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A dinosaur leaves its imprint on Australian PGA

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A dinosaur leaves its imprint on Australian PGA

COOLUM, Australia (AP) Golfers at the Australian PGA Championship might feel as if they are going back in time.

Way back in time.

The new owner of the Palmer Coolum Resort has erected a 26-foot mechanical T-Rex between the ninth green and 10th tee, which flips its tail and opens its mouth for a menacing roar when anyone approaches. The owner, billionaire Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer, has at least agreed to turn it off during the tournament.

But it's one reason the Australian PGA will be leaving Coolum after 11 years.

``I've heard it sounds like we are going to Jurassic Park, so this will be interesting,'' Robert Allenby said.

Palmer wants to import more molded dinosaurs and turn the ocean resort into a theme park, or maybe a casino. But his plans have clashed with a tournament that dates to 1905. The owner already has put up more than 60 signs around the golf course to promote his interests, which includes his plan to build a replica of the Titanic.

Some of those signs, however, are in the landing areas on the fairways. That forced organizers to mark those areas ``ground under repair,'' where golfers will be able to move the ball if the shot is affected by the signs.

On Sunday, the issue came to a head with Australasian PGA Tour officials, and the tournament appeared in jeopardy. The show will go on, at least this year. PGA chief executive Brian Thorburn said Tuesday this will be the last year at Coolum. It will be played in Queensland next year, and the tour is looking at other options beyond that in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Thorburn said he wouldn't get into the ``cut and thrust'' of the negotiations Sunday, or how close the tournament was to being canceled.

``We have had a great run on the Sunshine Coast, it has been fantastic, but nothing stays forever,'' Thorburn said. ``Emotionally, it will be sad.''

Palmer tweeted on Sunday: ``We had some issues with pgaofaustralia but all now resolved amicably and we are looking forward to the tournament at Palmer Coolum Resort.''

The tournament moved to Coolum in 2002 after two years at Royal Queensland in Brisbane. But it's also been played at Royal Melbourne, where Hale Irwin (1978) and Seve Ballesteros (1981) were among the winners, and other top Australian courses. This year's field includes Adam Scott, Greg Norman, Darren Clarke, Geoff Ogilvy and Australian Open champion Peter Senior.

The T-Rex is nicknamed ``Jeff'' and it is activated by movement. Golfers playing social rounds recently have taken ``dinosaur mulligans'' when the roar occurs during a backswing on the 10th tee.

Palmer has agreed to turn off the robotic features of the dinosaur during the tournament, although it might be featured during Wednesday's pro-am.

When asked if he ever imagined the century-old Australian PGA would be played on a course with a 26-foot T-Rex, Thourburn smiled and said ``no.''

``But having said that, let's put it into perspective,'' he added. ``It has generated some tremendous publicity for this tournament and we don't have a big marketing budget so in that regard everybody knows that the PGA is on at Coolum at the moment.''

Defending champion Greg Chalmers was taken aback by the prehistoric beast.

``I'm glad it's not roaring, that's a good start,'' Chalmers said. ``It is just a little strange. It is not what I expected to see.''

VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

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VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Javonte Perkins had 25 points as Saint Louis topped VCU 80-62 on Friday night.

Hasahn French had 18 points for Saint Louis (19-8, 8-6 Atlantic 10 Conference). Terrence Hargrove Jr. added 11 points. Jordan Goodwin had 10 points.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 11 points for the Rams (17-10, 7-7), who have now lost four consecutive games. De'Riante Jenkins added 10 points.

Saint Louis plays Saint Joseph's at home on Wednesday. VCU faces UMass on the road on Wednesday.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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