Redskins

Father-Son Challenge returns after 3-year break

Father-Son Challenge returns after 3-year break

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) When Larry Nelson won the last Father-Son Challenge with son Drew, the runner-up duo included a high school freshman just beginning to grow into his body and his swing.

Look at Dru Love now.

The son of Davis Love III stands 6-foot-3, a five-time Georgia state champion now trying to crack the lineup of a No. 1 Alabama team that includes a U.S. Amateur semifinalist and two second-team All-Americans.

And if you think he's big, check out Arnold Palmer's partner this week. Grandson Will Wears is a 6-foot-5 high school senior who plays basketball during Pennsylvania's winter season.

``Yeah, it's been a while,'' Nelson said Friday.

After a three-year absence, the scramble event returns this weekend at Grande Lakes Orlando's Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.

``When your son's with you, you'd better be competitive,'' said Jack Nicklaus, joined by son Gary this week. ``And your son had better be competitive. Both of you want to show each other that you can play.''

The event had a 14-year run from 1995-2008 before sponsorship issues dropped it from the schedule. It was such a hit among its Hall of Fame participants, though, that organizers never set the concept aside.

With Palmer's help, the event was revived in March with PNC Bank as sponsor.

``It's exciting to think that they want to play as badly as they do,'' Palmer said when the return was formally announced. ``So they bring their sons, their daughters - whatever it might be - and it's pretty exciting.''

The field features 18 major champions or Players Championship winners, paired with their offspring. In the case of guys like Nicklaus, Nelson and Raymond Floyd, they've had to let two sons alternate years.

``It's fun to come and compete on the big stage - or what feels like a big stage to us,'' said Josh Nelson, who helped Team Nelson to the 2007 title but stepped aside a year later as brother Drew helped bring the family another title. ``We relish it. Every year, we were hoping to hear that they would get a sponsor and we're just really thankful for PNC stepping up.''

Dru Love - formally Davis Love IV but with a nickname shortened from the word ``quadruple'' - was 14 at the last Father-Son. As exciting as it was to challenge the Nelsons down the stretch, the company he was keeping was no less memorable.

``Getting out with your dad and playing a scramble is no big deal,'' he said. ``But when you jump out there with - last (time) we had Shark (Greg Norman) and Vijay (Singh) - that was really cool.''

Lee Trevino and Daniel Trevino also are playing along with Nick Faldo and Matthew Faldo, Hale Irwin and Steve Irwin, Vijay Singh and Qass Singh, Steve Elkington and Sam Elkington, Raymond Floyd and Robert Floyd, Lee Janzen and Connor Janzen, Bernhard Langer and Christina Langer, Sandy Lyle and James Lyle, Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, David Duval and Nick Karavites, Dave Stockton and David Stockton, Lanny Wadkins and Tucker Wadkins, and Fuzzy Zoeller and Gretchen Zoeller.

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Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Following the Redskins' Week 2 preseason win over the Jets on Thursday, Jay Gruden said both Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine were "OK" after the two running backs each left the game with injuries. Marshall's was labeled a lower-leg issue, while Perine's injury was called a twisted ankle.

Timetables for their recoveries were then reported on Friday, and while the two members of the backfield escaped anything too severe, they will each be sidelined for decent chunks of time.

Perine will miss a week, according to Mike Garafolo. Marshall, meanwhile, is looking at a longer two-to-four week recovery, per Tom Pelissero. Those pieces of news hurt them in more ways than one.

Derrius Guice's torn ACL in Week 1 of the team's exhibition schedule meant that Marshall and Perine both had a big-time opportunity to step up and earn a spot on Washington's 53-man roster, spots that were harder to envision for them when Guice was healthy.

Overall, the two were slated to compete with Kapri Bibbs for what will likely be two spaces on the depth chart behind the absolutely safe Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Now, though, they'll be forced to sit until they're healed up, giving Bibbs more chances in practice and the two remaining August contests to earn Jay Gruden's trust.

Against New York, Bibbs struggled on the ground but led the offense with seven grabs, including a 29-yard gain off a screen play. That performance absolutely brought him closer in the race with Marshall, who scored vs. the Patriots a week earlier. Next, he'll need to prove he can run effectively between the tackles vs. the Broncos in Week 3, which will put some heat on Perine as well.

The 'Skins have 15 days left until they have to finalize their regular season roster. As things stand now amongst the running backs, Bibbs presently has a real shot at stealing a job from the two shelved RBs. But with the way this race has unfolded thus far, that can all change in a split second. 

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Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

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Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Despite being a brand new franchise with a new roster and new facilities, the Capital City Go-Go will carry into their inaugural season a level of continuity. Both their general manager and head coach are familiar with what they are getting into and the people they will be working with.

GM Pops Mensah-Bonsu is no stranger to the D.C. community and the Wizards franchise. He made a name for himself starring at George Washington University, spent time with the Wizards as a player in their 2013 training camp and remained a frequent visitor to Wizards games as a scout for the Spurs in recent years.

"To be back in the community and the first general manager of the G-League team is special," Mensah-Bonsu said. "This is D.C.’s team. I want them to embrace us."

Head coach Jarell Christian played college ball in Virginia and goes back several years with Wizards coach Scott Brooks. Christian joined the Oklahoma City's G-League staff when Brooks was in his final year as head coach of the Thunder.

Christian began his coaching journey with an eye trained on how Brooks goes about his job.

"My introduction to pro basketball was under Coach Brooks and his philosophies. A lot of that stuff, I believe in wholeheartedly. That’s my foundation," Christian said. "I got a chance to know him through training camp and throughout that season. He and I developed a bond and a relationship that stood the test of time. To this day, we still talk often. It’s just another chance for me to reconnect with him and to continue to grow our relationship."

The Go-Go intend to make what they do as similar to the Wizards as possible. When guys like Devin Robinson, one of their two-way players, is called up he can step right in without a learning curve of the playbook or how they practice.

Having Christian in place will help that process in particular.

"There won’t be any issue or any slippage with guys going up and down to know what’s in store for them," Christian said. "A lot of the stuff that the Wizards will do, we will implement with the Go-Go. Just some offensive and defensive concepts. Some of the playcalls and the terminology will be the same."

"Whatever you see the Wizards doing, you will probably see the Capital City Go-Go doing, too," Mensah-Bonsu said.

The symmetry between the G-League and the NBA teams will also be helped by the fact they will share the same practice facility. Their proximity will come with many advantages from the Go-Go perspective.

"I think it’s going to help motivate these guys. We’re going to be practicing in the same place that the Wizards do and the Mystics do," Mensah-Bonsu said. "I think if these guys can see Dwight Howard and John Wall and Bradley Beal walking around every day, it will help motivate them to get to that next level."

"The exposure our players get with the Wizards [front office], the Wizards personnel, being able to watch them practice daily, watching their practice habits and what their routines may be, is really big," Christian said.

That element will also apply beyond the players. Christian, who is just 32 years old, will get to watch how an NBA coaching staff operates on a daily basis.

Christian has yet to take a tour of the new building in Ward 8, but he has seen blueprints. Among the amenities the Go-Go will enjoy that other G-League teams do not usually have is a dedicated dining area.

Many G-League teams do not go to that length.

"A lot of organizations do not provide food for their players on a daily basis, but we will. That’s the No. 1 thing in my opinion that’s gonna set us apart from our competitors," he said.

The Go-Go won't take the floor for their first game until November, but it seems like a good foundation is starting to take place.

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