By tim morris MANALAPAN — Gia Bocra is a late-bloomer in the world of golf. She didn’t start playing until she was 16, and even then, basketball was her sport. At Rutgers Prep, the Monroe native was a 1,000-point scorer and a three-time All-State Prep School selection at point guard. But there was something about golf, that once she was exposed to it (by her father Bill Bocra), it made her stick with it. “It’s definitely habit-forming,” she said. “You’re always thinking. It’s similar to shooting free throws. You have to repeat your routine and keep your focus. You have to stay in the moment.” Despite the late start, Bocra played her way onto the Rutgers Prep golf team her senior year, where she was playing with the boys. And when she discovered there wasn’t a lot of interest in small point guards in women’s college basketball, Bocra turned to golf. She played two years at South Alabama before transferring to Rutgers where she played her final two years. Bocra is a teaching professional now at the Fairview Golf Club in Greenwich, Conn. Despite the enjoyment that it brings her, there is a burning desire to be a professional golfer on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. That craving brought her to Knob Hill last week for the SBC Futures Golf Tour stop there. The SBC Futures Tour has been the official developmental tour of the LPGA since 1999. The tour provides direct ways for women to qualify for the LPGA. The top three money winners at the completion of this year’s Futures tour will automatically receive exempt status on the 2002 LPGA Tour while those finishing fourth through 10th will be entered into the LPGA’s Final Qualifying Tournament where they will have the chance to play their way onto the tour. All of this is down the road for Bocra, who was making her professional tournament debut at Knob Hill (she had earned her way there by playing in a tour qualifier last year in Florida). “I wanted to get an idea on what it’s like to be on the tour,” she explained. “There is a lot of camaraderie among the players. I’ve had a good time. I like what I’ve seen, and I enjoyed myself.” Bocra chose to make the Knob Hill stop her first one, because it would enable her parents Bill and Lucille, who still live in nearby Monroe, the chance to see her play. Bocra harbors no illusions of instant success. She knows that she is playing catch-up against women who have been playing the sport much longer than she has, women who have been playing since they were old enough to swing a club. It was the reason she looked to the SBC Futures Tour as a measuring stick to judge herself against the pros and better gauge what she needs to do to be a serious contender. She would find out that from fairway to green, she is on par with the pros. The big gap was off the tee, where she conceded too many yards. “I’ve got to hit the ball farther,” she pointed out. “I have to work on gaining more strength, so that I can hit it farther. “My biggest attribute is my accuracy,” she added. “I keep the ball in the fairway and I’m pretty good around the greens.” Bocra learned enough this week to know that she has the potential, if she makes the commitment. “I’m going to put my life aside and put in the time and that is what it takes to get better,” Bocra remarked. “I’m going to work on my game all winter. I’m going to find my niche and work towards it. “I was an average college golfer, but I don’t want to be an average professional,” she added. “It’s my ambition to make the tour.” The SBC Future Tour was made for golfers like Bocra, who plans on joining the tour full time next year. Bocra was playing Knob Hill for the first time last week and liked what she saw. The par-71 course was designed by PGA pro Mark McCumber. “They did a really good job, the course is in great shape and the greens are rolling well,” she noted. “It’s a tough course. The fairways are narrow. And it’s long.” One of Bocra’s first jobs in golf after graduating Rutgers was with Don Brigham at the Rumson Country Club last summer. Corey Brigham, Don’s son, an ex-high school star at Rumson-Fair Haven who is playing golf at the University of Maryland, was Bocra’s caddy at Knob Hill. Staff Writer
CHRIS KELLY staff Middletown North’s Julez Morgan (l) and Mike Fish get ready for a kickoff return against Manalapan during a home game Friday.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)Six-time champion Novak Djokovic doused big-hitting Spaniard Fernando Verdasco to win the opening match of his Australian Open title defense in Melbourne on Tuesday.The indomitable Serb second seed avoided a potential first round exit against Verdasco, who knocked out Rafael Nadal in last year’s first round.ADVERTISEMENT Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely View comments Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Djokovic prevailed 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in 2hr 20min on Rod Laver Arena to progress to a second round encounter with either Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin or Croatia’s Ivan Dodig.“The second set went over an hour so of course when I saw the draw, I thought ‘this is going to be the only match I focus on,’” Djokovic said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“I could finish early in the tournament. But I managed to start well with great intensity.“First and third sets went well, the second was a gamble. If he’s on you never know.” Luis Manzano jokes about Mikee Morada’s proposal to Alex Gonzaga: ‘Baka nagtali lang ng sintas’ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Djokovic got off to a flyer with a double service break to clean up the opening set for the loss of just one game in 31 minutes.Both players traded service breaks in four games before the second set went to a tiebreaker. Djokovic’s greater consistency and Verdasco’s erratic groundstrokes gave the Serb the tiebreaker and a 2-0 sets lead.Djokovic cranked it up in the third set, breaking Verdasco’s opening service which he carried through to win on his first match point.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bulacan inmates, jail guards raise donations for Taal victims DILG to lock shops in Tagaytay City, other areas near Taal LATEST STORIES Ben&Ben, IV of Spades, SB19 win big at 5th Wish Music Awards Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Bullpups beat Junior Archers, but Napa unhappy with sloppy play Anne Curtis talks about renewing faith in God amid the world’s ‘noise and clutter’ MOST READ Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It was a tricky first-up match for the 12-time Grand Slam champion, who had lost to the Spaniard in four of their previous 13 meetings.But Djokovic’s greater consistency in the pressure moments of an intense match won him the day.Verdasco has not beaten the Serb for almost seven years, with his last triumph in the quarter-finals at Rome in 2010, although he held five match points in the pair’s most recent meeting this month in Doha before Djokovic went on to win the tournament.Djokovic is seeded to face Brisbane International winner Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round, powerful Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem in the quarters and Canada’s big-serving third seed Milos Raonic in the semi-finals in the bottom half of the men’s draw.He can take outright ownership of the record for Australian titles if he wins for a seventh time. The Serb is currently tied with Australia’s Roy Emerson on six.ADVERTISEMENT
Jamaica’s hopes of winning a medal at this year’s Netball Youth Cup in Botswana, ended yesterday after they were beaten 38 in the quarter-finals by England. It was the first time since 1995 that the Under-21 Sunshine Girls were missing out on a place in the semi-finals of the championships. The junior Sunshine Girls, who won silver at the championships in 2000 under the guidance of current head coach Janet Guy, were beaten by hosts Botswana in their third match on Tuesday. They had earlier recorded victories over Cook Islands, Malaysia and Uganda. The junior Sunshine Girls, who won bronze in Glasgow in 2013, will now be playing for the fifth and sixth spots at the tournament. The Jamaican team is captained by defender Kadie-Ann Duhaney, who plays in the Australian Super League competition. The team also includes five players who recently represented the senior Sunshine Girls in a three-Test series against Barbados at the National Arena. That series ended in a 1-1 draw.
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—F2 Logistics stayed composed in the clutch to stop Cignal in five sets, 25-22, 26-25, 18-25, 17-25, 15-8, and take a 1-0 series lead in the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference Finals Saturday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The Cargo Movers recovered from their disastrous third and fourth sets and took the fifth set with the poise befitting of a three-time champion team.ADVERTISEMENT Priyanka Chopra Jonas joining Amazon’s spy series ‘Citadel’ Read Next WATCH: Robredo repacks relief goods with ‘mocha’ behind her Johnriel Casimero KOs Cesar Ramirez, arranges title clash with Zolani Tete Mandatory evacuation enforced in Lemery “I had to remind them that we should forget about the third and fourth sets and just focus on the fifth,” added De Jesus.Kalei Mau was a beast for the Cargo Movers with 27 points, 25 coming off spikes, while Ara Galang and Baron added 11 points apiece.Navarro led Cignal with 16 points while Gonzaga and Alohi Robins-Hardy added 12 and 11 points, respectively.ADVERTISEMENT OSG petition a ‘clear sign’ of gov’t bid to block ABS-CBN franchise renewal — solon View comments ‘Homeland’ star Patinkin lauds intelligence community PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) PLAY LIST 03:30PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)03:34PH’s Carlo Paalam boxing light flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)02:39PH’s Josie Gabuco boxing light flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption02:48ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto — Gatchalian03:06Tahimik, Mapanganib | Jong Manlapaz00:49Sweet! Indian bakers make world’s ‘longest’ cake Dutch YouTube star Nikkie de Jager says she is transgender Coming off the gates fast, F2 took a 3-0 lead in the deciding set after Kianna Dy’s off-the-block kill, building enough cushion to keep gutsy Cignal at bay.Ara Galang and Desiree Cheng exchanged kills that put F2 up, 11-6, before a couple of errors from the HD Spikers bumped that margin to seven, 13-6.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAllen Durham chews out Meralco: Everybody played like sh*tSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsJovelyn Gonzaga, who played in her fourth five-set match in five days, salvaged a point for the HD Spiker, but Mary Joy Baron’s denial of Janine Navarro clinched the Cargo Movers’ advantage in this three-game series.“When we got to 8-4, I felt that we had control of the situation, although of course, we really couldn’t deny that there were some calls that are so close to being check balls or near to the line,” said F2 head coach Ramil De Jesus in Filipino. BREAKING: DOJ indicts ex-PNP chief Albayalde for graft Robredo hits Mocha over false post: Why let gov’t pay a fake news purveyor? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES MOST READ
Yesterday evening, lawmakers from both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate, including junior and senior officials of the cabinet, tearfully received the remains of Rep. Eugene Fallah Kparkar of Lofa County District # 1 at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) and escorted it to the SamuelA. Stryker Funeral Parlors in Sinkor, according to information reaching the Daily Observer.The remains of the Lofa County lawmaker were flown into the country from Lahore Society Hospital, New Delhi, India, where he met his untimely death while on treatment against a protracted illness.Rep. Kparkar, 41, died on Thursday, November 10, 2016. The cause of his death has not been formally announced but sources say he died from diabetes and kidney related issues.Prior to the lawmakers’ trip to the RIA, deep silence fell among them, when House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay revealed to members of the House of Representatives, in the Joint Chambers of the Legislature, that the body of their fallen colleague was arriving yesterday instead of today.The Daily Observer also gathered that at the RIA, there were more silent tears than was apparent at Rep. Kparkar’s house when scores of lawmakers and staff of the Legislature when to sympathize with the bereaved family.Funeral arrangements will be subsequently announced.Last week, House Press Director Isaac G. Redd announced that the “quick return” of the remains of the deceased to the country was a collective effort between the leadership of the House, the Lofa County Legislative Caucus and the family.“The Speaker of the House and members of leadership made regular calls to the hospital and Mrs. Mahaja Kparkar before and after the death of the Lofa County District # 1 Representative,” Mr. Redd said.Rep. Kparkar was a former student activist. He was elected Lofa County District # 1 Representative in 2005, and re-elected in 2011. He was an Executive Member of Liberty Party, and a ranking member of the Lofa County Legislative Caucus. He served as Chairman on the Committee on Public Utility; Co-chairman on National Defense and member on the Public Accounts and Expenditure Committee.He recently served as Chairman on the Committee on Investment and Concessions and was also a member on the Committee of Peace, Religious and National Reconciliation.Prior to his election in 2005, he came to national prominence during the radical days of student politics in the early 2000s. He subsequently served as Chairman for the Student Unification Party (SUP) of the University of Liberia, and was an instructor and counselor working with refugee schools and trauma healing programs.He first tasted national politics when he served as the Administrative Assistant to former member of the National Transitional Legislative Assembly, Fayiah S. Gbollie.He earned B.Sc in Economics from the University of Liberia and two Master’s degrees from the University of Liberia and Cuttington University in International Relations and Public Administration, respectively.He recently married Madam Mahaja Kamara-Kparkar, a union blessed with three children.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Ramadan gave us the opportunity of reflecting on our lives with the singular aim of improving and enhancing it to the benefit of humanity and pleasing to God Almighty. May Allah reward us all for our sacrifices and acts of charity and goodness. I pray that all our families be rewarded with good health, happiness and success. Life is a journey with many paths to the end; however, it is our footprints that would determine how our journey is remembered or written. Every print is a seal of our presence and testimony of how we utilised that presence. Here in Guyana we are in a struggle to ensure social and economic justice forms the core of our developmental drive. In so doing, we are constantly reminded of the supporting role we must each play if we are to achieve our collective aspirations. Ramadan taught us valuable lessons of patience, tolerance and commitment. It is these values when translated to the national good that would allow us to continue to grow and prosper as a nation. On this occasion of Eid, my thoughts and prayers are with our global community as we seek to eradicate terror, poverty and injustices wherever they exists. Eid Mubarak! Eid Mubarak! Eid Mubarak!
Westwood finished the day one shot ahead of South African Louis Oosthuizen, who had four birdies in the last five holes to card a 68, and Peter Hanson of Sweden.A stroke further back were a group of players comprising Paul Lawrie of Scotland, Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, Francesco Molinari of Italy and Americans Ben Crane, Jason Dufner and Bubba Watson.The 2008 winner, Zach Johnson of the United States, was on 70, level with veterans Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk among others.Favorites Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy both struggled.Woods battled against a wayward driver to scramble a level par 72 while McIlroy opened with a double-bogey six and splashed into Rae’s Creek in front of the 13th green en route to an edgy 71.Westwood, runner-up here to Phil Mickelson two years ago, said that he had been working at easing the tension involved in playing in the Masters.“I’ve taken it very relaxed this week. I’ve played here enough — it’s my 13th time — and I know the golf course and that eradicates a lot of the tension,” he said.“I came close recently and I have had a good career and all there is to win is a major championship and that is my primary focus now.”Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, said he was surfing on the wave of recent South African successes at Augusta National, including close friend Charl Schwartzel’s four-birdie finish to win last year.“We play together a lot and I think it’s more just watching videos of him winning over and over, and seeing the way he handled himself under the pressure which was brilliant, finishing with four birdies,” he said of his fellow South African’s influence on him.Woods, meanwhile, was wayward off the tee and had his short game to thank for salvaging a 72.“I hit some of the worst golf swings I’ve ever hit today, and that’s all right,” he said.“I just hung in there and grinded my way around the golf course and stayed very patient, stayed in the moment.“Unfortunately that was about as good as I got right there. I could have shot one, maybe two better, but I got a lot out of that round.”Woods, who is seeking his 15th major title to draw to within three of Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18, won his first tournament in 28 months two weeks ago and was immediately installed as Masters favorite with McIlroy leading a strong European challenge.McIlroy, who blew a four-stroke lead on the Sunday in last year’s Masters, seldom looked comfortable after pushing his opening drive into the tall Georgia pines lining the first hole.But after a mixed bag of a round, he finished strongly with back-to-back birdies to duck under par.“I’m a lot more pleased coming off the golf course than if I had finished par and to come off under-par is pleasing,” the 22-year-old US Open champion said.“My perseverance and patience paid off and it was nice to finish as I did, but I’m surprised someone didn’t go lower than five today.”World number one Luke Donald, meanwhile, survived a disqualification scare after an investigation ruled that an administrative error was to blame for the wrong posting of his score at 73 instead of 75.But the Englishman’s four-over total left him with a mountain to climb as he seeks to win his first Major.“I’m disappointed. That’s not what I wanted. My irons were a bit off. Here that can eat you up. Maybe I can find something tomorrow,” Donald said.Three-time former champion Phil Mickelson was also left with a battle on his hands just to make the cut.He stumbled badly with a triple bogey seven at the 10th, where he lost his ball off the tee, and with his driver deserting him, he came in with a two-over 74 that included a long birdie putt at the last.First-round strugglers also included last year’s joint runners-up Jason Day and Adam Scott of Australia, who carded 76 and 75 respectively, and 2008 champion Trevor Immelman of South Africa, who had a 78.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000AUGUSTA, Georgia, April 6 – Lee Westwood grabbed the lead under the rain and late in the day in the first round of the Masters on Thursday as he set out yet again on his lifelong quest to win a major title.The world number three went out in 32 to signal his intentions and two more birdies against one bogey on the back nine, as the bad weather came in, nudged him ahead atop the leaderboard at five-under 67.It was the first time the 38-year-old Englishman had led after the first round of a Major despite having five top-three finishes in his last nine majors.
Former Liverpool midfielder and regular talkSPORT presenter Dietmar Hamann believes Daniel Sturridge is a ‘luxury they can’t afford’.Sturridge picked up yet another injury following the defeat to Newcastle at the weekend, just as he returned from knee and foot problems that had prevented him from playing for Jurgen Klopp since the German’s appointment in October.It’s the latest in a long line of setbacks for Sturridge stretching back to September 2014, and Hamann now feels the club should cut their losses on the unreliable England striker.“You can’t rely on him,” Hamann told the Colin Murray show.“The club needs to make a decision now about whether you can have a player, who is one of your top earners, who only plays half the games at best.“He is a luxury Liverpool cannot afford. They’ve got to make a call, because he’s not going to go from playing 50 per cent of games a year to 90-100 per cent. It isn’t going to happen.“Are they good enough and wealthy enough as a club? I don’t think Liverpool, in the current state they are in, can afford him.”Sturridge has faced criticism for his psychological temperament from Reds legends, including David Fairclough, and Hamann, who played with the 26-year-old at Manchester City, suggests it could be an inherent problem.He added: “I don’t need to know how often he’s been injured. He has history.“He was the same when we were at City.”
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsNine people were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries.The exact cause of the crash remained under investigation.The vessel hit the pier in an area that was off-limits to pedestrians, but the crash drew a large number of curious onlookers from the crowds of locals and tourists who come to Fisherman’s Wharf. SAN FRANCISCO – Nine people suffered minor injuries when a ferry crashed into a pier in a bustling tourist area Saturday afternoon, authorities said.The Baylink ferry, carrying 138 people, plowed into Pier 43 in the city’s Fisherman’s Wharf district around 4:20 p.m., according to San Francisco fire officials.The boat had just left Pier 41 and was heading to Vallejo when it apparently lost control of its steering and veered into the wood pilings of nearby Pier 43.“There was a mechanical problem when they were backing out,” said Assistant Fire Chief Jim Barden.