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Sep 05, 2014 | 09:28 AM

The Rocky Road to Rio

For months, The Buzz has been covering the progress of the golf course being built for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Despite numerous problems, construction has continued—if delayed—and it’s always been assumed that the Gil Hanse-designed layout will be ready in time. But the latest bump in the rocky road looks to be the biggest yet, with a local judge ruling that changes must be made to the course to meet “environmental concerns.” As reported here a few weeks ago, large sections of Atlantic rainforest are being taken over by the course. The judge has given the prosecutors—who sued the city of Rio and the course developer—until September 17 to offer a proposal that would protect as much land as possible while letting the course be built. Judge Eduardo Klausner said, “It is in society’s interests that the Olympics take place and it’s also in society’s interests that the environment be preserved.” A forest engineer working with the government said that the damage is not irreversible. According to Yahoo Sports, “She proposed the creation of a 400 meter- (yard-) wide corridor to allow for the circulation of animals between the wooded areas on either side of the course.” Speaking for the International Golf Federation, Ty Votaw has said, “There are contingency plans. What they are is not something we’re going to share right now.” We may start hearing more about those plans soon.

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Sep 04, 2014 | 11:58 AM

Aces High

Whoever aces the 12th or 15th holes at Cherry Hills Country Club this week at the BMW Championship gets a brand new BMW. But the title sponsor will also contribute $100,000 per ace to the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation. It’s happened three times since 2010 (thanks to Sean O’Hair, Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan). In fact proceeds from the tournament have benefitted the Foundation since 2007, raising $16 million in college scholarships for caddies. Founded in 1930 and named for Chick Evans, the first amateur golfer to win both the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in 1916, the Foundation has 870 students currently enrolled at 19 universities, mostly in the Midwest. Gary McCord spoke earlier this week of his connection to a past Evans Scholar. "I remember playing the Western Open at Butler National, and that was when they had all of these kids – Evans Scholars – as caddies," McCord said. "Some years later, I got a letter from the kid that caddied for me. He talked about how much it meant for him to caddie for me. Then he told me he was now a judge. I mean, are you kidding me? That's incredible."

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Sep 03, 2014 | 03:54 PM

Golf Warrior

Bill Sampson, the director of golf at Old Tabby Golf Links near Hilton Head, S.C., went above and beyond the call of duty on Patriot Golf Day this past Sunday. Starting at 6:49 am and finishing at 7:15 Sampson played 202 holes of golf and raised more than $42,000 from members, some of who pledged as much as $5 a hole and $5 per birdie (he made 29 of them and one eagle). Not only is it likely some sort of individual Patriot Golf Day fundraising record, but it’s also one of the fastest 11+ rounds, too, working out to less than four minutes a hole and about an hour for 18. How did he do it? With two leapfrogging forecaddies getting yardages, reading putts, and fixing divots and ball marks and other players letting him play through, not to mention a fast cart. "My hands were really tired by the end, but it was fun," says Sampson, who's been at it since 2009 when he raised $11,00 (last year he pulled in $37,000). Sampson wasn’t the only head pro playing a marathon round on behalf of the Folds of Honor Foundation. Karl Kimball of Hillandale Golf Course in Durham, N.C., played 354 holes in 24 hours using glow balls at night, raising more than $3,000.

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Sep 02, 2014 | 10:16 AM

Weather Report

That old saying, “everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it,” may be in for a rethink with the release of Accuweather’s MinuteCast as a mobile app. Now, on those rainy weekend mornings when you’re not sure whether to head to the first tee, you can get an accurate, minute-by-minute read on when the rain will begin and how heavy it will be for the next two hours, all specific to your exact street address. MinuteCast is free and is available at the AppStore and through Accuweather.com

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