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Not Tiger Woods, not Jack Nicklaus: An 84-year Masters record may finally fall – Yahoo

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It stands, for now, as one of the most unlikely, if daunting, records in golf — no one, in the now 84-year history of the Masters, has ever broken 70 in all four rounds of a given year. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Jack Nicklaus won here six times and never did it. Tiger Woods (1997) and Jordan Spieth (2015) each finished 18 under and didn’t do it. No one has managed it while winning, or not.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”14″>Jack Nicklaus won here six times and never did it. Tiger Woods (1997) and Jordan Spieth (2015) each finished 18 under and didn’t do it. No one has managed it while winning, or not. 

This is a stingy tournament, one that has survived modern technology and changes in strategy to cling proudly to its history of befuddling, at least a little, everyone. 

This being 2020, though …

There are still two (plus) rounds to go this weekend, but based on the results thus far, and the way the course plays in the cool, damp fall environment, the chances of the record finally falling is greater than perhaps it’s ever been.

“With these conditions, you have … to be aggressive,” Woods said. “There’s no reason why you can’t fire at a lot of the flags.”

As of the end of play on Friday, three players — Abraham Ancer, Cameron Smith and Justin Thomas — have shot in the 60s in their first two complete rounds. They lead the tournament at 9 under, joined by Dustin Johnson, who got there via a 65-70.

A detail of a leaderboard during the second round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.
Red numbers were everywhere on the Masters leaderboard during Round 2. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

As many as six to eight more players could join them in the sub-70 club entering the weekend. Due to a weather delay Thursday and darkness that comes from playing this event in November for the first time ever, a slew of players were unable to finish their second round on Friday. They’ll finish early Saturday.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="That includes a dozen golfers who shot in the 60s in Round 1. Three of them, Jon Rahm (-5 for the day), Hideki Matsuyama (-4) and Louis Oosthuizen (-3) are all on pace; they’d need only to par in their remaining second holes when play resumes on Saturday morning.” data-reactid=”32″>That includes a dozen golfers who shot in the 60s in Round 1. Three of them, Jon Rahm (-5 for the day), Hideki Matsuyama (-4) and Louis Oosthuizen (-3) are all on pace; they’d need only to par in their remaining second holes when play resumes on Saturday morning.

Three others would only need to finish 1 or 2 under to join them.

While six or eight golfers might not sound like much, it is when it comes to this record. 

In the last 20 Masters, just 18 players have broken 70 in both the first and second round. During that period, only once have more than two done so. Nine times during that stretch, no one accomplished it. 

Just six players, most recently 2018 champion Patrick Reed, strung together three rounds in the 60s before hitting 70 or more on Sunday. 

This is a record that’s rarely even challenged. 

There’s more, though. This is, of course, not a normal Masters. As such, this isn’t the case of a lot of guys just getting hot. The course is hot because the weather and ground conditions of November have proven quite different than the traditional April date. 

The turf, especially the greens, have been “so soft,” according to Justin Thomas. A heavy rain Thursday morning only aided in that. There’s also been minimal wind. 

It’s why scores are so low. The way players were attacking the pin and thudding bombs onto the green, you’d think this had been renamed the Greater Augusta Open.

And with cool temperatures (and even a chance of rain on Sunday), that is unlikely to change dramatically. 

“With the soft conditions, it’s easier to keep the ball on the greens,” Dustin Johnson said on ESPN. “Obviously, the conditions are going to stay relatively the same, they are going to stay soft so you need to be aggressive.”

Augusta National Golf Club sees all those red scores. There is no question they are not pleased. The record has taken on a life of its own after all these decades and there is pride in the concept that the same score Byron Nelson (-5 in 1937) or Ben Hogan (-8 in 1951) shot to win here carries over to modern times (even if the course has been lengthened and altered).

So the club is expected to do what it can to add teeth to the course.

“You’ve got to think Augusta National is going to get this place going this weekend,” Thomas said. “But at the end of the day, they can’t do anything about the weather.”

They can’t. This is what can happen when a pandemic pushes your historic event back seven months. The hallowed record may fall, of course, but it would come with a fall asterisk. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More from Yahoo Sports:” data-reactid=”47″>More from Yahoo Sports:

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Hockey Canada suspends world junior selection camp after positive COVID-19 tests – CityNews Toronto

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Hockey Canada has temporarily shutdown national junior team selection camp following the confirmation of two positive COVID-19 tests among players.

Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday that players, coaches and staff at the camp have entered a 14-day quarantine retroactive to Monday. All camp activities will be paused until Dec. 6.

The original announcement of the positive player tests came on Tuesday – three days after Hockey Canada said a “non-core member” of the team’s staff also tested positive. Hockey Canada said it was suspending all camp activities for the day, including a scheduled intrasquad game, at the time.

Both players and the staff have been in quarantine at the team’s hotel in Red Deer, Alta.

Players, coaches and staff all took mandatory COVID-19 tests upon arrival at the camp and have been tested regularly while there.

Hockey Canada is in the midst of their selection camp ahead of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton that opens on Christmas Day.

“Hockey Canada has confirmed that all players, coaches and staff are considered close contacts and are therefore subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period under Alberta Health Services,” said senior vice-president of national teams, Scott Salmond.

“Upon learning of the positive tests on Monday, the decision was made to suspend all camp activities and quarantine players and staff immediately. As per Hockey Canada’s safety protocols, all players, coaches and staff members will go through additional testing before resuming any camp activities.”

Canada seeks its second consecutive gold medal at the tournament, which would be its 19th title all-time.

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All officials for WJC from Canada only – TSN

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EDMONTON — All 26 on-ice officials at the world junior men’s hockey championships in Edmonton will be from Canada.

International Ice Hockey Federation tournaments normally have an international cross section of referees and linesmen.

The IIHF is limiting the pool of officials to the host country to reduce risk of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The 10-team world under-20 men’s tournament is scheduled for Dec. 25 to Jan. 5 in the Alberta capital.

“The game officials we would normally choose would have come from many different countries,” IIHF officiating manager Danny Kurmann said Wednesday in a statement.

“Every additional person we bring into the bubble is a risk, so we decided to source the officials locally in order to reduce the risk to travelling personnel and teams.”

The IIHF said all 10 participating countries approved of the decision.

“Special events require special measures, and we are confident that this group will be able to uphold the officiating standards of this tournament,” IIHF officiating committee chairman Sergej Gontcharov said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.

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Diego Maradona, an Argentinian hero and a global phenomenon – Aljazeera.com

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The unique gifts of football legend Diego Maradona throughout his career appeared to come from a higher force.

He once infamously referred to a “hand of God” and the unique football talents of Diego Armando Maradona, who died on Wednesday, appeared to come from a higher force.

Born in 1960 and raised in a shantytown on the outskirts of Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, Maradona became a national hero and a global football superstar.

Just 1.65 metres tall, stocky and powerful, his dribbling skills and balance made him unstoppable. A prolific creator and scorer of magnificent goals, he is regarded as one of the best footballers – if not the best – ever.

He began playing for his country as a teenager and shone in 1986, when he led a simply good team to football greatness and a World Cup title.

It came after an unforgettable quarter-final against England, where Maradona punching the ball into the net for the first goal – what he was to call “the hand of God”.

Then, he scored a second goal of scarcely believable quality, when he dribbled past almost the whole England team before scoring, widely seen as the greatest individual goal in World Cup history.

In this file photo taken on July 3, 1990, Argentinian forward Diego Maradona, right, celebrates during the World Cup semifinal football match between Italy and Argentina in Naples [File: Daniel Garcia/AFP]

Maradona also thrived in club football, playing for Spanish giants Barcelona in the early 1980s, and then for Napoli in Italy, whom he took to its first-ever Italian titles and where he is still treated as a favourite son.

But off the field, there was turbulence for Maradona. He became addicted to cocaine and was banned from both club and international football for failed drug tests.

He was banned again from football worldwide for 15 months after testing positive for doping at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

In 2004, he spent time in intensive care after a heart attack and his weight fluctuated during his battles with alcohol and drug addiction.

He had two daughters through his marriage with Claudia Villafane that ended in divorce, and a son born outside of the marriage.

In retirement, he was still visible – politically, in entertainment, even on the football field in charity matches.

Argentina’s coach Diego Maradona waves to supporters prior to the World Cup quarter-final match between Argentina and Germany on July 3, 2010, in Cape Town, South Africa [File: Javier Soriano/AP Photo]

In 2010, Maradona also managed his beloved Argentinian national team at the World Cup in South Africa.

Many doubted he could get the team to play as a coherent unit, but Maradona defied the critics until the team was defeated by Germany in the quarter-finals.

He dipped in and out of club management as well. Coaching in the United Arab Emirates was followed by a stint in 2018 taking over at Mexican second division club Dorados de Sinaloa.

It was not long before he returned to Argentina to lead Gimnasia y Esgrima in La Plata in 2019.

In true Maradona style, he stepped down after only two months in charge, only to rejoin again two days later.

His last public appearance was at a game on his 60th birthday on October 30, where he appeared frail and left at half time.

A few days later he was admitted to hospital, initially with anaemia and dehydration, but things quickly escalated and he needed surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain.

The operation went well but less than two weeks later, he died of a heart attack.

Whether he is the greatest ever footballer is open to debate, but his incredible talent and contribution to the game’s history make him a phenomenon.

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