Record scoring, record purses and crypto country clubs

justin thomas

Justin Thomas made it clear Saturday: Record scoring is all about the conditions of the course.

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Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the hottest topics in the sport, and join the conversation by tweeting us @golf_com. This week, we break down how scoring records fell at Kapalua, a massive USGA announcement, how private clubs could look in the future, and more.

1. Cam Smith won the Sentry Tournament of Champions, in Maui, on Sunday with an eye-popping score of 34-under, beating Jon Rahm by just one stroke. The story of the week is in there: yep, the scoring, in particular in the third round when the 38-player field averaged nearly six under par. Justin Thomas, one of two players to shoot a course-record 12 under on Saturday, described the birdie bonanza this way: “Golf fans just need to understand what causes scores. I think everybody, they just see, ‘Oh, they’re hitting it so far now, that’s why it’s so low.’ It’s like no, it’s so low because it’s so soft and if you give us soft conditions, fairways this big, course this short, we’re going to shoot nothing.” Does JT have it right? Do gettable conditions have more impact on scoring than the distance boom?

Sean Zak, senior editor (@sean_zak): There’s no question, just don’t let JT downplay one half of this debate. A few times a year, a tricky course will be set up firm, with greens Stimping at 14. Muirfield Village is a great example. Players have to work harder, caddies have to work harder. Scoring is just plain hard. Generally, when conditions are soft, the aerial assault is a game of darts with these robots swinging the clubs. And when they hit it as far as they do, it’s assault with wedges only. That’s more of the issue.

Josh Sens, senior writer (@joshsens): For sure. That’s why Tiger-proofing did anything but. And why just adding distance now mostly just narrows the pool of potential winners (while having terrible trickle down effects in the amateur game). The better answer is through great architecture and thoughtful setup that tests without becoming tricked up. Easier said than done.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer: Right, Josh. Nick Price said this in 1998: If you want to Tiger-proof a course, make it shorter. The best course I’ve seen for the pros in years was Royal Melbourne. Short, bouncy, curvey. 

Dylan Dethier, senior writer (@dylan_dethier): Sure. There’s also yardage and there’s yardage. The greens were soft this week at Kapalua. But the fairways were still plenty slopey. Some of the long holes played a whole bunch shorter because balls were rolling 30, 40, 60 yards once they landed. At Pebble Beach you can’t really say the same, especially when it’s 53 degrees and foggy. The boring answer here is the right one: It’s a combination of factors! But an incredibly wide course with extra rollout in the fairways that’s also soft on the greens is basically the perfect way to generate low scores.

James Colgan, assistant editor (@jamescolgan26): Well yes, JT is 100 percent right. Soft conditions help low scores. But, as Sean pointed out, it sure doesn’t hurt to play from soft conditions with a wedge in hand. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle.

Cameron Smith

34 under!?! Cam Smith topples Jon Rahm, smashes scoring record in Hawaii


Sean Zak

2. World No. 1 Jon Rahm, fresh off not playing since the middle of October, looked like he had hardly skipped a beat at the Tournament of Champions, peeling off rounds of 66, 66, a course-record 61 and an 66, only to not win on the Plantation Course at Kapalua. Four rounds into 2022, let’s set a prop bet: Rahm will win over/under four times this year. And please explain your answer!

Zak: Under! Only once in his professional life has Rahm won four times in a calendar year, and that’s inclusive of both European and PGA Tour schedules. That’s a lot of winning. There are too many good players to consistently beat like that. Disclaimer: I’d love to watch a 6-win season!

Bamberger: I don’t know. Three more? I could see it. I’ll take four. 

Sens: Well, since I picked him to win the Grand Slam a few weeks ago, I should prolly stick with ‘over.’

Dethier: Under. It’s damn hard to win four times on Tour! He’ll win three, though, which is pretty close.

Colgan: It’s about time somebody took over golf for a period of time again. If anybody’s gonna do it, it’ll be Rahm. Give me the over.

3. The USGA, in Mike Whan’s first major move as the governing body’s new CEO, announced three blockbuster changes to the U.S. Women’s Open. Among the enhancements: more signature venues — including Riviera in 2026, Inverness in 2027 and Pinehurst No. 2 in a back-to-back with the men in 2029 — and a boost in purse size, from $5.5 million last year to $10 million this year, with a promise to take it soon to $12 million. What is the biggest potential ripple effect from these announcements? 

Zak: Events love to boast a big purse size. Events love having the “biggest purse in golf.” All it will do is continue to raise the bar for the second biggest purse in golf. And the third and the fourth. Sure, adding a presenting sponsor technically cheapens the name of the event, but if that’s what it takes for women’s golf to move closer to equal pay for its championships, it is such a small, small price to pay. 

Sens: The money is the least interesting part of it. Staging events at cooler venues makes for more compelling competitions, which draws more eyeballs. Which the women’s game deserves. 

Dethier: The biggest potential ripple effect is that the U.S. Women’s Open cements itself as the biggest event in all of women’s golf, that more people are eager to watch them play familiar and/or intriguing golf courses and therefore more people stick with the game both as a televised product and as a pastime at home. That’s best-case, of course! But the USGA is doing the right thing in embracing the women’s game wholeheartedly. It’s a non-profit, after all, with the stated goal of growing the game. When it comes to getting girls and women involved, there’s still plenty of work to do. A few million bucks to the best women on the planet is just a start.

Bamberger: BIGGEST ripple effect? More exposure for the women’s game, which means more girls, all over the world, taking up the game.

Colgan: You’re right on, Sean. Purse payouts, exposure, growth — they all come incrementally. Big changes mean smaller changes, too. In this case, the purse jump has the potential to reimagine the way we view prize money for women. That’s a damn good thing, and I’d say presents a pretty significant ripple effect.

Yuka Saso

Women’s Open champ follows the men, and her awe is one of the best things you’ll see


Nick Piastowski

4. Week 1 of the new PGA Tour rules changes is in the books, and a wrinkle has revealed itself with the use of Tour-approved yardage books, and the ban on the formerly-allowed greens books. While most players said they were OK with the change, honesty will be in play, as there will be little to prevent a player or caddie from simply taking the old info and penciling it in the new books. Cause for concern?

Zak: Golf’s honor code should win out here. This is a player-driven rule, and players don’t want their reputation tarnished if any little advantage they (or their caddie) creates becomes a stinky rumor. The reliance upon that endless amount of information should cede in importance to players’ routines, too. 

Bamberger: I agree. When guys cheat, it’s usually because the opportunity presents itself, not because it’s premeditated. 

Sens: In the end, you still have to hit the shots and stroke the putts. I suppose some might try to take advantage, but even if they do, will it have a profound impact on results? I doubt it.

Dethier: I’m with Sens. Does it really matter? They holed plenty of birdie putts this week, theoretically without the books. If you give golfers access to extra resources, they’ll use them, but I’m not convinced they actually help these finely-tuned pros that much. I hope they don’t cheat, because cheating is a bummer, but I’m not concerned about any potential advantage. Read the putt, hit the putt.

Colgan: I’m not too worried about it. We rely on honesty all the time in the golf, I don’t see why this would be any different. And when honesty doesn’t work? Karma is a powerful beast.

5. LinksDAO, a virtual community of golf-lovers with a nose for disruption is aiming to shake things up in the real world by reimagining the country club. Central to LinksDAO’s plans is to buy a Top 100-caliber course and transform it into a modern golf and leisure club: a playground for “a global community of thousands of enthusiasts.” This crowdfunded purchase would be made with cryptocurrency, and the collective said it has already raised $11 million. In your mind, does this approach to club-building have legs?

Zak: Totally! People have more money, more work freedom, a greater ability to travel and more enhanced communication practices than ever before. Investing it in tangible things, experiences, or community building has also become increasingly popular with the best generation: the millennials (wink, wink). It makes perfect sense. Side note: They’ll need a lot more than $11 million to create or buy a Top 100-caliber course.

Sens: Raising the money to buy and renovate a course strikes me as the easy part. The tougher part will be delivering on the other disruptive pledges these groups are making. LinksDAO, like other recently formed groups in this space, say they want to upend stodgy club conventions and create a new, more egalitarian culture. And they plan to do it by giving every member a say. Sounds great in theory. But what happens when the tough decisions start. Which property, exactly, do you buy? Who gets the premiere tee times? Where do you cap membership? And on. No matter what currency people spend, no matter what platform they communicate on, in the end, they’re still people, driven by ego and self-interest. Prone to power grabs both large and petty. Some are quite nice. Many are insufferable. That, in my opinion, is where the bigger challenges lie for LinksDAO and the others. At some point, as they go about trying to reimagine the old country club model and bring this dreamy ‘community’ from the ether to the real world, they’re going to run up against human nature. Crypto financing and utopian talk do not alone solve for that. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds. 

Bamberger: Yes, it has legs. People are tired of class distinction in every walk of life. “You’re good enough for us; you’re not.” Here, if you can pay, you can play. Look at how well the Pebble Beaches and the Pinehursts are doing. This is an extension of that, with less tradition, and lower walls. It’s like hoodies. That’s not a debate anymore. Of COURSE you can wear a hoodie. This is another version of that. This is, Come on in.

Dethier: We’ve seen all manner of country club reinvention in the last decade-plus, and this is another version of that. I welcome further reinvention! With that said, while I’m no Luddite I think these projects have raised more questions than answers, so far. The crypto gang is great at talking a big game, and there are a lot of them, and they are worth a lot of money. How that actually translates to a more welcoming experience when you pull up to a course? I’m eager to see.

Colgan: This particular idea seems like a nightmarish web of legal and logistical hurdles, but as far as disrupting the traditional country club structure is concerned, consider me a supporter. It’s about time somebody found some success with a different approach.

6. Equipment release season is upon us! Putting specific brands aside, what’s one tip you’ve learned through your own gear-shopping experiences that you’d give a friend who’s looking to boost his or her bag?

Zak: Figure out your wedges. Whether it’s two of them or three, figure out which gaps you’d like to create. They’re not a drastic monetary investment, either. Couple that with some time investment and you will be a better golfer. Simple as that.

Sens: Get a putter that really fits your eye. Makes you feel good over the ball. It might be an ancient Billy Barou gathering dust in your grandfather’s garable. It might be the latest whizbang design. The tech matters much less than how it makes you feel. 

Bamberger: If you have something you like and know, keep it. Don’t let anybody shame you out of it. Those people are actually talking about themselves.

Dethier: Get fit for driver. (Get fit for irons, too!) Plenty of my golfing friends have trouble off the tee and it’s only exacerbated by the fact that they’re playing too stiff or too whippy a driver shaft. Golf is more fun when you can find the ball off the tee. Invest in the big stick.

Colgan: When it comes time to get fit, make sure you feel good about your game. Don’t go in the middle of the swing change. Don’t go when you haven’t swung a club in two months. Feel good about your game when it comes time to get gear. You’ll help your wallet AND your game in the long-term.

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Levy Earns a Spot on the AAC Weekly Honor Roll

Megan Coffey

Megan Coffey

Director / Strategic Brand Engagement

CINCINNATI – University of Cincinnati junior point guard Akira Levy earned a spot on the American Athletic Conference weekly honor roll, announced Monday afternoon.

It is her second award of the season so far; she previously earned Player of the Week honors on Nov. 15th.

It is the second straight week a Bearcat has made the weekly honor roll, as sophomore forward Malea Williams earned the honor Dec. 13th.

In the road win over Chattanooga Wednesday, she recorded 14 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, and one block in 36 minutes of play.


In 48 minutes of play in the 87-77 double overtime win over NC A&T, she scored a new season and career high both in points (22) and assists (12), which also marked her first double-double of the season. The 12 assists also tied her for third in the UC all-time list. Levy was also a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line, with both made and attempts a new season and career high and also tied her in fourth on the UC all-time list.


The Bearcats travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to face-off against Marquette University in the last game before the holiday season on Wednesday, Dec. 22. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT.


For all the latest information on Cincinnati women’s basketball, please visit For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Cincinnati WBB (@GoBearcatsWBB) and Coach Michelle Clark-Heard (@Coachheard) on Twitter. You can also follow the team on Facebook and Instagram


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Christmas packing tips: The ‘cheeky’ tip to beat hand luggage rules when travelling | Travel News | Travel

Travel rules may have tightened around the world, but many people are still jetting off to reunite with loved ones after long stretches of time apart. Though rules to do with Covid are constantly changing, one thing that is likely to remain the same is the baggage restrictions put in place by individual airlines.

Make sure you understand the hand luggage rules for your carrier

Hand luggage rules vary vastly from airline to airline, with some allowing larger or heavier bags to be brought onboard than others.

This is why Mr Ewart says it is vital you understand exactly what your airline permits before beginning the packing process.

He said: “Firstly, double-check with your airline what size of hand luggage you are allowed.

“Many of us may be flying this Christmas for the first time in a while and what some people may have missed is that over the last couple of years airlines, such as easyJet and Ryanair, have stopped including traditional sized hand luggage with their basic fares.

“Fliers are often surprised to find their ticket now only includes a small bag which fits under the seat in front.”

In the event your hand luggage is too big, your airline may require you to pay to check it in.

Ryanair, for example, will charge between £23.99 and £35.99 for those who need to check-in a 10kg back at the last minute.

This cost grows to between £39.99 and £59.99 if the bag weighs more than 20kg.

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Carry your gifts in a shopping bag

When it comes to December travel, Christmas presents could be the items that are tipping your baggage over the scale.

While paying for additional luggage is certainly one option, for a smaller amount of gifts, Mr Ewart let in on a rather “cheeky” tip.

He said: “It’s a bit cheeky, but if you’re bringing new but unwrapped items as gifts, why not carry them through the airport in a shopping bag belonging to a shop you know is in the airport?”

Pack outfits you can wear more than once

During the Christmas season, it can be tempting to go overboard with party wear. While this may offer diversity for your festive photoshoots, it’s likely to weigh heavily on your luggage allowance.

This is where a capsule-style wardrobe can come in.

Mr Ewart said: “Consider travelling with items that have duplicate purposes, rather than packing pyjamas, shorts or t-shirts used in bed could also be used for travel or for a workout.”

He added: “If you’re packing spare shoes, the space inside can offer protection for smaller items or be filled with socks.”

Don’t go overboard on cosmetics and toiletries

Toiletries and make-up, even when below the 100ml guidelines, can add unnecessary weight to your hand luggage.

Mr Ewart said: “If you’re going for more than a few days and are checking luggage, don’t pack shampoos and shower gels – buy after you fly.

“If you’re travelling to a hotel you may not even need to buy shampoo and shower gel.”

Even if your airline does not weigh cabin bags, though, make-up and perfume bottles can take up a chunk of space.

Instead, Mr Ewart advises portioning out exactly how much you need and using travel-size containers.

The expert explained: “If you’re only travelling for a few days, instead of carrying a makeup bag, put foundation and similar cosmetics in old contact lenses cases.”

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Gophers pass first big test vs. Pitt, improve to 6-0

The Minnesota Gophers passed their first big test as Luke Loewe’s tip-in with 2.4 seconds remaining helped Minnesota defeat Pittsburgh 54-53 on Tuesday night.

The Gopher offense was inconsistent throughout the first half as both teams struggled to get a bucket. After going into the first media timeout with a 2-0 lead, Minnesota started to find a rhythm by attacking the rim.

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What to do and where to stay on a city break to the Big Apple

Travel essentials

When to go

There’s never a bad time to visit New York, but with the US now open again to visitors from the UK and Europe and Thanksgiving taking place next week, hotel prices have shot up. Luckily, The City That Never Sleeps also doesn’t hibernate. So while the warmer months are wonderful for eating al-fresco or rooftop cocktails, winter is just as lively. From ice-skating in Central Park (1) to pictures by the Rockefeller Christmas Tree (2), the festive season in the world’s most filmed city always delivers some movie magic.
The pandemic has seen the city embrace all-season outdoor dining. Each restaurant has its own take on the dining hut, with some streets bursting with diners eating below wooden cframes and plastic tarp.

Where to stay

Pendry Manhattan West (3) ( opened in September, bringing SoCal cool to the edge of Manhattan’s luxury new riverside district, Hudson Yards. Its raison d’être as a high- end sanctuary apart from Manhattan matches that of the high-rise new development that it borders. There’s a rooftop bar, Peloton gym (guests can order the bikes to their room), Eastern Med restaurant Zou Zous, and the Garden Room – a relaxed, leafy space for light bites and evening cocktails. The building’s rippling glass façade is meant to evoke Pacific waves, while inside it’s contemporary-cool with fireplaces and an attention to the art of great lighting, especially at exclusive Bar Pendry. Doubles from $514 (£379).

Henn na Hotel (4) ( – “Strange Hotel” in Japanese – opened its doors to families and tech-nerds in October. It’s the first US outpost of a Tokyo classic, where guests are checked in by an animatronic T-Rex. Rooms at the Midtown hotel have cupboards that will clean and steam your clothes. Japanese breakfast lunch and dinner is at onsite sushi restaurant Gosuke. Doubles from $135 (£100).

How to get around

Contactless payments are now accepted across the MTA, making bus and metro travel a breeze (just tap once on the way in). Masks are mandatory and unlike London, everyone follows the rules. Above ground, Uber and Lyft were once king but with the pandemic prompting a boom in new cycle-lanes, the Citi Bike ride share scheme is now a real alternative for tourists. Find the docked cycles on almost every block – ebikes were introduced just before the pandemic – then unlock with the Citi Bike or Lyft app (from $3.50 for the first half hour). You must show your NHS Covid Pass to enter public indoor areas, including museums, restaurants and bars.


Start the day

Grab a stool at the bar at Baz Bagel (5) ( for Jewish comfort food, with retro vibes – think diner style seating and Barbara Streisand on the stereo. The Little Italy institution does one of the city’s best lox salmon and cream cheese bagels.

Don’t miss

City Climb (, New York’s stomach-dropping new attraction has just opened at the top of 30 Hudson Yards (6), the city’s 6th tallest building. For the world’s highest open air building ascent, thrill-seekers climb out onto the roof and hike 161 steps to the tip of the building. After admiring, or trying desperately to ignore, the view the final test is to dangle nearly 400 metres above the sidewalk below. Higher than the Empire State Building or The Shard, the skyscraper also has Edge, the highest observation deck in the Western Hemisphere that protrudes from the building at 100 storeys high for spectacular views over New York City and beyond from the west.

The Edge NYC at sunset (Photo: Related-Oxford)

In Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (7) ( focuses primarily on social justice through its public art exhibitions, by artists such as Caribbean-American Theda Sandiford. Open Fri-Sun, $10 (£7.50).

Time for a drink

The Garret in the West Village ( is, according to owner Gavin Moseley, “the best secret everyone knows about”. A spot to impress your partner with, the secret speakeasy is above a Five Guys on Bleecker Street (8). Enter the burger chain outlet and walk past the counter to a staircase that leads up to a hidden cocktail bar.

Dinner reservation

Forget the reservation, and head out on a pizza-slice crawl of the Village. Joe’s Pizza (9), the Greenwich Village institution on the corner at Bleecker and Carmine has been serving the classic New York slice for more than 37 years. For more toppings, see Bleecker Street Pizza (10), named best pizza in New York City three years running. Its chicken, bacon and ranch contains so much caramelised meat it would keep its form without the dough.


Go for a stroll

In the 12 years since opening, The High Line (11) – a park built on a disused elevated rail line – has flourished, with tree-lined sections at their fiery best in autumn. Traverse a mile and a half of Manhattan’s west side without ever stopping at a “crosswalk”, starting at Hudson Yards and finishing at the new Little Island park (12) ( Built atop 132 giant flower-shaped concrete “tulips” planted in the Hudson River, the park opened in May on the site of the storm-damaged Pier 55. There are lawns, paths, plants, viewing points and a 700-odd seat amphitheatre (free bookings mandatory in Spring and Summer).

Brunch break

Thai Diner (13) ( is the new place to be on Mott St, Chinatown’s unofficial Main Street. The menu fuses American comfort food with Thai favourites while its bamboo-panelled walls and framed pictures of the late Thai King are Bangkok kitsch. Leave room for the extensive, diner-inspired dessert menu.

Wollman Rink in Central Park (Photo: NYC & Company)

Time to relax

Hop on a Citi Bike to explore the full scale of Central Park and find a quiet spot by one of its eight lakes. A six-mile cycle loop around the park gives you a feel for its scale (twice the size of London’s Regent’s Park).

Have a treat

Stop at Rice to Riches (14) ( near Spring St Station for a rice pudding that’ll put nan’s Ambrosia to shame. Bowlfuls of the gloopy stuff are dished up in wacky flavours including Sex Drugs and Rocky Road, and Hazelnut Chocolate Bearhug.

Get out of town

Trains from Grand Central Station (15) to the seaside city of Milford, Connecticut take 1 hour 45. On the walk to Silver Sands State Park, pass homes on stilts built on the beach to defy the tides, then take a dip in the sea or wander the coastal park’s trails and boardwalks. Don’t miss the lobster rolls at Seven Seas or fully loaded hotdogs at Jake’s Diggity Dogs. For small town America, hop on a bus from New York Port Authority (16) to the village of New Paltz. Visitors to the Hudson Valley settlement can step back in time to America in the 1700s on Historic Huguenot Street or hike the S hawangunk Mountains.

Ask a local

Jennie Ng, Nurse

“Nitehawk Cinema ( in Williamsburg is my favourite. Old-ish, you can drink cocktails, order burgers and all sorts while you watch a movie. The theatre plays new, indie, and old school films. The last thing I watched there was Fear with Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon – part of the theatre’s erotic 90s thriller series.”

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Mavericks vs. Bulls – Game Recap – November 10, 2021

CHICAGO — — There is no secret to Lonzo Ball‘s improved 3-point shooting. He put the work in, and it’s paying off.

He has come a long way from long distance.

“It’s night and day now,” he said.

Ball made seven of Chicago’s 15 3-pointers and Zach LaVine scored 23 points, powering the Bulls to a 117-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

Ball went 7 for 10 from deep and finished with 21 points. He is shooting 44.7% from beyond the arc in his first year with the Bulls, continuing his steady rise from shooting 30.5% from 3 during his rookie season in 2017-18 with the Lakers.

“He deserves a lot of credit,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “He’s put in an incredible amount of work to get himself to that level.”

Five players scored in double figures for Chicago during its second consecutive victory. Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan finished with 17 points.

Dallas had won three straight and four of five overall, but couldn’t keep up with LaVine and Chicago in the second half. Kristaps Porzingis had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks, and Luka Doncic finished with 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

“I should take better shots,” said Doncic, who was 6 for 18 from the field. “I know I always say this, but honestly, I’ve got to do it, not just say it. I’ve got to be better.”

Dallas trailed by seven in the third quarter before Doncic wrapped the ball around his back and then lobbed to Dwight Powell for a jam over Vucevic with 3:29 left. The play drew an “ooohhh” from the United Center crowd of 20,910, but the rest of the period belonged to Chicago.

Alex Caruso converted a three-point play and made a jumper to give the Bulls a 95-80 lead after three. The reserve guard finished with 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting.

“I just tried to be aggressive when I had the ball and shots went in,” Caruso said.

Chicago was never seriously threatened in the fourth, and LaVine punctuated the win when he got an overhead pass from Ball and finished a 360-degree dunk with 1:50 remaining.

“The Bulls are back, man. That’s all I can say,” said Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 21 points for Dallas.

Doncic’s free throw gave the Mavericks a 51-48 lead with 4:46 left in the second quarter, but the Bulls closed the first half with a 13-3 run. LaVine opened the spurt with a 3-pointer and a dunk.

“Right there before half, with two minutes left, they went on a run, and we just couldn’t recover from that,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.


Mavericks: F Maxi Kleber (left oblique strain) missed his fifth straight game. Kidd said Kleber is doing better. “I don’t think we’ve got to the seven- or 10-day mark yet,” Kidd said. “But once we get there, I think I can give you a better update.”

Bulls: G Coby White (offseason left shoulder surgery) practiced with the team’s G League affiliate Tuesday. Donovan said White will have another workout on Thursday. “If things progress we’re hopeful at some point maybe on that West Coast swing that he’d be available to play,” Donovan said. The Bulls open a five-game trip at Golden State on Friday night. … F Patrick Williams (left wrist) will not travel with the team on its upcoming road trip, Donovan said.


Mavericks: At the San Antonio Spurs on Friday for their third meeting already this season. The Mavericks took the first two, winning 104-99 on Oct. 28 and 109-108 last week.

Bulls: At Golden State on Friday night. The Bulls have dropped eight in a row against the Warriors.


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Fort Myers Police need your help finding 3 men who stole money from a gaming machine


The Fort Myers Police Department needs your help in identifying three men in a grand theft investigation.

According to FMPD, the three men in the video below walked into the Hideaway Bar in downtown Fort Myers. They later managed to steal approximately $2,000 from a gaming machine located inside of the bar.

This happened on Saturday, October 16. The three men head straight for the machine. You can see the man wearing the black shirt and hat looking around the bar.

The men then huddled around the gaming machine.

Later, the man in the black hat starts looking around again. When he thinks the cost is clear, you can see the man take something from the machine.

Rich Kolko is WINK News’ Safety and Security Specialist. “They walked into the bar went directly to that location and started checking out the machine. That tells me they probably scouted the location out before. They knew how to exactly get into it and steal the money,” said Kolko.

Kolko believes he says these men were probably seen on that camera before. “Law enforcement is going to have some tips just depends if the restaurant or the bar had maintained previous videos,” Kolko said.

Even though the suspects tried to disguise themselves and kept looking down or away from the camera, the surveillance cameras do show enough to help investigators.

“When police do these investigations and make these arrests they find that in most cases these people don’t travel too far. So based on the fact that they have identifiable clothing, some hats, maybe some glimpses of their faces somebody in the Fort Myers area or Southwest Florida is going to recognize them and hopefully will lead to the tip needed to make the arrest,” Kolko said.

If you have any information about this case, you can call the Fort Myers Police Department at (239) 321-7700 or Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at (800) 780-8477.

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Young, Hawks open season with 113-87 rout of Mavericks

ATLANTA – Beginning a season of high expectations, the Atlanta Hawks showed they’re far more than Trae Young.

He’s their unquestioned leader, of course, but a 113-87 rout of the Dallas Mavericks displayed Atlanta’s impressive depth.

Cam Reddish scored 20 points, Young added 19 and four others scored in double figures as the Hawks blew away Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Thursday night, ruining the debut of Dallas coach Jason Kidd.

Coming off a surprising run to the Eastern Conference final, the Hawks took control of the game with a dominant third quarter, stretching a 51-44 halftime lead to 86-64 heading to the fourth.

After a sluggish start, Young scored 12 points and dished out nine assists in the decisive period, drawing chants of “MVP! MVP!” from the home crowd in the very first game.

Reddish led a stellar effort from the deep Hawks bench, which contributed 44 points.


Seven Hawks scored before Young finally knocked down his first shot with 4 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

“It’s a good problem to have,” Young said. “We’ve got so many guys who can play.”

Coach Nate McMillan, who guided the Hawks to a remarkable turnaround last season after taking over on an interim basis, wants his starters to play as hard as they can right from the opening tip.

“We can play 10, 11 guys,” McMillan said. “There’s no need to pace yourself when you have a bench that can come in. We want to keep the pressure on an opponent.”

The Mavericks were thoroughly miserable in their first game under Kidd, who had not been a head coach since he was fired in Milwaukee midway through the 2017-18 season.

Kidd learned before the game that he was picked as one of the NBA’s 75 greatest players as part of the league’s 75th anniversary.

It was all downhill from there.

The Mavericks appear to have a lot more work to do if they want to take the next step behind Doncic, their dynamic young star.


“I thought guys got great looks. They just didn’t go in for us,” said Kidd, who took over in Dallas after longtime coach Rick Carlisle stepped down on the heels of a first-round playoff loss last season.

With De’Andre Hunter doing a stellar defensive job, Doncic was held to 18 points on 6-of-17 shooting, to go along with 11 rebounds and seven assists.

He didn’t get much help from anyone except Jalen Brunson, who scored 17 off the bench.

The Mavericks shot a dismal 32.6% (31 of 93) from the field.

In the unending comparison between Young and Doncic, who were traded for each other during the 2018 draft, the Atlanta point guard was the clear winner in this one.

“We’ve got to find that balance so we’re not clogging up the paint,” said Kristaps Porzingis, who managed just 11 points and five rebounds. “Everybody has got to find their most comfortable spot.”


Leading by as many as 30, the Hawks were able to empty their bench in the fourth quarter.


Fourteen players got on the court for Atlanta, including first-round pick Jalen Johnson. He scored six points and grabbed two rebounds.

Everyone played for Atlanta except veteran Lou Williams, who suited up but was dealing with a hip injury.


Mavericks: Doncic played his 200th game in very rarified territory. He had already joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to reach 5,000 points, 1,500 rebounds and 1,500 assists by that career landmark.

Hawks: F Danilo Gallinari was ruled out with a nagging shoulder injury. Solomon Hill moved up to fill Gallinari’s spot on the second team. … The Hawks doled out 31 assists, compared to 16 for the Mavericks. … Dominique Wilkins received a standing ovation when he was introduced during the first timeout as a member of the 75th anniversary team.


Mavericks: Travel to Toronto to face the Raptors on Saturday. Dallas will finally play its home opener next Tuesday against the Rockets.


Hawks: Head to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers in their first road game Saturday.


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Covid-19: Public tip-off identified man who flew from Whangārei to Queenstown without exemption

A member of the public is believed to have tipped off police to a man who travelled from alert level 3 lockdown in Northland to Queenstown via Wellington without an appropriate travel exemption.

Police have confirmed the man flew from Whangārei to Wellington on a commercial flight on Saturday, police said.

He stayed overnight at a hotel near Wellington Airport on Saturday night before flying to Queenstown on Sunday morning.

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Police say the man is now self-isolating in Queenstown after leaving Whangārei’s level 3 lockdown.

Iain McGregor/Stuff

Police say the man is now self-isolating in Queenstown after leaving Whangārei’s level 3 lockdown.

The man was travelling for employment but did not have the necessary documentation to leave Whangārei under Covid-19 alert level 3, they said.

A Ministry of Health spokesman said the man returned a negative Covid-19 test on Monday, but would not comment on his vaccination status.

The ministry would be taking no further action and the matter would remain with police, the spokesman said.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said he understood a member of the public had alerted police to the man’s presence.

The man’s actions were inexcusable, and put the community and the struggling local economy at risk, he said.

The man would be encouraged to leave the district, he said.

Boult was also concerned that someone was able to get on a commercial flight without an exemption.

There was a high possibility Covid-19 would come to the South Island at some time, so he encouraged everyone to get vaccinated.

“I’m calling for 95 per cent of this community to be vaccinated forthwith,” he said.

Police are working to understand how he was permitted to fly without the appropriate documentation.

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult said the man’s actions were inexcusable.

Kavinda Herath/Stuff

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult said the man’s actions were inexcusable.

News of the man travelling without the correct documentation comes amid a raft of calls for a hard border between the South and North Islands.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern conceded that the situation meant a need for tighter checks at airports in the event of future regional lockdowns.

“Unlike Auckland and others where you have the AvSec (Aviation Security) staff, not all our regional airports have that usual staffing that can quickly change up their approach in order to ensure that we are doing that documentation check.

“I don’t necessarily have the full picture as to whether that contributed to the issue here.”

Ardern said that while first and foremost “we ask people to actually follow the rules, and every day people are doing that without having to be stopped, asked and checked”, there would need to be stricter checks.

“But yes, one of the things we will need to ensure in the future if we are using for any reason localised lockdowns, is just as part of our checks to ensure that we are undertaking some of that at each airport.”

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