U.S. Open 2019: Abraham Ancer talks Pebble Beach, how late father helped his game

first_img U.S. Open 2019: Jason Day says he’s ‘underachieved,’ but new caddy Steve Williams will help “It’s always tough,” Ancer told Omnisport, speaking on behalf of Corona Premier. “Every day I think about it would be awesome to have him here with me watching me play, I know he still is, but I mean, just being a little selfish and just having him here it would be incredible just to see all the work and all the effort he put in and invested in me to get me here.”Abraham Sr. died in 2014 after suffering a heart attack. He never got a chance to see his son play on the PGA Tour, but encouraged his namesake in the game from the time he was in diapers.He had his son on the course in the family’s home town of Reynosa, Mexico, and did all he could to help the young man’s game. What came of that was a chance to play in junior college and eventually a scholarship to Oklahoma which served as a springboard to professional golf.It’s something Ancer would have loved to experience with his dad, especially when, a year after his father’s death, he earned his PGA Tour card.”It took a lot out of him money-wise, he went out of his way for me to play at junior events, whatever he could get me on he would do,” Ancer said. “So I’ll always be extremely thankful for that.”Ancer never really got to play in the high-level AJGA events growing up, but he said both of his parents did all they could to support him which helped him earn a chance to play at the next level. And now he has a chance to play in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. U.S. Open 2019: Dustin Johnson says he’s ‘very comfortable’ at Pebble Beach But when Ancer hits his first drive and rolls his first putt, he will be without the man who helped grow his passion for the game.Ancer’s father, also named Abraham, died in 2014 and never saw the 28-year-old play in a single major. It’s difficult for Ancer to deal with and something he would have loved to be able to share with his dad. Related Newscenter_img When Abraham Ancer steps onto the first tee at Pebble Beach in the first round of the U.S. Open on Thursday it will be a special moment for a lot of reasons.It will be his first appearance at the Open and only his third opportunity at a major, and of course, just playing at Pebble Beach is special in and of itself. It’s a moment not lost on the young golfer from Mexico and one he can’t wait to experience for the first time.”Every hole is just so good out here,” Ancer said. “But I mean the stretch from 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, all of those holes that are right along the ocean, I mean the views are incredible.”I’m going to try to just enjoy that and it’s funny to say that, at Corona their saying is to ‘enjoy the view’ and this is just perfect for this golf course.”last_img read more

Post Chapter 11 RDA Looks for Turnaround

first_img The changes aren’t over—advertisers haven’t weighed in yet; more than half of RDA’s international license deals are still pending—but Guth says the company’s core is going to remain stable for the foreseeable future. To stay updated on the latest FOLIO: news, become a Facebook fan and follow us on Twitter! RDA is also changing the ad sales model for its flagship title. Advertiser Exclusivity The new model will concentrate on driving more direct-to-publisher sold subscriptions at higher, more consistent rates, Guth says. The other part of the strategy has been in recalibrating its core. With a more profitable customer model in place, Reader’s Digest is going to focus more on audience development through product enhancements. There have been two bankruptcies, the company’s revenues have been cut by more than a half a billion dollars and key business units have been sold off. Three different CEOs have overseen the changes. Though Reader’s Digest had kept circulation steady at around 5.5 million over the last three years, the numbers show it increasingly turned to agents and discounting to do so. Average annualized subscription prices fell by more than $4.30 or almost 25 percent since 2010, by far the largest drop in its competitive set, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. — “If you look at it through the lens of the consumer, it’s not contradictory,” he says. “The fundamentals of the approach are about improving the quality first. Going from 10 to 12 is obviously a huge step in improving the quality of the product as it’s perceived by customers.” There’s no new price point yet, but enforcing pricing discipline will be a big part of the plan moving forward, Guth says. Too many buyers were waiting for the discounted offers. Most notably, the magazine is slashing its rate base by 45 percent, dropping from 5.5 million to 3 million in a move that’s intended to reduce dependency on underpriced agent-sold subscriptions. The cut will be phased in through the rest of 2013 and take full effect January 1, 2014. He says the company will return to profitability next year. Upheaval has been a defining characteristic of RDA Holding Co. for the last three years. “If anything had taken away from [our core business] over time, it was just a lack of focus,” Guth says. “I think there was an anecdotal view that the publishing sector in general was going to continue to decline and therefore we needed to do other things to offset that. There’s nothing wrong with that philosophy—a lot of successful businesses have done that—but in our case, all those other pursuits accelerated the decline.” Reducing Rate Base and Going Customer-Centric This year’s product improvements to Taste of Home—which included a content expansion, perfect binding and heavier stock sections—resulted in a 14.2-percent ad page bump in the first half, per PIB. Those changes come after Reader’s Digest moved from 10 to 12 issues annually for 2013 and follow investments in the Taste of Home product, RDA’s second-largest title. Part of Guth’s strategy has been to divest those ancillary lines of business. Among other changes since he arrived, Everyday with Rachel Ray and Allrecipies.com were sold to Meredith in separate deals, 150 staffers were laid off and it was announced that the company would license its international operations. Guth disagrees though. It goes back to the consumer-centric model. Reader’s Digest will cut the number of ad pages in each book, moving to an 80-20 edit-to-ad ratio, while offering category exclusivity for partners. No more than four advertisers of any given product category will be in each book. While limiting ad space is a hallmark of the new strategy, moving from 10 to 12 issues per year seems to run counter to that goal. They’re cutting inventory in one place and adding it in another. The magazine will undergo a redesign in late 2014 that will include a cover change, a cleaner navigation experience, increased ad spacing throughout the book and a content shift toward more national interest stories. A new mobile design is also slated to be announced later this year. “This is a company going through a massive transformation,” Guth says. “When the dust settles, we’re going to be a quarter of the size we were two years ago. And you don’t go through all that without some amount of change.” “Historically, [the profitability of] virtually all our titles came from the subscription base, not from the advertising base,” he continues. “By pursing a rate base almost blindly, you lose the ability to have a profitable subscriber base because you rely on agents and you end up at the least common denominator of those agents’ pricings.” Robert Guth, president and CEO of the company since late 2011, has been orchestrating a strategic turnaround against that backdrop, betting on discipline and exclusivity to stabilize the 91-year-old name brand. The majority of the changes announced as part of RDA’s emergence from bankruptcy are aimed at the company’s flagship title and largest single piece, Reader’s Digest. RDA is now set to emerge from Chapter 11 in late July with about $100 million in debt. That’s down from around $500 million at the time of the latest bankruptcy filing and $2.1 billion less than the first time around. “There are two kinds of business strategies: There’s a strategy that’s advertising-centric, which requires a rate-base mindset, and there’s a strategy that’s more consumer-centric,” Guth says. “Either business strategy is great, but you can’t be both. I think over time, we’ve evolved into a place where we were trying to be both.” While Reader’s Digest’s decrease in inventory makes increasing ad page counts impossible, the company is hoping for a similarly positive reaction from advertisers.last_img read more

Uber and Lyft drivers protest for better working conditions

first_imgUber and Lyft drivers gather for a protest in downtown San Francisco. James Martin/CNET Edan Alva started driving for Lyft more than four years ago as your typical side hustle. Then he lost his job and began relying on his Lyft wages to pay the bills. It didn’t take take long for Alva to realize he couldn’t make enough to pay for rent or his son’s health insurance. “[Lyft] seemed like a promising solution, Alva said. “It became a feeling of being trapped.”On Friday, Alva and about 40 other Uber and Lyft drivers gathered in downtown San Francisco to demand the ride-hailing giants for better conditions. The gig economy workers were protesting for higher pay and a union.In an open letter, published to coincide with the protest, drivers called on Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer for changes in treatment. Drivers tried to present the letter at the protest, but weren’t able to enter Uber’s headquarters. “We’ll be back,” they chanted in response. Lyft Uber Uber drivers demand their labor rights “Drivers need a seat at the table as equal partners to chart our path forward,” wrote representatives of Gig Workers Rising and Mobile Workers Alliance, two groups of drivers. “It’s time for Uber and Lyft to do right by us.”The protest comes as California considers Assembly Bill 5, which could allow for drivers to be classified as employees, rather than independent contractors as they currently are. As employees, the drivers would be eligible for benefits and have the right to organize collectively. The Assembly, California’s lower chamber, passed AB 5 in late May. It’s currently in the State Senate. Uber and Lyft have previously called for amending current laws to allow for more worker benefits, including paid time off and retirement planning, irrespective of worker classification. They also supported the establishment of a new driver association that would represent driver interests and administer benefits.Lyft says it recognizes the concerns of drivers. “Lyft is advocating for an approach in line with the interests of our driver community, by modernizing century old labor laws that make it difficult to provide both flexibility and benefits,” the company said in a statement. “It’s encouraging that more groups are joining the conversation to preserve flexibility for drivers while also providing new benefits and protections.”Uber echoed the sentiment.”We will continue to work collaboratively with our diverse community of drivers — and the legislators who represent them — to improve the quality and security of independent work,” an Uber representative said in a statement.The I’m Independent Coalition, a project of the California Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement that it didn’t oppose AB 5 “but is advocating for a modern approach that protects what drivers care about the most – flexibility – while expanding modern labor protections such as benefits and pay transparency.” The coalition supports independent contractors, including Uber and Lyft drivers who wish to remain independent.The issue of gig worker classification has simmered for years, and lawsuits have been filed against both Uber and Lyft. Several cities and states have looked at the issue, and New York City passed minimum wage laws for drivers last year. In May, the National Labor Relations Board said drivers should be classified as contractors instead of employees. At the Friday protest, drivers complained the relationship between the companies and its contractors was unfair.”We’re the ones that have helped these companies become rich,” said Linda Valdivia, who’s driven for Uber and Lyft for about three years. “We want to claim our own rights as drivers. We want to have our own benefits.”Drivers responded by cheering, “Drivers united will never be defeated.” “Stop fighting with us,” Valdivia said. “Stop treating us like we’re disposable and sit with us at the table.”Alva, the Lyft driver, reiterated the complaints.”We will not stop until we are heard,” Alva said. “We demand Uber and Lyft to listen to us.”Originally published July 19, 10:10 a.m. PTUpdate, 10:47 a.m.: Adds Uber statement. Update, 11:33 a.m.: Adds comment from the I’m Independent Coalition. Update, 12:54 p.m.: Adds quotes from protesters.  21 Share your voicecenter_img Comments Tags Mobile Roadshow 8 Photoslast_img read more

After angry fans question World Cup organisers ICC gives reason behind not

first_imgFor the International Cricket Council, this week has been tough. It started when MS Dhoni’s gloves caught their eye, there were exchanges with the BCCI. Well, that was restored, but then rain and its woes intervened and if the MET department is to be believed, it will continue to be a dampener right through this week.Two matches have already been washed out, Sri Lanka have already faced the brunt in two of their fixtures and the ICC has been extremely unlucky with the weather this year. So, why are there no reserved days for this marquee tournament? For starters, ICC outgoing CEO Dave Richardson believes that it will be practically impossible for them to have a reserve day for every match.’This is extremely unseasonable weather’ Rain has proven to be a spoilsport this World CupAP”Factoring in a reserve day for every match at the World Cup would significantly increase the length of the tournament and practically would be extremely complex to deliver,” Richardson said in a statement.The MET department has said that the United Kingdom is experiencing twice the average rainfall in June.”This is extremely unseasonable weather. In the last couple of days, we have experienced more than twice the average monthly rainfall for June which is usually the third driest month in the UK.”Richardson also explained why having a reserve day in the tournament is not a very practical step to take and that it can have an impact on the entire World Cup.”It would impact pitch preparation, team recovery and travel days, accommodation and venue availability, tournament staffing, volunteer and match officials’ availability, broadcast logistics and very importantly the spectators who in some instances have travelled hours to be at the game. There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either,” Richardson added. India’s match against New Zealand can also be rain-affectedTwitter/ICCThis being said, these abandoned matches are having an impact on the points table which will have a bearing when the tournament enters the business end, but then having a reserve day for each match will require a significant increase in the workforce from the current 1,200 that are employed per game.”We have reserve days factored in for the knock-out stages, knowing that over the course of 45 group games we should play the large majority. When a match is affected by weather conditions, the venue team works closely with match officials and ground staff to ensure that we have the best possible opportunity to play cricket, even if it is a reduced overs game,” he informed.last_img read more

USBangla aircraft makes emergency landing

first_imgUS-Bangla aircraft. File Photo A Malaysia bound US-Bangla aircraft from Dhaka returned at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) 20 minutes after taking off as the pilot got an alarm from the engine on Saturday.”The flight carrying 164 passengers took off HSIA for Malaysia at 8:45am but after nearly 20 minutes, it had to return due to technical problem and landed here safely,” US-Bangla spokesperson Kamrul Islam told BSS.He said the flight again took off for Malaysia at 11:45am as engineers found no fault after conducting a through checkup on the aircraft after coming back.Kamrul said pilot returned Dhaka after getting a “false alarm” from the fuel filter bypass of the aircraft. “The pilot came back as he didn’t want to take any risk,” he added.The incident took place after 12 days of deadly US-Bangla aircraft crash at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu of Nepal, which killed 49 people including 26 Bangladesh nationals.last_img read more

Muhammad Ali May Receive Presidential Pardon

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he may pardon another late heavyweight boxing champion — this time, Muhammad Ali.Trump tells reporters he’s looking at “thousands of names” of people who could be granted clemency.The late heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali. (Courtesy Photo/Library Of Congress)Trump’s already granted a posthumous pardon to boxing’s first Black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson — convicted of violating a law that made it illegal to transport women across state lines for “immoral” purposes.Ali refused to enter the military during the Vietnam War, declaring himself a conscientious objector. His decision resulted in a draft-evasion conviction, and he was stripped of his heavyweight boxing crown. Ali’s legal fight ended in 1971, when the Supreme Court ruled in his favor.Earlier this week, Trump commuted the life sentence of a woman whose cause was championed by Kim Kardashian West.last_img read more

Antibody may help old people regain muscle power

first_imgA newly created antibody could treat the decline in muscle mass and power associated with ageing, show results of a phase-two trial by an international research team.The myostatin antibody treatment improved muscle power in the elderly, as indicated by improvements in the ability to climb stairs, walk briskly and rise repetitively from a chair, the findings showed.“Myostatin is a natural protein produced within the body that inhibits muscle growth,” said one of the researchers Stuart Warden from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, US. “It has been hypothesised for some time that inhibition of myostatin may allow muscle to grow, resulting in improved muscle mass and physical performance. The current study confirms these beliefs,” Warden said. In the study, injections of a myostatin antibody, made by US-based Eli Lilly and Co, over a 24-week period resulted in an increase in lean (muscle) mass and improved performance on tasks requiring muscle power in patients older than 75 with low muscle strength, low muscle performance and a history of falling. “This is the first study to show that myostatin antibody treatment improves performance on activities requiring muscle power,” Warden said. “Muscle power’ refers to the ability to generate muscle force quickly. During ageing, it is lost more rapidly than muscle strength, contributing to disability, falls, reduced quality of life and, in some instances, death,” Warden explained.He said “the current study provides proof-of-concept evidence to proceed to the larger studies that are required to demonstrate whether myostatin antibody treatment improves quality of life and reduces falls and their consequences during ageing”.  “This is an important and exciting first step,” Warden noted in an official statement.last_img read more