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Yard Goats Might Never Play In Hartford

By Josh Norris

HARTFORD — The Hartford Yard Goats’ first season in their new hometown has turned into a disaster.

Dunkin’ Donuts Park was scheduled to be completed in time for Opening Day. Instead as the season winds to a close, the park is still unfinished and—much to the frustration of everyone involved—no work is currently being done to complete it.

With construction at Dunkin’ Donuts Park at a standstill, there’s a chance the Yard Goats won’t ever play a game in Hartford. Eastern League president Joe McEacharn bluntly acknowledged as much at a press conference on Thursday.

“If the stadium is not done,” he said, “baseball will not come to Hartford.”

That was the message at a grim press conference at the still-padlocked DDP, where three parties—Hartford Stadium Authority chairman I. Charles Mathews, team owner Josh Solomon and McEacharn—announced that construction had not yet resumed. The original contractor, DoNo Centerplan, was booted from the project earlier this summer after continued delays. The stadium’s guarantor, Arch Insurance, was called in as a last-ditch effort to salvage at least some of the season.

That effort failed.

On July 22, the Eastern League announced the final set of alterations to Hartford’s schedule, ensuring that the team would play the entire season on the road.

Under Arch, construction at DDP still hasn’t resumed on the list of nearly 200 tasks that have yet to be completed. No general contractor has been selected to do the work, even. Mathews, at the press conference, said that there are two proposals on the table for a resolution—one from the city and one from the Yard Goats. The Hartford Courant reported that Solomon had offered to loan the city money to expedite the completion of the stadium. That proposal was rejected.

“We think we’re better positioned to protect the interests of the city, the taxpayers and the residents, if in fact we proceed with Arch, but we’re at the point now where we have no more time. Arch has to move, as you’ve heard from others, very soon so we get it done,” he said, before hinting at a second option. “But we also have a Plan B. And while there may have been some reports that the city rejected the bid by the Yard Goats, I think it’s fair to say the terms of the proposal from the Yard Goats were not really what we were expecting or what we would agree to.”

The Yard Goats released their planned 2017 schedule last week. Their first home game is slated for April 13 against New Hampshire. However, there’s a possibility the team would again be forced to the road. Obviously, all parties involved would like to avoid that scenario.

“We are fully committed to getting this stadium done and we’re fully committed to ensuring that we can play baseball in April of 2017,” Mathews said. “That’s where we are now, and we think that over the next week a lot of progress will be made or the city will have to decide if they must go another direction. We won’t do that lightly, but we may be forced to go another direction if we can’t conclude our business arrangement with Arch. Time is of the essence and, in fact, we have no more time.”

When asked directly if there was a possibility of baseball never being played in Hartford, McEacharn reiterated his message from earlier in the morning.

“I’m saying that, for 2017, we have to have a specific plan and we have to have a stadium facility, a home site, in place for the Colorado Rockies and the other clubs,” he said. “If the stadium is not ready, we won’t play baseball here in 2017. What goes on in the future, I won’t go out that far.”

Pressed about the possible Plan B, McEacharn first noted a proposed-but-not-disclosed plan from Solomon and the Yard Goats, then raised the possibility of relocating the team.

“One of our Plans B was to require Mr. Solomon and the Yard Goats to create an alternative path and to work with the city, but we will have an alternative path in the event that Arch does not step up and fulfill their obligation. That would be our Plan B,” he said. “My Plan B will be to have a different location available for the team.”

McEacharn declined comment about any possible relocation sites that had been discussed.

Mathews was adamant that he and the city would prefer to continue with Arch as had been scheduled and was confident that the two parties could continue to work together toward a resolution without any extra cost beyond the initial price tag of roughly $63 million.

“One of the reasons we’re pursuing Plan A is we’re certain there won’t be any extra cost to the taxpayers,” he said. “Under Plan A (which is) bringing Arch in, they spend their money, they complete the stadium. If we go with a counterproposal to the Yard Goats, we have to insure that we can still (do it without extra cost). We have to ensure that we still have the revenue necessary to pay off the debt service associated with the bonds that we issued. All that’s being worked out. . . . Our first goal is Plan A, but barring that in a short period of time, we’ll be entering serious negotiations with the Yard Goats on Plan B.”

Both Solomon and McEacharn used their statements to put the onus squarely on Arch, which has not restarted construction in the nearly two months since Centerplan was removed from the job, to complete the stadium. If not, there likely won’t be minor league baseball in Hartford.

“We are at a critical, critical point for (baseball in Hartford) to happen,” McEacharn said. “We’ve lost the 2016 season. That’s been a burden to everybody. It’s been a burden to the city of Hartford, to the people who were going to work here, to the fans, to the Eastern League teams, to major league teams and certainly to the Yard Goats, who played the entire season—unprecedented—on the road. . . . We cannot accept that in 2017 and we will not accept that in 2017.”

First printed in Baseball America.

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Connecticut Woman Accuses White House of Abuse of Power and Unfair Labor Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gov. Dannel Malloy reportedly asked two White House staffers to resign after learning about their alleged abuse of power, including an illegal entry into an Avon resident’s home last week.


According to sources close to the White House, Malloy asked the two unidentified staffers to resign after they interrupted an ongoing and unusual recruitment process to hire a Connecticut resident, who was approached  by White House staffers and political operatives in January 2014.


Washington and local Democrats and Republicans were also involved in the so-called recruitment process  and were doing deep background checks, which they said would last for one year. The woman, who wants to remain annoynmous,  was told she would start at the White House on April 16, 2015. When she arrived at the White House, she was introduced to the woman who was presumably hired while recruiters were “still doing background checks” and at the same time planting stories to discredit her.


During the supposedly 18-month investigative process for a senior position in the Obama administration, the woman’s ideas, life lessons and blue print for her career were used by White House staffers and friends of the Obama administration, she said. The woman has been in communication, research and political strategy for more than 15 years.


After being informed by the background investigators of this unprecedented breach of White House protocol, the woman filed a complaint for unfair labor practices, which include work without pay and forced labor.


In addition to the investigation with the Department of Justice, the woman was forced into controlled experimental conditions and hospitals to create medical records for information to inform policy. She has never been in a hospital until 2014, sources said.


The unidentified woman, who has ties to political elites in Washington and Connecticut, also complained about theft of services and attempts to discredit her story. She said she has been subjected to economic sanctions and other layers of oppression by White House staffers, who are still trying to cover up the incident.


The Hartford Guardian reached out to the Justice Department, the White House  Communications Office, and the Secret Service press officers for comment. They were unavailable at press time.

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AARP Honors Rep Baram for Legislative Role

Recognition for Power of Attorney Legislation

HARTFORD — Rep. David Baram was proud to receive a Certificate from AARP recognizing his role as a legislator – attorney in providing advice and guidance in drafting new legislation revising Connecticut’s statute on the Power of Attorney.

Featured picture: Joined by Mike Humes (Associate Director), volunteers Marilyn Diaz and Veda White!


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U.S. Secretary of Education John King Visits Hartford to Talk Diversity

HARTFORD — U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King recently visited Hartford to talk diversity.

Very little diversity was in the room, though.

Check back later for details.


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Ellen DeGeneres Racist Mishap with Usain Bolt Tweet

Some say Gay American Ellen DeGeneres should have thought twice before posting a photo trivializing Usain Bolt.

The insensitive remark went viral following Bolt’s gold medal win in the 100-meter dash  at #Rio2016.

Ellen DeGeneres And DeGeneres found herself embroiled in controversy with what some say is a racist tweet.

In the photo, DeGeneres is shown riding Usain Bolt’s back via photo editing. Bolt had just won his third consecutive gold medal in the 100-meter race at the Rio Olympics.

“This how I’m running my errands from now on. #Rio2016,” read the tweet from DeGeneres’ account.

The talk show host said Tuesday on Twitter that she’s “highly aware of the racism that exists in our country” but that’s “the furthest thing from who I am.”


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Ilhan Omar Poised to Become Nation’s First Somali American Legislator

Tom Gitaa, Mshale

MINNEAPOLIS – A multiracial coalition of African immigrants, liberals and university students helped make history in Minnesota on Tuesday when they carried Somalia-born Ilhan Omar to victory in the hotly contested Minnesota House District 60B primary and effectively ending the career of the state’s longest serving legislator, Phyliss Kahn, who has been in office uninterrupted since 1972.

The victory positions her to be the first Somali-American legislator in the country.

District 60B which includes a section of downtown Minneapolis starts south of I-94 in Minneapolis and goes north to Hennepin Avenue and terminates east at the border with the city of St. Paul.

The District which is heavily Democratic makes Omar the presumptive Minnesota House representative for 60B come November, barring any major surprises from the Republicans as historically, the Democratic nominee or endorsed candidate is a shoo-in for the seat. In the Republican side, Abdimalik Askar, also a Somali had no opposition as he won 100% of the votes or 56 votes. Ilhan Omar and Abdimalik Askar will face each other in the November general election.

In the Minnesota House, there is only one black representative, Rena Moran of District 65A who was able to stave off a primary challenge from Rashad Anthony Turner who many are familiar with as a key leader of the St. Paul Black Lives Matter. She is likely to prevail in the heavily Democratc stronghold as the DFL nominee. Omar’s victory will bring to two the number of black people in the Minnesota House. It will set up an interesting scenario where two black women are in the Minnesota House and two black men in the Minnesota Senate. The two African Americans in the Minnesota Senate, Jeff Hayden and Bobby Jo Champion handily won their primaries.

Omar was one of two high-profile Somali candidates that were seeking to dislodge Kahn in 60B. Omar has been the Democratic Party favorite, having come close to clinching the nomination at the DFL nominating convention in April (in Minnesota, the Democratic Party in the state is referred to as the DFL – Democratic Farmer Labor). At the convention, Omar fell short by 11 votes to clinch the nomination outright, forcing the party to hold Tuesday’s primary. The nominating convention outcome embittered many in the community with most of the anger directed at fellow Somali Mohamud Noor who many opined should have thrown his support to Omar to enable her to avoid the primary.

Her father two weeks ago at a fundraiser organized by the African business community said the primary could be a blessing “as it will make her tougher and she will appreciate it Omar.”

On Tuesday Omar garnered a convincing 41% of the votes cast while her two challengers received 29% each.

Prefacing her remarks with “Yes we did,” an emotional Omar who wiped away tears said “Tonight we made history.”

She went on “Tonight marks the beginning of the future of our district, a new era of representation. Tonight is about the power of you.”

Ahmed Ismail Yusuf, author of the much acclaimed book “Somalis in Minnesota” was among those at the victory party for Omar. “I don’t even know why we have this primary, it should not have come to this,” he complained loudly as he awaited results. Located later after the results were announced, he smiled broadly, not uttering a word.

Omar and her family fled Somalia when she was 8 and they spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before finally finding their way to Minnesota.

She was policy Aide to Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson, one of her early backers when she announced her candidacy.

“This is history,” Habon Abdulle, executive director of Women Organizing Women (WOW) said during an interview at the Omar victory party after the results were announced. Abdulle decried the misogyny directed at Omar. “They kept diminishing her like she cannot do it, well the people have spoken,” she said.

(Important Disclaimer: Mshale Founder and Publisher and author of this story is one of Ilhan Omar’s campaign fundraisers with the last fundraising event organized by him being hosted at the law offices of Paschal Nwokocha co-hosted in tandem with the latter, former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak and Godson Sowah. The Ilhan Omar campaign Field Director, Stacy Rosana, has a family relation to Tom.)

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Trump, Clinton Kick off Battle for Connecticut

Washington – Donald Trump’s plans to hold a rally in Connecticut this weekend will rev up the campaign season in Connecticut, sharpening the state’s focus on the race for the White House.

Connecticut is not a swing state, having last voted for a Republican in 1988 for former state resident George H. W. Bush. But both parties say spending time and resources in Connecticut will help their presidential candidates in what’s become a bruising national fight.

J.R. Romano, the head of the Connecticut Republican Party, said Trump’s visit to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield on Saturday is aimed at linking Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s “failed” economic policies to those of Hillary Clinton.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at rally at Crosby High School in Waterbury on Saturday.

Kyle Constable /

Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Crosby High School in Waterbury in April.

“The state of Connecticut is the biggest warning of what Hillary Clinton economic policies will look like,” Romano said.

Connecticut Democrats used a midday press conference Friday to challenge Republican candidates in the state to repudiate Trump, and they made clear they would press the issue during the campaign.

Calling it a “crisis for the Republican Party,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said it was time for Republicans to “stand up and let their voices be counted.”

“If they stay silent, they are backing Donald Trump,” said state Rep. Matt Lesser of Middletown, one of several Democratic legislators to speak.

Meanwhile, a Clinton campaign official said Connecticut’s proximity to other battleground states, including New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, and the possibility to tap young supporters and union loyalists to help in other places makes the state an asset.

“Volunteers from Connecticut can go to other (swing) states if we need them,” she said.

The Clinton campaign official said the former first lady and secretary of state is committed to a “50 state campaign” with a presence in each one.

She also said there are political synergies in the state, with the Clinton campaign benefiting from the races of popular Democrats running for re-election, like Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who in turn could be helped by Clinton’s name at the top of the ballot.

“We already have our top surrogates on the ground,” said Michael Mandell, executive director of the Connecticut Democratic Party, referring to members of the state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation.

Setting up the campaigns

The  Clinton-Trump battle for the White House began in earnest in Connecticut right after the parties held their conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia last month.

The Trump campaign picked Stratford attorney Ben Proto to head its efforts in the state. Proto is no political novice, having worked in Connecticut on Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign and volunteered in New Hampshire on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign.

Heading up the Clinton campaign in Connecticut is Tommy Hyde, who has worked as a Democratic field director in the state and been involved in local campaigns.

Both the Trump and Clinton campaigns said they are scouting for locations to open campaign offices and say those will be up and running soon.

The Trump campaign’s effort to win Connecticut’s 7 electoral votes is part of a plan to expand the electoral map by competing in states like New York, Oregon, Washington and Michigan that Republicans have not carried for decades.

This strategy was fashioned by campaign manager and New Britain native Paul Manafort before Trump began to slip in the polls, even in rock-ribbed GOP states like Georgia and Arizona and in the swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The slide in the polls has been linked to a series of post-convention missteps by Trump, including feuding with top Republicans and with the parents of a slain Muslim-American soldier, and a comment about gun enthusiasts that was widely interpreted as a threat against Clinton or a joke gone bad.

The Trump campaign is pressed to reallocate more resources to right its campaign in those states, even as it spends time and money visiting Connecticut on Saturday.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at the University of Bridgeport on Sunday.

Kyle Constable /

Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at the University of Bridgeport in April.

Gary Rose, head of Sacred Heart University’s political science department said he will be among those at the rally.

He said it makes sense for Trump to visit the state because “there’s a very restless electorate here willing to give him a look.”

Rose said Connecticut’s weak economy makes it fertile territory for an outsider candidate like Trump who appeals to disaffected working-class and independent voters.

But, unlike other politicians who have used Connecticut as a campaign cash machine, Trump has raised very little money in the state.

The latest Federal Elections Commission reports show that as of June 30, Clinton had raised more than $4 million in the state while Trump had raised little more than $132,000.

Rose said Trump’s visit to Connecticut, even if it’s not linked to a fundraiser, could provide him an opportunity to meet some new, deep-pocketed donors.

Romano said Trump’s poor fundraising performance in the state means “there’s growth opportunities here.”

Meanwhile, Clinton has scheduled a fundraiser in Fairfield County on Monday, but no public events.

Rose said her campaign should focus on the state’s Democratic base, which includes union members and a Hispanic population that is growing, especially in the state’s larger cities, like Hartford and Bridgeport.

“She needs to have an urban message and show her support for the unions,” Rose said.

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The Beautiful Ones: Actress Halle Berry and Journalist Ann-Marie Adams

Rose Mendes, Staff Writer

HARTFORD —  It was 1989.  Rapper Chuck D fought a racist power structure with Public Enemy’s hit song: “Fight the Power.” Filmmaker Spike Lee thought it was time for America to “do the right thing.” And Ann-Marie Adams was a fly girl.

Ann-Marie Adams: poised and perfect.

Ann-Marie Adams: pretty, poised and perfect.

annmarieadamsnycNow an award-winning reporter and Kingmaker, Adams recently talked with The Hartford Guardian about her foray into the entertainment business and her appearances in several music videos for LL Cool J, Nice and Smooth, and Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit productions. Adams (pictured in photos to the right) also talked about her appearances in Hip Hop movies such as Strictly Business with Halle Berry. Juice with Tupac Shakur and Malcolm X with Denzil Washington.

On these film sets, chatting up rappers and movie stars was routine for Adams, now a journalist, historian and founder of an award-winning nonprofit news publication: The Hartford Guardian. She decided to skip entertainment reporting after a gig with People magazine and she took another path: hard news.

Adams, an award-winning journalist, recently celebrated 20 years of covering cops, courts, schools, social services, government, politics, travel and leisure. In October, Adams will celebrate the founding of The Hartford Guardian.

When asked about her role as one of “the beautiful ones” in the 1991 film Strictly Business, a film about a young man named Bobby, played by Tommy Davidson, who wants to go from the mail room to the boardroom and to later start his own business. And he had to learn from his friend how to navigate the corporate world. His friend, Joseph C. Phillips , plays the rolex-wearing Waymon Tinsdale II. Berry plays the role as one of the beautiful ones, Natalie.

Adams part in the film was cut. That’s because Adams and Berry had on similar outfits (not pictured here). Adams and Berry wore black tank tops, cut-off blue jeans, black stockings and small pumps. Both are 5 feet, 5 inches; and both have almost the same complexion.

So Berry, 49, asked the director to have Adams move out of the scene (below) with her.


Still looking that an ingenue, Adams, 46 , was later placed in another scene with Phillips, who played Berry’s love interest.

Other interesting stories  Adams shared with us as she celebrates at least 20 years of civic journalism is her brief encounter with Tupac on the set of Juice. That brief romance stayed on the set, she said.

Another encounter on a video set was with LL Cool J, and Adams declined to say which one.

As The Guardian celebrates its 12-year anniversary, Adams recognizes that the birth of The Guardian is also deeply rooted in the Hip Hop culture during the early 1990s.

Not many publications can make that claim, said Sandra Foster, a Hartford resident and longtime reader of The Guardian.

“I congratulate her for sticking around this long,” Foster said.  “She is one of the beautiful ones to us: inside and out.”

Will she retire now after serving Connecticut residents this long? Like always, she wants us to keep guessing.

“I don’t know yet. There must be a compelling reason for me to retire,” Adams said. “I’m still waiting for that moment to say I’m done with journalism.”

Check out the clip Adams was in before she was cut from this scene.

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Senators Fire Back at Trump’s Proposed Ban On Immigrants From ‘Terrorist Nations’

Klarize MedenillaAsian Journal 

Two senators on Friday, August 5 have responded to Donald Trump’s call to ban immigration from countries with high rates of terrorism, including the Philippines.

Denouncing the Republican nominee’s comments, the senators asserted that the Philippines is a key ally helping the United States fight terrorism and that Filipino immigrants have contributed largely to the United States.

“Donald Trump’s latest rant suggesting we ban immigration from countries like the Philippines that are helping us fight terrorism is another example of his reckless rhetoric that’s based on fear and division and further proves he is unfit to lead our country,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said in a statement.

“For generations, Filipinos have made the United States their home.  It is their vibrant culture, hard work, and strong values that have enriched our communities and made this country great, not the ignorant, racist bigotry of Donald Trump.”

Senator Nerissa Bretania Underwood of Guam, a Filipina, also condemned the Republican presidential nominee’s proposals, describing his rhetoric as divisive and “reckless.”

She called on the Republican delegates from Guam and Governor Eddie Calvo to renounce Trump and “unendorse his candidacy.”

In a statement, Underwood said, “Filipinos on our island and across the country serve in uniform, in our hospitals, in our schools and across every private and public sector — –Filipinos are also beloved members of our families and communities.”

“As a proud daughter from Iloilo in the Philippines…I am a grateful adopted daughter of Guam and horrified by Mr. Trump’s statement and the leaders who have chosen to support him. I have worked my entire life to give back to our island that we all call home. Hate, fear and division are not qualities we need in the U.S. President and should give Americans across the country concern on whether a Trump administration is fit to lead our country,” Underwood added.

The day before, Trump had once again voiced his controversial proposals to ban immigration from several parts of the world, listing countries by name, including the Philippines, Syria, Yemen, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Somalia and Morocco.

The Republican nominee called immigration from the so-called “terrorist nations” problematic because the immigrants wouldn’t be vetted by the government beforehand.

“You have no idea who they are. This could be the great Trojan horse of all time,” he said.

Following the San Bernardino attacks last December, he came under fire for proposing to temporarily prohibit all Muslims from entering the country.

“Hillary Clinton wants to have them come in by the hundreds of thousands — just remember,” Trump said in a press conference in Portland, Maine on Thursday, August 4. “This has nothing to do with politics, folks. This is a whole different level. This has to do with pure, raw stupidity. Okay?”

The string of violence from jihadist groups like Abu Sayyaf this year have underpinned speculation that the Philippines is next on the Islamic State’s (ISIS) radar.

Related story: A Trump Presidency and the Consequences for Filipinos

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PGA Tour 2016: Travelers Championship

By Brian Weeks, Contributor

CROMWELL — The Travelers Championship began on Thursday in Cromwell  and here are the tee times.

The Golf Channel will televise live from 3-6 p.m. today and you can also follow along all day on our live leaderboard (below).

Bubba Watson is the defending champion, and he has won this event three times. He is the only player ranked in the top 10 set to play.

The Travelers Championship will also provide an Olympic preview because three-quarters of the U.S. men’s Olympic golf team will play together in this event. Watson, Matt Kuchar and Patrick Reed are scheduled to go out as a trio today and Friday for the first two rounds. Rickie Fowler, the fourth member of the team, will skip the event because he will be in Rio.

Bubba Watson tees off in Cromwell

Bubba Watson tees off in Cromwell


Travelers Champ (PGA)
Pos Name Score Thru
1 T. Van Aswegen -7 18
2t R. Garrigus -6 18
2t J. Kelly -6 18
2t R. Knox -6 11
2t D. Berger -6 11
2t M. Leishman -6 7
2t A. Loupe -6 6
8t B. Barber -5 18
8t P. Casey -5 18
8t S. Pinckney -5 18
View Full Leaderboard

Site: Cromwell, Conn.
Course: TPC River Highlands. Yardage: 6,841. Par: 70.
Purse: $6.6 million (First place: $1,188,000).
TV: Golf Channel (Today-Friday, 3-6 p.m.; CBS Sports (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.); Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m.).
Defending champion: Bubba Watson
Last week: Jimmy Walker won the PGA Championship for his first major.
Notes: The tournament, typically played the week after the U.S. Open, moved to the first week in August because of the Olympics. … Bubba Watson is turning down opening ceremonies at the Olympics to defend his title. This was his first victory, and the only one his father saw him win on TV before dying. … Matt Kuchar and Patrick Reed also are in the field, making three of the four Americans who are in the Olympics. Reed is No. 10 in the Ryder Cup standings, while Kuchar is at No. 11. Watson now is No. 9. … Three other Olympians are in the field — Padraig Harrington, Alex Cejka and Soren Kjeldsen. … Rickie Fowler, at No. 12 in the Ryder Cup standings, has not finished in the top 10 at a major since 2014. … Harrington moved to No. 129 in the FedEx Cup with his tie for 13th in the PGA Championship. This will be his last chance to secure a spot in the top 125 because he will spend two weeks in Rio for the Olympics. … Jimmy Walker now has won in each of the last four years on the PGA Tour. … Jason Day became the first player to post all four rounds in the 60s in consecutive PGA Championships. … The tournament has gone to a playoff six of the last 12 times.
Next week: John Deere Classic.

(The Associated Press and Cleveland Plaindealer contributed to this report)Photo Courtesy of Golf Week.

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