Tiger Woods & Valspar

Writer: Lucas Garza

Tiger Woods played his third tournament in four weeks, as he competed at the Valspar Championship. This was Tiger’s first time playing this event, as the crowds flocked to the Innisbrook Copperhead Course just outside of Tampa, FL.

The marquee Thursday/Friday grouping of Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, and Henrik Stenson, drew massive crowds to the Copperhead course. Tiger started his first round solid, shooting even par on the front nine on a very windy day. As he made the turn, he birdied holes 10 and 11 but picked those shots right back up when he bogeyed 12 and 13. Tiger then made his way into the Snake Pit, the daunting final 3 hole stretch at the Copperhead Course. After pulling his tee shot left into the trees, Tiger hit a miraculous punch shot, dropping his club in the process, and proceeding to get up and down to save par. On the par 3 17th, Tiger hit a cut 5 iron from 200 yards out to just 2 inches, having a tap-in birdie, making the crowd go wild. He would have a 2-putt par at the 18th to post a -1 70, finishing the day in the top 10. Stenson and Spieth seemed to be distracted by the loud gallery Tiger brought in and played themselves out of the tournament on the first day.

Tiger teed off early on Friday and was not shown on T.V., but he was all anybody was talking about as he was going through his round nearly mistake-free. He started on hole 10, and shot a bogey-free -2 on his first nine, and then picked up two more birdies on the front nine. He had a share of the lead for the majority of the morning. Tiger would find his only bogey of the round at the par 4 9th hole and finished posting a -3 68. Canadian Corey Conners would hold the lead at -6 after the first two rounds, but Tiger and other big names including Paul Casey and Brandt Snedeker were right behind him T2 at -4.

Woods and Snedeker played in the penultimate grouping on Saturday and got off to hot starts. Tiger found two birdies early through five holes and then chipped in from just behind the green on the 9th hole to head out at -3 for the day and -7 for the tournament. A birdie at the 10th set the golfing world in a frenzy as Tiger had a share of the lead once again with Corey Conners, who was not reluctant to not back down. Tiger would end up posting his lowest score since his most recent return with a -4 67. At the end of day three, Tiger, Snedeker, and Justin Rose were at -8, just one shot back of TOUR rookie, Conners.

Snedeker and Woods would play in the penultimate pairing once again on Sunday, but after an opening birdie on hole 1 for Sneds, he would collapse and post a 78. Woods also opened with a birdie at the first but would come up empty handed throughout the rest of the front 9. Tiger found himself having a lot of “one of those” short par putts, one of which he missed at the 4th. Tiger would make the turn at even for the day, keeping him near the top of the leaderboard.

Corey Conners and Justin Rose were right behind Tiger in the final pairing, but struggled throughout the day, putting themselves out of true tournament contention by the turn. Paul Casey and Patrick Reed came from behind to take the lead at -9 and were able to extend it to -10 as they played the back 9. Casey was able to make crucial par save throughout the day and only had 21 putts on his way to a -6 65, posting -10 as the clubhouse leader. Patrick Reed headed into the 18th at -10, and crushed his drive, leaving himself just 133 yards in. Reed left his approach shot short of the pin, and fell back on a ridge on the green, and then proceeded to fail to putt his 3rd shot over the ridge. Reed would settle for bogey, and finish one shot behind Casey for the tournament.

Tiger needed to make a couple birdies on the back nine but found himself hitting mediocre iron shots, and couldn’t get any putt to fall. Tiger had a birdie chance at the par 5 14th when he reached the green in two shots, but his 3rd shot left himself 10 ft for birdie, which he could not get to fall. At the par 3 17th, Tiger hit his tee shot about 45 ft over the hole. Knowing he needed to go -2 on the last two holes to force a playoff, he got the long putt to fall and excited everyone in the process. He headed to the 18th tee with a large grin on his face and ripped a 2-iron stinger down the middle of the fairway. His approach to the green was 185 yards, and he hit his 7-iron to the middle of the green. He had a 39 ft birdie putt to tie Casey at -10, but the putt had to slide on top of a steep ridge on its way to the hole. Tiger left the difficult putt just short and right and tapped in to finish the tournament at -9 and T2 with Patrick Reed.

This is just Paul Casey’s second TOUR victory, with his first coming in 2009 at Houston. The Englishmen has been contending for several years now in all types of tournaments, and will also play on the European Tour to try to make the Ryder Cup team for the first time this year. Casey did originally plan to play at the Valspar, but one of his close friends passed away last week. Casey had to alter his schedule to be able to make the funeral and have enough rounds under his belt to be prepared for the Masters.

With Phil Mickelson winning last week, Paul Casey winning this week, and Tiger Woods playing well, the 40+-year-olds have proved that the young guys have not taken over the game quite yet. Woods was outdriving the majority of the field this week and recorded the fastest clubhead speed all season on TOUR (129 mph). The final stop of the Florida swing is next week at Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where Tiger will play and has won an astounding EIGHT times. The top players in the world rankings will then head to Austin Country Club the following week for the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play.

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Shaka Smart’s Hot Seat

Writer: Lucas Garza

Shaka Smart’s coaching job became much less secure after the Longhorns’ basketball team had an awful week, losing to a home game to Kansas State and on the road against TCU.

After the Longhorns had a dramatic win last Saturday against Oklahoma, the team did not show up with energy on Wednesday against Kansas State. The horns had a slight lead for the majority of the game, but found themselves down by five late in the game and they could not recover.

Texas then traveled to Fort Worth to have a rematch against TCU, who they beat in double overtime one month earlier. TCU would take the lead early, scoring from the perimeter and making Dylan Osetkowski and Jericho Sims look clueless down low. Mo Bamba had a great game offensively, scoring over 23 points that showcased many different moves. Defense was the problem all game for the Longhorns, giving up 48 points in the first half has been the most under Shaka Smart. Bamba only had one block, and Kerwin Roach lost his man on three different occasions.

The week’s two losses currently take Texas out of the NCAA tournament picture, and they will probably need to win at least four more games to make their way back in. Suddenly, they find themselves on game out of last place in the Big 12. Of the six remaining teams Texas has left on their schedule, they have already suffered losses to five of them, making the road ahead much tougher.

At the beginning of the season, it was widely speculated that if Texas missed the NCAA tournament for a second straight year, and for only the third time this century, Shaka Smart would be fired. Although a few have rescinded this statement due to the illness of Andrew Jones, Shaka should still be held accountable for his team’s performance, energy, and play calling on the court. Shaka’s inability to run an offensive play late in the clock or recognize weaknesses in defenses will end up costing him his job if Texas misses the tournament again.

Chris Del Conte, the new Athletic Coordinator, must already be generating a list of names for the job. While at TCU, he was able to bring former Pittsburgh coach, Jamie Dixon, back to his alma mater, and the Horned Frogs’ basketball program has never been better. Del Conte will most likely look at some big name coaches, and try to bring them to Texas. The best option would be Villanova’s Jay Wright, but it would be very difficult to get him to leave Philadelphia. Some bold coaching candidates for the Longhorns’ to explore would be T.J. Ford and John Lucas II. It is no secret that former Longhorns and 2003 National Player of the Year, T.J. Ford, has been spending more time with the team recently, but he has no head coaching experience with the team recently. John Lucas II has been around the game and young men for all his life, and he is currently thriving as an assistant coach for the Houston Rockets. His son, Jai, played at Texas and is currently an assistant for Smart.

Texas won’t have to grow throughout the job searching process if Shaka can turn this team around heading into the last three weeks before the postseason. Every Longhorn basketball fan would love to see the team win games down the stretch of the season and compete hard at the Big 12 Tournament. The Longhorns’ have never won the Big 12 tournament. They have been to the championship game on four different occasions, but have lost to Kansas each time.

Rooster Teeth Annouces Its Animation Slate For 2018

Written by: Jarrett Crepeau

All Images via Rooster Teeth

It seems every year the Austin based production company, Rooster Teeth, gets bigger and better. Since 2003, they have been putting out podcasts, comedy sketches, and shows out on their main platform and video game content through their others like Achievement Hunter and Funhaus. I personally have been a fan for a long time, even attending their yearly convention, RTX back in 2015 and 2016. Last year saw the expansion of the animation department, partnering up with Sugar Pine 7 and the sequel to their first feature film, Lazer Team 2. But the new year has arrived, and with that we were given some info on what the animation team has been working on and will be putting out this year.

January 20th will mark the season finale of their massive hit show RWBY, originally created by Monty Oum back in 2013. It quickly became one of their biggest series alongside Red vs. Blue. The show has exploded amongst anime fans and has won and been nominated for many rewards. After Monty’s tragic passing in 2015, the show has switched to Autodesk Maya for its animation and developed a sharp new art style that’s been getting better since season 3. Typically the show premieres in the fall and with a twelve episode run, however this year they were able to produce fourteen episodes with a longer run time, I expect this trend to continue when Volume 6 premieres this fall. But in the meantime, the spin-off comedy sketch series RWBY Chibi will start back up again on January 27th.

Rooster Teeth

Since RTX 2017 we’ve known about a show in development called gen:LOCK, a 3D animated series said to be inspired by mecha anime like Gundam and Del Toro’s Pacific Rim. It will follow the story of a group of young trainee’s preparing to pilot these giant robots.

Not many images have been released, but we know that it’s coming this year according to the Head of Animation at Rooster Teeth, Gray G. Haddock. I’m excited to see another 3D show come to Roosterteeth and hope it will just as successful on the platform.

Rooster Teeth

Jumping to the 2D side of RT’s animation department, director Jordan Cwierz, who also co-created Camp Camp and X-Ray and Vav, has announced a new show titled Nomad of Nowhere that will premiere March 2nd. It is a western fantasy mash up that takes place in a world that hasn’t seen magic in a very long time, enter the Nomad who now has a price on his head because of his magic use. I am very excited about this series as Jordan has proved himself as a director time and time again. Combined with the other writers on the animation team, (Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross, lead writers on RWBY and Camp-Camp) I am sure this series will bring us something new and fresh.

Rooster Teeth

And of course we will be seeing the return of the longest ongoing web series, Red vs. Blue, for its 16th season, said to pick up moments after the end of season 15. Starting back in 2003, this show launched Rooster Teeth to the top making them one of the biggest internet creators that pre-date Youtube. Rooster Teeth has confirmed that Camp Camp, DEATH BATTLE, DBX, and RTAA will also return this year. All in all its looking like a great year for Rooster Teeth. You can check out all their shows which premiere first on their website or check them out as they are uploaded to their Youtube channel.