Play continues at storm-delayed AT&T National

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Play continues at storm-delayed AT&T National

The third round of the AT&T National has been pushed back due to the powerful storms that wreaked havoc and caused widespread power outages across the Washington D.C. area Friday night.
PGA Tour and tournament officials are aiming for a two-tee start at 1 p.m., but the course will be closed to spectators and volunteers for safety reasons. Play had been scheduled to start at 7:10 a.m.

It was really a mess out there, said Mark Russell, the PGA Tours vice president of rules and competition, speaking as the sound of chainsaws echoed throughout Congressional Country Club. Ive never seen anything like this. Its like a tornado came through here.
According to Stewart Williams of Telvent DTN, the PGAs senior meteorologist, the course received three-tenths of an inch of rain, but winds from a fast-moving derecho gusted to 70 mph around 10:30 p.m. Friday, downing as many as 40 trees at the Bethesda club, disrupting power and obstructing many roads leading to the entrance.
It was all straight line winds, said Williams, who also warned of the possibility of more severe storms Saturday evening. The heat had a lot to do with. Thats what fueled the momentum to keep it going and build on itself.
Efforts to clear fallen trees, branches and other debris began late Friday night and continued Saturday morning.
Trees fell across the fairways on holes No. 14 and 18, according to Russell. But the course was spared major damage because none of the greens were damaged.
The golf course is going to be fine, Russell said. Inside the ropes is going to be good. The periphery is a mess.
Russell also said there will be a rules meeting at noon.
Were going to take a look and see what all they can get cleaned upand see how were going to play, he said. Powerful removal, were probably will have to use that rule a little more than we usually do. Theres a lot of debris out there.
If the third round begins on time, tournament host Tiger Woods will tee off at 2:40 and leaders Hunter Mahan, Brendon de Jonge and Jimmy Walker will begin at 3:10.
The decision to ban fans and volunteers was made for safety reasons.
Its just too dangerous out here, Russell said. There are a lot of hanging limbs, a lot of debris a lot of places. We just didnt think it would be safe to get a lot of people out here. Its unfortunate, but thats just the way we have to go to protect the public.
Tickets for Saturdays round will be honored on Sunday assuming power can be restored and the spectator areas can be cleared.
Its going to take a long time to clean this up, Russell said.
Asked whether he anticipates allowing fans on the course Sunday, he added, We hope we can do that.

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Redskins survive behind makeshift offensive line

Redskins survive behind makeshift offensive line

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—When center Kory Lichtensteiger and left guard Shawn Lauvao went out of today’s game with injuries, Spencer Long had to go in and play center. The only other active reserve offensive lineman was tackle Ty Nsekhe.

So the plan, as possibly drawn up on a white board by Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan on the sideline (there is no dirt to draw things up in on the field turf surface at MetLife Stadium), was to move Pro-Bowl tackle Trent Williams to guard and put Nsekhe into the lineup in Williams’ left tackle spot. Gruden said that he had confidence that Williams had enough knowledge of the offense to know how to handle things at left guard.

He apparently didn’t ask Williams.

“I didn’t know anything,” said Williams. “At tackle, especially left tackle, you kind of live on an island. Ninety-nine percent of the time you’re blocking the guy over you. But when you move inside there are so many calls, so many little intricate things that you have to pay attention to, that I didn’t know any of them.”

Long was able to help him out some, Williams said.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins was not at all taken aback when he went into the huddle and three of his five offensive linemen had not started the game.

“OK, next man up,” he said when asked what was going through his mind. “In this league you have to have that mentality. If any other thought hits your head you’re doomed to fail.”

Whatever anyone was thinking, the line combination worked. The Redskins ran for 30 yards in the first half with their line intact and got 60 in the second half with their makeshift group.

Gruden developed some confidence in the group. With the Redskins trailing by a point they got the ball needed a field goal to win. Matt Jones did a good chunk of the work to get Dustin Hopkins into position to make the kick, chewing up the clock while picking up 36 yards on seven carries. Williams loved it.

“It felt great,” he said. That’s the best feeling in the world when you can win the game by eating up the clock and running the ball.”

It was fun for Sunday. Now they will have to see how serious the injuries to Lichtensteiger and Lauvao are and configure what they have available for next week.

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Orioles strengthen playoff position with win over Arizona

Orioles strengthen playoff position with win over Arizona

BALTIMORE—The Orioles ended their home season with 50 wins, equaling the most in Oriole Park history. That came in 2014, and if the Orioles wish to reach the American League Championship Series, they’ll have to have success on the road. 

For much of 2016, the Orioles played wonderfully at home, but in August and September they’ve been just 13-15. Their road record of 35-40 isn’t good, but in the last two months, they’re 13-11. 

They ended their home regular season with a 2-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks before 31,229 on Sunday. 

They’ll have lots of work to do if they want to play here again. 

Sunday’s win completed their first three-game sweep since July 22-24. It followed the four straight losses to Boston that finished their American League East hopes. 

Dylan Bundy allowed one run on three hits in five innings for the win. Hyun Soo Kim hit a two-run home run in the second inning while Mychal Givens, Brad Brach and Zach Britton combined for four scoreless one-hit innings. 

Manager Buck Showalter says the Orioles sweep of Arizona (64-91) won’t erase the Boston hurt.

“It doesn’t take it away because that’s come and gone. It really has. It left. You have to do that and our guys do it. Just like, do the Red Sox fold the tent when we were beating them early in the season, sometime during the season?” Showalter said. 

“That’s the fortitude you’ve got to have. Our guys are warriors. They grind through a lot of things. Working on short sleep, game 150-whatever. That’s a hard game to win today. It really is. And our bullpen and our starting pitcher made Kim’s home run stand up. Of course, the defense was unbelievable.”

The Orioles (85-71) begin a three-game series in Toronto on Tuesday night trailing the Blue Jays by 1 ½ games in the wild card chase, but they hold a 1 ½ game advantage over Detroit for the second wild-card spot. 

The Orioles split four games with Tampa Bay, lost four to Boston and swept three against Arizona to end their longest and final homestand 5-6.

“Initially, I thought about this homestand, how much we wanted to play well and win the games in front of that type of crowd. End of the regular season, obviously, kind of it is for the fans. You want to repay their support more than anything. Their support has a lot to do with us having a good record. It’s always been, what’s a good word? Refuge or safe haven for us. A lot goes into making that atmosphere such from the clubhouse to the players to the fans to the organization as a whole, and most of all, the city. It played to our advantage,” Showalter said.

Bundy (10-6) retired the first nine Arizona hitters before Jean Segura doubled starting the fourth. Segura scored on Paul Goldschmidt’s single. 

His 109 2/3 innings this season are a professional high, and his 10 wins a surprise.

“Definitely didn’t expect it. I was expecting to throw 70 innings out of the pen. I’ll take it. I’m not going to complain about it or anything, but were just trying to get team wins right now. That’s all that matters right now,” Bundy said. 

Showalter joked about Bundy’s accomplishment.

“I knew that all along,” Showalter said. “The team allowed him to win 10 games and the doctors allowed him to win 10, and most of all he did. But where we hope to end up this year, five would have not surprised me, but 10 would have been a little bit of a stretch.”

Kim hit his fifth home run of the year, a two-run shot against Braden Shipley (4-5) in the second to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead. 

Britton polished off the Diamondbacks in the ninth for his 46th consecutive save. 

“It’s nice but it doesn’t mean a whole lot if we don't get to the postseason. That’s where my focus is right now,” Britton said.

Showalter said he didn’t want to use Tommy Hunter or Darren O’Day, saving them for Toronto, and he used his platform to campaign for Britton’s candidacy for the American League Cy Young award.

I’m biased about the type of recognition he should get when this season is over. It’s a historical…Take a good look at it because it won’t pass your way again,” Showalter said. 

NOTES: Orioles pitchers struck out 13 batters. … Davis struck out twice. He has a career-high 210 strikeouts this season, the fifth highest total in major league history. … The Orioles drew 2,172,344 this season, down about 150,000 from last year. The average crowd was 26,819. … The Orioles finished interleague play with 14 wins, most in team history.