PINEHURST, NC - As the years second major tees off on Thursday morning, here are a few things to consider: The Golf Course For the first time since the Second World War, there is no rough at the national championship. Cheap Nuggets Jerseys . Instead, there is whats being called Native Areas. This is how Donald Ross created the course and this is how Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore restored it.Rather than being one-dimensional and having to hack it out of the rough, hitting it off the fairway now means a bit of a lottery. You might end up with a perfectly clean, if somewhat sandy lie or you could end up in a tangle of the wiregrass. If that happens, its like old times and youll be hacking out to the fairway. Depending on whom you talk to, its either a 50-50 or 60-40 or 80-20 situation that youll get a good result in the scrub.It will make for some interesting times. The Phil FactorWe all know that Phil has been runner-up at the U.S. Open six times and that the first of those came here, at Pinehurst back in 1999. We also know that he wants to win this tournament more than any other, to complete the Grand Slam. But we also know that Phil hasnt played very well this year and has struggled on the greens to the point that hes changed his grip coming into this week. Hell use the claw grip, which he says is better for the six to eight footers that will be key for this week. As much as Phil will tell you everything is great, that he loves the course, that his game is coming around, you have to think that the odds arent in his favour here. Oh CanadaGraham DeLaet will complete the Grand Slam here this week – not in terms of winning but just teeing it up in his fourth major. Sometimes we forget that hes still learning his chops in the majors and its a big step up to the majors. Yes, he is ultra-talented with a game that is suited well to this type of set up. In some ways, what he doesnt know may actually help him. In golf sense, DeLaet will always live and die by his putter and this week he is also going with a new putter grip, adopting a left-hand-low style that he says is working for him. History is not on his side this week – the last time a first-time entrant won the Open was way back in 1913. Of course streaks are made to be broken. WeatherRight now, Pinehurst No. 2 is baked out and dry. There is lots of run in the course and the greens are firm. But the weather forecast is for rain over the next four days, (although so far, predictions of rain havent materialized). If that comes true, it will, as Rory McIlroy said, take the fire out of the course. It will aid the longer hitters and, if there are delays, make it tougher on those who have little patience. In short, it will change the number of golfers who can win this tournament and thats why a handful of players are doing the rain dance here this week. ImaginationIts a buzz word in golf. Along with creativity. But here at Pinehurst, there really is a need to think about just how youre going to hit a shot. With so many run-off areas around the greens, youre going to have to find the right way to get the ball close to the hole. So that means a) putting it up; b) chipping it close; c) use a hybrid to bump it; or d) some other club to get it close.The guy who puts its beside the cup will be deemed the most imaginative golfer of the week (instead of the champion golfer of the year). GreensThe greens at Pinehurst No. 2 arent necessarily small in overall size, but the effective area that can be used is tiny. In fact, on some of them, less than 25 per cent of the overall space can be used for a pin. These are not unlike Augusta Nationals putting surfaces, where hitting the right area – not just the green -- is a requirement. Some are more generous than others while a few are absolutely diabolical. McIlroy said the second is just such a green. He estimated that less than 20 per cent of the field will hit that green in regulation. Who Will Win?The golfer who will win this week is one who can drive it long as the course has some length. And it will be the player who can loft it way up in the air, as youll need some height to hold the greens. And it will be the player who has some creativity (see above) for those missed green recovery shots, and it will be the golfer who has a hot putter. Put those all together and I think your winner will be . . . Sergio Garcia. (Second choice – Jason Day) Wholesale Nuggets Jerseys . TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie tweeted that its believed the Flames are working towards a new contract with the defenceman. Fake Nuggets Jerseys . -- Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe was alert and recovering at a Denver hospital Saturday after suffering seizure-like symptoms when the teams bus pulled into the airport Friday afternoon for the flight to Kansas City.NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball umpire Wally Bell died of an apparent heart attack Monday, a week after working the NL playoff series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. He was 48. The commissioners office said Bell died in his home state of Ohio. Bell had not been feeling well over the weekend and had been scheduled to see doctors later Monday at the Cleveland Clinic. Bell had quintuple bypass surgery on Feb. 18, 1999, that left him with an 8-inch scar down the middle of his chest. His father survived two heart attacks before he died. "All of us at Major League Baseball are in mourning tonight regarding the sudden passing of Wally Bell," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "I always enjoyed seeing Wally, who was a terrific umpire and such an impressive young man. On behalf of our 30 clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Wallys family, fellow umpires and his many friends throughout the game." Bell was the first active MLB umpire to die since John McSherry passed away of a heart attack on the field in Cincinnati on opening day in 1996. Bell worked the 2006 World Series and three All-Star games, including this years event at Citi Field, where he was stationed at first base. A veteran of 21 big league seasons, he had also worked four league championship series and seven division series since joining the major league staff in 1993. "It was a devastating loss for us. Wally was a true umpires umpire," said Gerry Davis, crew chief for the NL championship series. "I think if youll check with the players and teams they felt the same way because Wally always gave 110 per cent on the field." The umpires for Game 3 at Dodger Stadium heard about Bells death an hour before they took the field. "We had to regroup rather quickly and put our concentration where it needed to be," Davis said after Los Angeles beat St. Louis 3-0. "We kept telling each other that thats the way Wally would have wanted it, and we know that thats really true. One of the things that we shared in the locker room afterwards is that Im sure hes vvery proud right now," he said. Denver Nuggets Store. Several players from around the majors expressed their condolences on Twitter. Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis wrote: "Wally kept game fun and loose and I always looked forward to catching with him behind plate. I will miss his personality and professionalism." Boston pitcher Jake Peavy: "Just heard the news devastated about the passing of Wally Bell. A great umpire, a great man." Toronto slugger Jose Bautista: "He always had great spirits on the field, i will always remember how he teased me about my beard." Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino: "My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Wally Bell. So sad to hear (and) will remember him tomorrow as I take the field." According to Bells biography on MLB.com, his proudest moment as a big league umpire was returning to the field after having open heart surgery. Two of his arteries had been 100 per cent blocked, two more had been 80 per cent blocked, another 70 per cent. Bell came back 11 weeks after his heart problem was detected for a game in San Diego. That night, plate umpire Mark Hirschbeck took the first ball out of play and kept it as a souvenir for Bell. "I am deeply saddened and shocked at the loss of umpire Wally Bell," said Joe Torre, MLB executive vice-president for baseball operations. "Umpiring was his life, and he touched so many people within the game of baseball. Aside from being an accomplished, All-Star-caliber umpire, Wally was a loving dad to his two teenage children. I extend my deepest condolences to them, his girlfriend Renee, the rest of his family and his admirers across Major League Baseball." During the 2013 regular season, Bell was a member of Tim McClellands crew. "Wally was a great umpire, a great partner and a great friend. The umpiring community is deeply saddened by this tragic loss. He will be sorely missed by many," said major league ump Joe West, President of the World Umpires Association. Bell is survived by his son, Jason, and daughter, Lindsey. ' ' '
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ll be the golfer who has a hot putter. Put those all together and I think your winner will be . . . Sergio Garcia. (Second choice – Jason Day) Wholesale Nuggets Jerseys . TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie tweeted that its believed the Flames are working towards a new contract with the defe