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The new irons that have helped Collin Morikawa at The Open –



The Californian also added a new TaylorMade MG2 Hi-Toe (60 degree) wedge while also making a weight adjustment to his TP Juno putter.

As is often the case on the slower greens across the pond, Morikawa was finding it difficult to get the ball to the hole at last week’s Scottish Open.

To help his speed on the slow greens at Royal St. George’s, Morikawa decided to remove the two 2.5-gram weights and replace them with two 7.5-gram weights, providing him with 10 grams more weight in his putter.

As well as the weight adjustment to his putter, Morikawa has even altered his stroke on certain putts this week.

A proponent of the saw grip, Morikawa was struggling with his speed on lengthier putts on the links greens last week, so he is now putting with a conventional style on longer putts while using his saw grip for the shorter efforts.

“It’s a feel thing, but it’s more I couldn’t get the tempo on the saw grip. I think the saw grip is amazing for me. But from outside 25, 30 feet, I just couldn’t get that hit. I couldn’t get that tempo that you see like a Brandt Snedeker puts on his putts,” said Morikawa. “That is something you need out here because the greens are slower than what we’re used to playing. “Just switching to conventional, I didn’t have to change anything mentally. I just kind of went at it like I normally felt, and kind of matched the speeds.”

It’s a strategy that has worked wonders for Morikawa this week, who has looked dialled in on the greens as he goes in search of his second major victory.

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Maple Leafs sign Nick Ritchie to toughen roster – Toronto Sun



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The Maple Leafs continue another attempt to toughen up for the playoffs by adding some muscle to their Core Four.

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Latest to come aboard Saturday morning was UFA left winger Nick Ritchie, whose return to his GTA birthplace has long been rumoured. The former Boston Bruin signed for two years with an AAV of $2.5 million US and could possibly fill the Zach Hyman vacancy on the first line.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Ritchie had 26 points in 56 regular season games with Boston, for which he played 19 post-season games in two years. That alone would give him seniority on a Toronto team that has stalled in the first round five straight springs.

Ritchie also did well with his draft team, the Anaheim Ducks, taken 10th overall in the 2014, two spots behind William Nylander, one of the Leafs’ centrepieces whose large salaries have prevented more well-known UFAs from fitting under Toronto’s cap.

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Speaking of that, the Ritchie signing and that of forward Ondrej Kase late Friday night puts the club over $81.5 million, but that’s allowable in the off-season. Ritchie joins Michael Bunting and Kurtis Gabriel among a number of budget signings of players who general manager Kyle Dubas hopes will show a passion through 82 regular games and into playoffs.

The additions of Wayne Simmonds and Joe Thornton last season clearly were not enough. Ritchie has a high penalty minutes total and a couple of league suspensions, but rarely crosses the line. Primarily groomed with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL, he spent a final junior year with Dubas’s beloved Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, showing the Soo Flu permeating the Leafs’ roster and hockey office shows no signs of abating.

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In six NHL seasons between the Bruins and Ducks, Orangeville native Ritchie has 137 points in 350 regular season games and appeared in 38 playoff contests. He was also on Canada’s 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship squad. Older brother Brett is with the Calgary Flames.

In a Zoom call with the media, Ritchie said once he wasn’t qualified by Boston and unexpectedly found himself on the market, a Leafs deal came together quickly.

“I got to talk to some teams, but definitely the lure of Toronto, how good of a team they have and being from here was part of the decision. It’s a dream to play for a hometown team.

“Knowing (Dubas and Soo coach Sheldon Keefe) made things more comfortable. Lots of teams were interested, but I chose what I thought was the best team and best fit at this stage of my career. You want to play with good players and there’s lots on the Leafs. I’ll have a good summer (training) and see where the chips fall (with a regular line).

“This has been a great team for a few years, I know they have not got the reward of winning a close series. Sometimes in hockey, that’s the way it goes. You have to lose a few times before you get over that hump and it’s at that point now that the team is ready to take that next step. Hopefully I can help.”

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Rugby Canada fires coach over social media posts ridiculing the women sevens Olympic team – The Globe and Mail



Jamie Cudmore, captain of Canada’s national rugby team, is pictured during practice at UBC in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Ben Nelms/The Globe and Mail

Rugby Canada fired Jamie Cudmore, a former star player in charge of developing the next generation of talent, on Friday for a series of social media posts belittling the women’s sevens team.

His posts took aim at the sevens squad for its disappointing performance at the Tokyo Olympics.

Much had been expected of the Canadian women in Tokyo, given their performance in Rio and the fact they were tied with Australia on points for second in the World Rugby Sevens Series standings when the pandemic shut down the season last year.

But the Canadian women lost to Fiji and France after beating Brazil to miss out on the quarter-finals. Their next game in Tokyo is for ninth place.

Cudmore, an enforcer in the rugby field during his playing days, served as an assistant coach with the Canadian men’s 15s team and ran Rugby Canada’s national development academy.

The fact that the comments came from within has added to a year of turmoil for the governing body and the sevens women, who launched a formal complaint in January under Rugby Canada’s bullying and harassment policy.

Cudmore apologized for the posts but was relieved of his duties soon after. Rugby Canada called the posts “unacceptable and in breach of organization policy.”

“It was an emotional event for a good friend and I let that get the better of me,” Cudmore said on Twitter. “I’ve always played/coached with my heart on my sleeve for this great country. I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone.”

The good friend is former sevens coach John Tait.

In the wake of the complaint filed by 37 current and former team members, an independent review concluded that while the conduct described in the complaint reflected the experiences of the athletes, it did not fall within Rugby Canada’s policy’s definition of harassment or bullying.

Tait, while maintaining he had done nothing wrong, subsequently stepped down.

A former Canadian international, Tait was one of Rugby Canada’s most successful coaches, leading the sevens team to the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics.

The controversy has divided Rugby Canada, with most of Tait’s staff leaving.

It appears Cudmore could not resist taking a shot at the women given their Olympic performance under interim coach Mick Byrne.

“Karma is a bitch! #Survivorsmyass,” read a since-deleted Cudmore tweet.

“Rugby Canada stands with our women’s 7s athletes,” the governing body said in its initial response on social media. “We support the team in their efforts both on and off the rugby pitch and are proud of the way they have represented our country. Rugby Canada is aware of recent social media comments made about the team and worked to ensure they were removed as quickly as possible.

“Our organizational values include solidarity and respect, and everyone on our staff is expected to help create an inclusive environment for all. We condemn any inappropriate comments directed at the team and our leadership will be meeting to address this matter immediately.”

Rugby Canada upped the ante hours later, relieving Cudmore of his duties. CEO Allen Vansen said in a series of tweets that the organization had concluded “that immediate action must be taken.”

“Rugby Canada’s core values, including integrity and respect, must be exemplified in all our rugby programs and we are determined to promote a healthy, inclusive culture now and in future,” Rugby Canada board chair Sally Dennis said in the statement.

Cudmore won 43 caps for Canada, playing in both the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. The 6-foot-5, 257-pound lock forward is one of Canada’s most famous exports – a hard man on the rugby pitch who was no stranger to suspensions for taking matters into his own hands on the field.

Several of Cudmore’s deleted tweets were captured and posted by sevens player Charity Williams.

Canada’s Charity Williams breaks away to score a try in the women’s Pool B match between Team Canada and Team Brazil during the Rugby Sevens on Day 6 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Stadium on July 29, 2021.

Dan Mullan/Getty Images AsiaPac

“I wanted to take this moment to talk about our performance and how proud I am of this team beyond any result,” Williams wrote on Instagram. “Because I am, and what we accomplished this year is far greater than one weekend. What this team stands for and who we have become means that young female athletes across Canada can play their sport and feel safe. I’m proud of that.

“But instead I have to sit here once again and share what we’ve been going through as a team. The consistent hatred we have received from people in our own organization. I’m only sharing because this is what we have been dealing with for months. From private texts, to public stalking online and in person. The bullying and harassment that we have received for coming forward is outrageous and scary at times. This is the reason we called for an internal investigation because we haven’t been safe.”

In the wake of that probe, the players said they had been let down by Rugby Canada’s harassment and bullying policy – which has since been updated and replaced.

Rugby Canada says it plans a “detailed, independent review of all performance rugby programs starting next month with a goal of positioning teams for success in supportive, inclusive environments.”

Captain Ghislaine Landry also took to social media from Tokyo.

“We always knew this was about more than rugby, about more than one tournament, even if it’s the Olympics. We knew the last nine months might put our Olympic dream in jeopardy, we had that discussion as a group, and still the decision was clear. We were ready to put our dreams at risk for change.

“This has not been a distraction but it has taken a toll on us. And so, while we are heartbroken not to have been able to play our best, we are proud and united.”

In a statement released April 28, the players said their complaint “explained the psychological abuse, harassment and/or bullying these athletes feel they were subjected to in the centralized training environment.”

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Nigerian sprinter Okagbare out of Olympics after testing positive for human growth hormone –



Nigerian sprinter and 2008 Olympics long jump silver medallist Blessing Okagbare on Saturday was provisionally suspended after testing positive for human growth hormone before the Tokyo Olympics, the Athletics Integrity Unit said in a statement.

The 32-year old, who has also won world championship medals in the 200-metre and the long jump and is competing in her fourth Olympics, had comfortably won her 100-metre heat on Friday with a time of 11.05 seconds, qualifying for Saturday’s semifinal.

She was also due to compete in the 200, and the 4×100-metre relay.

“The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo,” the AIU said.

The unit said she tested positive in an out-of-competition test on July 19 and was informed of her suspension on Saturday.

This is the latest blow for Nigeria’s athletics team after 10 track-and-field athletes were ruled as ineligible for the Tokyo Games three days ago for failing to meet minimum testing requirements.

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On the list of banned substances, human growth hormone reduces body fat, increases muscle mass and strength and helps in recovery, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Okagbare’s silver medal from the Beijing Games was a result of her being upgraded in 2017 after the International Olympic Committee disqualified Russian athlete Tatyana Lebedeva due to a doping offence. She had originally finished third in that long jump competition.

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The 100m dash is the most electrifying 10 seconds in sports. Usain Bolt and Florence Griffith Joyner have been on top of the world for years, being the earth’s fastest humans. But how fast can humans really run, and have we reached our peak? 7:06

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