W. Coetsee grabs solo lead at Joburg Open

first_imgJOHANNESBURG – Wallie Coetsee holds a one-shot lead at the Joburg Open after a 6-under 65 on Friday put him 12 under par and at the front of a group of South Africans. Coetsee leads from fellow home players Garth Mulroy and Tjaart van der Walt at the halfway mark of the European Tour event in Johannesburg, with England’s Simon Dyson also tied for second at 11 under. Coetsee opened with a 66 on the tougher, par-72 East Course on Thursday, and took his strong form onto the par-71 West Course in the second round. Coetsee had three straight birdies to start and finished with five birdies and an eagle in all, and just one bogey. Full-field scores for the Joburg Open Coetsee is seeking his maiden European Tour title after breaking his 17-year drought on South Africa’s Sunshine Tour last year. ”Somebody must wake me up, it feels like a dream,” he said. An extra bonus could await Coetsee with the leading three players in the top 10 at the Joburg Open not already exempt qualifying for a place at the British Open at St. Andrews. Mulroy carded a 68 and Van der Walt a 69 on the East Course. Dyson, also on the East, had six birdies and a bogey in his 67. Players play a round each on the West and East courses before play moves to the East Course for the weekend. New Europe Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke was at 1-over 144 after two rounds to miss the cut at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington.last_img read more

Prize fighters: Lovemark, Herman playing for Masters berth

first_imgHUMBLE, Texas – The race is on for golf’s final golden ticket. A win at any point in the PGA Tour season is a welcome result, bringing with it a bevy of perks. But this particular week at the Shell Houston Open offers players just one perk – the simplest, yet most coveted perk of all.  Lift the trophy on Sunday, and your next stop is the front gate at Augusta National. It’s the kind of stuff that players dream about, a motivator that can drive hours of offseason practice. And for Jamie Lovemark and Jim Herman, it’s tantalizingly close after three rounds at the Golf Club of Houston. But Lovemark and Herman aren’t just playing for the chance to take their first trip down Magnolia Lane. They’re also playing for their first Tour victory. The two have taken very different paths to this point. Lovemark, 28, was a can’t-miss prospect who has battled injury and is now beginning to play to the level many expected when he first turned pro in 2009. Herman, meanwhile, is a 38-year-old journeyman who has bounced between circuits and just last season made the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the first time. But now they are united in the spotlight, sharing the 54-hole lead and sitting one shot clear of a potent chase pack. Lovemark began the day one shot behind Charley Hoffman, but a 2-under 70 gave him a share of the overnight lead for the first time in his career. Seven years after losing a playoff at the Frys.com Open, he is older, wiser, healthier and eager to close the deal. Shell Houston Open: Articles, photos and videos “That was my third or fourth event as a pro. Things seemed kind of easy,” Lovemark said. “Hindsight, it’s not too easy after all. I’m not taking much for granted, just going to do what I do.” Herman moved into contention with a bogey-free 68, channeling form that seemingly came out of nowhere. He had only one top-40 finish in eight starts this year, and Herman hadn’t broken 70 in his last 10 rounds entering the week. But now he has strung three straight sub-70 scores together, and with only a handful of top-10 finishes to his credit he is on the cusp of a breakthrough victory. “Houston or any of the other places would be fantastic, just to get one,” Herman said. “I’ve been out here five years, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow. If it goes my way, that would be awesome.” Lovemark and Herman will have to cope with the crucible that Sunday’s final pairing creates, but their quest is also complicated by the pedigree of players hot on their heels. Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Russell Henley all have multiple Tour wins, and each is eager to add another. For Stenson especially, it’s a chance to end an 18-month victory drought that has included a myriad of close calls. “I know I can play my best, and hopefully bring that out on the final days as well,” Stenson said. “I think some of my fellow colleagues might have been more fortunate in those situations, and a few times I haven’t delivered what I need to deliver. It’s been a bit of a combo, but I’d love to get on the No. 1 podium.” Ever the cool customer, Lovemark strode to the podium after his third round and said all the right things: a win’s a win, whether it comes here or elsewhere. The focus remains on getting the job done, stamping your name as the best for at least one week at the highest level. A Masters invitation is merely icing on the cake. “Not too concerned about it, honestly,” he said. “If I play next week, that’s great. Obviously a win on any level is very important to me.” But this isn’t just any other week we’re talking about. Players can use the SHO as golf’s fastest launching pad, teeing it up in the season’s first major before the trophy even has a chance to collect dust. Plus, you know, it’s Augusta National. It’s the Masters. The place – and the event – speak for themselves. “You know there’s a lot to play for tomorrow,” Herman said. “You think about it coming into the week. This is your last chance to get to Augusta, but it’s more than that. I’m not going to put any more pressure on myself than I already might.” For Herman and Lovemark, this could be the point at which their professional career paths pivot. This could be the event that transforms them from “PGA Tour member” to “PGA Tour winner.” It’s a distinction that both covet, and one that can’t be erased. To do it, they’ll need to outlast each other, not to mention those in close pursuit, under pressures that are largely unfamiliar. But if they manage to pull it off, they’ll not only graduate to a new tier professionally, they’ll get to take the best post-victory trip the game offers. Golden tickets, after all, come around only so often.last_img read more

Lindheim wins in Utah for first Web.com title

first_imgLEHI, Utah – Nicholas Lindheim won the Utah Championship on Sunday for his first Web.com Tour title and a likely spot next season on the PGA Tour. The 31-year-old Californian closed with a 3-under 69 at Thanksgiving Point to finish at 15-under 269 and beat playing partner J.J. Spaun by two strokes. Lindheim earned $117,000 to jump from 83rd to 14th on the money list with $153,694, with the top 25 at the end of the regular season earning PGA Tour cards. Lindheim opened with rounds of 67, 66 and 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Spaun into the final round. A self-taught player who took up golf at 19, Lindheim also has two PGA Tour Latinoamerica victories. Lindheim had three birdies in a four-hole span in the middle of the round and bogeyed the par-3 15th. He took a two-stroke lead to the par-4 18th and matched Spaun with a bogey. Spaun had a 70. The Canadian tour money leader last season, he earned $70,200 to jump from 15th to sixth on the money list with $213,820. Xander Schauffele was third at 12 under after a 65. Austin Cook was another stroke back after a 69.last_img read more

Up by 4, Kirk takes aim at 72-hole LPGA record

first_imgONEIDA, Wis. – Katherine Kirk shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday to open a four-stroke lead in the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, and move into position to challenge the tour’s 72-hole record. Coming off a career-best 63 on Friday, the 35-year-old Australian reached 20-under 196 in the first year event at Thornberry Creek – the Oneida Nation-owned resort near Green Bay. ”I’ve been playing pretty well lately, trending at least in the right direction,” Kirk said. ”I like this golf course. It suits my eye, and I think it’s going to take another low one tomorrow. You saw some really good scores out there today. It’s not over until it’s over, right?” The LPGA record for 72 holes is 27 under, set by Annika Sorenstam in the 2001 Standard Register Ping in Phoenix and matched by Sei Young Kim last year in the Founders Cup, also in Phoenix. Sorenstam shot a record 59 in the second round. Kirk played the first five holes in 1 over with a birdie on No. 1 and bogeys on Nos. 3 and 5. She rebounded with a birdie on No. 6, ran off four straight on Nos. 8-11 and added birdies on 13, 15 and 17. On the par-4 18th, she saved par with a 15-footer after finding the right fairway bunker and hitting her approach well left. ”I know I can putt well, but I think I’m like pushing the limits right now,” Kirk said. ”It’s fun…. It’s unexpected, but you certainly take them when you can.” She won the last of her two tour titles in 2010. South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai was second after a 65. She’s winless in the LPGA. ”Obviously, Katherine is playing really well,” Buhai said. ”I saw I got within one at one stage, and then I looked again, and she was back to three ahead. She obviously made a lot of birdies and I felt I made as many as I could. Tomorrow will be fun between the two of us.” Buhai had seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch in the middle of the round. ”I hit the ball really solid,” Buhai said. ”I made a bogey on my first hole and after that I hit 17 greens in a row. I just kind of favored to the side of the pin that you had to, and I rolled in a few 15-footers. I was cautious at some times, and then I knew when I could be aggressive. Overall, good ball-striking, and you have to roll in the putts.” Japan’s Ayako Uehara (65) and England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff (66) were tied for third at 13 under, and Suzann Pettersen (66) was another stroke back along with Tiffany Joh (66), Cristie Kerr (67), Angel Yin (67), Megan Khang (67), Jaye Marie Green (70) and Sandra Gal (72). Gal shot a 64 in the morning in the completion of the suspended second round on the rain-softened course. ”I’m obviously going to tee off a little bit earlier than the leaders, obviously try and post a number,” Pettersen said. ”That’s all I can do at this point. … I love the way they set it up. They invite us to make eagles, go for greens. Hopefully, they’ll do that tomorrow, as well, and everyone will keep seeing low numbers.” Top-ranked So Yeon Ryu, No. 3 Lexi Thompson and No. 4 Lydia Ko are among those taking the week off before the U.S. Women’s Open next week at Trump International in New Jersey.last_img read more

Could be all or nothing for these four stars

first_imgNEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – Considering all the East Lake-related questions asked during his Wednesday news conference, Jordan Spieth felt compelled to issue a reminder: “I’m actually inside the number right now,” he said. “You might forget.” Spieth enters the week 27th on the FedExCup standings, having never missed the Tour Championship in his PGA Tour career, since his rookie year in 2013. He’s one of four of the game’s biggest stars who find themselves on the bubble this week at the BMW Championship. Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Spieth occupy Nos. 24-27 on the points list, respectively, meaning they could be shut out of the Tour’s season finale. A solid week will take care of everything, but a disappointing performance from any one of them could mean an early end to the season and an extra week of Ryder Cup prep. While they’re all in the same predicament, they’ve taken very different paths to Aronimink. Spieth, the 2015 FedExCup champion, is potentially a week away from his first winless season since 2014, his second year on Tour. He has struggled at different times on the greens and with his swing. He nonetheless gave himself chances at major victories Nos. 4 and 5, firing a final-round 64 at the Masters and taking the 54-hole lead at the Open Championship. “I had an opportunity to win two of the majors on Sunday, which is cool,” he said, recapping his year. “That’s kind of my goal at the beginning of every year: win a couple majors, try to have a chance on Sunday. The ball didn’t fall my way this year as it had previous years, but putting myself in position at the biggest stage is exciting going forward. Tour Championship projections: What players need to do this week Full-field tee times from BMW Championship “I’ve got, you know, three events in this season left ideally, and they’re all extremely exciting events that have an opportunity to cap off or at least continue this good work I’ve been putting together.” Fowler slipped to 26th in points when he missed the first two FedExCup events to heal an oblique injury. Yet again, this was supposed to be the 29-year-old’s breakout campaign. He capped last year with a final-round 61 to win the Hero World Challenge and entered this season determined to win his first major and unafraid to talk about it. He of course remains without a major – he was runner-up at the Masters – and he’s a week away from another winless season. Fowler explained Tuesday that he wanted to come back at the BMW to avoid a lengthy competitive layoff between the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup. But he’s not quite done with the playoffs either. “You know, it’s one of the reasons I wanted to try and get back early enough to where we can secure a spot for East Lake,” he said. “We have some work to do this week and I think, ultimately, I’d like to not just get into East Lake but put myself in a good position to have a chance there.” The last time the FedExCup was awarded the week before a Ryder Cup, it was McIlroy who walked away with that trophy and the Tour Championship. Last year, he fought through a rib injury for the first three postseason events and finished 44th in the standings, leaving him unable to defend both his titles. He looked like he was on his way to reasserting himself as one of the game’s heavyweights with his victory at Bay Hill back in March. He looked like he was about to solidify his place among the game’s all-time greats when he played his way into the final pairing Sunday at the Masters. But he never pushed Patrick Reed, fading to T-5 with a closing 74. He’s played plenty of good golf since, finishing runner-up at The Open, but this still feels like another underwhelming year relative to expectations. “Consistency-wise it’s been pretty good, I guess,” McIlroy said. “The only disappointing thing, and I was alluding to it last week, I haven’t played well enough when it really mattered. I’ve given myself chances and put myself in positions to win golf tournaments, final groups and what have you. I just haven’t – I had the one win at Bay Hill, but I’ve given myself chances and I haven’t capitalized. I haven’t been as efficient as I’d like to be in terms of chances to win and actually closing the deal.” And then, of course, there’s Tiger. The idea that he would even be in this position seemed absurd to fans, analysts and Woods himself just a year ago. The 14-time major winner was closer to being done – entirely – than competing for a spot in the Tour Championship. Yet here we are, with Woods heading to Paris later this month not as a vice captain, but as a player. The only two-time FedExCup winner had been absent from the postseason since 2013, and now finds himself on the brink of a return to East Lake. Two weeks ago, Woods seemed mostly secure that he was headed to Atlanta, but he’s still got work to do this week at Aronimink, where he may opt to play with his third different putter in as many weeks. “After I finished sixth at the Open Championship, I think that got me, you know, towards where I had a chance to get into the Tour Championship, and I wouldn’t have to do much,” he said at The Northern Trust. “I don’t have to do a whole lot to get into the Tour Championship, but I still have to do enough.” All four players now face the prospect of failing to finish the Tour season on their own terms. But a win from any of them, this week or next, would rewrite each star’s entire year. “You know, couple of good weeks coming up and it can definitely change the perspective of the season,” McIlroy agreed. “Two thousand sixteen was a prime example. I felt like, again, I played well. I had won the Irish Open, which was a big deal for me. But I had chances to win tournaments and I didn’t and then to win in Boston and then win at East Lake, it turns a sort of average season into a great season.”last_img read more

Higa (65) shoots lowest round ever in USWO debut

first_imgCHARLESTON, S.C. — Japan’s Mamiko Higa shot the lowest round in a U.S. Women’s Open debut, a bogey-free 6-under 65 that gave her a one-shot lead Thursday over amateur Gina Kim and Esther Henseleit. The 25-year-old Higa tied for the third-lowest round in U.S. Women’s Open history. Helen Alfredsson holds the record with a 63 in the opening round in 1994. Kim, a sophomore on Duke’s golf team, holed out for eagle from a fairway bunker on her next-to-last hole, the eighth at the Country Club of Charleston, then had a two-putt birdie to close her round of 66. Celine Boutier of France shot 67. Sei Young Kim and Azahara Munoz were tied at 68. A group of seven featuring sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda and another amateur in Andrea Lee were tied at 69. Higa has won five times on the Japan LPGA Tour, including a victory in March, but may be best known in her country for marrying sumo wrestler Ikiori last fall on their shared birthdays of Oct. 11. She qualified for the Open as a top-five money winner on Japan LPGA and being inside the top 50 in the world ranking. Still, Higa didn’t hold much hope that she could succeed on a course she hadn’t played before last weekend. Higa, though, got going quickly with birdies on the third, fourth and fifth holes. She got streaky again on the ninth and 10th, putting a bunker shot within 3 feet for a tap-in birdie on No. 9 and rolling in a 25-footer on the 10th to move to 5 under before much of the field even got going. Higa struck once more on the par-3 17th with her tee shot landing inside 8 feet for a final birdie. Higa said she arrived Saturday with few expectations, let alone leading the major event. ”I not only golf, but I enjoy the life here,” she said through an interpreter. ”And I just enjoyed 18 holes today.” Your browser does not support iframes. Full-field scores from the U.S. Women’s Open The 20-year-old Henseleit was a German youth champion who has had six top-10 finishes in seven Ladies European Tour events this season. She finished as the first alternate in London qualifying for this event and waited fretfully for several weeks before the call came saying she was in. Like Higa, Henseleit also played without a bogey and moved within a shot of Higa’s lead on the par-5 fifth – Henseleit began her round on the 10th hole – when she put her approach inside 3 feet of the cup for a birdie. ”It’s a completely new experience for me to play here and the grandstands are huge and very many people around,” she said. ”But I don’t feel like it’s too much for me. So I really like that.” Gina Kim, 19, had a strong finish with four birdies and that eagle in her final eight holes. She was in a fairway bunker on the par-4 eighth hole, 141 yards away when her approach rolled into the cup. Kim had a 25-footer for eagle on her closing hole, the par-5 ninth, and came a foot or so right before tapping in to become the leading American on the scoreboard. Kim, who began her round on No. 10, had earlier chipped in for birdie from the bunker on the par-3 17th. World No. 1 Jin Young Ko of South Korea, who won the major ANA Inspiration in April, opened with a 72 as did defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn. Augusta National Women’s Amateur winner Jennifer Kupcho and NCAA women’s individual champion Maria Fassi both played their first rounds as professionals. Kupcho shot a 71, and Fassi had a 72. Most of those in the afternoon half couldn’t have liked the dried fairways and crunch greens baked out in a day of hot, hot conditions. There were just six who teed off later who broke par, compared to 18 among morning starters. Players faced sticky, humid conditions as temperatures reached the mid-90s. Nelly Korda, four shots behind after an opening 69, thought the bright sun combined with the heat was taxing on players. ”I got a little lightheaded toward the end of the round,” she said. ”But I drank a lot of water.” Conditions are expected to remain similar through Sunday.last_img read more

Q&A with Michael Behe: What’s Wrong with Theistic Evolution?

first_imgCongratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Intelligent Design Q&A with Michael Behe: What’s Wrong with Theistic Evolution?David KlinghofferNovember 30, 2019, 6:00 AM Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Dr. Behe observes that in reading Dr. Collins’s book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, he found it notable that Collins “does not even try to address the problems for evolution that I and other intelligent design proponents have brought up.” So that is one reason.Behe, like Collins, is a scientist not a theologian. The science of ID, and the scientific problems with Darwinian evolution, are the focus of his video course. Find more information about it here. “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide David KlinghofferSenior Fellow and Editor, Evolution NewsDavid Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.Follow DavidProfileTwitter Share We now reluctantly conclude the past week’s series of Q&A sessions with biochemist Michael Behe, highlighting his 41-part video course for DiscoveryU, “Michael Behe Investigates Evolution and Intelligent Design.” Here’s another challenge he often gets: Why doesn’t Professor Behe go along with famed Evangelical Christian scientist Francis Collins, and others, in opting for theistic evolution? A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Evolutioncenter_img Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Billions of Missing Links: Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain Faith & Science Recommended TagsDiscoveryUEvangelical ChristiansevolutionfaithFrancis Collinsintelligent designMichael BehescienceThe Language of Godtheistic evolution,Trending Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tourlast_img read more

Blood Clotting Remains a Mousetrap for Darwin

first_imgEvolution Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Intelligent Design Blood Clotting Remains a Mousetrap for DarwinJonathan [email protected] 22, 2020, 6:32 AM Recommended Our Debt to the Scientific Atheists Jonathan WittExecutive Editor, Discovery Institute Press and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and CultureJonathan Witt, PhD, is Executive Editor of Discovery Institute Press and a senior fellow and senior project manager with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. His latest book is Heretic: One Scientist’s Journey from Darwin to Design (DI Press, 2018) written with Finnish bioengineer Matti Leisola. Witt has also authored co-authored Intelligent Design Uncensored, A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, and The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot. Witt is the lead writer and associate producer for Poverty, Inc., winner of the $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award and recipient of over 50 international film festival honors.Follow JonathanTwitter Share Behe says a better explanation is that blood clotting was intelligently designed. His critics have responded to his argument over the years. Here Behe returns the favor. His most prominent interlocutor on the matter is the recently deceased Russell Doolittle. Behe shows that Doolittle misread the paper he relied on to refute Behe. Professor Behe also responds to Kenneth Miller and Keith Robison. According to Behe, his critics have managed to provide little more than hand-waving, smoke screens, and the sweeping of crucial problems under the rug. Tune in to catch some of the back and forth, and for a deeper look at this challenge to modern evolutionary theory, pick up a copy of Behe’s new book.  TagsA Mousetrap for Darwinblood clottingEric Andersonevolutionevolutionary theoryfunctionID the Futureintelligent designirreducibly complex systemsKeith RobisonKenneth MillerMichael BehemousetrappodcastRussell Doolittle,Trending Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Image credit: Vector8DIY, via Pixabay.On a new episode of ID the Future, Michael Behe continues discussing his new book, A Mousetrap for Darwin, with host Eric Anderson. Here the focus is the blood clotting cascade. Behe has argued it’s irreducibly complex, like a mousetrap, and that blind evolution couldn’t build it one small functional step at a time. Download the podcast or listen to it here. A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to Alllast_img read more

Entering the World Stage at Rebecca Farm

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. It’s not often that Kalispell finds itself on a roster of international cities stretching from Minsk, Belarus to Sydney, Australia. That is, of course, unless Rebecca Farm is involved. As the host of one of 12 stops of the 2010 HSBC/Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Cup, nearly 500 competitors and 20,000 spectators will descend upon the farm during The Event, held July 22-25. “Every year The Event is growing and it’s getting bigger and better and more and more people continue to come,” Sarah Broussard Kelly, co-manager of The Event, said.Along with The Event’s growth since its inception in 2001, more elite eventing riders are flocking to Rebecca Farm this year than ever before. “Almost 50 of the top-level horses in the U.S. are competing here this weekend,” Kelly said.This includes 18 horses that arrived at Glacier Jet Center Monday afternoon on a chartered flight from the East. While the expense of shipping horses across the country by plane is astronomical, the transport highlights the logistical difficulties faced by elite riders attempting to place in the FEI Eventing World Cup. Yet the rewards for the winners are rich. When the final competition concludes in Schenefeld, Germany, the top 15 riders will split a pot worth $180,000 and many of those riders will go on to represent their countries at the World Equestrian Games this September and perhaps the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. But as a rider’s top two placements count toward their final score, European riders have the historic advantage, as eight of the 12 stops will take place on their continent.“The thing with the FEI is the game keeps changing,” Kelly said. “Part of it is that it wasn’t an extremely well-conceived idea in the beginning and wasn’t executed properly.”Originally, 12 different World Cup qualifier events were held across the globe to determine which riders would compete in the final World Cup, which was held every year in a European location.“It was very difficult to draw people to the final because it was a worldwide event,” Kelly said. “Geography got in the way.”Due to the poor attendance, the FEI decided to scrap the final World Cup this year but still hold the qualifying events. Now, instead of qualifying to reach the final, riders compete in the any of the 12 competitions they can attend and their best two scores determine their overall placement.For those unfamiliar with eventing, the sport consists of three separate disciplines: dressage, cross country and show jumping, earning it the moniker of a equine triathlon. The three components allow for a horse to display its full athletic prowess.Dressage tests the balance and relationship between a horse and rider and highlights the horse’s obedience. The cross country test involves navigating a course strewn with obstacles. Show jumping, meanwhile, tests a horse’s leaping agility, similar to the human high jump. The horse and rider acquiring the fewest number of penalty points are declared the winner.One unique aspect of eventing is that because horsemanship overrides physical strength, men and women are treated as physical equals and compete against each another.The FEI’s original plan entailed that each country selected to host an event would only host one.“We had to work hard to get two here because Europe has a difficult time grasping the size of the United States,” Kelly said. “Someone in France can feasibly go to six of them, while here, one person might have to drive across the U.S. to go to one.”The FEI conceded in allowing the U.S. to host two, one held at Rebecca Farm and the other was held in Tallahassee, Fla., in March. Kelly expects some riders will compete in both states.“If you want to compete and compete hard and fast and furious, which is what you have to do to be top in the sport, you need to go to where the events are,” she said.Yet while geographical disadvantages are present for North American competitors, no events are held in South America, Africa, Asia or the Middle East.“They actually have it worse than we do,” Kelly said. “We kind of forget about them.”Like most equestrian events in the Northwest, The Event at Rebecca farm is free to spectators. Rebecca Farm operates through Montana Equestrian Events, which is a non-profit organization.“We in no way shape or form make money on The Event,” Kelly said. “For us it happens to serve a purpose, which is providing an event for the competitors and their horses.”Not only does the farm spend a lot of money on competitors, but Kelly ticks off a long list of other expenses the farm accrues, including horse stall construction, water and electricity bills, hiring and flying in officials, feeding and paying workers and purchasing the lumber for the jumps and the dressage arenas.“I was a competitor for years and didn’t realize how difficult it was to make an event a business,” Kelly said.Rebecca Farm also hosts an arts and crafts fair and concessions during The Event. Another tent was added to house the trade fair, which Kelly estimates is 30-40 percent larger than last year.“I was listening to the messages last night and there are people still wanting to get in,” she said.Besides the farm’s 100-member staff, nearly 400 volunteers offer their time to help pull off The Event.“We could not do this without the support of the valley,” Kelly said. “It’s long and they get hot and tired from being in the sun all day but they manage to pull up their bootstraps.”Despite the intensity and the lists that never get shorter, Kelly hates to see The Event end.“It’s kind of depressing when it’s over,” she said. “Before it starts, we’re like frantic ants running around after our line gets disturbed, and then come Monday, there we are back in the line.”To get to Rebecca Farm: From the junction of U.S. Highways 93 and 2, travel 2 miles north on Highway 93 to West Reserve Drive and go west 2 miles to Springcreek Road, then south on Springcreek. The Event entrance is 3/4 of a mile on the right. Emaillast_img read more

Wave of New Teachers Part of School Budget Solution

first_imgPatty Wallace made the literal transformation from student to teacher last week as she walked into Flathead High School. “I was hired just yesterday,” Wallace said after getting her school identification and parking pass squared away on Aug. 20. “I’m going to have students in my classroom next Wednesday.”The Kalispell resident is the latest addition to the high school’s French language department, hired last minute after a resignation created an opening. Wallace is a Flathead High alum and graduated from the University of Montana last spring. As she walked the halls to meet her department head for the first time, she pointed out her old locker.In her new classroom, which was still waiting to be organized, Wallace sat with her coffee and a pile of binders that almost reached eye level and appraised her new situation.“I had French in this classroom,” she said. Initially, Wallace had planned to substitute teach for School District 5 this year, as a way to stay familiar with the administration should there be a retirement the following year. “I hadn’t expected there to be an opening in the French department,” Wallace said. “I was very pleasantly surprised when the opportunity came to just jump right in.”For students, the first day of school often brings a bit of the unknown and the anticipation of fresh challenges and experiences. These feelings also apply to the teachers ready to greet them when they walk in the classroom, especially those beginning their first official teaching job. Kalispell’s SD5 has 33 new hires this year. For 22 teachers in that group, the 2010-2011 school year represents their first year of experience in their respective positions. It was no fluke that two-thirds of the latest hires are new teachers, SD5 Superintendent Darlene Schottle said. “We posted our jobs this year with four years or less experienced preferred,” Schottle said. Facing an $800,000 shortfall, the district looked to trim its biggest expense: personnel costs. To do this without leaving open positions, the district offered retirement bonuses and hired teachers lower on the pay scale, Schottle said.This resulted in more job openings than SD5 normally has, she said, giving them an opportunity to diversify the staff.Twenty-nine of the new hires this year have four years or less experience in their field, according to SD5 data. Having fewer years of experience in the classroom doesn’t necessarily mean the teachers came straight from college, Schottle said. It could mean they are switching teaching fields or have been out of the profession for a while. Widespread vacancies also gave the district the opportunity to encourage new teachers to apply. Typically, when a job in a desirable district opens up, first-time teachers tend to write it off because of anticipated competition from veterans, Schottle said. Preferring fewer years of experience does not mean every vacant position was filled with a brand new instructor, Schottle said. If the right fit couldn’t be found, the district looked elsewhere in the application pool. “We had a nice cross-section this year,” Schottle said. Heather Dalla Betta, recently hired as a kindergarten teacher at Russell Elementary, said she thought the district was thorough and thoughtful during the hiring process. “I think they’re trying to be fiscally responsible,” Dalla Betta said, because they hired less experienced but quality staff instead of cutting supplies or other areas of the budget. While most of the new staff may have fewer years than their veteran colleagues, many of them are familiar with the SD5 school system. Flathead High School Principal Peter Fusaro noted several of his new hires did their student teaching within the district or they are transitioning from another local career to teaching.Many of the high school’s new staff will also help with extracurricular activities, which Fusaro said helps create a more cohesive community for the students. “We obviously want to find the best teachers possible, but we also want to find teachers who can help us out with our activities,” Fusaro said. “The more that they’re connected to the school, then obviously they’re going to get kids connected.”New teachers also bring enthusiasm and ideas, Fusaro said, which helps invigorate the students as well as the returning staff. Other K-12 school districts in the valley also hired new teachers, but none to the extent of the Kalispell schools. School District 44 in Whitefish hired two new teachers, but their few years of experience have nothing to do with saving money, Superintendent Jerry House said. In Bigfork, School District 38 Superintendent Cynthia Clary said her district is facing a tight budget, but her new hires were not part of the money-saving equation.“Their experience and corresponding salary was never an issue,” Clary said. SD38 did have to make some cuts to balance a budget shortfall, but the district tried to make them with the least amount of impact on instruction, she said. School District 6 Superintendent Michael Nicosia said his schools also faced tough budget decisions, but hiring four new teachers did not factor in to cost savings. “We made our cuts and did what we had to do in order to fit our expenses with our revenue,” Nicosia said. Tight budgets are a stark reality for valley schools, but excitement for the first day of school trumped money concerns in the halls last week. Gretchen Miller, the new eighth-grade language arts teacher at Kalispell Middle School, said she has worked hard to make her classroom feel like home. Miller comes to SD5 with three years of experience teaching high school in Washington before moving to Columbia Falls with her husband last year. The days ahead of school starting are nerve-wracking, Miller acknowledged, because she won’t get a good feel for her classroom until her eighth-graders take their seats.“When the students are in the room I let go and get in the flow,” Miller said. “I do what I do best.”She took a couple of years to get her Master’s degree from Gonzaga, but is ready to make the switch from student to teacher again. “I’m trying to set up an environment where I feel comfortable and where my students feel comfortable, where we can learn together,” Miller said. “I’m really excited to get back into the classroom.” Email 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