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21.02.2020 09:04
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PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Cambia Portland Classic has had a little bit of just about everything as the LPGAs longest-running non-major, but in its 45-year history hasnt seen a teenage winner quite like Brooke Henderson.The 18-year-old Canadian became Portlands first back-to-back champion in 13 years when Henderson shot a final round 1-under 71 to win by four strokes over American Stacy Lewis at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.The second-ranked Henderson posted a 14-under 274 for 72 holes, though it was a far different grind than her performance in 2015, when she won the Portland Classic by a record-setting eight strokes.Hendersons final two rounds became a collection of par saves after hitting many wayward drives and approach shots.I didnt really play my best today, but I hit good shots when I needed to, and I got some good breaks, Henderson said. A weird day of golf. I hit some really good shots and some really bad shots.Henderson became the first back-to-back winner at Portland since Annika Sorenstam won consecutive tournaments in 2002 and 2003. The 18-year-old is the first wire-to-wire winner at Portland since the tournament went to a 72-hole event in 2013.Henderson is the tours second wire-to-wire winner this year, joining Ha Na Jang, who won the Coates Championship in February.It was Hendersons third career win, all coming in the Northwest. Aside from her two Portland victories, Henderson won the Womens PGA Championship at Sahalee in Sammamish, Washington, three weeks ago.The three wins came in different fashion. Last years Portland win was a runaway, and at Sahalee, Henderson caught fire during the final round to rally past top-ranked Lydia Ko.Its cool to think Ive won in three different ways, Henderson said.Henderson heads to this weeks U.S. Womens Open at CordeValle in San Martin, California, having won two of her past four tournaments, including a major.Coming off a win here is really going to give me a lot of confidence, Henderson said.Lewis was 10-under after a final round 69, though she never genuinely threatened. Lewis is winless in 53 starts since taking the North Texas LPGA Shootout in June 2014 for her 11th tour victory. She has 11 runner-up finishes during the drought and 24 overall.Norways Suzann Pettersen, the 2011 and 2013 Portland champion finished third at 9-under after a 72.Austin Ernst, who won Portland in 2014, was 8-under after a 73. But Hendersons main opponent was Mariajo Uribe, who was tied for the lead with seven holes remaining but finished with two double bogeys. Uribe was 8-under after a 75.The whole week I didnt hit the ball great, and it I just couldnt do it the last couple holes, said Uribe, winless in six years on the LPGA Tour.Sunday turned into a two-player race early on the back nine, when Uribe birdied the par-4, 337-yard 11th to tie Henderson for the lead at 14-under.But Henderson quickly resumed control at the par-5, 546-yard 12th. Uribe hit a poor drive and made bogey, while Henderson dropped a three-foot birdie putt to take a two-shot lead.The lead melted to one at 13, when Hendersons tee shot at the 160-yard par-3 went into the bunker and she made bogey. Uribe fell two strokes back at the par-4, 372-yard 15th with a bogey.The par-4, 397-yard 17th became the tournaments decisive hole. Henderson and Uribe both drove into a bunker, then blasted their approach shots over the green. But Uribe hit her third shot 50 feet past the hole and made double bogey, while Henderson was able to get up and down to save par, making an eight-foot putt.Henderson said it was advantage to have Uribe hit her chip shot first, as both players were over the green and facing testing downhill shots.I was lucky. She was in the same situation ... I realized how fast it was and how delicate of a shot it needed to be, Henderson said.Lewis never got closer than three strokes, and might have put some pressure on Henderson but made bogeys at 16 and 18.Christina Kim posted the low score of the day with a 66 to finish 7-under, as did Lee-Anne Pace, Lee Lopez and Cheyenne Woods. Pace shot 68, while Woods had a 72 for her first career top 10. Lopez, an LPGA rookie, shot 73.Lewis never got closer than three strokes, and might have put some pressure on Henderson but made bogeys at 16 and 18.Sakura Yokomine (69), Vicky Hurst (71) and Carlota Cignada (73) were eight shots back at 6-under. In-Kyung Kim shot 69 to head a group of five at 5-under.American Morgan Pressel was 2-under after posting her best round of the week, a 67. Carolina Hurricanes Pro Shop . Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz were sent to Toronto on Saturday as the Maple Leafs traded defenceman Jesse Blacker and draft picks to the Anaheim Ducks. Carolina Hurricanes Store . For the Wild it was their first win of the season and they now have a record of 1-1-2 while the Jets fall to 2-2. Jets start a six game home stand Friday with another divisional game, home to the Dallas Stars. . While hell be dialed in to that tournament on a course he loves, you can forgive him if his eyes glance down the calendar just a bit, towards April. Hurricanes Jerseys 2020 . The team says the Spain international has a muscle pull in his right leg. Barcelona hosts third-division side Cartagena in the return leg of their round-of-32 tie after winning their first meeting 4-1. Carolina Hurricanes Shirts . The Canadian squad, skipped by Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg, got on the board first with two in the second end, and followed that with two more apiece in the fourth and sixth ends. CLEMSON, S.C. -- Dabo Swinney envisions two paths for Christian Wilkins, ones few can navigate because they lead to the loftiest platforms of American society.The Clemson coach, like anyone who watches Wilkins play defensive line, expects the sophomore to first enjoy a long and successful NFL career. Its after football that the man Swinney calls big-time special will reach the big time and do special things.Hes either going to be Michael Strahan, Swinney said of the former NFL standout-turned-media superstar, hosting his own TV show and doing ESPN-type stuff on Monday Night Football. Or, hes going to be the president.Really not much in between.Strahan or the commander in chief. Those are the models for Wilkins, who is flattered by the comparisons.The truth: If Wilkins can live the rest of his life like Eurie Stamps Sr., he will be fulfilled in his heart and his soul.Youre just like your grandfather. You remind me so much of your grandfather.Thats the biggest compliment I could receive, Wilkins said. They say Im exactly how he was: big personality, larger than life. He was so inviting and personable. He impacted everyone he met.Stamps was a beloved father, grandfather and community leader. On Jan. 5, 2011, he was killed when the rifle of a SWAT team officer accidentally discharged during a raid at Stamps apartment in Framingham, Massachusetts. The SWAT team was searching for Stamps stepson and two associates suspected of selling drugs from the apartment. Stamps, a retired 68-year-old grandfather of 12 with no criminal history, was lying face down in the hallway when he was shot.Stamps never saw his youngest grandson blossom into a national awards candidate for a national championship contender. But Wilkins honors his grandfather every time he puts on a jersey, helps a friend in need or brightens up a room.He carries my fathers spirit, said Robin Stamps Jones, Wilkins mother. Its so encouraging. Its so right.The family embraceWilkins affability can be chalked up to both nature and nurture. He entered the world on Dec. 20, 1995, at nearly 10 pounds, the last and largest of Stamps Jones eight children.The family home on Orlando Street in Springfield, Massachusetts, buzzed with bodies and activity. A madhouse at times, Wilkins said, but I loved it. Stamps Jones worked long hours as a real estate agent to provide for the family -- Wilkins father wasnt around much -- and her older children helped raise the youngest.While Wilkins brothers introduced him to sports, he spent much of his time with his four sisters, who are closest in age.They always had me doing the little dances with them, Wilkins said. They had little cheerleading shows. Id always be their dummy. Thats where I got a lot of my personality.Wilkins was the in-house comedian, doing impromptu routines while wearing wild outfits. He says he was much cornier back then, but, according to his mother, Wilkins always got laughs. When his stepfather bought a camcorder, the kids put it to use.Oh my gosh, we used that thing up, Wilkins recalled. Wed make little talent shows, invite friends over from the neighborhood, American Idol. Thats why Im not afraid to be in front of the camera, have a little personality, have fun.Midway through the eighth grade, Wilkins moved with his mother and two youngest sisters to Framingham. Stamps Jones and her two daughters soon returned to Springfield, but Wilkins remained, splitting time between his grandfathers place on Fountain Street and his stepfathers. Wilkins also started high school in town.Eurie Stamps Sr. was a veteran who, before retiring, worked as a bus mechanic for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. He raised his family in Cambridge, just outside Boston, and was deeply involved in community activities through neighborhood houses, which facilitated camps, work opportunities and mentoring programs.He would literally give his last dollar to people, said Andrew Wilkins, Christians brother. He was so well known, he was such a big guy, had this big laugh, great smile, everything.He was just a very charming individual, and people loved him.Stamps regularly attended games for Wilkins brothers Aaron and Andrew, both of whom played football at New England colleges. The night before he died, Stamps watched one of Christians basketball games.My grandfather was in the stands as per usual, cheering me on, doing his thing, loudest one in the crowd, Christian said. I always loved looking up and seeing him. He was there, like hes been for me my whole life.He paused.Everything happened around midnight.Christian was staying at his stepfathers when the raid took place. According to court documents, after storming into the apartment, two SWAT team officers ordered Stamps to get on the floor, and he obliged. Officer Paul Duncan pointed a gun at Stamps head. According to Duncan, he lost his balance while stepping over Stamps and his rifle went off.In the morning, Wilkins mother called with the news.The pain I felt, I didnt even know really what to think or what to say at that time, said Wilkins, who had turned 15 just two weeks earlier. I was so young. That was the most influential person in my life. He was really like a father figure to me with my dad not really being around.The family rallied around its youngest member. Christian returned to Springfield for the end of his freshman year but didnt like the schools or what happened to many kids in the system. His grades slipped. He needed an alternative, another community in which to immerse himself, just like his grandfather always did.His path took him just 10 miles from his hometown, but a world away.Big Man on Campus, Part ISuffield Academy has all the New England prep school markings. Its old (founded in 1833). Its small (413 students). Its insulated (most students are boarders). Its buttoned-up (boys wear dress shirts and ties every day). It has a fancy-looking crest with a Latin motto -- Esse Quam Videri, which means To be, rather than to seem [to be].The school seemed like an odd fit for a kid who had lived his entire life in houses packed with family members. When Wilkins godmother, Lynne Krushell, brought Christian to Suffield for a tour, he learned there would be adjustments: dress code, dorm living, no more sleeping in class, constant structure.But he also saw opportunity. And Suffield quickly saw something in Wilkins.You tour, you interview and youve got to impress some people, Suffield football coach Drew Gamere said. In terms of his presentation, you just knew there was something special there.As expected, Wilkins, then 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, excelled athletically at Suffield. He recorded 28.5 sacks and 69.5 tackles for loss in 35 games, leading the team to the New England prep school Super Bowl in each of his four seasons. He also averaged a double-double in basketball (19.9 points, 11.8 rebounds) and flourished in track as a thrower (shot put, discus and javelin).But he ingrained himself in academy life. He made friends from China and Russia, and parts in between. He led a multicultural association. The only reason he didnt perform in a school production -- a regret to this day -- is that he loved watching them so much.Charlie Cahn, Suffields headmaster, cant think of an activity in which Wilkins didnt participate in some way.I just really embraced the culture there, Wilkins said, the sense of community and the love. As a black kid from Springfield, Massachusetts, to have a friend from China that you would have never met, friends from Florida or Russia or Bermuda.It was really great for my development.Wilkins often visited Cahns office and quizzed him about operations, growth strategies, student recruitment and new projects, offering to help in any way he could.You were talking to somebody who was mature beyond his years, Cahn said. Theres real substance to him.Cahn remembers entering the school gym for a freshman basketball game in the dead of winter. The stands were nearly empty except for the 300-pound football star cheering wildly at midcourt.On fall Wednesdays, when Suffields junior varsity football team played its games, Wilkins served as the water guy.I took a lot of pride in that, too, Wilkins said, smiling. All those boys were well hydrrated.ddddddddddddWilkins football stardom brought top coaches to Suffield, but he downplayed his recruitment as much as he could. There were no manic Twitter updates. Robin Stamps Jones had taught her children to be humble, and Wilkins saw Suffield, despite the prep school rep, as a place of humility.According to Cahn, Wilkins took more pride in winning the Appleton Seaverns Award, given to the senior who best shows pride and loyalty toward Suffield, than Best Male Athlete.He took the most pride, Gamere said, in just being a normal student here.Cahn is certain Wilkins will eventually serve on Suffields board of trustees. Wilkins absence is felt at Suffield, but he still frequently texts Cahn for updates and visits whenever he can.What he did that Im so grateful for, because it made the school better, is he brought everybody in, Cahn said. There wasnt anybody here who didnt feel really close to Christian Wilkins. Its not unusual for really successful athletes to be popular. Whats unusual is for them to go out of their way to befriend everybody.Its really remarkable that hes able to do that, and Id imagine hes doing the same thing at Clemson.Big Man on Campus, Part IIThe words still live in the notepad of Wilkins smartphone: Clemson. No matter what.He wrote the message after his first visit to Clemson, as a high school junior. While touring campus, he felt the same as he did touring Suffield with his godmother. He hit it off with Kendall Joseph, then a high school senior committed to the Tigers, and remembered what his mother and siblings had taught him: Be independent. Make your own decisions.Wilkins took other visits and narrowed his list to five: Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford and Boston College. He told no one until Jan. 4, 2015, when the family gathered at Andrews house in Springfield. Christian had them guess where he was going. His mother and brothers picked Ohio State.Christian then took off his hoodie to reveal a Clemson T-shirt, three sizes too small, given to him by his godbrother, Steve Krushell.The comedian kept Clemsons coach in suspense, too.Hes telling me, Coach, I loved Clemson. I cant thank you enough for recruiting me. You guys were great, Swinney recalled. And Im waiting on the, But. Sure enough, he goes, But ... and Im like, Aw. Im going to thank him for letting me recruit him and tell him hes a class act and wish him nothing but the best. He goes, But, coach, thats why want to be a Tiger.He totally set me up. But thats him.Wilkins announced his commitment to Clemson on Jan. 5, the four-year anniversary of his grandfathers death. He selected the No. 42 jersey because Stamps was born in 1942.When things get tough, when I dont think I can give my all, I look down and see that 42, Wilkins said. Im like, You represent your family, you represent your grandfather. You keep pushing, because this is what hed want.Wilkins has thrown himself into campus life, just as he did at Suffield. Although football requires even more of his time, he does community service and other altruistic activities. Hes on a first-name basis with university president James Clements, whom Wilkins contacted during his recruitment to ask about Clemsons environment and mission. (President Clements takes all the credit for Christian Wilkins, Swinney said.)Like any football team, Clemson has cliques, but Wilkins spends as much time with the kickers as the defensive linemen.Hes just a great person to have in your locker room, Joseph said. Hes just so goofy, so happy, always cracking jokes. Hes never too busy to not talk with you.He appreciates life.In May, Swinney met with Wilkins to review the year and plot out whats next. Swinney asked about Wilkins summer living situation.As a rising sophomore, Wilkins could move off campus, but he told Swinney he would remain in the dorms. That wasnt the big surprise. Wilkins added that he would be living with wide receiver Deon Cain, who was sent home from Miami a day before Clemson played in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Orange Bowl. Swinney suspended Cain for an unspecified violation of team rules, and Cain missed the Orange Bowl, the national title game and spring practice before being reinstated in May.I went, Excuse me? Swinney said. He said, Yeah, we need Deon and Deon needs me, and I can help him. Im going to live with Deon Cain. That was something nobody asked or instigated. He just did that on his own. So he moved in with Deon this summer to help him stay on track.Thats just who he is. He looks for ways to serve other people.Mr. VersatilityThe backflips. Theyre part of the Christian Wilkins legend.Swinney wasnt sure how quickly Wilkins would adjust to the college game after dominating lesser competition at Suffield. But during a freshman get-together at Swinneys club before the 2015 season, the coach saw Wilkins do a backflip, flat-footed, off the dock into Lake Keowee.In July, a video appeared of Wilkins catching a pass while riding a bike in Clemsons indoor facility. Wilkins first career reception, a 31-yarder, came on a fake punt in the Orange Bowl win over Oklahoma. In September, he became the first Clemson defensive lineman to catch a touchdown out of an offensive formation when he hauled in a 1-yard pass against Troy.The guy who gets along with everyone off the field seems to love every role he can fill between the lines. Wilkins starts on three special-teams units. He started at defensive tackle as a true freshman for the national runner-up. This season, he has started at defensive end for a Tigers team that plays for the ACC championship and a playoff spot on Saturday. Wilkins is a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award, given to the nations top defender, after recording a team-high 12 tackles for loss and 16 quarterback pressures.Its like a switch-hitter in baseball, a guy that can hit 25 home runs right-handed and left-handed, Swinney said. Theres nobody else that can go and play 3-technique, shade and end, and not miss a beat. Plus, youve got to have the mentality for it. Ive been around some ends who could go play D-tackle, but they didnt really have the mentality for it. Ive been around a lot of really good D-tackles but maybe not quite athletic enough to go play D-end.He is a rare guy.A living legacyWilkins has followed the high-profile police shootings in recent years and the ensuing protests and violence that followed. He sees Colin Kaepernick and other athletes kneeling during the national anthem or conducting other protests in games.Its just sad to always see everything that goes on in the country, he said. That type of stuff has affected my life directly. Obviously you see that stuff, you take note of it. But I never really felt the need to protest or anything.I just honor my grandfather every day.He does it with a big laugh, a big smile and even big hair. He does it by going beyond the athlete bubble at Clemson and engaging with his campus and his community. He does it by having what Swinney calls a dynamic mind, which enables him to discuss any topic with pretty much anyone. He does it by serving people in need, such as Cain, who has had no slipups this season.I just really want to be able to use my personality, my voice, my influence and impact others lives, Wilkins said. Thats where Ill find the most joy.Eurie Stamps Sr. would have been in the stands for Saturdays ACC championship, just as he was for Christians basketball game the night before he died. He would have been there for the national championship game and other Clemson games, loud and proud.Hed definitely be proud, Andrew Wilkins said, very, very proud, of Christians accomplishments.Christian would love to follow Strahan, one of his childhood favorites, to NFL glory and media stardom. Perhaps the White House is in his future, too.But there is a third path for Christian Wilkins.Eurie Stamps Sr. is still showing his grandson the way.My motivation is to be his legacy and have him live through me and live life as best as I can for him, Wilkins said. Unfortunately, he cant be here to see it, but I know hes watching me, and hes happy. ' ' '

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