New opportunities for women to improve world rankings

first_img11 Jan 2017 New opportunities for women to improve world rankings Women golfers playing in top English scratch events will have new opportunities to improve their world ranking in 2017. Existing 36-hole scratch events have been paired up to create five 72-hole tournaments and competitors will receive World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) points. The timings and dates of the existing 36-hole events will not change, but a leaderboard will be created to show overall results for the paired tournaments. Rebecca Hembrough, the England Golf Women’s Performance Manager, said: “We are working hard to increase competitive opportunities for women and girl players in England and this is great news. All the clubs are fully supportive and equally as excited as us about the initiative.” The five 72-hole events for 2017 are: Comboy Leveret – Comboy Scratch at Delamere Forest, Cheshire, on 26 March; and The Leveret at Formby Ladies’, Lancashire, on 1 April. The Gold Rose – Roehampton Gold Cup at Roehampton, Surrey, on 1 April; and the Hampshire Rose at North Hants, Hampshire, on 9 April. Critchley Astor – the Critchley Salver at Sunningdale, Surrey, on 23 May; and the Astor Salver at The Berkshire on 7 June. Frilford Jackson – Frilford Heath Scratch, Frilford Heath, Oxfordshire on 2 June; and Bridget Jackson Bowl, Handsworth, Warwickshire on 4 July. Birkdale Putter – Pleasington Putter, Pleasington, Lancashire on 12 July; and Royal Birkdale Scratch, Royal Birkdale, Lancashire, on 25 August. Caption: Alison Hewson is England’s highest ranked player at 27th in the world (image © Leaderboard Photography).last_img read more

Williams chases Carris Trophy leader Paltrinieri

first_img The 18-year-old made his intentions clear when he started with two birdies, remarking: “It gave my confidence a boost and really helped me with the round,” he said. After that, whenever his score slipped, he produced more birdies to get back on track, holing a very long putt on his eighth hole and sinking an 18-footer on his 17th.  After today’s round the field was cut to the top 60 and ties who will play the final two rounds, tomorrow and on Friday. A total of XX players qualified.  Italy’s Julien Paltrinieri moved three shots away from the field in the Carris Trophy today after he got to six-under par at the halfway stage at West Sussex Golf Club.  Quinney (Bearsted), is playing for the first time at this level and coped well with the change in conditions, balancing three birdies with three bogeys. “I could have holed some more putts, I was inside 15ft from the 13th to 16th, but I’ll shoot a good score tomorrow!” he said.  Williams, 15, (pictured left) moved up into a share of second place when he added level par 68 to his opening 65. The boy international has clearly kept the form which saw him take third place in last week’s McGregor Trophy – the English U16 boys’ open – and today he displayed an invaluable talent for scrambling.  Three more players have sub-par totals: Thomas Plumb (Sherborne, Dorset), Jake Benson (Beeston Fields, Nottinghamshire) and Spain’s James Meyer de Beco are all one-under.  The dreary weather reduced the number of sub-par rounds returned today – but the conditions held no problems for George Clarke of Druids Heath, Staffordshire. He scored the low round of the day with his three-under 65, which gave him a 36-hole total of level par and a share of ninth place, with nine others.  “I hit it in all sorts of places and somehow made lots of pars and some real clutch putts to keep me in the tournament. Now I’m in a good place and anything can happen, at least I’ve given myself a chance, I’m in a good position to move forward.”  26 Jul 2017 Williams chases Carris Trophy leader Paltrinieri Italy’s Julien Paltrinieri moved three shots away from the field in the Carris Trophy today after he got to six-under par at the halfway stage at West Sussex Golf Club.  Yesterday’s sunshine was replaced with rain and then a strengthening wind, but nothing could dampen Paltrinieri’s sparkle in the second round of the English U18 boys’ open championship.  The overnight co-leader ignored the morning downpour to shoot two-under 68 and set a target which could not be passed. He’s three clear of his closest challengers, England front-runner Robin Williams (Peterborough Milton), and Jean Bekirian of France.  After today’s round the field was cut to the top 60 and ties who will play the final two rounds, tomorrow and on Friday. A total of 64 players qualified with scores of six-over and better. Quinney (Bearsted), is playing for the first time at this level and coped well with the change in conditions, balancing three birdies with three bogeys. “I could have holed some more putts, I was inside 15ft from the 13th to 16th, but I’ll shoot a good score tomorrow!” he said.  The overnight co-leader (pictured top) ignored the morning downpour to shoot two-under 68 and set a target which could not be passed. He’s three clear of his closest challengers, England front-runner Robin Williams (Peterborough Milton), and Jean Bekirian of France.  Images copyright Leaderboard Photography Behind Williams is a group of three players on two-under, including Kent’s Ben Quinney, who was round in level par today, and sits alongside Scotland’s Eric McIntosh and Kevin Latchayya of Italy.center_img His card looked the model of consistency, with one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars. It was the opposite, laughed Williams, who said: “It didn’t feel like that, it was a real roller-coaster.  Two more players have sub-par totals: Thomas Plumb (Sherborne, Dorset) and Jake Benson (Beeston Fields, Nottinghamshire) are both one-under.  His card looked the model of consistency, with one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars. It was the opposite, laughed Williams, who said: “It didn’t feel like that, it was a real roller-coaster.  Paltrinieri was delighted with his performance and commented: “It was really difficult this morning, but fortunately I was playing well. I felt comfortable, everything was working right.”  Williams chases Carris Trophy leader Paltrinieri Williams, 15, moved up into a share of second place when he added level par 68 to his opening 65. The boy international has clearly kept the form which saw him take third place in last week’s McGregor Trophy – the English U16 boys’ open – and today he displayed an invaluable talent for scrambling.  Behind Williams is a group of three players on two-under, including Kent’s Ben Quinney, who was round in level par today, and sits alongside Scotland’s Eric McIntosh and Kevin Latchayya of Italy. “I hit it in all sorts of places and somehow made lots of pars and some real clutch putts to keep me in the tournament. Now I’m in a good place and anything can happen, at least I’ve given myself a chance, I’m in a good position to move forward.”  Click here for full scores  Paltrinieri was delighted with his performance and commented: “It was really difficult this morning, but fortunately I was playing well. I felt comfortable, everything was working right.”  Yesterday’s sunshine was replaced with rain and then a strengthening wind, but nothing could dampen Paltrinieri’s sparkle in the second round of the English U18 boys’ open championship.  The dreary weather reduced the number of sub-par rounds returned today – but the conditions held no problems for George Clarke of Druids Heath, Staffordshire. He scored the low round of the day with his three-under 65, which gave him a 36-hole total of level par and a share of 10th place, with nine others.  The 18-year-old made his intentions clear when he started with two birdies, remarking: “It gave my confidence a boost and really helped me with the round,” he said. After that, whenever his score slipped, he produced more birdies to get back on track, holing a very long putt on his eighth hole and sinking an 18-footer on his 17th.  Click here for full scoreslast_img read more

LET invites for former England internationals

first_img Click here for the LET website  Her performance this week won’t count toward the Access Series order of merit but it will sharpen her game for the end of season finale after a break of a few weeks since her last event.  The Access Series concludes with next week’s WPGA International Challenge at Stoke by Nayland, Essex; and the Santander Golf Tour LETAS El Saler, near Valencia in Spain, from 25-27 October. Meghan MacLaren, from Wellingborough, turned professional a year ago after an outstanding amateur career which included an individual win in the British stroke play and team wins for England in the European championships and for GB&I in the Curtis Cup. Goddard, who represents Royal Liverpool, will start her campaign on the Costa del Sol on Thursday and commented: “To receive the invite from England Golf was amazing. It allows me to test myself against the best in Europe again to see how far my game has improved this season.”  Her game is in great shape. Goddard, 26, has won on the LET Access Series this year and she is currently sixth on the order of merit, challenging strongly for one of the five full LET cards on offer at the end of the season.  She remarked: “Some of my best amateur memories came from playing for England, so to still be given opportunities like this in the professional game is a great connection to that.  MacLaren added: “When I look at where I was this time a year ago – I missed the cut at LPGA Q School and I wasn’t really sure whether I was ready to turn pro – I feel like I’m in a great place now.  Images copyright LET/Tristan Jones “Knowing I should have my full LET card for next year is perfect, because it means no matter what happens in the next couple of months, I’ll be a few steps ahead of where I was this time last year.” Her game is in great shape. Goddard, 26, has won on the LET Access Series this year and she is currently sixth on the order of merit, challenging strongly for one of the five full LET cards on offer at the end of the season.  19 Sep 2017 LET invites for former England internationals Two promising professionals will tee up in Ladies European Tour events thanks to invitations from England Golf.  Emma Goddard from Cheshire and Meghan MacLaren from Northamptonshire – both England internationals in their amateur days – have been given places, respectively, in this week’s Spanish Open and the French Open, from October 5-8. It’s part of England Golf’s strategy to support former amateurs. She also won on the LET Access Series as an amateur, just before turning professional last year. She now leads the order of merit after claiming her second win in the Azores Ladies Open in April and posting a string of other high finishes. MacLaren also qualified for the women’s US Open. “Knowing I should have my full LET card for next year is perfect, because it means no matter what happens in the next couple of months, I’ll be a few steps ahead of where I was this time last year.” Emma Goddard from Cheshire and Meghan MacLaren from Northamptonshire – both England internationals in their amateur days – have been given places, respectively, in this week’s Spanish Open and the French Open, from October 5-8. It’s part of England Golf’s strategy to support former amateurs. “I’ve spent most of this year playing LET Access events and the chance to make the step up onto the main tour is exactly what I want and need and I’m really grateful to England Golf for that.”center_img Tags: England, LET “Getting my LET card back has been the main target this year and to have a chance of achieving that with two events left is exciting. All the hard work is paying off.”  “I’ve spent most of this year playing LET Access events and the chance to make the step up onto the main tour is exactly what I want and need and I’m really grateful to England Golf for that.” The Access Series concludes with next week’s WPGA International Challenge at Stoke by Nayland, Essex; and the Santander Golf Tour LETAS El Saler, near Valencia in Spain, from 25-27 October. Goddard, who represents Royal Liverpool, will start her campaign on the Costa del Sol on Thursday and commented: “To receive the invite from England Golf was amazing. It allows me to test myself against the best in Europe again to see how far my game has improved this season.”  Meghan MacLaren, from Wellingborough, turned professional a year ago after an outstanding amateur career which included an individual win in the British stroke play and team wins for England in the European championships and for GB&I in the Curtis Cup. “Getting my LET card back has been the main target this year and to have a chance of achieving that with two events left is exciting. All the hard work is paying off.”  Her performance this week won’t count toward the Access Series order of merit but it will sharpen her game for the end of season finale after a break of a few weeks since her last event.  “I just want to thank England Golf for everything they have done for me. I turned professional three years ago and still worked full time up until April this year so I hope I can take this opportunity – or unfortunately I’ll be returning to work in November!” said Goddard.  “I just want to thank England Golf for everything they have done for me. I turned professional three years ago and still worked full time up until April this year so I hope I can take this opportunity – or unfortunately I’ll be returning to work in November!” said Goddard.  MacLaren added: “When I look at where I was this time a year ago – I missed the cut at LPGA Q School and I wasn’t really sure whether I was ready to turn pro – I feel like I’m in a great place now.  “England Golf actually gave me the opportunity to play my first Access event and that was what really kickstarted the last year. I’ve had a chance to work hard on my game in an environment that’s been great for me, with being around my coaches and playing regular competitive golf.  “England Golf actually gave me the opportunity to play my first Access event and that was what really kickstarted the last year. I’ve had a chance to work hard on my game in an environment that’s been great for me, with being around my coaches and playing regular competitive golf.  She remarked: “Some of my best amateur memories came from playing for England, so to still be given opportunities like this in the professional game is a great connection to that.  She also won on the LET Access Series as an amateur, just before turning professional last year. She now leads the order of merit after claiming her second win in the Azores Ladies Open in April and posting a string of other high finishes. MacLaren also qualified for the women’s US Open.last_img read more

Ray Lewis to retire after playoffs

first_imgLAST RIDE–This Sept. 10, 2012 file photo shows Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis wearing eye black showing the initials of former Ravens owner Art Modell before an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File) by David GinsburgAP Sports WriterOWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Ray Lewis will end his brilliant 17-year NFL career after the Baltimore Ravens complete their 2013 playoff run.Lewis has been sidelined since Oct. 14 with a torn right triceps. The 13-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker intends to return Sunday to face the Indianapolis Colts in what will almost certainly be his final home game.“I talked to my team today,” Lewis said Wednesday. “I talked to them about life in general. And everything that starts has an end. For me, today, I told my team that this will be my last ride.”Lewis will walk away from the game because he wants to spend more time with his two sons. While working to return from his injury, Lewis watched them play on the same high school football team, and he intends to watch Ray Lewis III perform as a freshman next year for his alma mater, the University of Miami.“God is calling,” the 37-year-old Lewis said. “My children have made the ultimate sacrifice for their father for 17 years. I don’t want to see them do that no more. I’ve done what I wanted to do in this business, and now it’s my turn to give them something back.”Which means he’ll pull off his No. 52 uniform for the last time after the Ravens are eliminated or win the Super Bowl.“It’s either hold onto the game and keep playing and let my kids miss out on times we can be spending together,” Lewis said. “Because I always promised my son if he got a full ride on scholarship Daddy is going to be there. I can’t miss that.”Lewis was the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2000, when Baltimore won the Super Bowl title, and in 2003.“I never played the game for individual stats. I only played the game to make my team a better team,” he said.Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

Westinghouse, Obama top 2013 All-City Girls Basketball Team

first_imgThe New Pittsburgh Courier 2013 All-City Girls Basketball Team is a mirror of the top teams in the reduced number of league teams this season. Obama, Westinghouse, Carrick and Allderdice were the best teams placing the most players on the team. There is only one player returning from last season’s First Team, Jasmine Myers from Westinghouse. She not only repeated on the First Team but was almost a unanimous choice as the Player of the Year. Joining Myers on the first team are two players from last season’s Third Team, Aaquila Youngblood from Obama and Chardonnay Littlejohn from Carrick. Also making the First Team is Brittany Jackson from Westinghouse and Sierra Fordham from Allderdice. Sydnee Abernathy from Allderdice barely missed the First Team. The only other repeats were: Latosha Fortson from Perry who moved from Third Team last season to Second Team this season, and Sierra Fordham from Allderdice who moved from Honorable Mention to First Team, receiving one vote for Player of the Year. PLAYER OF THE YEAR—Jasmine Myers, Westinghouse (Photos by William McBride)last_img read more

Jets’ Nelson hosting foster kid who made headlines

first_imgNew York Jets wide receiver David Nelson kneels during the second half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — David Nelson needed to do something as soon as he heard Davion Only’s story.The New York Jets wide receiver was blown away, just as so many others around the world were, by Only’s emotional adoption plea in October. Only, a 15-year-old boy who was born in prison and raised in foster care, stood up in front of a church congregation in St. Petersburg, Fla., and begged for a family to love him.“I’ll take anyone,” Only said. “Old or young, Dad or Mom, black, white, purple, I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.”It was enough to send many to tears, eager to try to help. Nelson, who started the nonprofit organization i’mME with his two brothers to aid orphaned children, got on the phone with his publicist immediately.“It’s a powerful story,” Nelson said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I read it and just felt a calling to reach out to Davion.”5-year-old Davion Only has been inundated with people offering to adopt him after his public plea for a familyOnly, who has since been featured on various television talk shows and news programs, is getting a chance at his dream as he’ll spend the holidays with prospective adoptive parents. But first, he’ll be a guest of Nelson and his organization in New York this weekend.Only and a friend will tour Manhattan, including trips to Rockefeller Center, FAO Schwartz and Central Park.“A crash course in Christmastime in the city,” Nelson said, smiling.Only will also meet with Nelson and other players Sunday before the Jets’ game against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium.“My reasoning was to get him out here, get him to the football game and get him around the guys, not so he could be blessed by the guys but so the guys could meet him and kind of be blessed,” Nelson said. “He speaks on behalf of all the orphans across America who are in his shoes, to speak on behalf of the voiceless.”That’s a subject close to Nelson’s heart, one that drives him each day to try to make a difference.It’s a journey that began during Memorial Day weekend in 2011, when he traveled to Haiti with his then-girlfriend and her sister to visit abandoned and orphaned children. Nelson, then playing for the Buffalo Bills, figured it would make for a nice publicity opportunity. Once he got there, everything changed.“Honestly, I went there for selfish reasons, really,” he said. “To see these kids, who have nothing they can call their own or have anything to hold onto, you get to know them and spend time with them, you realize, ‘Wow, these kids don’t want my money, or the toys or candy that I brought for them. They just want me to hold them, sing them a song or play soccer with them.’“That touched me on a deep, intimate level. I was wrecked and completely humbled.”He and his brothers Patrick and Daniel had drifted apart over the years, but while in Haiti, he felt an inexplicable urge to re-connect with them. So, after returning from the trip, he told his brothers about his experience and asked them if they’d like to join him when he went back to Haiti.Less than two months later, all three Nelson brothers were in Haiti, reunited and spending time helping abandoned children.“The whole time we were there,” Nelson recalled, “we were saying, ‘We were made for this. We were made to help these kids.’”The brothers decided to make their mission official, establishing the nonprofit i’mMe on Jan. 5, 2013.“We just haven’t looked back,” said Nelson, who has traveled to Haiti about seven times. “And, it’s been an incredible journey.”The brothers are currently holding a 35-day campaign called “House The Vision,” a fundraising drive to help them get started on building a family village in Haiti. With the Jets out of the playoff picture, Nelson is scheduled to fly to Haiti on Jan. 15 and get to work on the planned eight or nine cottages which will house six or seven kids each.He keeps in touch with several of the children he has met, using Skype and emails to stay connected. Nelson and his brothers are also in the process of obtaining legal guardianship over 22 kids in Haiti.“We were leaving one time and a kid walked up to me to give me a hug, and she said something in Creole and I didn’t know what it meant,” Nelson said. “I asked a translator about five minutes later and he said that she said to me, ‘Please don’t ever forget me.’“As soon as I heard that, I lost it.”Nelson’s efforts aren’t exclusive to Haiti. He and i’mMe are also holding a toy drive through Sunday at The Grasshopper off the Green in Morristown, N.J., to benefit an orphanage in Denville.“I find inspiration in these kids,” Nelson said. “When you talk to them, you can tell there is still hope and you can see it in their eyes. They know they have a purpose and they just don’t know how to bring it to the surface. There’s greatness inside of them, but it just isn’t being ignited.”Nelson is tied for third on the Jets with 27 catches for 324 yards after being signed by New York as a free agent in October. While establishing himself as an important part of the Jets’ offense, he has also found balance between football and his passion off the field.“This experience has changed perspectives for me,” Nelson said. “I love football and I love what I do, and when I’m here, I’m here. I give it everything I have. But at the same time, football is what I do. It’s not who I am.“This organization and the kids, helping other people, that’s my life. That’s who I am.”___Online: http://www.imme.org___NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org___Follow Dennis Waszak on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DWAZ73last_img read more

Cowboys sign 5th-round pick Devin Street from Pitt

first_imgPittsburgh wide receiver Devin Street makes a catch during a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)IRVING, Texas (AP) – The Dallas Cowboys have signed fifth-round draft pick Devin Street to a four-year contract.Street is a receiver from Pittsburgh, where his 202 career receptions are the most in school history. He was the 146th overall pick earlier this month.With Street signing Friday, the Cowboys have left unsigned only their top three draft picks. All five of their seventh-round draft picks signed during a rookie minicamp last weekend.Unsigned are first-round pick Zack Martin, the offensive tackle from Notre Dame; second-round pick DeMarcus Lawrence, a defensive end from Boise State; and fourth-round pick Anthony Hitchens, a linebacker from Iowa.last_img read more

ND looking at 4 football players in academic probe

first_imgIn this Nov. 17, 2012 file photo, Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson throws against Wake Forest during the first half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind. Golson has reclaimed the job as Notre Dame’s starting quarterback after being suspended last semester for academic impropriety. Coach Brian Kelly on Wednesday said Golson would start against Rice on Aug. 30 and said he hopes he will be the starter for the entire season. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, file)SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame is facing the possibility of losing three starters before the football season has even begun after another embarrassing hit for a university that prides itself on high academic standards.The university on Friday barred KeiVarae Russell, the team’s best cornerback, leading returning receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams, and backup linebacker Kendall Moore from practice and games while it investigates “suspected academic dishonesty.”The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, said the school is looking into allegations the players had course work done for them.The news comes a season after quarterback Everett Golson was suspended for the 2013 season for academic impropriety and after Daniels was suspended for the spring semester.The Irish finished 9-4 behind Tommy Rees last season, but coming off an appearance in the BCS title game in 2012 it was a step back.Golson has returned, but now coach Brian Kelly could be scrambling to fill holes before opening his fifth season in South Bend at home against Rice on Aug. 30.Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Kelly was “devastated” by the news.Jenkins and Swarbrick expressed support for Kelly.“We have great confidence in Brian and his staff,” Jenkins said. “They have been nothing but supportive.”Jenkins said the investigation shows Notre Dame’s honor system works, saying it was started when someone on the university staff became suspicious of papers and homework turned in by the players.“At any university you’re dealing with young people. The vast majority of them make good decisions. But young people sometimes make bad decisions,” he said. “Our job is to hold them accountable and to use those incidents as ways to educate them. That’s what we’re doing.”Jenkins said Notre Dame has notified the NCAA about the inquiry. Because of potential violations, the four players can’t compete until the conclusion of the investigation and the university honor code process.Jenkins said during a news conference that no student has been judged responsible for “academic dishonesty.”“Nobody has been dismissed,” Jenkins said.Jenkins said there is no timetable regarding how long the investigation will take.“We will take as long as it takes to have a thorough and fair investigation and proceed through our academic honor code process,” Jenkins said.He added that such investigations at Notre Dame aren’t common “but it happens.”The university also is investigating if other students are involved. Jenkins said it was too early to say if the four players acted together.Jenkins said if it is found they violated the school’s honor code the penalties could range from an F on an assignment, to an F in the course, to dismissal from school. The penalty would be decided by an honor committee.Swarbrick said the players haven’t been suspended. He said they remain grant-in-aid students and have access to athletic facilities and resources.Jenkins said he didn’t want to speculate on possible NCAA punishment, while Swarbrick said the NCAA usually defers to a university when it comes to academic integrity.“There are a few narrow instances where that triggers an NCAA concern, but I must stress we have no evidence of most of those here. No involvement by a member of the coaching staff, no transcript impropriety, those sorts of things,” he said. “If it has NCAA consequences, we’ll let them know.”Jenkins said the school would vacate victories if it is determined players have been ineligible during past competition. All four were members of the 2012 team that played for the BCS national championship.The investigation is the latest in a series for the Irish in the past 15 months involving academics, starting with Golson.Jerian Grant, the leading scorer on the basketball team at the time, was suspended in December for the spring semester because of an academic violation. Daniels was suspended two weeks later for the spring semester and was recently reinstated.Swarbrick said the previous cases were different.“Let’s not confuse academic probation, where you don’t make grades in a semester, with academic dishonesty. They are very different things,” he said.Jenkins said he doesn’t believe it’s a sign Notre Dame has to make changes in the student-athletes it admits.“We’re confident that the students we admit have the capacity to be successful,” he said.last_img read more

Franklin era begins! Penn State tops UCF 26-24 with last-second FG

first_imgPenn State Nittany Lions celebrate after defeating UCF Knights during the Croke Park Classic, Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, Aug. 30,2014. University of Central Florida hosted Penn State in their 2014 football Season Opener Saturday. This big season opener for UCF and Penn State is the first time that they have played outside the United States. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)DUBLIN (AP) — Penn State won a thrilling season opener with a 36-yard field goal as time expired to defeat the University of Central Florida 26-24 in front of a raucous 55,000-strong crowd in Ireland.Behind second-half replacement quarterback Justin Holman, the Knights appeared to have scored their own unlikely come-from-behind victory when Holman scored on a 6-yard touchdown run to put UCF up 24-23 with 1:13 left.But Christian Hackenberg — capping a 32-for-47, 454-yard performance — coolly directed a seven-play drive to set up Sam Ficken’s fourth successful field goal as the Penn State bench swarmed the field.Saturday’s winners received the Dan Rooney Trophy, a specially commissioned football made of ancient Irish bog wood, as cannons blasted blue-and-white streamers and confetti into the air at Dublin’s Croke Park, a stadium that normally hosts Gaelic football matches, not American football games.Penn State’s new football coach, James Franklin, poses for photos after he was introduced Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, in State College, Pa. From left in back are Penn State athletic director David Joyner; Franklin; his wife, Fumi Franklin; and Penn State President Rodney Erickson. The Franklins’ children, Shola, 6, left, and Addison, 5, are in front. (AP Photo/John Beale)Hackenberg spoiled a stunning performance by Holman, who came on for the second drive of the second half after coach George O’Leary benched the ineffective Pete DiNovo. The redshirt freshman was 3 of 8 for 18 yards.Penn State ended the first half up 10-3, but should have been ahead by more as UCF struggled to move the ball at all. Both teams looked let-lagged in what was the first overseas game in either school’s history.The Nittany Lions’ opening drive was extended by a roughing-the-kicker penalty, then Hackenberg dropped a 44-yard bomb between two defenders to receiver DaeSean Hamilton. Zach Zwinak finally punched the ball in from the 1-yard line on his third attempt to put Penn State up 7-0.A 68-yard kickoff return by Jordan Akins gave UCF the ball on Penn State’s 23, but O’Leary gambled and lost with a 4th down decision to go for it on PSU’s 1-yard line. DiNovo’s rollout straight into a pass rush was doomed from the start and he threw the ball away.UCF cornerback Jacoby Glenn made a diving interception on Hackenberg’s next possession, but the Knights could manage only a 36-yard Shawn Moffitt field goal to make the score 10-3.The game tempo accelerated as soon as Holman entered the game. He ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third, a 10-yard bullet to Josh Reese with 11:31 left that narrowed Penn State’s lead to 20-17.last_img read more

SIAC once again leads NCAA Division II football attendance

first_imgAtlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (S-I-A-C) received a notice by the NCAA indicating that it had inadvertently missed five games among the SIAC’s total football attendance for the 2013 season.With the addition to the five games, the SIAC has led NCAA Division II football attendance average for 11 consecutive years. The missed games from the 2013 slate included: Albany State vs. Fort Valley State (Fountain City Classic), Albany State vs. Miles (SIAC Football Championship), Benedict vs. Fort Valley State, Central State vs. Morehouse (Chicago Football Classic) and Morehouse vs. Tuskegee (Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic).The attendance of the five games totaled was shy of 67,000 giving the SIAC an attendance total of 334,783 averaging 6,696 among 50 games in 2013.“We very much appreciate the staff at the NCAA for bringing this discrepancy to our attention,” said SIAC commissioner Gregory Moore. “The SIAC takes great pride in the incredible fan support that has allowed us to lead NCAA Division II football attendance 11 consecutive years and 22 of the last 24 seasons.”Since 1990, the SIAC led Division II football’s average attendance for 22 seasons including totaling 300,000 on 17 occasions. Within the time frame, the league holds the highest number for season attendance with 456,289 (1994) averaging 10,140 per game featuring conference teams that year.About The SIAC:The SIAC is a NCAA athletic conference consisting primarily of historically black colleges and universities with headquarters in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The primary mission and purpose of the SIAC is “to leverage intercollegiate athletics to the benefit of our student-athletes and to advance the overarching strategic interests of SIAC member institutions.” The SIAC includes 15 member institutions (Albany State University, Benedict College, Central State University Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College, Miles College, Morehouse College, Paine College, Spring Hill College, Stillman College, Tuskegee University) which are located within a contiguous six-state footprint (Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Ohio). The SIAC sponsors seven men’s and six women’s sports and is a proud member of the NCAA Division II.For more details, visit www.thesiac.comlast_img read more