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Davis to speak at players' meeting

Davis to speak at players' meeting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) The PGA Tour is bringing a guest speaker to its mandatory players' meeting next week at Torrey Pines - USGA executive director Mike Davis.

A proposed rule that would ban the stroke used for belly putters and broom-handle putters is on the agenda for the Tuesday night meeting at the Farmers Insurance Open. The U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced in November that anchored strokes would be outlawed starting in 2016.

Davis said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and the policy board invited him to speak.

``It's just part of the process, to explain the anchoring, talk a little bit about our rationale and explain how the rule operates,'' Davis said Friday. ``I'm going to do that and answer some questions. And then Tim is probably going to toss me out of the room and he'll talk to the players.''

Typical of any proposed rule, there is a 90-day comment period before the USGA and R&A decide to adopt it. One issue for the PGA Tour and other professional circuits is whether enact the ban on anchoring before 2016, to avoid a stigma attached to players using long putters or to have the topic become a distraction.

Three of the last five major champions - Keegan Bradley (PGA Championship), Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) and Ernie Els (British Open) used a belly putter.

Davis said he would have no input on that decision.

``It would be ludicrous for us to even intervene at all,'' Davis said.

Ty Votaw of the PGA Tour said having Davis would be nothing more than an ``opportunity for there to be good discussion about the proposed rule.'' He did not say how soon the tour would work on when to implement the new rule, if it even does this year.

Player meetings are rarely contentious unless it's a divisive topic such as the introduction of drug testing in 2008. The proposed rule is a game-changer, however, with more players going to the anchored stroke in recent years. Even so, Bradley suggested a month ago that players using long putters are part of a small minority. Among players who have praised the new rule are Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker and Graeme McDowell.

Carl Pettersson said in Hawaii that the proposed rule seemed to be the product of a ``witch hunt,'' and that it didn't seem fair to someone like him who has invested thousands of hours practicing with a long putter. It's the only method the 35-year-old Swede has used since his sophomore year in college.

Davis is not expecting any protests.

``From what the tour wants, this is just an educational thing and a chance to ask players any questions they have,'' he said. ``I don't think it's designed for players to say how they feel about it.''

Davis has been cautious not to speak publicly about the proposed rule during the comment period, which ends after the West Coast swing at the end of February. He even turned down an invitation to speak next week as part of a ``State of the Game'' panel at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.

Davis described comments the USGA and R&A have received in the last six weeks as ``very good feedback,'' though nothing enlightening or that has caused them to feel as though they missed something in writing the rule.

The main reason for the new rule, as Davis and R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said Nov. 28, was a concern that anchored strokes was taking away some of the skill inherent to golf. Davis said the rule simply defined what a golf stroke is supposed to be.

``I don't think I'll say anything that's going to be new,'' Davis said. ``Then I'll leave the room, and I'm sure it will be different.''

College Football 2019 Week 4 What to Watch: State bragging rights

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College Football 2019 Week 4 What to Watch: State bragging rights

In terms of local action, Week 4 is a little bit of a down week. Maryland and Penn State are both on bye weeks before their big matchup on Sept. 27. Navy and Virginia Tech also have the week off as well. But fear not! There is still plenty of college football to watch without your beloved Terps, Lions, Midshipmen or Hokies. Virginia hosts in-state rival Old Dominion and there is some big-time college football down south.

Here is a breakdown of all the local action.

No. 21 Virginia vs. Old Dominion

When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, Va.
How to watch: ESPN2

The Cavaliers host Old Dominion in the first-ever meeting between these two programs. After narrowly escaping with a win over Florida State, Virginia remains perfect with a 3-0 record and already two conference wins. Because of that, the Cavaliers now sit ranked 21st in the nation, the highest the team has been ranked since 2007. Now the task before them is to not stumble or get caught looking ahead to next week's matchup at Notre Dame because the Monarchs love surprising the bigger in-state programs. Just ask Virginia Tech.

Game of the week: No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 7 Notre Dame

When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.
How to watch: CBS

In 2018, Notre Dame was a playoff team. Georgia was not. Ask anyone in Athens, however, and they will tell you the Bulldogs were the better team and deserved to be in over the Irish. Whether they are right is debatable. Notre Dame entered the playoff undefeated but was embarrassed by Clemson in a 30-3 romp in the Cotton Bowl. That loss certainly looks less embarrassing than it did initially after the Tigers blew apart Alabama in the National Championship, but that does little to comfort Georgia fans.

Luckily, this year offers Georgia the chance for revenge as the Irish travel to Athens in one of the biggest games of the college football season

Georgia comes into this game with something to prove. Not only do they want to show who the better program is after last year's perceived snub, but they also want to reassert themselves as one of the top teams in the nation. With Alabama dealing with injuries and Clemson's schedule leaving much to be desired, there is room for the Bulldogs to insert themselves into the conversation for the top team in the nation.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, has a chance to topple our preconceived notions about the dominance of the SEC's top teams and to reassert themselves into the playoff race. Georgia is easily Notre Dame's toughest game. There is no reason the Irish can't go undefeated if they win on Saturday and a win over the Bulldogs in Georgia would be a pretty nice feather in the cap for any playoff resume.

On NBC Sports Washington

Wake Forest vs. Elon

When: 12 p.m.
Where: BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, N.C.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

North Carolina vs. Appalachian State

When: 3:30 p.m.
Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

Other local teams

Morgan State at Army, 12 p.m. Saturday on CBSSN
Robert Morris at VMI, 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Howard at Delaware State, 2 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
Norfolk State at Montana State, 3 p.m. Saturday
James Madison at Chattanooga, 4 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
William & Mary at East Carolina, 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
Hampton at Liberty, 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Villanova at Towson, 6 p.m. Saturday

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Elena Delle Donne named 2019 WNBA MVP for the second time following historic season

Elena Delle Donne named 2019 WNBA MVP for the second time following historic season

Elena Delle Donne has done it again.

For the second time in her career, the Washington Mystics' star has been named the WNBA MVP, Monumental Sports announced Thursday.

Delle Donne is the first WNBA player to earn the prestigious award with two teams, her 2015 honor while with the Chicago Sky.

“I would like to thank my teammates and coaches and our wonderful fans--I have the greatest teammates in the world, our coaches have put us in a position to succeed by forming this awesome unit and the energy of our fans has given us the best home-court atmosphere in the league,” Delle Donne said in the statement.

“Everyone has had a part in this, especially my wife and family, and it took a lot of hard work and focus from all of us together to get to this point.  I am extremely proud of this honor, but we still have work ahead of us and we’re all focused playing our hardest to bring a championship to Washington.”

During her 2019 season with the Mystics, Delle Donne averaged 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists, securing her spot on the All-Star team for the sixth time. Her most unbelievable feat, however, was becoming the first WNBA player to join the prestigious 50/40/90 club.

Delle Donne earned 51.5 percent from the field, 43.03 percent from beyond the arc and an incredible 97.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Mark Nowitzki and Malcolm Brogdon are the only players in the history of the NBA to accomplish that feat.

The Mystics look for another win Thursday night en route to a Championship against the Las Vegas Aces for Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals at 8:30 p.m.

You can watch the game on ESPN 2.

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