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“I feel like a year later I can make the next team and that’s probably my main goal for the next five months. “I know if I put myself in position, I can win a major. I’m not saying I’m going to go out and do it next year, but if I give myself a chance I know I can.” Defending champion Oliver Wilson has struggled to build on the momentum of his emotional victory 12 months ago, when he began the week ranked 792nd in the world but held off the challenge of number one Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Richie Ramsay to win his first European Tour event after nine second places. Wilson has made just five halfway cuts in 23 events this season but the former Ryder Cup player believes he is close to rediscovering his form. ” I had pretty realistic expectations after last year,” the 35-year-old said. “It would be nice to think after winning the Dunhill that I just go back and keep on winning or getting in contention. I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. “I gave myself six months after that to continue working on my swing and getting it in the position that I want to and it’s taken a little bit longer. In hindsight, I should probably not have played quite as many tournaments because I got into some really bad habits on the course. “I’m very close to being able to stop working on my swing and trying to be more like I have always been, which is much more natural, contrary to what some people might think. “It’s been frustrating but the end is in sight and I’m in a fortunate position that I can hopefully start next year from a clean slate.” Press Association Lowry won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August but has played just once since his memorable victory at Firestone Country Club, missing the cut in the following week’s US PGA Championship. The 28-year-old has enjoyed reflecting on his success in Akron and feels the six-week break will work in his favour in the closing stages of the season, starting with this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Ireland’s Shane Lowry has reset his goals and regained his hunger for the game as he looks to build on the biggest win of his career. “I’ve been able to take a few weeks off and I’ve enjoyed my win, and then the last few weeks I decided to reassess and try to set some goals going forward,” Lowry said ahead of the pro-am event staged on the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns. “When something like that happens, it’s tough to get my head around. It would be easy for me to sit back the rest of the year, say I’ve won a massive tournament and sit back at Christmas and be happy with that. “I’m looking forward and looking to do a few more things in the next few weeks. I’m hoping to see another win, to contend in a few tournaments and finish at the top. “I’m sure there probably will be a little bit of rust but I’ve played a lot of games the last few weeks with friends. I feel like I’m playing well. Feel like I’ve never had a break at all. But I do feel like my hunger is back and that’s kind of what I wanted to get after a few weeks off. “Sometimes when you go through a long season and after a win like this, if you keep playing golf can kind of catch up with you and you can get burned out. I’m hoping those weeks off will stand me in good stead, not only this week but when it comes to the end of the year and The Race to Dubai and things like that.” Lowry has missed the first four events in Ryder Cup qualifying but feels he is now ready to challenge for a place in Darren Clarke’s European side, which will look to retain the trophy at Hazeltine next year. And a first major title is also on the agenda after he went into the final round of the US Open in June just three shots off the lead before finishing in a tie for ninth. “I felt like the last Ryder Cup probably came a year too early for me,” Lowry added.
Former NBA commissioner David Stern is in serious condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage.Stern, 77, was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery Thursday. He was transported from a New York City restaurant following a 911 call for cardiac arrest around 2 p.m. ET. PHOTOS: David Stern through the yearsThe NBA released the following statement on Stern’s health status: NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern remains in serious condition following emergency surgery to address a sudden brain hemorrhage on Thursday. He is receiving great care and surrounded by his loved ones. The Stern family and everyone at the NBA appreciate the incredible outpouring of support. Our thoughts and prayers remain with David and his family.Serious condition means vital signs “may be unstable and not within normal limits,” according to American Hospital Association guidelines, and a patient is “acutely ill” with questionable indicators. This is different from critical condition, which indicates a patient “may be unconscious” with unfavorable indicators.From 1984 to 2014, Stern oversaw the incredible financial growth of the NBA and helped turn basketball into a global sport as the league’s longest-serving commissioner.He handed off the job to Adam Silver on Feb. 1, 2014, and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later that year.
TRE HARVEY AND WILL TAYLOR led the Nazareth Prep Saints to its first WPIAL championship. THE NAZARETH PREP CHEERLEADERS NAZARETH PREP’S WILLIAM TAYLOR hoists the WPIAL Class 1A Championship trophy, after the Saints defeated Vincentian, 69-62, on Feb. 28, to claim the school’s first WPIAL championship. (Photos by Courier photographer Will McBride)It was Jan. 18, and Nazareth Prep’s little-known basketball team was making some waves. The small school in Emsworth was 9-1 in WPIAL Class 1A and had all the confidence in the world heading into Cornell High School’s gym in Coraopolis against a tough, 12-2 Raiders squad.Nazareth Prep was outplayed and suffered an 18-point loss.Four nights later, Nazareth Prep returned home to host Vincentian Academy, another tough team whom the Saints had already lost to earlier in the season. Nazareth Prep lost again, 69-65.It’s been nearly two months and 10 games, and the Nazareth Prep Saints haven’t lost since.With a renewed focus, a heightened sense of urgency, and the plain old ability to knock down open shots, the Saints stormed through the end of the regular season and into the WPIAL playoffs, eventually hoisting their first WPIAL 1A Championship trophy by beating nemesis Vincentian at the Petersen Events Center, 69-62, on Feb. 28. SAINTS HEAD COACH NEHEMIAH BRAZIL Like us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier “One of the things we had to learn was that we were doing a lot of good things, but it was based off our talent and ability,” Saints head coach Nehemiah Brazil told the New Pittsburgh Courier after the WPIAL title game. “After we lost to Cornell and Vincentian, we had a heart-to-heart and I explained to the guys, your talent and your ability can only take you so far, but if we want to be champs, we gotta commit to defense, we gotta commit to selling out and giving everything on every possession, and making it as difficult as possible (for the opponent) and doing it as a unit.”Consider those adjustments done, done and done.From the opening tip, Nazareth Prep looked like a completely different squad than the team that suffered those back-to-back losses in mid-January. Their on-ball defense was splendid, featuring double-teams that forced Vincentian into early turnovers. Tre Harvey, a senior, was Steph Curry-esque, knocking down 9 of 12 field goals, along with 8 of 8 free throws for 31 points. Junior Will Taylor is a player who has enough respect from defenders to knock down a mid-range jumper—thus, when the defender comes out to the perimeter, Taylor easily takes the ball to the rim for a layup. He finished with 13 points.The Saints held a 28-16 lead at halftime, and extended the advantage to 47-30 after three quarters.Vincentian’s points seemed hard to come by, though Ethan Embleton and Angelo Reeves totaled 32 points. Vincentian mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter, scoring 32 points (they only scored 30 in the first three quarters), but Nazareth Prep’s hustle plays helped secure the victory.In one instance, with 4:30 remaining in the game and Vincentian down, 55-40, Taylor missed a free throw, but senior guard Hassan Ismaeli chased down the rebound, and as he went out of bounds, Ismaeli fired the ball off a nearby Vincentian player, causing the ball to be awarded to Nazareth Prep.Brazil gave his players’ performance a grade of “A-plus.”“I have to, those guys, they played their butts off,” he told the Courier.Harvey, the game’s leading scorer, said he knew he had the magic touch “in warmups. I was real confident, I knew we wasn’t going to lose.”Brazil noted that last year at this time, his Saints were at home while others were competing for a WPIAL title. The Saints made the WPIAL 1A playoffs last year but lost in the opening round.“A loss isn’t a loss unless you don’t learn from it,” Brazil said. “If you learn from it, it’s not a loss. You take what you learned from it and you apply it and get better. Those guys have really done that.”And now, Nazareth Prep boys basketball is officially on the map.“It’s definitely out there now,” Harvey said.“I hope so,” Brazil said. “I hope this is enough to say that.” TRE HARVEY led all scorers with 31 points.