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Tiger Woods off to strong start at Masters – CBC.ca

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The 84th Masters began in a surreal atmosphere as starters Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hit the ceremonial first tee shots in near darkness at Augusta National on Thursday before play was suspended because of lightning.

Nicklaus and Player emerged from the clubhouse at 6.57 a.m., the exact minute of sunrise, and strode to the tee before daylight had even punctuated the gloom in a light drizzle, as a drone buzzed nearby to film the occasion.

Despite this being a Masters like no other, without paying spectators due to novel coronavirus concerns, several hundred people surrounded the tee, mostly members and their guests.

Augusta chairman Fred Ridley introduced the players, and Player was first to hit. Swinging better than an 85-year-old has any right to do, he took a full backswing and struck the ball down the left side of the fairway.

WATCH | Jon Rahm hits unbelievable hole-in-one:

Spain’s Jon Rahm celebrated his 26th birthday by skipping a ball across the pond on the 16th hole and scoring a hole-in-one during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. 3:32

Nicklaus, 80, followed suit with a swing slightly shorter than in his heyday that brought him 18 major championships. He too found the fairway.

“I was pleased it was dark because you didn’t see where the ball went,” Nicklaus said.

And with that the first Masters played in autumn was officially underway, though the first tee times were delayed by 10 minutes until 7.10 a.m.

However, less than 30 minutes of play was possible before competition was suspended due to lightning in the area, with only nine players having completed one hole.

Play did resume at Augusta National after a delay of nearly three hours because of rain and lightning in the area.

Only a handful of players managed to tee off for the opening round before an approaching storm prompted an evacuation of the course.

Tiger Woods is off to a strong start in defence of his Masters championship.

Starting on the back nine, Woods birdied both par-5s and added another on the par-3 16th to make the turn with a 3-under 33.

He made another birdie at No. 1, dropping his score to 4 under. He is two strokes behind leader Paul Casey in a storm-delayed opening round.

Woods has been a notoriously slow starter at Augusta National, even while winning five green jackets. He has broken 70 only once in the opening round, shooting 68 in 2010.

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NFL Odds & Picks for Ravens vs. Steelers: Sharps Finding Betting Value in Wednesday Afternoon’s Spread – The Action Network

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Russell is leading contender to replace Hamilton for Sakhir GP – F1i.com

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Williams’ George Russell has emerged as the leading contender to replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for next weekend’s Sakhir GP according to multiple reports out of Bahrain.

Talks are apparently ongoing in Bahrain between Mercedes and Williams management to reach an agreement for the Grove-based outfit to release its driver for a one-off with the championship winning outfit following Hamilton’s unavailability after testing positive for COVID-19.

Should the negotiations reach a successful outcome, Williams reserve Jack Aitken, who has yet to race in F1 but who holds a super licence, is Russell’s most likely replacement.

If the talks are not successful, Mercedes is likely to rely on Stoffel Vandoorne to fill Hamilton’s seat, as the Belgian is the Brackley team’s official reserve and is race-ready having wrapped up his campaign in Formula E with the German manufacturer.

While racing for Williams, Russell remains contracted to Mercedes who backed the young Briton and 2018 Formula 2 champion during his formative years.

Williams is likely to demand a financial compensation from Mercedes for releasing its driver, but the prospect of lending Russell to the Black Arrows squad could entail some interesting marketing benefits for the team if the 22-year-old wins next weekend – hardly a far-fetched hypothesis – and then returns to Grove a Grand Prix victor.

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

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SIMMONS: Are Raptors being hypocrites in handling of Terence Davis? – Toronto Sun

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By definition, a person is found guilty of assault in the third degree in New York, if they intentionally or recklessly cause injury to another person or if they are criminally negligent with a weapon.

The Raptors waited a few days after the Davis arrest before making any comment at all. Their initial silence was uncomfortable. Then they released a rather innocuous statement, not really saying anything that mattered. In Webster’s availability on Tuesday he was asked a limited number of questions about the Davis situation, including whether he thought the team was acting hypocritically by bringing him back for his second season.

Webster’s answers weren’t exactly clear — with this proviso, his background is in basketball, not in social matters such as this.

He was clear, though, that in his mind the Raptors had done their due diligence on the matter, which is now in the hands of the NBA and the NBA Players’ Association. “We’ve done as much due diligence as we can,” he said. “That may feel a bit unsatisfying but we need to be respectful of the process.”

No one in Toronto seemed to care much about the process when Osuna won a World Series with the Astros. It wasn’t thought about as a lost opportunity. It was more like: who cares about Osuna anymore?

Most people seemed more pleased that he was no longer associated with Toronto or the Blue Jays.

It’s entirely possible the Raptors won’t play any games in Toronto this season, having been forced to move elsewhere as COVID-19 continues to play havoc with our lives and their lives. And Davis won’t have to worry about crossing the border with legal restrictions of any kind.

Potentially, Davis is another undrafted find for the Raptors, having scored 31 points and 20 points in games last February and having shown great energy and athleticism on the court. He has considerable talent. The basketball court works for him.

And that isn’t the court that matters right now. His next court date in New York is Dec. 11. Maybe then the Raptors will say something or do something that matters. Maybe then, maybe not.

ssimmons@postmedia.com

twitter.com/simmonssteve

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