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US Open golf 2021: second round – live!

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A cold start by Xander Schauffele, who comes up short with his second at 1, then leaves a bang-average chip 15 feet from the hole. Bogey that drops the local hero to -1.

A little bit of a lull right now … so why not reacquaint yourself with some classic US Open yarns?

A hell of a start to the afternoon for Mackenzie Hughes. The 30-year-old Canadian hasn’t got much of a CV, with just one win on the PGA Tour, and that at the low-key, early-season RSM Classic, back in 2016. A tie for 40th back in April at Augusta is by far his best showing in any major, but something could be cooking here: birdies at 10, 11 and 12 have catapulted him up the standings to -1 in double-quick time!

A quick start for Koepka, as he sends his second at 2 pin high, then rolls a ten-footer straight into the cup. He joins the group tied for fourth. Bogey for Francesco Molinari, though, at the difficult par-three 11th. He slips out of that group.

-5: Bland (F)

-4: Oosthuizen (F), Henley (2*)

-3: Watson (F), Rahm (F), Koepka (2), Cabrera Bello

-2: Streelman (F), F Molinari (2*), Schauffele

Xander Schauffele makes his way out. He’s starting at 1, and pulls his drive into a big fairway bunker down the left. He should have no problem from there. He’ll be going round again with none other than Phil Mickelson. The record-breaking 51-year-old PGA champion splits the fairway. After yesterday’s 75, he needs something extremely special today if he’s to retain even outside hopes of completing that career slam this week.

Guido Migliozzi, the young Italian who lost to Richard Bland in the play-off for the British Masters last month, is also going along nicely here. A 71 yesterday, and now he’s clipped his tee shot at 3 to four feet, tidying up for an early birdie. He moves to -1.

Kevin Streelman finds the 18th in two. A couple of fuss-free putts later, and that’s a bogey to close. He’s signing for a 69 to go with yesterday’s 71, and goes into the weekend at -2. Meanwhile Francesco Molinari is out, and he pars his opening hole, the 10th, to remain at -3. Sadly his brother hasn’t started so well, dropping shots at 10 and 11 to slip down the standings to +1.

Koepka’s birdie putt has plenty of left-to-right swing, and he doesn’t set it out wide enough. He’ll make do with an opening par. He’s -2. He’s going round with 2017 PGA champion Justin Thomas, who also pars, and 2020 PGA winner Collin Morikawa, who can’t get up and down from the bunker to the left of the green. Thomas remains at +2; Morikawa, who needs something special after yesterday’s 75, immediately goes in the wrong direction. He’s +5.

Koepka sends his second at 1 straight at the flag. One more bounce, and it was heading very close, but the wind holds it up and he’ll need to sink an uphill 15-footer for an opening birdie.

Here’s Brooks! He sends a booming drive down the left of 1, his ball sitting up in the semi-rough. He skelped that one with feeling. Meanwhile over on 18, Louis Oosthuizen make a birdie that returns the South African to where he started the day. He’s -4, one shot off Richard Bland’s lead.

-5: Bland (F)

-4: Oosthuizen (F), Henley (1*)

-3: Watson (F), Rahm (F), F Molinari, Cabrera Bello

-2: Koepka, Schauffele

The overnight co-leader Russell Henley is out and about. He sends his opening tee shot into a bunker to the left of 10, then whistles his second into the heart of the green. He should be taking two comfortable putts for an opening par.

This could be a costly rush of blood for Patrick Reed on 18. Chipping from the back, like Rahm before him, he leaves himself with a two-footer for birdie. He shoves it twice as far past, then misses the one coming back. Bogey, and all of a sudden, instead of +1, he’s +3. He momentarily considers breaking his putter in two, then thinks better of it. He should still be here this weekend, but now he’s got a nervous few hours to wait for confirmation.

Jon Rahm is over the back of 18 in two big blows. He sends his chip scampering six feet past the hole. A bit clumsy. He makes the one coming back, though, and it’s a birdie that’ll make him feel a whole lot better after missing a couple of good opportunities earlier in the round. It’s a 70 to go with yesterday’s 69, and the pre-tournament favourite is sitting comfortably at -3 going into Moving Day.

A 69 for Scottie Scheffler, who is coming off the back of a second top-ten finish at the PGA in a row. The 24-year-old – one of just 12 players to break 60 in PGA Tour history – goes into the weekend nicely placed at -1. Birdies at 15 and 18 turned a decent round into a very good one.

Spieth can’t make the eagle putt, but he finishes with birdie, and signs for a 69. A vast improvement on yesterday’s 77, and at +3 there’s a good chance he’ll escape the 36-hole axe. The cut is currently projected at +3, so all’s well for the popular Texan at the moment.

The cut is projected at +4. If the 2015 champion Jordan Spieth wants to stay for the weekend, he’ll have to do something at 18. Well, he’s on the green in two, having sent his second to 12 feet from 240 yards.

Dustin Johnson signs for a 73 as well. He’s +2 overall, and will be pleased to have surely swerved the cut, having missed out at both the Masters and the PGA. Baby steps for the big man, who has been lacking in confidence of late.

McIlroy gets up and down from a greenside bunker at 9. It’s a final birdie that, along with the shot he’d picked up at 6, semi-salvages a round that was threatening to head south. It’s still a disappointing 73, although at +1 he’s reasonably placed for the weekend. But he’ll need something special tomorrow.

Oosthuizen’s smile was right to depart the scene quicksmart. Its owner misses the short birdie putt, such a shame after that lovely tee shot. He remains two behind the leader Bland at -3. Meanwhile Kevin Streelman, coming off the back of an excellent top-ten showing at the PGA, birdies 12, 13 and 15 to whisk himself up the leader board to -2.

A 74 for Sergio Garcia. The same old story: it promised more. He’s +3, as is Adam Scott who shot 75 today. They went round with Bubba, who gets up and down from a greenside bunker at 9 for a final birdie. That’s a 67, matching the best-of-week efforts so far made by Russell Henley, Louis Oosthuizen and Richard Bland.

-5: Bland (F)

-4: Henley

-3: Watson (F), Oosthuizen (15), F Molinari, Cabrera Bello

Oosthuizen sends a high, gentle draw into the par-three 16th. His ball rests six feet from the cup. A lovely smooth shot. He allows himself a little smile, before it quickly disappears, perhaps thinking about the one of similar length he missed early this morning at 1.

Bryson finishes with a birdie at 9. The defending champion signs for an excellent 69, and goes into the weekend at level par. Birdie meanwhile for Dustin at 8, and he pumps the air with his fist. At +2, and with a par-five coming up, his weekend participation looks more likely than not now.

DJ’s late attempt to bodyswerve the cut continues as he sends his tee shot over the flag at the par-three 8th. That’s a lovely shot, setting up a very makeable five-foot birdie chance. Meanwhile Chez Reavie, who tied for third at Pebble Beach a couple of years ago when Gary Woodland won, signs for a blemish-free 68 today. It was bookended by brilliance: in for eagle from 180 yards at 10, then 16 pars later, birdie at 9. He’s +2 for the week.

Rahm wedges to three feet at 15, then watches in horror as his birdie putt horseshoes out. He remains at -2. Meanwhile Scotland’s great hope Robert MacIntyre follows up yesterday’s level-par 71 with a solid 73. He’ll most likely not be bothering the leaders this weekend, but he’s almost certain to have made it through.

McIlroy blows out his cheeks in frustration as a 40-foot rake across 7 stops one dimple shy of dropping. That would have put a different complexion on things. The 2011 champion remains at +2. Meanwhile birdie for his playing partner Dustin Johnson, who moves to +3 in his battle to avoid missing the cut for a third major championship in a row.

US Open vicissitudes pt.II. Louis Oosthuizen has done absolutely nothing today. His round so far has been a total non-event. So here he is on 14, sending a tramliner into the cup from 40 feet. It’s his first birdie of the day, and he returns to -3 and a tie for third. Meanwhile Dylan Wu chips in from a bunker at 12, and leaps up into a tie for sixth.

-5: Bland (F)

-4: Henley

-3: Oosthuizen (14), F Molinari, Cabrera Bello

-2: Rahm (14), Wu (12), Koepka, Schauffele

The vicissitudes of US Open golf, right here. Hayden Buckley shot 69 yesterday, ending the first round two off the lead. Today the wheels came off the 25-year-old from Chattanooga’s choo-choo: an 82 that featured three doubles, six bogeys and a solitary birdie on 17. All part of the learning process.

Nothing’s gone right for Rory since the turn, so the 30-footer he rattles in at 6 is most welcome news. Especially as he was hovering around the projected cut line. He rises to +2 and gives the air a little pump with his fist. A strong finish, and, well, you just never know how these things pan out. He’ll surely need a couple more birdies if he’s to retain hopes of doing anything significant come Moving Day.

Richard Bland’s wedge into 9 isn’t great, landing short and spinning back to 30 feet. But at least he’s left himself an uphill putt. He rolls to kick-in distance, and signs for a quite magnificent 67. He’s currently ranked 115th in the world. Just for the record, when Phil Mickleson won the PGA last month, he went into the tournament ranked … yep … 115th in the world.

-5: Bland (F)

-4: Henley

-3: F Molinari, Bello

-2: Watson (15*), Rahm (14), Oosthuizen (13), Koepka, Schauffele

Jon Rahm had been running hot since that bogey on 13. He ranted and raved upon sending his second at 14 into a deep bunker. But the funk will have eased off dramatically now, as he scoops his third gently onto the green, sending it unerringly into the cup for bounceback birdie! He’s -2.

DeChambeau sends his second at 7 into a bunker to the right of the green. He’s left with a downhill lie, but splashes out adroitly to 15 feet, leaving himself a chance of escaping with par. He can’t quite make the saver, which shaves the right-hand lip, and the champion moves out to +1.

McIlroy will do well to be here for the weekend this rate. His latest bogey comes at 5, the result of tugging his approach into lush greenside nonsense. He’s +3, which in terms of the cut will be there or thereabouts.

Bogey for Jon Rahm at the par-five 13th. He’s not the picture of happiness as he departs the scene. He drops to -1, as does Rikuya Hoshino, who follows bogey at 10 with another at 11. Apart from Bland, Bubba – who has just made three birdies in a row – and Bryson, none of the early wave has made a serious move this morning.

-5: Bland (17*)

-4: Henley

-3: F Molinari, Cabrera Bello

-2: Watson (15*), Oosthuizen (12), Koepka, Schauffele

Updated

Bland can’t make his par putt at 8. He slips back to -5, still one clear of Russell Henley, who will be out in just over an hour. Meanwhile another birdie for Bubba, this time at 5, and the two-time Masters champion – who other than a tie for fifth in 2007, hasn’t done much at the US Open – moves into red figures at -1.

Bland’s ball is plugged in the bunker at 8. He grimaces accordingly. It’s one hell of a lie. He lobs out gracefully, but leaves his ball 20 feet short. He couldn’t have done much better, to be fair. Big putt coming up.

Updated

Bland stays two clear after taking his two putts for par on 7. He’d left himself a tricky four footer, too, but no nerves were evident. But then on the par-three 8th, he sends his 8-iron into the bunker guarding the front. A tricky up and down from there, with not a lot of green to play with. Meanwhile back on 4, McIlroy drops yet another shot, unable to scramble par from 50 yards. He hammers the green with his putter in frustration. He’s +2 and a study in misery.

McIlroy continues to struggle. He sends his tee shot into a fairway bunker down the right of 4, then leaves his second 50 yards short of the green. His shoulders slump. The long major thirst looks increasingly unlikely to be slaked this week. Up on 7, Bland finds himself in a bit of bother down the left, but punches his second into the front of the green. He’ll have a long two putts to save his par.

Updated

Birdie for Bubba at 4. He’s level par. Any old excuse to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Golf Boys. So young, so beautiful.

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Politics

Final victim of Florida condo collapse identified by relative

final-victim-of-florida-condo-collapse-identified-by-relative

The final victim of the condo building collapse in Florida has been identified, a relative said Monday, more than a month after the middle-of-the-night catastrophe that ultimately claimed 98 lives.

Estelle Hedaya, an outgoing 54-year-old with a love of travel, was the last victim identified, ending what her relatives described as a torturous four-week wait.

Her younger brother, Ikey Hedaya, confirmed the identification to the Associated Press. The news comes just days after rescuers officially concluded the painstaking and emotionally heavy task of removing layers of dangerous debris and pulling out dozens of bodies.

“She always mentioned God anytime she was struggling with anything,” he said. “She had reached a different level spiritually, which allowed her to excel in all other areas.”

Her brother said he is drawing strength from God, just as he’d seen his sister do in troubling times. A funeral was scheduled for Tuesday.

The site of the 24 June collapse at the oceanside Champlain Towers South has been mostly swept flat, the rubble moved to a Miami warehouse. Although forensic scientists are still at work, including examining the debris at the warehouse, authorities said there are no more bodies to be found where the building once stood.

In the end, crews found no evidence that anyone who was found dead had survived the initial collapse, fire chief Alan Cominsky has said.

Search teams spent weeks battling the hazards of the rubble, including an unstable portion of the building that teetered above, a recurring fire and Florida’s stifling summer heat and thunderstorms. They went through more than 14,000 tons of broken concrete and rebar before finally declaring the mission complete.

Miami-Dade fire rescue’s urban search-and-rescue team pulled away from the site Friday in a convoy of firetrucks and other vehicles, slowly driving to their headquarters. The fire chief saluted their bravery, saying they had worked 12-hour shifts while camping out at the site and also dealing with the heavy emotional burden.

Estelle Hedaya.
Estelle Hedaya. Photograph: AP

Linda March, a 58 year-old attorney and fellow former New Yorker, was close friends with Hedaya. Oddly the two were among the last three victims to be identified, along with 24-year-old Anastasia Gromova of Canada.

Leah Sutton, who knew Hedaya since birth and considered herself a second mother to her, said she and March were both “forces to be reckoned with”.

“My two beautiful amazing fearless friends saved for last, have to believe there was a reason for them to be last,” she said Monday. “Estelle’s love of God was unbelievable and unwavering.”

The dead included members of the area’s large Orthodox Jewish community, the sister of Paraguay’s first lady, her family and their nanny, along with an entire family of four that included a local salesman, his wife and their two young daughters, four and 11, who were buried in the same coffin.

Meanwhile, it’s unclear what will happen at the collapse site. A judge presiding over several lawsuits filed in the collapse aftermath wants the property sold at market rates, which would bring in an estimated $100m or more. Some condo owners want to rebuild, and others say a memorial should be erected to remember the dead.

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California and New York City to mandate vaccine for government workers

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California and New York City announced Monday that they would require all government employees to get the coronavirus vaccine or face weekly Covid-19 testing, and the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first major federal agency to require healthcare workers to receive the shot.

Meanwhile, in a possible sign that increasingly dire health warnings are getting through to more Americans, vaccination rates began to creep up again, offering hope that people who have previously been reluctant to receive the shot may finally be getting inoculated.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all municipal workers – including teachers and police officers – will be required to get vaccinated by mid-September or face weekly Covid-19 testing, making the city one of the largest employers in the US to take such action.

“Let’s be clear about why this is so important: this is about our recovery,” de Blasio said.

California said it will similarly require proof of vaccination or weekly testing for all state workers and healthcare employees starting next month.

The move comes amid a surge in cases in California, which have risen 218% over the last two weeks, while hospitalizations are up 62%, according to New York Times data. In the month since California lifted all Covid safety restrictions for its “grand reopening”, the state capitol has reinstated a mask requirement after several aides contracted Covid-19, and Los Angeles county is again requiring mask-wearing indoors, even for people who are fully vaccinated. The San Francisco Bar Alliance, which represents almost 500 bars, is recommending that members require guests to show proof of vaccination to enter the establishments.

California saw a 16% increase in vaccinations over last week and is one of the country’s most vaccinated states with 77% of adults having received at least one vaccine dose, but there are still plenty of unprotected people to transmit the virus, experts say.

“Primarily, we’re seeing infections in the unvaccinated,” said George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco.

The VA’s move came on a day when nearly 60 leading medical and healthcare organizations issued a call through the American Medical Association for health care facilities to require their workers to get vaccinated.

“I am doing this because it’s the best way to keep our veterans safe, full stop,” Veterans affairs secretary Denis McDonough told the New York Times.

The mayor of New York City has announced all municipal workers will be required to get vaccinated or face weekly testing.
The mayor of New York City has announced all municipal workers will be required to get vaccinated or face weekly testing. Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Elsewhere, St Louis became the second major city to mandate that face masks be worn indoors, regardless of vaccination status, joining Los Angeles in re-imposing the orders.

“For those who are vaccinated, this may feel like punishment, punishment for doing the right thing,” St Louis county executive Sam Page, a Democrat, said Monday. “I’ve heard that, and I feel that frustration.”

Dr Leana Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner, applauded the moves but called on President Joe Biden to “lead by example” and impose similar mandates on federal employees and in public venues where the government has jurisdiction, like on planes, trains and government buildings.

She also said all hospitals and nursing homes need to require all employees get vaccinated.

“We need vaccine mandates and vaccine verification,” Wen said. “We’re well past the time for the Biden administration to get on board with this. What we’re doing is not working. Doing more of the same is not the answer here.”

The White House has so far deferred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on masking guidance, which recommends that those who are unvaccinated wear masks indoors. But officials acknowledged over the weekend that they are considering changing that guidance and recommending that the vaccinated also wear masks indoors.

“We’re going in the wrong direction,” Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

Wen, who is also an emergency physician and public professor at George Washington University, said public health experts have been worrying for months about this very scenario.

“We were worried the honor system would not work, the unvaccinated would be behaving as if they’re vaccinated and people would think the pandemic is over,” she said. “That’s precisely what has happened, and it’s incredibly frustrating.”

Dr Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist Yale’s School of Public Health, said the U.S. should not have been caught off guard after watching the Delta variant ravage India in May and then land in the United Kingdom, Israel and other highly vaccinated nations with force last month.

“We have learned multiple times to not take anything for granted with CovidO,” he said.

The US is around 67% immune from Covid-19 when prior infections are factored, but it will need to get closer to 85% to crush the resurgent virus, said Dr Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health.

“So we need a lot more vaccinations. Or a lot more infections,” he tweeted Sunday.

Jha said the nation has to brace for another rough few months. The disease has killed almost 611,000 people in the US since the pandemic started last year.

Vaccinations ticked up over the weekend, with about 657,000 vaccines reported administered Saturday and nearly 780,000 on Sunday, according to CDC data. The seven-day rolling average on Sunday was about 583,000 vaccinations a day, up from about 525,000 a week prior.

A mobile vaccine clinic in Los Angeles, California.
A mobile vaccine clinic in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Étienne Laurent/EPA

Public health experts on Monday said the uptick in vaccinations is encouraging but warned that it’s far too early to say if the numbers mean that millions of unvaccinated people are finally beginning to overcome their reticence.

The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the country shot up over the past two weeks, from more than 19,000 on 11 July to nearly 52,000 on 25 July , according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Some prominent conservative and Republican voices that have spent months casting doubt on the vaccination effort have recently started sounding a different tune.

House minority whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, was among the members of the GOP Doctors Caucus who held a press conference at the Capitol late last week imploring their constituents to lay lingering doubts aside.

A week ago, on 19 July, Fox News host Sean Hannity declared: “It absolutely makes sense for many Americans to get vaccinated. I believe in science. I believe in the science of vaccinations.”

And in Tennessee, the brother of a popular local conservative radio host who had been a vaccine skeptic urged listeners to get vaccinated as his brother was in critical care in the hospital battling Covid-19.

“For those listening, I know if he were able to tell you this, he would tell you, ‘Go get vaccinated. Quit worrying about the politics. Quit worrying about all the conspiracy theories,’” Mark Valentine said of his brother, Phil Valentine, Thursday on WWTN-FM in Nashville.

Associated Press contributed to this report

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Arizona secretary of state tells Trump before election lie rally: get over it

arizona-secretary-of-state-tells-trump-before-election-lie-rally:-get-over-it

Arizona’s secretary of state had a message for Donald Trump before he appeared in Phoenix on Saturday: “Take your loss and accept it and move on.”

Trump was set to speak at an event organised by Turning Point Action, a conservative group, and called the “Rally to Save Our Elections!”

Republicans in the most populous county in Arizona continue to pursue a controversial audit of ballots in an attempt to prove Trump’s claim that his loss to Joe Biden in the state, and nationally, was caused by widespread voter fraud. It was not.

Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, spoke to CNN on Friday. Asked what she wanted to tell Trump, she said: “Well, I mean, like most grownups, take your loss and accept it and move on … Nothing that’s going on here is going to change the outcome, and, really, this is nothing more than being a sore loser.”

Hobbs also said Trump’s appearance – like support for his lies from local Republican officials, office holders and congressional hopefuls lining up to speak at Saturday’s event – was dangerous.

“The bottom line is it doesn’t matter what he says or does,” she said. “Nothing is going to change the outcome of the 2020 election. But it also doesn’t change how dangerous this is.”

Trump’s lie about electoral fraud stoked the deadly attack on the US Capitol in Washington on 6 January this year. He retains power in the Republican party, which has swung behind him in seeking to obstruct investigations of the assault.

“The bottom line is that Arizonians are tired of being led by conspiracy theorists,” Hobbs said. “They don’t support this fake audit, and they’re ready for leaders who are going to put those partisan games aside and deal with real issues.”

Hobbs is hoping to become governor of Arizona. Midterm elections will also see a key Arizona Senate seat up for grabs again. Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and a prominent campaigner for gun control reform, won the seat on Biden’s coattails last year. But that was to complete a term and he must run again to secure a full six years in the seat.

On Friday, the former president blasted “Rinos”, or “Republicans in Name Only” whom he regards as insufficiently loyal. One GOP Arizona state senator offered a pithy reply.

“If he hadn’t started an insurrection in DC and gotten kicked off here,” Paul Boyer wrote on Twitter, “I could’ve responded directly to him. So there’s that.”

Trump said his remarks would be broadcast by networks including Newsmax and One America News, upstart rightwing operations which have sought to challenge Fox News on the right of the political spectrum.

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