battling rustiness

Battling wind and rustiness, Tiger Woods feels ‘good’ in return to action – CNN International

(CNN)During any normal golf tournament, the words “on the tee, Tiger Woods” are usually followed by rapturous applause from the gathered crowd.

But with no fans currently permitted to attend PGA Tour events — to avoid spreading Covid-19 — Woods’ return to competitive action was met by silence at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.
Playing in his first competitive PGA Tour event since the Genesis Tournament in February, the lack of atmosphere proved the least of Woods’ problems.
On a blustery day, the 44-year-old struggled with winds exceeding 30 mph and the rustiness that comes with five months away from competitive action to card a one-under 71 and finish five shots behind leader Tony Finau.
Despite having to battle those different elements, Woods said he felt “good” after completing his round.
“It felt good. I was a little bit rusty but felt like overall it was a good start. It’s been a while since I’ve played. Got off to almost an ideal start and got a feel for the round early. I just didn’t make anything today. I had looks at birdies, but I really didn’t make much,” he said afterwards.
“I was very pleased the way I drove it, my feel for my irons. I just didn’t quite hit the putts hard enough. Most of my putts were dying, didn’t quite have enough oomph to it.”

A different atmosphere

While the reception he might’ve normally got on the first tee was different, Woods didn’t let the lack of atmosphere show, birdying the first hole.
“The energy wasn’t the same without the fans. That certainly was noticeable, mostly different,” said Woods, who has won this tournament a record five times.
“[But no] I definitely didn’t have any issue with energy and not having the fans’ reactions out there. I still felt the same eagerness, edginess, nerviness starting out, and it was good. It was a good feel. I haven’t felt this in a while.”
Woods’ round wasn’t completely silent though. As his group — along with major champions Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka — walked down the opening hole, some young fans voiced their support from over their fences.
A group of children — three of which had painted their faces in tiger stripes — on the 11th hole stood on chairs to watch the group. They brandished a sign reading “Tiger’s Cub House” and chanted “Go Tiger!” — eliciting a smile and a wave from Woods.
Woods can break Sam Snead’s 55-year-old record of 82 PGA Tour wins if he wins this week.
He will have to catch Finau to claim that elusive 83rd win though. The American finished with seven birdies over his last 10 holes to close out with a six-under 66.
World number 1 McIlroy is four shots behind Finau, while U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland is just two off the lead.

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battling Second

Battling second virus wave, Australia puts city of Melbourne under lockdown – The Washington Post

MELBOURNE, Australia — A new wave of coronavirus infections prompted officials to impose restrictions on some 5 million people in Australia’s second-largest city, illustrating the difficulty of conquering the pandemic even in a country that had enjoyed relative success in taming its toll.

Authorities in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state, said they would reinstate curbs for six weeks starting Wednesday night to try to beat back a surge in new cases that threatens to spiral out of control. Residents of the city and some surrounding areas will be required to stay at home except for essential activities such as certain work or study, food shopping, exercise or medical care, and they won’t be able to leave the metropolitan area.

In announcing the measures Tuesday, Daniel Andrews, the state premier, said a sense of complacency that had set in after most social-distancing rules were lifted in June was partly responsible for the jump in new infections. Victoria as recently as last month had reported daily new cases in the single digits, but on Tuesday reported a record 191 new cases, of which only 37 were linked to known outbreaks.

“These are unsustainably high numbers of new cases. It is simply impossible with case rates at this level to have enough contact tracing staff, to have enough physical resources . . . to continue to suppress and contain this virus without taking significant steps,” Andrews told reporters.

“We are in many respects in a more precarious, challenging and potentially tragic position now than we were some months ago.”

The resurgence of the virus in Melbourne echoes the difficulties facing the United States, where some areas, particularly in the South and West, are mandating masks and reimposing shutdowns as they report spiraling numbers of infections and hospitalizations.

Still, with a total of 8,755 cases and 106 deaths among a population of 25 million, Australia has largely avoided the devastating effects seen in many other Western countries. The United States has a population 13 times that of Australia but has recorded more than 1,200 times the number of deaths.

In Melbourne, the new measures will require some businesses to close, including beauty and personal care services, cultural and entertainment venues and community facilities. Cafes and restaurants will remain open but only for takeout and delivery.

The spike in cases coincided with wider testing; with more than 26,000 tests performed in a single day, Victoria has done nearly 1 million tests.

“This is not over, and pretending that it is because we all want it to be over is not the answer — it is indeed part of the problem,” Andrews said.

A day earlier, officials said they would close Victoria’s state borders to prevent the outbreak from spreading elsewhere.

Officials had already reinstated a partial lockdown for some areas of Melbourne after some residents in public housing complexes tested positive in recent days. About 3,000 residents in nine high-rise buildings were given an hour’s notice before being banned from leaving their apartments for at least five days as extensive testing is carried out.

Genomic sequencing has indicated some of the outbreak has emerged from guards and guests in hotel quarantine, where Australian citizens and permanent residents returning from overseas must isolate for 14 days.

So far, Victoria appears to be alone among Australia’s states in suffering a second wave of the pandemic. New South Wales, the most populous state, on Tuesday reported only seven new cases, while three states and two territories recorded none.

Yet epidemiologists say the nature of how the virus spreads means the second wave could have happened anywhere.

“The Victorian outbreak highlights what we’ve always known: that this virus has explosive potential and that we have a long road ahead of us,” said James McCaw, an expert in infectious diseases at the University of Melbourne.

“The breakdown in infection control in hotel quarantine — just one or two events across the many hundreds of people successfully managed through the system — has had a huge consequence.”

Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University, said a failure at the front line was key and that a new tipping point was occurring as the health system reached capacity due to the “sheer scale of keeping up with contact tracing.”

Bennett said the state had not been sufficiently prepared to shield high-risk vulnerable populations like the residents of the housing towers under hard lockdown, many of whom are new migrants, refugees, those with mental health issues and survivors of family violence.

Ahmed Dini, a resident of one of the towers, said Tuesday that residents felt they had been treated like second-class citizens, yet on the other hand they had received an outpouring of public support.

“These towers are like vertical cruise ships, we are like sitting ducks — we’re scared and we know there’s potential for the numbers to skyrocket very soon,” he said in an interview.

The second wave is also adding to anxiety about Australia’s economic recovery from the virus, which the central bank on Tuesday warned would be rocky. Prime Minister Scott Morrison had hoped that officials would be able to ease most restrictions and border closures this month.

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battling firefighters

Firefighters are battling a 4-alarm fire on Pier 45 in San Francisco – CNN

(CNN)More than 125 San Francisco firefighters are battling a four-alarm warehouse fire Saturday on Pier 45, the city’s fire department says.

A quarter of the pier at Fisherman’s Wharf “has been lost to the flames,” according to the San Francisco Fire Department PIO.
No injuries have been reported. The pier has been fully evacuated, the department says.
Flames could be seen in the early morning darkness in photos tweeted by Dan Whaley.
The blaze was first reported at 4:17 a.m. local time (7:17 a.m. ET) and has been contained to a section of the pier.
The Fire Department tweeted a link to live updates.
Officers report the fire caused a partial building collapse on the southern part of the pier, spread to two buildings on the pier and is in danger of spreading to a third, the Fire Department says.
There is no word yet of a cause.
Fireboat St. Francis was put in position to protect the historic SS Jeremiah O’Brien ship built during World War II, and it successfully saved the ship from damage, said Jonathan Baxter, the department’s spokesman.
Several fireboats are positioned around the wharf and helping fight the fire.

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