US export record for Mercedes-Benz SA

first_img19 October 2010Mercedes-Benz South Africa scored a double success this week, loading a record 3 280 C-Class vehicles onto a ship bound for the United States, including the 100 000th C-Class vehicle to be exported to the US from the automaker’s East London plant.“This week saw Mercedes-Benz South Africa export its largest ever single consignment of Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars destined for US customers,” Mercedes-Benz SA CEO Hansgeorg Niefer said in a statement.JD Power Platinum Award“This volume of vehicles from our East London plant reaffirms that US customers are very satisfied with the South African build quality, and underpins the reasons Mercedes-Benz SA received the 2010 JD Power Platinum Award for initial quality earlier this year.”The award was based on a US survey conducted among over 80 000 US new car owners earlier this year.“The local plant was thus named the best plant in the world – best among all brands and manufacturers serving the US,” said Rainer Ruess, manufacturing site leader at the plant.Harbour deepeningTerry Taylor, corporate affairs manager of Transnet National Ports Authority, remarked that the recent deepening of the west quay at the East London harbour had reaped immediate benefits.“The new depth allows more flexibility for larger vessels,” he said. “Together with this, we also added another 1 200 parking bays in close proximity to the quay-side. The total cost of the development was just over R40-million.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Divining “Dilbert” and Green Construction

first_imgConfusion is a powerful marketing tool. It often plays a fundamental role – sometimes for the better, but usually not – in the marketing of a wide variety of products and ideas, from consumer goods to government policy and political candidates to, most certainly, homes. And when it comes to the latter, consumers face few sources of confusion more potent than the word green.Green is good. Green is expensive. Green will save you money. Green is energy efficient. Green is sterile modernist design. Green is a mud hut. Or maybe green is just a color. If you’re a prospective homebuyer, the definition likely will depend on whom you ask. Many folks have by now learned to be skeptical of breezy declarations of greenness in marketing material, although, according to a survey conducted by researchers at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, many Americans also are uninformed about the most effective strategies they can take to conserve energy.A home Ratbert would loveIn an essay headlined “How I (Almost) Saved the Earth” and published last Saturday in the Wall Street Journal, Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip, described his own green-intentioned adventure in homebuilding and created a composite of an eco-minded client who wants to do likewise. All the while, Adams exploits, for amusement and illumination, the sometimes murky perceptions of green on the parts of both consumers and industry professionals.“Dilbert”-like absurdity, hyperbole, and plausibility infuse the portrait of a client who is inspired by a magazine article “about a guy who built a ‘green’ house using mostly twigs, pine cones and abandoned bird nests,” and who pursues his quest for greenness haplessly but with enough determination to persevere in the face countervailing advice from an architect and a building engineer. The client’s ultra-rustic house eventually gets built but, alas, performs like a house built mostly with twigs, pine cones, and bird nests.Green pragmatismAdams doesn’t say how big his new house is but notes that it is in a part of California where it is temperate (he has lived for a long time in the Bay Area). He knows that a white roof is the most reflective but nixes white in favor of a light but less stark color (“If you want a beautiful home, a white roof won’t get you there.”). He installs a photovoltaic system, in part because he likes the idea of making his electric meter spin backwards (it apparently hasn’t – a least not the way he envisioned), but he also admits to mixed feelings about an eventual return on investment. “I expect the system to pay for itself in nominal dollars, perhaps in 15 years,” he writes. “If I compare it with the most obvious alternative, it makes no economic sense. The smart alternative would have been to wait until the costs for systems like this drop by 50%, which will probably happen in a few years.”On a broader level, he offers his own, sardonic but honest take on green perception versus reality. “The greenest home is the one you don’t build. If you really want to save the Earth, move in with another family and share a house that’s already built. Better yet, live in the forest and eat whatever the squirrels don’t want. Don’t brag to me about riding your bicycle to work; a lot of energy went into building that bicycle. Stop being a hypocrite like me.“I prefer a more pragmatic definition of green,” he adds. “I think of it as living the life you want, with as much Earth-wise efficiency as your time and budget reasonably allow.”Adams also highlights energy efficiency variables – from roof insulation to building orientation and window placement to HVAC options – that require serious attention if the house is going to perform well. The most cost-effective approach, he adds, is to consult with experts who don’t have a stake in selling clients a particular product – and clouding their perspective with confusion.last_img read more

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Calm, cruel and connected: November’s best and worst of IoT

first_imgFollow the Puck Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts At first glance, the SuperSuit has a lot going for it. It’s the world’s first wearable gaming platform. Players wear the suit, go out in their backyards and start playing right away with Zi-Fi — an ad-hoc standalone wireless network that sits in between BLE and ZigBee in terms of range, no phone needed — and 15 pre-loaded games.As they run around, hide and zap each other, a proprietary gesture engine activates “superpowers.” They can generate “Force Fields,” unleash “Shock Waves” and much more.The problem is that it’s kind of uncool and not in a good kitsch way, more in a Power Glove way. I can’t see kids committing to this. After all, you need at least one other friend to buy one to be able to play together, and as I suspect most kids would be a touch embarrassed to be seen playing with this in public. I can see this being popular with parents but not necessarily kids.Verdict: MissKello Smart alarm clockAnyone who struggles with long-term poor sleep typically doesn’t lack insight into their condition. The markers of the smart alarm clock Kello are refreshingly aware of this, noting:“Kello improves your sleep by training you to improve your lifestyle. People with bad sleep habits don’t need another smartphone app, a sleeping pill, a gimmicky alarm clock, or spreadsheets full of sleep data. They need to change their lifestyle.People don’t NEED a one-time gimmicky alarm clock that makes gourmet coffee, threatens to donate to the Trump campaign if you press snooze, or forces you put 2 feet on the ground.”Kello is a device based on extensive sleep study research into effective sleep strategies. It offers a range of programs based on behavioral change. For example, a “Wake Up Earlier” program helps you get to your personal wake-up goal by knocking off a few minutes from your alarm every day. The “Deep Sleep” feature prompts Kello to emit a gentle pulsing light that mimics a rhythm typical of breathing.Just follow the lights with your breath, and you’ll quickly slow down to your own natural sleep rhythm. It’s also compatible with smart home devices like Samsung’s SmartThings Hub and Philips’ Hue, and can automate simple tasks with IFTTT.Verdict: HitTgoma digital trampolineIn response to the problem that kids no longer play outside as much as they used to, Australian company Tgoma have created a digital trampoline. The trampoline mat features sensors around the perimeter that directly integrate with the users’ own tablet device.Users place their tablet in the Tgoma tablet holder and can play games while they jump. There’s even a fitness program for adults that includes fitness exercises and the tracks the number of jumps and calories burned. The problem, however, is in the execution. It’s not all that easy to see instructions on a small screen clearly, particularly when you are jumping up and down, or to be able to click on the screen as required.Hence the player has to keep stopping to click on the tablet, somewhat defeating the purpose of the exercise incorporated games. This could perhaps work better in the future with gesture control armbands or a pair of VR or AR googles. A WiiFit session seems far more appealing. But seriously, what’s wrong with a simple gadget-free jump on the trampoline?Verdict: MissVue Smart glassesFor those of us who wear glasses every day as a necessity rather than a choice, it makes sense to make them smart. After all, they’re the first thing we put on at the beginning of every day and the last thing we remove at night.These frames are smart yet subtle and come with a range of functions including bone conduction audio for listening to music, an activity tracker, hands-free calls and gesture control. The glasses are campaigning on Kickstarter, priced at $159 (with prescription lenses) making them incredibly affordable. They have an API so it’ll be great to see what functions fellow developers create for them.Verdict: HitFlatev tortilla makerWhen you hear a product described as “the Keurig of tortillas” you know it’s going to be another one-trick pony contributing to excess packaging and bad food.Flatev is a “magic box” where the “freshest little ball of dough jumps out of the recyclable pod and into the baking system, ready to be a tortilla.” After seconds of baking, your tortilla slides into the warmer and waits for you to enjoy the “aromatic perfection.”It retails at $437 per machine and the makers anticipate that each dough pod will retail for $0.79. Did I mention that each pod is only for one tortilla? This makes it rather expensive and time-consuming as you can only make one tortilla at a time. You can store it next to the bread maker and waffle maker that you bought but never use.Verdict: Miss Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Tags:#Connected Devices#connected health#digital health#flatev#Internet of Things#IoT#kello#kids wearables#LVL#military#play#smart kitchen appliances#Supersuit#tgoma#vue#wearable gaming#wearables Cate Lawrence It seems that every day a new IoT device or means to connect existing devices is revealed. With so much energy being devoted to telling us how, when, where and what we can connect to each other, the “why” may be getting a little blurry. So we want to take a step back every now and again and take a calm, cruel and critical look at the connected devices that you can actually go out and buy, right now.Here’s what caught our eye, for all the right – or wrong – reasons:LVL wearable hydration monitorWe’ve all read recommendations on how much we should drink to stay properly hydrated. The problem is that there’s no agreed-upon rate of said hydration — with some touting the “eight glasses a day” missive and others suggesting less or more.We also lack the knowledge of how much water we’ve actually absorbed, especially when it’s hot or we’re exercising. But now, health startup BSX Technologies has created LVL, the first wearable device that promises to measure your hydration levels in real time.The LVL Band also tracks hydration, heart rate, sleep quality, steps, and calories burned.  It measures hydration and heart rate using NIRS (Near Infrared Light), similar to the red light sensors utilized within their BSX Insight device. While it’s being primarily marketed towards athletes, you could imagine applications in health and aged care, the military and for people living in hot countries.Verdict: HitSuperSuit Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more

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Running: The health mantra for Delhi

first_imgNaveen JindalDelhi is an intoxicating mix of traditional and modern blends and is ideal for anyone who is passionate about sports and fitness. In fact, the capital offers its residents everything they may need for a healthy life. The excellent infrastructure it provides is enough for us to be proud,Naveen JindalDelhi is an intoxicating mix of traditional and modern blends and is ideal for anyone who is passionate about sports and fitness. In fact, the capital offers its residents everything they may need for a healthy life. The excellent infrastructure it provides is enough for us to be proud of.Far removed from the glass and chrome cities world over, Delhi abounds in greenery and has parks and stadiums that are tailor-made for the fitness conscious. While exercise is a personal regimen, running in this city has taken on social proportions. The first time I ran in a marathon was three years ago; the energy of a thousand people running together was just amazing, and addictive. City marathons create a sense of belonging, a sense of ownership and responsibility. While maintaining the highest level of fitness is my primary aim, running the marathon is an unparalleled experience. The Delhi Marathon is always for a good cause and I love knowing that we are helping a cause by running as a community.Another event that I take pride in being part of is the Tiranga Run. To run holding the national flag high is a feeling every Indian should be able to boast of. I take a personal pride in this as it was when I moved a plea that the Court allowed every Indian national the right to fly the national flag.When I first ran the Delhi marathon three years ago, I found the energy of a thousand people running together amazing, and addictiv.Of course, running a marathon is serious exercise, and fitness is something every individual should take seriously. I personally have not been jogging outdoors regularly of late but this city has a plethora of excellent options for those who love running. Lodhi Gardens, Nehru Park, India Gate, professional stadiums and even private clubs, the capital offers some thing to anyone brimming with enthusiasm. Over the past few years, time constraints have meant that I work out mostly at home. But I always believe that a healthy body is the key to a positive mind and thus for me, a fitness regimen is a must. I am also a firm believer in the benefits of yoga and pranayam. Yoga is as much about the body as it is about the mind and I religiously practise my daily routine of yoga even when I am travelling.What is important is to have a healthy lifestyle and by that I mean early to bed and early to rise, exercise daily, and eat the right food at regular intervals, which helps maintain metabolism. If you eat unhealthy or junk food, then it becomes very difficult to burn out the calories. One has to be disciplined, always.advertisementThe best tracks in townSIRI FORT SPORTS COMPLEXKhel Gaon MargTrack: 1 kmSurface: Clay lawn surface for a smooth run. Clientele: Fitness fans. “This is a wonderful track, beautifully maintained by DDA. All that greenery makes you feel healthier.”-Muzaffar Iqbal, member, Indian hockey teamNEHRU PARKChanakyapuriTrack: 2.4 kmSurface: Soft non-metal surface easy on ligaments Clientele: The proximity to the Diplomatic Enclave says it all.LODHI GARDENLodhi RoadTrack: 2.5 kmSurface: Made of clay. The park even has a monkey bridge where runners can get a thorough workout. Clientele: This power park attracts the who’s who of Delhi, politicians, judges, industrialists et al.JAWAHARLAL NEHRU STADIUMOff Lodhi RoadTrack: Four lane, 400 mSurface: Synthetic track Clientele: State and national level athletes. “Delhi’s only two synthetic tracks for professional athletes can be found here.”-D. Sarkar, director (Sports), DDA.ROSE GARDENNear IITTrack: 750 mSurface: Soft mud track Clientele: Nature nuts and fitness freaks. “The best part about this park is that there are no irritating romantic couples lurking here.”-Capt. Deepanjali Bakshi, runner-mountaineer.last_img read more

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COUNTRYSINGING NOVA SCOTIA TWEEN HEADED TO DOLLYWOOD FOR AWARDS SHOW

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Xuan Trzebiatowski, 11, loves to sing country music and Dolly Parton is her idol. (Photo by Maria Weigl) Now, just a year after taking the stage at the Fox Mountain Country Music Festival in Aylesford, N.S., for the first time, she’s headed a little farther afield.Trzebiatowski is nominated for three awards at the Josie Music Awards, which are to be held in Tennessee in September: world artist, junior artist of the year and junior vocalist.The nods at the awards show for independent artists of all genres come after a whirlwind year for the young artist. She’s spent that time teaching herself guitar and performing at 20 local country jams. And in March, the tween won her first award for female vocalist of the year from the North America Country Music Associations International.But the Josies have a special significance for Trzebiatowski: they’re taking place at Dollywood, the theme park owned by one of her music idols.In this Aug. 21, 2013 file photo, Dolly Parton speaks during a news conference in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (Amy Smotherman Burgess/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)In fact, she noted, the first time she took the stage, she sang one of Dolly Parton’s songs: “Silver and Gold” off of the 1991 album “Eagle When She Flies.”“I feel like Dolly has a different style from the other artists when she sings,” Trzebiatowski said. “But I do enjoy all kinds of country music, I just really like Dolly’s way of country music.”Trzebiatowski first started listening to country music with her parents, who say they’re happy to see their daughter chasing her passion.And as she racks up experience singing on stage, Trzebiatowski is also starting to learn how to write her own songs.“I’m just sticking to doing covers but sometimes I just jot down a little sentence,” she said. “I met some song writers and I’ve asked them, ‘how do you write a good song?’ and they say just jot little sentences down and in the future you’ll think ‘Oh I can write something out of this’ so I listened to that.”Trzebiatowski and her parents are hosting a fundraiser on July 28 at the Nine Mile River Community Centre in East Hants, N.S., to raise money for her trip to the awards ceremony in September.And when she gets to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., she’s holding out hope that she’ll run into Parton.“I would be, like, really excited and I’d be jumping around and squealing,” Trzebiatowski said. “I would also ask her if she would like to write a song with me.”By Olivia Blackmore ~ The Canadian Press Facebook Twittercenter_img HANTS COUNTY, N.S. — After watching others sing at a Nova Scotia country music festival nearly every year of her life, 11-year-old Xuan Trzebiatowski decided in 2018 that she was no longer satisfied just watching.“I think a lot of the time people would see me and my brother playing around in the campground and I just thought people (would think) it was very sweet,” the Elmsdale, N.S., native said. “I was actually good at that kind of music so I decided to get up on stage.” Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

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All eyes on Williams Lake BC as firefighters brace for lightning wind

first_imgThe Canadian PressWILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. – Firefighters on the front lines of British Columbia’s raging wildfires are bracing for expected lightning and wind today, with all eyes on Williams Lake where more than 10,000 people are under an evacuation alert.Residents of the Central Interior community have been told to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, with municipal officials warning that today’s ominous weather forecast could push fires toward the city at a rapid pace.More than 14,000 people have been displaced by about 200 fires burning across the province, and Bob Turner of Emergency Management BC says the province is preparing for the possibility of mass evacuations.He says if an evacuation order goes into effect in Williams Lake, people will be sent north on Highway 97 to Prince George, but Canadian Armed Forces aircraft and helicopters are also standing by in case airlifts are necessary.Turner says the province’s priority is public safety and he encourages people to heed evacuation orders when they are issued.But the chief of the Bonaparte Indian Band north of Ashcroft says they defied an evacuation order over the weekend and successfully stopped flames from overrunning their reserve.“My community has some really skilled firefighters, like a lot of First Nations reserves, and they came together and they stopped that wildfire from wiping out that whole community,” Chief Ryan Day said in an interview. “We actually didn’t lose anything other than the guys who had livestock, they lost a bunch of range land.”He said 60 of the band’s 280 members stayed to fight the fire.The community doesn’t have a firehall, a new water reservoir hasn’t been connected to their main supply yet and they don’t have a formal emergency response plan in place.But Day said the experience of the trained forest firefighters in his community and access to heavy equipment from other members’ agricultural businesses contributed to their success.“We weren’t prepared for it of course because it happened in a blink of an eye, but we snapped into action and everyone did their part,” he said.Evacuees who are staying in communities from Kamloops to Vancouver can’t return home yet, Day said, as hot spots and a fire near Cache Creek remain a cause for [email protected]last_img read more

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Collision blocking Alaska Highway near Mile 112

first_imgUPDATE – Traffic is moving again in both directions in the area of the collision.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Several eyewitnesses, report a collision near Mile 112 of the Alaska Highway.The collision is blocking the Alaska Highway in both directions and apparently involves a crew bus and another truck.  The RCMP have confirmed a crash has happened, but members have only just arrived on scene. If you’re travelling in the area, let us know what you see, email [email protected] any pictures or information.A photo of the traffic backed up along the Alaska Highway – SubmittedEyewitnesses tell Energeticcity.ca traffic is backed up for over a kilometre in both directions.As we get more information, we will update this post.last_img

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At Augusta Hitting Short Drives and Losing Is a Tradition Unlike Any

We can always be certain of a few things about the Masters Tournament, which starts Thursday at the Augusta National Golf Club: The azaleas will be in bloom. The course will be pristine. The post-tournament sit-down in Butler Cabin will be awkward. But who will win? Let’s see which factors, if any, correlate with success under the Georgia pines.Full disclosure: Attempting to forecast the outcome of any single golf tournament is, in many ways, a fool’s errand. The PGA Tour’s leading winner in each season since 19801In this article, 1980 will be the cutoff for most of the stats used, because that’s as far back as PGATour.com’s data extends in any category. has averaged 4.6 victories in 21 events, a rate of just under 22 percent. Even Tiger Woods, who may be the greatest golfer of all time, has won only 26 percent of the tournaments he’s entered. The field regularly beats the best golfers in the world, and this is especially true in the tiny sample of a four-round tournament.Complicating matters, the Masters (one of the more prestigious of the four majors) has seen plenty of fluke winners in recent years, at least based on their perceived status the year before they won the tournament. Going back to 2003, the earliest year for which the PGA Tour website has end-of-year Official World Golf Ranking data, only U.S. Open winners have a lower end-of-year OWGR point average2The Official World Golf Ranking is composed of a rolling per-event average that awards points based on tournament finishes, with bonuses for the prestige and difficulty of the event. than Masters champions in the season before their major victory.3The Masters looks better when we see how its winners hold up the year after victory, when its victors are a close second to those of the PGA Championship. But despite the inherent uncertainty of golf and especially the Masters, some numbers emerge as predictors of success at Augusta. Specifically, long hitters appear to have an advantage — and pure ball-strikers less so — than would be expected from their performance across all tournaments.To isolate those predictive factors, I borrowed a technique I first used for last year’s NCAA Giant Killers project at ESPN.com. The idea is to start with a base rating for each player that loosely represents his talent level relative to others’ in the field. Then I look for discrepancies between what that measurement predicted and what happened, and try to determine whether those gaps are related to a particular attribute of a player’s game.For my look at the Masters, I’m using the PGA Tour’s adjusted scoring average metric, which compares players’ per-round scores with the field averages in the tournaments they played. Other metrics almost certainly do a better job of explaining player talent, including the OWGR4The OGWR is not without issues. Golf-research superhero Mark Broadie found that the rankings were biased when compared with systems such as Jeff Sagarin’s, because they don’t give events on international tours the proper weight relative to those of the PGA Tour. and Jeff Sagarin’s Golfweek ratings, but adjusted scoring average has the advantage of being available back to 1980 at the PGA Tour’s website.5The adjusted scoring average correlates reasonably well with the OWGR’s points-per-event average over the years where both numbers are available. The correlation coefficient between adjusted scoring and OWGR points per event was 0.72.A player’s adjusted scoring average from the previous year6Statistics from the previous season were used to restrict ourselves to data that would have been available at the time of a pre-Masters prediction. provides a baseline from which a generic Masters prediction can be created. Moving to the next level and searching for meaningful player traits, though, means looking at the PGA Tour’s traditional skill statistics — average driving distance, driving accuracy percentage, greens in regulation percentage, putts per round7The PGA Tour also introduced putts per green in regulation, supposedly a more advanced measure of putting skill, in 1986. But tried-and-true putts per round correlates better with space-age putting metrics, such as “strokes gained,” than putts per green in regulation does. and sand save percentage — all of which have also been recorded since 1980.Comparing these metrics with areas where our generic predictions went wrong can tell us which types of players could expect an extra boost at Augusta, beyond what we know purely from their adjusted scoring averages.Let’s start with the metrics that don’t significantly change our expectations after accounting for scoring average. A player’s driving accuracy, for instance, isn’t much of a weapon in the Masters. In fact, the average green jacket winner since 1980 has hit fairways at a rate 1.6 percentage points below the tour average in the preceding season. Straight drives are never a bad thing, but this finding indicates that they are no more important at Augusta than on the typical PGA Tour setup.Getting up and down out of bunkers apparently doesn’t make much difference at the Masters, either. Sand saves are far from the only shots a player must worry about around the green, but they also correlate moderately well with another short-game statistic known as “scrambling,” which measures the rate at which a player misses the green but still saves par. The trouble with these barometers is that they vary wildly from year to year, largely because of sample size issues (there are only so many greenside bunkers you can hit out of each season). This may play into the seeming lack of importance — we can’t predict who will be good at the short-game stats in any given season.And for all of the breathless reverence given to Augusta’s trademark slippery greens, putting skill isn’t a significant predictor of those who will stray from expectations, either.I suspect this is because putts per round is one of the least consistent performance indicators from season to season, ranking only above sand save percentage. If we look at correlations to Masters performance using stats from the season in question, putting looks like one of the strongest indicators, but it loses all predictive power when we use the previous season’s stats. In other words, if we knew who was going to be good at putting this season, it would be a valuable piece of forecasting information. But because we don’t, it isn’t.8Our apologies to Mike Weir, the highest-ranking putter from 2013 in the 2014 Masters field.So what does matter when predicting whose Augusta performance will exceed expectations? The only two skill statistics I found to be significant were average driving distance and the percentage of greens hit in regulation. Neither effect was huge, but you can see them come into play in recent Masters outcomes.First, driving distance. For every 17 additional yards per drive a player hit above the PGA Tour average in the previous season, he could expect to exceed his basic 72-hole Masters results by one stroke. A whole stroke is a pretty big deal; it can often mean the difference between winning and losing the tournament. And though few players vary so much from average that they lose or gain that full shot, the game’s longest hitters come close, which is one reason why this factor has been part of some big statistical surprises over the past few seasons.To wit: When Phil Mickelson won in 2010, he was coming off a down year, ranking outside the top 25 in adjusted scoring average for only the second time in his previous 11 seasons. But he still maintained a driving average 12.1 yards greater than average. Likewise, Bubba Watson’s 2012 victory was presaged more by his staggering 23.7 yards of driving distance above average than by 65th-ranked scoring average in 2010. And Angel Cabrera, the tour’s 22nd-longest hitter in 2012, nearly won the 2013 Masters (falling to Adam Scott in a playoff) despite ranking 161st in scoring average a year earlier.By contrast, 17 of the 25 most disappointing Masters performances since 1980 (compared with the expectation generated by adjusted scoring average) belonged to below-average power hitters off the tee. Golf fans will recall that the golf club’s “Tiger-proofing” renovations in the early-to-mid-2000s9The course played 7,435 yards in 2013, almost 10 percent longer than its 6,925-yard incarnation when Woods won his first green jacket in 1997. raised concern that short hitters would be squeezed out of contention. But the data shows that short hitters have paid a price at Augusta going back to the days of Calvin Peete and Jeff Sluman in the 1980s and ’90s.The percentage of greens hit in regulation is a different story. It turns out that, after controlling for the amount of power in a player’s game, hitting a lot of greens the year before the Masters suggests a downturn in expected performance at Augusta.10Albeit with a weaker effect than that associated with driving distance. For every 11.9 points of greens in regulation (GIR) percentage above average that a player shot in the preceding season, his 72-hole Masters score tended to increase by one stroke relative to what we’d expect from his adjusted scoring average.This could be attributable to the peculiarities of Augusta, which, while just the 22nd-longest course on tour, plays longer than its yardage because of the numerous elevated greens. Lightning-quick and frequently armed with so-called false fronts, Augusta’s putting surfaces are ideally attacked using short irons with more degrees of loft, an option not always afforded to short drivers.Whatever the reason, at the Masters, disappointment from short-hitting iron specialists is the real tradition unlike any other.Peete is the archetype here, having finished no higher than a tie for 11th — and falling outside the top 20 five times — over the eight Augusta cuts he made back to 1980. And yet he led the PGA Tour in adjusted scoring in 1984 on the heels of back-to-back second-place finishes in 1982 and ’83 (he’d also finish sixth in 1985 and seventh in ’86). His driving accuracy and GIR percentages were unparalleled, but he routinely finished 150th or worse in driving distance, lagging 10 to 12 yards per drive behind his peers. The statistics say that’s a bad combination for someone hoping to win the green jacket.In this year’s field, these factors favor players such as Jason Day, who ranks eighth in Vegas’ 2014 Masters futures (a 25-1 shot) but receives a 0.7-stroke boost to his base rating in my system because he hits the ball hard (11.3 yards above average per drive last season) and isn’t overly reliant on iron play. The same goes for Dustin Johnson, who crushed the ball 17.8 yards above average per drive in 2013 and had a good-but-not-great GIR percentage. And Rory McIlroy’s playing style fits that description as well.The same numbers cut against Steve Stricker, a well-below-average power hitter who relies heavily on approach accuracy. There’s a reason he’s cracked the top 10 only twice at Augusta despite five top-four scoring average seasons in the past seven years. His game might not be built for the Masters, something that can also be said of Henrik Stenson, who led the tour in GIR percentage last season but has yet to enjoy a Masters breakthrough (his best finish at Augusta was a tie for 17th in 2008).Even so, after taking into account individual playing styles that match Augusta’s tendencies, the most any player’s rating moved was one stroke in either direction (Jim Furyk was docked that much for his combination of short hitting off the tee and dependence on iron play for scoring). And Stricker and Stenson continue to rank among the top contenders, because playing generally good golf dwarfs the importance of any Augusta-specific characteristics.After the dust settled, here are the favorites according to my simple model:Again, there are no guarantees in the world of golf forecasting. But the general factors associated with over- or under-performance at Augusta are worth keeping an eye on when you watch the Masters.CORRECTION (April 9, 6:48 p.m.): This article originally misstated the year Bubba Watson won the Masters. It was 2012, not 2011. read more

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Mandzukic wants to stay at Juventus

first_imgAfter head coach Massimiliano Allegri announced that he will be remaining, Mario Mandzukic has reportedly announced that he now intends to remain at Juventus, reports Football-ItaliaThe Croatian forward is believed to have been frustrated with his role with the Bianconeri this season with Mandzukic having regularly featured out on the left flank of Juventus’ attacking line-up.In light of Allegri’s reported interest in taking charge at Arsenal for next season, Mandzukic became unsettled by the uncertainty of the boss’ future at Turin and began to question whether it was time for himself to move on.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.However, after winning a fourth successive domestic double this season, Allegri met with the Juventus board and confirmed that he intends to stay with them.Upon learning this, Mandzukic has now declared himself happy to remain at the club with the 32-year-old currently under contract until 2020.Mandzukic was signed by Allegri in June 2015 from Atletico Madrid in a €19m deal and he has since scored 34 goals in 127 appearances and has won seven trophies in his three years at the club.last_img read more

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Stefano Pioli unhappy with Fiorentinas display

first_imgFiorentina’s manager Stefano Pioli has expressed regrets over the 1-0 defeat to Napoli after a poor display in the game.Ancelotti’s men returned to winning ways thanks to a solitary goal from Lorenzo Insigne late in the game.“We had a good performance overall, but also have the quality to do far better,” the Viola Coach told Sky Sports Italia.“There were few risks in the opening 15 minutes, and there were situations where we could’ve been more effective. It’s natural to struggle a little against a side of such quality, but 10 minutes from time we had a big mistake and paid a heavy price.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“I think this defeat is more our fault than giving credit to Napoli. We tried to take the initiative but could’ve done more and created more problems for their defence.“Errors can happen, but the important thing is never to settle, always go for the victory. Even if we played with character at the Stadio San Paolo, we leave with the regret that we could’ve done more.“It’s a growth process, it’ll take time, and this performance shows we can get results even in difficult arenas like this.”last_img read more

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