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Jim Flick dies of cancer at 82

Jim Flick dies of cancer at 82

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) Jim Flick, a golf instructor for more than 50 years whose clients included Tom Lehman and Jack Nicklaus upon joining the Champions Tour, died Monday of pancreatic cancer, his family said. He was 82.

Flick taught golf in 23 countries and directed programs such as Golf Digest's Schools and ESPN Golf Schools. He was director of instruction at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz., for 20 years and wrote five books, the most recent one titled, ``Jack Nicklaus, Simply the Best.'' Nicklaus sought out Flick in 1990 to help with his game after his longtime coach, Jack Grout, had died. They co-founded the Nicklaus-Flick Golf Schools, which operated from 1991 to 2003.

Lehman spoke to Flick on Sunday before winning the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Desert Mountain.

A native of Bedford, Ind., Flick began playing golf at age 10. He attended Wake Forest on a basketball scholarship and roomed six months of his sophomore year with Arnold Palmer, who was a junior. Flick turned pro after he graduated in 1952 and tried tournament golf until realizing his career was in teaching.

Flick was PGA Teacher of the Year in 1988, and he was inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame and the Southern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame in 2002. Golf World magazine selected him as one of the top 10 teachers of the 20th century.

In a recent interview with Golfweek magazine, Flick said he was concerned with too many golfers trying to achieve a perfect swing.

``We've let the game be taken over by science,'' he said. ``Golf is an art form. The golf swing is an athletic movement. Becoming mechanical and robotic is the worst thing you can do.''

Lehman sought him out in 1990, when he was struggling in the minor leagues of golf. He thought about Flick through the final round at Desert Mountain, where he closed with a 65 for a six-shot win to become the first player to win the Schwab Cup in consecutive years.

``The last hole, I know that he was probably watching today,'' Lehman said Sunday. ``I felt quite certain that that was probably the last driver he was ever going to see me hit and I wanted to make it a good one. And the last 7-iron he will ever see me hit, and I wanted to make that a good one. And the last putt, and I wanted to make that putt. I didn't want to make it simply because I want to win by six. I wanted to make it for him.''

Funeral arrangements were pending. Flick is survived by his wife, Geri, and five children.

4.19.18 Rick Horrow The Sports Professor talks with Joe Leccese, Chairman ProSkauer

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USA TODAY Sports

4.19.18 Rick Horrow The Sports Professor talks with Joe Leccese, Chairman ProSkauer

Rick Horrow The Sports Professor sits down for an exclusive interview with Joe Leccese -- and more from the $1 trillion-dollar business of sports in this week's 'Beyond The Scoreboard with Rick Horrow'

About the Guest: Joe Leccese is the Chairman of Proskauer. He is responsible for leading the Firm’s global operations across its 13 offices and co-heads of Proskauer’s renowned Sports Law Group.

By Rick Horrow

Podcast producer: Tanner Simkins

LISTEN HERE

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The Caps' penalty kill has been a major factor in the series turnaround

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USA TODAY Sports

The Caps' penalty kill has been a major factor in the series turnaround

For the Capitals to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, one of the keys to the series was going to be the penalty kill. 

For the season, Columbus ranked only 25th in the league on the power play at 17.2-percent, but that number did not reflect the massive improvement the Blue Jackets made with their trade deadline acquisitions.

Since the trade deadline on Feb. 26, Columbus ranked seventh on the power play. The Caps were sixth with both teams converting 25.0-percent of the time.

Where Washington did have an edge, seemingly, was on the penalty kill. Unlike the power play, Columbus' penalty kill was consistently poor all season, finishing 27th in the NHL with a kill rate of only 76.2-percent. While not a strength by any means, the Caps were certainly better on the PK with a kill rate of 80.3-percent, good for 15th in the league.

With two power plays converting at the same rate, Washington had to be able to kill off more of the Blue Jackets' opportunities. They struggled to do that in Game 1 and Game 2.

The Caps were called for four penalties and gave up two power play goals in each of the first two games. Washington scored five power play goals in those games, but their advantage on special teams was mitigated by their inability to keep Columbus from converting. 

There are many reasons why the Caps were able to overcome the 0-2 series deficit and now sit just one win away from advancing to the second round. Chief among those reasons is the improved penalty kill. Since Game 2, Washington has not allowed a single power play goal. The PK has successfully killed off 13 straight penalties including five in Game 5.

"I think as a group, they've all stepped up," Barry Trotz said on a conference call with the media on Sunday. "I don't think I can single out anybody. They've all stepped up. The penalty kill is as good as the five guys that you have, your four and your goaltender. They've been very committed there."

In a series that has seen four out of five games go to overtime, it's not hard to recognize the impact even one goal can have on a game and, by extension, the series. Should the Caps go on to win the series, their ability to adjust their penalty kill to stop the Blue Jackets' suddenly potent power play will be one of the main reasons why.

Trotz would not go into specifics as to the adjustments the team made after Game 2, but did acknowledge the penalty kill has been a "major factor" in the Caps' turnaround this series.

But to finish the job, the penalty kill will have to continue adjusting.

"This is the time when we're still trying to tweak things," Trotz said. "They changed some things on their power play a little bit yesterday, so we'll look to maybe tweak a little bit with our PK."