The Big Reveal

first_imgYes, I was surprised when Tiger Woods made his “Very similar to what Phil does,” comments about Rory McIlroy over the weekend at the British Open. I was not at all surprised that Woods feels that McIlroy’s game so far might resemble Phil Mickelson’s more than his own. That’s a fair observation. I was not surprised by the points he made about McIlroy’s inconsistency – the points seemed pretty sensible. No, the shocking part was this: Tiger Woods said it. In case you missed it, Woods was asked a little bit about Rory McIlroy as he blitzed the field and won the British Open. McIlroy became the third-youngest player to win three out of the four grand slam events behind Jack Nicklaus and, of course, Woods. There was a lot of history in the air. The actual question to Woods was: “What is it like to see Rory dominate in a way that only you have in a major like this?” The question was, as we say in the business, a bit loaded. I suspect it was just a kinder way of asking, “How does it feel to see, as the old king of golf, the new king?” Woods, I suspect, knew exactly what was being asked. And his answer was plain: “Well, as you can see, the way he plays is pretty aggressively. When he gets it going, he gets it going. When it gets going bad, it gets going real bad. It’s one or the other. If you look at his results, he’s kind of that way. Very similar to what Phil does. He has his hot weeks, and he has his weeks where he’s off. And that’s just the nature of how he plays the game – it’s no right way or wrong way.” The answer was, as we say in the business, a bit loaded. It sure seems like what Woods was saying was: Look, Rory can get hot. Good for him. But don’t go comparing him to me now. My game at its best was pure consistency. I won four major championships in a row. I won nine majors out of 30. His game is like Mickelson’s – brilliant some weeks, dreadful other weeks. That’s all well and good for him. But that’s NOT how I played golf. Like I say, it was a perfectly fair point. And it was refreshingly honest from a guy who doesn’t often say what’s on his mind. And it was also stunning because Tiger Woods in his prime NEVER talked honestly about other golfers. Not in public. It seems to me this answer says a little bit about Rory McIlroy. And it says a lot about Tiger Woods. Before we get into all that, let’s break down Rory and Tiger a little bit. When Woods was 21 years old, he won the Masters with a record score. When McIlroy was 22 years old, he won the U.S. Open with a record score. OK, similar. What happened next? Woods made the cut at his next 10 major championships but he did not win any of them. He was in the process of rebuilding his swing so that it could take him to the next level, which is one of the more remarkable decisions in sports history. At a time when almost every golfer would have just let it ride – after all, Woods was hitting it longer than anyone, higher than anyone, and he putted better than anyone – he decided that he needed to be more consistent if he wanted to achieve his huge goals. Woods did not intend to win three major championships or five or even eight like Tom Watson did. No, he wanted 19. He wanted Jack. In his 11th grand slam after the record-setting Masters, Woods finally won the PGA Championship. After that he contended at Augusta, then pulled off one of the most extraordinary feats in golf history by winning four grand slams in a row. Now, what about McIlroy? After the U.S. Open, he was basically dreadful in his next five grand slams. He missed one cut and did not finish better than 25th in any of them. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, he ran away with the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island by eight shots. He followed that up with six more rather forgettable major tournaments (two back-ended top 10 finishes and one missed cut included) and then this past week he routed the field wire-to-wire to win the British Open. So, on the one hand, Woods is right: McIlroy has been all over the place. On the other hand, McIlroy has played 13 major championship since his breakthrough at the U.S. Open, and he won two of them. Woods, in the 13 major championships after his Masters breakthrough, won, yes, two of them. So, in the end, didn’t they really accomplish the same thing? Well, not exactly the same. What’s different is those tournaments they did not win. Woods was so much more present – he had six Top 10 finishes aside from his victories and McIlroy had two. Woods did not come close to missing a cut, and McIlroy missed two. This is the consistency piece that Woods is talking about. Even before he raised his game to previously unseen heights, Woods proved that he was going to be there time and again, that was the defining essence of his golf. He did not HAVE bad weeks. McIlroy’s game, like Woods said, is so much mercurial. There’s absolutely no way to know what will happen at the PGA Championship coming up. McIlroy might win by six shots. And he might miss the cut. Woods, not surprisingly, does not have much use for that kind of game. But that’s the easy part of all this – we know that McIlroy has not figured out how to harness his great talent tournament after tournament. Maybe he will become like Mickelson – not that’s there’s anything wrong with having a Hall of Fame career like Phil’s. But that’s also not a fair comparison, and Woods knows it. Mickelson did not win his first major championship until he was 34, and that age is still almost a decade away for McIlroy. Mickelson did not win the third leg of the grand slam until he was 43. McIlroy has more major championships at 25 than Tom Watson did, than Arnold Palmer did, more than Gary Player and Ben Hogan and Sam Snead combined. His inconsistency may be a lasting part of his game. Then again, it might not. He might just be figuring things out. I’d bet on his future. Meanwhile, there’s Tiger Woods, closing fast on his 39th birthday, coming off his worst weekend finish ever at a major. He barely made the cut and then played dreadfully over the weekend; 64-year-old Tom Watson not only beat him but beat him by five shots. Of course, this was just Woods’ second tournament back after a three-month layoff to recover from a pretty serious back injury. There were a few promising signs (like his solid first round) and so there are reasons to not put too much stock into the performance. Still, in golf, the scoreboard does not equivocate: Woods: 69th place. And his subtle jab at McIlroy (and his longtime nemesis Mickelson) does say something. According to those who have found themselves close to Woods, his disdain for Mickelson’s sporadic game and boisterous personality has always been there. But he would never have said anything about it publicly … because to say something publicly would be acknowledge that he actually THOUGHT about Phil Mickelson. And this was something Tiger Woods could not acknowledge. See, Tiger Woods at his peak was unreachable. He was untouchable. His only rival was himself. Whatever he did in the first or second round of a major, he always said: “I feel like I’m in good position.” No matter how many shots back he was, he always just wanted to “play my game.” The only thing that mattered to Woods about other golfers was that if you put enough pressure on them, they would eventually crack. Of course, he did not say that. He did not have to say that or anything else. He knew. They knew. And, as the old line goes, he knew they knew. And they knew he knew they knew. I’m convinced the young Tiger Woods would have brushed off the Rory McIlroy question. He would have said something like, “He’s a great young player and he’s having a great week,” and left it at that. He would not have wanted to make any points about McIlroy’s inconsistency. He certainly would not have felt it necessary to drudge up Phil Mickelson’s inconsistency. So why did he do it? Two thoughts come to mine. One thought is simply that Woods, at age 38, is beginning to embrace his role as the face of golf. Arnold Palmer … Gary Player … Jack Nicklaus … Tom Watson … Nick Faldo … these guys were asked a million questions about every golf thing you could imagine. These included questions about the promise of every young player who came along and questions about every rival who was trying to take their place at the top of the world. Woods never cared much for those questions. More than that, he never seemed they were appropriate. This time, though, he answered the question. He gave an honest assessment of McIlroy’s erratic game. He was careful to say he wasn’t judging (“it’s no right way or wrong way”) but he was willing to say what he thought needed to be said: When McIlroy’s good, he’s good; but that’s not everything. The second thought is that Woods is beginning to understand what has become impossible to ignore: He’s not going to ever dominate the golf world again. He will win again, he will probably win a major again, but the Tiger Woods who separated himself from the world, who played in his own stratosphere, that golfer is not coming back. The injuries, the scars, the years will not let him come back. Rory McIlroy is a better golfer than Tiger Woods now. He hits the ball longer, he hits it higher, he hits it straighter. Woods has more experience and a magical short game, but the experience gap shrinks and the best pressure putting stroke since Nicklaus begins to shake slightly. Woods’ used to intimidate golfers who believed him to be unwavering … but they’ve seen waver. Woods used to take leads into Sundays and slam the door … but the Sunday leads are tougher to build. And all these things, I imagine, are difficult for a one-of-a-kind athlete to process. It has been more than six years since Tiger Woods won a major championship. Rory McIlroy was not there in 2008 when Woods won the U.S. Open on one leg. McIlroy was a 19-year-old kid just starting as a professional. He has lived a lot of life in those six years. And when someone asked Woods about Rory McIlroy dominating the way he dominated, Woods offered a stunningly personal response. Hey, Rory’s inconsistent. Hey Rory’s like Phil. I wasn’t like that. Here’s what I think he was saying: Don’t write me off yet.last_img read more

Flipping out! Watch Christopher Bell’s incredible dirt finish

first_imgNASCAR Xfinity Series star Christopher Bell grew up racing on dirt. He’s part of a burgeoning group of NASCAR stars known for racing any time, any place, in any discipline.The Oklahoma native nearly picked up a midget win in his home state last weekend, battling Jonathan Beason in a finish that had plenty of intrigue, speed … and yes, a flip.Watch the video below to see the photo finish and the aftermath after the cars collided at the start/finish line. read more

Gifford celebrates 108th annual meeting

first_imgGifford Healthcare,Related Company: Gifford Medical CenterIf there was any doubt that Randolph’s local hospital – Gifford – stands above when it comes to commitment to community and financial stability, it was wholly erased Saturday as the medical center held its 108th Annual Meeting of its corporators.The evening gathering at Gifford featured an overview of the hospital’s successful past year, news of spectacular community outreach efforts, a video detailing employees commitment to caring for their neighbors and a ringing endorsement from Al Gobeille, chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board and the evening’s guest speaker.For Gifford, 2013 brought a 14th consecutive year “making” budget and operating margin, new providers, expanded services including urology and wound care, expanded facilities in Sharon and Randolph, a designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center and all permits needed to move forward on the construction of a senior living community in Randolph Center and private inpatient rooms at Gifford.The Randolph medical center also collected a ranking as the state’s most energy efficient hospital, an award for pediatrician Dr. Lou DiNicola, national recognition for Outstanding Senior Volunteer Major Melvin McLaughlin of Randolph and, noted Board Chairman Gus Meyer, continued national accolades for the Menig Extended Care Facility nursing home.“In the meantime, we’re faced with an ever changing health care landscape,” said Meyer, listing accountable care organizations, payment reform initiatives and a burgeoning number of small hospitals forming relationships with the region’s two large tertiary care centers.For some small hospitals, these shifts cause “angst.” “We like to think it brings us possibility,” said Meyer. “As both a Critical Access Hospital and now a Federally Qualified Health Center, Gifford is particularly well positioned to sustain our health as an organization and continue to fulfill our vital role in enhancing the health of the communities we serve.”The FQHC designation brings an increased emphasis on preventative care and will allow Gifford to invest in needed dental and mental health care in the community, Administrator Joseph Woodin said.Gifford is but one of only three hospitals in the country to now be both a Critical Access Hospital and Federally Qualified Health Center.“Congratulations! You’re a visionary,” said Gobeille in addressing Gifford’s new FQHC status. “It’s a brilliant move. It’s a great way to do the right thing.”And Gifford is doing the right thing.Gobeille was clear in his praise for Gifford’s management team and its commitment to stable budgets, without layoffs or compromising patient care.Community investmentGifford’s commitment also extends to the community.In a major announcement, Woodin shared that thanks to the William and Mary Markle Community Foundation, Gifford will grant a total of $25,000 to schools in 10 area towns to support exercise and healthy eating programs.Gifford annually at this time of year also hands out a grant and scholarship. The 2014 Philip Levesque grant in the amount of $1,000 was awarded to the Orange County Parent Child Center. The 2014 Richard J. Barrett, M.D., scholarship was awarded to Genia Schumacher, a mother of seven and breast cancer survivor who is in her second year of the radiology program at Champlain College.The continued use of “Gifford Gift Certificates,” encouraging local spending during the holiday, invested about $40,000 in the regional economy in December. “These small stores appreciate it. It really does make a difference,” noted Woodin, who also detailed Gifford’s buy local approach and many community outreach activities in 2013, including free health fairs and classes.The community in turn has invested in Gifford. The medical center’s 120 volunteers gave 16,678 hours in 2013, or 2,085 eight-hour workdays. Thrift Shop volunteers gave another 6,489 hours, or 811 workdays. And the Auxiliary, which operates the popular Thrift Shop, has both invested in equipment for various Gifford departments and made a major contribution toward the planned senior living community that will begin construction in May.ElectionsThe night also brought new members to the Gifford family.Corporators elected two new of their own: Matt Considine of Randolph and Jody Richards of Bethel. Considine, the director of investments for the State of Vermont, was also elected to the Board of Trustees and Lincoln Clark of Royalton was re-elected.Leaving the board after six years was Sharon Dimmick of Randolph Center, a past chairwoman, and David Ainsworth of South Royalton after nine years.‘Recipe for Success’“Recipe for Success” was the night’s theme and built around a fresh-off-the-press 2013 Annual Report sharing patient accounts of Gifford staff members going above and beyond. The report, now available on is external), credits employees’ strong commitment to patient-care as helping the medical center succeed.Taking the message one step further, Gifford unveiled a new video with staff members talking about the privilege of providing local care and the medical center’s diverse services, particularly its emphasis on primary care. The video is also on the hospital’s Web site.Health care reformShifting resources to primary and preventative care is a key to health care reform initiatives, said a personable and humorous Gobeille, who emphasized affordability.“We all want care. We just have to be able to afford care,” he said. “In the two-and-a-half years I’ve been on the board, I’ve grown an optimism that Vermont could do something profound.”Gobeille described what he called “two Vermonts” – one where large companies providing their employees more affordable insurance and one where small businesses and individuals struggle to pay high costs. “The Affordable Care Act tries to fix that,” he said.The role his board is playing in the initiatives in Vermont is one of a regulator over hospital budgets and the certificate of need process, one as innovator of pilot projects aimed at redefining how health care is delivered, and paid for, and as an evaluator of the success of these initiatives as well as the administration and legislators’ efforts to move toward a single-payer system.Audience members asked questions about when a financing plan for a single-payer system would be forthcoming (after the election, Gobeille said), about how costs can be reduced without personal accountability from individuals for their health (personal accountability absolutely matters, he said) and how small hospitals can keep the doors open.Gobeille pointed to Gifford’s record of financial success and working for the best interests of patients and communities as keys. “I don’t think Gifford’s future is in peril as long as you have a great management team, and you do,” Gobeille said.TOP PHOTO: Al Gobeille, chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board, speaks at Gifford’s 108th annual corporators meeting on Saturday evening at the Randolph hospital. Joseph Woodin, Gifford’s administrator, speaks at Saturday’s Annual Meeting of the medical center’s corporators. Woodin outlined a year of success. Outgoing Gifford board member David Ainsworth arrives with wife Peggy to Saturday’s 108th Annual Meeting of the Corporators. Diane and William Brigham, corporators, arrive at Gifford’s 108th Annual Meeting on Saturday evening at the Randolph hospital. Marjorie and Dick Drysdale, corporators, arrive at Gifford’s 108th Annual Meeting on Saturday evening at the Randolph hospital. Joan Granter, left, and Irene Schaefer, corporators, arrive at Gifford’s 108th Annual Meeting on Saturday evening at the Randolph hospital.last_img read more

Charity begins at home for Vachery Triathlon Festival

first_imgAlex Smith, Chief Executive of Harrison’s Fund said, “To most people Harrison looks completely healthy. But on the inside, our powerful little boy is struggling. His muscles are deteriorating at an alarming rate, because he has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.“By the time he’s a teenager Harrison will lose the ability to walk. Eventually he’ll lose all muscle function in his body. Like all boys with Duchenne he’ll die in his late teens or early twenties from heart or respiratory failure.”He continued, “The Vachery Triathlon represents a fantastic opportunity for us to raise awareness and funds and is the perfect ‘taster’ (if you can call it that) for the iron-distance Challenge Barcelona later in the year. The closed roads are a massive bonus as well. Mark Davis, Race Director for the Vachery Triathlon said “We are so pleased to welcome the Harrison’s Fund to the Vachery Triathlon. They, like many of the triathletes racing on 21 July, are exactly what our sport is about; normal people put in an extraordinary circumstance and doing something extraordinary about it.“We certainly wish them and Harrison all the best over the next few months and on race-day.”The Vachery Triathlon, to be held on 21 July 2013, aims to offers participants a ‘big event feel’ in a stunning location in Surrey, UK. The organisers expect to welcome over a thousand triathletes to the standard or middle distance races over the course of the event weekend. With a private spring-fed lake, closed road bike section and a closed road run through quiet country lanes, the Vachery Triathlon is aiming to stand out on the UK triathlon calendar.The Vachery Triathlon organisers have released a preview video with a look at the swim location and an in-depth analysis of the bike course. There are some top tips to be taken away about pacing and how to get up the iconic Leith Hill (twice!).The event promises to offer something for everyone, with on-site camping within the Vachery Estate, an exhibitor’s area featuring the latest in triathlon gear and produce from local suppliers, plus fun activities for all the family who can take in the atmosphere and countryside whilst athletes race.On-course nutrition will be supplied by GU Energy. Racers can choose to compete in either the Middle (half-iron) or Olympic distance races, either individually or as part of a relay.The Vachery Triathlon Festival is located just outside the picturesque village of Cranleigh in the Surrey Hills, only minutes from London and the motorways, M25, M23 and M3. The organisers are also happy to talk to clubs about arranging special start waves for them to facilitate club As more details emerge about the Vachery Triathlon – billed as a major UK festival of sport in Cranleigh, Surrey, on 21 July – it has become apparent that there will be a strong charity and fund-raising presence at the race.Whilst some of the best triathletes in Britain have been attracted to the Vachery Triathlon by its challenging course and prize fund – the organisers note that it will be the age-group race made up of 1,500 triathletes of all shapes, sizes and ability who will provide the drama and glory after a day of racing.As with many large sporting events, the Vachery Triathlon has become a focal point for many budding triathletes who want to inspire their friends and families to donate to local and national charities close to their hearts – with a 1.9K swim, 80K bike ride and 20K run providing an inspirational backdrop for their efforts.Surrey-based local charity, the Harrison’s Fund, is one such organisation that has people racing and raising money and awareness for the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This is a rare and life-limiting form of muscle-wasting disease that unfortunately afflicts young Harrison Smith – the oldest son of Cobham-residents Alex and Donna Smith, who are also founders of the Harrison’s Fund charity.Alex Smith and Gary Smith are racing several gruelling endurance events this year in aid of the Harrison’s Fund, culminating in the iron-distance Challenge Barcelona race and including the Surrey-based Vachery Triathlon.center_img Relatedlast_img read more

Training matters. High-impact training matters more.

first_imgThe right training unifies a credit union: employee-to-employee and branch-to-branch, enhancing member experiences at every level. But, not all training is equal in quality and effectiveness. What credit unions should consider is training that gains a unified base of knowledge, creating a common vision and shared strategies, practices and expectations. Of course, with the focus of delivering consistent, exceptional service to members. Only proper training can do all that. And, it starts with the basics. When teams are well educated on the credit union movement, they become champions for both the credit union and the member. Internalizing the “people helping people” philosophy is powerful. At that point, there’s no end to the lengths they’ll take to deliver the best service to members. Training should also address how one area of the credit union affects other areas. For example, if frontline staff understand the credit union’s overall services and are trained to identify member needs during interactions, it creates opportunities for other areas of the credit union (lending, IRA’s, etc.) Conversely, if marketing implements training for a new product but doesn’t get input from the frontline, it could lead to challenges when processing transactions related to that product. Training should stress how internal support for members is paramount. Think of a target with the member at the bulls-eye. Each concentric circle is another level of staff support. Well trained staff spend more time focusing energy and attention inward, toward the bulls-eye, rather than outward and, ultimately, away from the member. Lastly, all training should stress compliance. From back-office to boardroom, everyone in a credit union is accountable for compliance. This scorned, but necessary, investment can prevent costly situations down the road. Training is a journey. So, enjoy the ongoing trek to improvement and better member experiences. Learn more by connecting with CUNA Professional Development Online: 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

4 ways to reward loyal members

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Valentine’s Day comes once a year, but credit unions show off their love for members year round.Last year, members at American 1 Credit Union($368.0M, Jackson, MI) cashed in nearly $500,000 in points earned through the credit union’s ScoreCard Rewardsprogram. The program gives members one point per dollar spent and also includes quarterly promotions such as triple points for restaurant and travel spending or double for gas purchases.What members got in return ran the gamut from retail gift cards to international travel, according to Laura Pryor, the credit union’s vice president of marketing and communications. And that’s all aside from the more than $1.5 million the credit union returned to members in loan interest rebates and bonus dividends.“You have to do this if you want to remain competitive,” Pryor says of the credit card reward program. “But it’s also a good feeling. We build affinity and loyalty between member and credit union with this program.”last_img read more

Boateng claims Cologne switch

first_imgGhanaian midfielder Derek Boateng claims he has completed his move to German Bundesliga FC Cologne.FC Cologne refused to comment when Ghanasoccernet contacted the German club over the deal.Ghanasoccernet reported last week coach Christoph Daum was ready to part with US$500,000 to sign the enforcer from Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem.Boateng has now told Ghanasoccernet that he has completed the deal and will join the club in January despite interest from other European clubs.“It is a done deal. I will be joining Cologne in January after the winter break,” Boateng told Ghanasoccernet.“We all know that Cologne is one of the best teams in Germany and going to the Bundesliga will further enchance my career. “Of all the offer the one from Cologne was most attractive because it will further my career in many areas.”Spanish side Getafe and Belgian club Standard Liege were reported to have made bids which were also attractive.Boateng once touted as Ghana’s best hope for the future fell off the radar in Greece before reviving his career in Sweden and Israel.But fans of his Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem recently racially abused him which might have forced his desire to leave the league.Source: Ghanasoccernetlast_img read more

Grass is always greener

first_imgAn impressive display of hundreds of pasture and fodder varieties have been a feature of Farm World at Lardner Park…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img