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though Lundqvist wasnt so fortunate

  • August 12, 2018 9:47 PM EDT

    LONDON, Ont. Chris Kelly Jersey . - Winter was not kind to the London Hunt and Country Club, and Stacey Lewis heard stories about the poor condition the course was in. But when the No. 1-ranked golfer on the LPGA Tour arrived for this weeks Canadian Pacific Womens Open, she didnt notice the effects of the snow and cold weather. "The fairways are probably some of the best fairways weve had to hit off all year," Lewis said. "You really cant tell." Sixteen of 18 greens were unplayable, and course superintendent Jayson Griffiths said four or five were "over 90 per cent injured," including the 18th hole. Of the four acres of greens, three of them were gone. Players who walked the course in recent weeks could tell there had been damage, and they raved about the improvement. "Coming into this week I was pleasantly surprised of how well (the greens) were rolling," Canadian amateur Brooke Henderson said Wednesday. "I cant imagine the amount of work they must have put in to get this course in such immaculate condition." Griffiths said it took "countless hours." Those were spent preparing, seeding, watering, maintaining and waiting. The result was something he is proud of going into this tournament, which features nine of the top 10 players in the world. "Its just a humbling experience, it really is, and its just a lot of hard work," Griffiths said Tuesday. "I dont think there was a weekend where both Brent McDougall and Deb (Dale), my assistant, left this golf course. We were watering from morning till night if need be. It was 24/7, 14 weeks to get here. It was just a lot of extraordinary efforts." Griffiths began to realize in November how bad a winter this could be, and over time he saw the "worst-case scenario" develop. With the ground frozen "well below four feet" and no irrigation system as a result, he and his staff had a three-day window in April to get the greens back up to par. A crew of about 18 people seeded, germinated, watered the greens through 10,000-square-foot covers and waited. For a while, the course had just two greens to play on and 16 temporary ones, and members only got to play all of them beginning June 27. "We keep calling it the fifth season: patience," Griffiths said "We know that foot traffic on new seedlings, it just would not work. We would not be where we had if we had traffic." By the time players saw the course this week, it was tournament-calibre again. Thats essential with a field that features Lewis, LPGA Championship winner Inbee Park, two-time defending champion Lydia Ko and Suzann Pettersen, the top four players in the world. Tournament director Brent McLaughlin of Golf Canada said the field is "second to none," as usual. "We obviously want the best," he said on a conference call last week. "We are so lucky to have a long laundry list of such great players." Among the top-10 womens golfers, only 2010 champion Michelle Wie is not here. Wie withdrew last week because of a hand injury. Wies absence makes it a bit easier of a tournament on the other top players, but Ko — who won this event the past two years, in Edmonton and Vancouver — would like to beat the best. "We would never say that, Oh its good that shes out," Ko said on a conference call. "Its really unfortunate that she has a fracture. Shes such an awesome player, and it wouldve been great to have Michelle there." Eight former champions will tee off Thursday: Ko, LPGA Championship runner-up Brittany Lincicome, Pettersen, Katherine Hull-Kirk, Cristie Kerr, Meena Lee, Karrie Webb and Laura Davies. Kerr won this tournament in 2006, the last time it was at London Hunt and Country Club. How the course plays out the rest of the week, Griffiths said, will depend on how much it rains. Storms moved through the area Wednesday, and there were more in the forecast for Friday. Ko, a 17-year-old from New Zealand who seems to bring her best golf to Canada, said no matter the weather its important to play the courses giant greens as if theyre in sections. "If the pin is on the left side you kind of want to think that the green is only that left half," she said Wednesday. "But its going to be tough especially when you miss a couple shots, because even around the greens its not like there is fairway and then rough. Its just rough straight on." Its a difficult course because of that, but Canadian Jennifer Kirby expects a low-scoring tournament. "The rough is thick, but its not too, too bad," Kirby said. "I think that the scores will be pretty low, but the greens are massive, so I guess it all depends on where they put the pins." --- Follow @SWhyno on TwitterMatt Duchene Jersey .com) - Australian Open champion Li Na, former Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova and former world No. Custom Ottawa Senators Jerseys . Second-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States made lighter work of her day as she beat 2009 champion and Swiss wild card Timea Bacsinszky 6-3, 6-3. Two seeds fell: No. 4 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium lost to Katarzyna Piter of Poland 6-4, 6-2, and No.PITTSBURGH, Pa. - With their captain under fire and their season on the brink of collapse, the Pittsburgh Penguins responded with a crackling show of force. Of course, having the New York Rangers look like a team only too happy to get back home with a split helped. Kris Letang broke a scoreless tie in the second period, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves for his franchise-record seventh playoff shutout to lift the Penguins to a 3-0 victory on Sunday night, tying the second-round series one game apiece. Letangs 15th career postseason goal matched Larry Murphys record for Penguins defensemen. Jussi Jokinen scored during a third-period power play, and Evgeni Malkin added an empty-net goal for the Penguins, who pushed around the suddenly weary Rangers. Fleury earned his 50th career playoff victory. "I thought to a man our players were extremely good all night," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "It was a huge win for us." Game 3 is Monday night in New York. Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves for New York, but the Rangers mustered little offense while playing their fourth game in six days. Not that coach Alain Vigneault wanted to blame fatigue for a listless performance. "Did my goaltender look tired? He was on top of his game," Vigneault said. "If hes not tired, nobody else should be." The Rangers have lost eight straight Game 2s and have dropped 13 consecutive games when leading in a series. They had their chances to jump ahead early, only to be let down again by an anemic power play. Three times in the first 10 minutes a Penguins player skated to the penalty box, and three times the Rangers spent two minutes milling about as though they were killing time before getting back to even strength. The Rangers finished 0 for 4 with the man advantage and havent scored the last 29 times theyve had an extra skater on the ice. "It could have given us some momentum, and we didnt finish," Vigneault said. "Ive got to find the right trigger points here to make it work. Well spend the night trying to figure it out." Only Lundqvist seemed interested in sending the Rangers back to New York with a commanding 2-0 lead. He was typically brilliant, particularly when Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby was on the ice. The NHLs leading scorer and Hart Trophy finalist is in the midst of a lengthy postseason scoring funk. He began the night without a goal in 12 straight playoff gaames, a span that included 327 shifts and 275 minutes of ice time. Ottawa Senators Gear. Bylsma insisted early Sunday that he anticipated seeing Crosby at his "best" with the season possibly at stake. Though Crosby failed to score, it was the only thing he didnt do. For the first time in weeks, he looked like himself. Relentless at both ends of the ice, the jump in his game that was missing at times during a listless performance in Game 1 returned. "To see Sid play like that tonight was really inspiring for everybody in our dressing room," Letang said. "He was really dangerous." Crosby finished with a game-high six shots. During one stretch at the end of the first period he produced a pair of scoring opportunities, including a nifty deke around two defenders, before he ripped a wrist shot that just missed the net. Each time Crosby appeared poised to end the drought, Lundqvist found a way to get a piece of the puck. He made a sprawling leg save on a tip-in attempt by Crosby, though Lundqvist wasnt so fortunate the next time the Penguins came at him. Chris Kunitz began a breakout by feeding Malkin at the New York blue line. Malkin slipped the puck over to Letang, who flipped it toward the net. Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi dived headfirst to block the attempted pass to Kunitz, but the puck deflected off Girardis stick and past a surprised Lundqvist to give Pittsburgh the lead. "They just spent a lot of time in our own end," Lundqvist said. "That was the biggest difference." Fleury had little problem letting the one-goal advantage stand up. The Rangers rarely challenged him over the final 30 minutes, and Jokinen and Malkin removed any remaining drama by scoring twice in the last 5 minutes. Jokinen banged in a rebound off a shot by James Neal for his fourth goal of the playoffs with 3:30 remaining. Malkin beat two Rangers to tap in an empty-net goal with 54 seconds left as the Penguins exhaled. "Now the series is tied 1-1, and two games in their building," Jokinen said. "Im sure theyre going to be better. We need to keep playing the way were playing." NOTES: Lundqvist made his 75th career playoff appearance. He will tie Mike Richters club record for games played if he starts, as expected, on Monday night. ... Pittsburgh D Brooks Orpik missed his fourth straight game with an undisclosed injury. ... The Penguins are 2-6 in their last eight Game 2s. Cheap Arizona Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Falcons JerseysCheap Ravens Jerseys Cheap Bills Jerseys Cheap Panthers Jerseys Cheap Bears Jerseys Cheap Bengals Jerseys Cheap Browns Jerseys Cheap Cowboys Jerseys Cheap Broncos Jerseys Cheap Lions Jerseys Cheap Packers Jerseys Cheap Texans Jerseys Cheap Colts Jerseys Cheap Jaguars Jerseys Cheap Chiefs Jerseys ' ' '

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