Connecting sustainability with reducing input costs

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Cutting input costs and meeting customer demands for sustainability are top-of-mind issues for farmers. The good news is that these two objectives do not have to be in opposition to one another. In fact, implementing sustainable practices on the farm can help cut costs and contribute to profitability.“It just goes hand-in-hand to be more efficient on our farms with the current lower commodity prices,” said Keith Kemp, Soy Checkoff farmer-leader from West Manchester, Ohio. “Those efficiencies today will make my farm more sustainable today and more profitable down the road.”One sustainable practice farmers can use to cut costs is utilizing no-till.“We managed things very closely when we got into no-till 30 years ago and we made sure we were completely ready as far as fertility, tile and getting compaction out of the soils,” Kemp said. “Once we got into no-till we got our worms, microbes and all the little critters working to digest a lot of the residue and put their own fertility in the ground so we didn’t have to use as much fertilizer as conventional farmers.”Another practice is analyzing all of the data collected on the farm to only apply the inputs each crop needs.“That data is the icing on the cake,” Kemp said. “There’s no overlapping whatsoever, we analyze all of our mapping and practice prescription, variable rate planting so that data makes us tremendously efficient on our farm.”A prime example of that efficiency was when Kemp saved 21 bags of seed on 900 acres, which led to big savings and becoming more sustainable, something that many of U.S. soybean’s customers around the world are asking farmers to do.last_img read more

‘You don’t bounce back from hitting a woman’: Is this the UFC’s biggest lie?

first_imgShare on Messenger Share on Pinterest Greg Hardy spent one season with the Dallas Cowboys before switching to MMA. Photograph: Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports Support The Guardian Read more Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. US sports UFC Share on WhatsApp The UFC is persevering as it always has: by leaning into the chaos In an attempt to stifle journalists from asking further questions about Hardy, the promotion shielded the fighter from fight-week media obligations. The UFC took this decision despite Hardy’s place in the co-main event. When it comes to domestic violence, it appears that UFC thinks silence is golden.UFC did not respond to a request for comment on this story. Reuse this content Share on Twitter Topics Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.center_img Share on LinkedIn Pinterest Facebook Share on Facebook Share via Email features MMA Read more This Saturday former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy — a man once convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend — will make his official UFC debut. To add to the controversy, Hardy is scheduled to compete on the same fight card as Rachel Ostovich, who suffered a broken orbital bone during an alleged attack by her husband. Her husband, Arnold Berdon, was arrested for attempted second-degree murder but was later charged with second degree assault.The UFC’s decision to do business with Hardy and promote him on a fight card featuring an alleged victim of assault emphasizes the promotion’s tone-deaf approach to handling domestic violence and its apparent disregard for fighters’ violent pasts.In 2014, Hardy was arrested for assault after he was accused of attacking and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend. The woman testified that Hardy threw her on a futon filled with guns and placed his hands on her throat. “He looked me in my eyes and he told me he was going to kill me,” she said. “I was so scared I wanted to die. When he loosened his grip slightly, I said just, ‘Do it. Kill me.’”Hardy denied the accusations but was convicted on two counts of domestic violence and was sentenced to 18 months probation and a two-month suspended jail sentence. Hardy appealed the sentence and managed to get the charges expunged from his record in 2015 after his ex-girlfriend failed to appear at court to give testimony. It was later reported she had settled a civil suit with Hardy. Greg Hardy fight highlights MMA’s troubling history of violence outside the octagon White maintained his stance for several months. Speaking at the 2014 NeuLion Sports Media & Technology Conference, White revealed that the UFC “screens people for The Ultimate Fighter, and if you’ve ever had a domestic violence, you can’t get on. Since this whole thing happened [with Ray Rice], we’re beefing up our policies with putting your hands on a woman. Of course, the way we always react is morally first then the business second.”But the UFC’s actual actions tell an entirely different tale. Will Chope was released by the promotion after news surfaced regarding a 2009 domestic assault conviction. Thiago Silva, who threatened his estranged wife with a gun and violated a temporary protection order, was released from the promotion but re-signed again after the charges were dropped. He was once again released two weeks later after the UFC received audio and video evidence posted by Silva’s ex-wife. But many other have been kept on by the promotion, despite allegations of domestic or sexual violence. Most recently, Abdul Razak Alhassan was indicted for the alleged rape of two women in March 2018. The UFC is yet to comment on Alhassan’s case.By December 2018, White’s stance on domestic violence had dramatically changed from his zero-tolerance approach. When asked about the UFC’s decision to place Hardy on the same fight card as Ostovich, White doubled down on the promotion’s baffling decision: “I called Rachael Ostovich and talked to her, walked her through the situation,” White said. “Her take was, ‘His story isn’t my story. Everybody’s story is different. I believe in second chances. I have no problem fighting on the same card as this guy.’ He didn’t have anything to do with Rachael Ostovich, so she was totally cool with it.” Last year, Kim A Gandy, CEO and president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence spoke to the Guardian about Hardy’s case. Gandy acknowledged that the charges were ultimately dropped but said that’s “not the same as not having done it,” adding that abusers who do not reckon with what they’ve done are less likely to be rehabilitated in the long run. “Someone truly sorry who seeks to help and genuinely make amends is very different from a person who commits extraordinary violence and not only takes no responsibility for it but takes position that the person just deserved it.”At the time of the incident, Hardy was playing for the Carolina Panthers. He later signed on with the Dallas Cowboys but was later given a 10-game suspension by the NFL in relation to the alleged assault. He returned later that year but found himself out of work when the Cowboys opted not to re-sign him. Seemingly shunned from football, Hardy turned his attention to MMA.Starting in 2017, Hardy compiled a 3-0 amateur record in fights that lasted a combined two minutes and 22 seconds. He followed those wins with his first professional victory, and signed a developmental deal with the UFC to compete on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. After two consecutive knockout wins on the show, the UFC was ready to announce Hardy’s official debut.The UFC’s willingness to promote Hardy on a variety of their platforms, including their highly anticipated debut on ESPN+, highlights the gaping inconsistencies in their domestic violence policies. In the wake of NFL running back Ray Rice assaulting his fiancée in 2014, UFC president Dana White took a strong stance against domestic violence: “There’s one thing that you never bounce back from and that’s putting your hands on a woman. Been that way in the UFC since we started here. You don’t bounce back from putting your hands on a woman.” Since you’re here… Ostovich has since shared her thoughts on Greg Hardy in an interview with ESPN, stating that believes in “second chances.”“I’m glad he’s making a turnaround,” she said. “I hope the same can happen to my husband and anyone else who has made a wrong choice.”While Ostovich is willing to excuse Hardy, he remains a public relations concern and a controversial figure for the UFC. Ostovich’s comments do not deter from the seriousness of Hardy’s alleged actions and should not be misconstrued as an exoneration.And if White believes in second chances for Hardy, he doesn’t seem keen to talk about it in any depth. Despite the backlash over Hardy, the UFC added fuel to the fire when it told reporters at a press conference in December — which took place the same day that the Hardy fight news broke — that they were only allowed to ask questions about the fighters competing at the upcoming UFC 231. In response to the reports, the Mixed Martial Arts Journalist Association released a statement on its website confirming that several of its members felt as though they could not ask questions freely. When journalists finally came round to asking White about the UFC’s position on Hardy, the UFC boss blamed the media for stirring up controversy.“I already covered this. I’m not playing this bullshit with you guys. [Hardy] is on the UFC roster. Period. End of story,” White said. “Listen, you guys want to be sensitive about shit? Anyone can be sensitive about anything. You can make an issue about everything.”The problem with White’s statement is that domestic violence is a very real issue in mixed martial arts. According to a study of arrest records since 2003 by HBO Real Sports, MMA fighters have a domestic violence arrest rate (750 per 100,000) more than double the general US population (360 per 100,000) and far ahead of NFL players (210 per 100,000), who are often depicted as being at the heart of the problem.last_img read more

City celebrates 90th birth anniversary of Kishore Kumar

first_imgKolkata: The 90th birth anniversary of Kishore Kumar was observed with great enthusiasm in Kolkata.The statue of Kishore Kumar with Sachin Dev Barman on Southern Avenue was garlanded on Sunday morning. SD Barman considered Kishore to be his elder son. The statue, the only of its kind in the country, was installed by the Amit Kumar Fan Club. The space was provided by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Kishore’s statues at Naktala and Baisnabghata Patuli were also garlanded. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaChief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is a great fan of Kishore Kumar, tweeted: “Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana…Fondly remembering Kishore Kumar, legendary singer, on his birth anniversary.” Meanwhile, the state government organised a programme at Rabindra Sadan, where singers like Rupankar, Raghab, Sriradha Bandyopadhyay and Haimanti Shukla took part, among others. Indranil Sen, minister of state for Information and Cultural Affairs and himself a well known singer and Vivek Kumar, principal secretary, Information and Cultural Affairs, also took part in the gala show. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe legendary singer’s fan following is ever growing, even after one and a half decades of his death. He had sung two immortal Rabindrasangeets, namely Ami chini go chini tomare and Bidhir badhon katbe tumi in Satyajit Ray’s Charulata and Gharebaire. Ei to hethae kunja chayae sung by Kishore Kumar in Lukochuri over five decades ago is still very popular among the music lovers. In the 1970s, Ei je nodi jae sagore and Noyono sarasi kano sung by him were instant hits. Sei rate rat chilo purnima sung in his inimitable style remains a treasure in Bengali music. Kishore’s songs in Uttam Kumar’s lip like Ki ashae bandhi khelaghor in Amanush and Prithibi bodle gache in Anandashrom remain popular tunes even today. The Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna duo which started in Aradhana, opened a new chapter in Hindi cinema. The two along with RD Barman presented some immortal songs. His acting in Chaltika Naam Gaadi with his two elder brothers Ashok Kumar and Anup Kumar and his second wife Madhubala, showcases the talent of Kishore as an actor.last_img read more

No justice after Crown wont appeal acquittal in farm shooting father

first_imgREGINA – The father of a young Indigenous man who was killed on a Saskatchewan farm says he is heartbroken the Crown will not appeal the acquittal of the man accused in the fatal shooting.Last month, a jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Colten Boushie, who was 22 and from the Red Pheasant First Nation. The Crown said Wednesday there is no legal basis to appeal the verdict.“There’s no justice there,” Pete Boushie told The Canadian Press from his home on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana. “What else can I say?“It just goes to show there is no justice in this world.”Saskatchewan senior prosecutor Anthony Gerein said a verdict can’t be appealed because people don’t agree with it or because there may be questions about the investigation.“The Crown can only appeal legal errors in the course of the trial,” he told a news conference.“Public prosecutions lawyers, me, lawyers who do the appeal work here in Saskatchewan, experienced trial lawyers outside the appeal section … found no basis to appeal.”Chris Murphy, a Toronto-based lawyer representing the victim’s family, said he spoke with Colten Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, after the announcement and she responded that her fight is not over.“The criminal proceedings against Gerald Stanley for the death of Colten Boushie are over but that’s not going to be the end of this family’s fight to ensure that the justice system in Canada and in Saskatchewan gets better,” Murphy said.Murphy had sent a letter to Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan outlining what he believed were grounds for appeal in the trial. He said he was disappointed but not surprised by the Crown’s decision.The trial heard that Boushie was one of five young people who drove an SUV into Stanley’s farmyard near Biggar, Sask., in August 2016. They testified they were looking for help with a flat tire.Stanley told the trial he thought they were trying to steal an all-terrain vehicle. He testified he fired warning shots to scare them away and the gun accidentally went off again when he reached for the keys in the SUV’s ignition.The case was filled with racial tension from the beginning and the verdict was met with outrage from Boushie’s relatives and their supporters.After the verdict, family members met with federal ministers along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ask for changes to the justice system and to how juries are selected to better reflect Indigenous people.Rallies were also held around Canada to voice displeasure with the outcome of the case.“I know there is much sadness about the decision not to appeal, but there can be no appeal because the law does not allow it,” Gerein said.He said the Crown did not consult with the Boushie family about the legal decision, but Gerein spoke to lawyers on both sides and they informed their clients.Stanley’s lawyer, Scott Spencer, could not be reached for comment.Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said the decision “is another devastating blow to the family of Colten Boushie, and yet another indication to First Nations that Canada’s justice system is failing them.”He said seeing justice denied affects everyone.“This specific case exposed with glaring clarity some ugly aspects of racism and ignorance,” he said in a statement. “We are deluding ourselves if we think that’s not the case.”The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said it wants a “forensic accounting” of the jury verdict.Federation Chief Bobby Cameron said there should be a Royal Commission into Saskatchewan’s justice system to fix systemic racism.Boushie’s cousin, Jade Tootoosis, has said that the family felt excluded and ignored by the justice system following the shooting.“I urge no one to be discouraged or distrust the system. We are all in this together and must be united against crime and in the search for justice,” Gerein said.Tracey Lindberg, of the Kelly Lake Cree Nation and a law professor at the University of Ottawa, said Indigenous people are still stereotyped as villains even when they are the victims.“We have to give up this false narrative of justice and replace it with a truth: Canadian justice harms Indigenous peoples,” she said in an email. “And justice which harms some is not just for anyone.”Nickita Longman, an activist and Boushie family supporter who attended the trial, said justice can’t be found in Canada’s legal system.“And without justice in colonial law, there can be no reconciliation,” she said.On Tuesday, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission launched a review into the RCMP’s investigation into the shooting.— By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Winnipeglast_img read more

He was ditched La Loche victim spiralled without support now going to

first_imgSASKATOON — A promising football player whose dreams of playing professionally were crushed after a deadly school shooting in northern Saskatchewan has been sent to prison and his family says it’s because he didn’t get the mental-health help he needed.They say they watched as the physical pain and the memories from the 2016 shooting in La Loche transformed the teen from a spirited athlete and outgoing student with good grades to an angry and confused young man who started using methamphetamine.“One minute he’d be happy and fine, next minute he’d be miserable,” his grandfather said in an interview in Saskatoon.The Canadian Press is not identifying the victim, now 19, because he was a youth at the time of the La Loche shooting.The victim was 16 and from Saskatoon, but was spending part of the school year with his grandparents in La Loche, a remote Dene community 700 kilometres to the north, when he was shot at the entrance of the high school.In the panicked minutes that followed, a 17-year-old student with a shotgun wounded six others and killed a teacher and a teacher’s aide. He had earlier killed two teenage brothers in a nearby home.The shooter pleaded guilty to charges that included first-degree murder and was sentenced last year as an adult to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years. Because he is appealing his sentence, he can’t be named.The gun blasts struck the young football player in the chest and arm, where he suffered permanent nerve damage. He couldn’t grip a football anymore, said his mother.“When it could have been anything else in the body, it was his hand,” she said.He underwent multiple surgeries and tried weightlifting and playing basketball, but grew frustrated and lost his passion for sports, said his grandfather.His mother packed away her boy’s stacks of Sports Illustrated magazines, collection of footballs and other gear. He told her he didn’t care what she did with it.Sitting at a Tim Hortons, the mother swiped through pictures of her eldest son on her cellphone.Images of a past Christmas he spent with his two younger brothers. A photo of him when he was about 12, flashing a big smile at a flag football game.Another photo of him, taller and bigger, dressed in a black-and-yellow jersey on the sidelines of a high school football game. It was taken shortly before he left for La Loche.Growing up his favourite football player, said his grandfather, was former Saskatchewan Roughrider Weston Dressler. Scouts had told the family there was a chance the youth could play professionally.But that never happened.Last week, he was sentenced after earlier pleading guilty to several offences, including assault with a weapon and possession of an unloaded prohibited firearm with ammunition.The young man admitted to using bear spray on his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend during a confrontation in 2018. A few months later, police discovered him inside a vehicle with a sawed-off rifle and rounds of ammunition. Court heard he told friends he wanted to commit a robbery.He was sentenced to three years in prison.Court heard he was a La Loche shooting victim and didn’t get the proper counselling he needed to recover.His grandfather agrees.“He was ditched.”The grandfather said he had asked the provincial government for an advocate to help the family co-ordinate counselling services while the young man recovered in Saskatoon. But that didn’t happen.Most of the help went to La Loche, he said.“It was all about La Loche, La Loche, not really the victims,” the mother added.Counsellors were sent to the village after the shooting, but a year later community leaders complained about a lack of continued support.Earlier this year, after the third anniversary of the shooting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited La Loche and announced $2.2 million in funding for projects and mental-health services for students.Prosecutor Kristin MacLean said in the recent case involving the shooting victim, the court considered the trauma he suffered. The Crown feels the prison term is appropriate given factors such as the risk to public safety and prevalence of firearm-related crimes in Saskatoon.Defence lawyer Logan Marchand said the La Loche shooting sent his client on a downward spiral.“The mental-health impacts from the PTSD alone, I think, also influences his behaviour,” said Marchand.He had requested provincial jail time and probation so his client could get more help with his addiction and to deal with the shooting.Marchand said his client didn’t get the counselling he needed to help him recover and believes prison will do nothing more to help.“Without some form of intervention … in some ways his presence in front of the courts at some point in the future was almost an inevitability.”Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Asian Superstar Ha Phuong Donates All Profits To Charity

first_imgHa Phuong, a New York-based Asian superstar, is promising to donate 100 percent of her future profits from her singing, acting and producing projects to help underprivileged children.Phuong, who was born in Vietnam, hopes her generosity will inspire others to help marginalized youngsters.Here’s what’s coming in 2018! Phuong produced and stars with Andrew McCarthy and Richard Chamberlain in the feature film “Finding Julia,” which will be released on May 4 in New York, Houston, Los Angeles, San Jose and Orange County, California.“Finding Julia” is inspired by Phuong’s real life and her 2017 book of the same name. The book can be purchased on FindingJulia.net and Amazon. Phuong’s exciting English language song from the film, “Lost in a Dream,” has been released in a music video (also at FindingJulia.net).Fans are encouraged to make a video of themselves singing “Lost in a Dream” and send it to [email protected] by March 15, 2018. Five finalists will give a live performance in New York on April 15. The singer with the best video and live performance will win $20,000!All the profits from Phuong’s DVD/CD sales, concerts and films will go to the Ha Phuong Foundation, which helps underprivileged children by paying for their housing, surgery, food, clothing and education. The foundation also provides musical instruments, vocational training and career development for blind children. Thanks to this generous foundation, these kids can creatively express themselves while learning to use state-of-the-art professional equipment and software.Back in 2008, Phuong started the Ha Phuong Foundation with a $1 million donation in Huntington Beach, California. That donation helped build a multi-media arts center in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove. Additionally, she sponsors the Ha Phuong Young Female Filmmakers Initiative, which supports aspiring female filmmakers through the nonprofit New York Women in Film and Television.Phuong also assists in the Vietnam Relief Effort, a non-profit organization created by her husband, Chinh Chu, and his sister. The Vietnam Relief Effort helps build schools, pay for surgeries for war veterans and disabled people, and brings Vietnamese doctors to the U.S. for training. In a nod to her generosity, Phuong was named a “top donor to UNICEF” in 2016.In addition to her career and charity efforts, Phuong is a mom to two precious daughters, Diana Phuong Phuong Chu, (11), and Angelina Tieu Phuong Chu, (10). Inspired by her own kids and her early years in Vietnam, Phuong is determined to make the world a better place for other children.Find out more here.last_img read more

RYAN REYNOLDS LAUGHS AT TYLER PERRYS MADEAD POOL COSTUME

first_imgRyan Reynolds as Deadpool in Deadpool 2. (Twentieth Century Fox) It caught the real Deadpool’s attention and Reynolds responded: “Um… @tylerperry, if you could film six more minutes of this, we’d have Deadpool 3. Or @nobodysfool part 2.”Thrilled to get feedback from the actor, Tyler returned to social media early on Thursday and wrote: “You have no idea what a huge Deadpool fan I am!! You’re amazing my friend. All the best to you and your family.”You have no idea what a huge Deadpool fan I am!! You’re amazing my friend. All the best to you and your family.— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) November 1, 2018Tyler isn’t the only star who has heaped praise on Reynolds in recent weeks – the actor’s Life co-star Jake Gyllenhaal wrote a touching Variety essay in honour of the publication’s New Power of New York list last month.“What we all want for our friends in this business is for the world to see what we see, and as actors, that only happens in a perfect storm of timing and the full luck,” Jake wrote. “After years of waiting and struggling to fit his unfortunate, pear-shaped physique into the skinny jeans of a conventional romantic lead, Ryan made his own luck with Deadpool.”He added: “For all of the effortlessness that Ryan projects, the man works tirelessly. He writes all night so he can be present for his kids and wife all day… So often – too often – the wildly talented people of our world funnel the lion’s share of their energy into their work, but as good a writer and comedian as Ryan is, he is a better friend and father and husband. And that, for me, is the true mark of power.” Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Facebookcenter_img Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Ryan Reynolds enjoyed a Halloween hoot when Tyler Perry dressed up as his movie superhero Deadpool to promote his new movie Nobody’s Fool.The actor and director added his beloved cross-dressing character Madea’s grey wig and carried a handbag as he pretended he was the movie matriarch behind the Deadpool mask in the online video, trying to hide from Tyler Perry, who earlier this week revealed he was killing off the grandmother following one more film.“MA-DEA-D Pool!! Hiding from Tyler Perry. #NOBODYSFOOL EVERYWHERE THIS FRIDAY,” Tyler captioned the video he posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday.MA-DEA-D Pool!! Hiding from Tyler Perry. #NOBODYSFOOL EVERYWHERE THIS FRIDAY. @nobodysfool @TiffanyHaddish @VancityReynolds pic.twitter.com/U0YB66R9mn— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) October 31, 2018last_img read more

How To Tell If A March Madness Underdog Is Going To Win

When the NCAA men’s basketball tournament picks up full speed Thursday, many fans will tune in with the hopes of seeing one thing: upsets. Some no doubt will come on last-minute buzzer beaters, but plenty will probably be long-simmering, the kinds of games that you can’t look away from. Those games will be all about tension: The underdog can’t possibly hold on to this lead, can it?We can figure out the answer to that question. Or at least what we should expect to happen when an upset is brewing — specifically, at what point in the game an underdog with a lead is more likely to win than lose.I analyzed play-by-play data from every NCAA tournament since 2004, which is the earliest that second-by-second scoring data is readily available. I considered all games played by teams with different seeds, leaving me with about 700 games to analyze. In the analysis, I estimated the probability that a lower-seeded team (i.e., the better team, according to the selection committee) wins the game, depending on the score and the time remaining.At the opening tipoff, the underdog has a 29 percent chance of winning the game. But if the game is tied or the underdog is ahead with five minutes remaining in the first half, the probability of an upset is higher than 50 percent.1The green line in the first chart does not fully reach 100 percent because games tied at the end of the second half are included in the analysis.It is, of course, not that simple. There’s a big difference between an “underdog” that’s a No. 2 seed and one that’s a No. 16 seed.To better distinguish between these two cases, I split the data based on “big” and “small” upsets. Any game in which there was more than a four-seed difference in the teams’ seedings was considered a potential big upset, and the games in which the difference was four or fewer were counted in the “small upset” category. (A No. 10 seed beating a No. 7 seed is a small upset, a No. 11 seed beating a No. 6 seed is a big one, etc.)2Ideally, I would break up the data more finely by looking at each possible seeding matchup, but with only 700 games and 120 possible matchups to work with, there was not enough data. The graph shows the difference between the average upset, the big upset and the small upset. As you might expect, the big underdogs begin the game with a slightly lower probability of winning (about 20 percent). Also unsurprisingly, a big underdog with the lead does not cross the 50 percent win probability threshold until around halftime.But the results are very different when you look at small upsets. In these matchups, when the underdog has a lead or the game is tied at any point more than five or six minutes into the game, it’s likely that we’re going to see an upset.We all know, however, that all leads are not created equal. Through the rest of the article, I’ll split the data a bit further, based on how big the underdog’s or favorite’s lead is: a three-possession game (a lead of 7 or more points), a two-possession game (a 4-to-6-point lead), or a one-possession game (0-to-3-point lead).The figure above shows the results from this analysis.3The jaggedness in the raw data has been smoothed with cubic regression. When a game is close, within 3 points in either direction (gray), the average favorite is still more likely than not to win. But, assuming the game stayed within 3 points all the way through, the chances of an upset increase throughout the game. By the last few minutes, if the game is within one possession, the average better-seeded team has only a slight advantage in win probability. The probability that an average underdog with a two-possession lead (light green) will win crosses the 50 percent threshold with about five minutes left in the first half. And an underdog who leads by more than 7 points (dark green) perhaps shouldn’t be considered an underdog at all.4Although there are almost zero games in which a team is ahead by seven points in the first minute or two, the cubic regression allows me to estimate these probabilities. There’s more uncertainty about the exact estimates early in the game because there is less data, but this problem disappears just a few minutes into the game. Its odds of completing the upset are more than 50 percent very early in the first half.Things are slightly different in big upset situations; the underdog must wait until the second half for a modest lead (4 to 6 points) to trump the seedings.5The tangling of the curves in the middle graph shouldn’t lead us to believe that a 4-point lead very early in the game is better than a 7-point lead. It is more the result of a very small number of games with huge score differentials early in the game. Those open up the possibility of outliers influencing the shape of the curves on the left side. If, however, you’re watching a game in which a big underdog has a three-possession lead in the first half, keep watching because there’s a good chance that it’ll pull off the upset.In smaller potential upsets, an underdog with at least a 4-point lead (light and dark green) at nearly any point in the game has a better chance of winning than losing. The underdog wins about 40 percent of one-possession games (gray), regardless of the time remaining.So, as you watch games, don’t get too excited about a big underdog with a small lead, at least until the second half. If there is not a big gap in the seedings between the two teams, then the scoreboard, not the seedings, is what matters. And remember, this whole analysis is the aggregation of hundreds of games. Any one particular game can certainly defy the odds. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. read more

The Warriors And Raptors Are Finals Favorites But Should They Be

neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): The NBA is now two games in to every second-round series, and each matchup is currently tied at 1-1 … except Warriors-Rockets, which was the series most people had circled as the most competitive (and compelling) of Round 2.So what better place to start our chat than that matchup, which the Warriors lead 2-0 heading back to Houston for Game 3 on Saturday. The Rockets have done a lot of Rockets-like things in the first two games: They’re making almost 16 threes and 22 free throws per game. Yet they were unable to steal away home court in the series late in either Game 1 or Game 2. Do the Rockets still have a realistic chance at knocking off Golden State, or were we all just foolishly trying to convince ourselves that we might see a different outcome this year?chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): I think it goes without saying that 2-0 against a team of that caliber is a tough place to be. We talked about it before, but the fact that Houston is Houston might have been enough to get the Warriors playing their hardest and most focused early on.Draymond Green has been a beast, in particular.natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): I mean, they lost two games by 4 points and 6 points. And they have some excuses: the officiating in Game 1, and they were without James Harden for parts of the first half in Game 2, and then he was not entirely himself.I don’t think Game 2 felt quite as close as the final score, but Game 1 was pretty even.I guess all I’m saying is that we have had nine high-stakes playoff games between these two teams, and it feels like the Warriors are the better team, but hardly a dominant team.tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): I feel like what’s going to happen at the end of all this, if the Warriors do end up winning it all (which is very likely — our predictions still give them a 49 percent chance), fans and basketball critics alike are going to come out and say, “See? Why even watch basketball? We all knew the Warriors were gonna win.” And they will all forget how unlikely it did seem at times. It is far from a sure thing still.neil: And that was definitely the case last year as well. The Warriors were far from assured winners, even though in the end they won, as expected.chris.herring: I think the challenge is that so much of what Houston does is tied to Harden, who hasn’t played poorly at all, despite the eye issue in Game 2.I thought it was really noteworthy that, after he got none of those calls in Game 1, he simply didn’t kick his legs out in Game 2.But the real story is that Golden State is forcing him into more floaters, a bit higher up, than he normally likes to take his shots.tchow: I’m gonna be honest. I only watched the first quarter of Game 2 and maybe five minutes of the second quarter because the game started at 10:30 p.m.!! I have a 1-year-old. I can’t do this sh*t anymore.natesilver: The competition from the East should be a lot stiffer this year. But, again, we’re getting a liiiiiittttle ahead of ourselves. Our algorithm says the Warriors have a 77 percent chance of reaching the NBA Finals, which is high but also sort of in the Hillary Clinton zone of not a done deal. I do think Kevin Durant flipping the switch into looking like an MVP++ player is a big deal, though.chris.herring: I am kind of shocked Steph Curry continues to have the foul issues this far into the playoffs. It’s been bad for a hot minute now.But you’re right, Nate: It’s given Durant a chance to showcase what he’s capable of. (Honestly, my favorite versions of the Warriors are when KD gets to play without Steph and when Steph plays without KD — those guys are unbelievable scorers, but we rarely get to see them at their best because they play so many of their minutes together.)neil: Well, I want to talk officiating in general. As you guys alluded to, it’s been a huge theme in the series so far, whether over Draymond Green’s arguable contact with James Harden at the end of Game 1, the Rockets’ “audit” of missed calls in last year’s Western Conference finals, or Green’s comments that the officiating talk itself was embarrassing for the NBA. Does Houston have a case? Or is that just a natural consequence of how the Rockets play? Is there something inherently limiting about relying on drawing fouls in the playoffs, when it’s tougher to get a whistle?natesilver: A “natural consequence” doesn’t seem like quite the right phrase because I’d imagine that a lot of this is fairly deliberate — exploring the boundaries of the rules, especially in terms of Harden’s shooting form.chris.herring: Like I was saying a minute ago, I thought it was pretty interesting that Houston fell to the ground so much in Game 1 but, from what I remember, essentially didn’t do that at all in Game 2. I’d have to go back and watch the close-outs, but to me that signals that the Rockets might have known they were waging a losing battle.natesilver: I do think, if the game is called by the book, they got screwed out of a couple of three-shot shooting fouls in Game 1.chris.herring: Oh, absolutely.At least two or three, which, in a game that close … I’d be upset, too. You have to call the fouls the same way you would have during the regular season. I didn’t even think some of those were debatable in the first half.The crazy thing: In watching Game 2, it makes me wonder whether the Rockets are better off just trying to stand up straight as opposed to drawing fouls.It might have merely been a Game 2 improvement, with no reason for it, but they were great from the perimeter, and it happened on a night where they weren’t flailing or kicking their legs out, which I imagine changes the shot’s rhythm some.natesilver: Part of it is that awarding three free throws is such a high-stakes decision. It’s not quite like awarding a penalty in soccer, but you know what I mean.If all shooting fouls were two free throws instead, save maybe for the last two minutes when a team might try to maul a guy to prevent him from taking a 3-point shot, that might help.Or if referees were allowed to call nonshooting fouls in the event of incidental contact. Sort of the difference in a roughing the kicker penalty vs. running into the kicker.chris.herring: I’ve never seen something be such an enormous story for one game, then just not be a factor at all in the following oneI’m sure the league loves that it died down during Game 2. But it almost felt like the Rockets realized they weren’t going to get anywhere with that hope that they’d get more calls.neil: And yet, most of the fan reaction I was reading online was that the Rockets basically need to be quiet. That Harden has cried wolf too many times, etc. And remember, these are people siding with the Warriors, a team that has become hated over the years as it’s won so much. That kind of speaks volumes about the distaste for Houston’s foul-drawing strategy.natesilver: Yeah, I thought the “Rockets-are-sore-losers” narrative, while understandable, maybe made people less objective in evaluating the situation.chris.herring: I felt like I was seeing a lot of that the last few days, too.tchow: Yeah, Nate, on the latest Hot Takedown podcast, we had Kirk Goldsberry on as a guest, and he made the point that from an economical standpoint, drawing three free throws percentage-wise is worth more than a wide-open Steph or KD 3-pointer. In that sense, it would make sense to try to draw those so often.chris.herring: But here’s my thing:If the Rockets pour over the missed-calls report and find that the refs missed a bunch of those last year — which suggests it’s either not easy to catch, or that refs don’t like to call it — why make it such a big part of the strategy as you start another series with Golden State now?tchow: To prove themselves right?chris.herring: Idk. Part of me feels like the basketball world is too worked up about this series, when in reality, it’s the only one that’s not tied up at 1-1.It’s been a good second round so far.natesilver: I dunno, one thing about basketball is that there’s not usually a lot of luck.In a seven-game series, the better team wins a large majority of the time.But I wonder if Daryl Morey feels a little tilted (in the poker sense of that term) how his series have gone against the Warriors.They’ve had some bad luck with injuries, some bad luck on 3-point field-goal percentage — and whether you want to call it “luck” or something else, some frustrating games with the officials.And it’s also, like, if the league designs a bad set of rules and incentives, you shouldn’t get blamed for taking advantage of those incentives.There should be better incentives instead. The rules should be changed.chris.herring: That’s been the story of James Harden’s career: Fantastic player who’s always been fantastic at taking advantage of what’s there, whether fans like it or not.I really love watching that dude ball. It’s not his fault the loopholes are there.neil: As Kirk writes in his book, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”Either way, right now we give the Warriors an 84 percent chance of moving on to the conference finals.tchow: The good news is that Game 3 is at 8:30 p.m.!neil: On behalf of all of us East Coasters, thank goodness.In the other series out West, the Trail Blazers evened things up with the Nuggets with a 97-90 win Wednesday night. Portland stole-home court advantage, but our model still gives Denver a 61 percent chance of advancing. Are the numbers still too low on the Blazers?chris.herring: Probably. I have no idea, honestly.The Nuggets might be the most inconsistent team left in the playoffs. Last night was extremely rough for them — one of their worst shooting nights of the season. Their offensive rebounding was unreal, and so it left them with an outside chance to win late.I feel like they may have the better team, but their inconsistency scares me a bit. The 61 percent probability sounds about right to me for now.Quietly feel like the Moe Harkless ankle injury could be a tough one for the Blazers depending on how hurt he actually is going forward.I have it going seven games, and I won’t be surprised at all if and when it actually goes the distance.natesilver: I’m going to reiterate that this part of the bracket feels like the NIT to me. Unless whoever emerges from GSW-HOU does so with an injury, I don’t expect the Western Conference finals to be super competitive.neil: Yeah, conditional on making the conference finals, the Warriors have a 92 percent chance at the NBA Finals in our model; Houston has an 81 percent chance.natesilver: I almost feel like, narrative-wise, Portland has become a little bit underrated just because they’re facing off against two other very flawed teams. That Portland team with Jusuf Nurkic is pretty interesting, but they have a pretty low ceiling IMO without him.neil: I have been surprised at how well Enes Kanter continues to play. He’s averaging 21 points and eight rebounds in this series. (As someone who hated on him as an empty stat-padder early in his career…)natesilver: The knock in him (I almost typed “the Knick on him”) has always been his defense, though.What’s his +/- in the series?neil: It’s minus-4. But the team as a whole is in the red anyway.chris.herring: He’s useful for them, without a doubtI think he actually might be even more useful in a playoff series, depending on the opponent.Against OKC, for instance: Leaving him in the paint, without an easy way for Westbrook to get around him, was great for Portland. Westbrook wasn’t good or comfortable shooting his jumper in that series.So it mitigated the concerns about Kanter’s pick-and-roll defense.And in this series, you’re dealing with Jamal Murray, who’s a hot-and-cold shooter in the pick and roll, too.Kanter’s offensive rebounding is massive a lot of the time.natesilver: I guess mayyyyybe you could say that Kanter has never been in a position before to have teams take advantage of his skill set. OKC has never really been expert at maximizing its role players. And the Knicks, well, are the Knicks.tchow: For what it’s worth, in Game 2, Nikola Jokic went 1 for 8 when guarded by Kanter.chris.herring: I’m interested to see what happens as they shift to Portland.neil: Your point about defense is well-taken, Nate. Portland’s key might be to continue to play so uncharacteristically well at that end.Right now, they’re holding the Nuggets to 41.9 percent shooting from the field, including 31 percent from three.chris.herring: I feel like I’m so in and then so out on Denver. They have had some really rough performances.But the fact that they were still in it last night despite how poorly they shot was encouraging. Jokic has been playing out of his mind.neil: OK, since this is the NIT series of the playoffs, let’s leave Denver and Portland and move over to the East.tchow: In our playoff preview chat, I think we all agreed that the Eastern Conference playoff bracket looked a lot more interesting than the West, and I think that’s still pretty much true. I have no idea who will make it out of the East of the remaining four teams and could easily see both series going seven games.neil: Yeah, things have not really gotten clearer since either series opened. Let’s talk first about the semifinal series between the Raptors and Sixers, which resumes tonight with Game 3. Philly gritted out the win Monday night to even up the series, despite Kawhi Leonard going off again for 35 points. What has stood out about each team so far that might swing the series going forward?chris.herring: In the chat last week, we talked about the question of who Tobias Harris could realistically guard.The answer in Game 1 was nobody, which was problematic, as the Raptors’ two best scorers did serious damage.The difference in Game 2 was Philly’s adjustment to play Harris on Marc Gasol, and to have Joel Embiid and the other centers guard Pascal Siakam. It paid really, really nice dividends for them, and that’s the thing I’m really curious to watch in Game 3.natesilver: I guess those defensive matchups sort of make sense but also the sort of thing that you could counteradjust to, especially with an extra day off to scout and strategize.chris.herring: Exactly.neil: That shows up in the stats, too: Harris was a game-low minus-23 in Game 1 but was plus-6 in Game 2.chris.herring: In both series, I think, it’s going to be a question of whose adjustments are better.Because each set of changes and adjustments have pretty clear counters.tchow: Btw, I don’t know if Neil is doing this on purpose but we have NBATV on at the office right now, and Neil is moving the chat along at the same exact pace as Grant Hill and company are moving along their playoff coverage. They just wrapped up DEN-POR and moved on to PHI-TOR before cutting to commercial break. Uncanny.neil: LOL, Tony. Definitely a coincidence… 😒chris.herring: I did think the put-the-big-on-Siakam adjustment was smart, though.When Siakam is in the middle of the floor, you can give him some space, because he shoots really terribly from the top of the key. By contrast, he’s solid from the corners. (And when he’s in the corner, you have the help of the baseline as a second defender.)tchow: It definitely made a difference. Siakam shot 80 percent from the floor and 75 percent from three in Game 1. In Game 2, he shot 36 percent from the floor and 29 percent from three.chris.herring: The Sixers don’t have but maybe one guy who can credibly guard Siakam (and Ben Simmons is doing his best to guard Kawhi), so that shift was really important for them.It may not work going forward, but you had to try it.natesilver: What if Gasol decides to take more shots? He’s been pretty passive, offensively, since joining the Raptors. But he is capable of scoring, either in the post or from downtown.chris.herring: If Gasol ends up being the guy to torch you, I think you can live with that more easily than Siakam.Also, I’d expect for the Raptors to do more to get Siakam rolling, and to use him in pick and rolls in hopes of having Philly switch them. That would nullify the Harris/Embiid stuff they’re doing.Again, the countermoves are going to be fascinating.To Neil’s initial question, too: The other thing that stands out is just how damn good Kawhi is.The guy is Terminator in a basketball uniform.He couldn’t do it all by himself in Game 2. But he’s just having his way from a scoring standpoint.neil: He’s probably been the best player of the playoffs so far, at least by the advanced metrics.chris.herring: I’m surprised Toronto is at 24 percent and Milwaukee only 14 percent. (Although a lot of that is due to head to head Toronto-vs-Milwaukee odds.)natesilver: I mean, there’s a case to be made that Toronto is just super good.chris.herring: Yeah. I think almost 70 percent sounds about right in that case.natesilver: They won 58 games in the regular season while missing a bunch of Kawhi and Kyle Lowry. And with Gasol only on the roster for the last third of the season.chris.herring: The matchups still favor them, and I think they’ll figure out a way to get Siakam going. Just not guarding him at the top of the key isn’t going to be enough.Am interested to see whether Kawhi can keep doing this for the whole series, though. He’s completely wrecking Philly.natesilver: Kawhi looks like an MVP in the playoffs, and neither of the two losses they’ve taken in the playoffs (to Orlando in Game 1 or Philly the other day) seemed to expose particularly exploitable problems.Our model also thinks Philly is quite good, by the way. It gives them a lot of credit for being good “on paper.”So I think our prices are relatively fair, but if I had to pick one, maybe it’s the over on Toronto. natesilver: Are people stretching a little too hard to call this an even series? Game 1 really wasn’t all that competitive, the Raptors have the best player, they were the much better team in the regular season, and all the adjustments and counteradjustments are gonna cancel out.I mean, there are only five games left and the Raptors have lost home-court advantage, but I feel like if this is a nine-game series, or an 11-game series, the Raptors are a huge favorite.chris.herring: I dunno. On the one hand, yeah: Toronto should have the upper hand. But we haven’t seen Nick Nurse under all that much pressure before. I assume they’ll counter well, but if they don’t … it’s not as if Philly doesn’t have talent.There are pretty clear things that could happen to tilt this in the Sixers’ favor, though I wouldn’t put my money on those things.And the next two are in Philadelphia. I think this is about all the Sixers could ask for at this stage.I would like to see Embiid do a bit more offensively. He was sick during the last game, but if he can’t find advantages against Gasol (which has been the case for a while now), it becomes harder to see how Philly can beat them four times. Unless the Raptors have no counter whatsoever for what happened to Siakam in Game 2.tchow: Nate, are you proposing we make the postseason even LONGER to ensure the best team wins?natesilver: I think it should vary based on how enjoyable the series is.Like if people find GSW-HOU annoying, just make it a three-game series.neil: We should develop a metric: The SILVER (Series’ Ideal Length Varied by Enjoyability Ratio)chris.herring: Oh, Lord.natesilver: Neil.tchow: According to SILVER, Sixers vs. Raptors should be best-of-11 and Bucks vs. Pistons should have been a one-game playoff.neil: LOLSo while we workshop our latest backronym metric, let’s end the chat by focusing on the Bucks and the Celtics. After disappointing at home in Game 1, Milwaukee can breathe again thanks to a 123-102 win in Game 2.Was that Game 1 loss just a blip on the radar for Milwaukee, or something to legitimately worry about for them as the series shifts to Boston?tchow: Giannis Antetokounmpo had a +/- of minus-24 in Game 1. What happened?(FWIW, he did bounce back fine. Game 2, his +/- was plus-20.)chris.herring: I think it’s actually pretty similar to Toronto-Philly. The Bucks punched back with a different strategy in Game 2, and now the ball is seemingly in Boston’s court to try and adjust to it.natesilver: Gordon Hayward was pretty nonexistent in Game 2 and not great in Game 1, which is bearish for Boston because I really think they need him to be pretty good to compete at an elite level.neil: Also, Kyrie scored 26 on 57 percent shooting in Game 1. Had 9 points on 22 percent in Game 2.natesilver: It did feel a bit like maybe the Celtics were gonna steal one game in the series because of Brad Stevens and their coaching/analytics/scouting staff, and maybe Game 1 was that game.chris.herring: We touched on it last week, when we discussed the Bucks being ranked No. 1 in the league on defense but doing so with a drop strategy in pick and roll coverage. They got torched with that in Game 1, and Boston had a field day from deep. But they moved to a completely different scheme in Game 2 and switched everything (something they almost never did in the regular season).And for what it’s worth, Boston was the least-efficient team in the NBA against switches during the regular season, according to data from Second Spectrum.So I’m interested to see what they counter with, because the Bucks certainly have the length and versatility to make life difficult for them with that strategy.To Tony’s question from before, we did some writing on what went wrong for Giannis in Game 1.The truth is, Giannis kind of lives off of open-court opportunities. He’ll score plenty without them, but if he has them, it showcases how and why he’ll likely be the MVP. It’s nearly impossible to stop him with just one guy (and sometimes even two) in the open floor.But Milwaukee wasn’t forcing enough misses in Game 1 for that to even be a real possibility for him. And even when it was, the Celtics set up a wall against him. Was something they did effectively against Giannis all year.natesilver: So are you saying that Giannis is liable to be less effective in the playoffs, when it becomes more of a half-court game?chris.herring: Yes and no.I think he will still score, and if you overcommit to trying to stop him, he’s unselfish and will find his teammates, who finally hit shots in Game 2The other thing that’s interesting: Giannis’s struggles as a jump-shooter are well-documented. He was the worst wide-open shooter in the NBA from three on 150 or more attempts.But he started knocking them down at a somewhat respectable clip after the turn of the new year. And when Boston dared him to shoot them in Game 1, he shot 3 of 5.He’s 5 of 9 from three for the series!I imagine that if you’re Boston, you’re simply going to make him prove he can hit that shot. But the idea that he’s begun to figure out how to hit threes should be terrifying for everyone outside of the state of Wisconsin.natesilver: I’m happy to let him shoot as many threes as he wants.I don’t think you learn how to shoot threes in one series. Maybe if it’s a big offseason focus of his, sure.neil: Either way, the model currently gives the Bucks a 70 percent chance of winning. In fact, it also gives Toronto exactly the same 70 percent chance against Philly, despite both series being 1-1.Do those probabilities seem right to y’all? If you had to take the over or under on one, which would it be?chris.herring: I feel like Milwaukee’s is a touch high, even though they’re my favorite to come out of the East.tchow: Interesting, I was going to say I would pick the Bucks to be too low.neil: I’m in the same camp, Tony. Really more based on looking at our title odds for each: Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

Commentary Adam Scott Australias first Masters champion

In a country rich with golfing greats and close major championship calls, Australia had never produced a Masters champion. But on a soggy Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., that all changed with one clutch putt. Adam Scott, the 32-year old who finished T-2 in the 2011 Masters, made a pressure-packed birdie putt on the second playoff hole against Angel Cabrera to become the first Australian to take home the green jacket. Scott, who had eight PGA Tour wins coming into the week, used his broomstick putter (it’s about four feet tall), to birdie the 18th hole in regulation which led him to a playoff after Cabrera birdied the 18th as well. The major championship victory is long overdue for Scott, who had the lead in the 2012 British Open but bogeyed the final four holes and lost. He’s been a prominent player throughout his career, and finally getting his first major could open the floodgates for more majors down the road. Other history was made at the Masters as well. Fourteen-year old Tianlang Guan from China, who was the youngest player to compete in any major championship in 148 years, also became the youngest player to make the cut and play the weekend in a major championship. However, his dreams of playing the weekend were almost gone after he received a one-stroke penalty for slow play during Friday’s second round. It was the first time a player was assessed a penalty for slow play on the PGA Tour since 2010. After finishing with a second-round 75, and 4-over for the tournament, the eighth-grader made the cut right on the number. By adding rounds of 77 and 75 the next two days, he finished as the low amateur for the week in 58th place and earned respect around the world. That Guan competed in the Masters is significant enough, but making the cut against the best players in the world on an extremely challenging course speaks volumes to how special of a week it was for the youngster. Sunday afternoon at the Masters wouldn’t be complete without a back-nine charge from No. 1 player Tiger Woods. He entered the final round four shots back but couldn’t overcome bogeys on 5 and 7, despite having four birdies from 9-15, and finished T-4. Woods, along with Guan, was part of another controversial penalty. In Friday’s second round, he hit his third shot in the water on the par-5 15th after an unlucky break in which his ball hit the flagstick and came spinning back violently into the water. After weighing out his options, he decided to take a drop at the same spot, where he eventually got up-and-down to save bogey. The problem, though, was that he dropped his next shot about two yards further back than his previous shot, which wasn’t as close as possible to his previous shot. That drop eventually led to a two-stroke penalty, so instead of starting Saturday’s third round three shots back, he was five back and never recovered. All in all, the decision to give him a two-stroke penalty instead of disqualifying him, which many felt should have happened, was probably the correct move, but the drop and resulting penalty will be discussed for years to come. Every year, the Masters provides heart-pounding excitement throughout the entire week, especially late Sunday afternoon. This year was no different, and the remarkable finish showed why this tournament is one of the most exciting in all of sports. Only 360 more days until next year’s edition. read more