful back nine, carding six consecutive pars before birdying the par-4 16th. Two more pars locked up the 54-hole lead, Knous’ second this season.

The father-of-one entered last week in need of a strong finish to end the Regular Season inside the top 75 on the money list to secure a Web.com Tour Finals berth.

“I mean, [last week] being on the bubble like that, [No.] 74, and knowing I needed a good finish to make the Finals and then doing it and playing well and finishing in the top 5 was huge. I was just so excited,” said Knous.

Knous is in the midst of a breakout season on Tour, with two top-five finishes already under his belt, including last week at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. He finished the Regular Season at No. 52 on the money list, and a win on Sunday would earn him his first PGA TOUR card.

While Knous is looking to reach the PGA TOUR for the first time, Streb is contending to regain status after competing on the PGA TOUR during the 2017-18 season.

“I putted really well the first two days,” said Streb, a Kansas State alum. “It was a little wishy-washy for a few holes today, then made some coming in.  So really nice to hang in there.  We’ll see how tomorrow goes.”

After birdying No. 2 for the second time in three days, Streb bogeyed the ninth to make the turn even on the day. He turned up the heat on the back nine with birdies at Nos. 12 and 15 before punctuating his round with a 25-foot birdie on the final hole to the delight of the crowd surrounding the 18th green.

“Yeah, [I was] just trying to get a tee ball in the fairway [on No. 18],” Streb remarked. “Hit a good second shot, came up a little shorter than I was hoping for, but obviously made a long putt and, yeah, gave me a good chance [heading into] tomorrow.”

Competing in 29 TOUR events this season, the Oklahoma native made 10 cuts, picking up a top-10 finish at the Barbasol Championship (T10), where he held a share of the 54-hole lead. The 31-year-old is a former PGA TOUR champion at the 2015 McGladrey Classic.

SATURDAY NOTES:
* Saturday weather: Scattered showers, High of 80, Winds S/SW 10-20 mph.

* This week’s purse is $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion.

* This week marks the beginning of the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-event series that concludes at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Florida, Sept. 20-23. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

* Since the tournament’s inception in 2007, five 54-hole leaders/co-leaders have gone on to capture the title in Columbus, with the most recent being Justin Thomas in 2014. Through 23 events this season, seven third-round leaders have been able to convert their lead into a 72-hole victory, with the most recent being Sungjae Im at last week’s WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz.

* The largest come-from-behind victory in tournament history occurred in 2009, when Derek Lamely overcame an eight-stroke deficit to take home the title (the third largest come-from-behind victory in Tour history). Entering Sunday, 29 players sit within eight strokes of the lead.

* Georgia Tech alum Seth Reeves posted a third-round 6-under 65 to tie the round of the day and move into a tie for fifth. Reeves, who had a late-season surge to earn a Web.com Tour Finals berth for the second straight year, looks to join 2018 Web.com Tour graduates and fellow Yellow Jackets Anders Albertson and Roberto Castro on the PGA TOUR next year with a strong finish Sunday in Columbus.

* After carding a T10 finish at last week’s WinCo Foods Portland Open to earn a spot in the Web.com Tour Finals, Australian Curtis Luck has strung together rounds of 67-69-68 to sit at 9-under 204, just three back of the lead, heading into Sunday.

* Leading the contingency of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica alumni in this week’s field is 2017 Nashville Golf Open benefitting the Snedeker Foundation champion Lanto Griffin. Griffin sits T8 heading into Sunday, just five back of Knous and Streb.

* Two-time European Tour winner Dylan Frittelli took the biggest advantage of Moving Day, posting a 6-under 65 Saturday to jump 38 spots up to T14 heading into the final round.

* While it is difficult to estimate exactly how much money is needed to finish in the top 25 of the Finals money list and collect one of the remaining 25 PGA TOUR cards handed out at the conclusion of the Web.com Tour Championship, below is how much money the 25th man on the money list earned in each of the past two four:

2013     Bobby Gates                            $33,650.00
2014     Eric Axley                               $36,311.66
2015     Rob Oppenheim                      $32,206.00
2016     Cody Gribble/Kelly Kraft       $35,125.00#
2017     Seamus Power                         $40,625.00

# – denotes three events played (Web.com Tour Championship was cancelled)

* The Ohio State University GC’s Scarlet Course scoring average:

Front (36)         Back (35)          Total          Cumulative

R1 35.956                34.912                70.868

R2 36.154                35.750                71.904         71.386

R3 35.747                35.053                70.800         71.191

 

Third-Round Leaderboard

Pos. Name Scores
1 Jim Knous 68-68-65–201 (-12)
Robert Streb 65-68-68–201 (-12)
3 Joseph Bramlett 70-68-65–203 (-10)
Denny McCarthy 66-69-68–203 (-10)
5 Three tied at 204 (-9)

 

 

 

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