Let’s give the last word in this Mount Rushmore edition of he said/he said to Tiger Woods. It seems Sergio Garcia didn’t know all the facts. It turns out Woods did hear a marshal say that El Nino had already hit his second shot at the par-5 second hole early on Day 3 at The Players Championship. It also seems virtually certain that Woods could not see Garcia in the fairway when he pulled a club from his bag and approached his golf ball that was in the trees left of the second fairway. “From where (Woods) was there is no way he could have seen Sergio,” marshal John North told GolfChannel.com on Tuesday. We’ve seen the split-screen footage of this episode more times than the Zapruder film – Woods eying his lie and the trees ahead, Garcia poised over his ball, Woods slipping a head cover off a fairway wood which caused the crowd to react. The timing is all right there in HD quality. What has been open to viral, and sometimes vicious, debate for five days is what happened next. Author When Round 3 was suspended by Saturday’s storm, Garcia told Golf Channel’s Steve Sands: “I think he must have pulled a 5-wood or 3-wood out and obviously everybody started screaming, so that didn’t help very much. It was unfortunate. I try to respect everyone as much as possible out there. I try to be careful what I do to make sure it doesn’t bother the other players.” Woods responded when play ultimately ended in twilight on Saturday: “He doesn’t know all the facts. The marshal said he’d already hit and I pulled the club . . . I heard his comments afterwards. It’s not surprising he’s complaining about something.” But it was North – the chief marshal for the first, second and third holes at TPC Sawgrass last week – who turned the episode into a bona fide controversy, however unwittingly. “Nothing was said to us and we certainly said nothing to (Woods),” North told Sports Illustrated. “I was disappointed to hear him make those remarks. We’re there to help the players and enhance the experience of the fans. He was saying what was good for him. It lacked character.” On Tuesday night, however, North was not as certain that no marshal had advised Woods that Garcia had already played. Although he said he wasn’t misquoted by Sports Illustrated he did say his quotes were taken “slightly” out of context. “I didn’t want to impugn the character of Tiger Woods or the Sports Illustrated writer. I was just answering a hypothetical question,” said North, who has been a marshal at The Players for 30 years. “I cannot unequivocally say nothing was said (to Woods).” Less than 12 hours later, Brian Nedrich could equivocally say that Woods received the “all clear” from a marshal. “I was the one Tiger heard say that Sergio had hit,” Nedrich told the Florida Times-Union. While the timing remains somewhat unclear, Nedrich – who said he was 10 to 12 feet away from Woods – informed a fellow marshal that Garcia had played his second shot. “There was a lot going on, as usual, when Tiger plays,” he said. “Then, he’s trying to have the concentration he needs to win a tournament. It’s easy to get small details out of whack when things happen so fast.” At the risk of playing both judge and jury, the witness may step down, the case is dismissed. If this doesn’t clear up at least this portion of the controversy for the conspiracy theorist then nothing will. Although the timing is suspect, Woods heard the marshal say Garcia had already played. We’ve learned from this ugly episode that, in this case, it seems it is the marshals who needed a “Quiet, please” sign; and that the smallest amount of contrition could have gone a long way. Woods supporters say he did nothing wrong, therefore he had nothing to apologize for. While that may follow the letter of the law it does little to promote good will within the ropes and stretches the boundaries of courtesy. In this case, Woods accidently and inadvertently pulled a club while Garcia was preparing to hit and caused a distraction. Regardless of intent or culpability, a quick apology as the two headed up the second fairway may well have cut short a needless controversy. That, however, was never option. Not with this two-ball. “We didn’t do a lot of talking,” Woods said on Saturday when asked if he and Garcia discussed the incident. Woods and Garcia don’t like each other. In related news, the sun will set in the west. Still, would this issue not have faded like Saturday’s sunset had both players shown a modicum of civility? But then it’s hard to blame Woods for going lock-jaw considering Garcia’s take on the row on Sunday, some 24 hours after the fact. “I’m not going to lie, he’s not my favorite guy to play with,” Garcia told Sky Sports. “He’s not the nicest guy on Tour.” Passion is one thing, petulance is an entirely different animal. Competing personalities butt heads in all walks of life, but on Sunday, on Mother’s Day, the Spaniard violated a central theme of civilized society – he had nothing nice to say, and yet he kept talking.
PHOENIX – Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist picks a strange place to call her second home, but she loves it in the desert. Nordqvist, who was born and raised in Eskilstuna, Sweden, couldn’t have been more comfortable in the record 95-degree heat Saturday at Wildfire Golf Club. She shot a tournament record 11-under-par 61 to bolt to the top of the leaderboard at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. Nordqvist was a star at Arizona State. “They always say that home is where the heart is, and my heart is definitely still here,” Nordqvist said. At 21-under 195, Nordqvist broke the 54-hole Founders Cup record by two shots. That’s also how many shots she’s ahead of a pair of very familiar pursuers, Ariya Jutanugarn (66) and Stacy Lewis (66). Nordqvist played in the shadow of Jutanugarn and Lewis in the first two rounds but hung close enough to catapult past them with her torrid run in the third round. “I think we were 36 under par as a group for the first two days,” Nordqvist said. “Someone seemed to be birdieing almost every hole.” Nordqvist will be back with Jutanugarn again in Sunday’s final round. Lewis will be paired with So Yeon Ryu, who shot 64 on Saturday to move three shots back. A hot putter helped Nordqvist climb over 12 players in the third round. She’s bogey free this week and needs a 65 Sunday to get to 28 under and break the LPGA’s 72-hole scoring record. A six-time LPGA winner with a major championship to her credit, Nordqvist didn’t have to look far for comfort Saturday. She was followed by a half dozen Scandinavians, one wearing a Viking helmet. Terje Erga, a Norwegian, wore the helmet with a pair of horns protruding from it. He is hosting a group of fellow Norwegians and a Swedish pro who have adopted Nordqvist as one of their own. “We’re big fans,” Erga said. They let out a noisy howl at the 18th when Nordqvist putted out for her record 61. Nordqvist is surrounded by supporters this week. She is staying with friends she met in college. “I have friends here who seem like family,” Nordqvist said. “I just always feel special coming back here.” So does Lewis, who has a victory, two seconds and a T-4 finish in her last four starts at Wildfire Golf Club. This feels like a comfortable place for Lewis to break through and win her 12th LPGA title, her first in 33 months. She’s a large supporter of both the LPGA founders and LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, the two entities celebrated this week. Lewis helped fund a documentary about the 13 women who founded the LPGA and is listed as one of its executive producers. She also has been a Girls Golf ambassador. “I love this week,” Lewis said. “I love not only the founders here, but the kids with Girls Golf. I’ve had two girls follow me around all week.” Jutanugarn is seeking her sixth LPGA title in a little more than 10 months. Like Nordqvist, she hasn’t made a bogey all week. “I really like this course,” Jutanugarn said. “I’m just going to try to have some fun tomorrow.”
When Tiger Woods welcomed his first child, Sam, into the world almost 11 years ago, there wasn’t a lot of consternation over how being a father might affect his PGA Tour schedule that year. Or how it would impact his skills. Woods won four of his next seven starts that year, including the PGA Championship. When Phil Mickelson was preparing to welcome his first child, Amanda, into the world in 1999, it was big news, because there loomed the possibility he might pull out of the U.S. Open with a chance to win. He wore a beeper that weekend in Pinehurst, with a private plane ready for takeoff on quick notice, should his wife, Amy, go into labor. Amanda waited for her daddy. She was born the day after he finished second to Payne Stewart. Mickelson didn’t miss a major that year. LPGA star Gerina Piller announced the arrival of her first child Wednesday. She gave birth to Ajeo James Piller last week. Piller missed the ANA Inspiration last month, and she will miss the U.S. Women’s Open later this month. She will miss every major this year while on maternity leave. In fact, she expects to miss every event. Becoming a parent is life changing for PGA Tour pros, but it isn’t career altering, or career ending, the way it can be for LPGA pros. Lorena Ochoa left the tour at 28 while holding the Rolex world No. 1 ranking, announcing she wanted to start a family. Annika Sorenstam was still a force when she left the LPGA to start a family in 2008. She never played in another major. Yes, female tour pros can thrive as mothers at the highest level of the game, as Nancy Lopez, Juli Inkster and Catriona Matthew have proven. They won majors after becoming mothers. Cristie Kerr has won five times around the world since becoming a mom. But they are exceptions to the rule. It’s tougher to compete as a mom. Tour history proves that. Matthew is the only player to win a major after becoming a mother over the last 15 years. Kerr is the only mother among LPGA pros in the top 50 in the Rolex world rankings, though Stacy Lewis and Suzann Pettersen are pregnant and expecting to join Piller in giving birth later this year. “It looks like we might be having a baby boom on tour,” said Karine Icher, who along with Kerr and Piller are the only other LPGA members among the top 100 in the world who are mothers. With Piller, Lewis and Pettersen among the biggest names in women’s golf, babies are the buzz on tour in a way they haven’t been in some time. “We’ve become a tour of teenagers,” Icher said. “It’s become so young on tour, but I think we’re going to see even more babies coming soon.” Morgan Pressel turns 30 later this month, and she told GolfChannel.com earlier this year that Piller’s pregnancy has her thinking. “It’s definitely something my husband and I are talking about a lot,” Pressel said. “It’s something we will pursue, hopefully soon. “I told Gerina, ‘Write down everything I’ll need to know.’ I told her to take notes.” Two-time major champion Brittany Lincicome will eventually want to see those notes. “I think once one of us gets it started, there’s going to be a ripple effect, with many kids coming at the same time,” Lincicome predicted last year. “One day I can see our kids together.” Juli Inkster with her daughters Cori (L) and Hayley (R) Inkster, 57, is the model for this next generation of moms. Hayley, Inkster’s first daughter, was born in 1990. Cori, her second, was born four years later. They aren’t that much younger than Piller, Pressel and Lincicome are today. In ‘93, the year the LPGA started its traveling daycare center, there were 30 moms on tour, with 47 children who visited the center at some point in the season. Today? “It’s usually only three children,” Icher said. “It’s just my daughter, Cristie Kerr’s son and Sydnee Michaels’ baby.” What can Piller, Lewis and Pettersen expect if they choose to keep playing the tour as moms? Inkster won 18 times after having children, four of them majors. She credits her husband, Brian, for making it work as a devoted father. They agreed never to be apart for more than two weeks in a row. They took their daughters on the road, but they also built a stable home for them in Los Altos, Calif. “They didn’t know that not every kid has a frequent-flier cards when they’re 3 years old,” Inkster once cracked. But the life isn’t as easy as the Inkster family made it look. THE TUG OF WAR Golf vs. motherhood. Patti Rizzo (pictured above) said it was a tug of war that tore her heart apart. Back in 1980, Rizzo lost to Inkster in the finals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Rizzo would go on to win four LPGA titles, all before becoming a mom. As a mom on tour, she was miserable. “I thought it was super, super difficult trying to be both a player and mom,” said Rizzo, now the University of Miami women’s golf coach. “Juli was an exception, because I think it’s a rare situation where it really works. “There were about 50 moms on tour when I had my children out there, and I think 49 of them were tortured.” Rizzo’s husband traveled in his job, so she took a nanny on tour with her, to help with her young son and daughter. “I never played well after becoming a mom, but I wouldn’t trade it,” Rizzo said. “I loved being a mom, but it just got to a point where I really felt like I had to make a choice. Did I want to be a really good mom or a really good player? For me, there was only one option.” Rizzo remembers playing the Chick-fil-A Charity Classic in Atlanta in 1999, being on a cell phone 10 minutes before her tee time, trying to reach a pediatrician back in her South Florida home. She was desperately trying to help her nanny figure out why her 4-year-old son was breaking out in splotches all over his body. It turned out he was having an allergic reaction to an antibiotic. The next week, Rizzo had her son and 2-year-old daughter fly out with the nanny to meet her at the Myrtle Beach Classic. Both children were sick by week’s end, when she packed up a car and they all headed south for the Titleholders Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla. The ride was a nightmare. With her kids crying and fighting in the back seat, Rizzo was in tears when she intentionally blew past the Daytona Beach exit for LPGA International. She didn’t stop until she was back home in Weston, Fla. “When kids are young, they are sick a lot,” Rizzo said. Rizzo remembers the guilt leaving them sick with the nanny to go play golf. “I wondered, ‘What kind of mother am I?’” she said. Not long after driving past that Daytona Beach exit, Rizzo retired. She was a single mom by then, making tour life even harder. “I think even if I had more support, I still would have felt guilty, trying to be a player and a mom,” she said. “It bothered me every time I left home, or I left my kids at day care on tour. I felt like I was abandoning them. “I loved my children, and I loved being their mom, but I needed a nanny to play golf. I had the fear that mothers have, that their children are going to love their nanny more than they love them.” Rizzo’s son, Seve, is graduating from the University of Miami this month. Her daughter, Gabriela, is set to graduate from there next year. “It all turned out pretty good,” Rizzo said, “and I have no regrets.” Karine Icher and her husband/caddie, Fred Bonnargent TO JUGGLE? OR NOT TO JUGGLE? Karine Icher is coming to a crossroads. At 39, the Frenchwoman still loves to play, but her 6-year-old daughter, Lola, is in first grade now. Lola has been traveling with her mother since she was a baby. Icher has a family routine that works. Her husband, Fred Bonnargent, is also her caddie. It makes juggling motherhood and golf easier for Icher, but by no means easy. The crossroads is knowing it’s time for Lola to have a more consistent home life, at a school she isn’t constantly being tugged out of with a pile of schoolwork to do on the road. “She’s going to need a more normal life soon, to be around friends and other kids,” Icher said. That means Icher may soon be looking for a new caddie, so her husband can stay home in Orlando to parent Lola when she goes off to play the tour. Emotionally, that won’t be easy, but it will make tour life less complicated. When Icher hits the road now, it’s like she’s in a traveling circus. Each event requires a major setup upon arrival, and a major breakdown before departure. The family rents mini-vans, which were stacked full when Lola was a baby, with a stroller, playpen, car seat, toys and other child accessories. “We took Lola to five or six events on the Asian swing when she was a baby,” Icher said. “I packed a big suitcase full of just diapers, 300 of them. I wasn’t sure what kind of diapers I could find in China and Japan or if we would be staying near a supermarket.” Every trip comes with its challenges. “When Lola was a baby, it could be a nightmare,” Icher said. “It’s not easy getting a baby into any sleep routine. When you add jet lag to that, it’s even more complicated. “As a player, you need some sleep, but so does the caddie. We decided my sleep was more important, so we would get two rooms, and my husband would sleep with Lola. The first two years, getting rest was difficult.” Icher is a five-time Ladies European Tour winner looking for her first LPGA title. She’s a four-time European Solheim Cup veteran. While she loves being a mom, it comes with a price as a competitor. “When you become a mom, you experience a different life on tour,” Icher said. “It’s not just about you. You can’t just do what you want. You can’t just leave to go work out whenever you want, to practice or get a massage. And then when you are out practicing, you’re thinking, ‘I want to be with my daughter.’ “And if you’re having a bad day in a tournament, it’s really bad. You’re thinking, ‘What am I doing out here?’” Icher says it’s more difficult to be a great player with all the sacrifices it requires to be a mother, but being a mom is worth it. A MOM IN FULL “BLUM” Amanda Blumenherst (pictured above) fully intended to return to the LPGA after giving birth to her first child, Will. The former U.S. Women’s Amateur champ from Duke thought she was just hitting the pause button when she went on maternity leave four years ago. But when it was time to return … “My heart just wasn’t into competing anymore,” Blumenherst said. “To play at that level, to go to a tournament to win, your head has to be completely in the game. You have to want to be there.” Her head was all into being the best mom she could be. Three days before Blumenherst was set to return to the tour at the Founders Cup, she withdrew. She couldn’t bear the idea of what she would be giving up to play the tour. “I feel guilty even leaving my son with my mom, who’s a perfect grandmom,” Blumenherst said. “I don’t think anyone understands how much time children take until they have one. It’s a full-time commitment. It’s also exhausting.” Blumenherst, 31, said giving up the tour wasn’t easy. “It’s hard to step away, after spending your childhood preparing to play the LPGA, having visions of winning and playing Solheim Cups, preparing for that for so many years,” Blumenherst said. “But once I made the decision, I was really at peace with it.” Blumenherst acknowledges it would have been a more difficult decision if she were one of the tour’s stars. “I will say, I wasn’t playing particularly great,” Blumenherst said. “It would be a lot more difficult decision for a great player, for somebody who feels like she is at the peak of her career.” Blumenherst and her husband, Nate Freiman, the former Oakland A’s first baseman, had a second son, Charlie, 16 months ago. “Ultimately, when you reach a certain stage in your life, you have to decide what your priority is going to be,” Blumenherst said. “For me, it was being a mom. “I appreciate women who love their careers. I know moms who work full time and say they are better moms because of it. I think that’s a superhuman feat, balancing both. I don’t know if I could do it.” With a baby boom possibly on the way to the LPGA, a lot of pros may soon be asking themselves if they can do both.
Francesco Molinari outlasts the rest, Tiger Woods inches closer to an earth-shattering victory, Jordan Spieth lets a successful title defense slip away, Eddie Pepperell toasts his success and more in this week’s Open edition of Monday Scramble: Forza Italia. Amid a wild and windy afternoon at Carnoustie, where seemingly no less than a dozen players had a viable shot at the claret jug, it was a steady performance from Francesco Molinari that translated into breakthrough. Molinari is no stranger to the big stage, and five years ago he played the final round alongside Phil Mickelson as Lefty stormed from behind to win at Muirfield. But this time, this day, it was his turn to shine as he put forth a ball-striking and scrambling clinic that yielded 16 pars and two birdies while the other leaders struggled around him. It’s the cap of an impressive heater for Molinari, who is now the first Italian to ever win a major. He outlasted Rory McIlroy at the BMW PGA Championship in May, won the Quicken Loans National by eight shots last month and now has finished first or second in five of his last six worldwide starts. The soft-spoken veteran played the final two rounds without making a bogey, and he is a worthy champion. Expect the jug to receive a few refills of wine – and perhaps a little coffee – over the next year. 1. For about a 90-minute stretch Sunday, it seemed like Tiger Woods would finally find a way to silence the critics once and for all. Playing alongside Molinari, Woods displayed the same tactical brilliance on the opening nine, carding two birdies while others struggled out of the gates and, at one point, taking the lead alone. But an errant approach and a poor flop shot led to a double bogey on No. 11, and his bid for the jug was diverted soon thereafter. But man, what a ride it was through that opening stretch. For months the questions have lingered about exactly how and when Tiger might put all the pieces together, and after an early exit at Shinnecock it was easy to write him off. But his inner tactician shined for much of the week on a toasty layout, and he was steady in all facets over the weekend. Just as Woods’ five-win season in 2013 has been used as a recent example of just how high his ceiling reaches, so too this performance will be viewed like manna from heaven for Tiger apologists. He didn’t quite pull it off, but there’s every reason to expect that he can do so the next time around. 2. While he came up three shots short of catching Molinari, even Woods appeared to savor the final leg of a T-6 finish that serves as his best result in a major in five years and becomes the new high water mark for an already impressive season. “It was a blast,” Woods told reporters. “I was saying earlier that I need to try and keep it in perspective because, beginning of the year, if they’d have said you’re playing the Open Championship, I would have said I’d be very lucky to do that.” 3. A bit more on Molinari, the newest Champion Golfer of the Year who has turned into a weekend assassin over the last three months. Between his stirring victory at Wentworth, his rout at TPC Potomac and his comeback at Carnoustie, Molinari has now played six weekend rounds while making only a single bogey. One! That includes 36 bogey-free holes over the last two days in Scotland, as Molinari methodically took apart the demanding links layout while turning in the only bogey-free scorecard out of the entire field on Sunday. “To go the weekend bogey-free, it’s unthinkable, to be honest,” Molinari said. “But I felt really good this morning. When I came here, I felt ready for the challenge.” 4 While many players would quiver at the thought of a final-round tee time alongside Woods with a major on the line, Molinari didn’t blink. Perhaps because he’s been in similar situations before. In addition to his supporting role during Mickelson’s win in 2013, Molinari has twice faced off with Woods in the Ryder Cup – including a 2012 singles’ draw that remains Woods’ most recent Ryder Cup match. So stepping to the tee Sunday, Molinari was fazed neither by his playing partner nor by the three co-leaders that sat three shots ahead of him. “Clearly in my group, the attention wasn’t really on me, let’s put it that way,” Molinari said. “If someone was expecting a charge, probably they weren’t expecting it from me, but it’s been the same the whole of my career.” 5. How times change. Just a few weeks ago, Molinari opted to tee it up at the Quicken Loans National instead of the French Open at Ryder Cup venue Le Golf National. The reason? He was concerned about his FedExCup standing. Molinari hadn’t done much in the States this year, and he was 123rd in points with his 2019 status very much in limbo. Fast forward a few weeks – including two wins and a runner-up – and Molinari can safely book travel plans on both sides of the Atlantic for years to come. 6. It was a week of what might have been for Jordan Spieth. Spieth started his stint in Scotland by handing back the claret jug in a ceremony he admitted was more bitter than sweet. But through 54 holes, he was the betting favorite as one of three co-leaders, equipped with a great chance to go back-to-back and end a victory drought that extended back to Royal Birkdale. Amid a disappointing campaign, it was the first time he started the final round closer than four shots to the lead. But Spieth apparently used up his magic last year in Southport, as he seemed out of sorts from the start and quickly faded. Spieth didn’t make a birdie all day, and he found a gorse bush at an inopportune time en route to a double bogey on one of the easiest holes on the course. It added up to a 76 and a tie for ninth, another disappointing finish in a year of mixed results. Now he’ll have to wait another year for a potential reunion with the jug. 7. Of course, Spieth wasn’t the only player who watched a share of the 54-hole lead slip away. Kevin Kisner held at least a share of the lead after each of the first three days, but his bid for a maiden major went sideways in a bunker on the second hole Sunday. Xander Schauffele’s bid lasted significantly longer, as he kept pace with Molinari until the 17th hole. But in the end, it was a 3-over 74 and a share of second place for both men, who now find themselves firmly in the Ryder Cup mix heading into the homestretch of the selection process. 8. For the first time in his career, Rory McIlroy has a runner-up finish in a major championship. But good luck making sense of his week at Carnoustie years from now. McIlroy was barely a factor over the weekend, having seemingly forfeited his shot at a second Open title during benign third-round conditions. But when his lengthy eagle putt fell on the 14th hole Sunday and sparked a celebration reminiscent of Hazeltine, hope was once again alive. Ultimately, it was too little too late for the Ulsterman, who couldn’t convert a lengthy birdie putt on the 72nd hole that could have putt pressure on the leaders behind him. He’ll leave Scotland with a healthy check, but without the feeling that he ever got both feet planted in his quest for the claret jug. “I just ran out of holes,” McIlroy said. 9. If McIlroy’s runner-up felt like somewhat of a disappointment, Justin Rose’s T-2 finish was nothing short of found money. Rose needed to birdie the difficult 18th on Friday simply to make the cut on the number, and he rebounded with a third-round 64. The Englishman added a Sunday 69 to lend credence to the notion that, despite only two top-10s in the tournament as a pro, Rose might still have an Open title in him after all. “I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” Rose said. The weekend close continues a recent run of solid form for Rose, who won a few weeks back at Colonial and now has reached a career-best No. 2 in the world rankings. Direct quotes from @F_Molinari earlier this season when we played together in China…..I saved it in my notes for a moment like this pic.twitter.com/RjZAiPhLNs— Wesley Bryan (@wesleybryangolf) July 22, 2018 So the Champion Golfer of the Year walks into a coffee shop… Sadly, it seems we may not see these creative retirement plans come to fruition – at least not for a few years. But credit to Molinari for thinking outside the box, and credit to Wesley Bryan for a timely share. This week’s award winners … Hair of the Dog: Eddie Pepperell. The 27-year-old Englishman admitted he was “a little hungover” during the final round, but he still put up the day’s best score with a 4-under 67 that gave him a share of sixth and his first ever top-10 finish in a major. Drinks all around. Paris Bound?: Webb Simpson. The Players champ tied for 12th to move past Bryson DeChambeau at No. 8 in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically. Schauffele moved to 11th, while Kisner moved to 13th. Quiet Consistency: Tony Finau. Finau tied for ninth at Carnoustie and has now cracked the top 10 in each of the three majors this year. In fact, six of his 10 career major starts have gone for T-18 or better. Perhaps something for Captain Furyk to consider. Quietly Slumping: Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard is barely a year removed from his watershed win, but he has now missed the cut in four straight majors and has missed six of nine cuts overall dating back to the Masters. Role Reversal: Molinari, who won The Open while playing alongside Tiger 12 years after he caddied for his brother, Edoardo, in a group with Woods at the 2006 Masters. Woods was the defending champ, and Edoardo was the reigning U.S. Amateur winner: King of Yelp: To the Carnoustie barber that gave Spieth a trim before the third round that set social media ablaze. While Spieth admitted it was a little “high and tight,” it became the most famous £9 haircut in years. Make Your Own Bed: To the frat house of American stars that has become something of an Open annual tradition. While Spieth, Kisner and Zach Johnson fell short of winning the jug for the house, hopefully they all got a few good shots in on all-time goalie Jason Dufner during intra-squad soccer scrimmages. Kick Him Out: To the obnoxious fan that nearly derailed Tiger’s final tee shot. One-upsmanship has become somewhat of a plague among American crowds, but Sunday showed that even the revered Scottish faithful have a few bad eggs in the bunch. Place Your Bets: With only 17 days until the opening round of the PGA Championship, the Westgate Las Vegas installed Dustin Johnson as a 12/1 co-favorite alongside Spieth and McIlroy. Woods headlines the group next in line at 16/1. Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Justin Thomas. For the second year in a row, Thomas’ Open chances fell apart during a rainy second round. It was 67-80 at Birkdale, and this time 69-77 to miss the cut by a shot at Carnoustie. Watching what Rose did after finishing only one shot better through 36 holes only adds salt to the wound.
WALTON HEATH, England — Eddie Pepperell will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the British Masters after a 1-under 71 Saturday as he looked for his second European Tour title and a likely place in next year’s Masters. Pepperell was on 9-under 207 at Walton Heath with fellow Englishman Jordan Smith (70), Sweden’s Alexander Bjork (68), American Julian Suri (69) and France’s Julien Guerrier (70) tied for second. A victory on Sunday would take Pepperell into the world’s top 35 and almost certainly secure a Masters debut in 2019. The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year at Augusta National in April. The 27-year-old Pepperell began the day with a three-shot lead and was four clear when he holed from 14 feet for an eagle on the par-five 11th, with playing partners Smith and Matt Wallace (73) remarkably doing likewise. Full-field scores from the British Masters Smith also birdied the 12th after Pepperell three-putted and another birdie on the 15th took Smith within two shots of the lead, only for him to immediately drop a shot on the next. Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood was seven shots off the pace after rebounding from a 77 on Friday with a 70, while Ryder Cup teammate and tournament host Justin Rose was another stroke adrift following a 69. A top-two finish on Sunday would see Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as No. 1 in September. ”That hasn’t actually been on my mind,” Rose said. ”It’s going to be tough to get there as I’ve got a lot of points to defend, but I’ve just got to focus on playing well.”
Evolution Placozoa: An Evolutionary Leftover? Evolution News @DiscoveryCSCAugust 15, 2018, 4:23 AM Recommended Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Phylum Placozoa gets only brief mention in Darwin’s Doubt. That’s understandable, because it has no fossil record, and has almost no resemblance to any other animal phylum. Latin taxonomic names often lose their pomp when translated, and this is a classic: placozoa means “flat animal.” Meyer only includes it in Figure 2.5 (page 32) as one of nine phyla without a fossil record. What is it? Here are some clues to consider:It is small, just about a millimeter in size.It is the only phylum with just one recognized species, Trichoplax adhaerens.Like an amoeba, it has no well-defined shape, but is flat.Unlike an amoeba, it is multicellular.It has no organs or systems.It has only about six cell types. The outer ones have cilia that enable it to move.It lives on the ocean floor, consuming detritus.Individuals show a surprising amount of genetic diversity but little phenotypic diversity.There are suggestions of sexual reproduction, but no demonstration of it in the wild.It has worldwide distribution.Evolution News asked a few years ago, “The ‘Flat Animal’: Is It a Cambrian Ancestor?” Answer: It has more complexity under the hood than appearance suggests, but is not a Cambrian ancestor. In fact, it may be a stripped-down organism, although it is free living (not parasitic). Now a new paper in PLOS Biology is out, devoted to Placozoa. Has anything new been learned in the meantime?Hong Kong Sea DragonThe main finding by Michael Eitel et al. is a possible new species found in a mangrove-lined river near Hong Kong. They identify it as H13, and give it the name “Hoilungia hongkongensis” meaning “Hong Kong sea dragon.” (That’s an improvement on “flat animal.”) Under a microscope, though, it would be nearly impossible to see any difference from Trichoplax.Placozoans are a phylum of tiny (approximately 1 mm) marine animals that are found worldwide in temperate and tropical waters. They are characterized by morphological simplicity, with only a handful of cell types, no neurons, no tissue organization, and even no axial polarity. Since the original description of Trichoplax adhaerens 135 years ago, no additional accepted species has been established, leaving the Placozoa as the only animal phylum with only a single formally described species. While classical morphological species identification has failed to reveal further species, single-gene DNA sequence analyses have identified a broad and deep genetic diversity within the Placozoa. To address the significance of this deep genetic diversity in this morphologically uniform phylum, and to better understand its consequences for speciation processes, general biology, and species delimitation in the Placozoa, we sequenced the genome of the placozoan isolate “H13,” a lineage distantly genetically related to T. adhaerens. Our multilevel genomic comparisons with the T. adhaerens genome show considerable differences in the general structure of the genome and the makeup and history of various gene families of biological relevance to habitat adaptation. Based on comparative genomics, we here describe the second placozoan species and show that it belongs to a new genus.Does the new species show any sign of evolution? Out of thousands of compared sequences, very few showed any possible signs of positive evolution:Only 3 of the 6,554 one-to-one orthologs had dN/dS ratios slightly >1, indicating positive selection… One of these seems placozoan specific, since it could not be annotated because of missing UniProt BLAST hits and InterPro domains, respectively. For the second, GO annotation and InterPro IDs indicate a role in telomere maintenance. The third positively selected gene (CYP11A1) is putatively a cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme acting in the mitochondrion.This does not mean that the Hong Kong placozoans evolved anything new. It just indicates fine-tuning of existing functions for the particular habitat. If this phylum has been around since the Ediacaran (as some believe), that’s a depressingly low amount of progress. There’s been no dramatic diversification within the body plan, as seen within arthropods and chordates. Evolutionists have a name for this: bradytely, a low rate of evolution. Evolution is fast, in other words, except when it is slow. Are they saying that the genetic diversity in placozoans never produced any change in phenotype? These poor creatures never got eyes or wings in 600 million years? They didn’t even get the new-fangled ion channels.Ion Channels Appear EarlierAn unrelated paper now claims that ion channels appeared much earlier than the Cambrian explosion. Lynagh et al., writing in PNAS, say that “Acid-sensing ion channels emerged over 600 Mya and are conserved throughout the deuterostomes.” We are deuterostomes; we have two (deutero-) holes (-stomes) in our digestive tract. (Enough said.) Previously, it was thought only vertebrates had these particular types of ion channels, which are essential for nervous systems. By discovering and comparing acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) in various phyla, they conclude that the channels had to appear long before the phyla themselves — in the Ediacaran period.The conversion of extracellular chemical signals into electrical current across the cell membrane is a defining characteristic of the nervous system. This is mediated by proteins, such as acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), membrane-bound receptors whose activation by decreased extracellular pH opens an intrinsic membrane-spanning sodium channel. Curiously, ASICs had only been reported in vertebrates, despite the homology of many other ion channels in vertebrates and invertebrates. Using molecular phylogenetics and electrophysiological recordings, we discover ASICs from tunicates, lancelets, sea urchins, starfish, and acorn worms. This shows that ASICs evolved much earlier than previously thought and suggests that their role in the nervous system is conserved across numerous animal phyla.If they “evolved,” how did that happen? They “evolved or were already present in ancestral deuterostomes,” the authors answer. They “emerged.” In any case, the presence of ASICs in ancestral deuterostomes means that ASICs emerged at least 600 Mya, well before the Cambrian explosion. Tentative phylogenetic evidence suggests that ASICs evolved after the protostome/deuterostome split.Again:This work shifts the estimate of the origin of ASICs from after to before the Cambrian explosion, and it shows that the loss of proton sensitivity in ASIC4 occurred after vertebrates moved onto land. The occurrence of ASICs in invertebrates points toward additional homology between invertebrate and vertebrate nervous systems regarding excitatory neurotransmission.They “emerged,” and they “evolved much earlier than previously thought,” we learn. Then they were “conserved” forever after. Simple Leaps?Did they identify some mutation that caused the emergence? No; they only mention ones that were detrimental, neutral, or altered the sensitivity of some channels to protons. Surely these evolutionists found some positive natural selection, didn’t they? No; if they did, they never mention it. The channels just “emerged.” Nervous systems “emerged” once the channels emerged. Lest we think these were simple leaps, listen to their description:Neurons are set apart from other cells by their rapid conduction and exchange of information. This is in large part due to ligand-gated ion channels, membrane-bound receptors that convert chemical information, such as neurotransmitter release, into electrical current. Not surprisingly, the evolution of nervous systems is intricately linked to the emergence and expansion of ligand-gated ion channels in the genome. For example, certain neurotransmitter receptor families seem to have expanded uniquely in those basal animals with nervous systems, and these include the glutamate receptors typically associated with fast synaptic transmission and plasticity.Ion channels are so important and sophisticated, two scientists won the Nobel Prize in 2003 for elucidating their modes of action and the elegant mechanisms of their selectivity filters.Emergence and conservation sound more like design was responsible, not evolution. But these evolutionists never deal with another curious ramification of their conclusion: if these channels emerged 600 million years ago, and the Cambrian explosion occurred about 540 million years ago, why did these complex channels “evolve” 60 million years before an animal “emerged” that could use them? And why did the lowly placozoans miss out? Evolution works in mysterious ways.Photo: Hoilungia hongkongensis, by Hans-Jürgen Osigus, Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover, via EurekAlert! Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Tagsacid-sensing ion channelsacorn wormsCambrian ExplosionCambrian NewsDarwin’s DoubtdeuterostomesEdiacaran Periodelectrical currentevolutionHoilungia hongkongensisHong Konginvertebratesion channellanceletsMichael Eitelmitochondrionnervous systemneuronsNobel PrizephylumPlacozoaplasticityPLOS BiologyPNASprotostomesea urchinsstarfishsynaptic transmissionTrichoplax adhaerenstunicatesvertebrates,Trending Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide
Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Tagsartifact hypothesisbiological formsCambrian ExplosionCambrian NewsCharles DarwinDarwinian gradualismDarwinismDarwinistsfossil recordGünter BechlyID the Futurenails in the coffinpaleoentomologypodcast,Trending Photo credit: Smith609 at English Wikipedia / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/).Darwinian gradualism predicts biological forms evolving gradually from one to another. However, it is widely acknowledged that this is not what the fossil record shows. Darwinists have long suggested that the fossil record’s pattern of major discontinuities is merely an artifact of that record being incomplete. But on a new episode of ID the Future, paleoentomologist Günter Bechly makes the case that recent findings have put the nails in the coffin of this “artifact hypothesis.” He goes on to argue that these findings are “not just a tiny problem but a fatal problem” for modern Darwinism. Download the podcast or listen to it here. “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Evolution Bechly: The Demise of the Artifact HypothesisEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCOctober 7, 2020, 6:15 AM Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Share Recommended
Her entry for this year’s show, titled “Whistling for the Dogs,” shows a rancher and his wife doing exactly that while the horses look on.The members’ show also provides local artists with a chance to get some exposure regardless of experience level, since it is a non-juried show.As an artist, Finch said one of the biggest pulls to paint comes from the knowledge that she needs both “bread” and beauty to survive, and having her art in a show offers a chance to share some beauty with other valley residents.“That’s one reason I paint,” Finch said. “I know I need it, and I think other people do too.”Jeff Manion, a self-taught oil painter, also plans on participating in the members’ exhibit as he has for the past four or five years. His work this year is entitled, “UM-NUM-NUM,” and shows a hungry grizzly snagging a salmon from the water.As a painter who loves the outdoors and wildlife, Manion creates his art both in the studio and out in the open air. He typically goes with other members of the valley’s artist community to paint outside, Manion said.“It’s just a real strong gravitation, desire to portray this,” Manion said. “I don’t think I could give it up if I wanted to.”Manion touted the wide range of artistic experience available at the upcoming show, noting that most artists are excited to have somewhere public to show their work. The Hockaday’s exhibit is a good place to do it, he said.“As an artist, you’re always looking for a place to hang your work,” Manion said. “(The Hockaday) always has a good opening night, it brings a lot of people out.” Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Kalispell’s Hockaday Museum of Art has a busy November planned, with an upcoming exhibit featuring the artistic talents of the museum’s own members and a fundraising gala featuring several prominent local artists.The Hockaday’s ninth annual Members Salon and Exhibition gives the museum’s members a chance to get their own art up on the walls, according to Brian Eklund of the Hockaday. This year’s exhibition is expected to include works in various media from over 100 members.The exhibit opens on Nov. 5 and has a Nov. 11 reception that is free and open to the public. Art forms will include sculpture, pottery, textile, photography, jewelry, oil painting, watercolors, acrylic paintings and dye on silk.As a member of the Hockaday for about four years, Gretchen Finch said she likes to enter her watercolor paintings in the show because part of being an artist is having a conversation with the viewer.“You don’t want your painting to just sit in the closet in your house all the time,” Finch said. “You want it out there where somebody is going to see it. Art is communication; it’s a way of communicating what’s in your heart out to other people.”Seasoned exhibit viewers might spot a trend in Finch’s works, since they largely portray ranching scenes or the ranching lifestyle. Her inspiration comes from a cattle ranch near Dillon where her son works. Left: Artist Margaret Graziano, oil, titled “Fiesta” Right: Artist Lois Sturgis, watercolor, titled “Shooting Stars” Artist Jeff Manion, oil, titled “UM-NUM-NUM” Email The show also has three People’s Choice Awards, given to the art pieces that garner the most votes from the public. Winners receive cash prizes and art supplies. Voting is open through Dec. 1.Eklund noted that many pieces of art in the exhibit will be for sale at fixed prices, with the proceeds benefitting the museum.The Hockaday will also host its fourth annual Artists in the Garden Gala on Nov. 6 at the Hilton Garden Inn. Proceeds from this event go toward the museum. Participants can expect an evening of art, dining, dancing and music, as well as a quick finish demonstration from nine well-known Montana artists.These artists include Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey, Tom English, Tom Gilleon, Karen Leigh, Jennifer Li, Nicholas Oberling, Mark Ogle, Tara Moore, Tom Saubert, Laurie Stevens and Janet Sullivan.The resulting work of the quick finish demonstration will be auctioned off during the live auction portion of the evening. The Community Mosaic Project, which consists of 300 pieces created by Flathead Valley residents, will also be sold off in the live auction.A silent auction will be ongoing throughout the evening, and local favorite Cocinando Latin Jazz Ensemble will provide the music.Tickets for the gala benefit are limited and they cost $90 for Hockaday members and $100 for non-members. A table of eight can be reserved for $650.For more information on the Members Salon or the Artists in the Garden Gala, visit www.hockadaymuseum.org or call 755-5268. For more information on Gretchen Finch, visit www.gretchenfinch.com.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. In the wake of the Flathead County Commission’s recent decision to award a bid for the new South Campus building, the board met on Jan. 16 to go over any possible cost-saving measures within the bid.Commissioner Phil Mitchell told the crowd gathered for the workshop session that he was the driving force behind the meeting, because the building had been presented to the public as costing $6 million, when the actual bid came in closer to $7 million.“I just felt it was important that we have this meeting,” Mitchell said.He said he wouldn’t propose to cut square footage from the building, which will house the county’s Agency on Aging program along with space for the Flathead City-County Health Department, but instead look for savings in the current building design.Presentations from CTA Architects Engineers and Swank Enterprises, which was awarded the bid on Dec. 31, showed possible cost savings through different materials or eliminating certain aspects of the design.A breakdown of the site costs for the building showed a possible $100,000 in savings, through changes like using metal posts and siding for the trash enclosure instead of brick, and reducing landscaping and changing irrigation materials.Another $40,000 could be saved if the building construction does not include thicker, stronger pylons or micropiles that would be put in in anticipation of the skybridge that would eventually connect the South Campus building to the nearby Earl Bennett building.On the building’s exterior, the county could save $20,000 by not using mitered corners and aluminum extrusions, or $15,000 by removing a skylight. Total savings for the building’s exterior could be $55,000, but that would include removing canopies covering the sidewalks around the building.Most of the site and exterior savings ideas were met with no resistance from the county department directors who would eventually use the building for their projects; however, the directors urged the commission to keep the canopies for safety and snow removal purposes.“If it protects a sidewalk, I’m all for it,” county maintenance superintendent Jed Fisher said. “If we can cover it for $20,000, it’ll pay for itself.”Building interior changes included using less tile and reducing wall and window coverings, as well as changing the type of elevator used, switching from a traction model to a hydraulic system instead.One major potential source of savings would be removing the planned backup generator and transfer switch, accounting for $43,000. However, AOA director Lisa Sheppard said her programs use bulk buying and freezer space to save money on food, and should the power go out for an extended amount of time and the freezers and refrigerators shut off, there would be major losses.Sheppard also said she supported money-saving measures as long as they don’t affect the health and safety of the senior population and the staff that will eventually use the building.Information technology director for the county Vicki Saxby said that without a backup generator or the possible loss of a clean agent fire system in the future IT room – which would use a dry extinguishing agent instead of water to help save the servers – there is no way the IT department could move into the building.Electrical savings could come from switching up $3,000 worth of light fixtures, changing them from preferred indirect lighting to direct lighting, or removing $500 worth of dimming features.Much of the workshop’s discussion revolved around current desires for financial savings versus future expansion needs, such as the potential third floor addition. The county could save $250,000 if all the provisions for the third floor were removed, but Commission Gary Krueger said there would need to be a balance between saving now and adding future expenses.In sum, the workshop identified $378,700 in savings for the site, the building’s interior and exterior, and mechanical and electrical areas.County health officer Joe Russell said he would never scrimp on an elevator, nor on a backup generator. He also said he would support the site and exterior changes.No official decisions were made as far as the changes to the project during the workshop. Email
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Email Whitefish’s iconic Winter Carnival will wrap up just hours before the Denver Broncos face the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, where Kalispell’s own Brock Osweiler will make his Super Bowl debut as the Broncos’ backup quarterback. Fittingly, this year’s carnival theme is the Super Bowl.“We’re looking forward to it,” said Paul Johnannsen, chairman of the Carnival Board. “Every year, we try to come up with a fun theme that will give people some great ideas to put together floats.”Parade meister Suzanne Hyatt, who has overseen parade logistics for five years, says that she expects to see a lot of people in cheerleader costumes and football jerseys. But at least one group’s parade entry takes a unique interpretation of the theme – Glacier Bank will roll out on a “souper” float and accept donations to the food bank.“Everybody’s getting involved (with the theme),” Hyatt said. For example, she continued, “Spay and Neuter is doing a dog versus cat football game. But I have no idea how they’re going to pull that off.”There are also a few new groups with floats, like The Booze Brothers Kazoo Band and Beer Tasting and the children of LVII carnival royalty, who will debut, Hyatt said, “a miniature float with miniature people on it.”In total, there will be nearly 90 unique floats. There are some mainstays, like the Miracle of America Museum in Polson, which has a float with an old Harley Davidson. Xanterra will also bring out the cherry red Glacier National Park buses.“Everybody rallies really, really nicely,” Hyatt said. “It’s so much fun putting it together. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or snowing or sunny, people come out and have a good, wholesome time.”The Winter Carnival season began earlier this year with the crowning of Ray and Jerrie Boksich as the LVII Whitefish Winter Carnival King Ullr and Queen of the Snows. The carnival is built on the legend that the Nordic god of snow, Ullr, settled on Big Mountain and protected the valley’s human settlers from a vicious band of yetis.Ray and Jerrie, who married in 1976, have long contributed to the local community, and have been involved with the carnival since the ‘70s. Ray has performed at the Merry Maker, the annual roast that kicks off the carnival, for over a decade, performing a piece called Prime on the Street where he pokes fun at the goings-on in Whitefish.The couple first met at Muldown Elementary School in Whitefish where they were both teachers. Ray went on to serve on the Whitefish City Council and the park board, eventually becoming the mayor in the early 1990s. Jerrie, a winner of the national Milken Family Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award, has served as the president of both the local Northwest Reading Council and the Montana State Reading Council. They now volunteer weekly for the Meals on Wheels program at the Whitefish Community Center.As King and Queen, the Boksichs attended the coronation of Prince Fray and Princess Freya, and presided over opening ceremonies at the World Invitational Ski Joring event held at the Whitefish Airport.The two-day extreme skiing event began Jan. 30 at noon with the horseshoe-shaped track. Many valiant horses, riders, and skiers took on the curved course with 5-foot jumps, but Cody Smith and Joe Scanlon nabbed gold in the open division. Smith took second with Tim Guest, and Tyler Smedsrud and Mike Fredrickson rounded out third.The competitors returned to the airport on Jan. 31 for the straight course, which is easier in that skiers don’t have to absorb whiplash from the rope, but harder in that skiers must collect rings from stations along the course. Every ring missed means a 5 second penalty, and in a race where the winner’s time can be just milliseconds faster than the second place team’s, missing a ring is hardly an option for the most competitive teams. Smedsrud and Tim McArttny came out on top, just ahead of Toby McIntosh and Scanlon. McIntosh and Guest took third.Ski joring teams will make another appearance before the carnival is over. They’ll be at the Grand Parade to pull skiers down the snowy streets of downtown Whitefish, just one of many classic Northwest Montana spectacles that make this annual tradition so special.ScheduleFeb. 56 p.m. Gala at Whitefish Lake Golf Club RestaurantFeb. 611 a.m. Penguin Plunge at City Beach12:30 p.m. St Charles Pie Social at St Charles Catholic Church3 p.m. Grand Parade in downtown WhitefishFeb. 78 a.m. Rotary Pancake Breakfast at the Moose Lodge