MEXICO CITY – Lydia Ko beat home favorite Ana Menendez, and the Jutanugarn sisters set up a second-round showdown in the Lorena Ochoa Match Play. The top-ranked Ko edged Menendez 3 and 2 on Thursday at Club de Golf Mexico in the event that switched from stroke to match play and from November to April. ”I am going to try to give myself as many birdie opportunities as I can,” Ko said. ”I think a big key going forward is that you need to have many birdies opportunities, because some of them will end up falling.” Third-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn will face older sister Moriya in the second round. ”I think playing against her will be fun, because even if I don’t make a putt in that hole and she does I’ll feel happy for her,” Ariya said. Ariya beat Amy Anderson 5 and 4, and Moriya topped Alena Sharp 2 and 1. ”Is a little too early this week to see my sister, but … tomorrow will be fun,” Moriya said. Ko will face Jennifer Song, a 3-and-2 winner over Mi Hyang Li. Ko took a two-hole lead with birdie win on the par-5 second and par-4 fourth. Menendez took the par-3 fifth with a birdie, and Ko rebounded with birdies on the par-4 seventh and eighth to make it 3 up. Menendez won the par-5 10th with a birdie, Ko took the par-3 14th with a par and ended the match with a birdie halve on the par-3 16th. ”Hopefully, that last birdie is good momentum going into tomorrow,” Ko said. The event is the LPGA Tour’s first match-play tournament since 2012. Carlota Ciganda, the November winner in stroke play at Club de Golf Mexico in the then-Lorena Ochoa Invitational, topped Mexico’s Gaby Lopez 5 and 3. Michelle Wie routed Lizette Salas, 6 and 5. ”I love match play,” Wie said. ”It reminds me of Solheim Cup. It brings back lot of memories. I love it. I had fun today and Lizzete was a really good opponent. I chipped down for eagle twice.” Wie will play Laura Gonzalez Escallon, the Belgian player who knocked off fourth-ranked In Gee Chun 2 and 1. Cristie Kerr topped Brittany Altomare 2 and 1. Kerr won three weeks ago in Hawaii and lost to Haru Nomura on Sunday on the sixth hole of a playoff in Texas. ”I didn’t really have my full game today and I still got it done,” Kerr said. ”I made some really clutched-outs coming in and I was able to get it done.” Olympic champion Inbee Park beat Peiyun Chien; Shanshan Feng had a 7-and-5 victory over Laetitia Beck; and Brooke Henderson outlasted Katherine Kirk in 20 holes. Stacy Lewis dropped a 1-up decision to Ayako Uehara. Second-ranked So Yeon Ryu, the ANA Inspiration winner, is taking the week off.
Trump Campaign(WASHINGTON) — Maybe the Space Force won’t be a separate department after all, but it could be a separate military service within the Air Force.A U.S. official confirmed to ABC News that the White House has asked the Pentagon to explore alternatives to the creation of an independent space force, including a model similar to how the Marine Corps operates as a service within the Navy Department.The White House request was first reported by Defense One, citing an Oct. 26 White House memo instructing the Pentagon to explore alternatives to the creation of a Space Force as a separate military department.A U.S. official confirmed to ABC News that the White House had asked the Pentagon to explore multiple options to meet the president’s intent for a new military service dedicated to space.Those additional options include the creation of a Space Force operating as a new sixth military service under the Department of the Air Force model, where a new space service would fall under the Department of the Air Force or could be as a completely separate department with its own civilian secretary, said the official.Creating a new Space Force under the Department of the Air Force would be a model similar to how the Marine Corps operates as a separate service under the Department of the Navy. The creation of a “Space Corps” has garnered bipartisan congressional support in the past.The official stressed that all of the options are intended to meet the president’s intent for a separate space service, whether inside or outside of the Air Force.The creation of a new Space Force has been a priority for President Donald Trump, who has often cited it at campaign rallies.“We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force — separate but equal,” Trump said.In line with his comments, the Pentagon has focused on creating a new Space Force under a new Department of the Space Force, a move that would require congressional legislation.“In concert with the guidance, direction, and vision from the White House, we are generating options for the Space Force as a sixth military service branch,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Buccino, a spokesman for Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan, who heads the Pentagon’s efforts to create a new military service.But the U.S. official said that the internal discussion to meet the president’s intent has evolved to include a review of additional options.A second U.S. official told ABC News that that there have always been different options to get to a space force.The White House did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.An Air Force document obtained by ABC News in September estimated that the creation of a new Space Force might cost $13 billion.But in mid-November, Shanahan told reporters he believed that the cost might be in the single digits and that “it might be lower than five” billion dollars. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
MMT UK has been awarded a two-year hydrographic survey contract extension with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s Civil Hydrographic Programme (CHP).This is the second time MMT UK has been awarded an extension following the first three years, the company said.The company will continue to provide hydrographic surveys for the CHP until 2018.Martin Godfrey, project manager, MMT UK, said: “We are very pleased to be awarded the extension and to be one of MCA’s preferred suppliers. We will continue to always deliver with the highest quality data and look forward to another two years of close cooperation with the MCA.”
Kentucky fans, as you bid farewell to an astounding seven NBA draft entrants, rest assured that your favorite team still figures to be quite stacked and remain quite elite next season, thanks to coach John Calipari’s unmatched recruiting prowess.UK’s three-man 2015 class is already ranked No. 1 by ESPN.com and No. 2 by Scout.com, and the Cats will be adding an undetermined number of top players to it in the coming weeks.Here’s a look at who the Wildcats have signed for next year and who they are still chasing, in order of our best guess on the likelihood they pick Kentucky.SIGNED WITH UKSkal Labissiere, C, 7-0, Memphis, No. 3 (Scout.com)Labissiere, a highly skilled, athletic, smart center, who can play above the rim, handle the ball, shoot from deep and block shots. He’s the centerpiece of UK’s 2015 class, and he’s as good (albeit thinner) of a replacement for Karl-Anthony Towns as Calipari could hope to find. Pair him with, say, Marcus Lee in UK’s frontcourt, and that’s an athletic duo to be reckoned with. Labissiere, a native of Haiti, has dazzled in practices with the World Select team at this week’s Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, and he’s now projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft by DraftExpress.com. He could still challenge for the No. 1 high school ranking in 2015. Expect to see him have his own “I’m going pro” press conference this time next year.The only concern with Labissiere are questions about eligibility derived from how his American guardian, Gerald Hamilton, has handled his schooling and recruitment. Hamilton admitted in December that he believes the NCAA is looking into Labissiere’s case, but he believes he’s done nothing improper.Isaiah Briscoe, PG, 6-3, 215 pounds, Roselle, N.J., No. 18Strong, crafty, competitive McDonald’s All American is arguably the best point guard in the country. He’s a competitor and a winner, having led his club team to the Nike circuit championship last summer and his high school team to the all-divisions New Jersey state title this spring. Briscoe is a good scorer and distributor and should thrive as a lead guard or as a complementary off guard to Tyler Ulis.Again, as good a replacement as Calipari could have landed in the backcourt.Charles Matthews, SG, 6-5, 171 pounds, Chicago, No. 65Matthews is not as highly regarded as most Calipari recruits, but he is a tall, athletic, skilled guard who the coach has liked for a long time. He excels at dribble penetration, and he’s a really good passer. Matthews is a former club teammate of Ulis, and they have good chemistry already. Should be a capable player off the bench next season.WHO COULD COMEStephen Zimmerman, C, 7-0, Las Vegas, No. 9Zimmerman, a McDonald’s All American, has UK in his final five along with UNLV, Arizona, UCLA and Kansas, but his family’s strong relationship with Calipari could help the Cats’ cause. He’s a big, skilled center who can pass and step away from the basket, and he showed considerable athletic ability during McDonald’s week. Clearly UK needs at least one more big man, and someone surely is going to jump at the opportunity to be maybe the starting center at Kentucky. The bet here is it’s Zimmerman, who’s said that he wanted to wait to make his decision until after all NBA decisions had been made. Now that just about everybody on Kentucky has gone pro, what else does he need to see? Furthermore, the Cats’ passive recruitment of McDonald’s All American center Thomas Bryant – UK didn’t call him for 2 ½ months before he committed to Indiana last week – seems like a sign that Calipari is confident he’s getting someone good. Hometown UNLV probably UK’s biggest competition for Zimmerman.Malik Newman, SG, 6-3, 175, Jackson, Miss., No. 8Arguably the nation’s best perimeter scorer, Newman has not even announced a definitive list of finalists, although UK, Mississippi State, LSU, Kansas, Ole Miss and NC State are some of the teams he’s considering. Newman’s dad played at Mississippi State, but that doesn’t seem to be an overriding factor. He’d hoped to announce by the end of this month, but he’s taken no official visits, so the process may extend to May. After losing Aaron and Andrew Harrison and Devin Booker, it’s hard to imagine Calipari would go into next season without at least one more high-level guard. But he’s recruiting none but Newman, so maybe Cal’s confident there?The key with Newman will be whether he wants to play point guard and get a ton of shots for a team like Mississippi State or play off the ball on a more balanced team like Kentucky that figures to win a lot more games. LSU, which has already landed elite recruits Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney, is a threat because it offers a combination of both; Newman could play point and be on a talented, up-and-coming team.Thon Maker, PF, 7-0, Mono, Ontario, Canada, No. 6Arguably the most famous player in high school basketball, Maker is still in the process of reclassifying from 2016 to 2015. Very skilled and athletic for a player of his height, Maker figures to consider UK, Kansas and Indiana closely if he goes to college at all. His guardian has said Maker will consider playing for a foreign professional team if there is any question about the NCAA eligibility of an Australian import who has attended multiple high schools. If he goes the college route, UK will have a great shot.Jaylen Brown, SF, 6-7, 220, Marietta, Ga., No. 1Brown, the most physically imposing wing player in high school ball, announced a final eight this week of UK, California, UCLA, Kansas, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan and North Carolina. He said last week before the McDonald’s game that he believes UK has the best basketball program in the country but that he’s also more than a basketball player. So if he makes purely a basketball-based pick, UK figures to be the choice. But if he wants to carry a team and be the man from Day 1, he could go elsewhere. It’s also worth mentioning that Brown is the premier player on the Adidas club circuit, and he’s always held Adidas-sponsored colleges in high regard. UK is outfitted by Nike.Calipari, for all his recruiting brilliance, has never landed a great small forward with the skills on offense that Brown possesses. If he comes to UK and joins a lineup of Ulis, Briscoe/Newman, Labissiere and Lee/Zimmerman/Alex Poythress, the Cats would be just about anyone’s favorite for the 2016 title.Cheick Diallo, PF, 6-9, 230, Coram, N.Y., No. 10Diallo is not the most skilled big man, but he’s supremely athletic and no one plays harder. The McDonald’s All American Game MVP is down to UK, Kansas, Iowa State, St. John’s and Pittsburgh, and he could decide at or around next weekend’s Jordan Brand Classic. He’ll reportedly have another round of in-home visits before he picks. Diallo doesn’t do many interviews, so it’s hard to gauge where he’s leaning. It wouldn’t be shocking if he picks Kentucky, but Kansas seems like a better prediction.Brandon Ingram, SF, 6-8, 190, Kinston, N.C., No. 13In-state schools Duke, North Carolina and NC State and out-of-state bluebloods UK, Kansas and UCLA are the finalists for Ingram, who plans to have one more round of in-home visits before making his pick. Ingram likes Calipari a lot, but the bet here is he ends up staying home for college. He could step in and be an instant contributor for national champ Duke, which is facing its own mass exodus of pros. Ingram was a superstar during McDonald’s week, and his combination of height and skill makes him one of the best long-range prospects in the class.Caleb Swanigan, C, 6-8, 250, Fort Wayne, Ind., No. 11Swanigan, a physical low-post player, is down to UK, Duke, Arizona, California, Michigan State, Purdue and Chicago State with a decision expected this weekend. The Cats are generally seen as trailing the others, and it would be quite a surprise if they get him. Prediction? Duke or Cal.WILD CARDTai Wynyard, C, 6-10, 260, New Zealand (2016)Wynyard is verbally committed to UK in the 2016 class, but New Zealand’s academic calendar is such that he’ll graduate high school by December at the latest. If UK ends up short-handed in the 2015 class, maybe Calipari will encourage him to try to graduate early or join the team at the semester break next season.Steve Jones can be reached at (502) 582-7176 and followed on Twitter at @SteveJones_CJ.McDonalds All American participant Jalen Brunson takes a photo with his cell phone as Stephen Zimmerman Jr. jumps over him at the Slam Dunk Competition.
LSU coach Les Miles answers a reporter’s question during last year’s SEC Football Media Days at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.BATON ROUGE – Reporters covering the Southeastern Conference Media Days Monday through Thursday in Hoover, Alabama, may be a little less embarrassed this week.After all, they broke a five-year losing streak a year ago at the SEC Media Days by correctly picking the league champion. Five out of 23 isn’t bad, right? The media’s batting average since the league office began tabulating predictions at this summer tradition of propaganda press conferences in 1992 is a lowly .217. The next round of predictions will be released on Thursday not long before LSU coach Les Miles speaks.Alabama was voted champion last year, and the Crimson Tide responded by winning the SEC with a 12-1 overall mark and 7-1 in the SEC. One out of six isn’t bad, right (.166 picking average)? Most of the several hundred to 1,000 reporters who regularly cover this granddaddy of July football tend to cover the brand name 45 minutes south of this Birmingham suburb in Tuscaloosa, and Alabama was picked to win five previous times since 1992, but failed to do so.Do not be surprised if the Tide, which went on to lose in the first college football Final Four to eventual champion Ohio State last season, is picked again, and do not be surprised if that media streak ends at one. The only previous times the media correctly predicted the champions were in 2007 with LSU, 2008 with Florida and 1994 and ’95 with Florida. LSU has not been picked to win the SEC since, though it won the title in 2011. LSU was picked third last season.The Tigers, who are coming off a disappointing 8-5 season in which they finished fifth in the SEC West at 4-4, are not likely to be voted to win the league with continued issues at quarterback entering the season. Miles will likely be asked on Thursday about junior returning starting quarterback Anthony Jennings, whom he placed on indefinite suspension last month after Jennings was arrested on a felony charge of unauthorized entry of a residence. Miles has also indefinitely suspended defensive tackle Maquedius Bain and defensive back Dwayne Thomas after being arrested on similar charges.In addition to the off-field issue, Jennings is also coming off a season in which he finished 83rd in the nation and 13th in the SEC in passing efficiency at 118.3. So, another topic for Miles may be sophomore quarterback Brandon Harris and the fact that he may have even more of a chance for the starting job if Jennings’ suspension stretches into August practices and the season, which begins on Sept. 5 against McNeese State in Tiger Stadium.Miles may enjoy the questions about the three players who will accompany him to Hoover more, particularly those about sophomore tailback Leonard Fournette. He is among the SEC’s leading returning rushers from 2014 as he finished with 1,034 yards on 187 carries. Joining Fournette from LSU will be junior middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith, who, like Fournette, finished strong last season, and senior offensive tackle Vadal Alexander, who will lead perhaps the SEC’s best offensive line.Newly crowned SEC commissioner Greg Sankey will kick off the SEC Media Days at 11:30 a.m. Monday with an opening address to reporters as he replaces Mike Slive, who retired recently following 13 years on the job. Sankey, 50, has been with the SEC since Slive started in 2002. Previously, he was the commissioner of the Southland Conference from 1996-2002 and was the director of NCAA compliance and academic services at Northwestern State in 1990 and ’91 when he was also the golf coach for the Demons.Auburn’s Gus Malzahn will be the first coach to the podium in the main ballroom at the Wynfrey Hotel on Monday afternoon, followed by new Florida coach Jim McElwain and then Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason.On Tuesday, Mississippi State senior quarterback Dak Prescott of Haughton High School will be one of the featured players for the second straight year. The Bulldogs and coach Dan Mullen will follow South Carolina and Texas A&M before Tennessee.Alabama coach Nick Saban leads off Wednesday’s proceedings, followed by Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas. Georgia and Ole Miss will appear before LSU on Thursday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – LSU head coach Les Miles was handed a Tigers-themed guitar during Monday’s final news conference for the Music City Bowl. The instrument seemed to be foreign to Miles before a bowl official strummed it for him.The LSU fans that have flooded Broadway hope their team strikes a better tune against the University of Notre Dame on Tuesday at LP Field when the 23rd-ranked Tigers aim to complete an often-frustrating season with a ninth victory.“If I had to pick the most important games to win in a year, it would be the first one and the last one,” Miles said.Despite the rocky road, the Tigers appear to have plenty of support. You can point to the opponent as a reason why LSU will represent a solid portion of the 60,000 tickets sold as of Monday.Miles believes Notre Dame has also grabbed the attention of his players.“At the end of the season, we wanted a traditional football power to play and a great venue. The Franklin American Music City Bowl is that,” he said.Notre Dame (7-5) stole the show Monday with the announcement of Malik Zaire as the starting quarterback against LSU. Tuesday will mark the first start of the redshirt freshman’s career.Zaire gets the nod over junior Everett Golson, the starter for the Fighting Irish during their run to the national title game to cap the 2012 season.“We’ll obviously play both quarterbacks,” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. “Tomorrow is about 2014, it’s not about 2015. Our focus is on winning (Tuesday’s) football game. We think playing both of them gives us the best chance to do that.“We’ll figure out 2015 in January.”Golson, a lefty, relieved Golson in the regular-season against USC. He was 9-for-20 passing for 170 yards. He added rushing touchdown.No matter the rotation, Miles said he expects to see “the best” of Notre Dame’s offense.Notre Dame ranked 39th in the nation by scoring 33 points per game.LSU’s is No. 8 in the country in total defense and No. 3 in scoring defense (16.4 points allowed per game).Notre Dame jumped to a 6-0 start this year before losing five of its final six games.Kelly said the feel and the flow of the game will determine how much both quarterbacks play.“This is not scripted,” he said. “We wanted to challenge Malik and put him in this kind of environment. We’ll learn a lot about him.”While the 2014 records are similar, the Tigers and Irish appear to have different track records in recent postseason games.LSU is 6-3 in bowl games under Les Miles while Notre Dame has won three of its past 14 bowls. However, the Irish have won three of their past five postseason affairs.Miles has lost just two non-conference games in 47 tries with the Tigers. Both losses came in bowl games (2010 vs. Penn State, Capital One Bowl; 2012 vs. Clemson, Peach Bowl).LSU was no stranger to issues at the quarterback position this season. Sophomore Anthony Jennings started all but one game – true freshman Brandon Harris started at Auburn. The Tigers ranked 116th in the country with 163.9 passing yards per game and 74th with 27.6 points per game.Kelly was quick to praise the Tigers’ running game. LSU racked up more than 219 rushing yards per game to rank 29th in the country.True freshman Leonard Fournette garnered plenty of attention in Monday’s preview talk with the coaches.“He’s a true freshman that’s physically gifted,” Miles said. “He has great speed — he won the 100 meters in his state track meet. He continues to mature. He’s a team player. It’s not about me. He should get a number of touches in this game.”Twitter: @RoyLangIII