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Monday, Aug. 24, 2015: New Hartford's Bard falls in U.S. Amateur final

   Leading off today: New Hartford native Derek Bard struggled in the afternoon portion of Sunday's U.S. Amateur Golf Championship final, winning just two holes and falling 7 and 6 to SMU senior Bryson DeChambeau.

   Bard lost the first two holes, rallied for a two-hole lead through No. 7 but was three holes down through 16. He actually won two of the next three holes at Olympia Hills Country Club with bogeys only to see DeChambeau capture seven of the next nine holes and take command.

   Bard, entering his junior year at Virginia, posted four top-10 finishes in NYSPHSAA championships while in high school, earning the 2012 title. He also was the 2013 Federation champ while at New Hartford.

   By virtue of reaching the final, Bard earned spots in next year's Masters and U.S. Open.

   DeChambeau became the fifth player to win the tournament and NCAA individual title in the same year. Jack Nicklaus (1961), Phil Mickelson (1990), Tiger Woods (1996) and Ryan Moore (2004) are the only other players to sweep the two titles in a season.

   'Pearl' suffers relapse, faces surgery: Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, the dazzling Boys High guard of the early 1980s who would go on to help put the Big East on the basketball map as a Syracuse University legend, has suffered a relapse of a brain tumor that was first treated in December 1995, reported Monday.

   Washington, 51, will have surgery at Crouse Hospital on Thursday. The website reported visitors have been streaming to the hospital to support their friend.    "Many prayers are requested," friend Mark Finney said. "Pearl has prayed for a lot of people over the years and we'd ask that you please pay back those prayers to Pearl."

   Washington grew up in Brooklyn, where as an 8-year-old he was dubbed Pearl in reference to NBA great Earl Monroe. He went on to become a star in high school before moving on to three memorable seasons at SU and then a brief NBA career.

   In his retirement, Washington returned to SU to earn his bachelor's degree.

   This won't end well: Emmitt Holt got what he wanted a year ago, holding out beyond the typical recruiting window but then landing a Big Ten basketball scholarship rather than having to head off to prep school to draw more attention.

   Now it's time for him to get something the former Webster Schroeder star needs: a swift kick in the ass before he does real damage to himself or someone around him.

   Holt and fellow Section 5 alum Thomas Bryant (Bishop Kearney), an incoming freshman, were cited for illegal possession of alcohol by state excise police over the weekend, The Indianapolis Star reported. According to a report in Indiana, the forwards were cited at 12:50 a.m. Friday after being observed attempting to conceal bottles of vodka while sitting in a car at a convenience store near campus.

   The Indiana athletic department released the following statement:

   "We are aware that men's basketball players Emmitt Holt and Thomas Bryant were each cited Friday for underage possession of alcohol. We take this matter very seriously and are continuing to gather information."

   Holt was also behind the wheel when the Hoosiers' Devin Davis was injured last Nov. 1. Davis, recently dismissed by the school, was struck when he stepped in front of the car Holt was driving, and he suffered a serious head injury that sidelined him for the 2014-15 season. Holt was cited for illegal consumption of alcohol, a misdemeanor, and for football site

operating under the influence of alcohol under the age of 21, an infraction. He was suspended for two exhibition games and two regular-season games last season.

   Seventh-year Indiana coach Tom Crean is already under fire both for his record (121-111) and a string of behavioral problems within the program. As much as he needs Holt and the administration wants a winning team, the sophomore's second alcohol-related incident in less than 10 months is all but certain to end with severe punishment -- up to and including being kicked out of school.

   It's a wake-up call, kid. Now quit hitting the snooze button in life.

   Elsewhere in Indiana: Michigan City and South Bend Washington kicked off their football season Friday with a first-half brawl that required police intervention.

   According to the Michigan City News Dispatch, the fight started with a late hit out of bounds. Players got into a shoving match that lasted about a minute. The game was called with 2:54 remaining in the first half at the suggestion of police.

   Pitch counts not enough: Pitch counts are coming down but the frequency of "Tommy John" surgery is going up. There's not a firm cause-effect relationship in those developments, but it cannot be ruled out either.

   The Times Herald-Record wrote about pitchers injuries over the weekend, noting that the American Sports Medicine Institute has calculated that the number of youth and high school athletes needing reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament continues to climb.

   Though Tommy John surgery has returned numerous pitchers to the mound at all levels of the sport, one of the obvious concerns is that too many young athletes take it for granted.

   "(Players) just look at it as, 'Oh, I'll get Tommy John. I'm moving on. I'll be throwing in nine months. I'll be back on the field in 12 months,'" Warwick baseball coach Chuck Todd said. "That's the mentality. It's so matter of fact now, it's disgusting."

   You can read more on concerns related to the injury -- including a theory that changing nutritional preferences might be a risk factor -- in the story.

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