AT&T National: Adam Scott Cards 66, Military Parks Tank on Course

AT&T National: Adam Scott Cards 66, Military Parks Tank on Course

We're officially off and running at the AT&T National. Two men, Adam Scott and Hunter Haas, are tied for the 18-hole lead at 4-under-par, while a whole host of others are in contention and in red numbers. Unfortunately for those pulling for local favorites Sean O'Hair and Jim Furyk, neither man would find himself on the low-side of par after day one. The two currently reside at a combined thirteen-over-par.

Comments from co-leader Adam Scott and our picks for the best spots to camp out on the course after the jump...
Though Aussie Adam Scott may not have the local ties or, let's say, a membership at Aronimink (I'm looking at you, O'Hair), he is nonetheless familiar with the golf course. After draining a fifteen-footer for birdie on 18, Scott made his way to the media tent to discuss his own relationship with 83-year-old Donald Ross design. A participant in the 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur, an event also held on the grounds of Aronimink, Scott fondly recalled his experience as a seventeen-year-old in unfamiliar territory.

"I didn't know much at all about the style of golf courses in the Northeast of America back then. So, coming here to play was a real treat...I remember [it was] a lot more tree-lined back then. There were a lot of trees, I believe, taken out since...It was a good course back then, too. It was probably the toughest course I had seen at that point. The USGA...it's like going to a U.S. Open that Junior Amateur with the way they set it up. It was pretty tough. It still is. [Laughs] I think I lost pretty early back then."

If his memory of the course didn't help him to a share of the lead Thursday, perhaps it was his caddie. Steve Williams, the usual bag man for Tiger Woods, has been hanging with Scott the past few week as Woods' continues rehabilitation on his knee and Achilles tendon. To the benefit of those in attendance, particularly those in the photography business, "Stevie" doesn't seem nearly as hostile when he isn't with Woods. Scott and co-leader Hunter Hass tee off Friday morning at 8:15 a.m. and 8:37 a.m., respectively.

Should you be out there to take in their opening tee balls, we've put together a list of some of the better spots to hang out during the day at Aronimink. Sadly, the view from one of our favorite spots in 2010—the white fence behind the 9th tee—has been somewhat obstructed in 2011. Where before you could see both the par-5 9th and par-3 17th, members of the gallery now get a view of a massive freaking tank. It's been parked in that location so it may reside next to the Lockheed Martin chalet, a special tent for members of the military to take in the action. Is the tank cool? Yes. Is it in the way? Yes.

Rather than continue on about the tank, we'll simply do our best to pitch back into the fairway and make a four. In no particular order, here's our recommendations for the best spots camp out on the course. Many of the locations below represent the most convenient sites for accessing the greatest number holes in the shortest amount of time. Naturally, as the tournament progresses and the crowds increase, so will the traffic in many of these locales. As such, we've tried to mix a few gems that were left untouched from last year.

(1) The double-greens at 8 and 10. The green complexes of the par-3 8th and par-4 10th back right up against one another and are only separated by a small patch of fairway. The trees to the left of the 8th provide some shade while you get to watch the pros take aim from the top of a hill more than 240-yards away. Likewise, over on 10, the hole's front left pond makes for an entertaining moment or two. This is one of the most popular spots on the course and is usually the busiest area throughout each round.

(2) The bleacher seats behind the 17th green. The par-3 17th is one of, if not the best hole on the golf course. At 215-yards, the players are forced to either bail out to the right side of the green or flirt with a massive lake that drowns every golf ball short or left. This is, without question, the number-one spot to lock down come Sunday.

(3) The bleacher seats behind 18. Consider the rationale for sitting on 17, and then make the connection that the tournament ends on 18. Both spots are obviously prime, and that much harder to secure as the week progresses. Fortunately, you shouldn't have much trouble getting in either during the opening rounds.

(4) The shaded area behind the 14th green. This is particularly clutch. Not only are you under the cover of more than 100-year-old oaks, but you're within steps of both the 15th tee and 16th green. Previously, you could have also used this location to run over to the aforementioned fence behind 9. Now...there's a tank. Hooray!

(5) The rough behind the 15th green. Considering that its just paces from the 12th green and 13th and 16th tee boxes, you might ask, "why the hell is no one here?" Well, because it's kind of far and people are lazy. If you're up for the trek, it's a solid spot.

(6) The hill to the right of the 7th green. The steep hill makes for a semi-stadium effect, with each spectator clearly seeing over anyone below. Plus, the view from the 8th tee box, just a few paces to the right, is absolutely spectacular. This, like the whole golf course quite frankly, is crowded come Sunday.

(7) The driving range. It's, uh, pretty boss.

There are obviously more areas we could have included, but we'll let you find those of your own. We'll be back tomorrow with a rundown of the insane prices in the merchandise tent and other notes from the course. 'Til then.

One rib still damaged, Carson Wentz probably won’t play Thursday

One rib still damaged, Carson Wentz probably won’t play Thursday

It looks like Carson Wentz’s preseason is over.
 
Because one of his ribs isn’t completely healed Wentz probably won’t play in the Eagles’ preseason finale on Thursday, head coach Doug Pederson said.
 
According to Pederson, a CT scan revealed that Wentz’s 10th rib on his right side is completely healed but the 11th is just at 60 percent.
 
When asked if that means Wentz won’t play, Pederson said, “If he’s 60 percent with that rib, probably not.”
 
The No. 2 overall pick hurt his ribs when he took a shot late in the first preseason game against the Bucs back on Aug. 11. He hasn’t practiced in full since then, but has worked out and went through a lengthy pregame workout on Saturday. Pederson said Wentz is still sore from Saturday’s workout.
 
For now, the plan is to continue to rehab Wentz by giving him more and more over time.
 
“Obviously, where we are this late in the process as far as training camp goes, it definitely hurts from a young quarterback standpoint, his position to fully grasp and understand the offense,” Pederson said. “But again, I just go back to what I see in the classroom, what I see off the field. His work habit here, his work ethic here, and just what he knows and what he understands.”
 
Pederson also said he’s a little less concerned because of where Wentz is on the depth chart. The plan all along was to have Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel ahead of Wentz.
 
Still, Wentz missed a ton of reps. And it’s not really feasible to replace them.
 
“It’s hard in the regular season to replace those types of reps,” Pederson said, “because our focus is with the ones and the starters, getting them ready to go offensively and defensively.”

Player standing outside NovaCare Complex hoping for shot with Eagles

Player standing outside NovaCare Complex hoping for shot with Eagles

Twenty-four-year-old Troy Beckett found a scrap piece of cardboard in his Willingboro, N.J. home, took a marker to it, and headed across the bridge. 

The former Willingboro High School and Bemidji State defensive back arrived to the NovaCare Complex at around 7:30 on Monday morning with a sign that reads: “Not homeless … But starving for that shot!!!” 

Beckett hopes he’ll get the Eagles’ attention and the team will offer to work him out. 

“I’m nothing special,” Beckett said. “I’m not a big story. I’m just trying to make a living playing the game that I love. I’ve been playing it since I was 5 years old.”

In 2009, Beckett graduated from Willingboro High School, where he played wide receiver and defensive back for the Chimeras. He went to little-known Division II Bemidji State in Minnesota to play football, but has been out of school for two years. 

He said he’s worked out for a few arena teams, including the Philadelphia Soul about a year ago. Nothing came from that workout. 

Beckett’s idea to stand outside the NovaCare Complex wasn’t his own. He said Joe Anderson, a wide receiver who stood outside of Houston’s NRG Stadium with a similar sign last year, inspired him. Anderson was actually signed to the Jets’ practice squad six weeks later. 

Beckett said he had a conversation with a friend last week, when the friend asked him why he never got a shot. So Beckett decided to head over the bridge on Monday. 

For now, Beckett has a job loading trucks. 

“I’m just looking for an opportunity to show this organization what I can do,” Beckett said. “I never got the big shot coming out of college, coming out of high school at the big name school or whatever.”

Beckett said it’s been tough to try to keep his dream alive. 

“It really is, man. It really is,” he said. “I’m 24 years old. I’ve been out of school now for about two years. I’m just looking for a fair shot. I’d be OK with myself if they said no. As long as they give me the chance to workout and showcase my talent, I’ll be OK.”

As of around 9:30 a.m. on Monday – two hours in – Beckett said he hadn’t yet talked to anyone from the organization. 

With temperatures expected to peak in the 90s on Monday, just how long does Beckett plan to stand by the NovaCare gate? 

“As long as it takes,” he said. “Until the parking lot is empty.”

And if nothing happens on Monday? 

“I’ll be out here tomorrow,” he answered. “I’ll be out here every day.” 

Dave Zangaro predicts Eagles' 53-man roster 3.0

Dave Zangaro predicts Eagles' 53-man roster 3.0

The Eagles are down to one final preseason game before they’ll have to figure out their final 53-man roster. 

But no need to wait, I have it right here. Or at least what I think it will look like after watching all of OTAs, training camp and the most important preseason games. The team made it a little easier with several key cuts on Sunday (see story)

Let’s jump right in: 

Quarterback (3): Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, Carson Wentz 
With apologies to the law firm of McLeod Bethel-Thompson, this was pretty easy. 

Running back (4): Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner, Wendell Smallwood
I toyed with the idea of taking Smallwood off the roster. I thought perhaps the team will try to stash him on IR — that quad could always act up again — and instead take Byron Marshall on the 53. But I just couldn’t pull the trigger. For now, the team will have to hope Mathews and Barner can carry the load while Smallwood gets caught up. 

Wide receiver (5): Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Josh Huff, Dorial Green-Beckham, Paul Turner
I’m taking only five because the unit hasn’t been very strong. The team’s decision to cut Rueben Randle and Chris Givens on Sunday wasn’t very surprising to me. They were on prove-it deals and had only proven what the Eagles probably feared. Instead, the rookie Turner is on the roster, which is an important message for the team: Effort matters. Still, expect the Eagles to keep a watchful eye on the waiver wire here.  

Tight end (4): Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton, Chris Pantale
Pantale isn’t nearly as good a tight end as the other three, but Doug Pederson seems determined to have him on the roster as a fullback and special teamer. Four tight ends and four running backs is tough to swallow in terms of roster spots available, but I think that’s the way it’s going. Look for Burton to have an increased role in the offense this year too. 

Offensive line (9): Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Allen Barbre, Stefen Wisniewski, Matt Tobin, Halapoulavaati Vaitai, Josh Andrews
I left Lane Johnson off this list because he’ll probably be suspended by the season opener and won’t count against the 53-man roster. Wisniewski will be the backup at all three interior line positions. After cutting Andrew Gardner on Sunday, the Eagles will keep Tobin and Andrews as reserve linemen. Andrews played guard on Saturday — likely a chance for him to prove he’s not just a center. Keep an eye on tight end-turned-tackle Dillon Gordon too. He has an outside chance to make the roster and a very good shot to stick on the practice squad; very athletic and versatile player. 

Defensive end (6): Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, Steven Means, Marcus Smith, Bryan Braman
Six defensive ends is a lot, but at this point, Braman isn’t really a defensive end. He’s just a special teams ace. And with the rotation at DE, I think it’s more important to have ends than it is to have extra players in the secondary. If the team is able to trade either Means or Smith, then this number could be down to five. 

Defensive tackle (4): Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Beau Allen, Taylor Hart
During training camp, Jim Schwartz said to not count out Allen and Hart just because they didn’t seem to be scheme fits. Both have proven him right this preseason. Sure, undrafted rookies Destiny Vaeao and Aziz Shittu have looked good, but they won’t be able to contribute as much this season as the veterans. At least one of those rookies should hold down a practice squad spot. Mike Martin was the third defensive tackle for a long time but was released on Sunday, after a few weeks of a knee injury. 

Linebacker (6): Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks, Nigel Bradham, Stephen Tulloch, Najee Goode, Quintin Gause
Tulloch will be the primary backup at the MIKE, while Goode and Gause, the undrafted rookie from Rutgers, get the nods at the backup outside 'backer positions for now. But expect the Eagles to take a good look at the waiver wire for linebackers. 

Cornerback (5): Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Ron Brooks, Jalen Mills, Eric Rowe
If the Eagles keep five, I think these will be the five. Rookie C.J. Smith has been impressive but could use a year on the practice squad. I thought Denzel Rice, thanks to his special teams contributions, had an outside shot, but he was cut on Sunday. 

Safety (4): Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Chris Maragos, Jaylen Watkins
A little light at safety, but Mills or Rowe could probably move back there if needed. Really, Jenkins and McLeod aren’t going to come off the field much as long as they’re healthy; there won’t be a rotation. If five safeties were to make the team, sixth-rounder Blake Countess would be the next one up. I think Ed Reynolds is a longer shot at this point.  

Specialists (3): Donnie Jones, Jon Dorenbos, Caleb Sturgis
After an impressive training camp, Sturgis takes down Cody Parkey for the kicker job. 

Practice squad: DT Destiney Vaeao, CB C.J. Smith, G Dillon Gordon, WR David Watford, WR Marcus Johnson, G Darrell Greene, LB Myke Tavarres, S Blake Countess, CB Aaron Grymes, RB Byron Marshall