Ardmore Avenue Just One of Merion's Many Pitfalls

Ardmore Avenue Just One of Merion's Many Pitfalls

The golf courses that host U.S. Opens are always modified in some way from their usual set-up in order to create a greater challenge for the world's greatest golfers. Typically, this means growing the rough a bit higher, mowing the greens a bit shorter, and building new tee boxes to lengthen certain holes. But for next week's U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, the United States Golf Association has decided to move a fairway.

Apr 22, 2013; Ardmore, PA, USA; A general view of the 2nd fairway during the preview day for the 2013 US Open at Merion Golf Club. Credit: Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

If you've ever driven down Ardmore Avenue you've seen Merion's 2nd hole, a long, uphill 556-yard, par-5 beast that runs along the right side of the road if you are traveling towards Ardmore. Ardmore Avenue plays as out-of-bounds, which means if a player hits his tee shot onto the road, he has to re-tee and now, he's hitting his third shot. And he's still 556 yards from the hole.

The USGA however, said no, this isn't tough enough, we're going to move the fairway closer to Ardmore Avenue and out-of-bounds, making it a serious consideration for  Tiger, Phil and the Gang as they figure out how to navigate their way around Merion. Fortunately for the players, Ardmore Ave is lined with large trees [see image above], so if they are lucky, they may get a ricochet back into the fairway.

It is going to be incredibly interesting to see how the players choose to play Merion and the 2nd hole is just one example.

T.R. Goyne, formerly of the old-school can be followed @doctomg.

Temple Men’s Basketball adds two players to 2016-17 roster

Temple Men’s Basketball adds two players to 2016-17 roster

Temple men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy announced that the team has added two players to its 2016-17 roster. 

The Owls will announce the two new transfers, junior’s Isaiah Lewis and Steve Leonard, Thursday night at the Liacouras Center at the team’s Cherry and White Night. 

Lewis comes to Temple after playing for Casper College in Wyoming last season, where he averaged 5.5 points and 2.2 assists per game. Before his stint at Casper College, the 6-4 guard also played at Lee Junior College in Texas, and averaged 10.0 points and 4.7 assists per game.

Leonard, a 6-6 guard from Collegeville, Pa., played two seasons at Ursinus College. He averaged 5.6 points over 43 games during his career at Ursinus. 

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

CAMDEN, N.J. — The irony of Nik Stauskas’ reputation as a three-point shooter is that he doesn’t view himself that way.

Stauskas was drafted eighth overall by the Kings in 2014 after shooting 44.1 percent from three over two years at Michigan. But that’s not how he envisioned himself being in the pros.

“It’s crazy,” Stauskas said after practice Thursday. “I know I was a great shooter coming out of Michigan, but I don’t consider myself a shooter. I consider myself a gamer. I don’t think I’m an effective NBA player when I just stand and spot up and shoot threes. That’s really not my game.”

Stauskas has struggled to find offensive consistency in the NBA. The third-year two-guard averaged 32.4 percent from long range in his first two seasons. He wasn’t reliable as a knockdown shooter and bounced in and out of the starting lineup last season.

Rather than being a finesse player, Brett Brown encouraged Stauskas to get aggressive. Brown wanted to a see an edge from Stauskas and not hold back at the basket.

Stauskas displayed that side to his game on opening night against the Thunder. In 23 minutes off the bench, he scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting. His only miss came on a three-point attempt. His 83.3 shooting percentage was a single-game career high.

“He was cocky,” Brown said. “He was in attack mode. He was not afraid to put it to the floor and get to the rim. I feel like he’s got a real chance to have a breakout year. We need him to have a breakout year.”

The Sixers picked up the options on Stauskas, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor on Thursday.

“I think the statement the club made on his contract lets him probably have a little bit more comfort on what we think of him,” Brown said. “I was really happy with his swagger last night.”

Stauskas is figuring out his role on the Sixers this season. It is one that can change often given injuries. A key to being successful, whether he is on the perimeter or at the rim, is feeling confident and in a rhythm on the floor.

“I had fun out there,” Stauskas said. “More than anything, I think yesterday was the first time in a while that I’ve really enjoyed myself out there and had a smile on my face.”