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Big wins for Justin Thomas, proud moments for his father

DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer   HONOLULU (AP) — Justin Thomas used to call his father when he arrived at junior tournaments, and the conversation almost always started the same way. 'What's the number?' The father wasn't asking what score it would take to win, the length of the course or even the entry fee. The number in question was how many greens his son would be able to reach in regulation, and not just on the par 4s. 'I was guaranteed to hit driver into at least one par 3,' Thomas said. Mike Thomas was in the gallery along the ninth fairway at Waialae Country Club when his 23-year-old son nearly left his feet while launching a 358-yard drive, setting up a wedge into the par 5. It was only his seventh-longest drive during his time in paradise. This Aloha State adventure was the best two weeks of Thomas' career. He joined Ernie Els as the only players to sweep the Hawaii swing and became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win by at least three shots in consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour. Thomas rose to No. 8 in the world and he is the third-ranked American behind Dustin Johnson (No. 3) and Jordan Spieth (No. 5). 'Unforgettable,' Thomas said of the last two weeks. That goes for his parents, too, mainly because they had yet to see him win on the PGA Tour. His other two victories were in Malaysia, so Mike and Jani Thomas had to stay up until the early morning hours to watch him beat Adam Scott one year, Hideki Matsuyama the next. Watching in person with an ocean view is better. Mike Thomas has been the head pro at Harmony Landing outside Louisville, Kentucky, for the last 28 years, and golf is really all his son has ever known. Justin was not even 2 when his father gave him a cut-down driver with a wooden head to whack golf balls around the house and at Harmony Landing. As a toddler, when the boy wanted to play he would tell his mother, 'Bag of balls, bag of balls.' But the boy fell in love with golf by himself. 'I made sure there was no formal instruction until he asked for it,' Mike Thomas said. 'There were a lot more little lessons than big lessons.' Part of the reason is that he had a golf shop to run, members to serve and lessons to give. A larger part was that Mike Thomas had seen too many kids pushed too hard and he didn't want to be that parent. 'I decided that I wanted to be his best friend more than his father,' he said. 'There were times I had to get on him as a parent. But mostly we had just had a lot of fun.' Even now, when he takes time away from Harmony Landing to watch his son on tour, he stands quietly behind Thomas and caddie Jimmy Johnson without saying a word unless his son asks him to shoot video of a swing with his phone. They will look at it together. Mike Thomas tends to wait to see if his son can figure it out first. His fondest memories are not the tournaments he won as a junior, but the time they spent on the golf course in twilight hours, sometimes playing nine holes, other times creating games by seeing who could throw a golf ball closest to the pin. Golf has been in the family for three generations. Paul Thomas was the longtime club pro at Zanesville Country Club in Ohio who qualified for the 1962 U.S. Open at Oakmont. Mike Thomas played at Morehead State and competed in college against Kenny Perry, but his aspirations of playing the PGA Tour didn't last long. He spent one year on the mini-tours before working fulltime as a PGA professional. He took three jobs, in Ohio and Pittsburgh, before moving to Kentucky. Justin was in elementary school, still swinging away, when his father began a tradition of keeping golf balls from every tournament he won. There were 128 balls at Harmony Landing when they left for Hawaii. The father headed home with five more golf balls — and he wanted six. Two were from the victories at the SBS Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open, bringing the victory count to 130. A special display will hold the golf ball that Thomas rolled in from 15 feet for eagle on the final hole of his opening round for a 59. Another ball is from the 36-hole scoring record (123) he set on Friday, and the fifth is from the 72-hole record (253) Thomas set Sunday. 'I wanted the one after Saturday for the 54-hole record,' Mike Thomas said with a laugh. 'But Justin said that wasn't a record, it was only a tie.' It's tempting to think back to the toddler who said 'Bag of balls' the way most kids ask for candy, and see where his son is now. But only the stage has changed. 'The feeling is the same,' Mike Thomas said. 'I know this is the PGA Tour, but when he had a chance to win as an 8-year-old at a U.S. Kids event, it was like, 'This is really cool.' ... As a parent, I'm just glad he's healthy, I'm glad he's safe and I'm glad he's doing what he wants to do. What else could any parent want?' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

NBI waits for probe request from stray bullet victim’s family

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Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJan 8th, 2017

Facetime: Friends star Matt Le Blanc is Man with a Plan

He is a good man. He’s a good dad. He loves his children and puts his family first. Sometimes he misses the life he had with his wife before the kids were born, which was more spontaneous and there weren’t many responsibilities......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

How Fil-Am coach Leo Balayon is leading a small US university to greater heights

Last December 16, Bethesda University, a little-known college from Anaheim, California made U.S. collegiate basketball history when it defeated the Divsion One school Cal State University - Northridge. The Bethesda Flames, led by Filipino-American coach Leo Balayon, became the only member of the National Christian College Athletic Association to defeat a Division One school. Born and raised in Davao, coach Balayon has decades of basketball experience under his belt. He played for Ateneo de Davao's basketball team and eventually became University of the Philippines' assistant coach. He played semi-professionally in China before joining his family in the US, where the sport followed him, and he became the head coach of the men's basketball team and the athletic director of Bethesda University. But it looks like he's found home. Balayon is not just breathing life into a little-known school, he's also providing second chances to players who have had a rough past.   strong>BUCKET LIST /strong> With the win, Balayon not only made history, but he was also able to cross something off his bucket list. 'I want to win against a division one team as a small school coach, that was one of the items on my bucket list,' he said.  And to add to the grandeur of their accomplishment, the win came against a coach like Reggie Theus, a 13-year NBA veteran. 'Being able to accomplish it this past week was really amazing especially doing it against a coach I respect, Reggie Theus is an NBA coach, NCAA coach he's been to the tournament, he's been an NBA all star,' Balayon said. But he didn't do it alone.    strong>BIGGER THAN BASKETBALL /strong> Along with the challenge of coaching a small school, his team consists of players who've had problems in the past, or have come from difficult backgrounds. But they're in it together, nonetheless. 'I know it's a small school, really challenging situation, but it actually allows me to find kids that need help and sometimes the kids we help they come from hard backgrounds. We've had kids who's moms were murdered. We have guys who've lost loved ones,' said Balayon.  Further embracing the situation, Balayon  appreciates the second chance the sport has given to his players.  'We can't get the top 25 high school recruits but we can get these kids that are overlooked and maybe some coaches shy away them just because of where they're coming from or their past mistakes. For us I use this platform to help kids have a second chance.'   strong>TAKE IT FROM THEM /strong> Bethesda Flames guard Rob Bush is a prime example of the hardships some of the players have went through. 'I had to put basketball down for a minute. Because my dad unfortunately died and then my mom was murdered so I had to put it down for a second. I just had to come take care of myself,' Bush said. But Bush is also living proof of how Bethesda's sports program and coach Balayon's coaching have done wonders to rejuvinate players' outlook in life. 'It's a blessing any time you can get on the court. It's blessing that we can wake up and have camaraderie whether it's ups or downs.'  Another player, 34-year-old Buddha Boyd believes the Flames were destined to play together, and are on their way to do great things. 'I always believed in this team was going to do something special because I'm 34, years old playing college basketball, I'm here for a reason,' the 6'5 swingman said.  'After getting to know my teammates and knowing their stories. I just see all of us came together for a reason, something special and the D1 win was just the beginning.'   strong>With a report from Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News /strong> .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

Civilian deaths in Yemen raise war crime questions

ABS — On an August morning, a taxi driver in northwestern Yemen hugged his kids and jokingly told his family, "Forgive me if I don't come back." It was his w.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 16th, 2016

3 kids rescued from family-run online sex ring

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Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 17th, 2016

WATCH | Ronnie Dayan’s family pleads that he be arrested alive

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WORLD TEACHER’S DAY, ANIMAL DAY AT MALABON ZOO

AN endeared friend, Manny Tangco, deserves ample recognition for his effort to transform the Malabon Zoo into an amazing hub of different animals in the world that everyone, especially our kids, can watch and enjoy to the max! And he’s always full .....»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsOct 4th, 2016

Husband as an ally, not a silent observer

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Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2016

Metrobank Foundation awardees tell kids about importance of family

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Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 17th, 2016

Mom and boyfriend killed over affair

Pakistani police on Thursday arrested the father, husband, and brother of a woman who was tortured and hanged alongside her alleged boyfriend in a family courtyard, a local police official said......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsSep 16th, 2016

Protection for Vice Mayor’s murder suspect sought

The family of the slain former vice mayor of Pandi, Bulacan has called for security protection of the arrested gunman for fear that he might be killed in order to close the case. Modesta Rivera, 68, and wife of former Pandi Vice Mayor Ruben Rivera, said t.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2016

‘More women into illegal drug trade’

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Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsAug 25th, 2016

Father admits to killing his family in a note he left at the crime scene

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Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 16th, 2016

Dutertes kids wanted to visit Panatag Shoal

The First Family nearly triggered a diplomatic row with China had its planned visit to Panatag Shoal pushed through......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJul 27th, 2016

LOOK: Willie Revillame spends quality time with kids

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Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJul 26th, 2016

Michael Goldberg, who led the NBCA for 37 years, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Goldberg, who served as executive director of the National Basketball Coaches Association for nearly four decades and was revered by many within the game, has died. His death was announced Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) by the NBCA. It came within a week of two significant honors for Goldberg, with the NBCA announcing plans to begin issuing a coach of the year award in his name and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame revealing that he would be a recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award later this year. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Goldberg 'was a beloved member of the NBA family and a dear friend.' The NBCA is dedicating this season to Goldberg. NBCA President Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks called Goldberg 'a leader, pioneer and trusted friend.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

S. Korean minister arrested over artist blacklist allegation

SEOUL — South Korean prosecutors on yesterday arrested President Park Geun-hye's culture minister and her former top presidential adviser over allegations th.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

The Kool Kids

MANILA, Philippines – London calling!.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017

The beginning of Jesus’ Galilean ministry

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen. From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsJan 21st, 2017