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Monday, October 3, 2016

THE MOST INTERESTING BATTLES THAT HAPPENED THIS WEEKEND

First, the USA beat Europe in the Ryder Cup.  What's so great about that?  Well, the last time we won was in 2008.  2016, soundly:  17-11.  But that was not what was interesting.  There were two extemporaneous outbursts of our National Anthem at Hazeltine (Minnesota--designed by Robert Trent Jones, 7628 yards, with two par 5s longer than 600 yards).  This is the one that grabbed my heart...but you need to click on that link:

PGA tournaments are usually sedate.  In fact, there are marshals all around the greens that wave QUIET signs to insure for order and control.  The one boisterous exception is the Phoenix Open, which is crazy.

Well, this Ryder Cup was very close, with partisan audience participation absolutely fabulous.  Remember, we are supposed to hate the Europeans, and the crowd was brutal.  However, all in good fun, according to Rory MIlroy.
Rory McIlroy (one of those that avoided the Rio Olympics) of Northern Ireland?  He was the self-selected villain.  He relished his role, and his match with Patrick Reed to tee off the event on Sunday was maybe the greatest head-to-head battle on a golf course ever.  The eighth hole epitomized everything:

A huge stage for performance art: The moment of this year's Ryder Cup came at the eighth hole on Sunday. You all know the one. McIlroy drained a putt seemingly from Wisconsin and nearly came out of his Nikes. "I can't hear you!" he bellowed at a raucous audience. Reed answered (by also sinking his long putt) and wagged his finger so hard (at McIlroy) I thought Dikembe Mutombo would appear on the walk to the ninth hole. They laughed at each other and bumped fists before moving on to the rest of the match.

So in 2018 the Ryder Cup will be held in a suburb of Paris (left, Le Golf National) and in 2020 to Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.  For a golf tournament where the winners or losers get nothing (they don't get paid, but the PGA does donate something like $200,000 which each player can designate for their favorite charity and junior golf association), it is refreshing to see national pride at the forefront.

While 99.999% of the world couldn't care less, a second sporting event of moment this weekend was the victory of Hawaii over Nevada.  Here we were, statistically, among the very worst teams in college football, and in our first conference game against a team which beat us the previous five times, with a new coach (Nick Rolovich being congratulated by his former boss,  Brian Polian) who came from that team, we soundly trounced our opponent.  The score was not important, the key thing is that we totally outplayed them and our only three losses away were to California, Arizona and Michigan.  In one game, a season which had overtones of the von Appen years, now shows promise for an actual bowl appearance.

The other must see battle was Saturday Night Live, Clinton versus Trump.  This 9 minute 45 second clip will make your day.  Kate McKinnon, as you must know, recently won an Emmy for her previous portrayals of Hillary Clinton on SNL.  In many ways, Alec Baldwin was the ideal person to play Trump, first, because he did a great job, but, second, for his similar sordid and sorry background.

Tomorrow I admit I have one, just one, topic of agreement with Donald Trump.  Then, later this week, my vacation at the Kahala Resort for an epicurean experience.

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Hurricane Matthew remains at 140 MPH and will cause all kinds of havoc through Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas and more.  After a scary, but slight turn west three days from now towards Florida and Georgia, Matthew is still projected to make landfall over the Carolinas:


In the West Pacific, Super Typhoon Chaba, now at 165 MPH, is just about over Kumejima.  This is the island that has one of the two OTEC experiments (left), the other on the Big Island (right).  I worry about their facility still being functional after this horrendous encounter, for it is right at the coastline.


The current projected path shows Chaba passing over Tsushima Island (contested by South Korea against Japan) in the Sea of Japan, with the eye then mostly over the west coast of Japan.

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