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Tribune Staff

While watching the British Open on television last weekend, The Sports Guy's mind got to wandering. After all, it had to be the most boring major sports championship since the Giants-Ravens puntathon in Super Bowl 35. columnist Gene Wojciechowski, a name I'm admittedly throwing in here because I know it will give my proofreader fits, compared Sunday's final round of the Open to staring in the mirror for four and a half hours and watching your eyebrow hair grow. My eyebrows are evidently more exciting than Wojciechowski's, because at 11 a.m. last Sunday, that would have sounded like a welcome proposition.

If, as former NFL head coach Herm Edwards is fond of saying, you play the game to win, then Sunday's final round of the British Open should have consisted solely of Louis Oosthuizen (there's another bone for the ol' proofreader). Everyone else was simply going through the motions of conservatively playing to not lose a tournament they weren't winning.

The 2010 edition of the British Open stirred up as much excitement about golf as vanilla stirs up interest in an ice cream buffet. Apparently the ‘major' in this leg of golf's major titles was a modifier describing the boredom one received by tuning in.

In the midst of the nondescript play by golf's supposed best and brightest, yours truly caught himself marveling at just one thing. The Old Course at St. Andrews deserves a place alongside blood transfusions, Nikola Tesla and the advent of the forward pass as things truly ahead of their time.

Think about it, faithful reader. We're talking about a golf course layout established in the mid-1800s that, with relatively few changes, remains relevant in a sport where oversized, aerodynamic, depleted uranium driver heads, graphite shafts, square grooves and balls engineered to spin on command have virtually re-written the sport over the past 15 years.

By contrast, consider that Augusta National, usually heralded as the gold-standard against which all other American courses should be compared, was constructed nearly a full century after the Old Course. It has been forced over the past decade to make numerous layout changes to avoid being overwhelmed by technology.

Then there are courses like Denver's famed Cherry Hills, site of the 1960 U.S. Open where Arnold Palmer rallied from seven strokes back on the final day to claim victory. Cherry Hills was removed from the U.S. Open rotation decades after its 1923 construction because the advance of technology had rendered the course too short for major golf. Despite two concerted efforts to lengthen the layout, it is still considered too short to serve as the host for a modern men's major (although the 2012 U.S. Amateur will be contested there).

Lest this be construed as a lament that they just don't build ‘em like they used to, let me be very clear. They wouldn't build them like this at all today.

The Old Course features seven so-called “common” greens, meaning that two tee boxes are playing to different hole placements on the same green. For example, the green for hole 3 also has the flag that folks playing hole 15 are aiming for.

The tee shot on hole 17 at the Old Course features a blind carry over the corner of a hotel. That's the sort of thing typically reserved for a round of Combat Golf on the Playstation.

Try proposing either of those features today and see how quickly the lawyers step in and object for fear of the ensuing lawsuits.

The Old Course has one other unique feature not seen in the modern era — it was designed to be played backwards. Three days out of each year, golfers can do something that I imagine would be very frowned upon at the Powell Golf Club by stepping onto the first teebox and aiming toward the hole 17 green, playing their entire round in reverse.

In retrospect, that's probably the only way Sunday's final round could have held any intrigue. At least I have a new-found appreciation for my eyebrows.

It's time for the state to rethink student assessment

NCS Pearson, the company that administers Wyoming's student assessment — the Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students, or PAWS — is running a public apology for technical glitches that rendered many students' test scores unusable this year.

Due to the widespread nature of the test problems, the state has requested that some scores be thrown out. And, according to an Associated Press report, the state Department of Education estimates the problems cost the state about $9.5 million in damages.

In addition, the colossal waste of teacher and student time can't be ignored. In an attempt to meet mandates in the No Child Left Behind Act, instructors spend months teaching to statewide assessment tests. Students feel the pressure to perform, and valuable class time is spent preparing for and taking the PAWS test.

NCS Pearson certainly owes the education department, teachers, students and parents an apology, as well as financial restitution, for its ineptitude — but it's time for the state to question its relationship with the company and to move forward in evaluating and rethinking its assessment process.

The State Superindent of Public Instruction oversees the Department of Education — the person who wins that race in the November elections should make a revamp of student assessment a top priority, and NCS Pearson should not figure into the equation.

(Jan. 10, 1947 - July 15, 2010)

Fred Prestly Riddle, 63, of Gillette, died July 15, 2010, doing what he loved, driving truck.

Rosario “Rosie” V. Bustos, 94, died at St. John's Care Center in Billings on Tuesday, July 20, 2010.


Fire consumes a pickup inside a garage on Dick and Lois Asher's property on Shoshone Street. Tribune photo by Ilene Olson

Cause of Shoshone Street blaze unknown

A garage behind the home of Dick and Lois Asher on Shoshone Street was fully engulfed in flames at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday when neighbor John Wasden banged on their front door to warn them of the danger.

Frightened by the late-night, insistent banging, Lois Asher said she hesitated to answer the door at first — then she saw the light from the flames behind the house and realized what was happening.

A bill authorizing a study to determine if the site of the former Heart Mountain Relocation Center should be managed by the National Park Service passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

The bill, H.R. 3989, passed the House on a voice vote on July 13, and now will move to the Senate for consideration.

A new back-country fire near Beach Lake in Yellowstone National Park was estimated at 150 acres in size with zero percent containment Monday afternoon by the National Park Service.

The Beach Lake Fire, discovered Sunday morning, is seven miles southwest of Bridge Bay campground and two miles south of Beach Lake in Yellowstone's interior.


The baseball eludes Powell Pioneer second baseman Dallas Robirds while attempting to make a play against a Cody Cubs baserunner during the Pioneers' 13-1 victory in Cody last week. Tribune photo by Ben Wetzel

Pioneers finish undefeated run through Northwest Conference

The Powell Pioneers used a revolving door philosophy on Sunday to sweep a doubleheader from Jackson in the final regular-season games of the summer for Post 26. The Pioneers' wins came by final scores of 15-8 and 14-4.

The victories also placed the final touches on an undefeated conference campaign. Powell was 12-0 against its fellow Northwest Conference members this year and carries a 37-12-2 mark into district tournament play this week in Cody.

All-stars get a shot to defend state title

The Powell Babe Ruth all-stars squad shut down a trio of Big Horn Basin teams to capture the Wyoming District 4 Babe Ruth title over the weekend. Powell knocked off Cody, Lovell and Worland to win the tournament in Worland.

Powell opened tournament play with a 10-2 victory over Cody, thanks to a strong start in the game. Powell sent 10 players to bat in the first inning, scoring five runs to take control of the game early.

Panthers to host personal development guru

Shane Warwick, a personal workout instructor with 15 years of combined high school and collegiate head coaching experience, will be the featured clinician at an advanced offensive basketball camp next week. Powell High School head boys' basketball coach Mike Heny announced the camp, which is geared toward those entering grades 4-12.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for kids to work on the offensive elements of their game,” said Heny.

The clinic is designed to give campers an introduction to post and perimeter moves currently in use among college and professional players. Shooting instruction, footwork and shot preparation, live and dead ball moves, ball handling, face-up and drop-step power moves will be among the focal points of the clinic.

“The goal of the workout is to provide athletes with a high-intensity workout and skill sets needed to make their individual workouts more productive, thereby enhancing the athlete's game,” notes Warwick.

As a player, Warwick was a two-time all-conference performer at South Dakota's Northern State University. He has nine years of college coaching experience and has twice been named South Dakota's collegiate coach of the year. He has four conference championships to his credit and has been called the nation's best personal workout instructor by Reggie Brown of Priority Sports in Chicago.

The clinic in Powell will be organized into morning and afternoon sessions. The morning session will run from 9 a.m.-noon on Monday, July 26, and 8-11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 27. It is geared toward those entering grades 8-12.

Afternoon sessions will run from 1-3 p.m. on Monday, July 26 and noon-2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27. The afternoon session is for those entering grades 4-7.

The cost for the morning session is $105. Afternoon session cost is $85. Athletes receive a t-shirt and shorts with their registration.

For more information about the camp or to register, contact Heny at 271-7073 or (307) 202-1410.

Page 497 of 526


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