Will you won’t you join us for a tea party?
A mad one, that is! In honor of Lewis Carroll’s birthday, the library is hosting a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Jim Bignell will be reading some of Carroll’s beloved stories as you learn about tea etiquette and how to properly taste tea. There will also be crafts including making your own Mad Hatter hat and a paper teacup. Tea and cookies will be provided and dressing up is encouraged! This program is intended for children ages 6 and up, teens and adults. RSVP at the Children’s Desk no later than Jan. 20 to reserve your place at the party. For more information you can contact the library by calling 575-622-7101, visit us at 301 N. Pennsylvania or the website at oswell-nm.gov/405/Roswell-Public-Library.
Book Talk by Debra Thomas
Technical Services Supervisor
A snowstorm. New Year’s Eve. Denver International Airport suffers closures which strand an 18-year-old girl amongst strangers. This desperately sad girl wants nothing more than to be invisible, so the thought of dealing with complete strangers is nearly unbearable.
Unable to move forward with her life, Ryn Gilbert alternately dwells upon the friendship, love, and memories shared with her deceased best friend, Lottie, then hides those memories within herself, not willing to acknowledge that Lottie really is gone for good. After all, she has a text message from her, the last she will ever receive, still on her phone waiting for Ryn to recover enough to actually open it. But she has become an expert in the art of standing still, hiding layers of hurt even from her therapist, unable to alter the crushing emotional paralysis that has encompassed her since the car accident that claimed her friend’s life a year ago.
Sometimes though, what we most dread is that which breaks us out of our self-imposed exile, ultimately opening us up to the salvation we so desperately need. In “The Chaos of Standing Still” by Jessica Brody, the emotional upheaval visited upon Ryn by the death of her friend is shattered, uncertainties and hurts are exposed and shared throughout the night with passengers who keep vigil over their own intimate secrets– a 13-year-old child prodigy, the biracial son of celebrity psychologists, a spunky waitress, and other multi-leveled characters who work the airport terminal.
A lot happens in less than 24 hours, stranded in a blizzard with complete strangers as Brody’s novel takes us through the psychological journey of healing involving these fractured, “hesitant to join the real world again” cast of characters.
New York Times Bestseller “Make Your Own Bed” by Admiral William H. McRaven is an inspiring electronic audiobook to listen to as you drive to daily destinations His graduation speech to the 2014 graduating class of the University of Texas which this is based on, garnered over 10 million YouTube views. Not only the graduates appreciated the wisdom and clarity shared that day, but a multitude of others wanted to hear how the basic principles he learned during Navy Seal training kept him grounded and determined to live a life full of principle — one in which he would meet life’s challenges with compassion, honor, and courage. As the subtitle says, “Little things that can change your life … and maybe the world.” An inspiring conduct-of-life book that would be a great jumpstart to New Year’s resolutions to make the world a better place in which to live.
Robert Lynn Evans a devoted husband, beloved father and wonderful friend to many, was called home to the Lord. After a long battle with cancer, Robert passed away on Wednesday January 10th 2018 at his home with his loving wife by his side, at the age of 58.
Weary of reading obituaries noting someone’s courageous battle with death, Robert wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctor’s orders and raising hell for almost six decades. He enjoyed booze, cars, guns, and most of all the music scene.
Most of the friends he shared in this life, either met him through a friend because they needed their car worked on or they had their faces melted off by him performing on stage at some local venue. The man had some serious talent when it came to playing the bass and he belted his heart out on stage for all to hear when he stepped up to the mic.
We have watched him perform so many different genres over the years whether it be jazz, blues, country music, bluegrass, or that good ole rock and roll. The man could literally turn on the radio, pick up a bass, and start playing right along with it.
There is so much more to say but to put it simply, those who knew him, knew him.
He was REAL… a man of his word. A little too blunt for some maybe, but there was no question, he let you know what was on his mind without beating around any bushes.
A dear friend of his stated he remembered Robert as being, “the big prickly SOB, with the big heart under the bluster, who was always the guy to have in your corner.”
Preceded in death by his mother Lometta Laverne Evans, his father Dale Eugene Evans, brother James Randall Brownell, and sister Terresa Diane Calderon.
Those left behind to cherish Robert’s memory are his loving wife of twelve years Lucy Evans, his son Jason Robert Evans, two daughters Candace Rae Burnes and Deanna Kay Elliot. Robert was stepfather to Catherine Leveck and Nathaniel Leveck. He was grandfather to several grandchildren which he loved dearly. Robert also leaves behind his four brothers Charles Eugene Brownell, Donald Eugene Young, Kenneth Michael Evans, Darryl Glenn Evans, his two sisters Lori Angelene Genther and Carolyn Racine Meyer.
Anderson Bethany has been entrusted with arrangements for Robert.
He was loved by many over the years and shared many good times. We would like to hear some of these times from you… please join us and share those times.
Come celebrate Robert’s life by attending a small service to offer a memory or expression of sympathy for his family on Sat. January 20th at 5 p.m.
Service will take place at Sierra Vol. Fire Department Station 1 603 Brown Rd., Roswell, NM 88203.
Post Service reception to be held after the services, so we can hear the good stuff!
Tina Gwydline “Gwen” Stockton was born September 15, 1927 in Odell, Texas to Andrew and Tina Mae (Frazier) Stockton. As a child, Gwen grew up on the Red River, graduating from Quanah High School in 1944, before enrolling in business school in Dallas. Gwen then took a job in Borger, Texas as a bookkeeper for the newspaper. In her own words, “that is where she met the love of her life.” On June 8, 1947, she married Ernest James “Bud” Doffer, and began a family. Bud and Gwen welcomed daughter Sara, followed by a son, Matt, and a second daughter Sally. Gwen worked for the Singer Sewing Machine Company during these years, teaching sewing classes. In 1964, she completed cosmetology school and went to work as a hair stylist owning and operating Gwen Doffer’s House of Beauty in El Paso, Texas.
In 1971, Gwen married George Gibson, gaining two more sons, George and Bob. After retiring from full-time work, George and Gwen enjoyed traveling and fishing, playing Skip Bo, and loved the company of many extended family members and friends. Gwen was creative and artistic, talents she exhibited through painting, floral design, knitting, and as a stylist. She was also an excellent seamstress. “Grandma” loved to dance; she loved hummingbirds, collecting dolls, turtles, flowers, and fashion.
Gwen passed peacefully on December 24, 2017 and is preceded in death by her parents, and husbands Bud Doffer and George Gibson, Sr. Survivors include her children, Sara Manion and husband Lans of Roswell, Matt Doffer of Midland, Texas, Sally Doffer-Heasley and husband Brett of Houston, Texas, and step-sons George R. Gibson and wife Donna of El Paso, Texas and Bob Gibson and wife Shan of Houston, Texas; sister Penny Hicks.Gwen is also survived by eight grandchildren, Dusty (Mark) Lewis, George (Erin) Gibson, III, Jennifer (Greg) Burtin, Sammy (Tina) Gibson, Corbin Doffer, Claire Doffer, Ben Heasley, and Barrett Heasley, and nine great- grandchildren.
Just like the flowers she always wore, Gwen was a bright spot in any room. She will forever be remembered as a larger-than-life personality and will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
“That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.”- William Wordsworth
A Memorial Service will be at, Ballard Funeral Home in the Chapel on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 2pm.
Pastor Mark Green will be officiating.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com.
Alfred “Johnny” Medina, 67, of Roswell, NM went to be with our Lord on Friday, January 12th, 2017 from natural causes.
A Rosary will be recited on Friday, January 19, 2018 at 10:30 A.M., With a Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 11 A.M.; and then a reception to follow in the St. Peters Community Room.
Johnny was born in Carrizozo, NM to Carmen Aragon on July 21,1950. In Carrizozo, his friends and family knew him as “Sugar”, a nickname his Aunt Lena gave him when he was born.
Johnny married the love of his life Ramona “Margie” Otero in 1973. They celebrated 44 years of wonderful marriage.
Johnny enjoyed going to the Bingo at the Elks Lodge, Serenity and Sertoma Club. He enjoyed going to the casino and horse races in Ruidoso. Johnny enjoyed sporting his Dallas Cowboy memorabilia and shouting at the T.V. during the football games. Johnny enjoyed hosting backyard barbeques for his family and friends.
Johnny worked in the bus industry; first with TMC, then NovaBus and retiring from Millennium Bus Company where he worked for 32 years combined.
Johnny was preceded in death by his mother Carmen Aragon, stepfather Benny Aragon, and his daughter Brenda Contreras.
He is Survived by his loving wife Margie Medina of the family home, Ernest Medina his son of Roswell, son-in-law and compadre Steve and Evette Contreras, Sr. of Roswell, grandchildren Vanessa and Steve Contreras, Jr., both from Roswell, Two sisters Margaret Maez of Alamogordo, NM and Elaine Young of Albuquerque, NM, Aunt Lena Connell, Susie Connell and Dorris Vallejos of Roswell, Debbie Connell of Alamogordo, Randy Connell and Aunt Bessie Aragon of McAllen, TX and in-laws Mike and Christine Garcia of Roswell, NM and Manuel and Lola Otero of LaMesa, California, and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and Godchildren from Carrizozo and New Mexico.
“Dancing in the Sky”
Tell me, what does it look like in Heaven?
Is it peaceful? Is it free like they say?
Does the sun shine bright forever?
‘Cause here on Earth it feels like everything good is missing since you left and here on earth everything’s different, there’s an emptiness
I hope you’re dancing in the sky I hope you’re singing in the angel’s choir I hope the angels know what they have I’ll bet it’s so nice up in heaven since you arrived.
So tell me, what do you do up in heaven? Are your days filled with love and light?
Is there music? Is there art and invention? Tell me are you happy? Are you more alive?
‘Cause here on Earth it feels like everything good is missing since you left and here on earth everything’s different, there’s an emptiness
I hope you’re dancing in the sky I hope you’re singing in the angel’s choir I hope the angels know what they have I’ll bet it’s so nice up in heaven since you arrived.”
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com.
Joaquin Urias Moralez, 76, passed away on Sunday, January 14, 2018. A Rosary will be recited at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory Chapel on Thursday, January 18, 2018, 7:00 PM. A Funeral Service will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Dexter, NM, on Friday, January 19, 2018, 10:00 AM. Interment will take place at Saragosa Cemetery located in Balmorhea, TX. Celebrate Joaquin’s life by visiting www.andersonbethany.com to offer a memory or expression of sympathy for his family.
On August 25, 1941, Joaquin was born to Jose Moralez and Simonia Urias in Boquillas de San Isidro, Chihuahua, Mexico. A man of many traits, Joaquin loved gardening, caring for his animals, fixing cars, and taking care of his ranch. Amongst his favorite things to do was spending time with his family. He always made sure his family was taken care of above all things. Joaquin loved to make everyone laugh by being a clown. One of his favorite ways to make his family laugh was by making up songs, singing to his family and his beloved wife, Lupe. Joaquin was a very entertaining storyteller. The family enjoyed his many stories about his childhood and younger days. For every holiday, he enjoyed making his famous asado for all of his family to eat. Joaquin was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, son, and friend to many. He will be greatly missed and be forever loved.
Those left to cherish Joaquin’s memory are his loving wife, Guadalupe S. Morales; children: Joaquin Morales Jr. and wife, Delma of Monahans, TX, Belia Morales and husband, Chris of Andrew, TX, Norma Morales of Monahans, TX, Irma Dutchover of Dexter, NM, Raul S. Morales and wife, Renee of Carlsbad, NM, Delma S. Morales of Dexter, NM, Charlie Morales and wife, Adrianea of Roswell, NM; grandchildren: Stefanie, Monique, Tracy, Johnny, Tiffany, Miranda, Mariah, Serena; great-grandchildren: Alena, Zaidee, Ayven, Kallie, Isaiah, Baby Joaquin siblings: Armando Moralez of Saragosa, TX, Tranquilino Moralez of San Antonio, TX, Ramon Moralez of Kosse, TX, Seno Nunez of Monahans, TX; numerous nieces and nephews; and loving pet, Shoe Shoe Morales of Dexter, NM.
Preceding Joaquin in death were his parents: Jose Moralez and Simonia Moralez; brothers: Juan Moralez, Manuel Moralez, Felix Moralez; sisters: Dulce Bejaran and Amelia Bejaran; and precious pets: Sarah, Scooby and Daisy.
Pallbearers will be: Raul Morales, Charlie Morales, Johnny Rodriguez, Chris Craft, Abel Leyba and Tomas Bejaran.
God Saw You Getting Tired
God saw you getting tired,
and a cure was not to be.
So He put His arms around you
and whispered, “Come with Me.”
With tearful eyes we
watched you slowly fade away.
Although we loved you dearly,
we would not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
your hard-working hands put to rest,
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best
Joaquin’s family lovingly wrote this tribute in his honor.
Republicans could ruin an erotic dream, so it’s remarkable they passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which allows most of you to keep more of what you earn. When you check your pay stubs in February, know this; No Democrat voted to cut your taxes or ever would, and 2 million workers from 130 businesses have already gotten bonuses from their bosses because of this legislation.
While tax cuts for individuals and families are modest, reducing corporate taxes from 35 to 20 percent is substantial. Like you, they’ll do what they want with their money, and some of it will be used to expand their businesses. Local businesses also get a tax break, and together corporations and small businesses will ignite our economic engine and create jobs in our communities.
By repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate, 13 million citizens won’t pay fines for refusing to buy insurance, and Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is now open for oil exploration. President Trump has also lifted drilling restrictions in coastal waters.
Tax-free distributions from 529 savings plans are not just for college anymore, but for educational expenses for elementary and secondary public, private and parochial schools. Democrats nixed including homeschoolers. Corporations can now bring $3 trillion home to invest here. Farmers and small business owners can now keep what’s theirs in their families when they die because they can exempt $10 million of their estate.
President Trump revived our anemic economy by cutting job-killing regulations, and now he’s getting our lazy neighbors back to work. He’s sending La Migra (ICE agents) to businesses that hire illegal immigrants and granting states permission to require Medicaid recipients to work for benefits. He can also quit granting waivers to states that don’t make childless, able-bodied food stamp recipients work, volunteer, or go to school 20 hours a week. He can do this without getting any Democrat’s permission.
Democrats hate tax cuts because they believe they can take and spend your money better than you can. They think they can steal elections, too. It’s far-fetched to believe Trump colluded with Putin to get elected, but even if he did, it’s not a crime, but what’s clear is people in the FBI and Department of Justice may be guilty of wrongdoing. It’s time to end congressional hearings and impanel a grand jury of ordinary people to indict everyone whose treasonous conduct has undermined our democracy.
Respectfully, your knuckle-dragging, Bible-banging, flag-waving neighbor,
During the Roswell City Council meeting last Thursday, Jan. 11, I was in the minority during the debate and vote on Ordinance 17-15, which allows recreational and utility off-road vehicles on Roswell city streets.
I sincerely believe that this is problematic for public safety and urge the driving public to be aware that these vehicles will be joining Roswell drivers on city streets on or about Jan. 19. (Five days after publication of the ordinance.) I encourage an extra measure of patience and courtesy as these “off-road” vehicles become a part of our city traffic.
For example, we need to be alert seeing these smaller, low-profile vehicles sitting beside you, especially for the driver in an SUV, pickup or other high-profile vehicle. Our recreational and utility off-road vehicle friends need to be extra careful also, realizing that the driving public is not used to seeing and recognizing off-road vehicles on city streets.
We all need to be extra careful because statistics show that these vehicles, which are designed and manufactured exclusively for off-road use, can become dangerous on paved city streets. Please be careful!
Roswell City Councilor
Hogwash! Councilor (Juan) Oropesa’s depiction of “right to work” and its supporters as racist is an old and tired argument that just doesn’t hold water. Right to work is the right to choose whether an employee can be forced to join a union as a condition of employment — period.
As a young man, I took a job as a roofer at a union shop in Roswell. Councilor (Savino) Sanchez worked at the same shop. I didn’t intend it to be a career but was required to join the union as a condition of employment. I was forced to pay union dues (withheld from my check) and forced to go on strike in support of another union, Sheet Metal Workers, at a time when money was tight. To avoid being out on the street we ate only beans and potatoes for weeks so we could pay the rent and sold possesions to afford that. When union demands forced the shop to go out of business, we were only given the opportunity to relocate to another state to receive help from the union to find another union roofing job.
Few private-sector employers can survive in New Mexico under union control. I never received a penny for the dues I had paid.
As Councilor (Jason) Perry stated, unions can be good and bad, but in the 70s most were corrupt. I took a job as a truck driver and when the Teamsters went on strike independents who stayed on the road put their lives in jeopardy as union thugs threw bricks from overpasses or assaulted drivers when they attempted to pick up or deliver freight from union controlled docks.
As for the true face of racism, it is not only white, and as Micheal Jackson said Councilor Oropesa should start with the man in the mirror.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Todd Haley’s contract as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers is up.
And coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t sound as if he’s in a rush to decide whether Haley will be back next season.
Tomlin sidestepped several attempts to endorse Haley’s return on Tuesday as the AFC North champions continued to dissect what went wrong in an upset home playoff loss to Jacksonville . Asked if he anticipated any changes to his staff, Tomlin demurred.
“I don’t know where these roads are going to lead,” Tomlin said. “Some contracts are up. Some aren’t. I’m not ready to discuss that.”
Haley just finished his sixth season with the Steelers and has helped design one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses.
Led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell and All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (13-3) has finished in the top three in total yards in three of the past four years.
Though Haley and Roethlisberger have found a level of detente following a somewhat bumpy start to their relationship, Haley’s occasionally fiery approach has made him a touchstone when things don’t go well.
While the Steelers piled up more than 500 yards against the NFL’s top-ranked defense on Sunday, they also made a couple of curious play calls on fourth down that halted their momentum.
Bell was stuffed for a loss on a toss play when Pittsburgh needed just 1 yard in the first quarter and Roethlisberger threw incomplete to rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster on fourth down in the fourth quarter when advancing the ball a matter of inches would have extended the drive.
The Steelers, however, have gone away from using the quarterback sneak in recent years to help Roethlisberger avoid the contact.
Tomlin brushed off the notion that the sneak is no longer a part of the playbook, saying “to suggest there’s a resistance to it in concept, I’m not ready to say that.”
Tomlin also isn’t ready to say much about his staff.
Offensive line coach Mike Munchak has interviewed for the open head coaching job in Arizona and wide receivers coach Richard Mann is retiring.
Hines Ward, a two-time Super Bowl winner who is also the leading receiver in franchise history, spent time with the team during the season as a volunteer assistant, though Tomlin declined to get into any specifics about any sort of future role for Ward or anybody else for that matter.
“I’m not going to have a lot of definitive answers (right now),” Tomlin said. “I don’t want to provide you misinformation.”
Tomlin called his 11th season a “wild and challenging and fun ride.”
One with more than its fair share of bumps created from within.
From the “botched” decision to stay out of sight during the national anthem in Chicago in September to wide receiver Martavis Bryant’s trade demand to Tomlin openly talking about having to face New England twice — hinting he expected the Steelers to face the Patriots in the AFC championship game more than a month before it would become a reality — hardly a week passed with the attention focused somewhere other than the field.
“We realize oftentimes it may create a storm around us, but that’s not us,” Tomlin said. “We don’t care. We can’t care. We can’t control it anyway.”
Outside of linebacker Ryan Shazier’s life-altering spinal injury, the Steelers created most of the noise that surrounded them.
While Tomlin said it’s on him to help his players learn to use the attention directed at them and their own social media agendas “for good” he’s also aware that none of it matters so long as his team wins.
For a franchise where success is only measured in Lombardi Trophies, 2017 ended in disappointment, one the Steelers will have a longer than expected offseason to process.
“It ended the way it ended and looking back at it, there’s nothing we can do about that other than learn from the experience,” Tomlin said. “Hopefully that strengthens us for our next journey.”
One the Steelers are starting earlier than expected.
METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Drew Brees dispensed with technicalities regarding his contract and spoke as if his return to New Orleans next season was virtually assured.
“It’s the same way I felt two days ago. It’s the same way I felt 12 years ago. I’ll be here as long as they’ll have me,” Brees said Tuesday in the locker room at Saints headquarters, where players were packing up for the offseason following their dramatic elimination from the playoffs in Minnesota last weekend.
Brees acknowledged he’d have leverage if he chose to listen to offers from other clubs, but asserted that he has no plans to do so for professional and personal reasons.
The Saints have pieces in place to be a contender in upcoming seasons, having nearly advanced to the NFC title game with a roster featuring numerous first- and second-year regulars.
“Do I feel like this team has what it takes? Yes, I do,” Brees said.
Then there are Brees’ ever-deepening ties to New Orleans. He was 27 and childless when he arrived. Now he’s a father of four who turned 39 on Monday.
“Certainly, the relationship with this city will always play a strong role in me wanting to be here and … wanting to finish my career here,” Brees said.
And there’s no guarantee he’ll have better synergy with any coach than he’s had with Sean Payton.
“We have a great history together,” Brees said, recalling how Payton courted him in 2006 while he was still rehabilitating from major throwing-shoulder surgery. “I’m here because he believed in me.”
Brees has since passed for 58,097 yards and 408 touchdowns, won a Super Bowl and led New Orleans to six playoff berths. This season, his completion rate of 72 percent set an NFL record.
Payton on Tuesday declined to discuss how the team will address Brees’ contract, saying now is “not the time.”
But letting Brees go would be costly for New Orleans — financially and on the field.
Brees’ contract technically runs through 2018, but voids automatically when the new league year begins on March 14. That was done for two reasons. The Saints received salary cap flexibility they needed in 2016 by spreading Brees’ guaranteed money over two more years. Brees gained leverage because the Saints lose $18 million in salary cap space in 2018 if they fail to re-sign him.
That’s given Brees confidence that an extension is inevitable.
“I don’t plan on this being something that goes until March 14th,” said Brees, who also spoke about the 2018 Saints as if presuming he’ll be their QB.
“We have a great window of opportunity,” Brees said. “I’ve been a part of talented teams in the past, though, that have not lived up to expectations. I’ve also been a part of teams that were just gutsy and gritty, and surpassed expectations.
“Bottom line — success is dependent upon your willingness to work and the way that guys care about one another and the sense of urgency,” Brees continued. “So while I think we do have a talented team, I know that each year you have to go out and prove it.”
Several players said they were still struggling to come to grips with the sudden, stunning end of their season on a 61-yard Vikings touchdown as time expired Sunday.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about it if I wanted to,” defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said. “Hopefully it’ll be more fuel than anything and I can just go train as hard as I can.”
Payton wore a black track suit with Saints emblems on it, as if to symbolize that he is off and running in his effort to build upon the success of 2017.
“We have to look at every area we can improve — every area, not just one specific area,” Payton declared. “There’s nothing promised. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Three significant contributors are entering free agency: safety Kenny Vaccaro, defensive end Alex Okafor and offensive lineman Senio Kelemete.
Meanwhile, 34-year-old right tackle Zach Strief, a Week 1 starter who spent most of the season on injured reserve, said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll retire. Strief likely would have to accept a pay cut and possibly a backup role if he returns. He’s due about $3.9 million next season and his successor, 2017 first-round draft choice Ryan Ramczyk, proved this season he was ready to step in. Strief also is rehabilitating from reconstructive knee surgery.
“No matter how you feel in the moment, sometimes when you’re in training camp and in your 12th year, you’re like, ‘Man, this is ridiculous. I’m tired of this,'” Strief said. “I felt like I was playing at a high level through training camp, and last year was one of my better years. So I think physically, it’s something I can do. But the reality is there’s as much mental preparation as physical.”
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Evan Fournier scored a season-high 32 points to help the Orlando Magic break a seven-game losing streak with a 108-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
D.J. Augustin added 11 points and three assists in the fourth quarter, when the Magic scored 35 points after trailing by two through three.
Jimmy Butler had 28 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had won five straight games by an average of 18.8 points.
Bismack Biyombo had 16 rebounds for the Magic, leading the team with the NBA’s worst rebound percentage to a 51-37 advantage.
Fournier and Augustin hit 3-pointers during a 14-4 fourth-quarter run that put Orlando ahead to stay, and Augustin’s three free throws with 2:10 left gave the Magic a nine-point lead, the biggest of the game for either team.
Jeff Teague and Karl-Anthony Towns answered with 3-pointers to keep the Timberwolves (29-17) in it, but Biyombo scored five straight Magic points to regain an eight-point lead with 50 seconds left.
A loss would have dropped Orlando (13-31) to the worst record in the NBA.
Magic guard Arron Afflalo and Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica were ejected with 7:58 left in the second quarter when they got into a fight while the game was being played.
Afflalo threw at least one punch in the fight, which came four minutes after both players had been assessed technical fouls.
Three-pointers by Aaron Gordon and Fournier helped erase an early seven-point Minnesota lead, and the Magic led by four late in the second quarter.
The Timberwolves led 48-47 after a first half in which they were outrebounded by nine.
Timberwolves: Minnesota, which is now fourth in the Western Conference, is 6-11 against teams from the East.
Magic: With 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half, rookie Khem Birch exceeded his career totals in both categories. … Biyombo had 10 rebounds and three blocks in the first quarter.
Timberwolves: Play at Houston on Thursday night.
Magic: Play at Cleveland on Thursday night.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — No. 3 Purdue keeps it simple.
Move the ball, continue scrapping and share the credit as the wins pile up. Right now, nobody’s executing the plan better than the Boilermakers who proved it again Tuesday night.
Carsen Edwards scored 21 points, Vincent Edwards added 20 and Purdue made 14 3-pointers in 78-50 rout over Wisconsin, their 14th consecutive win with the last two coming by a combined 62 points.
“We were going to play whatever they gave us,” Vincent Edwards said after going 8 of 13 from the field with five rebounds and four assists. “So if they left Isaac (Haas) 1-on-1, we were going to get the ball to him. If they doubled him, we were going to move it.”
When the Badgers doubled, Purdue (18-2, 7-0 Big Ten) made them pay.
The Boilermakers have tied Auburn for the longest active winning streak in the nation, matched the best 20-game record in school history, won their 19th in a row at home and is 7-0 in conference play for the first time since 1987-88. But they’re not just outscoring opponents.
Purdue, the league’s best 3-point shooting team, also has held 11 consecutive teams to fewer than 70 points.
The key: Not complicating things.
“Our defense has been really improved the whole season and I think we’re getting better game to game,” P.J. Thompson said after scoring 14 points and making four 3s. “If we can play defense like that, I don’t know too many teams that can beat us.”
Wisconsin found out the hard way.
On the final game of a three-game trip, the Badgers (9-10, 2-4) were not themselves.
They had 15 turnovers in the first half, matching their highest total in an entire game this season, and finished with 20.
Ethan Happ scored 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds but got virtually no help. Nobody else scored more than eight points or made more than two baskets.
“They have so many weapons, so many ways to beat you that if you take one guy away, they have three, four, five other guys that can beat you,” Badgers coach Greg Gard said. “Those types of teams make you pay when you make mistakes.”
It didn’t take long to figure out.
Purdue made its first four 3-point attempts to jump out to a 12-0 lead.
The Badgers needed more than 7 1/2 minutes to make a basket and by then the Boilermakers were already pouring it on. Purdue made it 36-16 before the Badgers even had a chance to get within 39-22 at the half and then made its first three 3s in the second half.
When Vincent Edwards drove in for a layup with 16:59 to go, the Boilermakers led 50-29 and they put it away with a 10-2 run that made it 62-38.
Wisconsin: It was an atypical performance for the Badgers. They struggled to score, struggled on defense, got into foul trouble, couldn’t grab loose balls and couldn’t take care of the ball. Those have been the staples in Wisconsin for years now. But if they can’t get healthy or can’t find a solution, this could be a long season.
Purdue: The Boilermakers just keep rolling. They went 14 of 22 on 3s Tuesday and have made at least 10 3s in six of their last seven games. Coach Matt Painter insists his team can play better, but it’s hard to fathom.
Wisconsin: Was outscored 19-6 in points off turnovers and 19-8 in bench points. … The Badgers matched a season-low by allowing the Boilermakers to shoot 63.6 percent on 3s. … Wisconsin is 0-5 against ranked teams this season, each coming from a different conference: Xavier (Big East), Baylor (Big 12), UCLA (Pac-12), Virginia (ACC) and Purdue.
Purdue: Carsen Edwards also had five of the Boilermakers’ 14 steals, a season high for the team. … Matt Haarms finished with 10 points and five blocks. … Haas was 0 for 5 from the field. … Dakota Mathias was 1 of 5 shooting but had five assists. … Purdue is 17-0 on American soil. … The 14-game winning streak is tied for the longest in Painter’s tenure.
Wisconsin: Faces Illinois on Friday in the Badgers’ first home game since Jan. 2.
Purdue: Heads to Iowa on Saturday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Andrew McCutchen figures San Francisco’s AT&T Park outfield is so big, playing right field will make him feel like a center fielder all over again.
Running catches, ricochets off the wall, tricky bounces and all.
And if he can save his legs a little bit from the action in center, he might just steal a few more bases.
The Giants acquired the popular McCutchen from Pittsburgh on Monday, and he will be their new starting right fielder. Manager Bruce Bochy quickly spoke to incumbent Hunter Pence about making the move from right to left.
“I’m looking forward to right field, that’s one place people can’t pick on me saying my defensive metrics are so bad,” McCutchen said during a conference call Tuesday. “I’m looking forward to being able to play right field. I know there’s a lot of room out there to run. It’s definitely going to be a reminder almost like playing center. I’ve gotten to see Hunter Pence patrol out there quite a bit so I’ll be able to pick his brain quite a bit to learn where to play and how to play, all those things.”
The 2013 NL MVP thinks he will be more comfortable leaving Pittsburgh to join a clubhouse that has many franchise faces — that’s what he was for so long, after all — such as Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey. He joins new third baseman Evan Longoria, acquired from Tampa Bay last month.
Still, this will be a big move for a player beloved in Pittsburgh. McCutchen took the opportunity again Tuesday to thank the organization that selected him in the first round of the 2005 amateur draft for “having faith in me that I could be the player that they felt that I could be.”
“There are a lot of emotions that of course come along with this. I was there for nine seasons. You’re going to have those emotions,” McCutchen said. “A lot has happened. To put it all in a nutshell, we have a lot to be excited about and we have also a lot to be thankful for.”
McCutchen has played at least 153 games in each of the past three seasons, batting .279 with 28 home runs and 88 RBIs in 156 games last year. But he has not been an All-Star since 2015, when he was selected for the fifth straight season.
He will join a new-look lineup that includes Longoria, and Bochy is counting on both players to be steady run-producers.
“It’s nice to have these two names to pencil in there,” Bochy said.
McCutchen is entering the final season of a $51.5 million, six-year contract he signed in March 2012, a deal that turned into a bargain as he became a star and powered Pittsburgh’s turnaround.
While the 31-year-old McCutchen initially disliked the idea of moving from center to right, because he still felt he could amply do the job, he is eager for a new challenge.
“Now that I’m going into the Giants organization this is something that they want me to do, I’m all for it. This is where I want to be,” he said. “San Francisco is a very huge field, bigger than PNC Park. You’ve got Triples Alley. It’s called Triples Alley for a reason because it’s big. … For me it’s another center field, I’m just moving over a little bit. I think I’ll be running a lot. But if it’s saving my legs a little bit so I can get some more stolen bases I’m all game and I’m all down for it.”
San Francisco sent right-hander Kyle Crick, minor league outfielder Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 in international signing bonus allocation to Pittsburgh. The Pirates also will pay $2.5 million to the Giants to cover part of McCutchen’s $14.75 million salary.
Giants general manager Bobby Evans wasn’t sure the deal would get done.
“As you know by ongoing headlines this player has been kind of the apple of our eye in the offseason,” said Brian Sabean, Giants executive vice president of baseball operations. “It was a dogged pursuit by Bobby and the baseball ops staff with Pittsburgh reciprocating on their end to try to make this trade happen. Lo and behold we were able to make the transaction.”
San Francisco will continue to pursue a center fielder, and Evans said “we feel the options are still pretty large.”
McCutchen will prepare for spring training next month in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the chance to start fresh with a franchise that won World Series titles in 2010, ’12 and ’14.
“I’m just very happy to be a part of this organization, an organization who knows what winning is all about,” he said. “I’ve seen it over the years, played against it for many years, been eliminated by it.”
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rangers general manager Jon Daniels anticipates adding depth to his rotation. It remains unlikely that pitcher will be a front-line starter.
“We’re not going to close the door on the chance to add premium talent. You always explore it,” Daniels said Tuesday. “But if I had to handicap it, I don’t think it’s highly likely at this point.”
Yu Darvish, traded by the Rangers to the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers last July, is among several starting pitchers still available as free agents. Jake Arrieta, the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner who went to nearby TCU, is also among that group.
Daniels has consistently said the Rangers, who missed the playoffs last season after consecutive AL West titles, didn’t plan to spend big this offseason.
“We’re pretty realistic about where we are and what our goals are, both short- and long-term,” Daniels said. “We’ve said from Day 1 we were not going to kind of go all-in from a standpoint of spending big dollars against this year.”
After a report last week that Darvish narrowed his potential teams to the Rangers, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Houston and Minnesota, the pitcher responded on Twitter, “know one more team is in.”
Daniels and Darvish had dinner together last month, a previously planned gathering of friends who had worked together for 5½ seasons and not a negotiating session.
Asked if another dinner was planned with Darvish, Daniels responded, “No, not that I’m aware of.
“He did pay last time, though. That was a first,” the GM said. “Six years of lunches and stuff, he had never paid before.”
When the offseason began, the Rangers had only left-handers Cole Hamels and 13-game winner Martin Perez signed for their 2018 rotation. They fell short in their pursuit of pitcher-outfielder Shoehi Ohtani from Japan.
Free agents Doug Fister and Mike Minor signed with Texas, and Matt Moore was acquired from San Francisco in a trade. Reliever Matt Bush could also be transitioning into a starter’s role.
Fister was the first of this year’s 166 major league free agents to complete a big league contract and the first to switch teams when He finalized a $4 million one-year deal that could be worth up to $11.5 million over two seasons.
Minor got a $28 million, three-year contract to return to a starter role. The former Atlanta Braves starter was a reliever with the Kansas City Royals last season after missing the previous two seasons with shoulder issues.
Texas obtained Moore, who has a $7 million contract for 2018, for two minor league right-handers.
PARIS (AP) — Radamel Falcao rescued Monaco with an injury-time equalizer in a 2-2 home draw with local rival Nice on Tuesday, after Mario Balotelli showed his finishing ability with both goals for the visitors.
Falcao scored from close range after substitute Stevan Jovetic’s shot was parried following a quickly-taken free kick. It was the Colombia striker’s 16th league goal in just 17 games and it cruelly usurped Balotelli’s otherwise match-winning performance.
“We should have won the game,” Nice coach Lucien Favre said. “We played much better in the second half.”
The draw leaves defending champion Monaco third and trailing second-place Marseille — which earlier beat Strasbourg 2-0 — by one point. League leader Paris Saint-Germain will move 13 points clear of Monaco if it beats Dijon at home on Wednesday.
Monaco led in the 33rd minute thanks to a controversial goal by forward Adama Diakhaby.
Thomas Lemar’s cross from the right hit Diakhaby’s arm. The ball then hit the back of striker Keita Balde and bounced back into Diakhaby’s path. It came back at a perfect height, too, and Diakhaby was able to hook it home from close range.
Nice’s players reacted angrily and protested furiously.
“To tell the truth, it was a hand ball. It was accidental,” Diakhaby said on Canal Plus television. “I turned to see if the referee would give it (the goal) and he did.”
After a terrible start to the season, sixth-place Nice is finding form. Balotelli has improved on his scoring ratio from last season and has 12 league goals in 15 games so far.
His talent, as evident as it has been errant over the years, should get him a move to a bigger club this summer. But Favre deserves credit for resurrecting his fading career.
Since joining from Liverpool on a free transfer last season, Balotelli has confounded critics who predicted he would fail and has netted 35 in 51 games overall.
Balotelli astutely nipped ahead of center back Kamil Glik to volley in Allan Saint-Maximin’s cross from the right in the 47th minute.
In a rare show of emotion, Balotelli rushed over to Saint-Maximin and hugged him for several seconds while congratulating him on the cross.
The second goal was expertly taken.
Taking a pass with his back to goal some 30 meters out, he cushioned it on his left foot, switched it instantly onto his right and then pirouetted in one swift movement. He then made a surging run past Glik into the right of the penalty area, before clipping a deflected shot into the opposite corner.
This time the celebration was typical Balotelli.
He stood as motionless as a statue with both arms raised, showing no facial emotion as his teammates did the celebrating for him.
Substitutes Clinton Njie and Dimitri Payet settled a scrappy match as Marseille beat Strasbourg 2-0.
After Marseille striker Valere Germain missed a second-half penalty, Njie scored in the 79th minute.
Then, Njie’s smart flick sent Payet clean through in the 87th — and the France international dummied goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja with a quick step-over move, before rounding him and tapping in.
Payet came on early in the second half and won a penalty in the 72nd — but Germain’s telegraphed shot was saved by Oukidja.
He made amends by helping to set up Njie’s goal.
BAYSSE COSTS BORDEAUX
Bordeaux center half Paul Baysse lost his composure and his side lost 2-0 at home to Caen.
Both goals came after Baysse — recently signed to shore up a poor defense — was sent off in the 86th minute for elbowing Ivan Santini. The referee awarded a penalty and Baysse got a red card.
Santini escaped sanction despite first slapping Baysse — and converted the penalty. His strike partner Ronny Rodelin sealed the win for ninth-place Caen.
In a first for English soccer, a goal was awarded thanks to the intervention of a video assistant referee as Leicester advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday.
Kelechi Iheanacho’s deft finish was ruled out by the assistant referee for offside against the Leicester striker in the 77th minute, only for the decision to be overturned and the goal given by the on-field referee about 70 seconds later on the advice of the VAR.
That second goal for Iheanacho clinched a 2-0 win for Leicester over third-tier Fleetwood at King Power Stadium, in one of five third-round replays.
The use of VARs is being trialed in England in the two cup competitions — the FA Cup and the League Cup — this season, but not yet in the Premier League.
“For this decision, I like (the use of) technology, of course,” Leicester manager Claude Puel said, laughing. “It’s a good thing … the time was not so long to take the video and take the decision. That was the good thing.”
West Ham needed extra time to see off third-tier Shrewsbury 1-0 at home, with 21-year-old Reece Burke smashing a shot in off the crossbar in the 112th minute. It took more than three hours for West Ham to score against Shrewsbury, with the original match finishing 0-0.
In other results, second-tier Cardiff earned the right to host Premier League leader Manchester City in the fourth round after beating fourth-tier Mansfield 4-1. Sheffield Wednesday beat Carlisle 2-0 and will next play Reading, which won 3-0 at home to Stevenage.
Chelsea, Swansea and Bournemouth are Premier League teams facing lower-league opposition in replays on Wednesday.
HONOLULU (AP) — Ryan Palmer couldn’t wait for 2018 to arrive.
It began with an up-and-down week at the Sony Open — a 64 sandwiched between a pair of 71s, and a tie for 58th — though his mood was decidedly steadier. Palmer was in good spirits when he arrived and nothing on the scorecard was going to change that.
It’s nice to have last year behind him.
He had surgery on his shoulder in October, and that’s now healed. A new home being built on seven acres in the Dallas area is almost finished. Above all that, his wife, Jennifer, is getting nothing but favorable scans in her recovery from breast cancer.
“I couldn’t have been any more calm when I got here Monday — on the range, practice rounds, the pro-am, everything,” Palmer said.
A year ago when he arrived on Oahu, his wife was still undergoing chemotherapy for the cancer. Palmer missed four straight cuts to start the year and didn’t crack the top 35 until April. He had only three top-10 finishes, one of them the team event with Jordan Spieth at the Zurich Classic.
“It seemed like a blur,” Palmer said. “Usually you can go back and look at tournaments and see what you did. It was mostly bad stuff. But I don’t remember one thing about it. The time Jordan and I had was awesome. I know I had a good week in Reno (tie for ninth).”
One day he does recall clearly is when Jennifer had her last round of chemotherapy, which was followed by 35 radiation treatments.
“Each time she goes back to get checked the scan is good,” he said.
Palmer is on a minor medical extension and has five tournaments remaining to earn 24 FedEx Cup points, the least of his worries.
He hadn’t played since August, when he failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. He knew he needed arthroscopic surgery to clean up a bone spur in his shoulder but thought about playing a few events when the new season began in October.
Instead, he took off the entire fall and spent time going to 10-year-old son Mason’s hockey games. It also allowed him to recover in time to go to Hawaii. He plans to play next three events in the California desert, Phoenix and San Diego. He’ll take the following two weeks off to move into his house.
“This year couldn’t be any better right now,” Palmer said.
BROADCAST REVIEW: One of the local rules adopted at the start of the new year involved video review. Players no longer are penalized two shots if they sign an incorrect scorecard that they thought was correct at the time, which stems from violations discovered after the round.
The major golf organizations also agreed to assign one or more official to monitor the broadcast to help identify and resolve any issues that arise.
“We’ll have someone watching the broadcast, whether that person is a rules official coming in from the golf course or … whether it’s someone back in the office watching the broadcast and communicating,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said.
Still to be determined is who that person will be.
Rules officials don’t think the staff is big enough to take an official off the course. If it’s a PGA Tour official, the question becomes how adept the official is at spotting a violation. And while such video reviews get plenty of attention, they don’t happen often enough to warrant someone sitting in front of a TV for three hours.
There has been video monitoring for years. When the final group makes the turn, with fewer players on the course, the tour will send one official in to watch TV.
That’s what saved Zach Johnson at the Colonial in 2012.
He moved his marker on the 18th green for Jason Dufner, and then holed a 5-foot putt for what looked to be a three-shot victory. But he forgot to move his marker back, and he was penalized two shots. If a rules official had not been monitoring the telecast and someone else had noticed it after Johnson had signed his card, then he would have been disqualified.
A DEFINITION OF CONFIDENCE: Fifteen months ago, Justin Thomas had one PGA Tour victory and was No. 35 in the world. Now he’s the PGA Tour player of the year, FedEx Cup champion and a major champion and has seven victories.
That his confidence has soared is obvious. What exactly does that mean?
“I don’t have the sense of panic,” Thomas said. “I know that I don’t need to be what I thought I had to be to be in contention. I know that I don’t have to go out and play this perfect round. I know that if I shoot 1 under the first round at this tournament, that I still have a chance to win. I know that I’m not going to win every tournament. It’s more the fact of the whole body language and the patience thing.”
His own example would have been the TPC Boston last year during the FedEx Cup playoffs, and the CJ Cup in South Korea when he was exhausted from a busy fall and squeaked out a playoff victory.
“That to me is more confidence building and reassuring than anything else,” he said.
WOODLAND’S WEEK: Gary Woodland had every reason to think he would have a short week at the Sony Open. After opening with a 67, he was on his way to shooting 40 on the front nine at Waialae. At that stage, he was 5 over through eight holes of the second round and four shots below the projected cut.
He played the final 10 holes in 8 under, closing with five straight birdies, for a 67.
Fast forward to Sunday. Woodland got off to another slow start and was 2 over through six holes, effectively out of the tournament. He played the final 12 holes in 8 under par (six birdies and an eagle), for a 64. Sure, he finished 11 shots behind. But he also tied for seventh, worth 85 points in the FedEx Cup.
It might not sound like much now. But remember, a year ago Woodland made it to the Tour Championship with 42 points to spare.
DIVOTS: The Dubai Desert Classic is one week earlier on the calendar this year, so organizers have invested in floodlights around the combined ninth and 18th greens on the Majlis Course to make sure everyone can finish the opening two rounds. The field size was increased by six players to its original size of 132 players. … The Symetra Tour will feature the Prasco Charity Championship on June 29 to July 1 at the TPC River Bend outside Cincinnati. It’s the first time the Symetra Tour or LPGA Tour play on a course that’s part of the TPC Network. … Coming off a seven-win season, Bernhard Langer begins a PGA Tour Champions season this week in Hawaii nine victories short of the senior record held by Hale Irwin.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Twenty years ago, Mark Calcavecchia won the Honda Classic and became the 11th player in PGA Tour history to surpass $8 million in career earnings. Four players made at least $8 million last year.
FINAL WORD: “That’s all I want to do is just be somewhere that I’ve never been, because that gets me uncomfortable. That’s when I know I’m doing something right.” — Patton Kizzire.
HONOLULU (AP) — All it took was one week back on the bag to remind Jim “Bones” Mackay what he always loved about being a caddie.
It just wasn’t enough for this to be the ultimate mic drop.
Mackay traded in his TV microphone at the Sony Open for the 40-pound bag belonging to Justin Thomas.
It was his first time caddying since he split with Phil Mickelson six months ago. Mackay was only a temporary replacement at Waialae for Jimmy Johnson, a good friend and Thomas’ regular caddie who has a nasty case of plantar fasciitis that will keep him in a walking boot for the next month.
“The toughest thing about not caddying is missing the competition, not having a dog in the fight,” Mackay said before the final round. “There’s nothing more rewarding as a caddie, in general terms, when you say, ‘I don’t like 6-iron, I like 7,’ and being right. I miss that part of it.”
The reward now?
“Not stumbling over my words,” he said. “And being better than I was the previous week.”
He has done remarkably well since he started his new job at the British Open last summer, except for that time he momentarily forgot his role. Parts of that famous caddie adage — “Show up, keep up, shut up” — apparently can apply to golf analysts on the ground.
During the early hours of the telecast, before Johnny Miller came on, Justin Leonard was in the booth.
“It’s my job to report on what I see. It’s not my job to ask questions,” Mackay said. “I forgot that for a minute.”
Leonard was part of a booth discussion on how a comfortable pairing can help players trying to win a major. That prompted Mackay to ask Leonard if he found it helpful at the 1997 British Open when he was trying to win his first major and was paired with Fred Couples in the final round at Royal Troon.
“What I didn’t know is we were going to commercial in six seconds,” Mackay said. “I would have no way of knowing that, but I completely hung Justin out to dry. He’s now got four seconds to answer my long-winded question.”
During the commercial break, the next voice Mackay heard belonged to Tommy Roy, the executive golf producer at NBC.
“Bones, don’t ever do that again.”
It was Roy who recognized the value experienced caddies could bring to a telecast. That’s why he invited Mackay and John Wood, the caddie for Matt Kuchar, into the control room at the 2015 Houston Open so they could see how it all worked and how uncomfortable it can be to hear directions coming through an earpiece.
Both worked as on-course reporters at Sea Island that fall.
And when Mickelson and Mackay parted ways after 25 years, Roy scooped up the longtime caddie for TV.
It’s common for players to move into broadcasting. Far more unusual is for a caddie to be part of the mix. Mackay loves his new job. Mostly, he loves how it has helped elevate his profession after so many years of caddies being looked upon more unfavorably than they are now.
“I want to be a caddie that’s doing TV,” he said. “That’s what I hope to come across as. The guys think this is good for caddies. And if it’s good for caddies, that makes me happy. Because I’m a caddie. I’ll always be a caddie.”
Not next week at Torrey Pines, where Mickelson won three times. Not a week later in Phoenix, where Mackay lives. Both events belong to CBS.
And not the Masters.
He hasn’t missed since 1994, when Mickelson broke his leg skiing that winter.
“That killed me,” he said, “but not nearly as much as it’s going to kill me this year. I’ll wake up on Thursday of the Masters and I’ll be really grumpy. I’ll probably avoid television at all costs until the 10th tee Sunday. And I’ll watch. But it will be, within reason, the hardest day of my life.”
There are too many memories, dating to when he was in the gallery right of the 11th green in 1987 when Larry Mize chipped in to beat Greg Norman. He caddied for Mize for two years, and then Scott Simpson in 1992, and Mickelson the rest of the way. He was on the bag for Lefty’s three green jackets.
Mackay still doesn’t talk much about what led them to part ways, except to say that a player-caddie relationship runs its course.
“If you lose that positive dynamic, there’s no point in continuing,” he said. “It can be gone in six months or a year or five years. In our case, it took 25 years.”
He says a dozen or so players called when they split up, and the phone call most intriguing was from Roy at NBC.
“I thought I’d caddie until I dropped,” Mackay said.
He never imagined getting yardages and lining up putts for anyone except the golfer whose bag he was carrying. Now it’s for an audience that measures in the millions. Mackay doesn’t look at it as a second career. And he won’t rule out caddying again.
“It will always be tempting,” he said. “I’ll always consider myself a caddie. Right now, I’m very lucky and grateful to have the job I do.”
Except for that first week in April.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — It wasn’t Maria Sharapova’s choice to miss the last Australian Open. That decision was taken out of her hands because of a doping ban following a failed test on her previous visit to Melbourne Park.
The five-time major champion said it was her choice to return, though, and she relished every moment of it in Tuesday’s 6-1, 6-4 victory over Tatjana Maria.
“With that choice I know that I face difficulties and challenges on the court, and that I start from no ranking and that I might start on some outside courts, and I understand that and that’s part of the process,” said Sharapova, who was a contentious choice to represent the women’s champions last week at the official draw.
She was banned for 15 months after testing positive for meldonium, not long after the medication was added to the list of banned substances, when she was in Australia in 2016.
So when Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian Open, Sharapova was sick in bed and watching on TV.
She returned in April and, because of her slide down the rankings, needed some wild-card entries to enter tournaments. She made her return to the majors at the U.S. Open, and finished the year ranked No. 60.
“I learned what it feels like to be on the ground and seeing life from the ground, and I’m not shying away from any part of that,” she said. “I love what I do. I’m a competitor and that’s why I continue to do it.”
There were all kinds of comebacks on Tuesday. Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic and 2014 winner Stan Wawrinka returned from injuries that had sidelined them since Wimbledon, top-ranked Simona Halep recovered from 5-2 down in her first set and a tumble in the second, and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber continued her amazing return to form.
Defending champion Roger Federer just picked up where he left off, beating Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in a night match, his first on Rod Laver Arena since clinching a career-reviving title in Melbourne last year.
The 19-time major champion has been met on court after previous wins by tennis greats Laver, John McEnroe and Jim Courier.
On Tuesday night, he got something different. Comedian Will Ferrell stepped out of the crowd and, slipping into character as Ron Burgundy, conducted the post-match interview.
As usual, the 36-year-old Federer stayed classy.
Djokovic tweaked his service motion while recovering from an injured right elbow, and used it to good effect in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Donald Young.
Djokovic lost in the second round last year, but won five of the previous six Australian Open titles. This time, he has four-time champion Andre Agassi in his corner.
“Obviously I wanted to start with the right intensity, which I have,” Djokovic said. “I played perfect tennis, like I never stopped.”
Wawrinka, who had six months out after surgery on his left knee, beat Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2).
Fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev, No. 5 Dominic Thiem, No. 7 David Goffin, No. 12 Juan Martin del Potro and No. 19 Tomas Berdych all advanced, but No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut lost to Fernando Verdasco and former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic lost to Lukas Lacko.
No. 13 Sam Querrey restored some order for the U.S. men with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Feliciano Lopez.
Madison Keys reversed a trend, becoming the only one of the four American women who contested the U.S. Open semifinals four months ago to reach the second round in Australia.
The 17th-seeded Keys, the U.S. Open runner-up, advanced with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Wang Qiang and will be one of four American women who made it through the opening two days.
Halep ended a run of back-to-back first-round exits in Melbourne by beating teenage wild-card entry Destanee Aiava 7-6 (5), 6-1, setting up a match against 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard.
Former No. 1-ranked Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open champion, continued her resurgent run with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Anna-Lena Friedsam to extend her streak to 10 consecutive wins.
Wimbledon champion Garbine Mugurza, No. 6 Karolina Pliskova, No. 8 Caroline Garcia, No. 9 Johanna Konta, No. 16 Elena Vesnina, No. 18 Ash Barty, No. 26 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 28 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni also advanced.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova lost 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 to Andrea Petkovic. She missed the Australian Open last year while recovering from a knife attack that easily could have derailed her career.
Sharapova’s long absence from the tour means she isn’t seeded in Melbourne, but that doesn’t bother her.
“It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been back here — obviously I wanted to enjoy the moment,” Sharapova said after closing her win over Maria with an ace, then blowing kisses to the crowd.
Sharapova will next play 14th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova, who beat her at last year’s U.S. Open.
That loss was part of the process that Sharapova believes has set her up for this season.
“I felt like I have got a lot of things out of the way physically and emotionally and mentally last year,” she said. “There was a lot of firsts again for me, playing the first tournament, first Grand Slam, and just different feelings and what it would be routinely. … But it felt pretty routine today.”