Monthly Archives: March 2017

Golfer Michael Buttacavoli withdrew from chance at US Open after his clubs misplaced

To compete in the qualifying rounds for the US Open, you sort of need your golf clubs—which is why one pro golfer is fuming at American Airlines for his now-squashed chances to make the cut. USA Today reports Michael Buttacavoli withdrew Monday from his last chance to play in the Open’s sectional qualifiers after the airline couldn’t track down a bag containing his clubs with priority tags. The 29-year-old, who’s on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica roster, had flown on a red-eye from Ecuador to Miami and was dismayed to find that even though he made it to his early-morning tee time at Florida’s Jupiter Hills Club, his clubs had gone missing, per Golf.com. “Thank u @AmericanAir,” a frustrated Buttacavoli sarcastically tweeted just before 6am local time Monday, letting the airline know he had to pull out of the competition.

AA offered to help track the bag down in a responding tweet, but Buttacavoli noted that ship had sailed. “It’s too late,” he retorted. “I already withdrew. You just needed to do your job in the first place.” The airline tried to apologize, saying, “This wasn’t the experience we had planned for you,” but Buttacavoli was having none of it. “Stop apologizing. Don’t need sympathy or u to be PC. Just do better,” he tweeted. He added it was too late to rent a set by the time he realized his clubs weren’t going to show up, though Golf Digest, which reports that Buttacavoli has made it to the sectional qualifying rounds three times before (but never to the Open itself), notes Buttacavoli could have asked his brother, who was caddying for him, to bring his own set. “It’s a challenge enough to qualify with your own golf clubs,” he says. American Airlines did eventually find his bag.

6th-place Kentucky Derby finisher skipped Preakness, gives trainer 3rd Belmont victory

The road to the winner’s circle in the Belmont Stakes ran through the Kentucky Derby, even if the Derby and Preakness winners skipped the final leg of the Triple Crown. Tapwrit overtook favored Irish War Cry in the stretch to win by two lengths on Saturday, giving trainer Todd Pletcher his third career victory in the Belmont. He won in 2007 with filly Rags to Riches and in 2013 with Palace Malice. The first four finishers all followed a well-worn path: run in the Derby, skip the Preakness and come back fresh for the Belmont. Five of the last nine Belmont winners did just that. Tapwrit finished sixth in the 20-horse Derby after encountering traffic in what Pletcher described as “a sneaky good” race. “We felt like with the five weeks in between, and with the way this horse had trained, that he had a legitimate chance,” said Pletcher, per the AP. “I think that’s always an advantage.

Irish War Cry was 10th after pressing the early pace in the May 6 race. Patch took third in the Belmont after being 14th in the Derby. Gormley, ninth in the Derby, finished fourth Saturday. Ridden by Jose Ortiz, Tapwrit ran 1 1/2 miles in 2:30.02 on his home track. Ortiz’s brother Irad Jr. won the race last year with Creator. “The distance, I was sure he could handle it,” Ortiz said. Tapwrit paid $12.60, $6.50 and $5 at 5-1 odds. Pletcher took two of the year’s three Triple Crown races, having saddled Always Dreaming to victory in the Derby. “The last five weeks have been the ultimate roller coaster,” he said. “We felt really good coming in that both horses were doing very well. We felt like both horses suited the mile and a half distance. Fortunately, it all fell into place.” Tapwrit, a 3-year-old gray colt, was purchased for $1.2 million, making him the most expensive horse in the field.

Surfing Orgs Fight Over Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Ending an argument we’re sure has happened at least once on a slow afternoon in a bar somewhere, a court will finally decide whether stand-up paddleboarding is closer to surfing or canoeing. The New York Times reports the Court of Arbitration for Sport has been asked to settle a dispute between the International Surfing Association and International Canoe Federation, both of which are fighting for control of the increasingly popular sport of stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP. The battle for control of SUP has become more urgent as the Olympics is considering adding it to future games.

The ISA argues SUP is performed on a board, like surfing; it also claims it’s been holding SUP competitions for years, Deadspin reports. The ICF counters that SUP uses a paddle. “Propulsion using a paddle is basically canoeing,” the ICF secretary general says. “Standing up or sitting down is irrelevant.” But the ISA claims the ICF is trying to jump on the bandwagon. “We have a track record of doing this,” Reuters quotes the ISA president as saying. “At the ICF now there is an interest of how they can be part of the popularity of the sport.” The ISA calls itself “the historical rightful custodian” of SUP, and the ICF claims its opponent has rejected all offers of compromise. No date has been set for the court’s decision.

Cyclist Tried Poop Doping

 It probably won’t ever become the focus of a hit sports movie—not even if they call it Poosiers—but “poop doping” is a real thing and could possibly give competitive cyclists an edge. That’s according to microbiologist and mountain biker Lauren Petersen, who tells Bicycling magazine that after being sick for more than a decade with Lyme Disease, in 2014 she gave herself an at-home fecal transplant from somebody who happened to be another racer. Petersen says she not only felt much better after the stool transplant, she upped her training to five days a week and was winning races within months, though her experience proves correlation, not causation. “I wondered if I had gotten my microbiome from a couch potato, not a racer, if I would I be doing so well,” says Petersen.

Petersen—who says the procedure was “not fun” but “pretty basic”—says she started collecting stool samples from top racers and found that a microorganism called Prevotella was found in almost all top racers but less than 10% of the general population. She is now doing more research into Prevotella, which is believed to help muscle recovery. Other experts, however, are skeptical, telling the Washington Post that it is far too early to draw conclusions—and warning that “bacterial doping” at home could be very dangerous. (Petersen herself acknowledges the risk and isn’t endorsing it.) At the Big Lead blog, Tully Corcoran argues that if poop doping is what cyclists really want to do, we should “all just go ahead and let them, for crying out loud.” (Researchers believe fecal transplants could also help with weight loss.)